Domestic News in Brief

The Government of Kazakhstan will hold an extended meeting chaired by President Nursultan Nazarbayev on January 23. The president will announce important changes in national policies in light of the new Strategy 2050 he announced in his state of the nation address in mid-December. The new measures are expected to focus on maintaining the pace of economic growth, developing the national transportation infrastructure, developing a green economy and accelerating innovative industrial growth.

President Nursultan Nazarbayev has signed a new law on onomastics, the study of names and their origins. The law establishes new clear lines of demarcation between bodies charged with the power to name streets, buildings, monuments and institutions around the country and creates new legal mechanisms to coordinate their activities, the Presidential press service said.

Genetic scientists in Kazakhstan have developed a new technology for transforming adult stem cells into embryonic ones. It is the first time such research has taken place in the country. The new technology involves extracting stem cells from an adult and transforming them into embryonic forms. Embryonic cells can be used to reconstruct different types of tissues, including skin, bone, cartilaginous and vascular.

The first coronary artery bypass surgical operation in Kazakhstan has been successfully carried out in Pavlodar. The operation took place in November 2012 on a 63-year-old man in the city’s new cardio-surgical centre. The patient suffered from a major myocardial infarction. He remains in intensive care in stable condition.

A new railway station will be built in Astana, Mayor Imangali Tasmagambetov said. “The new station will be built near the city’s international airport and the site has direct access to the entire necessary service infrastructure,” the mayor said at a meeting with visiting International Exhibitions Bureau (BIE) Secretary-General Vicente Loscertales. The new rail station will be opened in time to serve EXPO 2017. Construction work will start in January 2014.

A new railway service has been opened from Astana to Uralsk in west Kazakhstan to handle an increased volume of passenger traffic on the route.

Drivers in Astana, Almaty and Atyrau are now receiving newly-designed number plates. More than 1,000 cars received new number plates over the first working days in the new year, and about 300 are receiving them daily now. The Astana traffic police said the new number plates are only for private vehicles and will soon be available in all 16 regions of the country.

Residents of the Saryagash and Sozak districts in southern Kazakhstan who suffered from flooding and a heavy storm last week are receiving assistance. Their electricity supply has been restored and damaged roads and bridges are being rebuilt. Local residents are now receiving food, clothes and coal. The disaster caused 200 million tenge ($1.327 million) in damage. Two houses were destroyed and four bridges, 26 roads, two pipeline service facilities and a school were badly damaged.

Gabidulla Abdrakhimov, the former chairman of the Agency for the protection of competition, was appointed deputy chief of staff to the president on January 22.

On the same day, Kairat Kozhamzharov, the former governor of the Akmola region and the erstwhile chair of the Agency on fighting corruption, was appointed assistant to the president and secretary of the Security Council.

President Nursultan Nazar­bayev has signed new amendments to laws on combating terrorism, the president’s press office announced January 4. The reforms expand the scope of preventive measures, including co-operation with religious authorities, anti-terrorism education in schools and public information campaigns.