Video: Russian spacecraft lands safely

A Russian Soyuz capsule has landed in Kazakhstan, bringing a Nasa astronaut and two Russian cosmonauts back to Earth.

Goga Ashkenazi: By royal ascent

Of all the figures in the scandal enveloping Prince Andrew, few are more exotic than the Kazakh entrepreneur and dedicated socialite with whom he is said to be besotted

Ashley Cole delighted with England award

Ashley Cole believes he is finally being appreciated by fans after being voted England's player of the year for 2010 by supporters.

Kazakh President calls snap election to buy time to groom a successor

Kazakhstan's veteran leader has called a election on 3 April, almost two years before his current presidential term ends, pre-empting any challenge to his 22-year rule from a restless political elite.

Tensions rise as Russian partner threatens block to BP dividend

Tensions are set to increase between BP and its partner in the TNK-BP joint venture, as the Russian billionaires meet today over whether to block around a $1bn in dividend payments owed to the UK-listed oil giant.

Glittering Games open in Astana

A dramatic three-hour opening ceremony marked the beginning of the 7th Asian Games in Astana, Kazakhstan, yesterday. In front of a crowd of 30,000 people at the city's indoor football stadium, a group of ethnic drummers accompanied a dramatised performance of Kazakh national poetry.

Kazakhstan's president to be given green light to rule for a third decade

Kazakhstan's long-standing president looks set to be spared the hassle of elections, as parliament voted yesterday to hold areferendum that would keep him at the helm until 2020.

Terence Blacker: What if Bilo made a film about us?

Like many successful films, Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan has inspired a sequel. The more simply named My Brother Borat will shortly be released, and its director, Erkin Rakishev, is to make a promotional visit to Britain this weekend.

Kazakh MP moves to censure Borat star

An MP from Kazakhstan has demanded that action be taken against the comedian Sacha Baron Cohen because his fictional Kazakh character Borat still causes his countrymen to suffer "pain in their hearts".

The City Diary: Glorious Kazakh benefit

Nursultan Nazarbayev, the president of natural resource-rich Kazakhstan, has a starring role in the US Embassy cable leaks, with tales of his "cordial relationship" with Prince Andrew, and his fondness for horses. Not included (so far) is a story about Nazarbayev and Kazakhmys – the FTSE-100 miner – uncovered by campaign group Global Witness earlier this year, although the tale dates back to 2006 and a five-night stay at London's swanky Lanesborough hotel.

Village People: Davis makes a clean breast of it. But has he boobed?

The cosmetics firm Rodial obviously cares about its reputation, having sent a solicitors letter to Dr Dalia Nield, of the London Clinic, for expressing doubts about its product "Boob Job", a cream costing £125 a bottle, which they say can raise a woman's bust size by half a cup.

Cable criticises Prince's outburst – but he can keep royal trade role

The Business Secretary, Vince Cable, yesterday chided Prince Andrew for straying into anti-corruption policy in unguarded remarks at a meeting with British businessmen – but insisted that the royal trade emissary should continue in his globetrotting role.

Dom Joly: Now I'm a zoologist, my furry costumes are specimens

Two days out of Dushanbe on horseback and my buttocks are bleeding. We are an expedition of six riders and three armed soldiers . They accompany us periodically before disappearing into the surrounding Kush for hours on end. As they look like men who would have no compunction about killing, I hope that it will be a would-be attacker and not us who gets to find out.

Deaf diplomat loses fight with Foreign Office over posting

Equality watchdogs have warned that disabled people face growing barriers in the workplace after a senior diplomat lost her discrimination claim against a Foreign Office refusal to send her abroad on the grounds her deafness made the posting too expensive.

Charles Crawford: So much for FCO's vision of inclusion

On 22 October an Employment Tribunal delivered a heavy blow to the career prospects of talented disabled people - especially deaf people - in the UK.

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Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that? The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year

Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that?

The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year
Hollande's vanity project is on a high-speed track to the middle of nowhere

Vanity project on a high-speed track to nowhere

France’s TGV network has become mired in controversy
Sports Quiz of the Year

Sports Quiz of the Year

So, how closely were you paying attention during 2014?
Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry, his love of 'Bargain Hunt', and life as a llama farmer

Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry and his love of 'Bargain Hunt'

From Armstrong and Miller to Pointless
Sanchez helps Gunners hold on after Giroud's moment of madness

Sanchez helps Gunners hold on

Olivier Giroud's moment of madness nearly costs them
A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect