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Singing dune draws visitors to Kazakh steppe
17 June 2016 - Rising incongruously above the steppes of southeastern Kazakhstan is a structure as famed for the myths that surround as for the sound it produces -- a single, singing dune. The dune generates a low-pitched, organ-like rumble in dry weather, and is one of the main attractions of the Altynemel national park. Adjacent to Altynemel isanother national park, Charyn. The part frequented by tourists is called the Valley of Castles, where some rocks are shaped like the towers of a mediaeval fortress. (more)

Kazakhstan-Mexico cooperation details unveiled
4 July 2014 - Kazakhstan established diplomatic relations with Mexico in 1992 but the two countries did not solidify their bilateral ties. Now, however, they are planning to exchange embassies. Currently, Martha Elena Barcena Coqui is the Mexican Ambassador to Kazakhstan, and, concurrently, to Georgia, Turkey, Azerbaijan, and Turkmenistan. The Embassy is located in Ankara, Turkey, but later in 2014 a Mexican Embassy will be opened in Kazakhstan. (more)

Kazakhstan leads green initiative
10 June 2014 - Receipt of the official flag of the Bureau International des Expositions begins the formal countdown to the 'Future Energy' EXPO in 2017, which will be held in Astana, Kazakhstan. The global event will see over 100 nations coming to the capital to showcase clean and green energy technology and promote its use worldwide. (more)

Kazakhstan: Multinational crew blasts off, arrives at space station
28 May 2014 - Leaving politics behind, a veteran Russian cosmonaut and a pair of rookie astronauts from the United States and Germany blasted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Wednesday for a six-month mission aboard the International Space Station. Less than six hours after liftoff, the team reached the space station, a $100 billion research laboratory as it flew about 260 miles (418 km) above the Pacific Ocean west of Peru. The station, a project of 15 nations, is overseen by the United States and Russia. (more)

Kazakhstan: Three astronauts return to Earth
14 May 2014 - A Russian Soyuz space capsule carrying three astronauts who had spent a half-year aboard the International Space Station landed Wednesday in the steppes of Kazakhstan. Russian Mikhail Tyurin, American Rick Mastracchio, and Koichi Wakata of Japan had spent 188 days in space. Russians Alexander Skvortsov and Oleg Artemyev and American Steve Swanson remain aboard the station. Three more astronauts are to launch for the station on 28 May. NASA hopes that private companies such as Space X will be able to develop rockets and capsules to fly astronauts to the space station within a few years. (more)

Kazakhstan: US-Russian space trio lands safely despite bad weather
11 March 2014 - An American astronaut and two Russians who carried a Sochi Olympic torch into open space landed safely and on time on Tuesday in Kazakhstan, defying bad weather and ending their 166-day mission aboard the International Space Station (ISS). 'We have a landing!' read a huge TV screen at Russia's Mission Control outside Moscow as the descent capsule hit the frozen ground at 0924 (0324 GMT) southeast of the town of Zhezkazgan in central Kazakhstan. 'Safe arrival back on Earth,' said a NASA TV announcer while all-terrain rescue and recovery vehicles were shown trundling across a snowy steppe to the Soyuz TMA-10M capsule. 'The crew are reported to be in good health,' NASA said. (more)

Kyrgyzstan base to close ahead of Afghanistan drawdown
2 February 2014 - As the drawdown brings more troops home early, the US is closing down operations at some bases in countries surrounding the war in Afghanistan. The Transit Center at Manas in Kyrgyzstan will be included in the closures. The US contracted out the base in Manas in 2001. (more)

Oil-rich Kazakhstan kickstarts 'Green Revolution' for energy
5 June 2013 - Oil-rich Kazakhstan will spend 1 per cent of annual output every year until 2050 to increase power generation from greener sources, a senior official said, cutting its dependence on coal far faster than some of the world's big polluters. The Central Asian country, the world's ninth largest by area but populated by just 17 million people, holds about 3 per cent of the global recoverable oil reserves. However, its fast, oil-propelled growth hinges on high oil prices. President Nursultan Nazarbayev, a former steelworker who has ruled for more than two decades, has signed off on a state programme on developing sources of renewable energy. (more)

