Russian Itanium slayer samples first 130nm processor

Russian Itanium slayer samples first 130nm processor
By Tony Smith

Posted: 16/03/2004 at 10:41 GMT

Elbrus, the would-be Itanium slayer, has begun sampling its 64-bit
processor, the Russian company has announced.

Long-time Register readers will recall Elbrus’ claims made back in
February 1999 that it was hard at work on a “post-Risc” 64-bit CPU that
would run four to five times faster than Intel’s first-generation Itanium,
then known by its codename, ‘Merced’.

At the time, Elbrus was seeking $40m worth of funding to back the
development of the chip, dubbed the E2K. It was to be fabbed at 180nm and
clock at 1.2GHz. It was to offer both IA-32 and IA-64 compatibility.

By May of that year, the company had narrowed its goals to a 600MHz
processor fabbed using 350nm technology.

Little was heard of the company – whose founders long claimed to have
developed Very Long Instruction Word (VLIW) computing before HP pursued
it, and to have figured out much of the stuff Transmeta put into its
Crusoe CPUs well ahead of the US company’s efforts – until May 2002 when
Boris Babayan, Elbrus’ co-founder and CTO, claimed it would have an E2K
prototype out by the end of the year.

Elbrus’ latest statement centres on a different chip, the MCST R-500,
which the company suggests is the first Russian-made 130nm microprocessor,
and who are we to argue? The R-500 is Sparc-compatible and is clocked at
450-500MHz. It consumes less than 1W of power, Elbrus said. It began
punching out samples in late February, and the company has already run
Solaris and Linux successfully on machines based on the processor.

Elbrus – now known as Elbrus MCST (Moscow Centre of Sparc Technologies) –
said it will ship its Elbrus 90 Micro system, which uses the R-500, during
the second half of the year.

What of E2K. According to the company’s web site, the spec. is back to
1.2GHz based on a 130nm process. It will apparently ship sometime this
year.

http://www.theregister.co.uk

BAKU: Canada attaches importance to links with Azerbaijan

Azer Tag, Azerbaijan State Info Agency
March 16 2004

CANADA ATTACHES IMPORTANCE TO DEVELOPMENT OF LINKS WITH AZERBAIJAN
[March 16, 2004, 15:39:34]

Minister of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan Vilayat Guliyev has met
with Director General of Canadian Foreign Ministry’s Bureau on
Southeastern Europe David Preston, Foreign Ministry’s press -service
reported.

During the meeting, Minister Vilayat Guliyev noted that the visit
would be very useful for strengthening friendly relations and
business contacts between Azerbaijan and Canada, and expressed deep
confidence of its positive impact on the perspectives of cooperation
between the two countries. He said he was a supporter of expanding
Canada-Azerbaijan relations in all spheres, and continuation of the
countries’ cooperation in the international organizations.

According Mr. David Preston said the goal of the visit was to
exchange views concerning expansion of the relations between
Azerbaijan and Canada in various spheres, and stressed his country
attached importance to the development of mutually beneficial links
and closer cooperation in the frameworks of the international
organizations.

Foreign Minister Vilayat Guliyev told the guest in detail of the work
carried out for settlement of Armenia-Azerbaijan, Nagorno-Karabakh
conflict, hard living conditions of over 1 million of refugees, and
mentioned the importance to intensify efforts by international
community for urgent resolution of the problem on the base of
international law.

Speaking of the processes taking place in Azerbaijan, the Minister
pointed out that despite existing difficulties, the country had
gained progress in the sphere of building civilized and democratic
society. Touching upon the successful construction of the
Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline, he noted that Azerbaijan is a
regional leader in the sphere of economic development.

As of the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh, Mr.
Preston expressed hope that the problem would be peacefully settled
soon due to joint efforts of the international community.

The parties have also discussed a number of other issues of mutual
interest.

Iran-Armenia pipeline construction may begin by year-end

Interfax
March 16 2004

Iran-Armenia pipeline construction may begin by year-end

Yerevan. (Interfax) – Construction of the Iran-Armenia gas pipeline
may begin by the end of 2003 and be completed within one to two
years, Armenian Finance and Economics Minister Vardan Khachatryan
told journalists on Monday.

He said that the gas pipeline will become one of the main alternative
sources of fuel for Armenia after the closure of Armenia Nuclear
Power Plant.

The minister said that to replace the capacity of the nuclear plant
it is necessary to find about $1 billion. He said that at the moment
only the European Union has said that it is ready to pay out 100
million euros for this. This will be paid into a special fund.

