Today.Az Covering Azerbaijan inside and outside Today.Az No progress expected in Kazakhstan’s Caspian oil transportation system Business Wed, 22 Oct 2014 21:51:00 +0500 Kazakhstan doesn’t expect progress in realization of the project for creation of the Kazakhstan Caspian Transportation System due to searches for oil transportation route alternatives to the Russian route, Kazakh Energy Ministry told Trend Oct. 22.The ministry said the further schedule of the KCTS project is to be synchronized with the schedule of the second phase of Kashagan field’s development, which is still to be specified.“Due to the postponement of the second phase of the Kashagan field’s development it was decided to suspend the Kazakhstan Caspian Transportation System project,” according to the ministry.The Energy Ministry earlier said that due to the Western sanctions on Russia, Kazakhstan is eyeing other oil export routes that will be an alternative to the Russian one, including the possibility of transporting oil to Azerbaijan through the Aktau sea port and the Caspian Sea.“Given the current situation, one can assume that the anti-Russian sanctions will not block oil and gas deliveries from Russia to the EU, including Kazakhstan’s oil through the Russian pipelines. However, the diversification of oil exports is being studied,” the ministry told the News-Kazakhstan Agency.The ministry said that currently the transit through Russia is the main route for Kazakhstan among all the other oil export routes.In particular, the pipeline system of the Transneft JSC and the pipeline of the Caspian Pipeline Consortium are the traditional routes for transportation of Kazakhstan’s oil.The KCTS is to provide Kazakh oil exports to international markets mainly from the Kashagan field (second and third phases) across the Caspian Sea, via the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline and other oil transportation systems in Azerbaijan, as well as in other transit countries.The KCTS is assumed to include the Eskene-Kuryk oil pipeline running to the Kuryk oil terminal on the Kazakh coast of the Caspian Sea, as well as an oil terminal on the Kazakh coast, tankers, vessels, an oil terminal on the Azerbaijani coast, and the linking facilities up to the Baku Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline.The Oil and Gas Minister of Kazakhstan Uzakbai Karabalin earlier told Trend that the need for the KCTS project will occur no earlier than 2020.The production at the Kashagan field started Sept. 2013, but in October, it was ceased after a gas leak in one of the main pipelines.The analysis conducted over several months revealed numerous micro-cracks on the pipeline that appeared due to the impact of the associated gas with high sulfur content to the metal.The project’s operator, the North Caspian Operating Co. (NCOC) confirmed the need for a complete replacement of the gas and oil pipelines, which have a total length of about 200 kilometers.The government said the replacement of pipes will take at least two years.Earlier, the Deputy Energy Minister of Kazakhstan Magzum Mirzagaliyev said the production at the Kashagan is expected to resume in the second half of 2016./Trend/ EU seeks to renew talks on Trans-Caspian pipeline Business Wed, 22 Oct 2014 18:15:00 +0500 /AzerNews/By Aynur JafarovaThe European commission is interested in holding negotiations with Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan regarding the joint activities on the Trans-Caspian gas pipeline, Head of the EU delegation to Azerbaijan Malena Mard told journalists on October 22.She said there is a tripartite format of the meeting on the Trans-Caspian project between the EU, Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan.However, Mard noted she can't tell the exact date of the meeting yet.Earlier Azerbaijan's Energy Minister Natig Aliyev informed about EU's plan to hold another round of trilateral talks with Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan on the establishment of the Trans-Caspian gas pipeline."EU Energy Commissioner Gunther Oettinger has proposed to hold another round of negotiations with Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan in Brussels," he told journalists. "But, unfortunately, the Turkmen side has not yet responded for some reasons but Oettinger assured me that the meeting will take place."The Trans-Caspian Gas Pipeline with a length of around 300 kilometers will be laid from the Turkmen coast of the Caspian Sea to Azerbaijan, where it will be linked to the Southern Gas Corridor. The pipeline's capacity is 30-40 billion cubic meters of gas per year.Both Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan, two Caspian littoral countries, are interested in using alternative routes for transportation of energy resources from the resource-rich Caspian region to European markets.Talks on the construction of the Trans-Caspian Gas Pipeline between Turkmenistan, the EU, and other countries have been held regularly since late 1990s.The negotiation process intensified after the EU issued a mandate to start negotiations on the preparation of an agreement between the EU, Azerbaijan, and Turkmenistan on the Trans-Caspian project in September 2011.Ashgabat believes that the agreement between Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan is sufficient for laying a pipe under the Caspian Sea.Baku has expressed readiness to create transit opportunities and provide means to take advantage of them, as reported by representatives of Azerbaijan's state energy company SOCAR.Azerbaijan will benefit from transportation of gas through the Trans-Caspian gas pipeline because the implementation of this project will make Azerbaijan not only a supplier of gas, but also a transit country.However, Iran and Russia have expressed their skepticism towards the project, saying that the construction of the pipeline may damage the Caspian Sea ecology.Recently, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has said the Caspian-littoral countries face interventions while constructing pipelines. KazMunaiGas to spend hugely on geological exploration World news Wed, 22 Oct 2014 18:05:00 +0500 /AzerNews/By Aynur JafarovaKazakhstan's KazMunaiGas National Oil and Gas Company will spend $5 billion on the geological exploration in the country in the next three years, Kazakh Energy Minister Vladimir Shkolnik said at a parliamentary meeting on October 21."This measure will ensure the growth of the company's proved reserves of oil and gas condensate from 823 million metric tons to 1.4 billion metric tons in 2022," he added.He also noted the expansion of the hydrocarbon resource base, increase of the efficiency of the existing fields and preparation of the domestic industry for new conditions are among the main priorities of Kazakhstan's government.In May 2014, the Kazakh government approved a geological exploration program for 2015-2019. Based on the program, the country would allocate 119 billion tenge (around $654 million) from the state budget to conduct geological survey. This program is believed to increase gold, copper and complex ores forecast resources.Kazakhstan also plans to attract large national companies and subsoil users to invest in geological exploration, as well as to establish a Geological Research Center which will lead to a substantial reduction in financial expenditure and time for processing geological materials by conducting analyses in the country. Armenian authorities ignoring public sufferings World news Wed, 22 Oct 2014 17:45:00 +0500 /AzerNews/By Mushvig MehdiyevContinuous protests in Armenia reveal nations' deepening dissatisfaction with the ruling regime. One third of the whole population is deprived of their Constitutional rights in Armenia."About 1 million people in Armenia are deprived of their Constitutional rights and this has led them to hold numerous protests over the last year," MP from the Prosperous Armenia party Vahe Enfiajyan said on October 21.Enfiajyan underlined the protests against the funded pension system, increase of tuition fees at the state universities, as well as the new turnover tax on small and medium business owners adding that they are the results of a weak constitution in Armenia."We can add to this list the unfair court decisions, stealing money from the citizens' pockets by the paid parking and highway cameras and the draconian bank interests. These are the reasons behind the upcoming protest at the Liberty square on October 24," Enfiajyan noted"Troika" of the three main Armenian opposition parties - Heritage party, Prosperous Armenia party and Armenian National Congress held a large-scale protest rally in the capital city Yerevan on October 10. Tens of thousands of residents flocked to the Liberty Square to demand the power change in the country. During the rally, protesters chanted anti-government slogans.Government CrisisThe "opposition trio" has recently expressed its concern over the continuing crisis in Armenia. It adopted a statement to shed light to the dark sides of the crisis at government level.The lawmakers of the three leading opposition forces said the corruption, monopolies, high poverty rate, as well as the skyrocketing emigration and mistrust in the electoral system were deepening the crisis."Corruption and monopolies are the greatest evils in Armenia's economy and governance system. Local and international organizations have repeatedly confirmed this fact," Secretary of the Armenian National Congress parliamentary group Aram Manukyan said.Armenians are overwhelmingly leaving the country amid the economic and political crisis in the ex-Soviet state. Poverty and unemployment along with the regular violations of human rights leave no choice for the residents but to abandon their native land."About 213, 000 people have emigrated from Armenia during the last four years. This trend has damaged Armenia's international reputation," Manukyan noted.The government fails to meet the society's needs in terms of implementing economic, political, social, financial and other projects to ease public life in the country. Constant failure of taking the right measures deteriorated the situation in the South Caucasus state and all in Armenia started to describe it as a governing crisis. Neither the Constitution's, nor the National Assembly's Rules of Procedure's demands are correctly observed to get rid of the multi-sided crisis.Now, about 30 percent poor, 20 percent unemployed and 7 percent beggar Armenians are going to demand their rights at the upcoming rally in October 24. Disagreement between the regime and residents is reaching to its cutting edge in Armenia. The people will either make or break the justice in the country as the ongoing events promise nothing but a dark future. NATO commander visits Georgia World news Wed, 22 Oct 2014 16:38:00 +0500 /AzerNews/By Mushvig MehdiyevThe NATO Supreme Allied Commander Europe and Commander of U.S. European Command, General Philip Breedlove paid a visit to Georgia on October 21.Georgian Defense Minister Irakli Alasania met NATO's high-ranking official on October 22 to discuss NATO-Georgia partnership, implemented defense reforms, participation of Georgia in international missions and the future plans of cooperation between two sides.They also focused on the fulfillment of the Substantial Package granted to Georgia at the NATO's Wales Summit. Discussions also covered the regional security environment. The two sides discussed the threats posed to Georgia given Russia`s aggressive policy. They called for taking steps by the international community to ensure stability in the region.Head of the NATO Liaison Office in Georgia William Lahue and NATO Military Liaison Officer Colonel Maximilian Eder also attended the meeting. The Chief of the Georgian Armed Forces' General Staff, Mayor-General Vakhtang Kapanadze, Deputy Defence Minister Mikheil Darchiashvili and other officials represented Georgia at the talks.General Philip Breedlove will meet with Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili. He will also visit Ivane Javakhishvili State University in Tbilisi during his two-day visit to the South Cucasus country. NATO General will deliver a lecture for students from different higher institutions and will answer their questions.NATO has earlier approved the NATO-Georgia package during the meeting held in 28+1 format in Brussels. The military alliance expressed its full readiness to timely and effectively fulfill the package.Georgia has become one of the five countries to achieve the new elevated status among the NATO partners. Iran, P5+1 pass over 90% of nuclear talks, difficult steps ahead World news Wed, 22 Oct 2014 16:36:00 +0500 Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Marzieh Afkham said that Iran and the P5+1 have passed over 90 percent of nuclear negotiations and final “sensitive, difficult and important” steps lie ahead, Iran’s State IRINN TV reported Oct. 22.She made the remarks while commenting about the chief Russian negotiator Sergei Ryabkov's statements who said 98 percent of a final deal has been agreed upon, following the latest round of nuclear talks in Vienna in mid-October.Iranian Spokeswoman underlined that all parties try to take advantage of next 40 days to achieve a final deal before 24 Nov. deadline.She noted that extending the deadline is not in the sides’ agenda yet.Afkham suggested to the parts to avoid exposing to media the topics which are under discussion by nuclear negotiating teams and not finalized during the remaining sensitive period(till Nov. 24).Her remarks came after the report was made by Reuters about the Iranian officials demand for partial removal of sanctions only in specific areas.In the negotiations with six major powers, the Iranians has said they are no longer demanding a total end to economic sanctions in return for curbing their nuclear program and would accept initially lifting just the latest, most damaging, sanctions, Reuters said Oct. 21.The Islamic Republic’s foreign ministry officials have rejected the report.Iran and the P5+1 (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany) held their latest round of talks in Vienna in mid-October to work out a final agreement aimed at ending the long-standing dispute over Tehran’s nuclear program.Last November, the two sides clinched an interim nuclear accord, which took effect on Jan. 20 and expired six months later. However, the parties agreed to extend their talks until Nov. 24 as they remained divided on a number of key issues. /Trend/ Liverpool, Chelsea and the teams Ronaldo has struggled to score against Sports Wed, 22 Oct 2014 16:20:00 +0500 Cristiano Ronaldo is in the form of his life for Real Madrid. With 19 goals in 12 games in all competitions this season, the 29-year-old is virtually unstoppable right now.And, having hit an incredible 271 goals in 258 appearances since signing for Madrid from Manchester United in 2009, and a total of 394 club goals in 581 career