Friday, September 16, 2016

[XAM CEO buys on-market; AKM CEO meets PM; BoM suspends mortgage program; EB begins Cuba visit; and arrest made over Nash murder]

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, 2016

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Int'l Market

XAM closed flat Thursday at A$0.195

Xanadu Mines' director Andrew Stewart buys on-market

September 14 (Proactive Investors) Xanadu Mines Ltd's (ASX:XAM) executive director & chief executive officer, Andrew Stewart, has lifted his stake in the company through an on-market purchase.

Stewart now holds over 4 million shares, after snapping up 52,000 shares for $9700.

Xanadu has a clear focus to transition its exploration projects in the South Gobi of Mongolia into mineable deposits through discovery of high value copper, gold and gold resources.

Xanadu maintains support from an Australia-wide broker who has a Speculative Buy recommendation and price target of $0.51 per share.

Shares in the company last traded at $0.195.

Link to article

Link to XAM notice


Change of Director's Notice: Darryl Clark – September 16


AKM closes +11.11% to A$0.03

Northern Railways LLC asks Government to help resolve problem

Ulaanbaatar, September 14 (MONTSAME) Prime Minister J.Erdenebat met with the Chairman of the Board of Northern Railways LLC David Paull on September 14. The Premier expressed gratitude for the company's plan to make a major investment in the regional mining, land farming and tourism sectors.

The Northern Railways LLC is a daughter company of Australia's Aspire Mining Ltd., and is licensed to implement a project on base construction for 547 km railroad connecting Ovoot and Erdenet.  The Northern Railways is carrying out the Erdenet-Ovoot Railroad Project for 30 years on build-operate-transfer contract.

Mr Paull thanked the Government's for support, and informed that the company is seeking financing from the Development bank of China and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, as the project is a part of the Mongolia-Russia-China Economic Corridor.

The engineering studies are underway, and the construction is intended to commence in 2017, he said. Mr Paull asked the Premier to help resolve the issue of consilience of roads, which have been holding the progress back for more than a year.

Link to article


Turquoise Hill Further Reduces SouthGobi Stake from 11.08% to 10.93%

Link to disclosure


Mongolian miner gets cold shoulder

The waning reputation of Mongolia has been hit by a freezing order, filed in London, against one of the country's biggest mining companies.

September 14 (Mining Journal) Late last week, a judge in London granted an order freezing the UK assets of Erdenet Mining Corp up to the value of US$7.115 million, plus £637,818 (US$841,855) in incurred costs, related to a failed copper supply contract between it and Switzerland-based MRI Trading. This ruling restricted the company's ability to transact sales of copper and other metals in England's capital.

Notice of the order has been served on a number of banks and trading houses in London, freezing payables to Erdenet pending recovery of the amounts due to MRI.

The ruling is not good news for Mongolia, which has an economy starved of resource investment following falling commodity prices and delays to key mining projects – the underground development of Rio Tinto's Oyu Tolgoi copper-gold project being the standout example.

Last week's ruling relates to a long-running dispute over the failure by Erdenet to honour a contract, dated January 30, 2009, between it and MRI Trading to deliver 40,000 tonnes (wet) of copper concentrate produced at Erdenet's mine in Mongolia.

MRI, which specialises in the trading of non-ferrous ores, concentrates, refined and precious metals for its global smelting and processing customer base, has been trying to recover this money since, going through arbitration proceedings at the London Metal Exchange and having its case heard at the UK High Court, the latter of which found in its favour.

Erdenet, which produces copper and molybdenum concentrates from its deposit on the Erdenetiin-Ovoo region of Mongolia, recently became a 100% state-owned entity after Russia's Rostech Corp, which previously owned 49% of the company, sold its minority stake back to the Mongolia government.

On its website, the Mongolia company states it has previously concluded long-term agreements with the likes of Trafigura and Samsung to supply its products to leading Chinese smelters.

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Local Market

MSE Trading Report: Top 20 -0.25%, ALL -0.13%, Turnover 9.9 Million Shares

September 15 (MSE) --

Link to report

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USD/MNT historic high ₮2,265.28, set Aug 18. Reds are rates that set a new record at the time

BoM MNT Rates: Friday, September 9 Close
















































































































































































































Bank USD rates at time of sending: Khan (Buy ₮2,238 Sell ₮2,250), TDB (Buy ₮2,235 Sell ₮2,247), Golomt (Buy ₮2,236 Sell ₮2,247), XacBank (Buy ₮2,233 Sell ₮2,248), State Bank (Buy ₮2,235 Sell ₮2,247)

MNT vs USD (blue), CNY (red) in last 1 year:

Link to rates


BoM sells CNY7m at 336.6, accepts US$40.4m MNT swap offers

September 15 (Bank of Mongolia) Spot trade: Commercial banks bid MNT 2240.75-2250.20 for USD22.0 million and MNT 335.00-336.80 for CNY 52.8 million respectively. The BOM sold CNY 7.0 million with a closing rate of MNT336.60.

Swap and forward trade: The BOM accepted the bid offers of  USD40.4 million MNT swap agreements.

Link to release


BoM issues 102 billion 1-week bills, total outstanding -15.6% to 415.5 billion

September 14 (Bank of Mongolia) BoM issues 1 week bills worth MNT 102 billion at a weighted interest rate of 15.0 percent per annum /For previous auctions click here/

Link to release


BoM issues 150 billion 12-week bills at 17%, total outstanding +36.1% to ₮565 billion

September 12 (Bank of Mongolia) BoM issues 12 week bills worth MNT 150 billion at a weighted interest rate of 17 percent per annum /For previous auctions click here/

Link to release


Bank of Mongolia suspends government mortgage program

September 14 (UB Post) Mongol Bank spokesman D.Ariunaa reported that mortgage loan issuance has been temporarily suspended due to a Mongol Bank investigation of mortgage loan financing procedures at commercial banks.

In August, Mongol Bank conducted inspections at commercial banks and several violations, such as banks keeping financing and not issuing mortgage loans and improper spending of financing for mortgage loans, were found.

D.Ariunaa said, "Mongol Bank and authorities of commercial banks are holding discussions about how to address the violations. After they've reached an agreement on integrated solutions, mortgage loan issuance will resume."

She underlined that Mongol Bank is going to end the five percent annual interest rate mortgage loan program and said, "Due to difficult economic conditions, a budget deficit increase, and cuts to budget income, Mongol Bank has no other choice but not to supply money to the domestic market. Concerning the current economic situation, we raised the monetary policy interest rate by 4.5 points to 15 percent. Following this strict monetary policy, Mongol Bank believes it should not support money supply through the five percent interest rate mortgage loan program."

Mongol Bank said that because the five percent annual interest rate mortgage loan program is regulated by the government, the program can be implemented in the future if the Cabinet resolves financing issues. "The final decision on the five percent interest rate loan will be made at the Cabinet level," D.Ariunaa said.

Link to article


CPI and IPI rise in August

Ulaanbaatar, September 14 (MONTSAME) In August 2016, the National Consumer Price Index rose by 1.2 percent compared with the beginning of 2016. However, compared with the same month of 2015, it shows a slight drop by 0.2 percent due to volatility of prices for food and non-alcoholic beverages.

As for industrial production index (seasonally adjusted), it was 168.3 (2010=100) in August 2016, increased by 11.3 percent compared with the same period of the previous year, by 28.3 percent against the end of last year, and by 11.2 percent compared with July, reports the National Statistics Office.

Link to article


Mongolia exports USD 300 million worth cashmere each year

Ulaanbaatar, September 14 (MONTSAME) Mongolia exported cashmere worth USD 20.4 million, so far this year. The largest part of combed cashmere (76%) was exported to Italy, 10.7% to the UK and 8.1% to China.

The Agricultural Exchange has traded some 57 thousand tons of cashmere worth over three billion MNT. As of today (September 14), a kilogram of unprocessed dark cashmere costs MNT 51,400 and a kg of processed light cashmere costs MNT 63,700. The Agricultural Exchange is purchasing a kg of camel wool by MNT 7,000 and sheep wool by MNT 2,220.

Mongolia exports on average USD 300 million worth cashmere and cashmere products per year.

Link to article


Tax revenue of master budget increases

Ulaanbaatar, September 15 (MONTSAME) In the first eight months of 2016, total equilibrated revenue and grants of the General Government Budget amounted to MNT 3562.4 billion and total expenditure and net lending amounted to MNT 5371.1 billion, representing a deficit of MNT 1808.7 billion in the balance.

In the first eight months of 2016, total expenditure and net lending of the master budget reached MNT 5371.1 billion, which indicates increase of MNT 1025.6 billion or by 23.6 percent compared with the same period of the previous year.

Tax revenue reached MNT 3119.4 billion, which increased by MNT 51.0 billion (1.7 %) compared with the same period of last year. This growth was mainly due to increases in social insurance revenue by MNT 91.3 billion (13.6 %) and in excise tax MNT 63.2 billion (17.4 %). However, other tax and payment revenue decreased by MNT 126.6 billion (28.2 %) compared with the same period of 2015.

Link to article


External trade surplus keeps rising

Ulaanbaatar, September 15 (MONTSAME) In the first eight months of 2016, Mongolia traded with 140 countries and a total external trade turnover reached USD 5166.8 million, of which USD 2993.3 million was made up by exports and USD 2173.5 million -- by imports.

Total external trade turnover decreased by USD 631.5 million or 10.9 percent. Exports decreased by USD 258.3 million or 7.9 percent and imports decreased by USD 373.3 million or 14.7 percent compared with the same period of the last year.

The external trade balance, so far this year, resulted in surplus of USD 819.9 million, increasing by USD 115.1 million against the same period of 2015.

Link to article


Harvest increases against last fall

Ulaanbaatar, September 14 (MONTSAME) By the 1st of September, 10.9 thousand tons of potatoes, 11.9 thousand tons of vegetable were harvested and 380.6 thousand tons of hay harvest, 2.7 thousand tons of handmade fodder were produced.

Compared with the same period of last year, harvest of potatoes increased by 4.6 thousand tons (72.6%), vegetables -- by 1.5 thousand tons (14.8%) and gross hay harvest -- by 78.4 thousand tons (26%). Production of handmade fodder went down by 1.8 thousand tons (40.0%).

Link to article


Air transport revenue spikes in August

Ulaanbaatar, September 15 (MONTSAME) In the first eight months of this year, 12449.1 thousand tons of freight and 1805.3 thousand people (double counting) were carried by railway. Compared with the same period of the previous year, the amount of freight increased by 272.1 thousand tons (2.2 %) and the number of passengers decreased by 168.6 thousand (8.5 %).

The railway transport revenue in the first eight months of this year reached MNT 272.8 billion, reflecting increase of MNT 23.2 billion (9.3%) compared with the end of August, 2015.

In August, 1719.8 thousand tons of freight and 251.0 thousand passengers (double counting) were carried by railway. The amount of freight rose by 147.0 thousand tons (9.3%), while the number of carried passengers fell by 9.9 thousand (3.8%). The railway transport revenue also dropped by MNT 1.4 billion (3.5%) and totaled MNT 39.1 billion.

As for air transport, it carried 2013.1 tons of freight and 459.9 thousand passengers (double counting) in the first eight months of 2016. The amount of carried freight increased by 164.4 tons (8.9%) and the number of carried passengers -- by 27.1 thousand (6.3%), compared with the same period of 2015.

The air transport revenue so far this year reached MNT 198.8 billion, representing growth of MNT 21.2 billion or 11.9 percent compared with the same period of the previous year.

In August, 291.5 thousand tons of freight and 93.4 thousand passengers (double counting) were carried by air. Compared with July, the amount of carried freight fell by 1.5 thousand tons or 0.5 percent, whereas the number of carried passengers reached 93.4 thousand, which shows increase of 11.2 thousand or by 13.6 percent. The air transport revenue reached MNT 41.4 billion, indicating growth of MNT 1.3 billion or 3.2 percent.

Link to article


Transit transportation to begin in 2018

September 15 ( Mongolia, China, and Russia, are to begin a transit transportation season in 2018. This represents the first transit transportation undertaking involving  the three countries. Transportation tests were carried out on the 2200 km route from the China's Port of Tianjin, via Ulaanbaatar to the Russian city of Ulan-Ude from 18th to 24th of August.  The route consists of 900 km road in China, 1050 km in Mongolia and 240 km in Russia. In total, nine trucks from the three countries participated in the transportation tests, which were very successful.

There are two other transportation routes through Mongolia; the first being from Bulgan border-crossing of Khovd  province to the Tsagaannuur border-crossing of Bayan-Ulgii province and other from Zamiin- Uud crossing of Dornogovi province to Altanbulag crossingof Sukhbaatar.

New transit transportation is expected to help increase the volume of trade by between 17-20% by 2020. Freight deliveries from China to Europe door-to-door by sea takes 50 days and  25-30 days by rail.

Link to article


Trans-Siberian Transportation authorities meet in, September 14

President of Russian Railway arrives hereMontsame, September 14


Trade Corridor Pilot Connects China, Mongolia, and Russia

Preliminary to Future TIR Roll-Out

September 14 (Global Trade) The China-Russia pilot trade caravan has achieved its objective to successfully test the 1,400-mile overland trade route between China, Mongolia, and Russia, ahead of the upcoming implementation of the TIR System in China.

It completed its journey in Ulan-Ude, the capital of the Russian Federal Republic of Buryatia, where the caravan was welcomed at a closing ceremony by the Deputy Transport Minister of the Buryat government and delegations from Russia, China, and Mongolia.

The pilot caravan was an important milestone in preparations for the implementation of TIR in China, which will facilitate trade between Asia and Europe. The world's only universal customs transit system, TIR has been in operation in Russia for over 30 years and in Mongolia for more than 10 years.

