Today.Az http://www.today.az Covering Azerbaijan inside and outside http://www.today.az/images/logo_small.gif Today.Az http://www.today.az NATO rejects results of so-called "elections" in Nagorno-Karabakh http://www.today.az/news/politics/192549.html Politics Wed, 01 Apr 2020 18:00:00 +0400 By AzernewsBy Akbar MammadovNATO has rejected the illegal elections held in Azerbaijan's occupied Nagono-Karabakh region. "With regard to the “general elections” that took place today in Nagorno-Karabakh, NATO does not accept the results of these “elections” as affecting the legal status of Nagorno-Karabakh and stress that the results in no way prejudge the final status of Nagorno-Karabakh or the outcome of the ongoing negotiations to bring a lasting and peaceful settlement to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. NATO supports the OSCE Minsk Group, including the recent statement of the Co-Chairs on this issue," NATO's Deputy Assistant Secretary General for Political Affairs and Special Representative for the Caucasus and Central Asia James Appathurai wrote on his Facebook page on March 31.It should be noted that James Appathurai also made a statement on so-called "elections" in Nagorno-Karabakh on March 23: "NATO does not recognise the so-called elections which took place yesterday in the Georgian region of Abkhazia. The Alliance continues to support Georgia’s territorial integrity and sovereignty within its internationally recognised borders".Azerbaijan and Armenia are locked in a conflict over Azerbaijan’s Nagorno-Karabakh breakaway region, which along with seven adjacent regions was occupied by Armenian forces in a war in the early 1990s. More than 20,000 Azerbaijanis were killed and around one million were displaced as a result of the large-scale hostilities.The OSCE Minsk Group co-chaired by the United States, Russia and France has been mediating the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict since the signing of the volatile cease-fire agreement in 1994. The Minsk Group’s efforts have resulted in no progress and to this date, Armenia has failed to abide by the UN Security Council resolutions (822, 853, 874 and 884) that demand the withdrawal of Armenian military forces from the occupied territories of Azerbaijan. Georgia doesn’t recognize so-called “elections” held in Nagorno-Karabakh http://www.today.az/news/politics/192536.html Politics Wed, 01 Apr 2020 17:35:00 +0400 By TrendGeorgia doesn’t recognize the so-called “elections” held in Nagorno-Karabakh, Trend reports citing Georgian Foreign Ministry.The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia reaffirms its support to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Republic of Azerbaijan and does not recognize the so called “presidential and parliamentarian elections” held on March 31, 2020 in Nagorno-Karabakh, reads the message.Georgia supports exclusively peaceful settlement of Nagorno-Karabakh conflict in line with the norms and principles of international law, said the ministry.The conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. As a result of the ensuing war, Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding regions.The 1994 ceasefire agreement was followed by peace negotiations. Armenia has not yet implemented four UN Security Council resolutions on withdrawal of its armed forces from Nagorno Karabakh and the surrounding regions. Petkim focusing on raw material production for medical supplies amid COVID-19 http://www.today.az/news/business/192546.html Business Wed, 01 Apr 2020 17:22:00 +0400 By TrendPetkim petrochemical complex of Azerbaijan’s state oil company SOCAR in Turkey is focusing on raw material production for medical supplies amid COVID-19, Trend reports citing SOCAR Turkey.“In this difficult time due to coronavirus pandemic, Petkim operates uninterruptedly to meet the needs by focusing on the raw material production for medical supplies and packaging,” said the company.Moreover, Petkim fully meets the demand for raw material for the production of mask and workwear fabric, the company said.Incorporated in 1965, Petkim maintains its business operations as the first and only integrated petrochemical producer of Turkey. Producing approximately 60 petrochemical products at its production facilities in Aliaga, Izmir, Petkim provides contributions to national industry and production.SOCAR Turkey acquired and made Petkim focal point of its investments in 2008.The petrochemical products, produced by Petkim, are used in several industrial branches such as automotive, electrics, electronics, agriculture, packaging, textile, pharmaceutics, paints, construction, detergent and cosmetics. Petkim focusing on raw material production for medical supplies amid COVID-19 http://www.today.az/news/business/192548.html Business Wed, 01 Apr 2020 17:10:00 +0400 By TrendPetkim petrochemical complex of Azerbaijan’s state oil company SOCAR in Turkey is focusing on raw material production for medical supplies amid COVID-19, Trend reports citing SOCAR Turkey.“In this difficult time due to coronavirus pandemic, Petkim operates uninterruptedly to meet the needs by focusing on the raw material production for medical supplies and packaging,” said the company.Moreover, Petkim fully meets the demand for raw material for the production of mask and workwear fabric, the company said.Incorporated in 1965, Petkim maintains its business operations as the first and only integrated petrochemical producer of Turkey. Producing approximately 60 petrochemical products at its production facilities in Aliaga, Izmir, Petkim provides contributions to national industry and production.SOCAR Turkey acquired and made Petkim focal point of its investments in 2008.The petrochemical products, produced by Petkim, are used in several industrial branches such as automotive, electrics, electronics, agriculture, packaging, textile, pharmaceutics, paints, construction, detergent and cosmetics. Turkic Council condemns so-called “elections” in occupied Nagorno-Karabakh region http://www.today.az/news/politics/192535.html Politics Wed, 01 Apr 2020 16:50:00 +0400 By TrendThe Cooperation Council of Turkic Speaking States (Turkic Council) condemns the so-called “presidential and parliamentary elections” in the occupied Nagorno-Karabakh region of the Republic of Azerbaijan, which constitute a clear violation of the norms and principles of international law, including Helsinki Final Act of 1975, and the related UN Security Council Resolutions, Trend reports with reference to the organization’s statement.“Holding the so-called “elections” in the occupied territories undermines the efforts within the OSCE Minsk Process to find a peaceful settlement for the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. We call on the OSCE Minsk Group and the international community not to recognize these illegitimate elections,” said the statement.The Member States of the Turkic Council reaffirm their commitments to the norms and principles of international law and reiterate the importance of the early settlement of the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, on the basis of sovereignty, territorial integrity and inviolability of internationally recognized borders of the Republic of Azerbaijan, said the Turkic Council.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, Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding regions.The 1994 ceasefire agreement was followed by peace negotiations. Armenia has not yet implemented four UN Security Council resolutions on withdrawal of its armed forces from Nagorno Karabakh and the surrounding regions. Azerbaijan suspends air, railway transport with Russia amid pandemic http://www.today.az/news/business/192541.html Business Wed, 01 Apr 2020 16:27:00 +0400 By AzernewsBy Akbar MammadovAzerbaijan and Russia have agreed to suspend regular passenger flights and railway passenger transport in a bid to fight the spread of novel coronavirus pandemic, the Operational Headquarters under the Cabinet of Ministers reported on March 31.The Samur border checkpoint on the land border of the two countries operates in a restrictive mode and within a determined schedule for the mutual reception of citizens.In the meantime, appeals of citizens wishing to return to Azerbaijan through the border checkpoints between Azerbaijan and Russia are being received.According to the agreement reached between Azerbaijan and the Russian Federation, effective March 31, 2020, Azerbaijani citizens traveling from the Russia to Azerbaijan will be allowed to cross the Samur-Yaraq Gazmalar state border checkpoint every Saturday at a fixed time.Citizens crossing the border are kept under a 14-21 or 21-28-day quarantine regime in the quarantine zones established in the border zone in accordance with the requirements of the special quarantine regime declared in Azerbaijan.The return of citizens abroad to Azerbaijan is regulated taking into account the reception capacity of the established quarantine stations and the proportion of persons quarantined within the country.The Operational Headquarters of the Cabinet of Ministers also urged citizens to exercise restraint and understanding, to adhere to the quarantine and self-isolation rules established by their host countries in order to support domestic quarantine measures, and to refrain from traveling in the context of the global pandemic. Deposit dollarization in Azerbaijan increased by 1.5 percent in 2020 http://www.today.az/news/business/192540.html Business Wed, 01 Apr 2020 16:11:00 +0400 By AzernewsBy Ofeliya AfandiyevaThe volume of population’s bank deposits in foreign currency increased by 1.5 percent in Azerbaijan year-on-year in the period of January-February, local media reported citing Central Bank of the Republic of Azerbaijan on March 31.Thus, bank deposits in foreign currency amounted to $2,6bn in the reporting period and amounted to 52.6 percent of all deposits. It should be noted that the share of foreign currency deposits in 2019 was 52.2 percent.Overall, in January-February 2020, the population's bank deposits (including funds of individuals engaged in individual entrepreneurship) increased by 1.2 percent to $5,1bn.In addition, for the January-February period, the volume of deposits in the national currency increased by 0.2 percent to $2,4bn (47.4 percent of all deposits).As of February 29, 2020, the volume of bank deposits of residents amounted to $4,758,612,158, while non-residents – $366,225,454.Based on the report of the Central Bank, from the beginning of the year, deposits of residents decreased by 1.6 percent, whereas non-residents - increased by 43.1 percent.Overall, as of March 1, the volume of savings and deposits in banks in Azerbaijan amounted to $ 14,693,251,616, which is 0.8 percent more than at the end of 2019. Uzbekistan suspends work of cash offices, exchange offices located outside banks http://www.today.az/news/regions/192528.html World news Wed, 01 Apr 2020 15:59:00 +0400 By TrendCentral Bank of Uzbekistan ordered a temporary suspension of cash and currency exchange offices located outside the buildings of commercial banks, Trend reports citing Uzbek media.The exceptions are organizations that provide urgent services to citizens (such as bank cash desks in public service centers), banking infrastructure in the customs border zone and mobile cash desks for distribution of pensions and benefits.Banks should stop providing all reports (by agreement with the relevant department of the Central Bank), except for reports on issues of banking system stability and implementation of urgent tasks.The order also provides for the transfer of all bank clients to remote service.Asaka bank, Turonbank, Trustbank, Alokabank, Khamkorbank and others informed about changes in their work. In