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Tuesday, January 7, 2014
Headlines in Italic are ones modified by Cover Mongolia from original
Kincora Copper eyeing target generation at Bronze Fox
January 6 (Proactive Investors) Kincora Copper (CVE:KCC) expects to have generated targets for potential drilling at its flagship Bronze Fox project in Mongolia shortly.
Recent results from two independent consultants have been particularly encouraging, it told investors.
Work has confirmed possible porphyry mineralisation at numerous prospects, which share the same "arc" as Rio Tinto's huge Oyu Tolgoi project mine 140km away along strike and a similar footprint to other large-scale deposits.
"In the last quarter, Kincora completed one of the most active copper exploration programmes in Mongolia during 2013, on one of the most advanced and prospective projects with the benefit of having one of the youngest exploration licences," the company said.
"The recently completed field season activities have helped technically advance the Bronze Fox project, highlighting that most large scale IP targets remain untested, but importantly the 2013 programme has assisted to "explain" previous results and lead to a reinterpretation of some target zones and existing geological and geophysical information.
A number of analogies between the current stage of exploration and results at Bronze Fox and Oyu Tolgoi in 2000/01 pre the "discovery hole" have emerged.
Sentosa Mining: CHANGE OF COMPANY NAME & ASX CODE
January 7, Sentosa Mining Limited (ASX:SEO) --
Further to the announcement of the 2013 Annual General Meeting results of 7th November 2013:
· Sentosa Mining Limited has changed its name to Parmelia Resources Limited;
· The Company's code on the Australian Securities Exchange will change from SEO to PML effective 9 January 2014; and
· The new website address is www.parmeliaresources.com.
Parmelia Resources Limited (ASX:PAM) is a Perth, Western Australia based mineral exploration company with a focus on exploration for copper and gold with active projects in the Eastern Goldfields region of Western Australia and the Gobi-Altai province of Western Mongolia.
Parmelia's board comprises a successful group of mining professionals with the broad industry experience necessary to explore existing projects and to identify and pursue new opportunities in Australia and around the globe.
Mongolian Stock Exchange's Chief Executive, Deputy to Resign
By Michael Kohn
Jan. 6 (Bloomberg) -- The Mongolian Stock Exchange's chief executive officer and his deputy will resign from their positions on January 15.
CEO Altai Khangai submitted his resignation "some time ago," he said in a phone interview today, without giving specific information on the timing. The resignation was accepted by the State Property Commission on December 26, he said from the capital Ulaanbaatar. Altai was made CEO in January 2011.
Deputy CEO Saruul Ganbaatar submitted his resignation today after nearly three years on the job, he said in a separate phone interview from Ulaanbaatar.
Mongolian Stock Exchange CEO submits resignation
January 6 /news.mn/ Local reports say that Kh.Altai, CEO of the Mongolian Stock Exchange (MSE) was dismissed from his position on the decision of the State Property Committee in a meeting just before the New Year.
Kh.Altai made a statement about the report on the phone; "I was not asked to step down. I submitted a request to resign on my own. The Board of Directors of the Mongolian Stock Exchange (MSE) will hold a meeting to solve the issue. I think I have completed my targeted tasks. I believe that I have done my work to create a legal environment and infrastructure to further develop the stock exchange, so I therefore delivered my request to resign".
Stock Exchange Weekly Review: Top 20 +2.92%, Turnover ₮135.5 Million
Ulaanbaatar, January 6 /MONTSAME/ Five stock trades were held at Mongolia's Stock Exchange from December 30 of 2013 to January 3 of 2014. (Mogi: you mean FOUR trading days?)
In overall, 252 thousand and 972 shares were sold of 43 joint-stock companies totaling MNT 135 million 517 thousand and 184.00.
"Hermes center" /194 thousand and 573 units/, "Hai Bi Oil" /16 thousand and 350 units/, "Remikon" /15 thousand and 670 units/, "Khokhgan" /6,852 units/ and "APU" /4,636 units/ were the most actively traded in terms of trading volume, in terms of trading value--"Hermes center" (MNT 32 million 102 thousand and 745), " Teever Darkhan" (MNT 28 million and 750 thousand), "APU" /MNT 19 million 004 thousand and 990/, "Baganuur" /MNT 10 million 514 thousand and 485/ and "Shivee ovoo" (MNT five million 898 thousand and 500).