games, it is fair to say that Ronaldo is not scared of any opponent.However, there are some teams who have fared well against the current Ballon d'Or holder - and one of those is Wednesday's Champions League opponents, Liverpool.In nine games against the Reds - all of which came during his six seasons at Manchester United - Ronaldo scored just two goals. He has never registered at Anfield, the venue of this midweek's game.Ronaldo's most difficult opponents have been Chelsea. He has scored just once in 15 games against the Blues, although that solitary strike arrived in United's 2008 Champions League final triumph in Moscow.Other English clubs that can be proud of their record against the Portuguese include Blackburn (three in 12), Sunderland (one in five), Charlton (one in five) and Birmingham City (two in eight). Away from England, Espanyol are the standout bogey side in Spain, with four goals in 10 games. The 29-year-old actually prefers playing a more illustrious Catalan opponent in Barcelona - against whom he has struck 13 times in 24 outings.The only English team that he's faced more than once where he has a ratio of 1:1 or better is actually Manchester United, having scored twice against them in the Champions League with Real Madrid in 2012-13.Ronaldo did not score more than 11 goals per season in his first three years at Old Trafford and 'only' scored 117 times in 290 competitive matches under Sir Alex Ferguson, compared to his aforementioned 271 strikes in 258 games at Madrid.It is worth remembering, too, that once upon a time Ronaldo was taunted by some for not performing in big games. Liverpool were United's fiercest rivals throughout his time in England and his small tally helps to explain how this reputation was forged.The former Sporting player also failed to net in his first 26 Champions League games (excluding qualifiers) for United, whereas he is now on the verge of becoming the competition's all-time top goalscorer.Clearly, a lot has changed since Ronaldo last played at Anfield in 2007, although Liverpool will be hoping that his hoodoo against them continues on Wednesday evening./Goal.Com/ Armenian MP's mike deliberately turned off World news Wed, 22 Oct 2014 15:20:00 +0500 /AzerNews/By Mushvig MehdiyevDissatisfaction with Armenian president's domestic and foreign policies is on the rise in the country. The recent call "Sargsyan, go out!" reveals the public opinion about the president of the ex-Soviet country.Massive disillusion with President Serzh Sargsyan gained a new momentum at a parliamentary session on October 20 when an opposition MP was giving a speech.But the microphone of the Member of Parliament from the Heritage party, Zaruhi Postanjyan was suddenly and deliberately turned off while she was addressing the meeting.The 4-day session of the Armenian parliament started on October 20. During her speech, Postanjyan claimed that Serzh Sargsyan is not the president of Armenia. "First of all, I would like to say that Sargsyan is not Armenia's president, but the head of a certain group," the parliamentarian said. The MPs from the ruling Republican Party started to interrupt Postanjyan's speech.Postanjyan added: "If Sargsyan is not a president, then he has no right to order the parliament." Her microphone was suddenly turned off by the parliament's vice-speaker Edward Sharmazanov at that moment. "I'm not sleeping here. I know how to switch off your mike. You have to follow the ethics and civility like we all do," he told Postanjyan.The MP's outrageous words directed at President Sargsyan are the fruits of Sargsyan's policies since his first election as president in 2008. Economic experts accuse Sargsyan of feeding a stranglehold on the country's economy to push it into a big slump. Weak competitiveness in economy has propelled the former Soviet country to drop to 85th place among 144 countries in the World Economic Forum's Global Competitiveness Report 2014.At the same time, the political analysts claim that lack of Sargsyan's political skills and will has tarnished Armenia's image in international arena. The government's U-turn to change plans from integration into EU to getting closer to Russia has also sparked public dissatisfaction.Sargsyan has been named as a violator of the civil rights in Armenia. About 1.3 percent of the articles published in the local media this year blamed the country's head for breaching human rights.Martin Luther King's famous saying "I have a dream" has now turned into a reality in Armenia as the residents are dreaming about a country without Sargsyan. Very recent protest rally on October 10 and plans to continue it on October 24 hint to desire of Armenia's 3 million populations to breathe new life into the country. President Ilham Aliyev hold several meetings Politics Wed, 22 Oct 2014 14:50:00 +0500 President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev has received President of the General Confederation of Trade Unions and vice-president of the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions Mikhail Shmakov and Secretary General of the General Confederation of Trade Unions Vladimir Shcherbakov.During the meeting, the sides stressed the importance of the Baku meeting of the Executive Committee of the General Confederation of Trade Unions in terms of international cooperation. It was noted that Azerbaijan maintained successful cooperation with the General Confederation of Trade Unions and the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions.The parties discussed cooperation prospects.***President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev has received a delegation led by Governor of Astrakhan Region of the Russian Federation Aleksandr Zhilkin.During the meeting, the sides noted that bilateral relations between the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Russian Federation have been developing successfully on all fronts, and expressed their satisfaction with the expansion of Azerbaijan`s cooperation with the federal subjects of Russia, including Astrakhan Region. It was noted that the 4th summit of the heads of state of Caspian littoral states recently held in Astrakhan contributed to the development of ties among these countries.Governor Aleksandr Zhilkin hailed projects implemented by the Heydar Aliyev Foundation in Astrakhan, saying these projects were welcomed by people of the region with great sympathy.The parties also exchanged views on prospects for cooperation between the Republic of Azerbaijan and Astrakhan Region of the Russian Federation.***President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev has received Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the State of Qatar Mubarak bin Fahad Al-Thani as he ends his diplomatic mission in the country.During the meeting, the sides noted with pleasure that bilateral relations between the Republic of Azerbaijan and the State of Qatar have been successfully developing. The parties said that there were good prospects for the expansion of cooperation between the two countries, and expressed confidence that the bilateral ties would continue to deepen. /AzerTAc/ Hungary marks Independence Day in Baku Politics Wed, 22 Oct 2014 14:40:00 +0500 /AzerNews/By Amina NazarliBaku marked Hungarians' national holiday - Independence Day on October 20.The Hungarian embassy hosted an event on this occasion, where Hungarian Ambassador to Azerbaijan Zsolt Chutora, Azerbaijani Deputy Foreign Minister Mahmud Mammadguliyev and many other officials took part.Addressing the event, Chutora spoke about the history of Hungary's Independence Day, which is very important day for Hungary people."We have brought together all our close friends on this significant day for us," he said.The diplomat also touched upon relations between Azerbaijan and Hungary, noting that the two countries have strong partnership and expressed confidence that this partnership would continue to strengthen.Stressing that the mutual visits contribute to developing ties between the two countries, Chutora praised the countries' bilateral relations in the political, economic and humanitarian fields.Mammadguliyev, in his turn, congratulated the Hungarian government and people on the Independence Day.Highlighting the diplomatic relations between the two countries, he lauded the two countries` cooperation within international organizations.Mammadguliyev also noted the importance of Hungarian composers` works, featured in Azerbaijan's stages.Later, Foreign Ministry's official Parvin Mirzazade and CEO of "HUNAZ" Organization Nazim Aghamaliyev were awarded with the Commander's Cross of the Order of Merit of Hungary for their contributions to developing Hungary-Azerbaijan relations.Hungary recognized Azerbaijan's independence in 1991, and diplomatic relations between the two countries were established in April 1992.Azerbaijani-Hungarian high-level relations pave the way for the development of cooperation in economics and other fields. The two countries enjoy great opportunities for the expansion of economic cooperation, establishment of relations between the players of the securities market, and exchange of experience and knowledge in this sector.The cooperation in industry, energy, transportation, agriculture, communications and information technology, pharmaceuticals, environment, culture, tourism and other areas are carried out successfully, and trade relations boost between Azerbaijan and Hungary. In 2013, the trade turnover between the two countries increased by nearly 40 percent up to 3.3 million. SOCAR to launch new car service centers in Switzerland Business Wed, 22 Oct 2014 14:35:00 +0500 /AzerNews/By Aynur JafarovaAzerbaijan's state energy company SOCAR plans to commission three car service centers under its own brand in Switzerland by late 2014, Trend agency reported with reference to SOCAR Energy Switzerland.Two service centers will be opened in Valbella and Lommise on October 22 and 24 and in Vaduz on November 5, as well as other centers will be inaugurated in Walenstadt and Grono on January 7, 2015.SOCAR, which is keen on expanding operations in the retail oil products market abroad, is involved in exploring oil and gas fields, producing, processing, and transporting oil, gas, and gas condensate, marketing petroleum and petrochemical products in the domestic and international markets, and supplying natural gas to industrial and public sectors in Azerbaijan.It has representative offices in Georgia, Turkey, Romania, Austria, Switzerland, Kazakhstan, Britain, Iran, Germany and Ukraine, and trading companies in Switzerland, Singapore, Vietnam, Nigeria, and other countries.SOCAR started its operation in Switzerland in September 2012 with commissioning its first petrol station in Zurich. In December, the first gas station under the SOCAR brand was opened in western Switzerland.SOCAR is now selling classic fuels such as gasoline and diesel fuel in Switzerland. However, they are enriched with special additives that ensure optimal level of combustion which is important from an environmental point of view and in terms of the cost and performance of the internal combustion engine of the car.SOCAR acquired all shares in Esso Schweiz GmbH and thus took over Esso's network of petrol stations in Switzerland in July 2012. The total cost of the assets acquired by SOCAR in Switzerland is $330 million.With the acquisition of Esso Schweiz, SOCAR received the retail network, the company's division for marketing of fuel for industrial and wholesale customers (the division sells household fuel and bottled gas to independent distributors throughout Switzerland).SOCAR has also taken over the Wangen-Olten gas station group and a number of others as well as joint ventures specializing in aircraft refueling at Geneva and Zurich airports and the Swiss Provision and Supply Company that controls joint ventures managing terminals and pipelines.SOCAR's revenues obtained in 2013 as a result of the activity in Switzerland amounted to 30.69 billion manats compared to 3.33 billion manats in 2012. Performance of Seven Beauties ballet in U.S. appraised Arts & Entertainment Wed, 22 Oct 2014 14:30:00 +0500 /AzerNews/By Sara RajabovaGovernor of California Edmund "Jerry" Brown congratulated Azerbaijan on successful performance of Azerbaijani ballet "Seven Beauties" in California State.The famous ballet "Seven Beauties" was performed on October 11 in San Diego. Sponsored by Azerbaijan's Culture and Tourism Ministry and presented by Azerbaijan's Consulate General in Los Angeles, the performance was the premiere of the ballet in the United States.To conduct a research into the piece, Director of the San Diego Ballet Javier Velasco spent four days in June in the Azerbaijani city of Baku, where he pieced together fragments of a past ballet and score of "Seven Beauties."In his message, Brown congratulated Azerbaijan's Ministry of Culture and Tourism, as well as the country's Consulate General in Los Angeles on the successful performance of the ballet, the Consulate said on October 21."Seven Beauties celebrates ethnic diversity, extols the beauty of other cultures, and praises the wisdom of women," Brown said.He concluded his message by thanking the organizers "for bringing the Seven Beauties ballet to the people of California in San Diego."Over 3,000 Americans enjoyed the stunning performance including many American elected officials, as well as Congresswoman Susan Davis.Composed in 1952 by the famous Azerbaijani composer Gara Garayev, the ballet is based on motifs of the "Seven Beauties" poem, written by great Azerbaijani poet Nizami Ganjavi in 1197.The story revolves around a young prince who is destined to become the ruler of the world, but he must first encounter seven beautiful princesses from different countries who teach him important lessons he must heed in order to fulfill his calling. Chovgan Azerbaijan championships to start in Baku Sports Wed, 22 Oct 2014 13:36:00 +0500 /AzerNews/By Amina NazarliThe third Chovgan Azerbaijan championships will kick off in Baku Hippodrome on October 22.Chovgan is Azerbaijan's national horseback game. It can be called the ancestor of the modern polo game.Top 8 teams will participate in the championship devoted to the National Leader Heydar Aliyev."Sarhadchi", "Agjabedi", "Polad", "Balakan", "Agstafa", "Agdam", "Lachin", "Sheki" and "Kovsar" teams will participate in the championships, organized by Equestrian Federation of Azerbaijan Republic.The total money prize of the championship which will last till October 25 is 50000 AZN.There are two teams, consisting of five to six players each plus one odd player. If there are five players in the team, three of them act as attackers and two as fullbacks. And if there are six players, three of them act as attackers, two as fullbacks and one as a halfback.Regardless of the composition of the team there is no goalkeeper. The ball can be stopped while in movement by any part of the player's body but strikes