Kyrgyzstan crisis: in pictures

Violence against ethnic Uzbeks in Kyrgyzstan has left at least 178 people dead and up to 275,000 dis

Above, Uzbek women mourn in Jalal-Abad. The violence broke out last Friday and quickly spread to the village from Osh, 25 miles away, and to other Uzbek villages in the south.


Men cry in the village of Shark, outside Osh, by a destroyed building.


A wrecked building near the People's Friendship University in Jalal-Abad.


Ethnic Uzbek men dig graves in Osh. According to the official toll, 178 people are dead. Many on the ground claim this is a huge underestimate, and that the real figure is closer to 2,000.


Men pray at a funeral in Osh. The clashes are the worst ethnic violence to hit southern Kyrgyzstan since 1990. Government forces are accused of being complicit in the slaughter.


Ethnic Uzbek women cry and plead for help at a refugee camp in Nariman, ten kilometres outside Osh, on the border with Uzbekistan. Up to 200,000 Uzbeks are homeless but stranded in Kyrgyzstan.


Refugees gather by the border with Uzbekistan. On Monday, the country ordered its borders closed to tens of thousands of refugees. About 75,000 are thought to have crossed the frontier before this.


Uzbeks hand bread over the border to refugees in the Nariman camp.

All photos from AFP/Getty Images.

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Samira Shackle is a freelance journalist, who tweets @samirashackle. She was formerly a staff writer for the New Statesman.

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Is anyone prepared to solve the NHS funding crisis?

As long as the political taboo on raising taxes endures, the service will be in financial peril. 

It has long been clear that the NHS is in financial ill-health. But today's figures, conveniently delayed until after the Conservative conference, are still stunningly bad. The service ran a deficit of £930m between April and June (greater than the £820m recorded for the whole of the 2014/15 financial year) and is on course for a shortfall of at least £2bn this year - its worst position for a generation. 

Though often described as having been shielded from austerity, owing to its ring-fenced budget, the NHS is enduring the toughest spending settlement in its history. Since 1950, health spending has grown at an average annual rate of 4 per cent, but over the last parliament it rose by just 0.5 per cent. An ageing population, rising treatment costs and the social care crisis all mean that the NHS has to run merely to stand still. The Tories have pledged to provide £10bn more for the service but this still leaves £20bn of efficiency savings required. 

Speculation is now turning to whether George Osborne will provide an emergency injection of funds in the Autumn Statement on 25 November. But the long-term question is whether anyone is prepared to offer a sustainable solution to the crisis. Health experts argue that only a rise in general taxation (income tax, VAT, national insurance), patient charges or a hypothecated "health tax" will secure the future of a universal, high-quality service. But the political taboo against increasing taxes on all but the richest means no politician has ventured into this territory. Shadow health secretary Heidi Alexander has today called for the government to "find money urgently to get through the coming winter months". But the bigger question is whether, under Jeremy Corbyn, Labour is prepared to go beyond sticking-plaster solutions. 

George Eaton is political editor of the New Statesman.