BDSec Daily Market Update, January 6: Top 20 +1.76%, Turnover ₮19 Million
January 6 (BDSec) Stocks advanced over the bourse on Monday. MSE Top 20 index added 286.14 points or 1.76% to settle at 16,541.84 points. Moninjbar (MIB), a construction company, soared 14.68% to finish at MNT 250, followed by State Department Store (+12.63%) and Telecom Mongolia (+12.07%). Thermal coal miners, Shivee Ovoo (SHV) and Aduunchuluun (ADL) lost 10.26% and 5.87%, respectively. Turnover was light on Monday at MNT 19.0 million.
Trading Value Leaders
State Department Store (UID)
Telecom Mongolia (UID)
Shivee Ovoo (SHV)
Mongolian Development Resources (MDR)
Ariljaa Impex, Selenge Dulaankhan, Khorgo Khairkhan Trading Reinstated by FRC
January 3 (MSE) Based on clauses 6.1.1 and 6.2.2 of "Law on legal status of Financial Regulatory Commission" , clause 34.1.1 of "Securities Market Law" and 4.1 of decree no.:77 of Financial Regulatory Commission from 2008, respectively, by the decree no.:516, 542, 543 of FRC from 18 December 2013 securities trading of "Ariljaa Impex", "Selenge Dulaankhan", "Khorgo Khairkhan" JSC have been reinstated beginning from 19 December 2013.
BoM MNT Rates: January 6 Close
December Chart: (Mogi: sorry folks, BoM has still not added 2014 to the graphs yet)
Total outstanding bills fall ₮43.5 billion to ₮1.52 trillion
BoM issues 1-week bills
January 6 (Bank of Mongolia) BoM issues 1 week bills worth MNT 267.5 billion at a weighted interest rate of 10.5 percent per annum /For previous auctions click here/
Engineering Design of East Route Railway to Be Completed Soon
Ulaanbaatar, January 6 /MONTSAME/ At the second stage of the 'New Railway' project, Nippon Koei is conducting an engineering plan and technical designs of Tavantolgoi-Choibalsan-Ereentsav.
The second stage engineering design also includes Hoot-Bichil and Hoot-Nomrog railways, and so far a two third of the design development and related surveys have been completed.
The Mongolian Government last February selected Japanese Nippon Koei among 16 domestic and foreign firms as an advisor company in developing a 1,600 km Cargo Railway Construction Project, and then the sides signed a cooperation contract of USD 17 million a month later.
Nippon Koei's scope of work includes detailed analysis of environment impact assessments, geotechnical and geodesy surveys, Front End Engineering Design (FEED) and tender assistance for Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) contractor procurement.
The project connects the railway network between Ukhaakhudag and Ereentsav via Sainshand and Choibalsan, and extends to Mongolia's borders with Russia and China. The project will enable transport of coal and copper mines to international markets at competitive costs.
During 60 years, Nippon Koei has worked on over 3000 multi-disciplinary infrastructure projects in 135 countries all over the world. Nippon Koei is the oldest independent consulting firm in Japan, which have been providing consulting services for economic development projects since 1946.
Mogi: Montsame, ever still read like a communist manifesto.
Ulaanbaatar Railway Transported Cargo of 21 Million Tons
Ulaanbaatar, January 6 /MONTSAME/ The Ulaanbaatar Railway, a joint Mongolia-Russia venture has loaded shipment of nearly 16 million tons, and transported cargo of 21 million tons in 2013.
According to the company statement published last Saturday, the Railway achieved its goals projected within the last year. In intention to make 2013 a year of advanced transportation qualities, the joint venture had substantial technology changes, and organizational reforms. The same year, the company has also increased the train speeds to nearly 50 km/hour, making the train a 5-9 percent faster than that of the last year.
The achievements mark the greatest of all time, since establishment of Ulaanbaatar railway joint venture 65 years ago.
According to statistics, Ulaanbaatar Railway accounts for more than 80 percent of all national freight and 30 percent of all passenger transport within Mongolia. Its total track length is 1,815 kilometers, and the company employs around 16,000 people.