particular, they also announced the suspension of international money transfers located outside their respective bank buildings.The currency exchange offices will continue to operate in the buildings of the banks themselves. Also, citizens can use mobile applications of banks or ATMs. Turkmenistan takes measures to prevent coronavirus from entering country http://www.today.az/news/regions/192538.html World news Wed, 01 Apr 2020 15:40:00 +0400 By TrendThere are no registered cases of COVID-19 in Turkmenistan,Trend reports with reference to "Turkmenportal" Information Portal.All preventive measures, as well as measures to improve the skills of specialists and strengthen sanitary and epidemiological surveillance were considered during the meetings of the Emergency anti-epidemic Commission.The control is carried out over persons coming from the countries infected with COVID-19. In border areas, control has been strengthened in sanitary and quarantine points. The temperature is measured for everyone who passes through the entry points. If anyone is revealed to have fever, they are isolated and undergo testing.Turkmenistan has specialized medical institutions that treat people who are quarantined.Turkmenistan has enough of medical supplies and necessary protective equipment. Seminars for medical personnel are regularly held.Also, explanatory work is being carried out. All the rules of personal hygiene are explained in medical institutions, enterprises, organizations, educational institutions, schools and pre-school institutions.The outbreak in the Chinese city of Wuhan - which is an international transport hub - began at a fish market in late December 2019. The number of people killed by the disease has surpassed 42,000. Over 859,000 people have been confirmed as infected. Meanwhile, over 178,000 people have reportedly recovered.Some sources claim the coronavirus outbreak started as early as November 2019.The World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 a pandemic on March 11. OSCE Minsk Group: "Nagorno-Karabakh not recognized as independent state by any country" http://www.today.az/news/politics/192544.html Politics Wed, 01 Apr 2020 15:33:00 +0400 By AzernewsBy Akbar MammadovThe Co-Chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group have made a press statement on the so-called “elections” in the occupied Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan on March 31.“The OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs (Igor Popov of the Russian Federation, Stéphane Visconti of France, and Andrew Schofer of the United States of America) have taken note of the so-called “general elections” in Nagorno-Karabakh, the first round of which took place on 31 March”, the press statement said.“In the context of a comprehensive settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, the Co-Chairs recognize the role of the population of Nagorno-Karabakh in deciding its future in accordance with the principles and elements reiterated in the Co-Chairs’ statement of 9 March 2019.  The Co-Chairs note, however, that Nagorno-Karabakh is not recognized as an independent and sovereign state by any of the Co-Chair countries or any other country,” the Co-Chairs stressed.“Accordingly, the Co-Chairs do not accept the results of these “elections” as affecting the legal status of Nagorno-Karabakh and stress that the results in no way prejudge the final status of Nagorno-Karabakh or the outcome of the ongoing negotiations to bring a lasting and peaceful settlement to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict,” the statement said.Azerbaijan and Armenia are locked in a conflict over Azerbaijan’s Nagorno-Karabakh breakaway region, which along with seven adjacent regions was occupied by Armenian forces in a war in the early 1990s. More than 20,000 Azerbaijanis were killed and around one million were displaced as a result of the large-scale hostilities.The OSCE Minsk Group co-chaired by the United States, Russia and France has been mediating the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict since the signing of the volatile cease-fire agreement in 1994. The Minsk Group’s efforts have resulted in no progress and to this date, Armenia has failed to abide by the UN Security Council resolutions (822, 853, 874 and 884) that demand the withdrawal of Armenian military forces from the occupied territories of Azerbaijan. Coronavirus-infected Azerbaijani in France describes ongoing treatment http://www.today.az/news/society/192537.html Society Wed, 01 Apr 2020 15:27:00 +0400 By TrendIt’s already the sixth day that I have been receiving treatment, which should last ten days, Mirvari Fataliyeva, Secretary General of the Association of Friends of Azerbaijan in France, Head of Paris-Azerbaijan House, who tested coronavirus-positive in France, told Trend on April 1.“Symptoms of the disease have already begun to fade. Now I am concerned about shortness of breath, weakness and fatigue. I hope that this will gradually pass. Psychologically, I am very strong, and I believe that I will overcome this disease,” Fataliyeva said.“I did not panic, and I believe in my inner strength. The attention and care that relatives and friends show support to me,” she added.French health authorities reported a record 499 new deaths from coronavirus on March 31, taking the total to 3,523, an increase of 17 percent in the past 24 hours.It was the third consecutive day that the rate of deaths accelerated in France, which is now in its third week of lockdown to try to slow the spread of the virus.The daily government tally only accounts for those dying in hospital but authorities say they will very soon be able to compile data on deaths in retirement homes, which is likely to result in a big increase in registered fatalities.Some sources claim the coronavirus outbreak started as early as November 2019.The World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 a pandemic on March 11. Mehriban Aliyeva: Each of us must fully understand importance of measures being taken by state ... http://www.today.az/news/politics/192547.html Politics Wed, 01 Apr 2020 15:10:00 +0400 First Vice-President of Azerbaijan Mehriban Aliyeva has made an Instagram post on the measures the state is taking to prevent the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).The post on her official Instagram page says:“Dear fellow countrymen!Trouble has come to our motherland, to our common home. Unfortunately, the epidemic of the insidious disease has not bypassed our country.It seems that there is not a single country left on the planet that this pandemic would spare. Entire states have been compelled to isolate themselves from the outside world. The number of people infected with the virus is rapidly approaching a million, the number of lost lives is already in tens of thousands! Every day, the pandemic changes the usual way of life and fills our daily routine with anxiety and apprehension right before our eyes. Many are tormented by the same questions: “Is it really so serious?”, “What is in store for us, what will happen to us?” And the most important question, “When will this epidemic end?” What should each of us do for this “terrible story” to end as soon as possible?I will be frank: the answers to these questions are difficult, but they are there. First of all, we should all unconditionally acknowledge that the situation is very serious, requires maximum cohesion and consolidation from all of us, from all generations of our citizens. COVID-19 does pose a real threat to the life and health of each of us. Together with you, I pray for the Almighty to protect our native land from misfortune, to divert misfortune from our homes and families! I live with the faith and hope that human genius will definitely stop the pandemic and return to all of us the happiness of a usual life!The current emergency requires nationwide mobilization. All possible material resources of our state have been mobilized for the fight against the epidemic and its consequences. The best minds of the country, the entire medical science and the whole state mechanism works to save people’s lives. Unprecedented and colossal measures are being taken to defeat the epidemic. Enterprises are quickly switching to production of much-needed medical equipment. Every day, our hospitals are building up their capacity and concentrating their resources to create new wards that would be capable of accommodating all those in need. Life-support services of cities and settlements work on a round-the-clock basis. Law enforcement bodies and rescue services responsible for public order and always ready to help perform their duty in a reliable manner. The country’s servicemen guarding its borders maintain the highest morale. As for our medical workers, doctors, nurses and sanitary workers, they, without any exaggeration, commit a professional and civil feat on a daily basis. All work in the Republic is carried out under close attention, confident leadership and round-the-clock supervision of the President of Azerbaijan!I believe that the titanic efforts being undertaken by governments and scientists, the billions of dollars, euros and manats that have been invested in the fight against coronavirus will certainly and inevitably lead to the desired result, to our common victory over the epidemic. However, we all must deeply realize that all the efforts and resources may not produce the expected results if these measures and these activities are not underpinned by all of us, literally by each of us, our civic and fundamental human responsibility and our readiness to strictly and unconditionally carry out clear instructions.Dear fellow countrymen, my dear ones!I am appealing to you as a daughter, as a wife, as a mother and as a grandmother! I am appealing to you with the hope that you will hear and understand my words coming right from the heart and addressed to each one of you! I ask you to take this as an absolute necessity and duty of each of us – IN THE NEXT 20 DAYS, WE NEED TO BE AT HOME WITH OUR FAMILIES. I ASK YOU NOT TO LEAVE YOUR HOMES UNLESS YOU ABSOLUTELY HAVE TO!These days, not all of our citizens can afford to comply with the quarantine regime. Thousands of our compatriots are at their posts and working to the limit of their capabilities so that most of our fellow citizens can protect themselves, stay at home and observe the quarantine regime. And our best gratitude to those who are at the forefront of the fight against the coronovirus epidemic today is compliance with the self-isolation regime. The more rigorously and effectively we will abide by it, the sooner our brothers and sisters fighting the epidemic will be able to return to ordinary life and to their families.I understand how difficult it is to give up the usual way of life, to sit at home without being able to see relatives and friends and sometimes not even be able to hug children and grandchildren. But if we are responsible citizens, if we really love our parents (and I’m sure of that!), if we really value our children and grandchildren, we are obliged – yes we are! – to do this for them! For ourselves! For our homeland!The tragic experience of several countries has taught mankind lessons on how to formulate the basic principle of survival in the coronavirus pandemic. This principle is dramatically simple and unambiguous: either people strictly follow the rules and regulations of the special quarantine regime and survive together or they ignore the rules and suffer huge human losses. Just think about that –the negligence of just one person can lead to the deaths of dozens of innocent people. I have already written that since COVID-19 is a new virus that is not known to science, the WHO recommendations are situational in nature and are updated as information from around the world is analyzed.In particular, the latest WHO statements unequivocally say that this infection affects people of all ages and poses a real threat to people of young age too. There are already cases of children dying of the coronavirus infection.This is exactly why each of us must fully understand the importance of the measures being taken by the state and show maximum civic responsibility. Exactly by carefully supporting each other, showing tolerance and understanding we will be able to pass this terrible test that fate has put us on and save each other for a full life after the victory over the coronavirus, which will definitely come! I believe in this victory! TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF! I LOVE YOU! I BELIEVE IN YOU!With prayers for everyone,Your MEHRIBAN.” 61 new coronavirus cases confirmed in Azerbaijan http://www.today.az/news/society/192543.html Society Wed, 01 Apr 2020 14:56:00 +0400 By TrendAzerbaijan has confirmed 61 new coronavirus cases, Trend reports referring to the Operational Headquarters under the Azerbaijani Cabinet of Ministers on April 1.The infected individuals have been placed in special hospitals.Some 359 people have been infected with coronavirus in Azerbaijan. Twenty-six of them have recovered, five died.Currently, 328 people are undergoing medical treatment in the hospitals.The health condition of seven of the patients is severe, the health condition of 17 people - moderate severe, others’ health condition is stable.The appropriate measures are being taken in connection with the medical check-up of 4,518 people placed in various quarantine zones.Over the past period, about 35,000 tests were carried out in connection with new cases of the infection. Germany reports 5,453 additional coronavirus cases http://www.today.az/news/regions/192523.html World news Wed, 01 Apr 2020 14:32:00 +0400 By TrendThe number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany has risen to 67,366 and 732 people have died of the disease, statistics from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed on Wednesday, Trend reports citing Reuters.Cases rose by 5,453 compared with the previous day while the death toll climbed by 149. National Library offers online reading options http://www.today.az/news/entertainment/192533.html Arts & Entertainment Wed, 01 Apr 2020 14:11:00 +0400 By AzernewsBy Laman IsmayilovaAzerbaijan National Library is temporarily closed to prevent the spread of COV?D-19.Despite the temporary building closure, the library will continue to provide the maximum level of services and informational resources through online.The following online services are active for readers: bibliographic survey; ordering documents and electronic delivery; virtual exhibition; methodical service (for libraries). In a virtual library, readers  have access to thousands of electronic resources.The Mirza Fatali Akhundov National Library is a central state library of Azerbaijan. The library`s fa?ades feature the statues of eminent poets and writers like Nizami Ganjavi, Mahsati Ganjavi, Uzeyir Hajibeyov, Shota Rustaveli, Alexander Pushkin and several others.Founded in 1922, the library houses books, printed materials, newspapers, maps, dissertations and various records.The hall has been provided with alphabetical catalogs of the books in different languages. The rare books, as well as the books about Azerbaijan covering the period until 1920 are stored in the rare book and library museum. Young violinist stuns music lovers http://www.today.az/news/entertainment/192532.html Arts & Entertainment Wed, 01 Apr 2020 13:41:00 +0400 By Laman IsmayilovaAzerbaijan's talented violinist Elvin Hoxha Ganiyev has successfully performed a home-concert as part of #senetinledestekle (support art), #evdeqal (stay at home) campaigns, calling for self-isolation due to coronavirus pandemic.The concert featured works of such great composers as Johann Sebastian Bach, Niccolo Paganini and Jules Massenet. The performance of young musician aroused great interest among viewers. Elvin Hoxha Ganiyev has successfully participated in many competitions and festivals. His name is included in the Golden Book of Azerbaijan's young talents.The musician was born in Ankara in a musical family. Elvin started playing violin, when he was 5 years old, and when he was 6 years he was sufficiently proficient to join the Music Preparatory Primary School at the Bilkent University. At the age of eight, he gave his first orchestral concert with his grandfather, famous conductor and violin player, Server Ganiyev.In 2005, Elvin became a member of Cihat Ask?n and Young Friends (CAKA) and in 2006 he was awarded 1st prize in the International Classical Culture Heritage competition in Moscow.The musician has performed with renowned conductors, such as Zubin Mehta, Yuri Bashmet, Vladimir Fedoseyev, Gennady Rozhdestvensky, Zakhar Bron, Sasha Goetzel, Gürer Aykal, Rauf Abdullayev, Server Ganiyev, Rengim Gokmen, Naci Ozguuc, Valery Vorona, Klaus Weise, Placido Domingo ,Erol Erdinc, Jules van Hessen, Ender Sakp?nar, Nikolay Lalov, and David Bernard. He has worked with masters, such as Zakhar Bron,Vadim Repin, Maxim Vengerov, Ivri Gitlis, Cihat A?k?n, Faz?l Say, Viktor Pikayzen, Yusif  Eyvazov, and Güher-Süher Pekinel.The talented violinist is the winner of different international festivals, including the 11th International Young Violinist Competition after Wieniawski and Lipinski (Poland), International Tchaikovsky Competition for Young Musicians (Switzerland), "Classical Heritage" International Competition (Russia), etc.He has received many honours and awards,  including a medal from the Pope.In 2018, Elvin Hoxha Ganiyev was presented with the certificate and badge of the honorary title of the Honoured Artist of Azerbaijan.The musician was awarded with the title of Honoured Artist  for his merits in the development of Azerbaijani culture.  PM: So-called "elections" in Nagorno-Karabakh are not recognized and will not be ... http://www.today.az/news/politics/192539.html Politics Wed, 01 Apr 2020 13:26:00 +0400 By TrendWhile the world is fighting against coronavirus pandemic, the separatist regime of Nagorno-Karabakh held the so-called "parliamentary and presidential elections", Ali Ahmadov, Deputy Prime Minister and Deputy Chairman – Executive Secretary of the New Azerbaijan Party (NAP) said, Trend reports.“They suffered a political collapse once again. One of the reasons is that all the so-called 'elections' organized by the unrecognized separatist regime have not been recognized by any state and are not being recognized. We have witnessed this for many years,” Ahmadov said.“Another reason for holding the so-called “elections” on March 31 by the separatist regime is related to worldwide concern over the spread of coronavirus infection. Earlier, some states declared non-recognition of the so-called "elections" in Nagorno-Karabakh. Now, these states could not pay due attention to this process because of the epidemiological situation,” the deputy prime minister noted.“The so-called "elections" were held by an unknown regime that no one had seen and does not want to see. No one heard or even wanted to hear about it. It is unlikely that this failure would affect "the pride" of the separatists, because the Armenian nationalists and separatists have always looked for an opportunity to carry out their dirty deeds. In this, they have no equal. In carrying out their activities, they could not and did not miss the fact that the whole world was distracted to fight against coronavirus. But, as always, their vile behavior will backfire on them," Ahmadov concluded.. Good news for Eurovision fans! http://www.today.az/news/entertainment/192530.html Arts & Entertainment Wed, 01 Apr 2020 13:17:00 +0400 By AzernewsBy Laman IsmayilovaStill sad that Eurovision 2020 is cancelled? Then leave all your worries behind!Music lovers have a chance to enjoy a spectacular show on May 16, the contest’s official website reported."Sadly there will be no Eurovision Song Contest this year. Instead, we intend to unite Europe on 16 May with a unique prime-time TV programme. We are encouraging all broadcasters who were due to take part in this year’s Eurovision Song Contest, and EBU Members in other countries, to air this show in the spirit of unity and togetherness," said Jon Ola Sand, Executive Executive Supervisor of the contest.Eurovision: Europe Shine A Light will feature 41 songs from the countries that announced their intention to compete in 2020 as well as participants from previous years.The show is expected to run for two hours. The full list of singers and broadcasters will be revealed in the coming weeks. It is already announced that Eurovision’s YouTube channel will live stream the show.Notably, Eurovision Song Contest 2020 has been cancelled over coronavirus for the first time in 64 years in the contest's history. The event was due to take place in Rotterdam on May 12-16."Over the past few weeks, we have explored many alternative options to allow the Eurovision Song Contest to go ahead. However, the uncertainty created by the spread of COVID-19 throughout Europe – and the restrictions put in place by the governments of the participating broadcasters and the Dutch authorities - means the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) has taken the difficult decision to not continue with the live event as planned. The health of artists, staff, fans and visitors, as well as the situation in the Netherlands, Europe and the world, is at the heart of this decision," the message said.Samirara Efendi, who supposed to represent Azerbaijan at Eurovision 2020,  shared her thoughts about the situation."In view of the current situation with COVID-19 Eurovision 2020 had to be rescheduled to the next year. I will keep you posted on updates as they come in. Thank you for your support and stay tuned!," she said.Azerbaijan officially confirmed its participation in Eurovision 2020 on September 16, 2019.Samirara Efendi had to represent Azerbaijan in the Eurovision Song Contest 2020 with the song "Cleopatra", written by Luuk van Beers, Alan Roy Scott and Sarah Lake.The singer was selected based on the votes of an international group of musical experts.The 28-year-old Samira has taken part in the popular musical projects, such as "The New Star", "The Big Stage" and "The Voice of Azerbaijan".  In 2017, she performed at the Silk Way Star, an international singing competition aired in Kazakhstan (3rd place). Last year, the singer successfully represented Azerbaijan at the Voice of Nur-Sultan. Azerbaijan debuted at Eurovision Song Contest in 2008 after the Azerbaijani television channel ITV joined the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) and received the official right to broadcast the competition. Azerbaijan marked its debut in 2008 with the duo of Elnur and Samir, who managed to become eighth in the final with their song "Day after day".The brilliant duet of Aysel and Arash, which represented Azerbaijan next year, took the third place at the song contest, while Safura Alizada, who represented the country at Eurovision 2010 in Oslo, became fifth.On its fourth attempt with Ell and Nikki's "Running Scared" song, the Land of Fire won the event, bringing the contest to Baku’s Crystal Hall in 2012. Ell and Nikki were the first mixed-gender duo to win the contest since 1963 and the first winners from Azerbaijan.It is noteworthy that Azerbaijan reached the Top 5 in five consecutive contests - 3rd in 2009, 5th in 2010, 1st in 2011, 4th in 2012, and 2nd in 2013.In 2018, Aysel Mammadova brilliantly performed at Eurovision 2018 semi-final, but she couldn't make it to the final. The singer represented Azerbaijan with the song "X My Heart".Azerbaijan's Chingiz Mustafayev impressed all Eurovision fans with his stunning performance last year.  The singer finished in the eighth place at the song contest. Investments in Azerbaijan’s oil and gas sector increase by 27.6 percent http://www.today.az/news/business/192529.html Business Wed, 01 Apr 2020 12:50:00 +0400 By AzernewsBy Ofeliya AfandiyevaThe volume of investment made in Azerbaijan’s oil and gas sector increased by 2.7 percent to reach $552,4 million year-on-year in the period of January-February, local media reported citing the Azerbaijani State Statistics Committee.Based on the provided data, the oil and gas sector produced goods worth $2,9bn in the reporting period. Thus, the production in this sector of the industry fell by 1.3 percent compared to the same period in 2019.Some 68.4 percent of industrial output was produced in the mining sector.It should be noted that in February, the producer price index for industrial products was 91.3 percent compared to January, including 89 percent for the mining industry.According to the data, as of February 134,700 people worked in the oil and gas sector of the economy.The nominal wage in the oil and gas sector amounted to $2,008 in January.Note that the producer price index, or PPI, is a group of indexes that calculates and represents the average movement in selling prices from domestic production over time.  Azerbaijani Parliament ratifies “The Intergovernmental Agreement on Dry Ports” http://www.today.az/news/business/192531.html Business Wed, 01 Apr 2020 12:39:00 +0400 By AzernewsBy Ofeliya AfandiyevaAzerbaijani Parliament ratified the United Nations treaty - The Intergovernmental Agreement on Dry Ports at the plenary session on March 30, local media reported.The draft law “On joining the Intergovernmental Agreement for Dry Ports” was discussed at sessions of parliamentary committees and recommended for discussion at the parliament’s plenary session.Following the discussions at the plenary session, the proposal was put to a voting and adopted.At the same time, according to the note in the document, its provisions will not be applied by Azerbaijan in relation to Armenia.“Azerbaijan cannot ensure the implementation of the provisions of the agreement in the Armenian-occupied territories of the country,” the statement said.The document provides for the creation of a system of “dry ports”. We are talking about a logistics complex that provides services for the maintenance, temporary storage of container and other types of goods of import and export destination with the possibility of organizing customs inspection and clearance of goods directly on the spot. Typically, the “dry port” is located on one of the access routes to the port and performs auxiliary functions.It can also be used as a full-fledged marine cargo transshipment center. In this case, customs inspection is carried out directly in the “dry port”, and all necessary documents are registered immediately to the destination without the need to re-register the goods already in the seaport.The agreement was signed at a meeting of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific in Bangkok, Thailand on November 7, 2013.The agreement aims to promote “international recognition of dry ports, facilitating investment in dry port infrastructure, improving operational efficiency and enhancing the environmental sustainability of transport.”It has been ratified or acceded to by such states like Afghanistan, Bangladesh, China, India, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Russia, South Korea, Tajikistan, Thailand, Turkmenistan and Vietnam. The document entered into force on 23 April 2016.It envisages development of dry ports within the national programs, laws and regulations. It reflects such issues as the signing, ratification, approval, accession and entry into force of the document.The agreement also reflects clauses providing for the establishment of working groups on dry ports, amendments within the agreement implementation, the procedure for changing and amending the document’s main content, withdrawal from the agreement and other issues.Annex I of the Agreement identifies the dry ports subject to the agreement. The following dry ports of Azerbaijan are included in Annex I:Baku Cargo Terminal of Heydar Aliyev International Airport, Baku Heydar Aliyev International Airport, BakuBalakan Cargo Terminal, Azerbaijan–Georgia borderBilasuvar Cargo Terminal, Azerbaijan–Iran borderGabala International Airport, Gabala Ganja International Airport, Ganja Julfa Cargo Terminal, Azerbaijan–IranLankaran International Airport, LankaranNakhchivan International Airport, Autonomus Republic of Nakhchivan Silk Way Cargo Terminal, BakuZagatala International Airport, Zagatala Over 750,000 COVID-19 cases, more than 36,000 deaths confirmed worldwide http://www.today.az/news/regions/192527.html World news Wed, 01 Apr 2020 12:05:00 +0400 By TrendA total of 750,890 confirmed cases of novel coronavirus and 36,405 coronavirus-related death were registered worldwide as of 10am Geneva time (noon Moscow time) on March 30, the World Health Organization (WHO) said in its daily bulletin on Tuesday, Trend reports citing Reuters.The number of confirmed cases grew by more than 57,000 in the past 24 hours and the number of fatalities increased by 3,301.Europe accounts for the majority of confirmed cases and fatalities — 423,946 and 26,694 respectively. In the past 24 hours, the number of cases grew by 31,131 and the number of deaths — by 2,954.The number confirmed COVID-2019 cases in South and North America reached 163,014 and the number of deaths stands at 2,457.The Asia Pacific region, which includes China, South Korea and Japan, has 104,868 cases and 3,671 fatalities as of March 30.The biggest number of coronavirus cases were reported from the United States (140,640), Italy (101,739), Spain (85,195), China (82,545), and Germany (61,913).A pneumonia outbreak caused by the COVID-19 virus (previously known as 2019-nCoV) was reported in China’s city of Wuhan, a large trade and industrial center with a population of 12 million, in late December 2019. Since then, cases of the new coronavirus have been reported from 160 countries, including Russia. On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic. Chanel turns its workshops to making face masks against coronavirus http://www.today.az/news/regions/192526.html World news Wed, 01 Apr 2020 11:44:00 +0400 By TrendLuxury fashion group Chanel said on Sunday it would launch production of face masks to help bolster supplies in France as the coronavirus sweeps across the country, Trend reports citing Reuters.Prototypes were being worked on and would roll off production lines once they received the approval of French authorities.“Today we are mobilizing our workforce and our partners ... to produce protective masks and blouses,” Chanel said in a statement.On Saturday, Health Minister Olivier Veran said the government had ordered more than a billion face masks, mostly from China, to be supplied in the weeks and months ahead.France was using 40 million face masks per week, he said. Doctors, nursing home carers and police have complained of shortages.Chanel also said it would not be putting any of its 8,500 employees in France into temporary unemployment as it weathers the sharp downtown in economic activity. Over 5,00 cases of novel coronavirus confirmed in Israel http://www.today.az/news/regions/192525.html World news Wed, 01 Apr 2020 11:26:00 +0400 By TrendThe number of confirmed cases of novel coronavirus in Israel has reached 5,385 by Tuesday evening, and the death toll has climbed to 20, the country's Ministry of Health said on Tuesday, Trend reports citing TASS.The ministry said that 94 people remain in a serious condition, and 224 people recovered.The first case of novel coronavirus was confirmed in Israel on February 27. On March 20, the first death from novel coronavirus was reported in the country.In late December 2019, Chinese authorities notified the World Health Organization (WHO) about the outbreak of a previously unknown pneumonia in the city of Wuhan, in central China. Since then, cases of the novel coronavirus — named COVID-19 by the WHO — have been reported in more than 160 countries, including Russia. Over 8,500 coronavirus cases confirmed in Canada http://www.today.az/news/regions/192524.html World news Wed, 01 Apr 2020 11:12:00 +0400 By TrendThe number of confirmed cases of novel coronavirus in Canada has increased by 1,111 in the past day and reached 8,548, the country's health ministry said on Tuesday, Trend reports citing TASS.Most new cases were registered in Quebec, where the total number of novel coronavirus cases reached 4,162. A considerable number of coronavirus cases was also reported in Ontario (1,966), as well as in British Columbia (970). The health ministry said that 353 people were hospitalized.The first case of novel coronavirus was confirmed in Canada on January 15. As of now, 96 people died, and 1,242 people recovered. Novel coronavirus cases were confirmed in 12 out of 14 Canadian provinces.In late December 2019, Chinese authorities notified the World Health Organization (WHO) about the outbreak of a previously unknown pneumonia in the city of Wuhan, in central China. Since then, cases of the novel coronavirus — named COVID-19 by the WHO — have been reported in more than 160 countries. Armenia violates ceasefire with Azerbaijan 24 times http://www.today.az/news/politics/192534.html Politics Wed, 01 Apr 2020 10:54:00 +0400 By TrendOver the past 24 hours, Armenian armed forces have violated the ceasefire along the line of contact between Azerbaijani and Armenian troops 24 times, Trend reports referring to Azerbaijani Defense Ministry on April 1.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, Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding regions.The 1994 ceasefire agreement was followed by peace negotiations. Armenia has not yet implemented four UN Security Council resolutions on withdrawal of its armed forces from Nagorno Karabakh and the surrounding regions. Turkey set to release some 45,000 inmates in coronavirus response http://www.today.az/news/regions/192522.html World news Wed, 01 Apr 2020 10:30:00 +0400 By TrendTurkish President Tayyip Erdogan’s ruling party said on Tuesday it proposed a bill that would temporarily release roughly 45,000 prisoners in response to the risk that the coronavirus could spread in jails, Trend reports citing Reuters.A separate reform included in the legislation, which the AK Party (AKP) and its allies sent to parliament, would release another roughly 45,000 inmates permanently.There are about 300,000 prisoners in Turkey’s crowded jails. The government has been working on reforms to ease pressure on the system, while human rights groups have said infections could easily grow there.The move comes after the number of confirmed virus cases in Turkey rose to 10,827 on Monday, less than three weeks since it registered its first case. The national death toll is 168.Inmates who have completed half of their sentences will be eligible for release under the plan, senior AKP deputy Cahit Ozkan told reporters. It would exclude those convicted of terror or drugs related crimes, offences of a sexual nature and murder and violence against women. Azerbaijani MP discloses number of entrepreneurs to be provided with state support http://www.today.az/news/business/192521.html Business Wed, 01 Apr 2020 10:21:00 +0400 By TrendThe working group, created to minimize the impact of coronavirus on Azerbaijani economy and the activity of entrepreneurs, is developing nine programs, Azerbaijani MP Vugar Bayramov told Trend.