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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