Kazakhstan

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Slide Down This Sand Dune and It Starts 'Singing'

And Kazakhstan dune isn't the only one that does this

(Newser) - Some visitors go to Kazakhstan's Altyn-Emel National Park—a preserve the CBC says is four times the size of Hong Kong—to view ancient burial sites or catch a glimpse of wildlife; others go to listen to the park's famous singing dune. The nearly 500-foot-high pile of sand,... More »

Humans and 'Unicorns' May Have Coexisted

Research finds the 'Siberian unicorn' is much younger than we thought

(Newser) - Unicorns are real, and they're a lot younger than we thought. Researchers from Russia's Tomsk State University were digging at a fossil site in Kazakhstan when they found bones belonging to the Elasmotherium sibiricum, otherwise known as the "Siberian unicorn," Huffington Post reports. According to IFL... More »

NASA Gives Best Look at Mysterious Geoglyphs

Some are absolutely massive and thousands of years old

(Newser) - Archaeology enthusiast Dmitriy Dey was watching a television program on pyramids when he decided such things should exist in his native Kazakhstan, as well. The New York Times reports he hopped onto Google Earth to look around a little and stumbled across what could prove to be the oldest earthworks... More »

Something Just Killed 120K Endangered Antelopes

A herd of 60K saigas in Kazakhstan died in only 4 days

(Newser) - An already critically endangered species has been driven even further to the brink after an insane population decline compounded by the fact that scientists are at a loss to explain it. Initially, scientists weren’t too perturbed to hear some saigas—a type of antelope that inhabits Kazakhstan, Russia, and... More »

Town Hit by Sleeping Illness Gets Answer, No Resolution

A nearby uranium mine may be the culprit, but how?

(Newser) - The mysterious sleeping sickness that has befallen dozens of villagers in a remote region of Kazakhstan continues to befuddle scientists. Following reports of victims passing out in schools, at home, and even on a motorcycle, and sometimes failing to snap out of it for days at a time, scientists descended... More »

Mass Antelope Die-off Baffles Scientists

Saiga antelope numbers halved in the space of weeks

(Newser) - After many thousands of years roaming much of central Asia, the saiga antelope has had a terrible couple of decades—and a devastating few weeks. A mysterious illness that causes severe diarrhea and breathing difficulties has wiped out what could be up to half of the remaining population of the... More »

Opposition Scores 2% in Kazakhstan Election

And they weren't all that strongly opposed

(Newser) - Election officials in Kazakhstan say preliminary results of yesterday's nationwide polls show the long-ruling president confirming his incumbency with 97.7% of the vote. A crushing victory for 74-year-old Nursultan Nazarbayev was widely expected from the moment Sunday's snap elections were announced. Nazarbayev faced only two nominal rivals,... More »

Mystery 'Sleeping' Illness Strikes Tiny Town

Village in Kazakhstan struck by 'sleeping sickness'

(Newser) - Activities like cooking, running, and driving a car have gotten a whole lot riskier for villagers in northern Kazakhstan—because they might fall asleep at any moment and stay that way for days, the Smithsonian reports. So far 152 residents in tiny Kalachi have fallen ill with the mystery sickness,... More »

Archaeologists Find Swastika in Kazakhstan Landscape

Google Earth spots more than 50 geoglyphs, including the enormous ancient symbol

(Newser) - Google Earth can be used for more than peeking into your neighbor's backyard: Archaeologists have discovered more than 50 geoglyphs in Kazakhstan, thanks to images from the virtual geographical and map service, reports the International Business Times . Geoglyphs are large designs on the ground, usually created out of mounds... More »

2022 Olympics Could Be in Kazakhstan

Almaty, Beijing, and Oslo are the only cities interested

(Newser) - Left with little choice after the withdrawal of three contenders, the International Olympic Committee retained the three remaining cities today in the troubled race for the 2022 Winter Games. Almaty, Kazakhstan; Beijing, and Oslo made the list of finalists, as had been expected. The cities must submit their detailed bid... More »

