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This Titans fake punt touchdown is a thing of beauty

With Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota a bit banged up, Tennessee almost has no choice but to get creative on offense with the Houston Texans in town.With all due respect to Blaine Gabbert, the backup quarterback just isn’t Mariota. And in a game against a division rival, you can’t just sit back and hope for the…

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Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota a bit banged up, Tennessee almost has no choice but to get creative on offense with the Houston Texans in town.”With Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota a bit banged up, Tennessee almost has no choice but to get creative on offense with the Houston Texans in town.

Blaine Gabbert, the backup quarterback just isn’t Mariota. And in a game against a division rival, you can’t just sit back and hope for the best.” data-reactid=”17″ type=”text”>With all due respect to Blaine Gabbert, the backup quarterback just isn’t Mariota. And in a game against a division rival, you can’t just sit back and hope for the best.

Titans safety Kevin Byard lobbed a perfect pass to rookie defensive back Dane Cruikshank out of the punt formation. ” data-reactid=”18″ type=”text”>Which might explain why the Titans went deep into the playbook for a trick punt early in the first quarter. With fourth-and-6 from the Tennessee 34-yard line, Titans safety Kevin Byard lobbed a perfect pass to rookie defensive back Dane Cruikshank out of the punt formation.

Sure, the Texans got caught sleeping a bit — Cruikshank was completely uncovered at the line — but check out the rookie’s speed here once Houston figures out what’s happening.

The Arizona product ran the 40-yard dash in 4.41 at the scouting combine before the Titans took him in the fifth round of the 2018 NFL draft (152 overall), and he made those 66 yards on the touchdown look like a light jog on the way to the end zone.

Derrick Henry has also thrown an 8-yard pass. Meanwhile, Mariota has yet to make any sort of presence felt in the game.” data-reactid=”32″ type=”text”>But the fake punt isn’t the only bit of trickery Tennessee has trotted out on Sunday. Derrick Henry has also thrown an 8-yard pass. Meanwhile, Mariota has yet to make any sort of presence felt in the game.

Instead, Gabbert tossed an 18-yard touchdown to Taywan Taylor and the Titans ended the first quarter with a 14-0 lead.

Not bad for a team missing it’s Pro Bowl caliber quarterback.

– – – – – –

Blake Schuster is a writer for Yahoo Sports.

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Azerbaijan

Tourists instead of oil

The Azeri Times

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Amid falling oil prices, Azerbaijan strives to double the number of foreign tourists visiting the country

Azerbaijan recently announced the beginning of a new phase in its development of tourism. At the first summit on national tourism on 18 October, the head of the State Tourism Agency, Fuad Nagiyev, said that one of the priorities was to spark the interest of foreigners in Azerbaijan as a tourist destination, and that this was only part of the “important work” being done.  

Tourism has indeed been thriving – Bloomberg recently included Azerbaijan in its top ten of the fastest-growing tourist destinations in 2018.

Baku Boulevard, Novemer 2018
Baku Boulevard, Novemer 2018 Photographer: Meydan TV
Baku, November 2018
Baku, November 2018 Photographer: Meydan TV
Maiden Tower, Baku, November 2018
Maiden Tower, Baku, November 2018 Photographer: Meydan TV
Baku Ferris Wheel, November 2018
Baku Ferris Wheel, November 2018 Photographer: Meydan TV
Mosque of Martyrs, October 2018
Mosque of Martyrs, October 2018 Photographer: Meydan TV
Government House, October 2018
Government House, October 2018 Photographer: Meydan TV

According to official statistics, 1.5 million tourists visited Azerbaijan in the first six months of 2018 – 10% more than last year. Until 2023, the government wants to double the number of visitors to the country.

An increasing number of tourists come from Russia (31.6 percent), followed by visitors from Georgia, Turkey, Iran, the United Arab Emirates, and Ukraine.

Visa-free travel

“We have traveled in the South Caucasus but we have never been to Azerbaijan, which is why we decided to visit”, said a tourist from Rostov, who visited Baku for the first time, “We like everything here, particularly the city center, which is very impressive. And services are good, too.”

Another visitor told Meydan TV that Russian tourists are increasingly interested in Azerbaijan and the South Caucasus because obtaining visas for Europe and the US has become more difficult for them.

At an Azerbaijani-Russian interregional forum in Baku in September, Fuad Nagiyev from the State Tourism Agency confirmed that the number of Russian tourists has been increasing: “More than 600,000 Russian citizens visited Azerbaijan during the first two months of of 2018, which is 20 percent more than last year during the same period.”

Citizens of nine post-Soviet countries including Belarus, Russia, Ukraine and Georgia enjoy visa-free entry into Azerbaijan. They can stay for two weeks without having to register.

During the first six months of 2018, about 734,000 tourists from post-Soviet countries took advantage of this opportunity.