The said that the EU’s decision will act as a stimulus to foreign
investors. The minister did not rule out Russian participation in the
construction of the pipeline.

In turn Torben Holtze, the head of European Union’s delegation in
Armenia and Georgia, told journalists after talks with Khachatryan
that it will only be possible to pay out 100 million euros to Armenia
to create alternative energy supply sources after the government sets
a date for the closure of Armenia Nuclear Power Plant, on which the
EU is insisting.

Holtze also did not rule out the possibility of Iranian gas being
supplied to Europe through this pipeline but said that this project
is still in the future and is not yet being discussed. He also said
that the EU and Russia have different economic interests.

Iranian Ambassador to Armenia Mohammad Farhad Koleini said earlier
that in the near future the Iranian oil and gas minister will visit
Armenia, during which a final agreement will be signed on the start
of the pipeline.

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Boris Alyoshin said at the start of
February that the construction of a gas pipeline from Iran to Armenia
is in Russia’s interest. He said that Gazprom may become operator of
part of the pipeline through Armenia in the future. He said that
Russia is consulting with Armenia on a feasibility study for the
pipeline.

The Iran-Armenia gas pipeline has been on the drawing board since
1992. In addition to the two main participants in the project, other
interested parties include Russia, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, countries
in the European Union, and China. The European Bank for
Reconstruction and Development has said that it is ready to finance
the project.

Armenia and Iran signed an intergovernmental agreement in 1995
establishing the route of the pipeline, which stretches 114 km,
including 41 km in Armenia and 100 km in Iran. The agreement also
sets the price for gas to be transported through the pipeline at $84
per 1,000. The cost of the project is estimated at $120 million.

The possibility is also being considered of building a pipeline to
the Armenian-Georgian border. In this case the cost of the project
will increase to $306 million and the pipeline will be 550 km long
and have a capacity of 4.5 billion cubic meters per annum.

Al-Arabiya factors in ‘Genocide’ doc

Yahoo News
March 16 2004

Al-Arabiya factors in ‘Genocide’ doc
Sun Mar 14, 7:00 PM ET

Melanie Goodfellow

(Variety) JERUSALEM Pan-Arab satcaster MBC TV has acquired “The
Genocide Factor,” a U.S.-made doc exploring religious and ethnic
persecution from Biblical times to the present, to air on news and
current affairs channel Al-Arabiya in April.

Series, narrated by thesp Jon Voight, examines some of the worst
crimes against humanity including the Nazi Holocaust and the
Armenian, Bosnian and Rwandan genocides.

“Having “The Genocide Factor’ run complete and uncensored on free TV
in the Middle East to a potential audience of more than 130 million
people is truly groundbreaking,” says Gary Lico, CEO of U.S. distrib
Cable Ready.

Directed by Robert Emery, the four-part series features photos, news
footage and interviews with Nobel Laureate Elie Wiesel, former U.S.
Secretary of State Madeleine Albright (news – web sites) and genocide
survivors.

BAKU: Armenia, Azerbaijan must be main force in NK settlement

RIA Novosti, Russia
March 16 2004

ARMENIA AND AZERBAIJAN HAVE TO BE MAIN FORCE IN SETTLEMENT OF NAGORNY
KARABAKH PROBLEM, BAKU BELIEVES

BAKU, March 16, 2004. (RIA Novosti) – Azerbaijan and Armenia have to
make the main efforts to settle the Nagorny Karabakh problem,
Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Vilayat Guliyev told reporters after his
meeting on Tuesday with the incumbent chairman of the Organization
for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and the Bulgarian
Foreign Minister, Solomon Pasi.

“The OSCE plays the role of a mediator in this process today,”
underscored Mr. Guliyev.

He noted that in the course of the meeting with Mr. Pasi the role of
the OSCE in settling the Nagorny Karabakh problem was discussed.

Apart from that, they discussed the problems of democratic reforms in
Azerbaijan, the preparations for the municipal elections in the fall
of 2004, the events of October 15-17, 2003 in Baku (during the
presidential elections, the opposition organized several unsanctioned
protests) and freedom of the press in Azerbaijan.

L’UE presse Erevan de fermer sa centrale nuclĂ©aire

SwissInfo
15 Mars 2004

L’UE presse Erevan de fermer sa centrale nuclĂ©aire

EREVAN – L’UE a pressĂ© l’ArmĂ©nie de fermer la centrale nuclĂ©aire de
Metzamor, Ă  30 km d’Erevan. Bruxelles lui a promis en Ă©change
l’octroi d’une aide de 156,5 millions de francs. Construite en 1977,
cette centrale produit 40 % de l’Ă©nergie armĂ©nienne.