must be done only with a special club.The players should wear national clothes, distinguished with several elements.The time of the game is 30 minutes (two 15-minute half-times). An amateur game lasts 20 minutes (10+10). The break-time is 10 minutes, after which the teams change the ends.In case of a draw, extra-time follows (no more than 8 minutes) and even penalty kicks may follow. If there is still a draw, the winner is determined by drawing lots.Chovgan dates back to the middle of the first millennium A.D. as a team game. It has been very popular for centuries both in Azerbaijan and Central Asia. Fragments of the game were portrayed from time to time in ancient miniatures, and detailed descriptions and rules of the game were also reflected in ancient manuscripts.Chovgan game is the original form of the polo sporting game that dates back thousands of years. It is still played in Azerbaijan. It worth to be noted, that this ancient game has been included in the List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of UNESCO during the 8th Session of UNESCO Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, which was held in Baku on December 2-7. Berlin, Baku to discuss Nagorno-Karabakh conflict Politics Wed, 22 Oct 2014 13:27:00 +0500 /AzerNews/By Sara RajabovaGerman Foreign Minister will discuss ways of resolving the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict in Baku.Frank-Walter Steinmeier will start his tour to the South Caucasus, which envisages the discussions in Azerbaijan and Armenia, Deutsche Welle agency reported.Steinmeier will arrive in Baku on October 23, where he is scheduled to meet with Azerbaijani officials. Later in Yerevan he will met with Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan.For over two decades, Azerbaijan and Armenia have been locked in conflict which 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 the U.N. Security Council's four resolutions on its pullout from the neighboring country's territories. Ebola not threatening Azerbaijan Society Wed, 22 Oct 2014 12:40:00 +0500 /AzerNews/By Amina NazarliThe Ebola scare is still threatening the world. The world's worst-ever Ebola outbreak has killed over 4,500 people so far with more than 9,000 people infected.To cope with the virus, Azerbaijan has strengthened quarantine controls on border crossing points (BCP), the State Customs Committee said.The State Committee noted that preventive measures have already been taken on the national border checkpoints.To this end, some special seminars have already been held for staff of the border checkpoints. Moreover, the borders' staff use special device - thermovisor- to determine the temperature of the human body.The centers have adopted special medical examinations for persons passing through the borders. Special brochures about Ebola virus compiled by sanitary quarantine inspection of the Azerbaijan's Health Ministry are distributed among people passing through borders.Also, the fact that such products as banana and coffee are imported from African countries creates deep doubt among Azerbaijani population.However, officials assure that penetration of this dangerous disease into the country via imported goods is impossible.The Head of the Toxicology Control Laboratory of the State Phytosanitary Supervision Service under the Azerbaijan Agriculture Ministry, Yagub Ibrahimov, stressed that Ebola virus could not penetrate into Azerbaijan via imported bananas or coffee.He said that the laboratory of poisoning control carefully checks imported bananas. If the bananas do not meet certain standards, they won't be allowed to enter the country.The dangerous disease spreads only via direct contact through broken skin or mucous membranes with the blood, or other bodily fluids or secretions (stool, urine, saliva, semen) of infected people.The incubation period of Ebola is maximum 21 days. People are infectious until their blood and secretions contain viruses, which lasts up to 60 days.To protect yourself against the disease, it is necessary to observe personal hygiene.Recently, WHO established the list of countries, which urgently should approve the national response plan in case of Ebola's penetration into their territory.Some 14 countries have been included in the list, which have a common state border with the countries that are experiencing an epidemic and a high level of migration flows. Armenia violates ceasefire with Azerbaijan 13 times within 24 hours Politics Wed, 22 Oct 2014 11:28:00 +0500 Armenian armed forces have broken ceasefire with Azerbaijan 13 times in numerous positions in the last 24 hours, Azerbaijan’s Defense Ministry said on Oct.22.Azerbaijani positions took fire from the positions located near the villages of Kuropatkino of the Khojavend district, Tapqaraqoyunlu of the Goranboy district, Qekarkh of the Terter district, as well as the nameless heights of the Fizuli, Goranboy and Khojavend 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 U.S. are currently holding peace negotiations.Armenia has not yet implemented four U.N. Security Council resolutions on the liberation of the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding regions./Trend/ Exchange rate of AZN compared to world currencies on Oct.22 Business Wed, 22 Oct 2014 11:15:00 +0500 The exchange rate of AZN compared to the world currencies and precious metals on Oct.22, according to the Central Bank of Azerbaijan.Currencies and precious metalsOct. 21, 2014Oct. 22, 20141 U.S. dollar1 USD0.78430.78431 euro1 EUR1.00460.99831 Australian dollar1 AUD0.69080.68951 ArgentinianPeso1 ARS0.09260.0924100 Belarusian Rubles100 BYR0.00730.00731 Brazilian Real1 BRL0.31810.31611 UAE dirham1 AED0.21350.21351 South African Rand1 ZAR0.07110.071100 South Korean Won100 KRW0.07440.07441 Czech koruna1 CZK0.03640.03621 Chilean Peso1 CLP0.13390.13451 Chinse Yuan1 CNY0.12810.12821 Danish Krone1 DKK0.13490.13411 Georgian Lari1 GEL0.44840.44841 Hong Kong Dollar1 HKD0.10110.10111 Indian Rupee1 INR0.01280.01281 British pound sterling1 GBP1.26821.2647100 Indonesian rupiah100 IDR0.00650.0065100 Iranian rials100 IRR0.0030.0031 Swedish Krona1 SEK0.10940.10851 Swiss Franc1 CHF0.83260.82711 Israeli Shekel1 ILS0.210.20961 Canadian Dollar1 CAD0.69510.6991 Kuwaiti Dinar1 KWD2.71842.71271 Kazakhstan Tenge1 KZT0.00430.00431 Kyrgyz Som1 KGS0.0140.01391 Lithuanian Litas1 LTL0.29090.2892100 Lebanese pounds100 LBP0.05180.05181 Malaysian ringgit1 MYR0.24060.24041 Mexican Peso1 MXP0.05790.05791 Moldovan Leu1 MDL0.0540.05391 Egyptian Pound1 EGP0.10970.10971 Norwegian krone1 NOK0.11970.1195100 Uzbek soums100 UZS0.0330.0331 Polish Zloty1 PLN0.23760.23621 Russian ruble1 RUR0.01910.01921 Singapore Dollar1 SGD0.61810.61741 Saudi Riyal1 SAR0.20910.2091 SDR (IMF Special Drawing Rights)1 SDR1.17041.17021 Turkish lira1 TRY0.34930.34931 Taiwanese Dollar1 TWD0.02580.02581 Tajik Somoni1 TJS0.15410.15411 New Turkmen manat1 TMM0.27520.27521 Ukrainian hryvnia1 UAH0.06030.0603100 Japanese yen100 JPY0.73590.7341 New Zealand dollar1 NZD0.62580.6258Gold (1 ounce)1 XAU976.0614980.5711Silver (1 ounce)1 XAG13.664113.7187Platinum (1 ounce)1 XPT994.49241004.6883Palladium (1 ounce)1 XPD592.9308604.6953 /Trend/ Ebola in America Analytics Wed, 22 Oct 2014 10:59:00 +0500 /AzerNews/By Abdul El-SayedProfessor of epidemiology at the Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University.Until Thomas Eric Duncan brought Ebola into the United States, the disease was largely dismissed as an exotic pestilence of concern mainly to impoverished West Africa, and those who dared to volunteer there. And its transmission to two nurses responsible for Duncan's care - likely resulting from several breaches of medical protocol - has focused intense scrutiny on US preparedness for a possible outbreak. President Barack Obama even announced last week the appointment of an "Ebola Czar" to manage the detection, isolation, and control of the virus in the US.Medical and public health experts had been assuring the public that there was little cause for fear. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other health agencies were working behind the scenes, painstakingly tracing anyone who may have come into contact with Duncan and quarantining those who might transmit the disease. Transmission in the US was nearly impossible, owing to the strength of the US health system, it was thought.But, as recent events have illustrated, robust health agencies should not be taken for granted. In fact, over the past decade, the government has slashed budgets at several top health agencies, including the CDC, the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and state and local health departments. Between 2005 and 2012, for example, the CDC lost 17% of its funding, and officials recently reported that funding allocated for Ebola-type health emergencies is $1 billion less than it was in 2003.The challenges faced at the state and local levels may be even greater. Some 23% of local health departments reported that public health preparedness programs were reduced or even eliminated in 2011, while a further 15% reported similar cuts in 2012. In 2014 alone, the Hospital Preparedness Program, which links regional hospitals with local health departments to prepare for potential public health emergencies, suffered $100 million in budget cuts.These reductions have already left their mark. The Hospital Preparedness Program was designed specifically to train health personnel on disease containment in the setting of unforeseen epidemics, such as Ebola. Had it been adequately funded, perhaps the two nurses now infected would still be healthy.The NIH, which funds important advances in our understanding and treatment of diseases like Ebola, has also suffered cutbacks. Its budget has stagnated for most of the past decade, except for years when it was dramatically reduced, such as in 2013. This has forced productive research laboratories to close, putting potentially life-saving research - like that on an Ebola vaccine - on the back burner.One explanation for the drastic budget cuts of recent years is that public health institutions usually operate with little fanfare and out of the public eye. At their best, they prevent disease without a trace, leaving little visible evidence of their crucial function. Hence, funding for public health has been a tough sell in good economic times, and is one of the first targets for retrenchment.But global health emergencies like the current Ebola epidemic highlight the folly of these fiscal priorities. Though we may not lean too heavily on our health infrastructure typically, its importance becomes all too apparent when disease and death come knocking at our door.Indeed, though the threat of a serious Ebola outbreak in the US remains minimal, that is no reason for complacency. As the number of cases in West Africa rises, so does the potential for outbreaks outside of that context. And when members of the international community cannot contain the epidemic, the richest and most powerful actor, namely the US, has an obligation to step in and try to do so.But budget cuts have damaged America's ability to fulfill this obligation, and thus may cost more than policymakers bargained for. In late September, Obama committed $88 million and 3,000 troops to support the fight against Ebola in Liberia. But his decision came only after the epidemic had been smoldering for many months, with 6,000 Ebola cases confirmed and many more believed to be undetected. Had CDC funding been at an appropriate level, US support - in the form of highly trained public health professionals, rather than ground troops - might have been deployed much earlier and been more effective.Ironically, the CDC and its leadership have come under intense scrutiny over the mishandling of Duncan's care and the Ebola transmissions that resulted from it. However, had the same lawmakers who are now deriding the CDC listened to pleas for more support and warnings of the consequences of poor funding over the past several years, perhaps the US would not be in the situation in which it finds itself today.The guiding principle of public health is to prevent disease before it strikes, and this requires long-term investment in institutions that can protect us. Our collective health and wellbeing are evidence of such institutions' effectiveness.Fortunately, the Ebola outbreak is unlikely to expose Americans fully to the poor fiscal choices of the past decade. But the disease's sudden appearance on the global scene serves as a stark reminder of what can happen if we do not remain vigilant. The next epidemic could be just around the corner. We must ensure that we are fully prepared.Copyright: Project Syndicate, 2014. Azerbaijani Mugham conquers Czechs’ hearts Arts & Entertainment Wed, 22 Oct 2014 10:45:00 +0500 /AzerNews/By Amina NazarliA solo concert of Azerbaijani performer on Tar (a national instrument) Mahbub Shukuroglu was held in Olomouc, the Czech Republic on October 15.The concert called "Mugham, Azerbaijani National Music" was jointly organized by Palacky University's cinema club "Pastiche Filmz" and Azerbaijani Diaspora in Czech.In 2012, an agreement on twinning was signed between Olomouc and Azerbaijani city Ganja. The concert was a great event which promoted Azerbaijani culture in Olomouc as part of the agreement.Performing Rast Mugham and other compositions in Catholic Chapel of the Baroque, Shukuroglu made an unforgettable evening for the guests.An art music clip about Bayati Shiraz Mugham, which closely acquainted Czech people with Azerbaijani culture, was screened after the concert.The guests also enjoyed tasting Azerbaijani sweets and tea.Associate Professor of Palacky University Vladimir Suchanek expressed his impressions about the concert, saying "Despite the fact that I'm a real rational European, your music impressed me a lot. I felt like I was floating in the sky."Azerbaijani Mugham, a unique musical and poetic phenomenon, was created on the basis of historical and cultural traditions that have existed for centuries. It is one of the most valuable monuments of the material and spiritual culture of Azerbaijan and the greatest achievement of the musical and poetic art of the Azerbaijani people.The artistic value of Azerbaijani Mugham and its high importance both for the national culture and to the world community have been universally recognized at the international level: in 2003 UNESCO recognized the Azerbaijani Mugham as a masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity. Baku 2015 presented in UN General Assembly Sports Wed, 22 Oct 2014 10:30:00 +0500 /AzerNews/By Nigar OrujovaBaku 2015 European Games have been presented in United Nations General Assembly in New York City, U.S.Baku 2015 European Games Chief Executive Officer, Youth and Sport Minister Azad Rahimov delivered a speech on 'Sport for Development and Peace' in the UN meeting.Rahimov also welcomed guests to a gala lunch where he presented key facts about the inaugural