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Kazakh schools making switch to Latin alphabet | Education
Kazakh schools making switch to Latin alphabet

Starting this academic year, a number of Astana schools will use the Latin alphabet to teach the Kazakh language, say officials.

Astana showcases Kazakh culture with 'Land of the Great Steppe' festival | Society
Astana showcases Kazakh culture with 'Land of the Great Steppe' festival

The main goal of the event is to preserve historical values and transfer them to new generations, said the Astana government.

IS leader al-Baghdadi admits group in retreat as losses mount worldwide | Security
IS leader al-Baghdadi admits group in retreat as losses mount worldwide

The jihadist leader warned his deputies -- one of whom was killed days later -- of an approaching rebellion by group members.

Kazakhstan considers sweeping police reforms after slaying of Olympic skater | Security
Kazakhstan considers sweeping police reforms after slaying of Olympic skater

The Kazakh government is looking for police reforms to emulate. Georgia might serve as an example.

Uzbekistan shuts down illegal religious schools accused of child abuse | Religion
Uzbekistan shuts down illegal religious schools accused of child abuse

Certain hujras flouted the law by hiring teachers who had no legal right to teach children and lacked religious education themselves. Some teachers used starvation and solitary confinement as punishments against children.

Russia 'ordered' Afghan militants to destroy schools, mosques | Security
Russia 'ordered' Afghan militants to destroy schools, mosques

Newly manufactured weapons from Russia, including sniper rifles and explosives, keep finding their way into the hands of the Afghan Taliban.

In photos: Residents, tourists marvel at Astana's street art | Society
In photos: Residents, tourists marvel at Astana's street art

The artwork has 'enlivened the city', said one comment online.

Turkic Council launches 'Modern Silk Road' multi-country tour | Economy
Turkic Council launches 'Modern Silk Road' multi-country tour

The joint project, launched by Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkey and Azerbaijan, has set up a multi-country tour for visitors seeking to sightsee along the ancient Silk Road.

Case of Tajik family illustrates danger of those 'infected' by extremist ideas | Terrorism
Case of Tajik family illustrates danger of those 'infected' by extremist ideas

Tajikistan's Supreme Court this month upheld the sentences of nine members of the Nasriddinov family who attempted to join IS in Syria last year. The other 19 members of the family reached their destination.

New law delineates Uzbekistan's path to battle extremism | Terrorism
New law delineates Uzbekistan's path to battle extremism

The Fighting Extremism Act, which comes into effect November 1, provides a specific definition of extremism and prescribes ways to fight it across the country.

Central Asians drop Russian names: 'We have our own culture' | Society
Central Asians drop Russian names: 'We have our own culture'

Many residents see no reason to keep names ending in -ov or -ev 27 years after the fall of the Soviet Union.

Documentation of chemical weapons use builds against Russian ally | Human Rights
Documentation of chemical weapons use builds against Russian ally

The Kremlin has been trying to derail an ongoing investigation into the Syrian regime's use of outlawed chemical weapons against civilians, but the amount of documentation is impossible to ignore.

Kazakhstan launches crime victims' compensation fund | Crime & Justice
Kazakhstan launches crime victims' compensation fund

Fund planners are hoping to raise more than 1 billion KZT ($2.9 million) each year made up in part from individuals convicted of criminal offences.

Kyrgyz NGO launches annual 'Take My Child to School' campaign | Education
Kyrgyz NGO launches annual 'Take My Child to School' campaign

Not one child should go without an education, the organisers say.

High hopes in Kyrgyzstan for upcoming World Nomad Games | Society
High hopes in Kyrgyzstan for upcoming World Nomad Games

The 3rd iteration of the event is expected to draw 60,000 people this year, and officials hope the games will boost the country's image abroad.

Kazakh businesses seeking deals with Afghan partners | Economy
Kazakh businesses seeking deals with Afghan partners

Representatives from the Kazakh Chamber of International Commerce, Kazakhstan Railways, Kazakh-Export, Kazakh-Invest, and others attended a trade event to seek out deals with Afghanistan.

Gazprom dashes Tajikistan's hopes for resource wealth
Gazprom dashes Tajikistan's hopes for resource wealth

Tajikistan had counted on Gazprom to help to extract its proven reserves. Instead, the Kremlin-backed company drilled one well in nine years and decided to abandon the country, says Dushanbe.

