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Dutch minister for foreign affairs Halbe Zijlstra: opposition parties are demanding his resignation. Photograph: Emmanuel Dunand/AFP/Getty

Dutch foreign minister Halbe Zijlstra admitted on Monday he had lied about hearing Russian president Vladimir Putin make comments about plans for a “g(...)

Hong Kong is seen as a major threat due to major Chinese banks moving in to fund leasing companies there. Photograph: iStock

The latest figures from the International Air Transport Association (IATA), published in December 2017, have forecast net profit for the industry of $(...)

Kazakhstan president Nursultan Nazarbayev recently ordered that his country’s language dump its modified Cyrillic script in favour of the Latin alphabet. Photograph: Kevin Lamarque/Reuters
Endangered apostrophe

These are uncertain times for the humble apostrophe – those suspended squiggles rejected by George Bernard Shaw as “uncouth bacilli” and dismissed by (...)

A bus burns on a road  near the village of Kalybai in Kazakhstan. Emergency officials say 52 people of 57 on the bus died on the fire. Photograph: Kazakhstan Ministry for Emergency Situations via AP

A bus fire in northwestern Kazakhstan killed 52 Uzbek citizens on a route used by migrant workers heading to Russia, the Kazakh interior ministry sai(...)

Erden Kazhybek, the head of Kazakhstan’s Institute of Linguistics, illustrates different spellings of one sound in the Kazakh language in Almaty, Kazakhstan. Photograph: Andrea Bruce/New York Times

In his 26 years as Kazakhstan’s first and only president, Nursultan Nazarbayev, has managed to keep a resurgent Russia at bay and navigate the treach(...)

Maria Sharapova of Russia arrives on court with the the Daphne Akhurst Trophy during the 2018 Australian Open Official Draw at Melbourne Park. Photo: Scott Barbour/Getty Images

If Johanna Konta wants to win her first grand slam title in the country where she was born – and she is among a slew of contenders hoping the absence (...)

 Russian president Vladimir Putin and Syrian president Bashar al-Assad hug at a meeting in the Black Sea resort of Sochi, Russia on Monday. Photograph: Mikhail Klimentyev, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP

A surprise meeting on Monday between Russian president Vladimir Putin and his Syrian counterpart Bashar al-Assad demonstrated both that Assad remains (...)

French nuclear safety institute IRSN said the incident  was likely to be in a nuclear fuel treatment site or centre for radioactive medicine. File photograph: Getty Images

A cloud of radioactive pollution over Europe in recent weeks indicates an unidentified nuclear incident happened at some facility in Russia or Kazakhs(...)

Pro-government Syrian troops taking up positions during fighting with insurgents near Boukamal, on the Iraq-Syria border, November 8th, 2017. Videograb: Syrian Central Military Media/AP

The rout on Thursday by the Syrian army of Islamic State fighters from the eastern border town of Abu Kemal – their last stronghold in Syria – heralds(...)

 A sculpture  in front of the buildings of sovereign wealth fund Samruk-Kazyna in Astana, Kazakhstan. Photograph:   Reuters/Shamil Zhumatov

The largest and richest country in Central Asia, Kazakhstan is opening an embassy in Ireland to expand trade between the two countries, learn how to a(...)

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