European Games, to be held in Baku in June 12-28, 2015.Speaking to the participant delegates, he said: "Azerbaijan is becoming well positioned as a sporting nation. Our country has gained significant experience in hosting major events."Baku 2015 will take place over 17 days of competition, when more than 6,000 athletes from Europe will compete in 20 sports, in the spirit of peace, fair play, friendship and unity, he said."While having just a little more than two years to prepare for the European Games, our country has been determined to hold these pioneering games at the highest level," Rahimov stressed.He praised the leadership of First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva in her role as Chair of the Baku 2015 European Games Organizing Committee, and also told delegates of the legacy of the European Games in Azerbaijan and the lasting importance of the new sporting venues being built for Baku 2015."Our nation has a large proportion of youth, with the median age of population of just 30.1 years. Indeed, 40 percent of our population is less than 24 years old. With such a statistic we feel a sense of duty to provide proper sporting infrastructure for our people," he stressed."In fact, in the last 10 years alone, we have constructed more than 50 world-class facilities throughout the entire country. This sporting infrastructure provides access to sporting facilities for all our people, at absolutely no cost to the individual," the minister said.Rahimov also enjoyed a meeting with President of the 69th General Assembly of the United Nations, Sam Kutesa. The two officials discussed the importance of the First Global Forum on Youth Policies, which will take place in Baku on October 28-30.For more information on the First Global Forum on Youth Policies, visit: Italian companies thrill up Baku Build 2014 with unique style, quality Business Wed, 22 Oct 2014 10:30:00 +0500 /AzerTag/By Nigar OrujovaItaly, famous for its architecture will participate at Baku Build 2014, one of the most important exhibitions of the year in Azerbaijan.Baku Build 2014 International Exhibition, the largest building event in the Caspian region, is underway at the Baku Expo Center from October 22 to October 25.The country enlarges the number of participants in the exhibition annually and this year about 75 companies will fascinate visitors with their products and services.A whole range of Italian design companies brings their original solutions and projects to the exhibition, as the interest in different sectors in Azerbaijan is rising. The main sectors represented by Italian companies this year are: building, construction, landscape, electrical installations, building materials, as marble, tiles, etc., then electromechanical systems, craftsmanship and woodworking, furniture, doors, windows, high quality technical machinery and all main fields related to the building, construction and infrastructure.Italian production is worldwide known for its high quality level of technologies and innovations capable of supplying of any kind of customers' requirements.AzerNews spoke with Director of Italian Trade Agency - Promotion Section of the Italian Embassy in Azerbaijan, Luigi D' Aprea about his expectations from the exhibition.The building and construction sector in Azerbaijan is one of the most important sectors in local economy after energy sector. Italian companies are extremely interested to get in this market because they are able to satisfy the specific demand of the local market with the high-level performances of Italian products and services.The participation of Italy at Baku Build increased up to 75 from 67 companies in 2013, which was 20 percent more than those in 2012.D' Aprea highlighted opportunities of Azerbaijan's construction market for Italian companies."Italian participation is the biggest foreign presence at Baku Build. In addition, we stand at the first place in terms of the number of participants. We assist Italian companies in many activities: especially for all promotional and communication activities. At our institutional stand, you will find the Italian catalog of Italian participants," the director said.He said presence of Italian companies in Azerbaijan is targeted not only in export development, but in general, enlargement of bilateral economic opportunities."Baku Build is the main international exhibition in Azerbaijan for building, construction, wooden materials, bathroom equipment, as well as all the equipment for buildings, interior design, and the entire sector, represented by the high excellence of Italian companies. This participation will also be the biggest one this year, but we have also plans to create Italian pavilion in 2015," he added.According to the Italian promotional activity plan, Italian Trade Agency plans to arrange workshops, seminars following the urbanization and architecture's developments in Azerbaijan.D' Aprea said the Italian Trade Agency understands which sector Italian companies could participate in offer the best quality of products from Italy."The high technology and the high competencies of Italian companies are really appreciated here. Azerbaijan is the country that really appreciates the high quality and styles of Italian in general. Moreover, this is just part of Italian culture which is offered in Azerbaijan," he stressed.The director said that every year small and medium Italian enterprises show interest in entering this new economy in Azerbaijan.He went on noting that Azerbaijan's economy is one of the promising ones in the Caucasus area, which attracts attention."Azerbaijan is an emerging country with a very strong economy, and this strong economy can already offer high opportunities for companies, but only for innovative ones, with new technology, new design and styles," he added.These companies want to enter the market in a stable manner, D' Aprea said. "Most of the Italian companies arriving in Azerbaijan have small experience. Local market needs high quality of services, new product, industrial and economic partnership, not only for economic change, but also for establishing permanent relations between countries."Speaking about the spheres that the Italian companies may further promote in Azerbaijan, he said, they plan to increase Italian participation in all spheres in Azerbaijan."We can promote every sector, from industrial sector to cultural, food and no-food ones. Not only the sectors represented in Baku Build, but also agro food, jewelry, trainings, architecture, engineering, as well as oil and gas ones. We try to promote any sectors from fashion, jewelry, shoes and not only consumption goods, but also economy in general, even bilateral industry exchange and technology exchange. Other sectors are among the priorities of Italy. They are medical equipment, stomatology and cosmetics," he explained.However, oil and gas sector remains the most relevant sector for two countries. It is followed by construction sector, which have many sub sectors."Our promotional activities are related to develop the economic opportunities for Italian companies in all sectors.We try to promote agriculture and industrial sectors, as well as services. We have many events and programs this year. We try to continue this promotion, and we are happy to cooperate with Azerbaijan," he stressed.D' Aprea estimates that the current relations with Azerbaijan stand at a good level in all sectors. "We are interested in the maximum success of the Italian side and maximum satisfaction from Azerbaijan economy and companies."Two decades on Baku Build has become the guiding force in the building market for Azerbaijani and foreign companies and acted as a starting point for many companies that are industrial leaders today.The exhibition that is marking its 20th anniversary this year, have gathered more than 3,200 companies from 35 countries along, hosting over 100,000 visitors. The event is well known as an effective business platform where different contracts are signed and trends on the building services market are set.Organized by ITE Group Plc from the United Kingdom and their partners Iteca Caspian LLC, this year's exhibition is presenting a wide range of construction equipment, ceramics, decorative stone, windows and doors, interiors, exclusive sanitary ware and roofing materials, as well as completely new products such as finishing materials produced from volcanic dust. Kurds are the last line of defense for the West Analytics Tue, 21 Oct 2014 18:15:00 +0500 By Claude SalhaniSenior editor of the English service of Trend AgencyThe battle for control of Kobani has indeed witnessed some of the heaviest fighting to date as fighters loyal to the Islamic State, IS or ISIS, have launched renewed attacks on Kurdish Peshmerga defenders, hitting them with mortars and car bombs, according to wire agencies quoting sources in the besieged town.The Kurds, who are autochthonous to the region where the heavy fighting is unfolding, in a manner are representative of the West's last line of defense in the region. If the Kurds fail, they have nowhere to fall back. The next line of conflict between ISIS and the Western-led powers will be fought inside Turkey, a NATO country.Already Turkish border towns and villages have suffered much from the ongoing violence that is carving up Syria and Iraq. One report spoke of 44 mortars being fired at Kurdish positions over the weekend, however some of the shells fell inside Turkey.The London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that four more mortars were fired on Sunday.The town has become strategic as both sides now look at it as a point of significant psychological importance and a symbol for their cause. Suddenly oil and business sense take a back seat to "saving face," a characteristic of the region that has claimed more lives than the faces it has saved.For the fighters of the Islamic State, Kobani represents remaining steadfast in the face of the far superior military onslaught, the aerial bombardment being waged by the United States and its European and Arab allies.For the Western-led alliance, allowing Kobani to fall would give the enemy a public relation edge in the war, allowing it to recruit more volunteers into their ranks and would be a terrible blow for the Kurds and other groups engaged in fighting the radical Islamists. Since U.S. President Barack Obama launched a campaign aimed at defeating the IS fighters, bombing raids against the terrorists have been carried out with renewed vigor. But will it be enough? Or will the United States be forced to eventually put reluctant boots on the ground?Indeed, the fate of the beleaguered town will reflect much on the level of the Obama administration's resolve of dealing with the threat posed by the Islamists. Amidst the confusion of war, there is further opaqueness over the role of Turkey, a NATO member country who seems to be playing both sides of the fence; Turkey, has its armed forces - the most powerful military force in the Middle East -- deployed along its border with Syria, yet Turkish authorities have been reluctant to intervene.Turkey is ruled by a moderate Islamist party -- the Justice and Development Party - known by its Turkish acronym, AKP. Yet, Turkey is also a member of NATO and as such needs to comply by certain directives issued from NATO HQ in Brussels.But Turkey, who has long had its own share of problems with the Kurds is reluctant to offer too much help to the Kurdish fighters in Kobani, lest it encourages its own Kurds to get any funny ideas about an independent Kurdish state. At the same time the country's leader, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has a personal vendetta against Syrian President Bashar Assad, and as such has been trying to connect any cooperation by Turkey in the fight against ISIS to stepping up efforts to oust Bashar. Given the geography of the region, Turkey's participation on the fight against ISIS remains vital to the success of the campaign.Don't be fooled; oil remains very much at the center of the conflict, even though it comes camouflaged by religious and/or political overtones./Trend/ Experts warn about consequences of Armenian’s joining to EEU Analytics Tue, 21 Oct 2014 17:50:00 +0500 /AzerNews/By Mushvig MehdiyevArmenian President Serzh Sargsyan's decision to join the EEU has sparked mixed reactions in the country since September 2013.Analysts, political experts and even ordinary citizens viewed the decision as a U-turn in Armenia's foreign policy. It came after three years of mutual works to prepare an association agreement with the EU.Now, the local and foreign economic experts warn that Armenia's economy will bear the brunt of the membership in the Eurasian Economic Union."Entering into the EEU could trigger inflation," Head of the non-government organization Consumer Advice Center, Karen Chilingaryan said on October 20.He noted that customs duties on import from the non-EEU countries will increase to the common customs tariffs of the EEU and it will subsequently accelerate the inflation. "If we currently have customs taxes not higher than 10 percent, the tariffs can rise to the EEU rates after getting the membership," Chilingaryan added.Armenia's National Statistics Service reported the inflation rate in the country was 2.9 percent in January-September of 2013. Armenia's trade deficit in the same period amounted to over $ 2,082 million.Armenia's membership at the Eurasian Economic Union was officially confirmed by the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council in Minsk on October 10. Heads of the EEU member-states - Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus signed the agreement on Armenia's joining the alliance.Armenia's membership at the EEU will come into force from January 1, 2015 after the parliament ratifies the agreement signed in Minsk. Meanwhile, the alliance's member-states have postponed the use of high customs duties for Armenia for several years.External debtThe ongoing economic crisis in the country is reportedly affecting the country's external debts. Armenia regularly receives foreign loans from several financial institutions. Now, the fashion is going to change amid the possible rise of inflation in the wake of the EEU joining. Armenia's increasing exports to Russian markets, as well as lack of internal sources of finance ignites its eagerness to receive more external money for healing the open wounds.The draft state budget reads that Armenia's total external debt will be calculated at $4,129 billion by the end of 2015. The economic forecasts claim that the external debt's amount will be almost $4 billion this year by exceeding the last year's figure about $59 million.The government is seemingly trying to ease the domestic problems by means of external loans. Diminishing remittances from the overseas and widespread unemployment are watering the mill of threatening problems in Armenia.No job means no money, while no money means a