“These programs are aimed at reducing the impact of coronavirus on the activity of entrepreneurs, as well as citizens working in enterprises,” the MP said."The working group assessed the impact of coronavirus on the economy,” the MP said. “In accordance with the estimates, four main sectors and 20 spheres of activity suffered damage as a result of coronavirus.”“A specific program is proposed to be carried out to reduce the spread of coronavirus,” Bayramov added. “The amount of funds which are allocated to entrepreneurs, as well as hired employees increased from one billion manat ($588.2 million) to 2.5 billion manat ($1.5 billion). The allocated funds account for three percent of GDP. This is considered the highest rate among the CIS countries. "The MP stressed that the policy being pursued by the Azerbaijani government envisages decreasing the damage caused to entrepreneurs and citizens."In this regard, a sectoral approach was taken,” Bayramov said. “It envisages full compensation for damage caused to certain spheres of activity and 70 percent-compensation for the spheres less affected as a result of the pandemic. At the same time, micro-entrepreneurs will be provided with compensation and direct assistance will be rendered to them.”Some 915,000 out of 1,555 million hired employees work in the state and oil sectors in Azerbaijan,” the MP said. “Despite they go on extra-long leave, salaries are paid out. A direct support mechanism will also be implemented for 640,000 hired employees working in the private and non-oil sectors. Some 290,000 citizens working as micro-entrepreneurs will also receive state support.”“One of the programs will cover compensation and credit obligations,” Bayramov said. “One billion manat ($588.2 million) is planned to be allocated in this sphere. The interest will be also subsidized.”“Taking into account that the subsidy mechanism to be introduced by the Azerbaijani Mortgage and Credit Guarantee Fund and that will be supported by the Entrepreneurship Development Fund, this will strengthen the state support for consumer lending after the proposal has been developed by the business and financial groups,” the MP said.“In general, the goal of the current policy is to continue to take the measures to strengthen the social security of employees working in the private sector and minimize the impact of coronavirus on their social status,” Bayramov said. “At the same time, a mechanism for supporting unemployed citizens is planned to be strengthened. The Azerbaijani government will directly render support to citizens in such an economically difficult period for the world and our country." CAERC talks Azerbaijan's major anti-crisis program http://www.today.az/news/business/192520.html Business Wed, 01 Apr 2020 10:00:00 +0400 By TrendAzerbaijan’s anti-crisis program is ambitious enough and large-scale compared to other countries, Trend reports referring to Azerbaijan’s Center for Analysis of Economic Reforms and Communication (CAERC) Executive Director Vusal Gasimli.“Azerbaijan’s anti-crisis program is 2.5 billion manat, which is 3.1 percent of gross domestic product (GDP). For comparison, the Georgian government received a package of assistance in the amount of 1 billion Georgian lari, or 2 percent of the country's GDP. Russia received a package of assistance in the amount of 300 billion rubles, which is 0.3 percent of its GDP. Kyrgyzstan received an anti-crisis package in the amount of 760 million soms, or 1 percent of its GDP, Uzbekistan - $9.5 trillion, or 1.5 percent of its GDP. It is seen that the support program of Azerbaijan is quite ambitious and more wide-scale compared to other countries," he noted.According to Gasimli, the governmental support program for mitigating impact of global upheavals to Azerbaijan will cover 4 sectors and 20 areas of activity. Working group headed by the minister of economy assessed the affected sectors by 3 categories: the most affected, significantly affected and low-affected ones. This approach is important in terms of fairness, as well as efficient use of resources. In this context, nine program projects are being developed.“First of all, it should be noted that the program, covers 304,000 hired employees and 44,000 business entities. Given that out of 1.6 million hired employees, 915,000 ones regularly receive wages because they work in the public and oil sectors, accordingly, the state will support 304,000 of the remaining 640,000 hired employees. Here, the salary fund of a business entity will be supported by the state subject to the degree of affect caused by its field of activity. Of course, the main criterion in this case is the average wage at the level of 712 manat," the executive director said."At the same time, 290,000 micro-entrepreneurs will receive the governmental support. In this case, the amount of taxes paid by them in 2019 will be taken into account. Also, state programs for tax privileges and support for tax holidays and mortgage credits have been developed. Currently, the state is planning a support package to overcome difficulties that citizens may face when paying credits under the influence of global upheavals. At the same time, difficulties with repaying credits are forecasted not only among households, but also among some entrepreneurs," Gasimli said.“At present, 7 billion manat has been allocated to households, and 6.1 billion manat to the private sector. In particular, credits worth 2.4 billion manat issued to the trade and service sector and 1.2 billion manat to the transport and communications sector. Thus, the state will allocate 1 billion manat to support the existing credit portfolio, and in this case, such criteria as vulnerability of the sector and credit discipline will be taken as a basis,” Gasimli noted.Azerbaijan’s Entrepreneurship Development Fund will provide 10 percent support to the credit, which covers a significant part of the credit interest, while in Azerbaijan the average credit makes up 14 percent - 8.8 percent for legal entities and 16.6 percent for individuals. At the same time, the new credit support program will cover a maximum of 15 percent per annum. Thus, half of this credit interest will be paid by the Enterprise Development Fund.According to Gasimli, within the state support programs, the limit of communal services will be increased, and the major enterprises - AZAL, Baku Transport Agency, Baku Metro, Azerbaijan Railways and others will be involved in the passenger traffic. Support will also be provided to the public authorities. In addition, the state will expand coverage of social programs and provide support to the low-income people. The working group, headed by Azerbaijan’s minister of labor and social protection of population, will also submit its proposals in the coming days."Currently under the leadership of President Ilham Aliyev, the largest economic support program in the history of Azerbaijan’s independence is underway. Such a systemic support program minimizes the impact of the largest pandemic in the last 100 years on the country and better prepares it for the post-crisis period. Through the government programs, both demand and supply will be supported, and thereby macroeconomic stability will be maintained," he said."These days, it’s needed to more strictly observe the special quarantine rules, because we can restore economic losses, but we cannot return health and human life. For the Azerbaijani state, a citizen and his decent standard of living have the paramount importance," Gasimli added, reminding about necessity of complying with quarantine regime introduced in the country. Operational Headquarters: Baku Metro to suspend work http://www.today.az/news/society/192518.html Society Tue, 31 Mar 2020 18:10:00 +0400 By TrendFrom 22:00 (GMT+4) on March 31, the movement of trains in Baku Metro will be suspended till April 20, 2020, Trend reports referring to the Operational Headquarters under the Azerbaijani Cabinet of Ministers.The medical and preventive measures are being taken to prevent the wide spread of coronavirus in Azerbaijan.Despite these measures, the infection is rapidly spreading throughout the country, said the report.Currently, the metro as an enclosed space creates the conditions for the spread of the virus due to the lack of natural ventilation and despite carrying out appropriate disinfection and other preventive measures in the public transport.Non-observance of the distance and the requirements of the quarantine regime by the passengers is also observed.Passengers will be transported by express and ordinary buses in Baku, said the headquarters.Intervals between buses will be regulated depending on the passenger flow.The additional buses also operate along the express lines to avoid any intensive passenger traffic. $60.5m donated to Azerbaijan's Fund to Support Fight against coronavirus http://www.today.az/news/business/192517.html Business Tue, 31 Mar 2020 18:00:00 +0400 By TrendOver 103 million manat ($60.5 million) has been transferred to Azerbaijan’s Fund to Support Fight against Coronavirus to date, Trend reports on March 31.Donations have been made by 1,734 legal entities and 4,149 individuals.Thus, the Ministry of Economy transferred 1.2 million manat ($705,882) to the fund.Ministry’s staff and its structures supported this noble initiative by donating wages and voluntary contributions.The administration and regional branches of the ministry, state agencies under the ministry, the Agency for the Development of Small and Medium Businesses, Sumgayit Chemical Industrial Park LLC, Tamiz Shahar JSC, Entrepreneurship Development Fund, Azerbaijan Export and Investment Promotion Foundation (AZPROMO) and other structures also joined the social campaign.The Fund to Support Fight Against Coronavirus was established by the decree of Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev on March 19.The fund aims to provide financial support to activities carried out in Azerbaijan to prevent the spread of coronavirus infection and to combat it.The protection of public health in Azerbaijan and provision of health care services in accordance with international standards are among the priorities of the socio-economic policy implemented in the country. The expansion of the geography of the coronavirus that has spread in recent months around the world necessitates the strengthening of appropriate preventive measures in order to combat the spread of the disease in the country. GUAM condemns illegal elections in Azerbaijan's occupied lands http://www.today.az/news/politics/192515.html Politics Tue, 31 Mar 2020 17:51:00 +0400 By AzernewsBy Akbar MammadovThe Organization for Democracy and Economic Development (GUAM) has condemned illegal elections held in Azerbaijan’s occupied territories.