«La sĂ©curitĂ© est trĂšs importante pour nous. L’UE octroiera Ă 
l’ArmĂ©nie 100 millions d’euros pour crĂ©er des productions d’Ă©nergie
alternatives quand l’ArmĂ©nie fixera la date de la fermeture de la
centrale», a déclaré le directeur de la mission de la Commission
européenne en Arménie Torben Holtze.

Selon le ministre armĂ©nien des finances, l’ArmĂ©nie a besoin de 1,3
milliard de francs pour compenser les pertes en cas de fermeture de
la centrale.

La fermeture de Metzamor est «une question trÚs douloureuse pour
nous. Nous n’allons pas fermer la centrale tant qu’il n’y aura pas de
sources alternatives» d’Ă©nergie, a-t-il soulignĂ©. La construction
d’un gazoduc entre l’ArmĂ©nie et l’Iran, qui doit ĂȘtre lancĂ©e cette
année, devrait accélérer ce processus, selon lui.

Cash Incomes Increased

CASH INCOMES INCREASED

Azat Artsakh – Republic of Nagorno Karabakh (NKR)
15-03-2004

According to the NKR National Statistics Service, the cash incomes of
the population of the republic in 2003 totaled 34408.7 million AM
drams and increased by 17.1 percent against 2002. The incomes in all
the spheres of activities have increased against 2002;
entrepreneurship by 55.0 percent, realization of agricultural
production by 32.8 percent, salary by 24.5 percent, social and other
transfers by 6.6 percent, other incomes by 6.9 percent. The average
nominal monthly salary of one worker employed in the economy totaled
33 661 AM drams in 2003 and increased by 13.4 percent from 2002. In
comparison to 2002 the average nominal monthly salary increased
notably in building by 49.7 percent, information computing services by
31.8 percent, communication by 27.7 percent, industry by 26.7 percent,
finance and loaning by 23.5 percent, material and technical supply by
20.3 percent. The average nominal monthly salary in comparison to the
average republic salary was notably low in the spheres of material and
technical supply, forestry, trade, health, communal services.

AA.
15-03-2004

Tehran Municipality Buys War Photos

Mehr News Agency, Iran
March 8 2004

Tehran Municipality Buys War Photos

TEHRAN March 8 (Mehr News Agency) — In an unprecedented move the Art
and Cultural Organization of Tehran Municipality purchased the photos
taken by Iranian photographer Reza Borji at a cost of Rls2b during
the opening ceremony held on Sunday evening for his exhibition in
Paidari Cultural Center at Behesht Gallery.
About 15,000 photos, taken from the contemporary wars in Iraq,
Bosnia, Afghanistan, Karabakh, and Ghana were submitted to the head
of the cultural center Seyyed Yasser Hashtrudi.

Borji had received many bids from abroad offering higher price for
the works.

`I preferred my works to remain in my country. so I refrained from
selling them to foreigners,’ said Borji.

Borji took many outstanding photos from the Iraqi imposed war against
Iran during the years 1980-1988. He has been hospitalized owing to
injuries caused by the chemical weapons in this war.

In order to train young photographers, the organization plans to
establish a venue dubbed `Tasvir-e No Foundation’ (New Picture
Foundation) for Reza Borji.

`I hope the organization will soon establish the foundation for Borji
where he can impart his experiences to young photographers,’ said
Hashtrudi.

The exhibition, which is underway at Behesht Gallery, will continue
until March 16th.

‘There’s daggers in men’s smiles’

The Toronto Globe and Mail

‘There’s daggers in men’s smiles’

By JOHN IBBITSON
Wednesday, March 10, 2004 – Page A21

Peter Donolo, who used to be Jean ChrĂ©tien’s director of
communications, was at a birthday party, when he came across Karl
Littler, Paul Martin’s chief organizer in Ontario.

“Karl, what are you doing here?” Mr. Donolo kibitzed, “aren’t you
supposed to be out there destroying the Liberal Party?”

Everyone laughed and Mr. Donolo, when contacted, says the two ended up
having “a very friendly, sociable chat.”

No doubt. But the incident tells a tale. The civil war between Paul
Martin and Jean Chrétien is corroding the foundations of the Liberal
Party, threatening its hopes for a majority government in the federal
election.

