ADA University and University of Bologna launch joint certificate program in Agriculture and Food Systems Management (PHOTO)

On April 23, 2023, Magnificent Rector of the University of Bologna Giovanni Molari conducted his visit to ADA University with a delegation of executives and twelve faculty members. In the frame of the visit, ADA University and the University of Bologna, launched the Joint Certificate Program in Agricultural and Food Systems Management within Italy-Azerbaijan University project.

The program aims to enhance know-how in the sector promoting an inter-disciplinary approach and covering a wide range of thematic areas as food system management; precise and sustainable farming; water-food nexus; agricultural production/horticultural system; animal production; food science and technology.

The Certificate Programme will be delivered in three modules: one organized in Baku, one online, one in Bologna in July. It engages stakeholder and representatives across the agri-food system of Azerbaijan including researchers, company executives and government representatives.

Rector Hafiz Pashayev, welcoming guests and participants, underlined that this event marks beginning of implementation phase after almost three years of groundwork and negotiations for Italy-Azerbaijan University project.

Rector Giovanni Molari highlighted the strategic importance of the collaboration between the University of Bologna and ADA University, and expressed his confidence that these certificate programs will lead to fruitful cooperation on degree programs.

He explained that as this edition of the Certificate Programme will be the first out of five where the first will be characterized a more general approach while the others will focus on specific topics as animal production, food technology, bioenergy, precision farming, soil and water management.

Today, the delegation met the Minister of Education Mr. Emin Amrullayev and the Minister of Agriculture Mr. Majnun Mammadov.

Source: Trend News Agency

Turkish defense minister, intelligence chief pay visit to Moscow

Turkish Minister of National Defense Hulusi Akar and Head of Turkish National Intelligence Agency (MIT) Hakan Fidan are on an official visit to Russian Moscow in connection with the four-party meeting between Türkiye, Russia, Syria, and Iran, Trend reports with reference to TurkicWorld.

As the source says, it is expected that Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, Syria's Defense Minister Ali Mahmoud Abbas, and Mohammad-Reza Gharaei Ashtiani, Minister of Defense and Armed Forces Logistics of Iran, will also take part in the meeting.

According to the information, within the framework of the meeting, Akar will also hold bilateral meetings.

To note, a trilateral meeting was held on December 28 last year in Moscow with the participation of the defense ministers and the intelligence chiefs of Türkiye, Russia, and Syria.

Source: Trend News Agency

100 million cubic meters of water leak into sand in Turkmenistan due to Karakum Canal break

Media reports says at least 100 million cubic meters of water have leaked into sand due to the failure of the Karakum Canal in Turkmenistan in January-February 2023. Journalists working for Meteozhurnal (Weather Magazine) have come to this conclusion after studying satellite imagery. The break reportedly occurred due to ice jams, which were caused by abnormal frosts for Central Asia. Journalists found two traffic jams on the pictures of January 17. The break reportedly happened between January 17 and 20. They began to eliminate the break by building a bulk dam on January 22. As it turned out, the construction was carried out from two sides in the opposite direction. Journalists calculated that 'for more than 20 days most of the runoff of the Karakum Canal went into the sands. Based on this, they proposed the figure of 100 million cubic meters. This is the minimum score. Turkmen authorities have not reported what happened as they have not reported other accidents and incidents. The Karakum Canal in Turkmenistan is one of the largest irrigation and water supply canals in the world. Started in 1954, and completed in 1988, it is navigable over much of its 1,375-kilometre length, and carries 13 cubic kilometers of water annually from the Amu-Darya River across the Karakum Desert in Turkmenistan. The canal opened up huge new tracts of land to agriculture, especially to cotton monoculture heavily promoted by the Soviet Union, and supplying Ashgabat with a major source of water. The canal is also a major factor leading to the Aral Sea environmental disaster.