hard effort to survive in today's world. Jobless and poor people in the South Caucasus country jointly constitute almost 50 percent of the whole population. The figure is the reflection of a deafening SOS signal in Armenia.Failure to keep pace with modern worldLocal media in Armenia think that the membership at theEEU will keep the country back from developments in the modern world. Despite lack of economic perspectives, the EEU joining will not strengthen Armenia's security. It will take the same steps with the countries which fail to keep the pace with the modernizing world in many fields."Armenia will reveal its evil inclinations within the EEU. Unfortunately, none of the political forces in the country dares to call the membership at the Russia-led alliance a mistake," Aravot newspaper wrote.The EEU conundrum continues to drag Armenia into complicated circumstances. The authorities and the population can not shake hands to jointly welcome the membership at the union. Members of the ruling cabinets think of their benefits and safety, while the ordinary people are concerned about their lives threatened by a number of challenges. EU praises amnesty in Azerbaijan Politics Tue, 21 Oct 2014 17:30:00 +0500 /AzerNews/By Sara RajabovaThe European Union has hailed Azerbaijani president's pardoning more than 80 prisoners.EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs Catherine Ashton and Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighborhood Policy Stefan Fule made a statement on the amnesty announced by President Ilham Aliyev, the EU website said."We welcome the amnesty announced by President Ilham Aliyev, leading to the pardon and release of around 80 prisoners including at least four civil society activists," the statement said.The EU officials noted that the relationship between the EU and Azerbaijan is important to the organization."The EU shares Azerbaijan's desire for a stable, secure and prosperous future, and is convinced that an open and inclusive national dialogue, in line with Azerbaijan's international commitments is the best path," the statement reads.President Ilham Aliyev signed a decree pardoning 84 people on October 17.After reviewing appeals of a number of prisoners, their family members, the Commissioner for Human Rights, organizations for human rights, addressed to the Azerbaijani president, the decision on pardon was made proceeding from the principles of humanism, by taking into account the personality, health condition, marital status of prisoners and their behavior while serving their sentence, according to the presidential decree.Former members of the NIDA movement, Shahin Novruzlu, Elsever Mursalli and Bakhtiyar Guliyev, as well as the NGO's head Hasan Huseynli are among the pardoned prisoners.Moreover, two Iranian citizens, two Georgian, one Turkish and one Pakistani citizen are also on the list of the pardoned. Europe’s essential unity Analytics Tue, 21 Oct 2014 17:15:00 +0500 /AzerNews/By Jose Manuel BarrosoPresident of the European Commission.Over the past ten years, the European Union has endured a series of unprecedented crises, the likes of which we are unlikely to see again. But other, no less daunting challenges lie ahead, and we would do well to remember the lessons learned along the way.One lesson is that unity is not an option; it is a condition sine qua non of the EU's economic prosperity and political relevance. It is remarkable that since 2004, when I became President of the European Commission, the EU's membership has nearly doubled, from 15 countries then to 28 now.There have been no defections. From 2004 to 2014, we enlarged both the EU and the eurozone. Most important, we have kept Europe united.I fought hard for that unity, particularly when defending, often against the odds, Greece's continued membership in the eurozone, as well as when arguing against splitting the eurozone, as some people proposed. The Commission remained attentive not only to the dramatic impact of a "Grexit" on Greece, but also to its possible financial, economic, and political cascade effects. Unlike others, we never lost sight of the systemic effects of decisions across the eurozone or the EU.The EU is already an economic and political reality. This requires solidarity and responsibility - in particular, solidarity from the Union's more prosperous countries and responsibility on the part of those countries in need of reform. The Commission has been equally firm in demanding both.The same logic applies to another core concern that I faced throughout my decade at the Commission: the need to deepen the eurozone while maintaining the integrity of the EU as a whole. This will remain a critical issue in the near future, if only because of the uncertainty surrounding the United Kingdom's status in our Union.Allowing for flexibility while avoiding fragmentation is now a well-established approach within the EU. But it was not always so. Some have long advocated establishing a completely separate institutional framework for the eurozone. I remain convinced that multi-speed European cooperation has become a necessity, but that a multi-tier Europe must be avoided at all costs.While integration must deepen further, especially in the eurozone, this can and should be done in a way that preserves the integrity of Europe's single market. Fortunately, this logic has been widely accepted, as demonstrated by the decision that the European Council's next president, despite being from a country (Poland) that is not yet in the eurozone, will nonetheless preside over eurozone summits.A second lesson we learned is that openness to the world is an asset, not a liability. That thinking - which needs to be reaffirmed and politically supported - underpinned our active trade agenda. Indeed, it put the EU at the forefront of efforts to liberalize and regulate international trade, enabling us to reap the full benefits of globalization.This is not just about Europe's economic wealth, but also about its political relevance on the global stage. One presupposes the other, requiring vigorous defense of the EU's interests and views in bilateral relationships with strategic partners and in multilateral fora, such as the United Nations, the World Trade Organization, the G-20 and the G-8/G-7. If the EU as a whole engages internationally, it can help to shape the international order.Our current engagement in Ukraine is a case in point, as were our efforts to lead a global response to the 2008-2009 financial crisis, namely by collectively resisting the allure of protectionism. It was on the EU's initiative that the world acted in a concerted and convincing way by establishing the G-20 Leaders' Summit, comprising heads of state or government.Since then, the G-20 has become the premier forum for economic policy coordination among its members, giving concrete form to many of the ideas - for example, on a framework for balanced and sustainable growth, on financial regulation and supervision, and on action against tax evasion and fraud - that the EU proposed. The emergence of the G-20 has transformed the global system, and certainly helped to prevent the realization of worst-case scenarios in the aftermath of the crisis.The third lesson is that making Europe stronger - institutionally, politically, and economically - demands continued reform. Credibly delivering on important EU-level reforms enabled Europe to put the most existential phase of the crisis behind it. The system of economic governance that we put in place guarantees that EU members put their public finances in order, increase their competitiveness, and tackle their macroeconomic imbalances. We created the instruments needed to assist distressed countries, and the ensuing adjustment programs are delivering results.In short, we seized the momentum of the crisis to provide a structural response to the challenges we faced, in particular by establishing a European banking union. Step by step, despite strong resistance, we have changed the rules that govern financial institutions, the institutions that oversee banking operations, and the mechanisms to coordinate resolution of failed banks.Taken together, the reforms adopted since the start of the crisis have changed the way that Europe's economies and financial sector are legislated, supervised, and regulated. The framework has been created. Now we need to implement it fully.But we also need to go further in advancing structural reforms at the national level. We can see that the countries that have done the most in this respect now have better economic prospects. We must not relax these efforts. After all, the economic crisis has not yet been fully overcome. We must not take for granted the progress that has been made. Political decisions matter - and mistakes have consequences.At the end of a ten-year rollercoaster ride as Commission President, I can confidently declare that Europe has shown great resilience. We have shown that the forces of integration are stronger than the forces of fragmentation. Despite all of the challenges we had to face - indeed, partly because of them - Europe remains united and open, and is now stronger and better able to face globalization.Copyright: Project Syndicate Menswear Model for Famous Clothing Brands Weird / Interesting Tue, 21 Oct 2014 16:10:00 +0500 Bodhi the dog has no time for silly pastimes like chasing squirrels or playing fetch – he’s quite serious about his high flying career as a top New York menswear model. The four-year-old Shiba Inu is well known in fashion circles as ‘Menswear Dog’ – he has landed paid modelling contracts with top brands such as Coach, Todd Snyder and Salvatore Ferragamo. He’s also a social media sensation with over 140,000 followers on Instagram.Bodhi’s owners – Yena Kim, 27, and Dave Fung, 29 – came up with the idea as a joke; they dressed up their adorable Shiba Inu in a few fancy suits and hats. When they posted photographs on their Facebook page, the response they received was overwhelmingly positive. So they started their own Tumblr page featuring Bodhi dressed according to popular fashion trends.“We didn’t have any epic plans when we started our blog,” said Yena, who has worked as a fashion designer for Ralph Lauren. “We were bored one Saturday afternoon so we decided to pass the time by dressing up our handsome Shiba in serious menswear.”“Everyone who has a dog has put clothes on their dog at some point, just to goof around,” added Dave, who has a decade of experience as a professional graphic designer. “We just found out that when we put clothes on him, he lit up, he started posing for us.”They posted the pictures online, and according to Yena: “The response was unreal, so the next day was spent putting together a Tumblr. The following day, our Tumblr was featured on GQ Magazine’s website and it just snowballed from there.”Soon, the fashion-savvy canine amassed an army of followers and there was no looking back after that. Bodhi started receiving countless requests for collaborations with fashion label“Initially we got some criticism from people who thought he might be uncomfortable in human clothes,” said Dave. “But it turned into people criticising his outfits and telling us what shirt would look better with what tie – and that’s when we knew we were successful.” And it appears that Bodhi quite enjoys being photographed in an array of stylish outfits. He’s such a natural model, and he really does seem to know how to work with the camera.s.He likes to wear clothes that will get him the most attention and peanut butter, he knows he can pull off anything so he’s not all that concerned,” said Yena. “The first time we dressed him up, we saw a spark in his eye and he sat still and gazed at the camera, no directions needed.”“We receive most of the clothes from the brands that we are working with, but we’re constantly shopping around for the most exciting items in menswear to show on Menswear Dog, since we’re both designers, we design and create the clothes that he wears to appearances,” she added.Yena and Dave are currently working on a clothing line for dogs, and hope to collaborate on projects that benefit animal charities. “We both decided to quit our jobs for this mainly as an excuse to take a break from the 9 to 5 and do something a little less ordinary for a bit,” Dave explained.“We’ve been so blessed with Bodhi and we know that every animal has something special and unique about them, so we’ve never been more motivated,” he added. “At the end of the day, he’s the boss!”/Odditycentral.Com/ Russia seeks to support Kyrgyz economy World news Tue, 21 Oct 2014 15:51:00 +0500 Russia plans to support the development of Kyrgyzstan's financial system by providing $30 million.Chairman of the Federation Council of the Russian Federation Valentina Matviyenko made the remark at the meeting with Kyrgyz Prime Minister Dzhoomart Otorbayev on October 21."Some $60 million was allocated for the fiscal balance in Kyrgyzstan this year. Currently a government decree on allocation of $30 million is being prepared," Matviyenko said.She further noted that one of the priority spheres of cooperation between Russia and Kyrgyzstan is energy.Gazprom's entry into Kyrgyz energy market is extremely important for the country's oil and gas sector, which will provide the stability and investments in the amount of 20 billion roubles within five years, according to Matviyenko.Matviyenko also said that Western sanctions against Russia will not prevent the country from the implementation of the projects in Kyrgyzstan."Russia always fulfils its obligations and will further continue to do so," she said, noting that Russia's domestic resources enable to continue the implementation of the projects started in Kyrgyzstan."Moreover, retaliatory measures, in particular, the ban on the supplies of agricultural products open new opportunities for Russia's CIS partners," Matviyenko said./Trend/ President Ilham Aliyev received a Lithuanian delegation Politics Tue, 21 Oct 2014 15:35:00 +0500 President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev has received a delegation led by Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Lithuania Linas Linkevicius.During the meeting, the sides expressed their satisfaction with the current state of Azerbaijan-Lithuania relations. The parties also discussed the expansion of cooperation opportunities between the two countries on various fronts, including political, economic, energy, trade, educational and other fields. /AzerTAc/ Anita Kravos opens Italian Film Festival in Baku Arts & Entertainment Tue, 21 Oct 2014 15:30:00 +0500 /AzerNews/By Nigar OrujovaBaku enjoys hosting the Italian cinematography, one of the most popular in the world, as part of the Italian Films Festival which kicked off in Baku on October 20.The festival is co-organized by Italian Association of N.I.C.E. and the Swiss Embassy in Azerbaijan. It is part of the Week of the Italian Language being held annually from October 