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

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform