TEHRAN Herren Pharrell x Adidas NMD Human Race Grau Schwarz Schweiz , Sept. 24 (Xinhua) -- Iran said Sunday it had blocked all flights to and from Iraq's Kurdistan at the request of Baghdad, one day ahead of Kurdistan's independence referendum, official news agency IRNA reported.

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The move comes amid "the insistence" of Kurdistan officials in holding the referendum, he added, without specifying when the ban would be lifted.

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DUBLIN, Feb. 3 (Xinhua) -- Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny confirmed on Wednesday that his country will go to the polls on Feb. 26 in order to elect a new government.

Kenny said that five years ago the country was on the brink of collapse and Ireland's international reputation was "in tatters."

He said that five years on there has been real progress, adding public finances were back on track, the economy was growing faster than any country in the European Union and that 135 Herren Pharrell x adidas NMD Human Race Schwarz Weiß Schweiz ,000 people were back to work.

"There is no more bailout, no more Troika and no more dead banks," he said.

Irish Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government Herren Pharrell x adidas NMD Hu Minions Gelb Lila Schweiz , Alan Kelly said voting will take place from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. local time on that day and ballot boxes will be opened the next day for vote count around the country.

Philip O'Sullivan, chief economist at Investec Ireland, said Kenny's coalition government, composed of Fine Gael (the United Ireland Party) and the Labor Party Herren Pharrell x adidas NMD Human Race Weiß Colorful Schweiz , should stroll to victory.

"It won a landslide majority in the 2011 election and, despite a number of defections over the past five years, still controls 60 percent of the seats in the lower house," O'Sullivan said.

The coalition government has the enviable track record of presiding over the fastest growing economy in the European Union while unemployment has tumbled from 15.2 percent in early 2012 to the current 8.6 percent rate Herren Pharrell x adidas NMD Human Race Body Earth Braun Gelb Schweiz , according to the Irish economist.

Investec, a leading international banking group headquartered in Johannesburg, South Africa, estimates that Ireland's GDP expanded by 7.1 percent in 2015 and expects growth of 5 percent this year.

LONDON, Nov. 9 (Xinhua) -- The first Chinese firearm with an imperial reign mark ever to be offered at auction sold for 1.985 million pounds (2.5 million U.S. dollars), the auction house Sotheby's London announced in a statement on Wednesday.

The gun -- a brilliantly designed and exquisitely crafted musket, produced in imperial workshops -- was created for the Qianlong Emperor of the Qing dynasty, arguably the greatest collector and patron of the arts in Chinese history.

Estimated at 1 million to 1.5 million pounds (1.33 million to 1.99 million dollars), the firearm ignited a 10-minute bidding battle before finally selling to an Asian private collector.

"This gun ranks as one of the most significant Chinese treasures ever to come to auction. Today's result will be remembered alongside landmark sales of other extraordinary objects that epitomize the pinnacle of imperial craftsmanship during the Qing dynasty," said Robert Bradlow, senior director of Chinese Works of Art, Sotheby's London in a statement to Xinhua.

"Over the last 10 years we've seen the market for historical Chinese works of art go from strength to strength, with collectors drawn from across the globe and exceptional prices achieved whether the sale is staged in London, Hong Kong or New York," he added.

The musket bears not only the imperial reign mark on top of its barrel, but in addition, incised on the breech of the barrel are four Chinese characters which denote the gun's peerless ranking -- "Supreme Grade, Number One." This exceptional grading makes it unique amongst the known extant guns from imperial workshops, and asserts its status as one of the most important firearms produced for Emperor Qianlong.

According to Sotheby's London, the advent of Western firearm technology sparked the production of muskets in imperial workshops, and this modern mode of weaponry had unquestionable advantages over the traditional bow and arrow for hunting.

Using only the most luxurious materials, imperial muskets were created in very small numbers for Emperor Qianlong. While the Emperor is unlikely ever to have held a gun in battle, he would regularly hunt with a musket.

The auction house said the Supreme Number One is closely related to six celebrated, named imperial Qianlong muskets in the collection of the Palace Museum, Beijing, which appear to correspond with seven muskets listed in the Qing work, Collected Statutes of the Qing Dynasty with Illustrations. These guns were probably graded in the same way as the Supreme Number One, but with lower grade andor number ("Supreme Grade, Number Two", "Top Grade, Number 2").

Revered as one of the most powerful "Sons of Heaven," Emperor Qianlong (1711-1799) was the longest-lived and de-facto longest-reigning emperor in Chinese history (1736-1795).

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