20 to 25.Rector of Azerbaijan University of Languages? Samad Seyidov stressed that the festival indicates a high level of relations between the two countries in political, economic, educational and cultural spheres.Italian ambassador Giampaolo Cutillo expressed hope that the festival will be part of the cultural life of the city.The first film of the festival, "La Grande Bellezza", winner of the Oscar 2014, was played by Italian actress Anita Kravos, a guest of honor of the festival. Kravos played the leading part in the film, which was screened for the first time in Azerbaijan."I'm glad I came to Baku and presented here the Italian cinema. Baku fascinated me at first sight. Italian directors are interested in shooting films in Baku, one of them is Renato De Maria," Kravos stressed.In "The Great Beauty" by Paolo Sorrentino, Kravos played the role of the modern artist Thalia Concept."In "The Great Beauty" I am a crazy artist. This is a small but very important role, talking about the essence of the film, art," she noted.The main character of the film is an aging socialite, Jep Gambardella, who once wrote a famous novel in his twenties, only to retire into a comfortable life writing cultural columns and throwing parties in Rome.After his 65th birthday anniversary, he walks through the ruins of the city, encountering various characters, reflecting on his life, his first love, and sense of unfulfillment"This is a film about a man who is dealing with talent and art. This film is a high conversation about aesthetics, the dialogue about the beauty, art, inspiration and why all this is needed," Kravos underlined.The festival will also screen "Nuovo cinema Paradiso" (Cinema "Paradiso"), "La Vita e bella" (Life is beautiful), "Il Capitale Umano" (Human capital) in Italian with English subtitles. Azerbaijan-Russia culture-business forum held in Baku Business Tue, 21 Oct 2014 15:20:00 +0500 /AzerNews/By Amina NazarliA St. Petersburg delegation headed by the city's vice-governor Vladimir Lavlencev visited Baku from October 16 to 18.The delegation included representatives of executive missions, higher education institutions and business leaders of St. Petersburg.As part of the cultural and business mission, the Azerbaijani-Russian business forum was held. Several meetings on business community, thematic round tables on the prospects for cooperation in the field of higher education, vocational education, science and culture were also held during the two-day event.As many as 150 people took part in the Azerbaijan-Russia Forum. The issues on current status of the investment climate and business opportunities in Azerbaijan, as well as the investment potential of St. Petersburg were discussed during the forum.The participants of the forum were briefed about the current status and development stages of trade and economic relations between the member countries of the forum.They also discussed "Prospects for cooperation in the field of higher education, vocational education and science", where representatives of the St. Petersburg universities talked about new directions in Petersburg educational institutions and discussed possible joint educational and research projects with colleagues from Azerbaijan. The discussions were welcomed by both parties.Businessmen from St. Petersburg visited industrial enterprises of Azerbaijan in Sumgayit Technology Park on October 17.The guests got familiar with the Technopark companies. They were impressed by the scale of the undertaken work, the novelty of high technology equipment and processes of the participants, which left a good impression in them.Meanwhile, "Russia-Azerbaijan. Interaction of culture" round table took place in Azerbaijan State Academy of Fine Arts.In the round table where 37 people took part, the participants touched upon some projects between Baku representatives and State Museum-Monument "Isaac's Cathedral" as well as Azerbaijan National Museum of Art and the St. Petersburg's Film Center "Homeland".An interesting part of the meeting was the report of Azerbaijani sculptor Omar Eldarov "Interaction of cultures".Then, the grand opening of St. Petersburg's Fie art exhibitions were held during the event. The participants had a chance to attend the two exhibitions, brought from St. Petersburg; Art Exhibition "Slavian Earth " and the photo exhibition "Petersburg through the angels eyes: a view from Isaac".The exhibitions will last till October 29 in the Museum and Exhibition Complex of the Azerbaijan Academy of Fine Arts.Baku citizens also enjoyed a concert of the Symphonic Orchestra conducted by Sergey Stadler in Philharmonic named after Muslim Magomayev.The audience warmly welcomed the guests and accompanied them with applause. Women role in OIC development discussed in Baku Politics Tue, 21 Oct 2014 14:59:00 +0500 /AzerNews/By Sara RajabovaBaku is hosting the fifth Ministerial Conference on the Role of Women in the Development of the OIC Member States.The conference kicked off on October 21 with the recitation of verses from the Holy Quran. It is attended by more than 220 delegates from nearly 60 countries, AzerTag news agency reported.Head of the Humanitarian Policy Department at the Azerbaijani President`s Administration Fatma Abdullazade read out President Ilham Aliyev`s message to the participants of the conference.Chair of the fourth conference, Indonesian Ambassador to Azerbaijan Raden Prayono Atiyanto hailed the organization of the conference.Underlining the importance of developing women`s role in the society, Prayono Atiyanto said the previous conference was held in Jakarta and very important decisions were adopted. He expressed confidence that the Baku conference would contribute to the protection of women`s rights and expansion of their role in society.Prayono Atiyanto expressed regret over the existence of different obstacles to strengthening women`s role in society, especially increasing their activities in political field."A lot of works must be done to remove the obstacles. Women`s economic freedom and gender issue are still a main problem in some countries. The aim of the conference is to combine our efforts to resolve the problems facing women, and we believe that we can accomplish the mission," he said.Hijran Huseynova, Chairperson of State Committee for Family, Women and Children Affairs highlighted the agenda of the conference, noting that the conference is aimed at reviewing the progress made in promoting the status of women and strengthening their role in the OIC Member States.Huseynova further said the gender problem could be settled only by well-educated and experienced women. She provided an insight into the Azerbaijani government`s policy towards strengthening a family institute, protecting the rights of women and children, and ensuring gender equality.Touching upon Armenia`s military aggression against Azerbaijan, the Committee chair noted that more than a million of Azerbaijanis, including 400,000 women and 300,000 children are living as refugees and IDPs. She also underlined women`s role at parliamentary and municipal levels.Muhammad Naeem Khan, Assistant Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), in turn, expressed gratitude to Azerbaijan`s First Lady, President of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation Mehriban Aliyeva for the organization of the conference.He said such conferences open up wide opportunities for women in the process of development."We have to combine our efforts to eliminate problems that women face," Naeem Khan said.Heimo Laakkonen, Director of UNFPA`s Regional Office for Eastern Europe and Central Asia also hailed Mehriban Aliyeva's efforts for supporting the conference.Laakkonen stressed that women must play a role in adoption of international norms.Speaking on the UNFPA-OIC cooperation, Laakkonen said great success has been achieved in reducing the number of maternal deaths during child-bearing, protecting honor and dignity of women and enlightening them.Later, the State Committee for Family, Women and Children Affairs of Azerbaijan and the Jordanian National Commission for Women signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the sidelines of the conference.The document was inked by chairperson of the State Committee for Family, Women and Children Affairs Huseynova and Secretary General of the Jordanian National Commission for Women Salma Nims.The MoU will see the two countries develop cooperation and exchange experiences.The fifth Ministerial Conference on the Role of Women in the Development of the OIC Member States will end on October 21 with the adoption of Baku Declaration. Azerbaijani U-17s beat Croatian NK Umag Mladost in friendly Sports Tue, 21 Oct 2014 14:55:00 +0500 The Azerbaijan national under-17 football team have defeated Croatian NK Umag Mladost 2-0 in a friendly.Azerbaijan`s goals came from Farid Nabiyev and Gara Garayev. /AzerTAc/ Turkey OKs documents on TANAP Business Tue, 21 Oct 2014 14:48:00 +0500 /AzerNews/By Aynur JafarovaTurkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has approved two additional documents on the implementation of the Trans-Anatolian (TANAP) gas pipeline project, local media said on October 21.The approved documents are the memorandums which were signed by the Turkish government and the TANAP consortium on May 26, 2014.TANAP, developed by SOCAR in collaboration with Turkish Botas and the energy company TPAO, will deliver Shah Deniz's gas to the Turkish-Greek border from eastern Turkey.The initial capacity of the pipeline will be 16 billion cubic meters of gas a year. TANAP will link up with Trans-Adriatic (TAP) pipeline on the Turkish-Greek border. About six billion cubic meters of gas will be delivered to Turkey and the rest to Europe. The costs of the TANAP project are estimated at $10 billion to $11 billion. IAEA says Iran complies with nuclear deal World news Tue, 21 Oct 2014 13:55:00 +0500 /AzerNews/By Sara RajabovaAhead of new round of the nuclear talks, the International Atomic Energy Agency has confirmed Iran's commitment to an interim nuclear deal it signed with six world powers in 2013.The monthly update report by the IAEA published on October 20, reads that Tehran is continuing to meet its commitments under the interim accord that came into effect in January, Press TV reported.The report said Iran has taken an additional step under the deal and diluted over 4,100 kg of uranium enriched to a fissile concentration of up to 2 percent down to the level of natural uranium.Last November, Iran and the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council - China, Russia, Britain, France, and the United States - plus Germany clinched an interim nuclear accord, which took effect on January 20 and expired six months later. However, in July they agreed to extend their talks until November 24, as they remained divided on a number of key issues.Over the four months of the deal's extension, Iran is to receive $2.8 billion previously frozen oil revenue kept in banks abroad, in addition to the $4.2 billion it got earlier.As part of the Geneva deal, Iran suspended 20-percent uranium enrichment. Iran then started to dilute and oxidize its 196-kg stockpile of 20-percent-enriched uranium.The UN body has been publishing monthly reports on Iran's commitments under the comprehensive deal. The IAEA report could be a positive factor ahead of a November deadline for clinching a long-term deal on West-Iran nuclear dispute. Baku to host 47th Int’l Chemistry Olympiad Society Tue, 21 Oct 2014 13:15:00 +0500 /AzerNews/By Nigar OrujovaBaku will host the important event on science and education, namely the 47th International Chemistry Olympiad among schoolchildren, Head of Baku branch of Moscow State University Nargiz Pashayeva said.The statement was made at a meeting with a visiting delegation from the Moscow State University's chemistry department.The Russian delegation, headed by Dean Valery Lunin, visited Baku to discuss preparation for the Chemistry Olympiad to be held at the Baku Branch of the Moscow State University in 2015."This tremendous event will be held for the first time in Baku at our university. This event is important since it will involve 250 schoolchildren from 80 countries. In addition, we will welcome about 250 scientists, chemists and teachers," Pashayeva stressed.The main aim of the Olympiad is to raise interest in chemistry both in the scientific community and as part of educational programs, she noted. "The 46th Olympiad took place in summer this year in Hanoi and its flag was handed over to us. Now it is safely kept at our university."Pashayeva added holding such an event successfully will boost the image of Azerbaijan in the world.Lunin, for his part, underlined that the 47th international Olympiad is a unique event in the history of Azerbaijan, international Olympiads, and the Baku branch of the Moscow State University."I am sure that the Olympiad with Nargiz Pashayeva as chairman of its organizing committee will be successful. It is going to be a glorious chapter in the history of the Baku branch of the Moscow State University. The event will help give a huge amount of positive information about Azerbaijan to the participants and the whole world," he said.Later in the day, Lunin met with the first-year students of the chemistry department of the Baku branch.The decision to hold the Olympiad at the Baku branch was made in July 2012 in Washington. Azerbaijan is the second country after Russia in the post-soviet area to win the bid to host the international chemistry Olympiad.The organizing committee chaired by Pashayeva has done much work including the first edition of the Catalyzer, the Olympiad newspaper, the website of the Olympiad, tentative program of requirements for the Olympiad participants. The website of the event was also created (, the Baku branch of Moscow State University is one of the centers of chemical education in Azerbaijan. The branch trains specialists in various fields of chemistry and manufacturing.The Chemistry Department of the branch has all the necessary conditions and facilities, including various laboratories with modern equipment, for the development of chemical knowledge and skills of students. Armenia violates ceasefire with Azerbaijan Politics Tue, 21 Oct 2014 12:05:00 +0500 Armenian armed forces have broken ceasefire with Azerbaijan 14 times in numerous positions in the last 24 hours, Azerbaijan’s Defense Ministry said on Oct.21.Azerbaijani positions took fire from the positions located near the villages of Kuropatkino of the Khojavend district, Mehdili of the Jabrayil district, as well as the nameless heights of the Fizuli and Khojavend 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 U.S. are currently holding peace negotiations.Armenia has not yet implemented four U.N. Security Council resolutions on the liberation of the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding regions./Trend/ Azerbaijan to join Womex music festival