Space trio lands safely in Kazakhstan
15 March 2013 - A Russian Soyuz capsule made a 'bull's eye' landing in the steppes of Kazakhstan on Saturday, delivering a Russian-American trio from the International Space Station, a day after its originally scheduled touchdown was delayed by foul weather. NASA television said the deorbit burn and other events during the descent had gone flawlessly. It said the capsule had landed upright, almost hitting its bull's eye target in thick fog. (more)

World powers coax Iran into saving nuclear talks
27 February 2013 - World powers offered broader concessions than ever to Iran in attempts Wednesday keep alive diplomatic channels that seek to rein in the Islamic Republic's nuclear program and prevent it from building an atomic weapon. The offer was hailed by Saeed Jalili, Iran's top official at diplomatic talks in Kazakhstan, who said it represented a 'turning point' by world powers to compromise on Tehran's uranium enrichment programme after years of delicate negotiations that nearly dissolved last June. (more)


Success of Maharishi's Programmes
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IT and technologies of consciousness - bringing Transcendental Meditation to more people in Kazakhstan
19 January 2011 - Throughout the past year, the Global Mother Divine Organization in Kazakhstan has been very active promoting Consciousness-Based Education, the Transcendental Meditation Programme, and other courses and programmes of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in the country. (more)

Kazakhstan: Global Mother Divine Organization offers courses for women
19 January 2011 - Throughout the past year, the Global Mother Divine Organization in Kazakhstan has offered a series of special one-day courses for women. (more)

Tour for Consciousness-Based Education planned in Kazakhstan
28 December 2009 - In Kazakhstan, planning has begun for the spring 2010 tour of Dr Ashley Deans, Global Ambassador for Consciousness-Based Education. More initiatives are also in the works for the expansion of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi's programmes in the nation. (more)

Kazakhstan sees increase of Transcendental Meditation Teachers, Yogic Flyers
21 July 2009 - Increasing numbers of Transcendental Meditation Teachers are being trained and certified in the country of Kazakhstan, and this trend promises to continue in the near future, bringing the nation closer to invincibility. (more)

Well-wishers of peace in Kazakhstan and Sri Lanka fund students to learn Transcendental Meditation
21 February 2009 - A generous well-wisher of peace and invincibility in Kazaksthan will fund 400 students to learn Transcendental Meditation. This has given great inspiration to the Teachers of Transcendental Meditation in the country, who are now preparing materials to introduce Consciousness-Based Education in the local schools. (more)


Flops
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UN says deadly Kazakh riots show rights abuses and growing inequality
12 July 2012 - The United Nations urged Kazakhstan on Thursday to allow an international investigation into deadly oil town riots that it said exposed rights abuses and growing inequality in Central Asia's largest economy. UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay said the December riots in Zhanaozen, during which police opened fire on protesters, should serve as a 'warning' to Kazakhstan not to pursue financial prosperity at the expense of human rights. Pillay said the events of Zhanaozen, if properly investigated, could become a 'watershed' for Kazakhstan. 'It contains, in microcosm, many of the human rights concerns and critical gaps in the country's laws and rule-of-law institutions,' she said. 'These include allegations that torture is still practised in Kazakhstan.' The UN representative urged Kazakhstan to create an independent body with the power to inspect detention centres and to halt the common practice of failing to register people during their first few hours of detention. (more)

Kazakh Police Chief defends use of live rounds on demonstrators
18 December 2011 - Kazakhstan's Interior Minister said Sunday that live firearms will continue to be deployed against violent protesters if necessary, in defiance of the international outcry that followed the more than a dozen deaths caused by clashes over recent days. At least 15 people have been killed since the monthslong sit-in demonstration by oil workers in southwestern town of Zhanaozen descended into a violent confrontation Friday morning between police and protesters. The unrest is causing palpable tension among authorities in the energy-rich Central Asian nation, whose economy relies heavily on the oil extracted from the region affected by the disturbances. (more)