China recently ratified the United Nations Transports Internationaux Routiers (TIR) Convention, an act which will increase the potential volume of international trade in the region and provide new trade routes with access to the sea for Mongolia and other landlocked areas in Russia and Central Asia.

The caravan, organized by the transport ministries of the three countries and supported by the International Road Transport Union (IRU), an independent organization representing the international road transportation industry, comprised of nine trucks traveling together over the so-called ancient tea route.

A roundtable in Ulan-Ude at the end of the journey brought together over 80 participants from public authorities and business to evaluate the caravan and to plan ahead for future cooperation between the three countries.

Increased collaboration and information exchange between China, Mongolia, and Russia on customs, administration, transportation, and technical needs will help continue the necessary harmonization in transportation regulations and processes that IRU has long championed to improve mobility, trade, and economic development.

It was agreed at the roundtable that the trade route is already operational and adequate for future TIR transits. Some improvements in road infrastructure in certain areas were identified and would be improved. Launching a working group comprised of representatives from the three governments and possibly private sectors would help to further develop communities and economies along the route.

Dmitry Cheltsov, who leads IRU's work in Eurasia, highlighted during the roundtable that "IRU will work closely with the Chinese government to help make TIR operational there, supporting new efficient and faster transport routes between China, Russia and Europe."

"TIR has been used for more than 60 years in many countries and has been proven to reduce transit time transport considerably," said Pengcheng Qu, who leads IRU's work in China and Southeast Asia. "We look forward to seeing these benefits in China and its regional trade partners."

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Politics & Legal

Government's Actions to Attract Investors

September 15 (UB Post) The Invest Mongolia 2016 forum, held by international event organizer Frontier Conference, welcomed a total of 1,100 attendees for its tenth year to share their opinions on eight main topics.

Two hundred of the attendees were foreign investors and they discussed Mongolia's political and economic development over the past year. The 2016 forum focused on conditions following the 2016 parliamentary elections. Two months before the elections, the ASEM Summit was held in Ulaanbaatar. Participants hoped that the meeting of international heads of state and high ranking government officials might create conditions for bringing investors back to Mongolia.

Mongolian economic conditions have deteriorated significantly since 2014. The Mongolian government and investors both agree that Mongolia's economic situation is at its lowest level at present. So during Invest Mongolia, investors were closely paying attention to the changes to be made to the economic and political situation, Mongol Bank's monetary policy, the possible effects of the Oyu Tolgoi project, information about the regulatory environment, energy, opportunities in infrastructure investment, economic diversification in the minerals sector and its policy, and asset investment opportunities, particularly in banking, real estate, mining, and government bonds.

Forum topics included support for fast-growing companies, infrastructure development, green development, renewable energy, the new government's actions to resolve the economic crisis, future plans for the economic partnership with Japan, Oyu Tolgoi and Tavan Tolgoi perspectives, along with actions being taken to attract investors. The first discussion of the forum was "Investment in Mongolia". CEO of the National Oil Shale Association of Mongolia Ch.Khashchuluun and Economic Advisor to the Prime Minister B.Enkhbayar gave presentations on the current economic situation of Mongolia, the state budget, government bond repayments in 2017, bondholders, the government's responsibility to increase foreign investment, and policy support for green development and renewable energy.

Investors complained that sudden  political decisions influence the economy. The unstable political situation of Mongolia makes it difficult to conduct business. Fierce competition between the two parties in Parliament results in adverse decisions being made about the economy. Moreover, they mentioned that the government implementing stable economic policy will create opportunity in Mongolia again.


A presentation given by Member of Parliament L.Bold, "ASEM's Importance to Investors", was one of the most intriguing of the forum. MP L.Bold spoke about the importance of creating positive and political changes to the economy from the momentum of ASEM, and to convince investors that economic capacity and opportunities still exist in the market.

As outlined in his presentation, although the Mongolian economy is in a downturn, a number of foreign representatives participated in this year's forum. We can consider attendance in impact of ASEM. The ASEM Summit was a big achievement for the country's foreign policy, and Mongolia secured its place on the world map. We managed to convince the global community that Mongolia is a main point linking Europe and Asia. It is vital to show foreign investors that Mongolia's situation has changed. There are many possibilities to improve the economy beyond the mining industry's growth and decline. We need to open up these possibilities as they will be factors in determining the future of Mongolia.

There is no opportunity to determine Mongolia's development path through the market, because it is related to external factors. Moreover, it is closely connected to China's market growth and decline. It is important that investors understand we are economically viable. Aside from the mining industry, many other foreign investments are made in Mongolia, but now we believe investments into more diversified industries will bring positive changes. Unfortunately, authorities are misdiagnosing the economy. An incorrectly diagnosed situation will be treated poorly. Increased taxation to rescue the economy is not the solution; instead, the answer is short-term policy solutions. Mongolia is a demographic country. Of course, there are people who have healthy minds within the ruling parties. The actions of the parties are being closely watched by people and businesses, therefore, the authorities don't have the right to make unrealistic decisions. Even investors are shocked.

Indeed, last July, we saw the advantages of the high-level meeting held in Ulaanbaatar. It opened up opportunities for business owners to find partners, by increasing cooperation with former partners and opening up long and short-
term business agreements. This will revive the flow of foreign investment, increase investors' expectations, and attract tourists once again. By organizing the meeting, air transport, tourism, trade, and service centers received benefits. A number of hotels in Ulaanbaatar improved their quality and service. Improved technological innovations, infrastructure, customs procedures, and international security standards were introduced. Domestically produced products were given to foreign representatives as souvenirs. In addition, ASEM created opportunities to participate in regional economic events.

Link to article


Government looks to ban offshore activities of high-rank officials

Ulaanbaatar, September 15 (MONTSAME) On September 14, the cabinet reviewed the concept of draft amendments to the Law on Coordinating Public and Personal Interests in Public Services and Preventing from Conflicts of Interests. Then, the Minister of Justice and Domestic Affairs was assigned to reflect the cabinet members' suggestions to the draft and submit bill to the Parliament.

The draft amendments provided for that an official, who is obliged to submit annual income statement to the Government, cannot open bank accounts, deposit and establish legal entities in offshore platforms while running for public office or on duty.

Link to article


Government decides to rescind regulation to promote herders

Ulaanbaatar, September 15 (MONTSAME) The cabinet, at its regular meeting on September 14, decided to cancel the Regulation on Hide and Leader Production and Sales, for the period between October 1 of 2016 and August 1 of 2017. Specialists have calculated that this might allow the herders to improve their income, as the leather and hide exports will spike.

Since the adoption of the Regulation in 2013, Mongolia stopped exporting unprocessed sheep hides. As of September 14, a sheep hide costs MNT 500, a goat hide—MNT 2,000 and a horse hide – MNT 30,000. The regulation aims at encouraging the national tannery through imposing strict standards on export-oriented hide and leather. 