Source: Asia Plus

SCO developing a roadmap to abandon the dollar completely, says SCO official

The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Deputy Secretary-General Grigory Logvinov told Bealrus-1 TV Channel in an interview on April 24 that the SCO is developing a roadmap to abandon the dollar completely. 'A roadmap is being developed for switching to settlements in national currencies. The process is far from easy because unfortunately the dollar is too deep embedded in the national currency systems as the world's reserve currency,' the SCO deputy secretary-general said. 'To abandon the dollar completely there is still a lot to be done and a long way to go,' said Logvinov. 'As for the introduction of a single currency for the Organization, this question is still not on the agenda, no such target has yet been set. Well, then we will see.' Recall, at their summit that took place in the Uzbek city of Samarkand in September last year, the SCO leaders agreed to take steps to increase the use of national currencies in trade between their countries, according to a joint declaration adopted on Friday. They agreed on a road map to expanding trade in local currencies. A road map for using local currencies in trade and developing alternative payment and settlement systems has been part of the SCO's economic plan for years. It is to be noted that US economist Nouriel Roubini, who predicted the financial crisis of 2008, did not rule out the eventual demise of the dollar as a reserve currency within a decade. He tweeted on February 7 that China's yuan will end US dollar dominance and create a bipolar currency system in the next decade. The Shanghai Cooperation Organization was founded at a Summit in Shanghai in 2001 by the presidents of Russia, China, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. It was preceded by the Shanghai Five mechanism. The Shanghai Cooperation Organization currently has eight full members -- China, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan, India, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. Iran (September 17, 2021) and Belarus (September 16, 2022) are acceding members. Besides, Afghanistan, Belarus, Iran and Mongolia are four observer states. SCO's dialogue partners include Armenia, Azerbaijan, Cambodia, Egypt, Nepal, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka and Turkiye. Bahrain, Kuwait, Maldives, Myanmar and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are upcoming dialogue partners. ACEAN, CIS, Turkmenistan and the United Nations are guest attendances. Initially focused on regional security, including border conflicts, terrorism and militant Islam, its activities have expanded to cover economics and trade, transport and law enforcement. Security and economic cooperation remain priorities. China and Russia are the dominant members. Russia regards Central Asia as its sphere of influence but Chinese economic sway is growing. At an informal level, the SCO is a diplomatic platform that helps address and contain potential friction.

Source: Asia Plus

Arcturus strain is not terrible for Tajikistanis, their immunity is resistant to any virus, says health ministry

Detection of a new subvariant of COVID-19, known as 'Arcturus,' does not require the introduction of epidemic restrictions in Tajikistan, a high-ranking official at the Ministry of Health and Social Protection of the Population (MoHSPP), Navrouz Jafarov, told Asia-Plus in an interview Tuesday afternoon. According to him, no new cases of COVID-19 have been reported Tajikistan, 'because the majority residents of the country has got four COVID-19 vaccine shots, and the survey has shown that Tajikistanis' immunity is resistant to any virus.' 'During immunization, we conducted a study twice. The first study was conducted last year, and the second one has been conducted this year,' said Jafarov. 'In March of this year, we received the result. As it turned out, Tajikistanis' immunity today is resistant to any types of COVID and to the new strain.' According to him, immunity has developed in 91% of the country's population. 'This year, immunity has dropped to 87 percent, this year, that is, only by 4.0 percent. So, it means that the immune system is strong.' The COVID-19 pandemic in Tajikistan is part of the worldwide pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The virus was confirmed to have spread to Tajikistan when its index cases, in Dushanbe and Khujand, were confirmed on 30 April 2020. By January 13, 2021, government reported that all cases had either recovered or died, leaving the country free of COVID-19 for the first time since April 2020. However, after five months and twelve days, Tajikistan recorded 63 new COVID-19 cases. The MoHSPP said on February 25 last year that a total number of the officially confirmed cases of COVID-19 infection in Tajikistan has amounted to 17,388 since April 30, 2020, when its index cases were confirmed in the country. For the last time, three officially confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) were reported in Tajikistan on February 18, 2022. A total number of those who have been cured in Tajikistan since April 30, 2020 has reportedly amounted to 17,252 (99.2 percent). The number of the officially confirmed coronavirus-linked deaths in Tajikistan has been 124. On March 7, 2022, Tajik authorities lifted almost all coronavirus restrictions, including mandatory mask wearing in public places and a temporary ban of traditional ceremonies and celebrations, including weddings. According to Tajikistan's Standing Committee on COVID-19 Response, the decision to lift the restrictions was made "while taking into consideration the normalization of the epidemiological situation in Tajikistan." The restrictions were imposed in July 2020. Wedding parties were limited to up to 40 close family members and had to be held inside private homes. As of March 7, 2022, the number of participants in wedding parties and other traditional celebrations was raised to up to 200 people. New York Post, citing the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO), noted on April 24 that a new subvariant of COVID-19 is proliferating in the US and is now responsible for nearly 10% of all new cases. The CDC estimates that Omicron strain XBB.1.16 - more commonly known as Arcturus - was the cause of 9.6% of new infections this week. That