The main route of Ulaanbaatar Railway, Mongolia's most important transportation artery, runs north-south through the central part of the country. It links Mongolia to Russia and China and provides the shortest overland route between Moscow and Beijing.
Mongolia at a crossroad as boom brings challenges
January 6 (Bangkok Post) Workers covered from head to toe check in early at the construction sites in downtown Ulan Bator, just a few blocks away from Mongolia's parliament. Cranes still work unceasingly all day long as construction companies make the most out of unexpectedly "mild" winter weeks — temperatures have rarely fallen below -20 degrees Celsius so far.
Dozens of office buildings are being erected at quick pace, while residential developments featuring fancy colours and rococo terraces are rising just across the road.
Ulan Bator's construction boom is adding new momentum to the country's economic growth. The government is flooding the economy with cheap mortgages to weather a slowdown in the mining sector, and construction entrepreneurs are rubbing their hands with glee.
But Mongolia's winter will finally kick in for real and temperatures drop below -30C — enough to put on hold any further development till spring comes. When the last gate is locked, eyes will turn to Mongolia's economic gem, the mining industry, looking for answers.
Mongolia's vast, largely untapped deposits of gold, copper, coal and uranium might be worth as much as US$1.3 trillion.
In a country of only 2.8 million people, that represents a huge opportunity.
"By 2030, Mongolia will become one of the three richest countries in Asia by GDP per capita after Singapore and Japan," Alisher Ali, founder of the investment group Silk Road Finance, said earlier this year in an interview.
Piggybacking the rapid development of the mining industry in the last decade, the economy has already leapt forward, standing out as the world's fastest-growing economy in 2011. But after a few years of solid growth, the country has come to a crossroad. Investments for almost $7-billion Oyu Tolgoi (OT) copper and gold mine, the country's largest mining project, hang in the balance for an ongoing dispute between Rio Tinto and the government, which has a 34% stake in the mine, over the costs of a planned expansion.
"When it comes to OT, Rio Tinto and the government are sitting in the same boat," said Lakshmi Boojoo, director of the Economic Policy and Competitiveness Research Centre. "Each side is now trying to strike the best deal, but eventually they will find an agreement."
Most of the observers share her optimism. But it will likely take months before the expansion project gets back on track as Rio Tinto is focusing on a global cost-cutting programme, and bleak global commodity market conditions add in another potential cause of delay. For an economy worth just over $10 billion and largely dependent on foreign investments, the current impasse on OT weights down the whole economy.
Beyond the uncertainties with OT, investor sentiment has been flagging lately due to restrictions rushed in by the previous government in May 2012 and only recently amended.
"That law froze many deals," said Sereeter Javkhlanbaatar, the head of the Invest Mongolia Agency.
The new investment rules approved in October 2013 gave rise to new optimism in the Ulan Bator business community, but it will take time before any big deals enter the pipeline; foreign investment inflows were down 46.8% from January to August this year.
The cheap credit made available by the government is keeping the economy afloat, with a 2013 growth rate estimated at around 11%. Still, the policy is raising a few eyebrows.
"The rapid credit growth observed in recent months is not sustainable and, unless reined in, risks leading to sustained pressures on macro stability," the IMF warned in its latest country assessment.
The IMF is now expecting the economy to keep growing at double-digit pace in 2014, but then it sees growth slowing down to 5.8% in 2015 and 3.6% in 2016 — well below the government's official forecasts.
As authorities battle to get the economy back on track, they also face the increasing challenges brought on by the quick economic development of recent years.
The capital Ulan Bator is growing increasingly dysfunctional. Over the last decade, thousands of people flocked to the city looking for job opportunities and the population doubled to around 1.5 million people. Such a steep increase has posed infrastructure challenges.
Half of Ulan Bator's citizens live in gers (Mongolian traditional tents) or shacks, lacking access to any basic service.
Commuters get stuck in never-ending traffic jams, decade-old power plants and district heating networks struggle to catch up with the city's growing needs, and pollution is running out of control. In a country where people used to worship its limitless blue sky, Ulan Bator today is the world's second most polluted city.
Corruption is mounting too. "A few years ago we had the problem that there was no money. Now there is too much money, and everybody wants a share of it," said one citizen.
The current government has committed to seriously tackling corruption and recent analyses have tracked some improvement, although politics itself features as a major catalyst for corruption.