However, it has resulted in plummeting price of raw hide. The national consumers' demand is met only by 40% of all raw hides produced.

Link to article


Other cabinet meeting decisions in brief

Ulaanbaatar, September 15 (MONTSAME) At the cabinet's regular meeting on September 14, Minister of Finance B.Choijilsuren presented the draft of Government Budget for 2017, as assigned.

-       The cabinet members also decided to submit their proposals to T.Ayursaikhan MP to the bill on the Rights of Customers.

-       Minister of Road and Transport Development D.Ganbat presented about the pending establishment of a the Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation with the People's Government House of the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region of the People's Republic of China on implementation of the Project on Railroad Base Construction at Shiveekhuren border checkpoint.

-       The cabinet resolved to enforce the Rule on Origins of Imported Goods from January 1 of 2017.

-       The composition of the National Council on Science and Technology was approved.

Link to article


PM visits Selenge province

September 15 ( Prime Minister J.Erdenebat, is visiting Selenge, which can be called the "bread-basket" of Mongolia today (15th September). During the visit he is meeting with the 'Gachuurt' company as well farmers and local people. From Selenge, the PM will travel to Darkhan-Uul and Zuunkharaa.

Because of good weather, this autumn Mongolia is expected to have a bumper harvest. The Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Light Industry Ministry, is forecasting a harvest of 501 thousand tons of grain, of which 482.1 thousand tons will be wheat, 174.7 thousand tons of potatoes, 117.5 thousand tons of other vegetables, 32.5 thousand tons of oil plants, and 43.4 thousand tons of fodder plants.

Earlier this month, Mongolia harvested 11,899 tonnes of grain from an area covering 8278 hectares, 14889 tonnes of potatoes from 1423 hectares, 9307 tonnes of vegetables from 723 hectares, 3623 tonnes of fodder plants from 975 hectares and 40 tonnes of oil plants from 20 hectares.

Link to article


International guidelines on natural resource statistics being developed

September 15 (Mongolian Economy) The fifth and final conference on economic statistics based on natural resources is being held on the 13-16th of this month in order to assess resource-dependent countries' contributions of mining sectors to the economy and develop international guidelines by consolidating theoretical methodologies. The first conference was also held in Ulaanbaatar four years ago.

Mongolia put forward this initiative in 2012 when it became the member of the UN Statistical Commission.

The draft document coming out of this conference, in which representatives from 11 countries partook, will be approved by the next assembly of the UN Statistical Commission and used in 50 countries with abundant natural resources after its adoption.

Link to article


8th Baldorj Awards announces best in journalism

September 14 (UB Post) The eighth Baldorj Awards ceremony for journalists kicked off grander than ever on September 9 at the Ulaanbaatar Hotel, in line with the 20th anniversaries of Mongol News Group and The UB Post.

President of Mongolia Ts.Elbegdorj, first President of Mongolia P.Ochirbat, Members of Parliament, notable journalists and publishers joined the biggest and most prestigious annual event for journalists in Mongolia, the Baldorj Awards. The ceremony was opened by President of Mongolia Ts.Elbegdorj, CEO of Unuudur and The UB Post B.Nandintushig, and chairman of Baldorj Foundation and former President N.Bagabandi, whose speech was presented by the host as he could not attend due to personal reasons.

While N.Bagabandi and Ts.Elbegdorj's speeches alluded to the contribution and significance of journalists in society, B.Nandintushig shared memories of her father, Ts.Baldorj, the founder of Mongol News Group and a well-respected journalist who advocated for the freedom of the press.

The Grand Prix of the Baldorj Awards went to Zasgiin Gazar Medee's deputy editor Ts.Tseveenkherlen, who was a student of Ts.Baldorj himself. She burst into tears the moment her name was announced. Her "Chonon Surgiiin Suulchiin Uchil" (The Final Plea of the Wolf Pack) and "Chenj Tuluvluguunii Zolios" (Victims of Dealers' Plan) series of articles, published earlier this year, impressed many environmental experts and the judges of the Baldorj Awards, making her the winner of the eighth Baldorj Awards.

She became interested in the environmental field thanks to my chief editor. Protecting the environment requires a lot of effort I'm happy to receive this award on the 20th anniversary of Unuudur newspaper. I'd like to pass on my chief editor's words: Think of the future and protect the environment without seeking personal gain," shared Ts.Tseveenkherlen during her acceptance speech.

Ts.Tseveenkherlen started off her career at Unuudur newspaper of Mongol News Group. She holds high reputation among fellow journalists and media representatives for her series of investigative journalism in the environmental field.

The second prize was awarded to journalists D.Ayurbuni and B.Undarmaa of TV 25 Channel for their joint program, "1,000 MNT". Unuudur's social and breaking news columnist L.Ganchimeg was name the Best Young Journalist by the Mongolian Youth Federation at the Baldorj Awards.

This year, 62 articles were submitted for the awards and through three stages of evaluation, the top 10 were chosen and prized.

Link to article


D.Tsogtbaatar: Court must adjudicate political persecution in Mongolia and related crimes

September 14 (UB Post) The Memorial Day of the Victims of Political Persecution is annually observed on September 10. The following interview with Head of the Mongolian Association of Victims of Political Persecution (MAVPP) D.Tsogtbaatar delves into the real situation of the political persecution in Mongolia, efforts to acquit victims of persecution, and the Law on Acquitting Victims of Political Persecution and Granting Compensation to Their Families.

There was a times when Mongolians couldn't mention or even reminisce about the victims of political persecution, which took place between 1937 and 1939. Now, families of persecutions are able to acquit and receive compensations. This can be considered an improvement, but how is the actual situation?

People talk about this topic in general, mentioning certain events and that 36,000 people were persecuted and killed. However, no one has assessed from the legal side or proven that bloody tortures and retributions took place. It's been empty talk for over 20 years. I'm also at fault. The issue should've been addressed the moment a law for persecution victims and families was passed. This law was discussed since 1990. The MAVPP joined the Democratic Movement and became the first NGO. It contributed in establishing human rights, equal rights, democratic principles, and justice.

Members of our NGO worked day and night to promote and raise awareness of the Mongolian public about the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted by the UN General Assembly on December 10, 1948. The MAVPP has been raising its voice for recovering the reputation of the persecuted and granting compensations to their families. There were many protests and oppositions along the way until the law for persecution victims and families was enacted, but this information was never passed onto the Mongolian public. Our MAVPP members, seniors, and leaders and staff of the commission that managed acquittals of victims worked hard from 1990 to 1998.

In 1996, the Democratic Union Coalition won the parliamentary election and S.Zorig was elected as the Head of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on State Structure. In 1997, the development of the draft bill started smoothly and was passed on July 2, 1998. If we look back at history, 60 percent of Members of Parliament supported the bill. This is quite scary as it means that 40 percent of MPs disapproved when Mongolia had already become a democratic society. I view it was connected to their lack of understanding on basic human rights. There are still people who don't accept the fact that a political persecution took place and some who believe to date that it was the right thing to do.