Arts & Entertainment Tue, 21 Oct 2014 11:30:00 +0500 An Azerbaijani delegation will attend the 20th international Womex music festival in Spain.An Azerbaijani jazz group led by Elchin Shirinov will also perform as part of the festival.WOMEX is an international world music support and development project, whose main event is an exposition held annually in different locations throughout Europe. It integrates a trade fair, showcases, conferences, film screenings, networking sessions, and awards. Musicians and their labels have the possibility to make contacts for international touring and album distribution.The 2014 edition of WOMEX will be held in Santiago de Compostela, and next year's edition will take the trade fair to Budapest.Although WOMEX is primarily intended for professionals and trade visitors within the world music scene, locals and tourists can buy tickets for most of the evening showcases.Each year, WOMEX presents an award to artists or professionals for special achievements in the international music industry. /AzerTAc/ Azerbaijani freestyle wrestlers win medals Sports Tue, 21 Oct 2014 11:26:00 +0500 Azerbaijani freestyle wrestlers have claimed three medals at the 6th Intercontinental Cup in Dagestan.Mahammad Muslumov and Aleksandr Gostiyev grabbed silver medals, while Jabrayil Hasanov scooped bronze medal of the tournament. /AzerTAc/ First lady Mehriban Aliyeva meets Iranian Vice-President Politics Tue, 21 Oct 2014 11:15:00 +0500 Azerbaijan`s first lady Mehriban Aliyeva has today met Iranian Vice-President for Women and Family Affairs Shahindokht Molaverdi, who is in Baku to attend the 5th Ministerial Conference on the Role of Women in the Development of the OIC Member States.Mrs. Mehriban Aliyeva expressed hope that the 5th Ministerial Conference on the Role of Women in the Development of the OIC Member States would be a success. The first lady thanked Shahindokht Molaverdi for attending the event.Saying cooperation between Azerbaijan and Iran covered various fields, Mrs. Aliyeva noted that the two countries` presidents met three times this year. She stressed the reciprocal visits and meetings contributed to strengthening relations between the two countries even further. The first lady expressed confidence that the international conference in Baku would play an important role in addressing the challenges facing women.Iranian Vice-President Shahindokht Molaverdi thanked for the invitation to the conference. Saying it is her first visit to Baku, the Vice-President expressed hope that the conference would contribute to increasing women`s role in Islamic states.Then they posed for photographs. //AzerTAc/ Azerbaijan to launch 2nd combined cycle power plant Business Tue, 21 Oct 2014 11:10:00 +0500 /AzerNews/By Mushvig MehdiyevAzerbaijan's main electricity producer Azerenergy JSC will put into operation the second combined cycle power plant at the Shimal power plant in the first quarter of 2015, Head of Azerenergy JSC, Etibar Pirverdiyev, said on October 20.He added that the Shimal power plant plays an important role in Absheron peninsula's total power supply."The work on the construction of the new unit is underway and it will be commissioned by June 2015," Pirverdiyev noted.The new unit is being constructed pursuant to an agreement signed with Japan's Toyo Engineering Corporation. The new plant's capacity will be 409 megawatts in total.Pirverdiyev said over 10,000 kilometers of power supply lines, more than 1,500 substations and about 8 small hydro power plants have been repaired and constructed in Azerbaijan in recent years. "The work on construction of small hydro power plants is underway and several facilities of this kind will be commissioned before long," he added.Today, the Shimal power plant meets around 25 percent of Baku and Absheron's power need. The figure will reach 35-40 percent as soon as the second unit is commissioned.The Shimal power plant is currently consisted of one combined cycle power plant with the capacity of 400 megawatts.The capacity of Azerbaijan's total power supply system has increased by 40 percent over the last ten years and hit 7,100 megawatts, which allows to export some 2,300 megawatts of the electricity.Azerbaijan's present electricity capacity is based on 14 thermal and 10 hydro power plants .The South Caucasus country carries out power exchange with its neighboring states such as Georgia, Iran and Russia. Exchange rate of AZN compared to world currencies on Oct.21 Business Tue, 21 Oct 2014 10:50:00 +0500 The exchange rate of AZN compared to the world currencies and precious metals on Oct.21, according to the Central Bank of Azerbaijan.Currencies and precious metalsOct. 20, 2014Oct. 21, 20141 U.S. dollar1 USD0.78430.78431 euro1 EUR1.00051.00461 Australian dollar1 AUD0.68820.69081 ArgentinianPeso1 ARS0.09260.0926100 Belarusian Rubles100 BYR0.00730.00731 Brazilian Real1 BRL0.3220.31811 UAE dirham1 AED0.21350.21351 South African Rand1 ZAR0.07070.0711100 South Korean Won100 KRW0.0740.07441 Czech koruna1 CZK0.03640.03641 Chilean Peso1 CLP0.13370.13391 Chinse Yuan1 CNY0.12810.12811 Danish Krone1 DKK0.13440.13491 Georgian Lari1 GEL0.44810.44841 Hong Kong Dollar1 HKD0.10110.10111 Indian Rupee1 INR0.01280.01281 British pound sterling1 GBP1.26341.2682100 Indonesian rupiah100 IDR0.00650.0065100 Iranian rials100 IRR0.0030.0031 Swedish Krona1 SEK0.10920.10941 Swiss Franc1 CHF0.82850.83261 Israeli Shekel1 ILS0.21060.211 Canadian Dollar1 CAD0.6960.69511 Kuwaiti Dinar1 KWD2.71612.71841 Kazakhstan Tenge1 KZT0.00430.00431 Kyrgyz Som1 KGS0.01420.0141 Lithuanian Litas1 LTL0.28980.2909100 Lebanese pounds100 LBP0.05180.05181 Malaysian ringgit1 MYR0.23960.24061 Mexican Peso1 MXP0.0580.05791 Moldovan Leu1 MDL0.05410.0541 Egyptian Pound1 EGP0.10970.10971 Norwegian krone1 NOK0.11990.1197100 Uzbek soums100 UZS0.0330.0331 Polish Zloty1 PLN0.23710.23761 Russian ruble1 RUR0.01920.01911 Singapore Dollar1 SGD0.61610.61811 Saudi Riyal1 SAR0.20910.20911 SDR (IMF Special Drawing Rights)1 SDR1.17211.17041 Turkish lira1 TRY0.34870.34931 Taiwanese Dollar1 TWD0.02580.02581 Tajik Somoni1 TJS0.15410.15411 New Turkmen manat1 TMM0.27520.27521 Ukrainian hryvnia1 UAH0.06080.0603100 Japanese yen100 JPY0.73060.73591 New Zealand dollar1 NZD0.62340.6258Gold (1 ounce)1 XAU968.0223976.0614Silver (1 ounce)1 XAG13.57913.6641Platinum (1 ounce)1 XPT987.4337994.4924Palladium (1 ounce)1 XPD590.5779592.9308 /Trend/ Armenian activist sentenced to prison World news Tue, 21 Oct 2014 10:45:00 +0500 /AzerNews/By Mushvig MehdiyevA political activist in Armenia was sentenced to 4 years in prison after a year of court hearings.The court found guilty the leader of the Tsegakron party, Shant Harutunyan and his political fellows of hooliganism during an anti-government rally on November 5, 2013.Harutunyan and his supporters were also accused of using life-threatening violence against the government.Human rights activists in Armenia claim that the authorities have deliberately altered the verdict to blame Shant Harutunyan for criminal action. Harutunyan was arrested on November 5, 2013, with his followers in Yerevan's Liberty Square during an anti-governmental rally. They are accused of attempting to start a "revolution" in the country. Police claimed that the protesters used homemade firecrackers and truncheons during the massive rally.A number of local and international human rights activists view Harutunyan and his followers as political prisoners since their arrest.Member of the Prosperous Armenia party, Naira Zohrabyan commented on Harutunyan's sentence saying the court system in Armenia proved itself as the most dependent in the world after it confirmed the case against Tsegakron party leader."If one citizen decides to believe in court system and claim that it is independent, his or her name should immediately be registered at the Guinness Records Book," Zohrabyan noted.Judicial system in Armenia is losing its influence day by day to become an untrusted institution in the country. Courts in Armenia have turned to a source of injustice as judges act under the instructions of authorities rather than the constitution."Armenia lacks a fair judicial system as all decisions are adopted at the presidential administration," Head of the Helsinki Citizen's Assembly's Vanadzor office, Artur Sakunts has earlier said.The Deputy Head of the Heritage Party Armen Martirosyan said Armenia would roll back to the feudal system by increasing political detentions."If the authorities continue to arrest the citizens like Shant Harutunyan and appoint criminals like Souren Khachatryan to mayoral post, the country will soon roll down to the ancient feudal system," Martirosyan added.He went on saying that the Armenian society should be consolidated in a way to get rid of the ruling regime.Harutunyan's verdict has once again showed the reality of the biased and puppet judicial system in Armenia. The authorities confirm the courts' illicit activities, instead of stopping them. Unsubstantiated sentence of Shant Harutunyan harbingers the decadence of courts and emergence of coward judges in the ex-Soviet country.The Human Rights Report 2013 indicated that Armenian judicial system is tainted with corruption and political pressure. Global Corruption Barometer 2013 backed this fact by stating that almost three out of four surveyed citizens in Armenia accepted the judiciary to be an extremely corrupt institution. Judges themselves in Armenia are suspected to be engaged in corrupt activities. Nations in Transit 2013 data reports that there are a number of ongoing investigations into the records of some judges suspected of accepting bribes. AAM plans to become leading precious metals, copper producer in Caucasus Business Tue, 21 Oct 2014 10:41:00 +0500 /AzerNews/By Nigar OrujovaAnglo Asian Mining plc, a company involved in the extraction of precious metals in Azerbaijan, plans to become the most leading precious metals and copper producer in the Caucasus.The company has released its report for the third quarter of 2014. The report shows that gold production of the company increased by 2.8 percent to 16,178 ounces from 15,736 ounces produced in the previous quarter. In the second quarter, the company produced 11,318 ounces.Silver production for the third quarter totaled 5,504 ounces, decreasing from the second quarter, when 8,785 ounces of silver were produced. Copper production for the period totaled 210 tons.Overall, Anglo Asian's production in the nine months of the year reached 43,232 ounces of gold, 27,419 ounces of silver and 580 tons of copper.Anglo Asian CEO Reza Vaziri said: "As we achieved solid gold sales for the period, the Company's three year sales contract for copper concentrate also positively impacted our bottom line for the quarter."The company is actively pursuing options to increase gold recovery to achieve the target of circa 62,000 ounces for the year in light of the ore currently being mined at Gadabay, which has a high copper content.The company's target for copper production from its SART operation remains at 750 tons for 2014.Although gaining a considerable amount of ore mined with a high copper content is a tough mission, Anglo Asian believes that the stockpiles of ore totaling 379,000 tons will provide an attractive opportunity."We are evaluating the construction of a small scale flotation plant suited to process this type of ore to produce a copper and precious metals concentrate. This will be a pilot plant for a future full-scale copper recovery plant. This would create a further production stream which will enhance our production profile as a leading precious metals and copper producer in Caucasus," he said.The company has sold 13,797 ounces of its gold in the third quarter, at an average of $1,281 per ounce.The copper concentrate shipments to the customers totaled 250 dry metric tons, containing 123 tons of copper and 6,639 ounces of silver at the period.The aggregate gold sales in the nine months reached 37,343 ounces of gold at an average of $1,291 per ounce and cumulative sales of copper concentrate at $2.9 million.Earlier, the company reported that it wrapped up the first half of 2014 with losses. The pretax loss of the company increased from $4.2 million at the same period of last year to $7.5 million as of June 30, 2014.A report by the company said, Anglo Asian Mining's revenue for the first half-year was estimated at $32.7 million. This comes as during the same period of 2013, the revenue reached $27.6 million.The company has also signed an exclusive sales contract with Industrial Minerals SA, a Geneva based integrated trading, mining and logistics group, for its copper concentrates. The contract is aimed at ensuring future sales revenues from this production stream.Under the terms of the sales agreement, Industrial Minerals will purchase both dry and wet copper concentrates.Anglo-Asian Mining has 75 tons of dry copper concentrate and 550 tons of wet copper concentrate stockpiles ready to sell.The company has the right to develop six deposits in the south-west of Azerbaijan - Gadabay, Ordubad, Gosha Bulag, Gyzyl Bulag, Vezhnali, and Soyutlu- under a production sharing agreement signed in August 1997 with Azerbaijan's government.The resource base of the company exceeds 36 tons of gold, 292 tons of silver and 94.000 tons of copper. Weather to normalize in Azerbaijan Society Mon, 20 Oct 2014 18:30:00 +0500 /AzerNews/By Amina NazarliWeather forecasts have good news for guests and residents of Azerbaijan. The unexpected weather is now supposed to give its place to a normal weather soon.The weather will stabilize on October 22-23, the National Hydrometeorology Department of the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources said.The sky over Baku and Absheron Peninsula will be filled with rainy clouds and the southwest wind will blow on October 21. The temperature is expected to be 7-10 degrees C at night and 15-19 degrees C during the day.In Azerbaijani regions, the weather will be rainy and the west wind will to blow. In low-lying areas, the temperature will be from three degrees C below zero to two degrees C above zero at night and 5-10 degrees C during the day.Recently, the weather in the territory of Azerbaijan has sharply deteriorated with gusty southwest wind blowing all time. As a result of rainfalls, the water level in the rivers has risen.In the morning, the temperature in Baku was above the normal level by two degrees, but in the evening it sharply fell.The bad weather brought adversities to Baku residents. As a result of strong wind the roof of a residential building was demolished. The roof of school ?225 was also damage during the terrible weather.Heavy rains were observed in Lankaran-Astara regions. Most precipitations (70 mm, 26 per cent of the monthly norm) fell in Astara, while less precipitations - in low-lying areas (1-5 mm).The sleet was seen in some regions. So, Guba and Gusar regions were hit by sleet, the thickness of which was 16cm. Caspian