By DASHA LITVINOVA, Associated Press

MOSCOW (AP) — Kazakhstan's president has authorized security forces to shoot to kill those participating in unrest whom he called "terrorists."

His move Friday opens the door for a dramatic escalation in a crackdown on anti-government protests that have turned violent.

The Central Asian nation this week experienced its worst street protests since gaining independence from the Soviet Union three decades ago.

The demonstrations began over a near-doubling of prices for a type of vehicle fuel but quickly spread across the country, reflecting wider discontent with authoritarian rule.

In a televised address to the nation, President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev referred to those involved in the turmoil as "terrorists" and "bandits."

It is unclear how peaceful protests descended into violence.

33 Photos That Show Why You Wish You Were at this Monitor Lizard Christmas Party in Bangkok

Monitor lizard caretakers and enthusiasts gather on Christmas Day at a restaurant in Bangkok to share their love of the often controversial monitor lizard. Although many agree that they are usually shy by nature and will stay away from human beings – unless they are raised by them – they can be aggressive when provoked or hungry – especially in the wild. 

It is a day of fun, food and drink (for lizards and their human caregivers), and prizes.

There are approximately 80 species of monitor lizards known to exist on Earth at this time, and most are considered venomous. According to Singapore’s National Parks agency that venom usually has a “relatively mild effect on (human beings).”

Wildfire in Louisville, Colorado December 2021

Officials estimate that 991 homes were destroyed, lost in wildfires that burned the Centennial Heights neighborhood in Louisville, Colorado on December 30, 2021.

Although most people escaped, some were not so lucky. A week later investigators are still uncovering human remains in the rubble.

The cause of the fire has not yet been determined, but it is clear that the flames were fueled by winter wind that, at times, gusted to more than 100 miles per hour.

As of 2022 it is the most destructive fire in Colorado's history.

LOOK: Food history from the year you were born

From product innovations to major recalls, Stacker researched what happened in food history every year since 1921, according to news and government sources.

LOOK: The top holiday toys from the year you were born

With the holiday spirit in the air, it’s the perfect time to dive into the history of iconic holiday gifts. Using national toy archives and data curated by The Strong from 1920 to today, Stacker searched for products that caught hold of the public zeitgeist through novelty, innovation, kitsch, quirk, or simply great timing, and then rocketed to success.

LOOK: Things from the year you were born that don't exist anymore

The iconic (and at times silly) toys, technologies, and electronics have been usurped since their grand entrance, either by advances in technology or breakthroughs in common sense. See how many things on this list trigger childhood memories—and which ones were here and gone so fast you missed them entirely.