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Turkmenistan to hold presidential vote in February

Ashgabat - Turkmenistan will hold a presidential vote on February 12 next year, state media reported Saturday, with President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov likely to compete unencumbered by any serious opposition.

Turkmenistan changes constitution to extend leader's rule

Ashgabat - Isolated Central Asian Turkmenistan on Wednesday passed constitutional changes that could pave the way for authoritarian leader Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov to rule the ex-Soviet nation for life.

Turkmenistan leader sacks two ministers, tax chief

Ashgabat - Energy-rich Turkmenistan's President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov sacked two ministers and the top tax official, government media reported Saturday as low prices for hydrocarbon exports continue to bite.

Turkmenistan introduces mandatory pre-marital HIV tests

Ashgabat - Turkmenistan has passed a law making HIV tests mandatory prior to marriage, state media reported on Wednesday, in a sign the reclusive Central Asian state fears the spread of a disease it has always downplayed.

Central Asia strongman regimes challenged by stuttering economies

Ashgabat - Pensioner Anna Kovalyova, 63, would struggle to make ends meet on her pension worth $250 if it was not for the subsidies from the authorities in Turkmenistan that make water, gas and electricity almost free.

Turkmen leader sacks key aide amid graft charges

Ashgabat - Turkmenistan's President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov has sacked his administration chief, complaining of corruption and mismanagement, state television said Saturday, as economic troubles begin to mount in the isolated Central Asian state.

Turkmenistan pulls cigarettes from shelves in anti-smoking bid

Ashgabat - Turkmenistan's authorities have forced shops to stop selling cigarettes, traders in Ashgabat said Thursday, after its president urged citizens to kick the habit.

Songs of praise: Turkmenistan president's hymn sets new record

Ashgabat - A choir of 4,166 people in isolated ex-Soviet Turkmenistan has broken a world record by singing a hymn penned by the nation's strongman president, in the latest choreographed show of support.

Don't call it the Great Game: U.S. renews Central Asia ties

Ashgabat - The great cities of the Silk Road were once thriving, cosmopolitan centers for the trade in goods, ideas and culture between the civilizations of Europe and Asia.

Turkmen president's birthday celebrations reinforce personality cult

Ashgabat - Citizens of gas-rich Turkmenistan marked strongman President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov's 58th birthday in the national capital Ashgabat Monday by attending the opening of an ostentatious park named in his honour.

UN chief wraps Central Asia visit, citing rights fears

Ashgabat - United Nations General Secretary Ban Ki-moon on Saturday warned of a worsening rights situation across Central Asia, as he ended a visit to energy-rich Central Asia in ex-Soviet Turkmenistan.

Turkmenistan unveils gold statue of president

Ashgabat - The isolated Central Asian state of Turkmenistan on Monday unveiled a massive gold statue of President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov riding a horse in a move that echoes his predecessor's cult of personality.

Turkmenistan pardons over 1,200 prisoners

Ashgabat - The gas-rich former Soviet state of Turkmenistan has pardoned more than 1,200 prisoners in an amnesty, state media reported Saturday, quoting strongman President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov.

Turkmenistan hopes 'Door to Hell' will boost tourism

- Locals call it the Door to Hell, a giant burning pit that has spit out angry flames for more than 40 years, casting a yellow-orange glow into the evening sky.

Philippine Azkals beat Turkmenistan 2-0 in AFC Challenge Cup

The Philippine Azkals earned a semi-final slot in the on-going AFC Challenge Cup tournament in Maldives after beating the highly-rated Turkmenistan National Football Team in Male, Maldives Saturday night.

Azkals need only a draw to advance in AFC Challenge Cup

The Philippine Azkals need only to draw against Turkmenistan to advance in the semi- finals of the ongoing AFC Challenge Cup in Maldives.

Soviet scientists open the 'Door to Hell'

Fed by one of the largest natural gas reserves in the world, the Darvaza gas crater in the Karakum Desert of central Turkmenistan is fittingly called "The Door to Hell" by locals. Aptly named, flames and the pungent odor of sulfur permeate the area.

China plans 13,000 km railway linking Beijing and United States

Beijing - China says it’s already in talks to build a high-speed railway that would connect the Chinese capital Beijing with continental United States.

Turkmenistan drops state honours named for late leader's mother

Ashgabat - Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov has scrapped a state award named after the mother of the late president in the latest reform to his predecessor's bizarre rule, Neutral Turkmenistan newspaper reported Tuesday.The isolated energy-rich Centra...

Jennifer Lopez regrets entertaining Turkmenistan ruler

Popular American entertainer Jennifer Lopez has apologized for entertaining Turkmenistan President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov and for singing happy birthday to the 56-year-old leader in a party held at flashy Avaza resort Saturday.
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