Although overcoming many obstacles and having the law approved was a very significant and historic achievement, there are plenty of things left unresolved. This is partially the reason why there are still so many who don't understand or don't wish to understand political persecution.

What is being done for acquitting the persecuted?

Link to article

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Mongolia-Czech Business Forum continues in Ulaanbaatar

Ulaanbaatar, September 14 (MONTSAME) Mongolia-Czech Business Forum is underway in Ulaanbaatar, after holding the first session in Darkhan. Some 40 delegates from 29 Mongolian companies and 20 representatives of 12 Czech companies that run businesses in the mining, construction, engineering, banking, insurance, transport, heating and cooling systems, heavy machinery and equipment.

The business forum is being organized by the Mongolian National Chamber of Commerce and Industry in cooperation with Embassy of the Czech Republic to Mongolia and the Czech Chamber of Commerce.

The business delegation from the Czech Republic is led by the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Miloslav Stasek. The latter has met with Vice FM of Mongolia B.Battsetseg, Minister of Energy P.Gankhuu, Minister of Construction and Urban Development G.Munkhbayar and the Mayor of Ulaanbaatar S.Batbold.

Link to article


From Kitchen Dormitory to Start-Up Business

By Elise Honningdalsnes

September 15 (UB Post) High prices for popular cosmetic products in Hungary urged Enkhbayar Erdenesuvd, who goes by Sudvaa, into creating her very own cosmetic products. Today she's got a small start-up business called La Perla Mongolia in Ulaanbaatar that she runs with her boyfriend. The two students are both currently studying in Hungary at two different universities. They also just celebrated their 1,000th day together.

Please tell us, what's all the fuss about solid products and why should we use them?

So basically, solid shampoos are the same as other shampoos, but with all the unnecessary water removed. In general, the ingredients in solid shampoo are of greater variety and of greater benefit to the user. They are better for the environment as there is less waste produced in terms of plastic bottles. The products are also "solid", meaning they are easier and lighter to carry around, so you can also bring them onto airplanes in your carry-on baggage. There is also no possibility of your product leaking in your bag, which is great. The products will also last you longer if you store them the right way. In the long run, you may also be able to wash your hair less often and many people even stop using conditioner! There are basically only benefits with these products.

So what is it that "normal" hair products contain that solid products don't?

So basically all commercial soaps and shampoos contain sodium laurel sulfate and/or sodium laureth sulfate. These products can over-dry and irritate the scalp, dry out your hair and they sometimes actually contribute to hair loss if you wash your hair often. The use of these products actually contribute to stripping of natural scalp oils and you therefore feel the need to use a conditioner, which isn't actually always necessary. Both your hair and your scalp will feel and look better if you stop using these products. Solid products usually don't contain these two products, but some products from big chains such as Lush sometimes do, so you should always read the table of contents or talk to the people working in the shop. My products do not contain any of these chemicals.

How did you decide to start up your own business?

To begin with, I was using Lush and Body Shop's solid shampoos. They are easy to carry around with you and they are environmentally friendly because they're not in plastic bottles and it therefore has less impact on our environment.

But as a student, I couldn't really afford these products, because both these brands are known to be quite expensive. So that was why I decided to do my own research so that I could make my own products. About a year-and-a-half ago, I bought all the raw materials I would need and started experimenting in my dormitory kitchen.

So how did you go from the dormitory to starting up a small business?

The first few months felt more like a dream and I didn't really expect to make any fitting products. But then one day I managed to make a shampoo bar and started using my own products instead of using the rather expensive ones. I used these products for about a year, and after that I gave some to my family and friends as well. They all loved my products and that gave me inspiration. That's when I got the idea to produce more and contribute to the Mongolian cosmetic market by selling my own products here.

Were you ever afraid you would end up losing money by starting this business? 

Of course, there is always a risk for this when you decide to start your own business. When we first decided to start selling our products, we made about 300 shampoos. Of course, we did put some money into it, but I only saw two positive outcomes. If we fail, we learn from the experience, and if we succeed, well, we have our own business and we also learn from the experience. I am not rich, but through my scholarship I managed to save some money that I could put into my business.

Are you doing everything yourself or do you have people helping you expand the business?

My boyfriend Bayarsaikhan Mandakh has been very supportive when it comes to both my research and my business. He supports and helps me with everything. He also studies international business, so that may come in handy one day. Both our families also help us, and all our friends are supportive of our business.

Can you tell us about your products?

I have made several products by mixing raw materials from Hungary and Mongolia and I am very pleased to say that these products are the first of its type on the Mongolian market. The products are quite special as they do not contain any water or additional substances which means that you can store them long-term and they are mainly made up of nutrition and vitamins. As of today, we have four different shampoos which contain coffee, nettle, blueberry and sea buckthorn. They are all very rich on vitamins. The products are also eco-friendly and good for the environment.

Which products do you have available at the moment?

So our main product is our shampoo and conditioner, which we sell in a combined package for 15,000 MNT. In my opinion this is rather cheap, as the products will last you quite a long time. The products are also way cheaper than those from The Body Shop and Lush. I also just started working on a lip balm, and we also stock solid body butter and creams.

Where can one buy your products?

We sell all our products online on our Facebook page, La Perla Mongolia, and we deliver to your door! The Facebook-page has more than 4,000 likes on its page. We can reply in both Mongolian and English, depending on your need.

What made you go to Hungary to study?

I am from the Gobi region, but I moved to Ulaanbaatar right before high school. I finished high school here, and after that I enrolled at the National University of Mongolia, at the School of Chemistry. There I got the chance to study in Hungary through a scholarship. In the first year, I attended a Hungarian language school in Hungary. Now I'm starting my fourth year study to become a pharmacist at the University of Szeged. I also study in Hungarian.

How did you and your boyfriend/ business partner meet?

We both study in Hungary, but we study at two different universities, situated in two different corners of the country. We were both in Hungary at the same time, and we met there. We have been together for about three years now and we celebrated our 1,000th day together last week. We go back to university in Hungary this week. It is a little bit hard living in two different parts of the country, especially because the study load is quite hard, but we have found a way around it and we visit each other about every two weeks.

What's the plan for the future, in terms of the business?

The goal is to become corporate, but that will take some time. Through our time at the university we have made many friends in other ex-Soviet countries, so we are hoping to expand soon. We are aiming to sell our products in those regions in two to three years' time. We were also thinking of selling our products in Europe, but the market is too hard for us. There is not much room for a small foreign-owned start-up business over there. As the products are new to Mongolian consumers, this is the perfect place for us right now.

How do you run your business here in Mongolia when you are in Hungary?

My family runs the business here in Mongolia when I am in Hungary. I have thought them everything and they will run it smoothly. They make the products and deliver to the buyers' homes. And I will continue to make more products while I'm in Hungary.

Are you planning to move back to Mongolia after your studies?

Yes, of course! Mongolia is, and will always be, my home.