“Nagorno-Karabakh region is Azerbaijan. GUAM condemns the so-called “elections” held on 31 March 2020 in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan,” the GUAM Secretariat stated in the organization's Twitter page on 31 March.In another tweet on the same day, GUAM commemorated the victims of March 31 Genocide of Azerbaijanis."The GUAM ODED Secretariat condemns any act of genocide and stands in solidarity with Azerbaijan on commemorating the victims of the bloody massacre perpetrated by Armenians against Azerbaijanis in March 1918," the tweet reads.Organization for Democracy and Economic Development – GUAM is a regional organization established by Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine.Azerbaijan and Armenia are locked in a conflict over Azerbaijan’s Nagorno-Karabakh breakaway region, which along with seven adjacent regions was occupied by Armenian forces in a war in the early 1990s. More than 20,000 Azerbaijanis were killed and around one million were displaced as a result of the large-scale hostilities.The OSCE Minsk Group co-chaired by the United States, Russia and France has been mediating the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict since the signing of the volatile cease-fire agreement in 1994. The Minsk Group’s efforts have resulted in no progress and to this date, Armenia has failed to abide by the UN Security Council resolutions (822, 853, 874 and 884) that demand the withdrawal of Armenian military forces from the occupied territories of Azerbaijan. Azerbaijani government fighting against pandemic amid global economic downturn http://www.today.az/news/society/192511.html Society Tue, 31 Mar 2020 17:45:00 +0400 By TrendThe Azerbaijani government is fighting against the consequences of global upheavals and a pandemic in a situation when the world economy is setting new abysmal records, Vusal Gasimli, Executive Director of Azerbaijan’s Center for Analysis of Economic Reforms and Communication (CAERC) said, Trend reports.Gasimli added that the growth of the world economy has significantly slowed; demand and supply are decreasing; unemployment is growing; a pandemic is threatening humanity, stock and commodity markets; in particular, oil prices, have collapsed and continue to fall.According to Wood McKenzie’s estimates, the economic downturn will be 4.7 percent in the world, 9.7 percent in the Eurozone, 2.7 percent in China and 8.4 percent in the US.The expert noted that at best, the global economy will return to previous levels in the third quarter of 2022.“At the beginning of 2020, no one could have predicted the development of a pandemic, but now, in a short time, the world entered the worst crisis of the 21st century. Azerbaijan was faced with a global shock at the time when the trend of accelerating the growth rate of its economy, which began in 2017, was heading to a high point,” CAERC Executive Director noted."President Ilham Aliyev said that we are strong together and urged to mobilize all sectors of the society and all resources to fight the crisis," he stressed.“Azerbaijan’s anti-crisis program is 2.5 billion manat, which is 3.1 percent of gross domestic product (GDP). For comparison, the Georgian government received a package of assistance in the amount of 1 billion Georgian lari, or 2 percent of the country's GDP. Russia received a package of assistance in the amount of about 300 billion rubles, which is 0.3 percent of its GDP. It is seen that the anti-crisis support program of Azerbaijan is quite large compared to other countries," Gasimli concluded. More people test coronavirus-positive in Azerbaijan http://www.today.az/news/society/192509.html Society Tue, 31 Mar 2020 17:36:00 +0400 By TrendAzerbaijan has confirmed 24 more COVID-19 cases, while one patient died from the disease, Trend reports referring to the Operational Headquarters under the Azerbaijani Cabinet of Ministers.The infected individuals have been placed in special hospitals.The emergency measures taken to stabilize the health condition of a 63-year-old-Azerbaijani citizen, whose coronavirus tests were positive, were unsuccessful and the patient died. Members of his family and the people with whom he was in contact are being identified and are being placed on quarantine.Some 298 people have been infected with coronavirus in Azerbaijan. Some 26 of them have recovered, five have died.Currently, 267 people are undergoing medical treatment in the hospitals.The health condition of 11 of them is severe, while the health condition of 15 people - moderate severe.The appropriate measures are being taken in connection with the medical check-up of 4,602 people placed in various quarantine zones. Azerbaijani MP: Situation with coronavirus may aggravate if citizens fail to comply with rules http://www.today.az/news/politics/192510.html Politics Tue, 31 Mar 2020 17:24:00 +0400 By TrendToday, mankind is facing a coronavirus pandemic threat, and the situation develops according to the worse-case scenario, which can aggravate even more if people will go on behaving irresponsibly and won’t follow the rules, Azerbaijan’s MP Ramil Hasan told Trend on March 31.“Even the most developed countries in the world cannot fully protect their citizens and the situation is becoming increasingly difficult. It’s complicated by the fact that countries with advanced medicine have to choose between the virus-infected patients because of lack of places in hospitals, and elderly patients with a high probability of a fatal outcome, left without necessary care. This is an extremely deplorable situation, and the reason is that people begin regarding this virus seriously when it is already late," he said.He stressed that Azerbaijan has mobilized all the resources to prevent situations like these in the country and a great responsibility for the effectiveness of these measures also falls upon society."The Azerbaijani state pays special attention to protecting public health. Today, all relevant authorities are mobilized to combat the coronavirus spread. All work is aimed specifically at protecting the people's health, preventing this dangerous disease. Measures taken can give a positive result only if our people strictly comply with the rules. Our citizens should first of all care about their own and their family members’ health," said Hasan.He noted that as part of the measures taken by the state to prevent the wide spread of coronavirus infection in the country, it is required that people remain inside their homes, and leave them in the case of need for urgent medical care, immediate danger to life and health, etc."Our people must take into account the seriousness of the issue, observe the established rules, protect the health and life of their family members," Hasan said.As part of the government measures to prevent the wide spread of coronavirus infection (COVID-19) in Azerbaijan, people are required to stay in their private houses and apartments, permanent or temporary places of residence. Other kinds of operation, except for the vital work and services, will be suspended from 00:00 on March 31, 2020 through 00:00 on April 20, 2020. Operational Headquarters: Dynamics of growth of coronavirus cases observed in Azerbaijan http://www.today.az/news/politics/192508.html Politics Tue, 31 Mar 2020 17:12:00 +0400 By TrendDynamics of growth of coronavirus infection cases is observed in Azerbaijan, Trend reports on March 31 referring to the Operational Headquarters under the Azerbaijani Cabinet of Ministers.Despite the fact that most countries and the World Health Organization (WHO) are taking measures and making joint efforts, it is still impossible to prevent the spread of coronavirus in the world.According to WHO, to date, 787,469 people have been infected in the world, 37,846 people have died from coronavirus. Aliyev hails fight against shadow economy in Azerbaijan http://www.today.az/news/politics/192507.html Politics Tue, 31 Mar 2020 17:00:00 +0400 By AzernewsBy Ofeliya AfandiyevaPresident Ilham Aliyev has said that eliminating shadow economy is the main part of economic reforms carried out in the country and that considerable success has been achieved in this direction.President Ilham Aliyev made the remarks while receiving the Minister of Economy Mikayil Jabbarov on March 31.“Our planned reforms for general economic development must also be deepened. The pandemic should not hinder us here, we should not waste time. Our main goal - I set this task before the Ministry of Economy - is to reduce the size of the shadow economy. I think that major steps have been taken in this direction,” the head of the state said.The president mentioned that in 2019, tax and customs authorities, by reducing the share of the shadow economy, provided revenues to the state budget in excess of the forecast of $589.4 million.“This year began successfully and in the first two months due to the fight against the shadow economy, additional revenues from the tax and customs authorities amounted to $147.3 million. This process will continue. Once again I want to appeal to representatives of private business. We are carrying out fundamental reforms, which means the end of the shadow economy. However we do everything in order, there are hundreds, maybe thousands of business entities. We gave them time. At the same time, the Ministry of Economy gave them time and raised awareness in this direction. This is not a surprise for business, it is our policy and strategy,” Aliyev said.The head of state stressed that the time has come when business entities should come out of the shadows. “I think that the time provided was enough. It is time for businesses to put an end to this. We were patient, given enough time,” he said.Aliyev said that many entrepreneurs have already come out of the shadow economy and operate in the white market, paying state taxes.“However, there are entrepreneurs who still think they will work in the old way. I want to tell them unequivocally that this will not happen and no one will help them. If someone relies on acquaintances, relatives, or friends in office, he is on the wrong path. He himself will be punished, and his patron will be punished.”. Azerbaijan to use drones for disinfection http://www.today.az/news/society/192519.html Society Tue, 31 Mar 2020 16:50:00 +0400 By TrendAzerbaijan will use drones for disinfection, Trend reports on March 31 referring to the Azerbaijan National Academy of Sciences (ANAS).Agrodron, created by a resident at Science and Technology Park LLC under the High Technologies Park of the Academy for spraying medicines on agricultural lands, has been adapted for the disinfection against coronavirus (COVID-19).The capacities attached to the drone and the spray system allow to disinfect the area with a disinfectant solution from a certain height.The integrator of the system is Azeltech LLC, another resident of the High Technologies Park of ANAS.Drones are widely used for disinfection in China, Italy, France, Spain, Taiwan and other countries where COVID-19 is currently widespread. Baku: Armenian nationalists killed tens of thousands of Azerbaijani civilians in 1918 http://www.today.az/news/politics/192516.html Politics Tue, 31 Mar 2020 16:45:00 +0400 By AzernewsBy Akbar MammadovThe Azerbaijani Foreign Affairs Ministry has said that tens of thousands of Azerbaijani civilians were killed across the country by Armenian Dashnak nationalist group in 1918. The ministry made the remarks on March 31 that marks Day of Genocide of Azerbaijanis.Below is the test of the statement published in the ministry's official website:“March 31 is the Day of Genocide of Azerbaijanis, commemorating the victims of the bloody massacre perpetrated by Armenians against Azerbaijanis in March 1918.In March-April 1918, massacres were committed in the city of Baku and other towns and districts of the Baku Province by the Armenian dashnak - bolshevik armed groups operating under the mandate of the Baku Council (Baku Soviet), and tens of thousands of civilians were killed only for their ethnic and religious affiliation. Stepan Shaumian, an ethnic Armenian appointed as the Commissar Extraordinary for the Caucasus by the head of the Russian Bolsheviks - Vladimir Lenin, admitted that 6,000 armed soldiers ofThe Baku Soviet and 4,000 from the Dashnaksutyun party participated in the massacres against the Azerbaijani people.[1]The genocide carried out against the Azerbaijanis along with Baku covered also Shamakhi, Guba, Iravan, Zangezur, Garabagh, Nakhchivan and Kars regions.  