Cheap credit will not be able to fix all that. Not will OT or any other silver bullet. Ultimately, bad or good governance will determine whether all that wealth lying beneath the ground is a blessing or a curse.
Enkhbayar promises political comeback in 2014
January 6 /news.mn/ Members of the Mongolian People's Revolutionary Party (MPRP) report that the former President of Mongolia, the head of the party, N.Enkhbayar, is on his way to recovery after intensive treatment in South Korea. Party members report that they expect a political comeback from N.Enkhbayar this year.
There are some claims being made that the current internal conflicts within the party, that have recently been revealed, may be a tactic to make the way for the comeback of the former President Enkhbayar. Members of MPRP; the Deputy Prime Minister D.Terbishdagva, MP O.Baasankhuu and Ch.Ulaan, have been to South Korea to visit the recovering head of the party to seek a solution for the current conflicts within the party. According to local newspaper reports N.Enkhbayar promised his political comeback in 2014 and reprimanded the current leaders of the party that he founded.
According to MP O.Baasankhuu, the former President blamed them for inactivity of the party and urged them to work on the policy of the party.
Mongolrostsvetmet to Export 230 Thousand Tons of Fluorspar Concentrate in 2014
Ulaanbaatar, January 6 /MONTSAME/ The Mongolian - Russian Joint Venture Mongolrostsvetmet LLC plans to export 230 thousand tons of iron concentrate in this year. (Mogi: checked the source article and it says "concentrate with iron content". Mistranslation on Montsame's part)
The news was published on Monday on news.mn website, and the company said 200 thousand tons of the concentrate will be processed through a dry technology, and the rest will be refined by a wet technology.
A decision of exporting the iron concentrate has been made after considering as beneficial to process and export the mineral due to a price fall of spar (Mogi: fluorspar) at the world market. Then, the works of enriching iron ore started from the last year's August with an investment of USD 500 thousand for installing a new technology.
For the time being, the Mongolrostsvetmet LLC enriched and exported 35 thousand tons of iron ore.
Mongolrostsvetmet LLC is a leading fluorspar mining and production company in Mongolia which ranks 4th in the world after China, Mexico and South Africa. The company produces both acid and metallurgical grade fluorspar concentrates.
Mongolia and Grenada tipped as property investment hot spots
Property investors seeking the next emerging real estate market for investment might like to look at places as diverse as Mongolia, Africa, Brazil and Grenada in the Caribbean, according to a new report.
But they also might find good investments in solid property markets in the United Kingdom and the United States, says the Global Property Markets 2014 report from investment agency Property Frontiers.
With one of the fastest growing economies in the world and 2013 seeing laws revised in order to make the country more attractive to foreign investors, Mongolia is described one of the most exciting investment prospects for the year ahead.
'Mongolia has rocketed from being a largely nomadic and relatively unknown country, at least in investment terms, to being a key hotspot due to the discovery of its incredible mineral reserves, worth an estimated US$1.5 trillion,' the report says.
Smart Ulaanbaatar app to bring city information closer to residents
Ulaanbaatar, January 6 /MONTSAME/ Citizens now can receive all information about the capital city on their smart phone using a "Smart Ulaanbaatar" application.
In frames of the "Smart Ulaanbaatar" project aimed to bring the public service close to the residents, a part of socio-economic goals of the city in 2014, the Information and Technology Department of the city has created this application for smart phone users.
Citizens can download this application and visit to an official page of the administration department of the UB city (www.ulaanbaatar.mn) to achieve all necessary information including the resolutions of the Citizens' Representative Khural of the city, orders of the City Mayor, foreign and domestic expenditure reports, tendering invitations and addresses of government organizations.
Besides, complaints, requests and opinions of the citizens now can be sent and received through this application. Moreover, it is possible to make call to departments of emergency, police and ambulance.
Ulaanbaatar planning two waste management facilities this year
Ulaanbaatar, January 6 /MONTSAME/ The capital city administration is planning two waste management factories this year.
The 2014 action plan of the capital city administration includes at least two plants to treat and recycle the city waste. The relevant project is planned to be implemented in partnership with private companies.
In order to reduce the air' soil and environmental pollution, the city administration also planning to remove the leather or wool processing plants located near or in the city. Big-scale markets and auto sellers in the city are expected to face the same enforcement under the city re-planning.