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President of Mongolia Arrives in Cuba for Official Visit

The Mongolian head of state was received by Cuban Deputy Foreign Minister Rogelio Sierra upon his arrival at Terminal three of Havana's Jose Marti International Airport

September 15 (Cuban News Agency) The interest in deepening relations between Cuba and Mongolia was expressed by the President of that Asian nation, Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj, who arrived in Cuba on Wednesday night on an official

Upon his arrival to the island, the head of state assured the press that for a long tie the two peoples have had bonds of friendship and expressed his confidence that his stay in Cuba will open new possibilities to expand bilateral cooperation.

The Mongolian head of state was received by Cuban Deputy Foreign Minister Rogelio Sierra upon his arrival at Terminal three of Havana's Jose Marti International Airport.

During his stay until Sunday, the Mongolian President will hold official talks with Army General Raul Castro, President of the Cuban councils of State and Ministers, and will carry out other activities.

For 56 years now, Cuba and the Asian nation have had uninterrupted relations, characterized by friendship and cooperation between the two countries.

Link to article


Chairs of international cooperation mechanisms appointed

Ulaanbaatar, September 15 (MONTSAME) At its regular meeting on Wednesday, the cabinet revised the compositions of the Mongolian chairmanship in the cooperation mechanisms with foreign countries, such as the Intergovernmental Commissions, Roundtable Meetings and other multilateral committees.

Mongolian government is operating a total of 38 cooperation mechanisms with the governments of foreign countries.

Link to article


PM J.Erdenebat meets RZD President O.Belozerov

Ulaanbaatar, September 14 (MONTSAME) The Prime Minister, Mr J.Erdenebat received Wednesday the President of the Russian Railway, Mr Oleg Belozerov. The Premier highlighted there are necessity and potentials for Mongolia and Russia to combine joint efforts for improving the operations of the Ulaanbaatar Railway joint venture and boosting transit transports.

The Ulaanbaatar Railway has many opportunities to draw benefits from the joint projects carried out by Mongolia, Russia and China, noted the Premier. The leaders of the three countries have found out that there are over 100 million tons of freight available for transit transportation. Only 10 million tons of the freight can bring the Ulaanbaatar Railway profits. "The Government of Mongolia will put all possible efforts in making this real", said J.Erdenebat.

Mr Belozerov agreed with the Prime Minister and expressed his gratitude to the Erdenebat's cabinet for taking the initiative on zeroing excise tax on diesel fuel, supplied to Ulaanbaatar Railway, and the Mongolian parliament for approving a regulation favoring this action. The regulation is to come into force on January 1 of 2017. Thereby, Mr Belozerov requested the Prime Minister whether there is a possibility to bring the date closer, namely within 2016.

The zero-rating has been resolved in frames of Mongolian laws and regulations, noted the PM and added that new regulations on taxation start to be implemented from January 1st of the following year since the regulations were already approved.

He also suggested it is due time to upgrade the management system of Ulaanbaatar Railway, by re-organizing the joint venture into a corporation, in consideration of the modern economic perspectives and demands. "It is the right time to enable the Ulaanbaatar Railway to keep up with the global economic pace, to grow independently and to have wider gate to the international markets through renewing the agreement of 1949. Both sides should take tangible steps towards this goal", underlined PM J.Erdenebat.

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Mongolian Embassy holds meeting in Beijing on freedom of speech

Ulaanbaatar, September 15 (MONTSAME) The Mongolian Embassy to China and Globe International Center NGO organized a diplomatic meeting about freedom of speech on September 12, reports the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Representatives of diplomatic missions of Switzerland, Belgium, Norway, the Netherlands, Finland, Austria, Poland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Croatia, Romania, Denmark and Kyrgyzstan, and from the permanent representatives of the European Union and the UNESCO in Beijing took part in the meeting.

Minister counsellor of the Mongolian Embassy to China T.Battsetseg and specialist at the permanent representative of the UNESCO Robert Parua gave speeches. Afterwards, the leader of Globe International Center Kh.Naranjargal gave detailed information on the recommendations about the freedom of speech from the Universal Periodic Review of the Human Rights Council, and the status of recommendations' observation.

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Ambassador to China presents credentials

Ulaanbaatar, September 15 (MONTSAME) The Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Mongolia, Mr D.Gankhuyag, formerly the State Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, presented the letter of credence to the President of the People's Republic of China, Mr Xi Jinping on September 14.

The Ambassador conveyed the greetings of Mongolian President Ts.Elbegdorj and discussed with Xi Jinping about the further development of Mongolia-China bilateral ties and Mongolia-China-Russia tri-partite cooperation.

Chairman of the PRC Xi Jinping responded to the greetings of President Ts.Elbegdorj and advised Ambassador D.Gankhuyag to have close contact with related Chinese authorities on the bilateral and trilateral relations.

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King Felipe VI of Spain receives credentials from Mongolian Ambassador

Ulaanbaatar, September 15 (MONTSAME) The non-resident Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Mongolia to Spain, M.Batsaikhan presented his diplomatic credentials to His Majesty the King of Spain Felipe VI on September 8. The Ambassador delivered the greetings of the President of Mongolia to the King of Spain and discussed about the cooperation between two countries.

He also expressed gratitude for the participation of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Spain, Mr Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo in the 11th ASEM Summit, held in July in Ulaanbaatar, and pledged his active efforts to strengthen ties between Mongolia and Spain.

King Felipe of Spain responded to the President's greetings and promised to support initiatives for the development of relations and cooperation of the two countries by all means.

Ambassador M.Batsaikhan took the opportunity and discussed with Mr Fernando Navaridas, Deputy Director General for Eastern and Southern Asia of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of Spain, about activities towards promoting the ties in politics, trade, economy, culture and education, and about sophisticating the legal environments for cooperation.

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Mongolia and UK armies to compete in polo

September 15 ( The British Army Polo team has arrived in Mongolia to participate in the annual friendly match with its Mongolian counterpart. The event will take place at the 'Khan Polo' club, located nearby the capital of Ulaanbaatar in Gachuurt on 17th of September.

Historians still debate the origins of polo. In the times of the Great Mongol Empire, Mongolian warriors played polo as a kind of military exercise, by picking up heads of sheep and goats from the ground while riding on a galloping horse. The game is also mentioned in Persian art and texts dating back more than a thousand years.  Some believe it to have been played in what is now Iran as far back as the 6th century B.C. Traders or warriors took the game across the Silk Road. In particular it flourished in Mogul India, where it remains a huge sport. Indian polo also captivated the British during the 19th century, who brought the sport back to England.

The United Kingdom was the first western country to establish diplomatic ties with Mongolia. The annual polo matches began in 2015 and first joint polo practice took place at military base in Khentii province.

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Russian-Mongolian military exercises

September 14 ( The Russian and Mongolian armed forces have held a joint military exercise. Called "Selenga 2016", the drills took place at the Ulun Burduny training complex in the Republic of Buryatia, which is located just north of Mongolia. The exercises began on August 30th  and lasted until September 7th.

