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Olympics: Kazakh skating star inspired by hometown's 2022 bid

Kazakhstan's Olympic bronze medal-winning figure skating star Denis Ten on Thursday backed the bid by his home city Almaty to host the Winter Games in 2022, saying it could transform the entire region. Ten, who is being feted as a national hero at home after his bronze in the men's individual event, said he had been inspired to take up the sport by the facilities in Almaty, the city of his birth. The organisers of the bid believe it has a good chance to beat proposals from four other cities as Almaty already has much of the necessary sporting infrastructure in place.

Huge fire engulfs Kazakh city after petrol tanker crash

A huge fire erupted in Kazakhstan's biggest city of Almaty on Thursday when a petrol tanker burst into flames after crashing on a busy residential street, killing the driver and setting fire to eight other vehicles. The Almaty municipality said in a statement that dozens of people were evacuated from a neighbouring apartment block as the flames and black smoke spread high into the sky. "The petrol tanker overturned and exploded, leaking petrol. Eight vehicles caught fire. The flames reached the ninth floor of the residential block," it said in a statement.

Runaway oligarch says Kazakh leader takes revenge on family

By Dmitry Solovyov ALMATY (Reuters) - Fugitive Kazakh oligarch and dissident Mukhtar Ablyazov said on Saturday his wife and daughter were with relatives in the city of Almaty, after earlier accusing President Nursultan Nazarbayev of "kidnapping" them following their deportation from Italy. Ablyazov, 50, fled the oil-rich Central Asian state after his bank BTA was nationalized and declared insolvent in 2009. The former government minister, who says his life is in danger, was granted political asylum in Britain in 2011.

Iran, world powers begin nuclear talks in Kazakhstan

Iran and six world powers began a new round of negotiations in Kazakhstan on Friday aimed at ending the decade-long dispute surrounding the Islamic republic's nuclear programme, a Western official said. "The plenary session just began this morning at the Rixos," said the official, referring to a five-star hotel in the Kazakh city of Almaty. zak/sjw/boc
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