5th group of peacekeepers leave for medical mission in Darfur
January 3 Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/ The fifth group of medical doctors and nurses at the 2nd contingent of peacekeepers paid tribute to the Banner of Military. They will serve in the joint United Nations-African Union peacekeeping operation in Darfur, Sudan.
Present at the ceremony were authorities of the Defense Ministry, the General Headquarters of Mongolian Armed Forces; family members of the peacekeepers and others. Representing the peacekeepers' family members, a girl delivered a farewell speech, wishing them success for the peacekeeping operation in Sudan.
In accordance with the #1769 resolution adopted by the UN Security Council in July 2007, the joint United Nations-African Union peacekeeping operation in Darfur (UNAMID) was established to address the humanitarian crisis in the western region of Sudan. This joint peacekeeping mission replaced a previous mission led solely by the African Union. UNAMID's mandate has been extended through July 2013.
The Mission's mandate includes supporting the implementation of the Darfur Peace Agreement (DPA); securing access for humanitarian assistance throughout Darfur; creating an inclusive political process; protecting civilians; promoting human rights and rule of law; monitoring and reporting on the situation along the borders with Chad and the Central African Republic; and implementing the Disarmament, Demobilization, and Reintegration program (DDR).
With nearly 21,000 uniformed personnel in the field, as well as a large contingent of civilian personnel, UNAMID is currently the largest UN peacekeeping mission in the world.
The service of Mongolian medical peacekeepers will last there for nine months. A Lieutenant-Colonel J.Gankhuyag has been appointed to command the group of Mongolian peacekeepers.
Anthropologist Manduhai Buyandelger wins the 2013 Levitan Prize in the Humanities
The $25,000 research grant will go towards supporting the professor's ethnographic study of parliamentary elections in Mongolia.
January 6 (School of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology) --
Associate Professor of Anthropology Manduhai Buyandelger has been awarded the James A. (1945) and Ruth Levitan Prize in the Humanities, a $25,000 research grant that will support her ethnographic study of parliamentary elections in Mongolia, with specific emphasis on the experience of female candidates.
In announcing the award, Deborah K. Fitzgerald, the Kenan Sahin Dean of MIT's School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences, remarked that there were "many excellent proposals" for this year's Levitan, the School's top annual prize for research. "It is a real tribute to your depth of intelligence and experience … that the committee chose [this project] as the winner," Fitzgerald wrote in congratulating Buyandelger.
A project on Mongolian women and political power
"The Levitan Prize is going to transform my life," Buyandelger says, "because I'll be able to finish this project" — a book highlighting the "unconventional and creative strategies" women politicians in Mongolia have employed to meet the challenges of the postsocialist era, and the ways in which women's early electoral failures in Mongolia helped spawn a women's movement there.
"During socialism, the state promoted top-down strategies to equalize the sexes," Buyandelger says. "With the collapse of the state, women were left on their own … and their marginalization at the top levels of politics became even more stark."
Although women rarely secured election during Mongolia's early democratic years — women's representation in the national parliament never exceeded 8 percent until 2012 — Buyandelger finds that this failure helped spur the launch of a wide range of small nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) that advocated for women's rights.
"The individual fruits of these little NGOs in the end contributed to building a new culture and awareness about gender issues," Buyandelger says. While the Mongolian NGOs did not always explicitly work together, "in the end they collectively transformed the perception of the populace regarding women in politics," she says. "They also leveraged the government to designate an agency to attend to gender issues."
Travel to Mongolia
The Levitan Prize will enable Buyandelger to travel to Mongolia to finish the research for her forthcoming book, "One Thousand Steps to Parliament: Elections, Women's Participation, and Gendered Transformation in Postsocialist Mongolia." It will be the second book for Buyandelger, who is the only anthropologist in the United States focused on Mongolia. Her first book, "Tragic Spirits: Shamanism, Socialism, and the State of Neoliberalism in Mongolia," was released by the University of Chicago Press in November 2012.
"Buyandelger explores how individuals and groups interpret, resist, and accommodate these drastic socioeconomic transformations, by both reviving traditional cultural practices and creating new ones," says Professor Susan Silbey, who heads the Anthropology Section. "In 'Tragic Spirits' [she documents] the revival of shamanism in the transformation from Soviet communism to liberal capitalist subjects."