countries to define all regional cooperation areas Business Mon, 20 Oct 2014 18:15:00 +0500 /AzerNews/By Nigar OrujovaThe fundamental principles of defining the Caspian Sea's legal status, developed at the Caspian summit in Astrakhan, will be a basis for a convention to be signed at the next summit of Caspian states.The statement came from Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, Russia24 TV channel reported."The declaration will now be used to saturate the convention with specific agreements, and articles. And the main approved principle is that the Caspian countries will themselves define all cooperation areas in the region," he stressed.Lavrov said this primarily applies to security, as there will be no armed forces of other countries in the Caspian Sea.He noted that the Caspian countries agreed upon a very important issue on the width of state zones, including the zone the sovereignty and fishing zones."This is one of the key issues that must be reflected in the convention on the legal status of the Caspian Sea," the minister added.Lavrov admitted that there are still several unresolved issues, citing the thorny issue of construction of trans-Caspian pipelines as an example."We believe that the Caspian states should take decision on this issue together," he said, emphasizing the need to ensure the environmental safety of the sea.Russian city of Astrakhan hosted the fourth Caspian Summit in late September, attended by the heads of all the Caspian littoral states - Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev and Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov.The summit participants inked several important agreements on the joint use of the Caspian Sea.The list of agreements included an agreement on cooperation in hydrometeorology of the Caspian Sea, an agreement on cooperation in warning and liquidating emergencies in the Caspian Sea and an agreement on the preservation and rational use of water biological resources in the Caspian Sea.Leaders of the Caspian states also agreed on the principles of national sovereignty of each country over the coastal maritime space in the range of 15 miles and 10 "fishing" miles.The participants also agreed on the principles of the right for free access from the Caspian Sea to other seas and back on the basis of international law, taking into account the interests of the transit parties.Caspian Sea is one of the world's largest oil and gas-bearing regions in the world after the Persian Gulf. The issue of the shelf's division will eventually determine the share of hydrocarbon reserves.The legal status of the Caspian Sea has been a subject of discussion among the littoral states for over 12 years. The uncertain position of the sea hinders the implementation of oil and gas projects of billions dollars.The positions of Azerbaijan, Russia and Kazakhstan coincide on this issue as each country can receive over 20 percent on the Caspian seabed. However, the other littoral states -Turkmenistan and Iran- have not reached a consensus yet. Baku to live in rhythm of jazz Arts & Entertainment Mon, 20 Oct 2014 17:59:00 +0500 /AzerNews/By Nigar OrujovaTraditional International Jazz Festival kicked off at the Mugham Center in Baku on October 19.The festival organized by the Culture and Tourism Ministry and Azerbaijani Culture Foundation has brought together acclaimed jazz musicians from all over the world. The music holiday will last till October 30.American pianist Craig Taborn together with Thomas Morgan on bass and Gerald Cleaver on drums performed on the first day of the festival.Taborn is an American pianist, keyboardist and composer, who also plays organ and Moog synthesizer. He has worked mostly in jazz, although he also does dark ambient and techno music.Several concerts will be held during the festival at the most prominent halls of the city, including Heydar Aliyev Palace, Magomayev Azerbaijan State Philharmonic, International Mugham Center, Baku Jazz Center and Rashid Behbudov State Song Theatre.Craig Taborn Trio, Terri Lyne Carrington quartet, Terence Blanchard quintet, Stanley Clarke from the US, Anat Cohen quartet from Israel, Michel Camilo from Dominican Republic, Trilok Gurtu from India, and Bebel Gilberto from Brazil will also thrill up Baku music fans during the festival.Azerbaijani musicians Salman Gambarov, Jamil Amirov, Mirjavad Jafarov, Elchin Shirinov, Zaur Mirzayev will also hold solo concerts.The Baku International Jazz Festival is an annual jazz event aimed at showcasing Azerbaijan's long-running attachment to the American-born art form, a connection first established in the country during the 1950s and 1960s, a time when jazz was outlawed by Soviet authorities.Many famous musicians from a dozen countries, including Georgia, Portugal, Italy, Israel, USA, Germany, Canada, and Russia, are participating in the festival.Jazz music is one of the main favorite music in Baku. Founder of Azerbaijani jazz, Vagif Mustafazadeh managed to establish Azerbaijani jazz. He created in Jazz something native and something close to Azerbaijani soul. He established a new sound - his own kind of jazz, a fusion of jazz with a form of indigenous Azerbaijani music, Mugham. Social stratification deepening in Armenia Analytics Mon, 20 Oct 2014 17:45:00 +0500 /AzerNews/By Mushvig MehdiyevThe deepening social stratification in Armenia has left 42 percent of the population unable to meet their basic needs. Current economic crisis in the country has a double effect on the population by simultaneously making the rich one richer and the poor one poorer."About 10.2 percent of the people in Armenia are extremely poor, while roughly 32 percent are just poor. Almost 13 percent of the country's population is well off," Head of Sociometer Sociological Center, Ahraon Adibekyan, said.The UN criteria define poor those who live on less than two dollars a day. The people who survive on a dollar a day are the poorest or extremely poor. It reveals that almost one fifth of Armenians live an extremely poor life. Meanwhile, one third of the population lives under poverty line.Adibekyan added that most of the rich residents keep their wealth private so as not be bothered by needy relatives. "Only 2.2 percent of them say they are rich," he noted.Armenia is facing its second hardest economic trouble in recent memory after the tough economic crisis hit the ex-Soviet country in 2009. Many analysts and experts claim that the country is bearing the brunt of the present-day slump. Economic growth in Armenia is expected to be only 3.3 percent this year.Adibekyan said the social stratification in Armenia has been overwhelmingly deepening. "Almost 42 percent of the residents in Armenia fail to meet their food and clothing needs. It means that the social stratification in Armenia is expanding and our republic is closing to the Asian type population with a small number of extremely rich and an army of extremely poor," he noted.He further added that the bank deposits since early 2014 was slightly over $2 billion. That reflects the mistrust between the people and banks. Bank deposits of the Armenian population were around $2.8 billion in 2013.Poverty is among the key problems which the Armenian government has failed to cope with. A large number of poor people live in most of the cities and regions of the country, including the capital city Yerevan. About 7 percent of the population is beggars who have pinned their hope on the money thrown to their cans. Poverty is far more threatening in Armenia's rural regions. Gyumri is reportedly the poorest region with its large number of homeless and jobless residents. About 1,200 residents in the region don't have houses to live in.Skyrocketing emigration from Armenia is reportedly linked to the widespread poverty. Analysts say the absence of workplaces and permanent income sources trigger the people to earn their life abroad. For instance, nearly 49,000 residents, who left Armenia this year, refused to come back to the country as they found it easier to live beyond the borders.Adibekyan said the poverty is an evil. "We need $150 billion to get out of the poverty hole. But we managed to gain only $16 billion during the two decades of independence," he noted.Armenian authorities need an iron shield to protect the country from the economic crisis's continuous blows. It will otherwise destroy the country to erase it from the world's economic map. The current trend says black days are waiting for Armenia under the dead Sun to push it into the worst days in its history. Azerbaijan's Music Day held in Kyrgyzstan Arts & Entertainment Mon, 20 Oct 2014 17:30:00 +0500 /AzerNews/By Amina NazarliAzerbaijan's Music Day, organized by Azerbaijani Embassy, was held in Kyrgyzstan on October 15.Held in the National Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre named after Abdilas Maldibayev the event was attended by state representatives, officials, foreign ambassadors, heads of international organizations and cultural figures.One of the pearls of Azerbaijani culture, "Arshin mal alan" operetta by great Uzeir Hajibeyli was performed during the event.Some 101 years ago in 1903 Azerbaijan's great composer Uzeir Hajibeyli composed "Arshin mal alan operetta. At the same year, the operetta was staged in the Theatre named after Zeynalabdin Tagiyev.Traveling around 76 countries, the composition has been staged in 187 theaters. And the film devoted to the composition, shot in 1945 has been screened in 136 countries. The operetta is very popular among young and old generations, as it was created for both of them.The operetta accompanied by the theatre's choir and symphony orchestra was welcomed by great applause.Addressing the event, Director of the theatre Timur Salamatov thanked Azerbaijani Embassy for the efforts shown in development of relations between two countries.Then, Kyrgyz Deputy minister for Culture, Information and Tourism Akimbek Tekeshov thanked Azerbaijani Ambassador Hidayat Orujov for development of cultural relations between two sides and presented him a honored medal.Hidayat Orujov, in turn, said this award was much unexpected for him and thanked for this gift.Noting that bilateral relations between the two countries are developed not only in political and economic fields, but also in humanitarian, the ambassador stressed that this success is one of the priorities of Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and Kyrgyz President Almazbek Atambayev."Many humanitarian events have been held both in Azerbaijan and Kyrgyzstan. Holding of these events brings closer the two countries," the ambassador said. Azerbaijan’s gymnasts gain successes in Aeon Cup Sports Mon, 20 Oct 2014 17:17:00 +0500 /AzerNews/By Amina NazarliAeon Cup, one of the most important gymnastics events of the year, was held in Japan on October 17-19.The best 18 clubs of the world competed in Tokyo. Each team consisted of 3 gymnasts, including two senior gymnasts and a junior gymnast.Azerbaijan's Ocaq Sport Club composed of Marina Durunda, Gulsum Sharifzada and Jale Piriyeva took the fifth place in the competition.Junior gymnast Jale Piriyeva made a good performance and took the honored third place, gaining a high mark for her bright and catchy performances with ball, ribbon, clubs and hoop in individual competition.Russian Veronika Polakova took the first place, followed by a gymnast from Belarus Maria Trubach.In parallel, the 14th tournament Berlin Masters 2014 Rhythmic Gymnastics was held in Max-Schmeling-Hull in Germany.As many as 13 countries attended the competition, where Azerbaijani gymnast Ayshan Bayramova took the 10th place, gaining 60.400 points for her performances.Meanwhile, the third International tournament "Juldiz Cup 2014" wrapped up in Astana, Kazakhstan on October 17.Sportsmen from nine countries born in 1998 and under participated at the tournament.Eight Azerbaijani junior gymnasts under the direction of coach Sevil Mammadova took part in the competition. Fatima Shafizade and Kamilla Mammadov represented the country in the judiciary.The big surprise was the gold medal, won by one of the youngest national gymnasts of 2007 birth Fatima Mammadzada.Moreover, in the competition of athletes born in 2004, Azerbaijani Narmina Samadova took the silver medal with ball and rope, and another team member Alina Gozalova (2006) became the winner of the bronze medal. Azerbaijan’s national flag waved in U.S. Politics Mon, 20 Oct 2014 16:45:00 +0500 /AzerNews/By Sara RajabovaAzerbaijan`s national flag has been raised in several cities of the United States on the occasion of the 23rd anniversary of the country`s independence marked on October 18.Azerbaijani flag was raised outside San Jose City Hall, CA - the capital of Silicon Valley on October 17, Azerbaijan's Consulate General in Los Angeles said.The event took place on the initiative and efforts by Mehriban Mammadova, Founder and CEO of the Azerbaijani Community Center in San Jose, and supported by Azerbaijan's Consulate General in Los Angeles.San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed and Vice Mayor Madison Nguyen sponsored the event.It is the first time that the Azerbaijani flag was raised at the City Hall of California city.Speaking to the historic event, Consul General of Azerbaijan in Los Angeles Nasimi Aghayev highlighted the history of Azerbaijan`s independence. He also spoke of Azerbaijan`s achievements after the country restored its independence.Chuck Reed described the raising of the Azerbaijani flag outside San Jose City Hall as a remarkable event. He noted the importance of developing the U.S.-Azerbaijani relations.Mehriban Mammadova, in turn, said the Azerbaijani flag will be raised outside San Jose City Hall every year on this day to mark Azerbaijan`s independence.Azerbaijan's national flag has also been raised in Bowling Green park on Wall Street in New YorkOrganized by Azerbaijan New York Association, the flag raising ceremony was attended by Permanent Representative of Azerbaijan to the UN Yashar Aliyev, staffers of the Azerbaijani Embassy, representatives of the Azerbaijani mission to the United Nations, and members of the Azerbaijani and Turkish communities in the U.S.In his remarks, Ercan Yerdelenli, President of Azerbaijan New York Association, said the waving of the Azerbaijani flag in Wall Street is a great honor for as that street symbolizes the United States` economic power.Aliyev highlighted the history of Azerbaijan`s independence and the country`s achievements.Vice President of Azerbaijan New York Association Zamina Mirhadiyeva also addressed the event.Azerbaijan marks the Day of Independence on October 18, which was culmination of a long struggle for restoring Azerbaijan's Republic after 70-year of Soviet domination.October 18 was announced a holiday and the Parliament approved in May, 1992 the national anthem of Azerbaijan. Later the national flag and national emblem depicting an eight-pointed star with flames were approved.