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/ 8 April 2008

South Korea’s first astronaut blasts off

South Korea’s first astronaut, Yi So-yeon, blasted off into space on Tuesday, prompting her mother, apparently overwhelmed by the occasion, to scream and fall to the ground. In another historic first, one of her fellow cosmonauts, Sergei Volkov, followed in the footsteps of his father, celebrated cosmonaut Alexander Volkov.

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/ 12 January 2008

Dozens killed in Kazakh mine blast

The death toll in a Kazakh coal mine explosion rose to 30 on Sunday when authorities gave up hope of rescuing 23 trapped miners and said they could not have survived. ”The high temperatures and the high concentration of carbon oxide … have made their survival impossible,” the Emergencies Ministry said.

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/ 10 January 2007

Kazakh Parliament appoints technocrat as PM

Oil-producing ex-Soviet state Kazakhstan on Wednesday appointed Karim Masimov, a technocrat who studied at a United States business school, to the post of prime minister. Both houses of Parliament voted unanimously to approve Masimov, who until now served as deputy prime minister. He was nominated for the job by President Nursultan Nazarbayev.

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/ 20 October 2006

In Kazakhstan, the hungry do eat a horse

It felt like I had been chewing for days, yet the plate of stewed horse, lamb and unidentified liver, served on a bed of greasy dough, appeared to be getting no smaller. Determined to prove to the local officials hosting a group of foreign reporters that I would not spurn the Kazakh national dish, beshbarmak, I chomped on.

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/ 19 October 2006

Grumpy Kazakhs invite Borat to ‘his’ land, at last

Alarmed by the antics of a fictional TV reporter who portrays their country as a nation of horse urine-drinking misogynists, Kazakh authorities have invited the British comedian who plays the character to come and see the truth for himself. Rakhat Aliyev, Kazakh first deputy foreign ministe, asked British comedian Sacha Baron Cohen to visit the vast, oil-rich steppe nation.

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/ 20 September 2006

Blast at Kazakh mine kills more than 40

At least 41 people were killed on Wednesday when an underground explosion tore through a coal mine in Kazakhstan belonging to Mittal Steel, a senior company official said. ”According to preliminary but almost certain data, 41 people have perished,” Grigory Prezent, deputy coal department director of Mittal Steel Temirtau, told reporters at the scene.

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/ 30 May 2006

Fire engulfs Kazakhstan skyscraper

Firefighters in the Kazakh capital Astana were on Tuesday battling to put out a blaze at a 32-storey skyscraper dubbed the "cigarette lighter". Flames and smoke could be seen pouring out of the building, which houses the ex-Soviet Central Asian state’s transport and communications ministry.

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/ 30 March 2006

Brazilian astronaut blasts off towards space station

Brazil’s first astronaut, Marcos Pontes, was launched into space aboard a Soyuz space craft from the Russian base at Baikonur in Kazakhstan early on Thursday along with his Russian and United States colleagues. The Soyuz FG rocket took off at 2.30am GMT on its way to the International Space Station with Pontes, Russian cosmonaut Pavel Vinogradov and US astronaut Jeffrey Williams aboard.

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/ 9 November 2005

Europe launches its first mission to Venus

Europe’s first mission to Venus was successfully launched on Wednesday from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan and emitted its first signal at the start of its 163-day journey to the turbulent planet. Venus Express will explore the unusual stormy atmosphere and runaway global warming on Venus.

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/ 1 October 2005

World’s third space tourist blasts off

A Soyuz rocket carrying United States millionaire scientist Gregory Olsen and a Russian-American crew lifted off on Saturday from the Central Asian steppes, launching the world’s third space tourist on a two-day journey to the international space station. The rocket streaked into the blue sky with an ear-splitting blast.

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/ 14 April 2005

Cheese and nuts in space

Forget images of germ-free processed space rations. The crew of the international space station will now be able to feast on a range of Italian delicacies, Italian astronaut Roberto Vittori revealed in Kazakhstan on Thursday as he prepares to blast off. "One of the particularities of this mission is that we’ll be taking Italian food with us," he said.