The drill involved around 1,000 military personnel and 200 vehicles and aircraft. The objective of was to enhance cooperation between the Russian and Mongolian militaries in combating terrorist groups. The Russian military was present with a tank battalion, a motorized infantry company, a mortar battalion, howitzer self-propelled artillery and rocket batteries, air defence, reconnaissance, and NBC protection units. On the Mongolian side, a number of motorized infantry companies, armored personnel carriers, a tank platoon, and a mortar and a rocket battery, participated in the drill.

The Selenga military exercise has been held annually since 2008. Last year, the exercise was held in Russia's Trans-Baikal Territory. Before 2011, the drill was a tactical exercise with live firing that was called Darkhan - the Mongolian word for "builder".

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Culture, Society

Cultural projects launched under auspices of President

Ulaanbaatar, September 15 (MONTSAME) A ceremony for launching the projects on Research for Mongolian Ilkhanate, Mongolian Altai Praise and Melody of Mongolian Tsuur was held at the Citizen's Chamber under the Office of the President, on September 14.

Opening addresses were given by the Chief of Staff of the President's Office Ts.Bayarsaikhan and the adviser G.Battogtokh.

Dr Ts.Bayarsaikhan shared many interesting facts of history, quoting the sources about how Bagdad grew more beautiful after the invasion of Mongols, contrary to the common belief that the city's landmarks had been destroyed by the Ilkhanate. The kings of Ilkhanate encouraged science and academics, thus, it had enriched the libraries of Bagdad with more historic chronicles and scientific researches. Bagdad used to serve as a wintering place for Mongolian Ilkhans.

Also, during the opening, A.Baldandorj and B.Naranbat, the 8th and 9th generation descendants of the great praisers (folk tellers) of Mongolia, given performance of telling stories and playing Tsuur (Mongolian traditional wind instrument).

The cultural projects are parts of the framework for safeguarding purity of Mongolian language and culture, initiated by the President of Mongolia.

Link to article


French school adds traditional Mongolian dwelling ger classroom

September 14 ( French school adds a traditional Mongolian dwelling ger classroom to their campus. A village in northern France is using a Mongolian ger to accommodate extracurricular activities for its students.

The Three Keys School in French Flanders, has seen its student body grow from 90 to 150 in ten years and needed a cost-effective solution when they discovered the school needed a new classroom.

The ger cost 70,000 EUR and includes a wood floor, providing a 63 square meter classroom for up to 20 students. Quentin Callewaert, the school's director, praised the lighting, sound, and practical design of the ger. 

The village's mayor says the ger will help open the students to another culture and takes pride in the innovative and culturally rich addition to the school.

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Nature, Environment

The final eclipse of 2016

September 15 ( The final eclipse of 2016 will occur this weekend, and it just so happens to coincide with the harvest moon - something we're not going to see again until 2024.

For the second year in a row, this month's full moon will coincide with a lunar eclipse, with those in Europe, Asia, Africa, and Australia are set to get the best view. The event is expected to last for about 3 hours as the Moon passes through Earth's outer - or 'penumbral' - shadow.

Earth has two types of shadows - penumbral and umbral. The umbra is the central cone of darkness that tapers away from Earth, and the penumbra is a much lighter shadow that spreads out from the edges of the umbra. When Friday's full moon moves into this light shadow, it will cause a penumbral lunar eclipse - one of three types of lunar eclipse.

The eclipse is expected to begin on Friday 16 September at 4:54pm UTC (5:54pm BST, or 17 September 2:54am AEST), and will hit its peak at 6:54pm UTC (7:54pm BST, or 17 September 4:54am AEST).

The eclipse will last for exactly 3 hours, 59 minutes and 16 seconds, and you don't want to miss it - it's the last harvest moon eclipse of any kind that we'll see until 2024.

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E.Sodnompiljee wins Paralympic bronze medal

September 14 ( The XV Summer Paralympic Games of athletes with disabilities is being held from 7thSeptember to 18th September 2016 in Rio de Janeiro. On 13th of September, Mongolian powerlifter E.Sodnompiljee took bronze in the men's 88 kg category.  He became the first Mongolian to compete in this sporting category at the Paralympics.

A UAE strongman lifted 220 kilograms in the bench press (the only discipline in Paralympic powerlifting) and Brazil's Evanio da Silva took the silver with a lift of 210kg. E.Sodnompiljee also lifted 210kg but was awarded the bronze following a tie at the RioCentro Pavilion. He lifted 217 kg for his second attempt, but the referee discounted it. Overall ten athletes competed in the men's 88 kg category.

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Powerlifter brings second bronze from ParalympicsMontsame, September 14


Kh.Battulga re-elected as head of Mongolian Judo Association

September 14 ( Kh.Battulga has been re-elected as president of the Mongolian Judo Association. At the meeting, held earlier today (14th of September), Mr Battulga was the only nominee for the post of president. D.Dorligjav, Deputy Vice President of the Association, secretary M.Munkhbat and Ch.Nasantogtoh, head of national judo team as well as members of the judo departments of provinces participated in the meeting.

In April, the Independent Authority Against Corruption (IAAC) and the Economic Crimes Division at the Criminal Police Department investigated Kh.Battulga, then an MP, on suspicion of organising money laundering. The corruption investigation erupted into controversy. At the time, IAAC and police officers conducted a five-hour search at the offices of two of his companies at the Bayangol Hotel office building, while media representatives, MPs, celebrity athletes, and others gathered outside the building in protest against the investigation.

Link to article


Battulga Khaltmaa re-elected president of Mongolian Judo AssociationMontsame, September 14


Newcastle Native Competes in Horse Race Across Mongolia

September 14 (The Lincoln County News) A Lincoln Academy graduate and former Newcastle resident is back in the U.S. after participating in an endurance horse race across Mongolia during August.

Julia Stewart, of Washington, D.C., competed in the 2016 Mongol Derby, a horse race that currently holds the Guinness World Record title of the longest multi-horse race in the world.

The Mongol Derby was founded in 2009 by a U.K.-based group called The Adventurists. The course is 1,000 kilometers, or 621.37 miles, long, and recreates the horse messenger system developed by Genghis Khan in 1224 through the Mongolian-Manchurian steppe, a temperate grassland in Mongolia. The exact course changes every year and the course is unmarked. Riders are given a series of GPS coordinates to guide them to each horse station. They have 10 days to complete the race.

Riders switch horses approximately every 40 kilometers. The horses, which belong to families who live along the course, are semi-wild.

The entry fee for the race is £8,495, or about $11,218.07, with most of the funds going to charity.

Stewart originally read about the Mongol Derby years ago and had made it her goal to compete in the race since then.

"The challenge was extremely appealing to me, as was the chance to combine several of my passions – riding, travel, culture, and intense experiences," Stewart said.

Stewart first started riding horses when she was a child. When she was very young, she rode on her neighbors' ponies, and she started taking riding lessons when she was 8 years old.