During the first five months of 1918, more than 16,000 people were murdered with utmost cruelty in Guba province alone; a total of 167 villages were destroyed, 35 of which do not exist to this day. The Armenians also slaughtered local Jews and Lezghis living in Guba. Mass graves discovered in Guba region in 2007 constitute a clear evidence of the inhumane acts committed by Armenians.March massacres of 1918 were well prepared and ruthlessly implemented act by radical nationalist Armenians against Azerbaijanis on the grounds of racial discrimination and ethnic cleansing.The Government of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic established in 1918 the Extraordinary Investigation Commission in order to investigate the serious crimes perpetrated by Armenians and has taken a number of measures to preserve the true facts revealed by the Commission in the memory of the people and to inform the world community about these atrocities.  The Extraordinary Investigation Commission which was comprised of the best lawyers of that time representing different nationalities – Russians, Jewish, Polish, Georgians and even Armenians, based on the evidences launched criminal cases against 194 individuals accused of different crimes against the peaceful population; 24 individuals in Baku and about 100 individuals in Shamakhy had been arrested for perpetrated crimes.However, this process had been suspended after the demise of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic, full investigation of the tragic events and its political-legal assessment had been prevented. Only after 80 years – on March 26, 1998 the adequate political assessment was given to these horrific events by the Decree of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan "On the Genocide of Azerbaijanis", signed by National Leader Heydar Aliyev and 31 March was declared the Day of Genocide of Azerbaijanis.The commemoration of the Day of Genocide of Azerbaijanis raises the awareness of the world community to the facts of the massacre and ethnic cleansing of Azerbaijanis in the past and present.Since late 1980s, unleashing the war against Azerbaijan and occupying its territories, Armenia continued the policy reminiscent of March Massacre by carrying out ethnic cleansing of hundreds of thousands of Azerbaijanis in Armenia and in the seized lands of Azerbaijan and committing numerous war crimes, crimes against humanity, and acts of genocide, including Khojaly Genocide of February 1992.While remembering the innocent victims of March tragedy, we strongly condemn the deliberate and continued policy of genocide, crimes against humanity, racial discrimination and ethnic cleansing by Armenia against the people of Azerbaijan and reiterate the importance of ceasing impunity of Armenia to prevent occurrence of such inhumane crimes.” Turkish diplomat: Armenia must leave occupied Azerbaijani territories http://www.today.az/news/politics/192512.html Politics Tue, 31 Mar 2020 16:39:00 +0400 By TrendThe so-called "elections" in Nagorno-Karabakh occupied by Armenia contradict to international law and will never be recognized as legitimate, Huseyin Altinalan, press secretary of the Turkish Embassy in Azerbaijan, told Trend.He noted that Armenia continues the occupation despite the resolution of the UN Security Council of March 14, 2008, on the unconditional withdrawal of Armenians from the occupied Azerbaijani lands and the return of Azerbaijanis in refugee status. Compounding this irresponsibility, Armenia seeks to "legitimize" the fact of occupation through the so-called "elections".“This step is contrary to UN resolutions and OSCE provisions, as well as international law, and at the same time it undermines the efforts of the OSCE Minsk Group to reach a settlement [of the conflict]. Our country ultimately does not recognize these so-called 'elections'. The UN and the OSCE Minsk Group should not only reject these "elections", but also strongly condemn the Armenian government and take measures to prevent such steps,” Altinalan said.Armenia should end its predatory actions and leave the occupied territories, the press secretary added.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, Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding regions.The 1994 ceasefire agreement was followed by peace negotiations. Armenia has not yet implemented four UN Security Council resolutions on withdrawal of its armed forces from Nagorno Karabakh and the surrounding regions. Baby born infected with coronavirus in Iran http://www.today.az/news/regions/192506.html World news Tue, 31 Mar 2020 16:26:00 +0400 By TrendA baby was born infected with the coronavirus in the mother's womb at the Imam Reza hospital of Mashhad city in Razavi Khorasan province in northeastern Iran, Ahmadshah Farhat doctor of Mashhad University of Medical Sciences (MUMS) said, Trend reports citing official website of University.According to Farhat, the mother who gave birth to the baby was suspected of being infected with the coronavirus. After the birth of a 900-gram baby, tests were taken and the result was declared positive.Farhat added that so far, the children of four mothers infected with the coronavirus have been born in Mashhad. No cases of coronavirus infection were registered in three infants.Iran is one of the countries heavily affected by the rapidly-spreading coronavirus. According to recent reports from the Iranian officials, over 41,400 people have been infected, 2,757 people have already died. Meanwhile, over 13,900 have reportedly recovered from the disease.The country continues to apply strict measures to contain the further spread. Reportedly, the disease was brought to Iran by a businessman from Iran's Qom city, who went on a business trip to China, despite official warnings. The man died later from the disease.The Islamic Republic only announced its first infections and deaths from the coronavirus on Feb. 19. Baku: Illegal regime set up by Armenia is product of aggression, ehtnic cleansing http://www.today.az/news/politics/192514.html Politics Tue, 31 Mar 2020 15:50:00 +0400 By AzernewsBy Akbar MammadovThe Azerbaijan Ministry of Foreign Affairs has published a statement on the illegal “elections” held on 31 March 2020 in the occupied Azerbaijani territories by Armenia.Below is the text of the statement.Against the background of continuing military occupation and ethnic cleansing of the territories of Azerbaijan by Armenia, the holding of “elections” in the occupied territories of the Republic of Azerbaijan constitutes a clear violation of the Constitution of the Republic of Azerbaijan and the norms and principles of international law, including the UN Charter, CSCE Helsinki Final Act of 1975 and the related UN Security Council Resolutions and, therefore, shall have no legal effect whatsoever.The illegal regime established by the Republic of Armenia in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan is ultimately nothing other than the product of aggression, ethnic cleansing and racial discrimination; it is under Armenia’s direction and control.The international community has consistently deplored in the strongest terms the use of military force against Azerbaijan and the resulting occupation of its territories. In 1993, the United Nations Security Council adopted resolutions 822 (1993), 853 (1993), 874 (1993) and 884 (1993), condemning the occupation of the territories of Azerbaijan and reaffirming respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Republic of Azerbaijan and the inviolability of its internationally recognized borders. In those resolutions, the Security Council also confirmed that the Nagorno-Karabakh region is an integral part of Azerbaijan, and demanded the immediate, complete and unconditional withdrawal of the Armenian occupying forces from all the occupied territories of Azerbaijan. Other international organizations have adopted a similar position.Accordingly, the international community has unequivocally and consistently rejected the previous “elections” shows orchestrated by the Republic of Armenia in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan, and thus, clearly invalidated whatever pretexts that Armenia cynically uses to justify its overt disrespect to international law, the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Republic of Azerbaijan, as well as the human rights of the expelled population of the occupied territories.Elections in the Nagorno-Karabakh region of the Republic of Azerbaijan may be held only within the Constitutional framework of the Republic of Azerbaijan and full participation of the entire population of the region. Any election will be possible only after the withdrawal of the Armenian occupying forces, return of the expelled Azerbaijani population to their places of origin, and restoration of dialogue and cooperation between the Armenian and Azerbaijani communities of the region.The Ministry reiterates that resolution of the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is possible only on the basis of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Azerbaijan within its internationally recognized borders. The military occupation of the territory of Azerbaijan does not represent a solution and any attempt to impose fait accompli, including through organizing sham “elections” will never produce a political outcome desired by Armenia, nor will it bring any positive perspective for this country. Azerbaijan will never reconcile with the occupation of its internationally recognized territories. Azerbaijan shoots film dedicated to Day of Genocide of Azerbaijanis [VIDEO] http://www.today.az/news/politics/192503.html Politics Tue, 31 Mar 2020 15:42:00 +0400 By TrendThe Center for Documentary and Educational Films of the Azerbaijani Army shot a film about March 31 - the Day of the Genocide of Azerbaijanis.Trend presents the film posted on the website of the Azerbaijani Ministry of Defense to the readers. MP: So-called "elections" in pandemic conditions show indifference of Armenian ... http://www.today.az/news/politics/192504.html Politics Tue, 31 Mar 2020 15:26:00 +0400 By TrendThe so-called "elections" that the Armenian state is holding on the occupied lands of Azerbaijan on March 31, once again show the essence of the country's aggressive policy, Azerbaijan’s MP Elshad Mirbashiroglu told Trend on March 31.He noted that now, due to the threat of coronavirus, public events have been postponed all over the world.“By tightening the security measures as much as possible, states are trying to reduce the negative impact of the disease. Meanwhile, contrary to the reasons for such behavior, by holding the so-called "elections", the Armenian leadership demonstrates complete indifference to the security in the entire region,” said MP.These so-called "elections" are, first of all, an attempt that confirms the fact of aggression, Mirbashiroglu stressed.Before that, there have been numerous shows of illegitimate elections in Nagorno Karabakh, but no state in the world has recognized and will not recognize this puppet regime, because the growing image of Azerbaijan determined the further strengthening of its international position, he added.“The territorial integrity of the country is defended even more, and the aggressive policy of Armenia continues to be exposed on a global scale. On the other hand, the so-called "pre-election" processes have once again shown the world that the regime created in the occupied territories is illegal and operates under the direct control of the Armenian state,” the MP emphasized.Mirbashiroglu added that the Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan overtly tries to bring his man to the leadership of the illegal regime.This is proof that independence of a fictitious structure is out of the question and the Armenian population of the Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan can be considered in the negotiation process only as an interested party, he said.