We all know about Sheila Copps’s allegations of chicanery by the
Martin-dominated party machine in Hamilton East-Stoney
Creek. (Yesterday, she complained to the RCMP.) But Hamilton
East-Stoney Creek is hardly unique. In recent days, campaign workers
in ridings across the country have phoned or e-mailed with
hair-raising complaints.

Here’s one of the best examples: The new riding of Brampton-Springdale
takes in most of the old riding of Brampton Centre, held by Liberal MP
Sarkis Assadourian. He is being challenged by, among others, Andrew
Kania, a Brampton lawyer who was Ontario co-chairman of John Manley’s
aborted leadership campaign.

Mr. Kania’s forces control the riding executive, and are reportedly
well ahead in signing up members. For more than a month, the executive
has been pleading with Mr. Littler, who is the Ontario campaign
chairman, to call a nomination meeting. Not only will Mr. Littler not
call the meeting, Mr. Assadourian reportedly pleaded with Mr. Martin
last week in caucus to offer him protection from challenges in his
riding. (Mr. Assadourian’s office did not respond to a request for an
interview.)

Mr. Kania is guarded with his language — he professes loyalty to the
party and the Prime Minister — but when asked whether he felt the
nomination meeting was being delayed to give Mr. Assadourian more time
to counter Mr. Kania’s challenge, he replied: “Yes, I do.” Regardless,
he says, “No matter when the meeting is called, I will win the
nomination.”

Mr. Littler insists there are no conspiracies; the Brampton-Springdale
nomination meeting promises to be contentious, and he is short of
staff to manage it.

Mr. Kania at least has had his application to run as a Liberal
candidate approved. In the riding of Vancouver Centre, Taleeb
Noormohamed can’t even get that far. Mr. Noormohamed is one of two
candidates challenging incumbent Hedy Fry. The other is Lynne Kennedy,
a former city councillor.

Mr. Noormohamed is young and, to be blunt about it, ethnically
correct, but he is also male and Ms. Fry and Ms. Kennedy are female,
and the party is anxious to bolster the number of women in the
House. So while Ms. Fry and Ms. Kennedy have had no difficulty in
getting their candidate applications approved, Mr. Noormohamed can’t
get the green light to save his life. He’s been interviewed (the
others haven’t), his education credentials have been questioned
(Princeton and Oxford, by the way), and the committee responsible for
vetting his application never seems to be able to meet.

“We’ve built up very strong support from a lot of people who have
never been involved in politics before, at a time when the Liberal
Party is facing challenges,” Mr. Noormohamed said in an interview. “My
concern is that if something is seen to be amiss, a lot of people are
going to get turned off, not just from politics, but from the Liberal
Party.”

Mark Marissen, B.C. campaign chairman, said that the party is hoping
to have an answer soon to Mr. Noormohamed’s application.

When Mr. Martin refused to protect incumbent MPs, in the interest of
democratizing the party, he doubtless felt his overwhelming control
over riding associations and the provincial wings of the federal party
would allow him to ensure political friends were promoted and enemies
frustrated. It hasn’t worked that way. Instead, the riding fights
have turned into yet another front in the epic contest between
Mr. Martin and Mr. Chrétien, left and right, legacy and agenda.

For Liberals, the tragedy could be that the ridings are left so
weakened and divided that they fall to the opposition. The
Conservatives, for example, have high hopes for Brampton-Springdale,
and Vancouver Centre isn’t immune to challenge.

We may need to disinter Shakespeare: Only he could do justice to a
conflict so epic. Jean Chrétien and Paul Martin claw at each other
without surcease, while the sands dissolve beneath them, swallowing
both, each still clutching the other’s throat.

[email protected]

Disappearing Horses of Karabakh

Disappearing Horses of Karabakh
Dilbaz (top) and Karabakh horse at the Baku hippodrome.

Azerbaijanis breeders are struggling to keep alive a centuries-old horse
rearing tradition.

By Kamil Piriev and Samira Husseinova in Lenberan (CRS No. 222, 11-Mar-04)

The green pastures of this village 360 kilometres west of Baku used to be
home to cattle and sheep. Now a group of stables and barns dominates the
landscape and herds of Karabakh horses graze across it, guarded by a
herdsman and a dog.

The village of Lenberan has been transformed by the arrival here of the
staff of what used to be the stud farm of Aghdam, the Azerbaijani city now
occupied by the Armenians and located on the other side of the Nagorny
Karabakh ceasefire line.

The famous Karabakh horses have suffered from the conflict, too. There are
now just 130 of them, compared with some 400 twenty years ago.

