Kazakhstan

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Britain’s astronaut Tim Peake says goodbye to his sons before boarding the   310-tonne ‘Soyuz’ rocket that would launch him into orbit. Photograph: Kirill Kudryavtsev/AFP/Getty Images

Britain’s first European Space Agency astronaut, Tim Peake, has blasted off on a six-month mission to the International Space Station from the Baikonu(...)

Photographers take pictures as Russia’s Soyuz TMA-19M spacecraft carrying the International Space Station (ISS) Expedition 46/47 crew of Britain’s astronaut Tim Peake, Russian cosmonaut Yuri Malenchenko and US astronaut Tim Kopra blasts off from the launch pad in Kazakhstan. Photograph: Kirill Kudryavtsev/AFP/Getty Images

Major Tim Peake has blasted off into orbit on board the Soyuz space capsule on his way to becoming the first British astronaut to join the crew of the(...)

Horse wrestling: a traditional nomad existence gave the Kyrgyz the horseback prowess associated with the most famous central Asian, Ghengis Khan. Today the national sport of Kyrgyzstan is wrestling  and a gory form of polo involving a sheep’s headless carcass. Photograph: Jonathan Korowicz

The market in Bishkek is a mayhem of spices, meat and dowdy attire. You want a lock, glue or fresh pistachios? Some “atum” ground chilli or perhaps a (...)

UK Anti-Doping (Ukad)  carried out analysis on 468 blood and urine samples. The number of adverse findings was a big bagel, zilch, zero.  Photograph: David Davies/PA Wire

A fellow called Nursultan Nazarbayev is the president of Kazakhstan. In April of this year Nazarbayev was re-elected with almost 98 per cent of the vo(...)

Iranians walk past a banner showing a portrait of  soldiers killed by Islamic State militants during a mission in  Aleppo in Syria. Photograph: Atta Kenare/AFP/Getty Images

Iran will be invited to participate in talks in Vienna on Friday to discuss ending the conflict in Syria and establishing a framework for political tr(...)

Paper tiger money: there is a plausible, if not universally accepted, understanding that China’s growth is overstated by official statistics and may be as low as 4 per cent.  Photograph: Jason Lee/Reuters

Is a global economic recession likely? If so, what might trigger it? Willem Buiter, Citi’s chief economist and the Financial Times’ erstwhile Mavereco(...)

Robbie Keane’s five goals in two matches against Gibraltar have enabled him win back top scorer slot in  history of European qualification matches from Cristiano Ronaldo. Photograph: Adam Davy/PA Wire.

Andrea Pirlo was one of the classiest midfield playmakers in Europe for more than a decade, but it turns out that doesn’t count for much in Major L(...)

 Chinese actors play Japanese soldiers in a film.  China is to  mark in style  the 70th anniversary of the Chinese People’s War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression, or the second World War. Photograph: Kevin Frayer/Getty Images

Returning home from dinner on the bus last Saturday night, we were halted at the Dongzhimen intersection in downtown Beijing to make way for scores of(...)

A currency exchange booth in Istanbul, Turkey. Turkey is considered by many analysts to be a fragile emerging market, vulnerable to external shocks. Photograph: EPA

The rout in emerging-nation assets has spread, as stocks tumbled around the world and demand for havens spiked on intensifying concern that global gro(...)

A man  walks past a board showing currency exchange rates in Almaty, Kazakhstan on  August 20th Photograph: Reuters

Kazakhstan relinquished control of its exchange rate in the latest sign emerging nations will stop defending their currencies after China roiled globa(...)

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