Gardening Craze Hits Washington

24 Apr

24 April 2018

The fashion for gardening amongst Central Asia’s Leaders for Life has flown across the Atlantic or over the Pacific and landed on the sculpted lawns of the White House.

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Stop digging! Trump and Macron plant a tree in Washington

The craze, which started last July, was exclusively reported on kazaxia. Now it seems that France’s President Macron has brought the horticultural mania to the heart of political power in the USA as he encouraged his fellow president to get stuck in and help plant an oak he’d brought with him.

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Venal Recalls Uchkuduk 1992 Summit

15 Mar

15 March 2018

On the momentous occasion of most of Central Asia’s leaders getting together in Astana for a chinwag, Lord Venal remembers the last time all Central Asia’s leaders gathered together on the Ides of March.

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“I’ll never forget the look on Islam’s face when Saparmurat (aka Turkmenbashi) gave him that Turkmen hat,” he recalled with a tear in his eye for the only two Central Asian leaders to have died in office. “And of course, that was before Turkmenbashi started dyeing his hair.”

“It was back in 1992 in Uchkuduk, Uzbekistan” he recalled over a glass of merlot or two in an Astana wine cellar. “I remember that the meeting was held in a constructive manner, with many issues discussed and a joint statement was signed after the meeting.”

 

Qazaqstan: The Pest from the West

2 Mar

2 March 2018

After 2 days of spring, a snowstorm, dubbed the Pest from the West, has hit Almaty.

Just two days ago, people were lapping up the early spring sun on terraces but now winter is back with a vengeance.

In Almaty, roads remain open, all schools are working and trains are running on time, albeit overheated on board.

Qazaqstan: Adios to the Apostrophe

20 Feb

19 February 2018

Astana has announced a new version of Qazaq’s latin alphabet using 32 symbols and ditching the much maligned apostrophe version launched last year.

Despite only unveiling the new alphabet in October last year, the Leader of the Nation has now changed his mind and the apostrophe-heavy alphabet has now been strangled before its birth in 2025 in favour of a diacritic-laden version.

There was an immediate reaction on social media with the Twitter hashtag #A’po’s’t’rof’dunS’a’qtap’Qal’  (#SaveTheApostrophe) getting at least three likes as pro-apostrophe fans defended the October version of the alphabet.

 

New Kleptis Merchandise: Presidential Pearls of Wisdom Notebooks

16 Feb

Kleptis Merchandise has just launched its brand-new, innovative product. Presidential Pearls of Wisdom Notebooks™ provides those fortunate enough to be in close proximity to a presidential personage a worthy place to record those wise nuggets, bon mots and classic put-downs that trip so lightly from the region’s presidential lips.

No denizen of the royal palaces should be without these dignified, elegantly-bound volumes. Watch as your shelf at the office or at home sees a growing collection of volumes, always ready for you to dip into for presidential inspiration. Prices began at $100 per volume.

“These volumes are simply magnificent and a pleasure to hold,” Lord Venal says. “I never go anywhere without several, whether to a presidential palace or a humble nightclub.”

The unique initial offer from Kleptis Merchandise sees three of these volumes for the price of four. Bulk orders for those with frequent access to presidents can also be arranged. Volumes can be adorned with national or presidential symbols for a modest extra fee.

Presidential Pearls of Wisdom Notebooks™ Introductory Offer

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Abuja, Nigeria

Wire funds direct to:

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NOTE: For reasons beyond our control, the special saiga-skin bound volumes envisaged for the Kazakh market are no longer available. A reasonable substitute will be sent to all those who have already submitted pre-issue orders

Venal Praise for Tajikistan’s “Innovative” Election Law Changes

12 Feb

Lord Venal – a seasoned observer of elections in the region and a specialist on election law – has praised Tajikistan’s recent amendments to the election law as “innovative”. He welcomes the reduction of the minimum age for any future candidate for the presidency (once the current incumbent decides that he no longer wishes to rule) from 35 to 30 as “self-evidently necessary”.

“What is innovative is the simultaneous reduction in the maximum age to 35,” Lord Venal adds, pointing to a provision not so far widely noted. “But here comes the clever bit – each year the age band rises by one year, both the minimum and maximum ages. That is a stroke of genius.”

Lord Venal is unfussed by deputies’ ultimate decision not to adopt the proposal that any candidate must have the same surname as the previous incumbent. “I could well imagine that were I president, I might want my daughter to succeed me and she might have a different surname.” Asked if he has a daughter who might be in line to inherit his title, Lord Venal responded: “I am sure I have a daughter or two somewhere, I can’t honestly remember.”

Where McMafia meets Game of Thrones

30 Jan

30 January 2018

The International Boxing Association (Aiba) hit the headlines over the weekend when it appointed controversial businessman and suspected mafiosi Gafur Rakhimov its interim President.

Well-known in the world of boxing, this Uzbekistan born sports administrator – he’s been vice president of Aiba since 1998, is also thought to be a major figure in organised crime circles originating out of the former Soviet Union – as portrayed in the BBC drama McMafia.

In December 2017, the US treasury department named Rakhimov as offering  “material support” for the so-called ‘Thieves-in-Law” group – described as a “Eurasian crime syndicate that has been linked to a long list of illicit activity across the globe,” according to the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control Director John E. Smith.

Rakhimov fell foul of Gulnara Karimova, eldest daughter of late president Islam Karimov, when she was in her prime and running amok in Tashkent, grabbing businesses as it pleased her.

Rakhimov was forced into exile in Dubai. Later he allegedly said he would gain revenge by making Gulnara and her sister Lola “run naked through the streets of Tashkent – Game of Thrones fans will see the similarity here to Cersei Lannister’s naked Walk of Shame through the streets of King’s Landing, as pointed out by @GoldenTent on twitter.