Azerbaijan’s first stud farm was built near Aghdam in 1949 to rear the
valuable Karabakh breed of horse. The farm was hard hit by the 1991-94
conflict. The remaining horses were evacuated to Baku before Armenian troops
captured Aghdam in 1993.

It was only four years later that a proper new farm was built for the horses
at Lenberan. However both the location and the farm leave much to be
desired. The lowland climate is not ideal for the horses, and the farm is
rather cramped.

“Karabakh horses were bred in the mountains for centuries,” farm manager
Maarif Husseinov told IWPR. “That is why, apart from their beauty, these
horses are valued for their endurance and ability to travel narrow mountain
paths. Lenberan is not good for them. The climate is too humid and the grass
is different here.”

The beautiful golden-brown Karabakh horse, believed to be of very ancient
pedigree, is of medium height with a small head and strong muscles. Over
many centuries the Muslim khans of the Karabakh highlands took great pride
in breeding them.

Traditionally the breed has been prized for its hardiness and its loyalty to
its owners. Because of its size and temperament it has always been popular
with woman riders. Its fame persisted into modern times and in 1956, Queen
Elizabeth of Britain received a Karabakh stallion named Zaman as a gift from
the Soviet government, along with an Akhal Tekke horse from Turkmenistan.

There are some 65,000 horses in Azerbaijan, but only about 1,000 of them are
thoroughbred. As well as the relocated Aghdam stud farm, there are two farms
at Agstafa and one at Sheki which breed the grey Dilbaz, another famous
Azerbaijani breed.

But all the stud farms have fallen on hard times, because although they are
officially run by the state, in reality they were left to fend for
themselves years ago. Selling just a few horses a year, they can barely
afford to buy food for the horses and pay their employees.

This worries the experts. “Unless conditions improve, the Karabakh and
Dilbaz may lose their pedigree status and become diluted in a few years,”
warned Handam Rajabli, deputy director of the pedigree breeding department
at the agriculture ministry.

“Professional horse breeding in Azerbaijan suffers most from the lack of
customer interest in our local breeds,” complained Rajabli. “Many private
customers these days prefer the English thoroughbred and the Turkmen Akkal
Tekke to the Karabakh and Dilbaz.”

Azerbaijan’s racing and breeding industries continue to suffer from a
presidential ban on betting on horses that followed a big casino scandal in
Baku five years ago. As a result racing lost popularity and racecourses and
stud farms lost revenues. To maintain the Baku racecourse complex, the
management has had to lease part of the premises to private businesses.

Another major problem is the continuing export ban on Azerbaijani horses
because of their failure to meet international identification standards. As
an exportable commodity, horses need to come with all the necessary
vaccinations properly documented, which is not the case with Azerbaijan’s
horses.

This year, the agriculture ministry came up with a plan to improve breeding
conditions for thoroughbred Azerbaijani horses and asked the government to
foot the bill. The plan calls for around 400,000 dollars to be allocated to
the horse breeding industry and the ban on horserace betting to be lifted.
The government is still considering its response.

But some enthusiasts think there is no time to be lost. Yashar Guluzade, an
entrepreneur, has been breeding the Karabakh for seven years. On the 50
hectares of land he owns outside Baku, he keeps 28 Karabakh horses and two
Dilbaz.

Yashar owes his love of horses to his father Alihussein, but never dreamed
of owning his own stable. Then in 1997 he saw Senat, a young Karabakh stud
horse, at the Baku racecourse and was so impressed by its beauty that he
decided to buy it. After that he became so fascinated with local breeds that
he travelled from village to village in search of pedigree animals.

Guluzade, 39, is worried that the Karabakh and Dilbaz horses may be on the
road to extinction. “I’m an amateur, but even I can see how the thoroughbred
population has been dwindling year by year,” he said. “Unless the government
and real experts take action, the purity of these breeds will not last much
longer.”

Experts at the ministry, while conceding that action must be taken, are more
optimistic about the future. “I find it alarming that the government does
not provide enough cash to stud farms and line breeders,” said Rajabli. “But
to talk about thoroughbred Karabakh and Dilbaz being close to extinction
would be premature. These breeds have survived for centuries; they cannot
just vanish into thin air.”

Kamil Piriev reports for Radio France Internationale and Samira Husseinova
is a freelance journalist; both are based in Baku.

To see photographs of two horses look at the web version of this story on
our Caucasus website,

http://www.iwpr.net/index.pl?archive/cau/cau_200403_222_4_eng.txt