Host 2022 Olympics? Cities Say No Thanks

Costs make gig increasingly unappealing

(Newser) - The race is on for the 2022 Winter Olympics—the race to get out of hosting, that is. Four cities that were considering hosting, including two finalists for the job, have dropped out of the running. Four finalists remain, but only two of those bids look robust. Cities just don'... More »

New Radar Evidence the Jet Turned West

Thai military releases its data

(Newser) - Thailand is offering what CNN calls "the second radar evidence" that the missing Malaysia Airlines flight took an altered path toward the Strait of Malacca. All looked normal on Thailand's military radar until 1:22am, when Flight 370 vanished. Within six minutes, an unknown aircraft was spotted moving... More »

Kanye Under Fire for Show in Kazakhstan

Country ranked among most corrupt

(Newser) - Kanye West dropped by Kazakhstan—or, as TMZ puts it, "Borat Land"—this weekend to play a private show for President Nursultan Nazarbayev's grandson's wedding. He was reportedly paid some $3 million for the show, which has raised eyebrows thanks to the country's reputation, the... More »

Booze Smugglers Built Pipeline in River

Kazakhstan entrepreneurs found a way around taxes

(Newser) - It's not your usual smuggling bust: Authorities found a pipeline in the river connecting Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan used to ship alcohol, reports the BBC . Police say smugglers laid the pipe on the bed of the river Chu to move booze out of Kazakhstan, where grains are plentiful and spirits... More »

Russian Rocket Crashes in Kazakhstan

Unmanned Proton-M kaput seconds after lift-off

(Newser) - A Russian rocket carrying three satellites fell apart and crashed in a huge ball of flame seconds after lift-off this morning, spilling 170 tons of toxic fuel near Kazakhstan's Baikonur launch facility. The Proton-M rocket was unmanned and although it crashed near the launch pad, where personnel were in... More »

Kazakhstan Plane Crash Kills All on Board

20 or 21 reported dead

(Newser) - A passenger jet carrying at least 20 people crashed today near Kazakhstan's principal city, Almaty, killing all on board, the airline and officials say. The SCAT airline said the plane carried 15 passengers and five crew. The Kazakh prosecutor-general's office said 21 people were aboard. The airline said... More »

27 Dead in Kazakhstan Military Plane Crash

Border security chief Turganbek Stambekov among those dead

(Newser) - Kazakhstan's acting border service chief was among 27 people killed in a military plane crash today near a southern city, authorities said. The An-72 crashed at 7:55am EST about 12 miles away from the city of Shymkent near the border with Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan's Committee for National Security... More »

Soyuz Lands Safely in Kazakhstan

'Bulls-eye' landing for trio that oversaw first private spaceflight

(Newser) - A Soyuz space capsule carrying a three-man multinational crew touched down safely today on the southern steppes of Kazakhstan, bringing an end to their 193-day mission to the International Space Station. Around a dozen recovery helicopters zeroed into the vast uncultivated land mass, where NASA astronaut Donald Pettit, Russia's... More »

Oops: Kuwait Plays Borat's Spoof Anthem for Athlete

It runs during medal ceremony for Kazakhstan woman

(Newser) - After Kazakhstan's Maria Dmitrienko won gold at the Arab Shooting Championships, she mounted the podium to hear her national anthem played. Problem was, Kuwaiti officials used the obscene spoof version from the Borat movie, reports the Telegraph . (Sample lyric: "Kazakhstan's prostitutes cleanest in the region.")... More »

14 Dead in Kazakhstan Protests

Police fire on oil workers demanding better pay

(Newser) - Hundreds of people today are protesting a brutal police crackdown in western Kazakhstan that left at least 13 dead and 86 wounded, the New York Times reports. The violence began Friday when police fired on oil workers who had been striking for 6 months for better pay. Officials ordered them... More »

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