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Oct 8, 2012

Kazakh opposition leader jailed after oil town unrest

AKTAU, Kazakhstan, Oct 8 (Reuters) – An outspoken critic of
Kazakhstan’s veteran president was jailed for seven-and-a-half
years on Monday for colluding with a fugitive billionaire in a
failed attempt to rally oil workers to bring down the
government.

Vladimir Kozlov, leader of the unofficial Alga! party, was
found guilty of orchestrating dissent among striking oilmen in
the prelude to riots last December that left 15 people dead and
dented Kazakhstan’s reputation for stability.

Aug 2, 2012

Kazakh key rate hits historic low as inflation dips

ALMATY, Aug 2 (Reuters) – Kazakhstan’s central bank said on
Thursday it would cut its key refinancing rate to a new historic
low next week, its fourth cut in less than half a year, in
response to falling inflation in the oil-fuelled economy.

The bank said in a statement it would cut the rate to 5.5
percent from 6.0 percent, effective from Aug. 6. The bank last
lowered the rate, also by 50 basis points, on June 4.

Aug 2, 2012

Uzbekistan bans foreign military bases on its land

ALMATY (Reuters) – Uzbekistan is moving to ban foreign military bases on its territory, local media reported on Thursday, ending speculation it could allow the United States to reopen a base for operations in neighboring Afghanistan.

However, some analysts said the ban might not prevent military cooperation with the United States, which could still use Uzbek facilities for special-forces operations to fight the Afghan Taliban or other regional threats.

Jul 17, 2012

ArcelorMittal agrees pay deal with Kazakh workers

ALMATY, July 17 (Reuters) – ArcelorMittal ,
the world’s largest steelmaker, said it will return to the table
in October after agreeing a temporary pay deal with its
Kazakhstan plant workers to avert a threatened strike.

ArcelorMittal Temirtau, the company’s Kazakh unit, awarded a
10.4 percent pay increase to its steelworkers backdated to Jan.
1. A local trade union representative said the deal, which fell
short of workers’ demands, was a temporary measure.

Jul 15, 2012

Russian Soyuz rocket blasts off for space station

ALMATY (Reuters) – A trio of Russian, Japanese and U.S. astronauts blasted off aboard a Soyuz spaceship on Sunday for a four-month mission on the International Space Station (ISS) that Moscow hopes will help restore confidence in its space programme.

Veteran Russian cosmonaut Yuri Malenchenko, NASA astronaut Sunita Williams and Japanese astronaut Akihiko Hoshide launched successfully aboard the Soyuz TMA-05M rocket from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 0240 GMT (2240 EDT on Saturday).

Jun 29, 2012

Kazakh steel union eyes strike at Arcelor unit

ALMATY, June 29 (Reuters) – Thousands of workers at
ArcelorMittal’s steel mill in Kazakhstan staged
a three-hour strike on Friday and warned of wider action to back
demands for a 30-percent pay hike.

The labour union at ArcelorMittal Temirtau, which said 3,000
staff joined the first-ever stoppage at the plant, has rejected
a company offer of a 10-percent rise and has called for a halt
in job cuts.

Jun 4, 2012

Kazakh court jails 13 for oil town riots

AKTAU, Kazakhstan, June 4 (Reuters) – Thirteen people were
jailed on Monday for rioting in a Kazakh oil town, prompting
courtroom scuffles between relatives and police at the end of a
10-week trial that followed deadly labour unrest in the Central
Asian state.

Twenty four of the 37 defendants accused of rioting in the
town of Zhanaozen last December were freed by the court in the
western city of Aktau. Three were acquitted and the remainder
amnestied or given suspended sentences.

Jun 4, 2012

Relatives cram Kazakh court for riot trial verdict

AKTAU, Kazakhstan (Reuters) – Relatives of 37 protesters accused of rioting in a Kazakh oil town crammed into a makeshift courtroom on Monday to await the verdicts in the largest trial relating to the deadly December clashes.

The defendants stand accused of participating in riots that killed at least 14 people and saw police use live rounds. The violence posed the most serious challenge to President Nursultan Nazarbayev in more than two decades of power and shattered the Central Asian state’s reputation for stability.

May 28, 2012

Five Kazakh policemen jailed over oil town clashes

ALMATY, May 28 (Reuters) – Five Kazakh policemen were jailed
for between five and seven years on Monday for abusing their
power during clashes between armed officers and striking oil
workers in the country’s worst violence in decades.

At least 14 people were killed in the fighting that erupted
in the western oil town of Zhanaozen on Dec. 16 after a
seven-month strike by oilmen demanding higher wages spun out of
control.

May 21, 2012

Six convicted over Kazakhstan oil riots – court

ALMATY, May 21 (Reuters) – Six people were convicted on
Monday for taking part in deadly labour riots in Kazakhstan that
were seen as a major challenge to the authority of President
Nursultan Nazarbayev.

Another six people were cleared of rioting during the two
days of violence that left at least 15 dead in December, court
officials said.