No language barriers

One of the factors attracting tourists from the former Soviet Union is that Russian is widely spoken in Azerbaijan, not only in Baku but also in the regions, where Russian can be heard in any café, restaurant, shop or even on public transport.

For tourists from Turkey and Iran, there is no language barrier either – almost all Azeris understand Turkish, and visitors from Iran are mostly ethnic Azeris.

Apart from Baku, one of the most popular destinations is the ancient town of Shaki, which is located on the southern part of the Greater Caucasus mountain range.

Shaki, Azerbaijan, October 2018
Shaki, Azerbaijan, October 2018 Photographer: Meydan TV
Shaki, Azerbaijan, October 2018
Shaki, Azerbaijan, October 2018 Photographer: Meydan TV
Khan's Placace of Shaki, October 2018
Khan’s Placace of Shaki, October 2018 Photographer: Meydan TV
Caravanserai, Shaki, October 2018
Caravanserai, Shaki, October 2018 Photographer: Meydan TV

Miravari Rasulova, a local, says that tourists often visit the Palace of Shaki Khans, which dates back to the 18th century, the caravanserai, and the local market.

In one of the shops, craftsman Agil Karimov makes so-called papakhas, wool hats that are worn by men throughout the Cacucasus. They are worn by dancers as well as shepherds, and depending on the quality of the wool prices vary from ₼25 ($15) to ₼300-350 ($175). He says that many of his customers are foreign tourists.

Shop of Agil Kerimov, Shaki, October 2018
Shop of Agil Kerimov, Shaki, October 2018 Photographer: Meydan TV
Shop of Agil Kerimov, Shaki, October 2018
Shop of Agil Kerimov, Shaki, October 2018 Photographer: Meydan TV

Vafa Mustafayeva, who works at the local tourist information, says the Azerbaijani government holds exhibitions related to tourism around the world in order to attract a greater number of tourists.

“I took part in such an exhibition in France in 2015. I can say that more tourists from France visited Azerbaijan after that,” she told Meydan TV.

Recipe for success

According to economist Togrul Mashalli, the Azerbaijani tourist sector would benefit from a revision of the country’s visa policy, following the example of neighboring Georgia, where visa-free travel is granted to citizens of many countries.

In the beginning of 2018, Azerbaijan simplified the visa procedures for citizens of eleven countries including the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Israel, Japan, and China.   

“Immediately after the government simplified the visa regime for citizens of Arab countries, the number of tourists from the UAE increased sevenfold. This year, more than 40,000 Arabs have visited Azerbaijan – that’s 20 percent of all tourists who visited the country. A similar system should be applied to citizens of other countries as well”, Togrull Mashalli said.

“An electronic visa processing system was established, but it’s still a visa”, Mashalli continues, “Right now, we have visa requirements even for neighboring countries like Iran and Turkey.”

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Azerbaijan

The fate of stray dogs in Azerbaijan

The Azeri Times

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4 October is World Animal Day. The event was first organized in 1925 to celebrate animal rights, raise awareness of their needs and problems, and call for a more compassionate and humane approach towards animals. Azerbaijan has more than one million stray dogs. Meydan TV looked at how they are being treated.

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Military

Azerbaijan purchased fighter jets from Italy

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Azerbaijan purchased 10 M-346 combat training aircraft from Italy and ordered 15 more such vehicles, the Russian portal ridus.ru reports.

The M-346 is an aircraft designed for enhanced flight training for pilots of the Italian and other countries’ air forces. It made its first flight in July 2004. The plane has two turbojet engines F-124-GA-200, which allow it to reach speeds of up to 1050 km/h. The plane can carry missiles and bombs weighing up to 3 tonnes on five nodes of underwing suspensions.

There are already 18 such aircraft in service with the Italian Air Force, 12 with Singapore, 30 with Israel, 8 with Poland.

Among the clients of Leonardo Aircraft, which produces these aircraft, there is the Ministry of Defence of Azerbaijan, which first demonstrated the Italian-made aircraft in May 2017. However, then the information on the amount of data of the aircraft adopted by the Azerbaijani Air Force was not made public.

Note that in 2018 the Italian company Leonardo will begin mass production of a light fighter based on the M-346 training aircraft. This was stated by the head of the marketing department of the company Eduardo De Campos.

‘The new modification is being developed to expand the combat capabilities of the aircraft. Thanks to the use of the Grifo-346 radar, the M-346 will become a full-fledged light fighter and will be able to effectively use air-to-air and air-to-surface weapons. The fighter/attack aircraft version will be ready by the end of 2018,’ said De Campos.

It is not yet known how many of the M-346 aircraft purchased from Italy by Azerbaijan are training ones or combat-training. However, it can be assumed that most of these aircraft are combat-training, since so many training machines are not required to train pilots.

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