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Deputy Head of the Stavropol region Agricultural Control Dmitry Shklyarov said that the new  outbreak of African swine fever can occur in the province at any time because neither private households, where 80% of pigs are kept, nor farms w comply with the requirements of high animal sanitation, RIA Novosti reports. As reported earlier, on January 7 of the African swine fever was detected in Stavropol region. 9,000 pigs were destroyed in the livestock farms and more than a thousand in the private households.

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The Parliamentary Committee for Social Policy of Azerbaijan has held a session on discussions of amendments to the Family Code and the law on pensions, APA reports.The committee's head, Hady Rajabli, said that the amendments to the Family Code concern handing of medical examination documents to state registry structures. Medical examination for marriage needs to be free.

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Statistics shows that Iran keeps increasing production, sales and export of mining industry products, IRIB News reports.Iran produced 11.555 million tons of crude steel from March 21, 2010, to February 19, 2011. The country produced 9.753 million tons last year, which demonstrates a growth of 18%.Iran produced 15.362 million tons of hot and cold rolled steel, long-length and steel constructions. Production increased by 75%.Cathode copper production increased by 6% and exceeded 204,000 tons, compared with 193,000 tons last year.

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Georgia will start constructing new power lines to Azerbaijan and Turkey, AZE.az cites the Georgian Energy Ministry as saying. Construction of the power lines will be carried out by Energo Pro Georgia. The project is worth $150 million and will take 3 years. The energy systems of Georgia and Azerbaijan are connected with a 330 kv power line. The new power lines will be 500 kv. Georgia plans to export as much electricity to its neighbours as possible. Georgia has increased export to Turkey almost 10-fold.

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Ambassador Sergey Kapinos, head of the OSCE office in Yerevan, said that some of the reform programs in Armenia are inefficient, ARKA reports. The ambassador said at a round-table on business opportunities that they failed to register serious structural reforms and change the GDP structure and failed to redistribute income.

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The National Book Fund of Armenia may be closed down, director of the fund Ovanes Bekmezyan said, News Armenia reports. The fund is located in the Drama Theater named after Kaplanyan. There is no heating, which is vital for the books. Bekmezyan said that the fund possesses over a million documents published since 1920. The government provides $1.576 million annually for maintenance but it is not enough.

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French President Nicolas Sarkozy has said France and Britain are ready to launch "targeted air strikes" on Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi's forces if they use chemical weapons or warplanes against civilians. Sarkozy said he would urge European leaders to follow France's lead in recognizing the Libyan rebel leadership, the National Libyan Council, as he arrived for an emergency EU summit on Libya on Friday.

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The annual inflation rate in Georgia rose from 12.3% in January to 13.7% in February as a result of higher prices for food and transport, the Georgian Statistics Service said on March 11, Business Georgia reports. The prices for food and non-alcohol drinks rose by 28.4% in February 2011, compared with the same period in 2010, and by 6%, compared with January 2011. The statistics service said that the inflation rate in February reached 11.7%.

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A special police group started using tear gas against protesters in Kuwait, Reuters reports. Bedouins in Kuwait demand citizenship, the right for employment, free education and medical service. The police of Saudi Arabia opened fire at an anti-government protest in Qatif, east of the country. The police also used light and noise grenades. They made shots in the air. One man died.

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Airzena, Georgia’s leading air company, will raise ticket prices by 15%, Trend cites the company as saying. The source said that world prices for oil may reach the level of 2008, pre-economic crisis. This forces Airzena to raise the prices in the second half of March. Airzena said that other companies are considering a 5-15% increase.

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Samsun-Ceyhan project to be updated

Partners of the Samsun-Ceyhan project have decided to upgrade it, and Russia expects Turkish proposals, Russian Energy Minister Sergey Shmatko said on Friday.

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Georgia has started closing unprofitable enterprises, head of the department for enterprise management Alexander Khotzhevanishvili said, Business Georgia reports. Six enterprises, including Veli, Imel, Vaziani, were closed. 51 more enterprises will be closed. The process of merging 50 state-owned enterprises has ended.

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The founding of the main Olympic village has been postponed, Yuga.ru reports. The village was to be founded at the Imereti Lowlands on March 16. The event was postponed to March 22-24, 2011, due to urgent changes of schedule of officials. The exact date will be announced next week.

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There will be three Minsk-Baku-Minsk flights a week, Belarusian Ambassador to Azerbaijan Nikolai Patskevich said at a meeting with businessmen on Friday, Trend reports. Belarusian Airlines is currently carrying out the flights, Azerbaijani Airlines said. A plane departs from Baku at 08.45 (Baku time) on Thursdays and Sundays.

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Russian President Dmitry Medvedev ordered the government to prepare a plan for implementation of advanced technical equipment in the electricity sphere by August 15, 2011. Special attention was paid to energy-saving technology and renewable energy sources, RIA Novosti reports.

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The Turkish parliament ratified the agreement on strategic cooperation and mutual support with Azerbaijan on March 10, APA cites the parliament’s information center as saying. The document was signed in Baku in August 2010 by Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and Turkish President Abdullah Gul. The document consists of military-political and security issues, military and technical issues, economic cooperation, humanitarian issues and general provisions.

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The People’s Council of Karachay-Cherkessia has approved Indris Kyabishev as prime minister at an unscheduled session, RIA Novosti reports. The deputies voted for Kyabishev unanimously. The President of Karachay-Cherkessia Rashid Temrezov said that Kyabishev is an experienced specialist with a good knowledge of the republic.

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US billionaire Donald Trump has signed a contract with Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili, who is on a visit to the USA, on the construction of two skyscrapers in Batumi and Tbilisi, Interfax reports. Trump said that he will invest $250 million in Georgia and even more later. He also praised Saakashvili as a leader. Trump said that he will decide in June whether to run for U.S. president.

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General-Colonel FIkret Demirdash, head of the General Headquarters of the Turkish Gendarmerie, has visited the Honorary Alley, the tomb of Heydar Aliyev, the Alley of Sheikhs and the memorial to Turkish Shekhids, APA reports. Demirdash arrived in Azerbaijan on the invitation of the Commander of the Internal Forces Zakir Gasanov. The Turkish official added that he will take part in the 19th anniversary of establishment of the Internal Forces.

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Heavy snow in Georgia and South Ossetia that started yesterday has blocked the Georgian Military Road, RIA Novosti cites a spokesman of the Southern Regional Center of the Russian Emergencies Ministry as saying.A total of 120 people in three buses, 8 mini buses and a car are waiting at the Nizhny Lars crossing point, he said.

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