Oil and PR Open Doors for Kazakh Leader

"SML Strategic Media, the Washington, D.C. PR and editorial shop, placed a four-page advertorial in the September / October Foreign Affairs, the high-brow political journal, extolling progress made in Kazakhstan under the leadership of Nursultan Nazarbayev." But Gregoire de Bourgues, who coordinated the "advertorial," was stabbed to death in Kazakhstan while doing research for it. According to O'Dwyer's, "An official at Kazakhstan's Journalists in Danger organization suspects that de Bourgues may have uncovered information about the recent murders of two prominent opposition leaders." Kazakh president Nazarbayev will "visit the White House later this year, and spend some time at the Bush family compound in Maine." The Washington Post reports that Nazarbayev "has banned opposition parties, intimidated the press and profited from his post. ... But he also sits atop massive oil reserves that have helped open doors in Washington."