Azerbaijani servicemen are on a visit to Iran

Servicemen of the Azerbaijan Army are on a visit to Iran to participate in the “Sniper Frontier” contest to be held as part of the “International Army Games-2022” in the Yazd city of the Islamic Republic of Iran, APA reports.

Representatives of the teams participating in the contest got acquainted with the area, and servicemen were instructed. The safety rules were brought to the military personnel, and the features and conditions of the contest were explained.

It should be noted that teams representing Azerbaijan, Belarus, China, Iran, Uzbekistan, Russia, and Zimbabwe will participate in the “Sniper Frontier” contest.

Source: Azeri-Press News Agency

At least 41 dead after fire at church in Egypt

Dozens of people have died after a fire broke out at a church in Egypt, many of them crushed during a desperate scramble to escape,

reports citing BBC.

Officials say the number of dead is at least 41, with dozens injured. Children are believed to be among the dead.

An electrical fire broke out as 5,000 worshippers gathered for Mass at the Coptic Abu Sifin church, security sources told Reuters.

The fire blocked an entrance, causing a stampede, they said.

Fire services say the blaze has been brought under control.

Source: Azeri-Press News Agency

Russia ready to take concrete steps on prisoner swap with US

Moscow is ready to take “concrete steps” on prisoner exchange with the United States, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told Rossiya-1 on Sunday, APA reports citing Teletrader.

“I would like to stress once again: the Russian side is ready for a professional conversation and concrete steps in this area. But only professionally. The people who must deal with these matters are prepared. And this work is not done in the public eye,” said Zakharova.

The prisoner swap was one of the topics of a telephone conversation between Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken on July 29.

Source: Azeri-Press News Agency

WH to issue memo defending withdrawal from Afghanistan – report

The White House plans to release a new memorandum defending United States President Joe Biden’s move to withdraw troops from Afghanistan, Axios reported Sunday, citing a copy of the manuscript, APA reports.

The memo was partly written by National Security Council spokesperson Adrienne Watson and seeks to reinforce the idea that the measure was taken to strengthen national security by freeing up critical military and intelligence agents.

The memo comes amid growing criticism of the operation. Republicans, especially, plan to take advantage of the first anniversary to reassess the failures that quickly led the Afghan capital to fall into Taliban hands.

Source: Azeri-Press News Agency

Ruto pulls ahead in Kenya’s presidential vote count as tempers fray

Kenya’s Deputy President William Ruto has edged ahead in a tight presidential race, according to official results reported by Kenyan media on Sunday, as more riot police were deployed inside the national election tallying centre after scuffles and accusations by party agents, APA reports citing Reuters.

The fracas underscored fraying tempers and high tensions within the national counting hall as the country waits for official results from last Tuesday’s election. There were wry digs online over the melee from citizens pointing out that the rest of the nation is waiting patiently.

In the presidential race, official verified results reported by the Nation media group showed Ruto taking 51% of the vote, ahead of left-leaning opposition leader Raila Odinga who had 48%.

Confusion over vote tallying in the media and the slow pace of progress by the electoral commission have fed anxiety in Kenya, which is East Africa’s richest and most stable nation but which has a history of violence following disputed elections.

tally for the presidential race on Sunday. A live feed displaying the results at the national tallying center had disappeared hours earlier.

When asked about the tally, a spokeswoman for the commission referred Reuters to the live feed. Other electoral officials said they were unable to provide the information.

Officially verified results on Saturday, with a little more than a quarter of votes counted, put Odinga in the lead with 54% of the vote while Ruto had 45%.

The winner must get 50% of votes plus one. The commission has seven days from the vote to declare the winners.

A Reuters tally of 263 out of 291 preliminary constituency-level results at 1800 GMT on Sunday showed Ruto in the lead with just under 52% and Odinga at 47.5%. Two minor candidates shared less than a percent between them.

Reuters did not include 19 forms in the count because they lacked signatures, totals, were illegible or had other problems.

The preliminary tally is based on forms that are subject to revision if any discrepancies are discovered during the official verification process.

The many checks and balances are designed to try to prevent the kind of allegations of rigging that provoked violence in 2007, when more than 1,200 people were killed, and in 2017, when more than 100 people were killed.

Source: Azeri-Press News Agency

Memorial evening dedicated to 80th anniversary of Muslim Magomayev to be held

On August 17, a memorial evening dedicated to the 80th anniversary of Muslim Magomayev, a world-renowned opera and variety singer, composer, People’s artist of Azerbaijan and USSR, will be held. To be held with the organizational support of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation, the jubilee event will take place at the Green Theatre Baku Concert Complex.

People’s artists of the Republic of Azerbaijan Azer Zeynalov, Dinara Aliyeva, Elchin Azizov, Emin, Samir Jafarov, Honoured artist Azer Rza, People’s Artist of the Republic of Bashkortostan Asker Abdrazakov, People’s artists of the Republic of Georgia Nani Bregvadze, Vakhtang Kikabidze, Italian tenor, world-renowned singer Alessandro Safina, soloist of the Nurnberg Opera Theatre, laureate of the first international contests of vocalists named after Muslim Magomayev Javid Samadov, Honoured Artist of the Russian Federation Yana Melikayeva etc. will perform at the event. Works by Azerbaijani and foreign-country composers will be performed at the jubilee evening.

Tickets to the concert may be obtained on the website iticket.az, and at ticket offices.

Muslim Magomayev was born on August 17, 1942 in Baku. His debut on a scene was when he was 14. Over the course of the years 1960 to 1970, Muslim Magomayev was famous all over the world. During this period, he was a soloist of the Azerbaijan State Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre, had a practice at Italy’s world-renowned La Scala Theatre. At 31, he was honoured with the title of a People’s artist of the USSR. His repertoire included some 600 works. Muslim Magomayev is also an author of beautiful songs. The song “Azerbaijan’, composed by the composer to the poem of People’s Poet Nabi Khazri, is one of the best works dedicated to the country. Muslim Magomayev’s merits to the development of Azerbaijan`s national music culture has always been appreciated highly, and he was conferred on high awards of the independent Republic of Azerbaijan – orders of “Glory” and “Independence”.

Source: Azerbaijan State News Agency