Source: Asia Plus

Azerbaijan shares data on number of vaccinated citizens

As many as 259 people have been vaccinated against COVID-19 in Azerbaijan, Trend reports referring to the Operational Headquarters under the Azerbaijani Cabinet of Ministers.

The first dose of the vaccine was injected into 207 citizens, the second dose – 21 citizens, while the third dose and the next doses were received by 21 citizens. A total of 10 citizens were vaccinated with a booster dose after a positive test result for COVID-19.

Totally, up until now, 13,959,427 vaccine doses were administered, 5,410,089 citizens received the first dose of the vaccine, 4,880,581 people – the second dose, 3,402,641 people – the third dose, and the next doses.

Besides, 266,166 citizens were vaccinated with a booster dose after a positive test result for COVID-19.

Source: Trend News Agency

Azerbaijan confirms 18 more COVID-19 cases, 58 recoveries

Azerbaijan has detected 18 new COVID-19 cases, 58 patients have recovered, and 4 people have died, Trend reports citing the Operational Headquarters under the Azerbaijani Cabinet of Ministers.

Up until now, 831,128 people have been infected with coronavirus in the country, 820,631 of them have recovered, and 10,230 people have died. Currently, 209 people are under treatment in special hospitals.

To reveal the COVID-19 cases, 913 tests have been carried out in Azerbaijan over the past day, and a total of 7,584,235 tests have been conducted so far.

Source: Trend News Agency

Rhythmic gymnastics – most beautiful and graceful sport – young gymnast

Rhythmic gymnastics is the most beautiful and graceful sport, Gular Asadova, a young gymnast and participant of the 28th Baku Championship in Rhythmic Gymnastics, held at the Baku Olympic Sports Complex on April 25-27, told Trend.

"I like to do rhythmic gymnastics, I think it is the most beautiful and graceful sport. It is also very spectacular. Today numerous spectators came to support us, so it's nice that they applaud us and rejoice when we demonstrate good elements," the gymnast said.

In addition, Asadova (9 years old), who performs in the kids age category, said that she has been satisfied with her performance on the first day of the competition.

"Tomorrow I will present a program with a ball, and I hope that I will get good points. I want to please the coach with my sporting achievements. Previously, I also participated in competitions organized not only in Azerbaijan but also abroad, where I won prizes," the young gymnast pointed out.

Among the competitors, there are representatives of the Ojag Sports Club, the Specialized Children-Youth Gymnastics School of Olympic Reserves, the Republican Complex Sports School, the Palace of Water Sports, Zira Culture Centre, the Shagan Olympic Sports Complex Stadium, the Grasiya Sports Club, who will participate in the competitions.

At the championship, gymnasts in the age categories: kids born in 2013-2015, pre-juniors born in 2011-2012, and juniors born in 2008-2010 perform in an individual program and team composition in group exercises.

Meanwhile, on the first day of the championship competitions, athletes in the kids and pre-juniors age categories demonstrate exercises without objects.

Source: Trend News Agency