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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

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.

May 17, 2012

Uzbekistan aims to join China gas supply route in 2012

TASHKENT, May 17 (Reuters) – Uzbekistan aims to start
pumping natural gas to China this year through a pipeline
spanning three Central Asia states, gaining access to a supply
network key to diversifying supplies from the ex-Soviet region,
a senior Uzbek official said on Thursday.

The Central Asian pipeline network, launched in 2009, runs
nearly 2,000 km (1,250 miles) from Turkmenistan through the
former Soviet neighbours of Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan before
reaching China’s northwestern Xinjiang region.

May 17, 2012

Uzbekistan says to start gas supply to China in 2012

TASHKENT, May 17 (Reuters) – Uzbekistan will start to ship
natural gas to China via a pipeline running from Central Asia
this year, and plans to supply up to 4 billion cubic metres
(bcm) by end of the year, a senior Uzbek official told Reuters
on Thursday.

The Central Asian pipeline network, launched in 2009, spans
about 2,000 km (1,250 miles) from Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and
Kazakhstan before reaching China’s northwestern Xinjiang

May 16, 2012

Tethys wins oil contract in Uzbekistan, awaits more

TASHKENT, May 16 (Reuters) – Tethys Petroleum
said it hopes to strike a deal with Uzbekistan this
year to develop a highly prospective block, after winning the
right to develop another oilfield in the Central Asian nation.

Tethys, listed in London and Toronto, said its experience
showed that “flexible” independent oil companies like itself
could prosper in the former Soviet nation.

Apr 11, 2012

Red Cross makes first visit to Turkmenistan jail

ALMATY, April 11 (Reuters) – Turkmenistan has allowed a Red
Cross delegation to visit one of its prisons for the first time
since the reclusive Central Asian nation’s independence from the
Soviet Union in 1991, the International Committee of the Red
Cross (ICRC) said on Wednesday.

The Red Cross delegates, including a doctor, made a round of
one of the penitentiaries of Turkmenistan’s interior ministry
last week, the Geneva-based ICRC said in a Russian-language
statement posted on its website.