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, Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts.The 1994 ceasefire agreement was followed by peace negotiations. Armenia has not yet implemented four UN Security Council resolutions on withdrawal of its armed forces from Nagorno Karabakh and the surrounding regions. Novel coronavirus death toll tops 3,000 in U.S. http://www.today.az/news/regions/192502.html World news Tue, 31 Mar 2020 15:21:00 +0400 By TrendThe number of people who died of the novel coronavirus on the US territory has topped 3,000, the Johns Hopkins University said, citing information obtained from federal and local authorities, Trend reports citing TASS.According to the updated report, a total of 163,429 people were diagnosed with the novel coronavirus in the United States, 3,008 of them died and 5,764 recovered.The United States has the biggest number of confirmed cases so far, surpassing Italy, Spain and China. US President Donald Trump said on Sunday he expected the infection to reach its peak in two weeks.In late December 2019, Chinese authorities notified the World Health Organization (WHO) about the outbreak of a previously unknown pneumonia in the city of Wuhan, central China. Since then, cases of the novel coronavirus - named COVID-19 by the WHO - have been reported in more than 160 countries, including Russia.The WHO on March 11 declared the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic. As of now, more than 720,000 people have been infected around the world and over 35,000 have died.04:05 (GMT+4) The United States has reported more than 160,000 COVID-19 cases, according to the latest tally from Johns Hopkins University's Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE), Trend reports citing Xinhua.As of 6:15 p.m. Eastern Time on Monday (2215 GMT), there have been 160,020 confirmed cases in the United States, with 2,953 deaths, an interactive map maintained by the CSSE showed.In the country, New York state has been hit the hardest by the disease, which has reported more than 66,000 cases and 1,218 deaths. Azerbaijan's economy minister talks sectors to be supported http://www.today.az/news/business/192501.html Business Tue, 31 Mar 2020 15:01:00 +0400 By TrendAzerbaijan’s Minister of Economy Mikayil Jabbarov said that financial support will be provided to certain areas in connection with the situation related to coronavirus spread.The minister made the remark during his interview to Azerbaijani national television, touching upon preparation of nine economic programs, Trend reports."Naturally, first of all, we have put forward work on identifying the affected areas. It covers four large sectors and 20 areas of activity. The most affected, significantly affected, low-affected and non-affected sectors of the economy have been identified," Jabbarov said.The minister added that the program, which is the first and comprehensive one, covers 304,000 hired employees and 44,000 business entities."The main logical philosophy of the program is to allocate the state financial assistance for providing a significant part of the wages to the employees of these entities. In January, the average monthly salary exceeded 700 manat. According to the program’s philosophy, entrepreneurs in the form of direct financial separation are offered a share equal to 50 percent of the monthly salary fund to employees of these enterprises," he noted.“The recent processes have affected 11 areas of activity by 100 percent including catering, service, tourism and other sectors. The other nine areas of activity are subject to significant negative impact. For them, we apply a coefficient of 70 percent. That is the effect is low, but significant," the minister added. Azerbaijan’s chief infectiologist talks non-compliance with quarantine http://www.today.az/news/society/192513.html Society Tue, 31 Mar 2020 14:50:00 +0400 By TrendNon-compliance with quarantine measures in Azerbaijan may lead to the same situation as in developed countries, Azerbaijan's chief infectiologist Jalal Isayev told Trend on March 31.Isayev in his appeal to the country citizens asked them to take into account severeness of the coronavirus threat and comply with quarantine measures.The chief infectiologist added that the infection cases in the most developed countries of the world - the US, Italy, Spain, UK, are rapidly increasing."It has come to the point that artificial respiration devices in reanimation chambers of European clinics don't work. Elderly people are disconnected from the devices and instead young people are connected to them. Such cases have already been recorded in Europe, and Azerbaijani citizens should take this into account," chief infectiologist said.Isayev stressed that the incidence rate is low thanks to the quarantine measures being carried out in Azerbaijan.“But Azerbaijan is not safe from the spread of this virus,” the chief infectiologist added."If citizens do not comply with the recommendations, quarantine measures, if they think that nothing will happen, Azerbaijan will face the same situation,” Isayev said. “Therefore, everyone must strictly observe the quarantine measures, recommendations and prohibitions. These measures are carried out not only by Azerbaijan, but also by other countries upon the WHO’s recommendation."The outbreak in the Chinese city of Wuhan - which is an international transport hub - began at a fish market in late December 2019. The number of people killed by the disease has surpassed 39,000. Over 803,000 people have been confirmed as infected. Meanwhile, over 182,000 people have reportedly recovered.Some sources claim the coronavirus outbreak started as early as November 2019.The World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 a pandemic on March 11. Trump, Putin discuss closer cooperation in fighting Covid pandemic http://www.today.az/news/regions/192500.html World news Tue, 31 Mar 2020 14:43:00 +0400 By TrendIssues of closer cooperation in fighting the novel coronavirus pandemic were in focus of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s telephone conversation with his US counterpart, Donamld Trump, the Kremlin press service said on Monday, Trend reports citing TASS."The two heads of state expressed serious concern over the rapid global spread of the coronavirus infection and informed each other about measures taken in their countries to handle this threat," the Kremlin said. "They discussed options for closer cooperation between the two countries in this sphere." Italy sees 812 more coronavirus deaths http://www.today.az/news/regions/192499.html World news Tue, 31 Mar 2020 14:26:00 +0400 By TrendThe death toll from an outbreak of coronavirus in Italy has risen by 812 in the last 24 hours, the Civil Protection Agency said on Monday, reversing two days of declines, Trend reports citing Reuters.Italy, the world’s hardest hit country which accounts for more than a third of all global fatalities, saw its total death tally rise to 11,591 since the outbreak emerged in northern regions on Feb. 21.More positively, the number of new cases rose by just 4,050, the lowest amount since March 17, reaching a total of 101,739.However, the decline in new infections may be partly explained by a reduction in the number of tests, which were the fewest for six days.Italians have been under nationwide lockdown for three weeks and officials said the restrictions, which were due to end on Friday, look certain for at least two more weeks.“We have to agree on this with other regions, but I think we are talking about (maintaining the block) until at least mid-April,” Attilio Fontana, head of the worst-affected Lombardy region, told reporters.The governor of the southern region of Puglia said on Saturday the restrictions should stay until May.Underscoring the dangers of the disease, the national doctors’ association announced the deaths of 11 more doctors on Monday, bringing the total to 61.Not all of them had been tested for coronavirus before they died, it said, but it linked their deaths to the epidemic.Lombardy, which is centered on Italy’s financial capital Milan, accounts for almost 60% of the total deaths in Italy and some 40% of cases.Fontana said the unprecedented curbs on movement, gatherings and business activity were preventing an exponential rise in cases, and needed to be kept in place.“We’re on the right track, we’re maintaining a (chart) line that’s not uphill, but it’s not downhill either,” he said.The head of the national health institute, Silvio Brusaferro, who is advising the government on how to handle the crisis, also said that for restrictions to be eased “the number of new cases has to fall significantly.”“For sure the re-opening will happen gradually ... we are even considering the British idea of ‘stop and go’, which envisages opening things for a certain amount of time and then closing them again,” he told La Repubblica daily. Coronavirus cases in Turkey surpass 10,000 http://www.today.az/news/regions/192498.html World news Tue, 31 Mar 2020 14:15:00 +0400 By TrendThe number of people diagnosed with COVID-19 in Turkey has increased to 10,827, while the death toll has reached 168, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca announced, Trend reports citing Daily Sabah.According to statistics released by the Health Ministry, 1,815 of 9,982 patients tested for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, have been confirmed positive.Sharing Turkey’s latest coronavirus outbreak figures over Twitter, Koca said 11,535 tests had been carried out in the preceding 24 hours, while the total number of those who have recovered has come to 162.Meanwhile, 725 patients were in critical condition, the statement said. Economy minister: Government to support payment of interest on business loans in Azerbaijan http://www.today.az/news/business/192496.html Business Tue, 31 Mar 2020 13:50:00 +0400 By TrendWhat makes the current crisis unique is that it is not an economic crisis, which is mentioned in theory and textbooks, said Azerbaijan’s Minister of Economy Mikayil Jabbarov, Trend reports.He made the remark in an interview with Azerbaijani television.The minister pointed out that uncertainty puts the speed and quality of decisions made in such a period in the forefront:“We want to see a healthy, sustainable and competitive economy. We want to see an economy that has the moral right to rely on its state, while maintaining a high social and corporate feeling in its daily activities. Over the next days and weeks, both with colleagues and with representatives of the private sector, we will present the final draft of programs aimed at eliminating the possible consequences of the coronavirus pandemic in the economy. The task that Mr. President has set for us was to present a broader economic support program not limited to 1 billion manat,” he said.Jabbarov highlighted two new proposed programs:“The first of these is a program to support the existing loan portfolio in the amount of 1 billion manat. As we know, a number of our entrepreneurs have bank loans. Together with other colleagues, we will determine the elements of these loans. Our main goal is business loans. Perhaps, within the framework of this program, a certain amount will be allocated to support consumer loans. We determined the main parameters for ourselves. Under this program, the state can reduce the interest rate to 10 percent when paying interest on loans that meet certain criteria. The state will support the payment of these percentages through the Entrepreneurship Development Fund,” said the minister.“Our second program envisages provision of state support for loans and a state guarantee of up to 60 percent of the loan amount, as well as interest payments up to a certain limit. We believe that the annual percentage of such loans should not exceed 15 percent. Half of these 15 percent can be undertaken by the Entrepreneurship Development Fund.”