Police fire on rioters in Kazakhstan, 1 killed
18 December 2011 - Police opened fire on rioters in a town in the tense southwest of Kazakhstan, leaving one person dead and 11 wounded, authorities said Sunday. A statement from the Prosecutor General's office said the violence occurred Saturday in the town of Shetpe, in the same region as the city of Zhanaozen where 13 people died in a clash with police on Friday. The statement said about 300 demonstrators supporting the Zhanaozen victims blocked railroad traffic for several hours and after police tried to force them away, a group of about 50 set a locomotive on fire, then moved into the town where they broke windows and set the municipal Christmas tree ablaze. The statement did not specify at what point police opened fire. (more)

Kazakh leader orders curfew after oil city riots
17 December 2011 - Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev on Saturday declared a 20-day state of emergency in a western oil city where at least 11 people have been killed in the deadliest outbreak of violence in the Central Asian state's recent history. Wounded victims filled hospitals in Zhanaozen and many oil workers stayed at home, fearing for their safety a day after violent clashes between riot police and crowds in a city where thousands of sacked oil workers have been protesting for months. The clashes marred celebrations across the rest of Kazakhstan to mark the 20th anniversary of independence from the Soviet Union and were a shock to a government that has put stability and economic growth over democratic freedoms. (more)

Seven killed in clashes in Kazakhstan
4 December 2011 - Five suspected militants and two security officers were killed in a shootout near Kazakhstan's commercial capital Almaty, prosecutors said on Sunday, in the latest of a series of attacks in the oil-producing Central Asian state. A string of blasts and shootouts have fractured Kazakhstan's image of stability this year. The long-peaceful, mainly Muslim nation had not until this year seen the outbursts of militancy seen in other parts of the vast region north of Afghanistan. Last month, a 34-year-old man killed seven people, including five members of security forces, in the southern city of Taraz in the most violent attack to date in Kazakhstan. Prosecutors then said he was a 'follower of jihadism'. (more)

China's crackdown affects Uighurs in Kazakhstan
19 July 2009 - Thousands of ethnic Uighurs rallied in the Kazakhstan city of Almaty on Sunday to protest against a crackdown against Uighurs in the neighbouring Chinese region of Xinjiang. In Xinjiang's worst ethnic unrest in decades, Uighurs staged protests in the regional capital Urumqi on 5 July after a clash at a factory in south China in June left two Uighurs dead. The violence left 197 people dead and more than 1,600 wounded, mostly Han Chinese who launched revenge attacks in Urumqi days later, according to China's government. About 1,000 people, mostly Uighurs, have been detained in an ensuing government crackdown. Uighurs are a largely Muslim Turkic people who share linguistic and cultural bonds with Central Asia. The Xinjiang violence has stoked tension among Kazakhstan's Uighurs and lent a broader sense of instability to the vast region bordering Afghanistan. Many Uighurs, who deny they could use force to gain independence, have accused the West of ignoring their plight and appealed to global powers to condemn China's actions. (more)

Afghanistan: Taliban rebuffs Karzai's offer
30 September 2007 - President Hamid Karzai offered to meet with the Taliban leader and give militants a government position, but a spokesman for the militant group on Sunday said it will 'never' negotiate with Afghan authorities until US and NATO forces leave the country. (more)

Kazakhstan: Hundreds of dead seals wash up on shore
4 May 2007 - Hundreds of dead seals have washed up on Kazakhstan's Caspian Sea shoreline in the past several days, bringing the total number of the animals found dead along the shoreline in recent weeks to 832, the Emergencies Agency said. Environmental officials in the Central Asian nation are trying to determine what killed the seals. Last year, 350 seals and thousands of sturgeon died as a result of a heavy metal leak from an oil field. (more)

Kazakhstan's Prime Minister steps down
8 January 2007 - Daniyal Akhmetov, Prime Minister of oil-rich Kazakhstan in central Asia, resigned Monday in the wake of criticism of his performance by President Nursultan Nazarbayev. Akhmetov had come under Nazarbayev's criticism for poor strategic planning, overspending, and other mistakes. (more)

Sixty-three children have contracted HIV at Kazakhstan hospitals
30 September 2006 - The city of Shymkent, Kazakhstan is reeling after learning that at least 63 children have contracted AIDS through medical negligence many blame on corruption, and the illicit sale of blood. (more)

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