Stewart has traveled extensively to races in the past, however, she said she had never participated in a race like the Mongol Derby before. To prepare for the race, Stewart rode as much as she could, ran daily, and did power yoga and Crossfit.

"It still wasn't enough," Stewart said. "Even in hindsight, I don't know how I would have better prepared for the physical endurance that's required to ride 100 miles a day, many days in a row."

Riders received training in Mongolia for three days prior to the race's start date on Aug. 4. In the days leading up to the race, Stewart said she felt confident in her abilities but increasingly nervous as the start date got closer.

"I knew I was a strong rider, but also that many things would be entirely outside of my control," Stewart said. "As someone who is quite competitive, that was hard for me to deal with throughout the race."

The Mongol Derby was one of the most important experiences of Stewart's life, she said. One of her favorite moments happened during a training ride.

"I was mounted on a horse that spent the full hour I was on him running away with me, completely out of control," Stewart said. "There is a leap of faith that you have to take, to trust that the horse is surefooted … and essentially hang on for the ride."

Five days into the race, Stewart was riding with two other women in the mountains. As they were riding through a forest, the three began to hear what sounded like opera music.

As Stewart began to wonder if she was so tired or dehydrated she was hearing things, two men and a boy riding a motorcycle passed the three women playing opera on their radio.

The men nodded at the women as if it was perfectly normal to encounter a group of horseback riders wearing adventure racing gear away from anything else, Stewart said.

"It was a moment so surreal that it encompassed the entire experience – exhaustion, beauty, a magical setting, and the sometimes baffling nature of experiences so foreign to your own," Stewart said.

Link to article


The path of Khan: Maine native spent August racing horses across Mongolia

September 15 (Lincoln County News) A Lincoln Academy graduate and former Newcastle resident is back in the U.S. after participating in an endurance horse race across Mongolia in August.

Julia Stewart of Washington, D.C., competed in the 2016 Mongol Derby, a horse race that currently holds the Guinness World Record title of the longest multihorse race in the world.

The Mongol Derby was founded in 2009 by a U.K.-based group called The Adventurists. The course is 1,000 kilometers, or 621.37 miles, long, and recreates the horse messenger system developed by Genghis Khan in 1224 through the Mongolian-Manchurian steppe, a temperate grassland in Mongolia. The exact course changes every year and the course is unmarked. Riders are given a series of GPS coordinates to guide them to each horse station. They have 10 days to complete the race.

Riders switch horses approximately every 40 kilometers. The horses, which belong to families who live along the course, are semi-wild.

The entry fee for the race is £8,495, or about $11,218.07, with most of the funds going to charity.

Stewart originally read about the Mongol Derby years ago and made it her goal to compete in the race since then.

"The challenge was extremely appealing to me, as was the chance to combine several of my passions — riding, travel, culture and intense experiences," Stewart said.

Stewart first started riding horses when she was a child. When she was very young, she rode on her neighbors' ponies, and she started taking riding lessons when she was 8 years old.

Stewart has traveled extensively to races in the past; however, she said she had never participated in a race like the Mongol Derby before. To prepare for the race, Stewart rode as much as she could, ran daily and did power yoga and CrossFit.

"It still wasn't enough," Stewart said. "Even in hindsight, I don't know how I would have better prepared for the physical endurance that's required to ride 100 miles a day, many days in a row."

Riders received training in Mongolia for three days before the race's start date on Aug. 4. In the days leading up to the race, Stewart said she felt confident in her abilities but increasingly nervous as the start date got closer.

"I knew I was a strong rider, but also that many things would be entirely outside of my control," Stewart said. "As someone who is quite competitive, that was hard for me to deal with throughout the race."

The Mongol Derby was one of the most important experiences of Stewart's life, she said. One of her favorite moments happened during a training ride.

"I was mounted on a horse that spent the full hour I was on him running away with me, completely out of control," Stewart said. "There is a leap of faith that you have to take, to trust that the horse is surefooted … and essentially hang on for the ride."

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Art, Entertainment

Mongolian 'popera' group to perform in Ulan-Ude

September 14 ( The first Mongolian orchestral pop - or popera group 'Nuans' will perform in Ulan-Ude at the invitation of BGTRK, a broadcasting company of the Russian Republic of Buryatia. The band is currently marking its 15th anniversary.

'Nuans' will perform in October at the 75th anniversary of BGTRK. Television executives from different parts of the Russian Federation such as the Altai Republic, Dagestan, Irkutsk, Chita, the Aga Buryat and the Ust-Orda Buryat Districts and the Republics of Kalmykia, Sakha and Tuva have been invited to the event.

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Man held over murder of British paraglider Steve Nash

Steve Nash had been travelling through east Asian with his friend Gareth Aston.

September 14 (International Business Times) Police in Mongolia have arrested a 31-year-old man, previously given a suspended sentence for theft, over the murder of British paraglider Steve Nash who was allegedly killed for his wallet and passport.

The Mongolian national, who has been identified only by his first initial "T" was found in possession of £300 ($400) in local currency and a UK passport which appears to have belonged to Nash, the Associated Press reported.

An experienced paraglider, Steve Nash had been travelling for the second time in the east Asian nation with his friend Gareth Aston.

Police spokesman Baatarkhuu Buyant said 53-year-old Nash was stabbed in the chest and left fighting for his life on the remote Mongolian plains. He later died from blood loss and his body was found on 1 September in Arkhangai Province in central Mongolia. The suspect, "T", had previously been given a suspended sentence in 2016 for stealing, police revealed.

The extreme sports magazine Cross Country reported Nash and Ashton had been hiking and paragliding through the Mongolian mountains from Uliastai to Tsetserleg. They planned to traverse the Khangai Nuruu mountain range in central Mongolia, a feat they had attempted 10 years earlier but had been forced to abandon.

The pair were being followed by their friends and family in the UK via satellite tracking technology.

"[Steve's wife] and I were first concerned when it was seen that Steve's Spot tracklog was not updating and there was no end-of-day 'OK' message. The last track-point showed him stopped in the middle of a valley," Steve's friend Malcolm Grace explained.

"Some hours later we got the devastating news from Gareth that Steve had been killed and robbed. His passport and his money were missing. Everything else was still there, including his paraglider — packed in his backpack," he added.

Crime in sparsely populated Mongolia is relatively low but similar incidents have been on the rise following an economic downturn.

Link to article


Tributes to British paraglider found 'robbed and murdered' during Mongolia tripEvening Standard, September 15


Air China makes emergency landing at Ulaanbaatar

September 15 ( More than 200 people unexpectedly stayed the night in Ulaanbaatar  after their Air China flight had to make an emergency landing on Wednesday evening (14th of September).  The passengers were flown back to Beijing on the scheduled Air China Boeing 737-800 at 09:00 am

The CA856 flight was en route to Beijing from London. The aircraft landed safely 3:00 p.m. local time with 197 people on board and 10 crew members. The cause of the emergency landing has still not been disclosed.

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