A documentary film on Parliamentarian Burmaa Radnaa
Buyandelger says she also plans to use the Levitan Prize to complete a related documentary film, "Intellect-ful Women," centered on the experiences of Burmaa Radnaa, a Mongolian politician she shadowed during the 2008 campaign. The film should provide a wholly novel perspective on the election process. "There are very few studies of women politicians in anthropology," says Buyandelger, who was afforded rare access to top parliamentary politics while shadowing Radnaa on a daily basis.
After Radnaa lost the 2008 election, she took her case to court alleging ballot fraud — and won. And, although the court did not award her a seat, the publicity surrounding the case helped earn both her and her party a fair shot at election in 2012. As a result, Radnaa is now serving as a member of parliament.
"The film concentrates on Burmaa's extraordinary analytical skills and mercurial but nuanced ways of thinking and solving problems," Buyandelger wrote in her Levitan Prize application. "Against the commercialized elections and party politics where networks and money pave much of the road to parliamentary seats, Burmaa won a seat with limited resources but with much thinking. Her electoral strategies are embedded, primarily, in her intellect."
The Levitan Prize prize was established through a gift from the late James A. Levitan, a 1945 MIT graduate in chemistry, who was also a member of the MIT Corporation and of counsel at the law firm of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher and Flom of New York City. The prize, first awarded in 1990, supports innovative and creative scholarship in the humanities by faculty members in the MIT School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences.
Population of Mongolia reaches 2.93 million, awaits three millionth citizen with awards
January 6 (UB Post) The population of Mongolia reached 2,929,000 by the end of 2013. Average population growth was 2.7 percent in 1990 and fell to 1.3 in 2000. But in the last five years, it has increased to between 1.8 and 2.0 percent. Changes to population growth are related to the results of demographic gap period cycles. By the end of 2012, Mongolia had around 1.4 million women, and 57.64 percent of were women of birthing age. By the end of 2013, a total of 19.6 thousand children were born in Mongolia and 16.1 thousand people died, making the population growth net at 63.5 thousand.
The millionth citizen of Mongolia was born in December 1962, while the two millionth citizen was born in 1988. By then, some 25 children in cities and rural areas were recognized as the two millionth citizen.
According to estimates by the National Statistic Office, the three millionth citizen of Mongolia is expected to be born in March 2015. If the population growth of Mongolia reaches 71,000 in 2014, the three millionth citizen might be expected at the end of the year. The government has issued orders to start preparations for identifying and recognizing the three millionth citizen of Mongolia.
The government also decided to award all children born on the day the three millionth citizen is born with three million MNT each, and award the three millionth citizens born in the nine districts of Ulaanbaatar and 21 provinces, with an apartment or money equivalent to its cost.
Cabinet to Submit Bill on Amending Firearms Law of Mongolia
January 6 /infomongolia.com/ At the Cabinet meeting held on Saturday, January 04, it was revised a bill to amend to the Firearms Law of Mongolia that came into force in 2001, also regulates the legal privatization, ownership and the use of firearms by persons other than law enforcement officers or members of the armed forces are complied within this law.
According to 2013 census, a total of 46,982 firearms were registered nationwide as the legal property of individuals, whereas 44,306 for hunting purposes, 1,598 for security and ward uses, 619 for sports training, 260 as antiquarian firearms, and 199 items counted as for collection purposes. Also, a total of 40,894 firearms were registered in 2010, 43,768 in 2011, and 44,764 in 2012, consequently, about 2,000 firearms are newly added to the registration annually. As the number of firearm holders tends to raise, some regulations are needed to be amended regarding to owning, buying and using firearms under this law.
The revised version of the Firearms Law consist of six chapters and 27 articles, and will regulate the ownership, privatization, use, storage, sales, collection, exhibition, registration, transport, and destruction of firearms and ammunition. The law will also regulate transporting firearms to or from Mongolia.
The bill cites, an authorized person wishing to privatize or own a firearm must complete a specific training and must specify if a firearm is for security, law enforcement or military use, depending on its technical indicators and usage purposes. The amendment for bids foreign nationals or persons having no registration to owning or using firearms.
