Uzbekistan’s 44-year-old gymnast heads for ‘last’ Olympics | AFP

Aged 44 and readying for her eighth Olympics in Tokyo, Uzbek gymnast Oksana Chusovitina makes light of her record-breaking survival in a sport dominated by teen prodigies. But while the desire to compete still burns in Chusovitina, she says she has given her word to her family, whom she calls her “strongest motivation”, that the Tokyo Games this year will be her “last Olympics”.

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Citizens react ahead of Uzbekistan’s election | AFP

Citizens in ex-Soviet Uzbekistan head to the first parliamentary polls since a new leader ushered in optimistic reforms, but choice at the ballot box remains scant. Shavkat Mirziyoyev took charge over Central Asia’s most populous country in 2016 — the same year hardline predecessor and former patron Islam Karimov died after nearly three decades in power. Over 20 million people are eligible to vote in the Muslim-majority republic where 33 million people live. from Uzbek citizensN°1N60IP

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Uzbekistan looks to soften image of notorious cotton sector | AFP

Uzbekistan – an ex-Soviet nation of 33 million in Central Asia – is the world’s sixth largest producer of cotton. Since the Soviet period, centralised and later national production targets have led to forced labour. Uzbekistan’s current president, Shavkat Mirziyoyev, has denounced the use of forced labour and promised to eradicate state quotas by 2023.

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Muslims seek voice in a changing Uzbekistan

Last year Muminjonova was one of 10 students excluded from a university in Tashkent, the capital of Uzbekistan for violating dress code by sporting the hijab, a staple of female Islamic dress. Over 90 percent of Uzbekistan’s population is Muslim and social conservatism runs deep, especially in the provinces of the 33 million-strong republic.

Uzbekistan pulls out the stops for fine winemaking

Uzbek farmers are on the front lines of an ambitious state-led winemaking drive in the majority-Muslim country. A decree published by President Shavkat Mirziyoyev’s office in February calls for an increase in wine exports of more than 60 percent by the end of 2021, aiming to cultivate varieties from France, Italy, Chile and the United States, along with the traditional varieties native to the former Soviet countries of the Caucasus.

Pride and fears for Uzbekistan’s ‘Louvre of the Steppes’

More than 50 years after its founding, the Nukus Museum of Art in Uzbekistan’s remote Karakalpakstan region still startles and charms visitors in the spirit of its eccentric late founder. But having survived Soviet censorship and predatory foreign art dealers in the 1990s, some fear the world’s second-largest collection of Russian avant-garde art, faces a fresh threat.

Uzbeks attend first electronic music fest by ravaged Aral Sea

Festival-goers dance beside rusting boats beached miles from the shrinking Aral Sea at ‘Stihia’ or Element in Russian, is the first electronic music festival ever held in ex-Soviet Uzbekistan, which has recently moved to open up to international tourism. The music festival is staged in an area of desert caused by one of the world’s largest man-made environmental catastrophes, the shrinking of the Aral Sea that borders Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan, caused by Soviet irrigation projects that diverted its tributary rivers.

Tourism boom to test Uzbekistan’s thaw

Coiffed, cheerful and multilingual, identical twins Fatima and Zukhra Rakhmatova are frontline members of a newly-formed, user-friendly Tourist Police deployed in the famed Silk Road city of Samarkand and other hotspots as a visitor boom sweeps the Central Asian country.

LIVE: Putin speaks at SCO meeting in Kazakhstan

Russian President Vladimir Putin is speaking at the 17th Meeting of the Council of Heads of State of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in Astana, Kazakhstan. The leaders of the SCO member states, China, Kazakhstan, Russia, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, gathered to discuss the current state of the organization and its prospects for development, as well as to exchange views on regional and international policy.

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Stockholm truck attack suspect confirmed 39yo Uzbek national

The arrested suspect in the Stockholm truck attack comes from Uzbekistan and is 39 years old, investigators said at a press conference. He was described as “a marginal character,” previously named in “security information” but not under any recent investigation.

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Uzbekistan president Karimov dies aged 78 after 27 years in power

Uzbekistan confirmed that its President Islam Karimov, who led the republic in various capacities from 1989, has died. He led the gradual transition from a Soviet republic into a nationalist Islamic country, fighting poverty and radicalism.

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