Central Asia looks on as Georgia marks 10 years of Russian occupation | Security
Central Asia looks on as Georgia marks 10 years of Russian occupation

Russia's presence on Georgian and Ukrainian territory is fueling growing concerns in Central Asia about Kremlin interference.

Uzbek e-visa attracting tourists from US, elsewhere | Economy
Uzbek e-visa attracting tourists from US, elsewhere

Foreign tourists now face less red tape when visiting Samarkand and other historic cities in Uzbekistan.

Shymkent seeks to rival Almaty, Astana as one of Kazakhstan's main cities | Economy
Shymkent seeks to rival Almaty, Astana as one of Kazakhstan's main cities

Recently designated a city of 'national significance', Shymkent is looking at ways to develop its economy.

Kazakh historical drama 'The Road to Mother' to play in US theatres | Media
Kazakh historical drama 'The Road to Mother' to play in US theatres

The award-winning film is expected to screen this November in five US cities, including Los Angeles and New York, and could be shown in more cities based on demand.

Allies of Tajikistan poised to help after 'Islamic State' wake-up call | Terrorism
Allies of Tajikistan poised to help after 'Islamic State' wake-up call

Following a brutal attack on a group of tourists claimed by IS, regional and international allies stand ready to help Tajikistan fight the extremist threat.

Tajik farmer to supply NATO forces in Afghanistan with onions | Business
Tajik farmer to supply NATO forces in Afghanistan with onions

Tajik national Tolib Khasanov is the most recent farmer to sign with Ecolog International, which delivered more than 2,000 tonnes of food from southern Tajikistan in 2017 to feed the troops.

Annual trade fair in Khujand presents 'valley of possibilities' to Central Asian partners | Business
Annual trade fair in Khujand presents 'valley of possibilities' to Central Asian partners

The international trade fair especially highlighted ties between Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

Newsbriefs

Uzbekistan accredits 1st US-based NGO in more than 10 years Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan see bolstered trade for 1st half of 2018 Kazakh anti-corruption authorities confer with FBI delegation in Astana Nazarbayev discusses foreign intelligence, extremists with spy chief Central Asian states team up to save Aral Sea US, Kazakh officials discuss joint efforts to counter nuclear smuggling Kyrgyz native sentenced in Russia for financing Syrian militants European Parliament delegation visits Uzbekistan Uzbek prime minister hospitalised after car crash Tashkent citizens to enjoy free public internet for 1st time Kazakhstan set to ban import of gasoline from Russia EXPO Issyk-Kul 2018 to encourage foreign investment Kyrgyzstan to form tourist police Rahmon makes groundbreaking official visit to Uzbekistan Tajik police arrest 5 in connection with IS-claimed bicyclist slayings Tajik ex-IS militant gets 17 years in prison Astana to host Kazakh-Kyrgyz co-operation talks Uzbek, US officials confer in Tashkent on investment, trade Bishkek authorities inspect schools for upcoming academic year Almaty police rescue kidnapped bride-to-be New solar plant to reduce energy dependence of Kyzylorda Province Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan might swap land along border White House nominates new ambassador to Kazakhstan Taliban delegation visits Uzbekistan to discuss Afghan peace process, security Rescue effort continues as 7 flown out from site of helicopter crash Kyrgyzstan to propose common voting days for local elections Caspian Sea nations sign accord on resources, borders European bank sets aside credit for Kazakh small businesses Tajik police failed to arrest IS attack suspect 3 months ago: investigators Kazakhstan bars 88 foreign TV channels New Bishkek mayor's Kyrgyz language skills not up to par: activists Nazarbayev appoints new defence minister Kazakh troops to head to US for Exercise Steppe Eagle Dushanbe-Bukhara flights resume after quarter-century Bicyclist slayings in Tajikistan reflect change in IS recruiting: analysts Tajikistan enacts stiffer penalties for promoting terrorism online Kyrgyz migrant dies from beating in Moscow Province 32 Kazakh inmates serving life sentences for terrorism Uzbekistan prohibits land seizures without full compensation Uzbekistan simplifies creation of joint ventures Tajikistan to form tourist police after IS-claimed bicyclist slayings US government assists Tajik investigation of deadly cyclist attack Kyrgyzstan to reform children's homes, state-run boarding schools European development bank president confers with Uzbek officials