Also, regulations will be made to have only one center in Ulaanbaatar authorized to sell firearms and bullets, and to establish branches and police control on the operations of that center. With the ratification of the draft bill, a security or warding legal body as well as NGOs operating in sports training will be able to own firearms in limited ranges under certain supervision.
Cabinet to submit redraft of firearms law – Montsame, January 6
Each Aimag to Have Expert on Human Rights
Ulaanbaatar, January 6 /MONTSAME/ The National Commission for Human Rights of Mongolia (NCHRM) has made a decision to deploy an expert on human rights to each aimag.
In conjunction with the decision, the Commission has launched a selection for the expert. A candidate for this post must be a lawyer and pass the examination of state servants. Those who went through the final-stage selection will be involved in training.
Mongolia: One of top 2014 destinations, picked by travel industry leaders
January 3 (Financial Times) --
Geoffrey Kent of Abercrombie & Kent recommends Mongolia for its "striking rugged landscape, dotted with timeworn Buddhist monasteries and crystal-clear lakes". Growing numbers of tour operators are featuring the country, both for group and independent trips, and report rising demand. World Expeditions (which has offices in Australia, New Zealand, the UK and Canada) says it has seen a 50 per cent rise in forward bookings compared with at the same point a year ago, helped by publicity surrounding adventurer Tim Cope's book On the Trail of Genghis Khan. "Don't miss the annual Naadam Festival in July, where the nation's best athletes compete in archery, horseracing and Mongolian wrestling," says Kent. Meanwhile, Tom Marchant of Black Tomato recommends the Bayan Olgiy province in the far west of the country: "Mongolia is still untouched by mass tourism but this area is particularly remote and honest to its cultural roots; for those looking for something really unique, and dinner-table bragging rights, then this is it."
#27 Mongolia: Holiday hotspots, where to go in 2014
January 3 (The Guardian) Start planning your 2014 travels with the help of our top 40 destination round-up. Some are hosting major events, others are under-the-radar places only just starting to attract tourists, but all of them are inspiring or exciting right now
Mongolia, land of windswept plains, nomadic herdsmen and abundant wildlife, used to be the preserve of explorers and intrepid backpackers. But an increase in visitor numbers, by 11% between 2009 and 2012, has prompted interest from tour operators. Overland specialist Dragoman has a new 21-day trip for 2014, with wild camping, hiking and horse-riding (from £1,102pp with a kitty of US$710, excluding flights), while Black Tomato has introduced a nomadic ski adventure ending with an ice festival on a frozen lake (from £4,285pp).
With the government pouring money into infrastructure – construction has started on a new airport near capital Ulan Bator – tourism is set to play an even greater role in the country's economy. That's not to say the place is about to get crowded - this is still one of the last untamed destinations in the world.
Gobi Nomads Mix Solar Panels and iPhones With the Brutal Herding Life
BY ALAN DEVENISH
January 6 (Wired) In Mongolia, desert nomads herd camels from pasture to pasture as they have for centuries. But as Italian photographer Michele Palazzi documents in his photo series Black Gold Hotel, these transient families also use solar panels to power iPhones and ride motorcycles instead of horses to quickly track down and round up livestock.
Many elements of traditional nomadic society still prevail, and the presence of modern technology has not necessarily made the vast Gobi any less of a barrier to the rest of the world. The nomads are caught between two periods in history.
"They didn't know about Italy — only Europe," says Palazzi, a 28-year-old photographer based out of Rome. He was the first Westerner many of the children he encountered had ever seen. Making him a further oddity was his beard. "Only old men have beards there" (Mogi: in Mongolian tradition, it is bad omen for men to grow beards while their fathers are alive). Limited conceptions of life outside the Gobi kept questions within a strictly local frame of reference. "They would ask, 'Do you have camels in Italy?'"
Drawing influence from Dorothea Lange and Alessandra Sanguinetti, Palazzi has found a source of resonant, intimate images in the Gobi, a kind of permanent Dust Bowl. The desert flings sand and dust across Asia in occasional storms that are unpleasant enough to clear city streets. A child dressed like Spiderman shields his eyes against a sandy dustup in one of Palazzi's photos, and the thickened air swirls in the background of many others.
Digital cameras are too sensitive for the environment, and recharging them would put him in unwelcome competition for solar panel use, so Palazzi shot on medium-format film using a Hasselblad. "That camera is a tank," he says.
Palazzi put his host family at ease by throwing himself into a typical Khalka workweek, a schedule of irregular but long hours interrupted by naps. The pace of life — dictated by the needs of the livestock — led to doldrums even as Palazzi found ways to make himself useful. "I helped them collect camel dung — it's very important for the stoves."
At 5 a.m. the father of his host family would make the first daily check on the location of the camels. Baby camels are tethered to the gers (tents), and when female camels decide to return to feed their young, the nomads take the opportunity to milk them, usually three or four times each day.
Nomads pick up camp and move to provide access to fresh pastures for their animals, a pastoral reality that encourages sparse settlement patterns. The nomads are adept at this constant relocation. Families can break camp in roughly an hour, and the 13-year-old adopted son of Palazzi's host family rides camelback, leading the herd on 10-hour treks to greener pastures.
The taciturn nomad way of socializing curbed curiosity and the difficulty of survival has streamlined most conversations. Pleasantries such as "Hello" or "Good night" are a rarity; visitors will often stride into a family's ger without even a greeting. Families erect gers in locations chosen first for proximity to water and second for distance from other families.
While professional occupations in the Gobi remain quite traditional, recreation is increasingly shaped by outside cultures. Basketball is at least as common as Bökh, a traditional Mongolian form of wrestling. "Most of the music and dancing is connected to Western culture," says Palazzi, "but you can still find people listening to Mongolian music, because in the desert there is nothing to do. You can play music or play cards."
With fewer than three million inhabitants and minimal infrastructure, Mongolia has been late to modernize even as it inhabits the edges of two world powers — Russia and China. "I'm very influenced by my politics in what I do. I think you can judge how just a society is by how it treats those at the margins," Palazzi says.
A rapidly expanding mining economy has created images of startling juxtaposition across the country. Look for more of these in the near future: Palazzi has just completed a trip to Ulaanbaatar, shooting for an upcoming project documenting the transforming capital city.
Mogi: haha, "Loooonely, lonely, loooonely. I'm looonely, lonely in my liiiiife." Man, to be 13 again.
Euro-Rapper "Nana" to perform in Ulaanbaatar
January 6 /news.mn/ A Ghanaian born German rapper and DJ, Nana Kwame Abrokwa, who is known by his stage name "Nana" is to begin his Asian tour starting from Mongolia in March. His tour will start in Ulaanbaatar, on March 1st with the "Remember the Time" concert by Nana.
In the second half of the 1990's when his style was characterized as euro-rap, his songs were widely heard in Mongolia. Mongolian fans of him still like to listen to his euro-rap music. The Mongolian-Austrian Youth Union suggested to the rapper to perform in Mongolia and organized the concert.
Three Mongolians Competing at Dakar Rally
Ulaanbaatar, January 6 /MONTSAME/ Three Mongolians are competing at the Dakar Rally, a 14-day and 8,000-kilometer odyssey through three countries.
At the end of the first day, Tuesday, D.Boldbaatar came 77th among 174, while his teammates N.Lkhamaa and Kh.Batbold placed at 141st and 169th, respectively.
The Dakar Rally is an annual off-road race. Part of the Dakar Series, it is organized by the Amaury Sport Organization. Most events since the inception in 1978 were from Paris to Dakar, Senegal, but due to security threats in Mauritania, which led to the cancellation of the 2008 rally, the 2009 Dakar Rally was run in South America (Argentina and Chile). It has been held in South America each year since 2009. The race is open to amateur and professional entries, amateurs typically making up about eighty percent of the participants.
The 2014 Dakar Rally is the 35th running of the event and the sixth successive year that the event is held in South America. The event starts in Rosario, Santa Fe, Argentina on January 5 and finishes in Valparaiso, Chile on January 18 after thirteen stages of competition.
For many years, the Dakar organizers have endeavored to adapt the race route to South America's open terrain, enabling all categories of vehicle to explore the routes which are best suited to them. For the 2014 edition, five special stages have been marked out on completely separate routes, with motorcycles and quad bikes on one hand and cars and trucks on the other. Overall, the 'separation' includes around 2,000 kilometers of timed sections, covering more than 40% of the distance.
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