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- UB pollution causes health issues (Mogi: Duh!)
HAR last traded A$0.004 on October 26
November 2 -- Haranga Resources Limited (ASX: HAR or 'the Company') is pleased to provide the following corporate update.
It has been well publicised in recent times that investor sentiment towards Mongolia and specifically iron ore assets has not been strong. This sentiment has weighed on HAR and its options for pursuing new capital. Despite this, operationally the Company has had many successes culminating in the granting of its mining license in June 2015.
Recently HAR announced Board changes giving rise to an opportunity for the Company to review its strategy and take a proactive stance in positioning itself for the next stage of its development.
The reconstituted Board has commenced a program to reduce overhead costs and in addition, (as has been the case for the last approximately 18 months), "related parties" including the directors and company secretary have continued the deferment of payment of directors fees/professional fees.
HAR will today release a non-renounceable Rights Issue Prospectus for the issue of one (1) share for every three (3) shares held by shareholders at the record date at an issue price of $0.003 per share to raise up to $448,165 (before costs).
The purpose of the Rights Issue is to provide the Company with a platform to move forward. Importantly, existing "related party" creditors have agreed not to seek any repayment from the proceeds of the Rights Issue allowing the funds to be utilised as detailed in the Rights Issue Prospectus.
In addition, to pursuing the Rights Issue the Company is actively pursuing other opportunities to restore shareholder value as well as looking at other funding options for HAR's projects.
Link to Entitlement Issue Prospectus
1878 closed flat Wednesday at HK$2.03.
HONG KONG, CHINA--(Marketwired - Nov. 2, 2016) - The board of directors (the "Board") of SouthGobi Resources Ltd. (TSX:SGQ)(HKSE:1878) (the "Company") will review and approve the third quarter 2016 financial results of the Company and its subsidiaries on November 14, 2016. These financial results will be released on November 14, 2016.
EGI closed +9.68% Wednesday to US$0.259
Entrée Gold Announces Third Quarter 2016 Results
VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwired - Nov. 2, 2016) - Entrée Gold Inc. (TSX:ETG)(NYSE MKT:EGI)(FRANKFURT:EKA) ("Entrée" or the "Company") has today filed its interim operational and financial results for the third quarter ended September 30, 2016. All numbers are in U.S. dollars unless otherwise noted.
Entrée Evaluating Restructuring Options
Turquoise Hill Files 2016 Oyu Tolgoi Technical Report
Update on Underground Development at Oyu Tolgoi Provided by Turquoise Hill
Ann Mason Rehabilitation Work Completed
TRQ closed -1.3% Wednesday to US$3.04
· TRQ was pitched at the Invest for Kids event in Chicago last week.
· We take a look at the operational feasibility.
· Rio Tinto is a speculated acquirer – we provide an analysis of the likelihood.
November 2 (Tusk Media) The Tusk Media team attended the Invest for Kids event in Chicago in October. Analysts Ben Nye and Matt Krebsbach analyze one of the ideas pitched, a Mongolian mining company by the name of Turquoise Hill Resources (NYSE:TRQ).
The pitch is relatively straightforward. This is a mining company with net cash that is producing from an open pit at the moment. On top of that (or rather underneath it), the company plans to build out an underground mine over the course of the next five to 10 years. And the cherry on top is the notion that large holder Rio Tinto (NYSE:RIO) could make a bid for the company at some point, allowing investors to realize value even faster than they might expect.
This all sounds good and intriguing, so our team to a deeper look into it in order to test the thesis. In the video, we take a look at the availability of labor, the likelihood that the company has the mine resource management claims to have, and the feasibility of actually building out 200km of tunnels in one of the biggest mine projects that we know -- in the Gobi desert in Mongolia.
Needless to say, an investment in TRQ is not without risks, but the idea itself is certainly intriguing.
Disclosure: I/we have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.
I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.
November 2 (MSE) --
November 2 (CNBC) Altai Khangai, CEO of the Mongolian Stock Exchange, explains how the stock exchange provides cheaper access to capital for businesses than bank loans.
Reds are when MNT fell, greens when it rose. Bold reds are rates that set a new historic high at the time.
USD (blue), CNY (red) vs MNT in last 1 year:
Mogi: article is poorly written, headline was corrected
November 2 (news.mn) The Central Bank of Mongolia said it will expand a currency swap agreement to CNY 25million with the People's Bank of China, paving the way for more yuan-based trade settlements. The ongoing CNY15 million currency swap agreement between the two central banks will terminate in 2017. On this occasion, the Economic Standing Committee of the Mongolian Cabinet has discussed the continuation of the currency swap agreement.
The IMF added the Chinese yuan to its basket of reserve currencies last month. China has stepped up efforts to promote the yuan's use in cross-border trade and finance to reduce its reliance on the U.S. dollar in the wake of the global financial crisis. The increased circulation of the yuan offshore is also key to China's efforts to internationalise its currency .In recent years, the People's Bank of China has established bilateral currency swap agreements with a number of central banks, including those of Hong Kong, South Korea, Malaysia, Indonesia, Belarus and Argentina.
Ulaanbaatar, November 2 (MONTSAME) According to the harvest balance records by the Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Light Industry, Mongolia harvested more than 450 thousand tons of wheat this autumn, which will fully cover the domestic flour consumption for one year.
In the meantime, our neighbor in the North has harvested some 120 million tons of grains, of which 75 million tons are wheat. Russian side intends to export 30 tons of wheat. Experts say this year's wheat balance on the global market has seen a surplus.
On the global market, a ton of wheat is being sold for USD 150, whereas, in Mongolia, the price is fluctuating from MNT 400 to 440 depending on the product quality.
By KENJI KAWASE, Nikkei deputy editor
HONG KONG, November 2 (Nikkei Asian Review) -- Not long ago, Mongolia was a darling of global investors, enjoying the highest economic growth in Asia. Now the economy is undergoing restructuring and belt tightening.
While negotiations with the International Monetary Fund continue back home, officials came to Hong Kong this week to woo investors to reignite interest in the mineral-rich country, but they were met with an unhappy and unenthusiastic audience.
With the recently appointed central bank governor canceling his participation to deal with the IMF delegation, the newly re-appointed head of the Mongolian Stock Exchange acted as the lead promoter of investment into the cash-strapped economy.
"We will make it more practical to attract more foreign capital to the Mongolian market," said Altai Khangai, who previously left the exchange in January 2014. He pledged on Tuesday the bourse would be "much more user-friendly" at an annual Hong Kong forum dedicated to investment to the Central Asian country.
Suffering from a serious shortfall in capital, the country requires foreign direct investment as well as portfolio investment. By attracting foreign participation, Altai stressed the exchange's goals of facilitating funding for local businesses by providing an alternative to bank loans and acting as a "sufficient privatization tool for government-owned assets." He also seeks more foreign enterprises to add secondary listings on his exchange to "gain bonds with Mongolia."
The stock market's capitalization peaked in 2011 as commodity prices surged, but it has since shrunk almost in half. Trading volumes last year were only about a fifth of their high in 2012. Altai told the Nikkei Asian Review on the sidelines of the event, "What the country needs is money right now."
Altai's sales pitch however met with some grumbles. "I am very angry about this," said Thomas Hugger, chief executive and fund manager of Asia Frontier Capital, who raised his recent experience of being blocked from trading for about two months. The Hong Kong-based fund manager who mainly invests in so-called frontier economies such as Vietnam, Pakistan and Bangladesh was neither able to buy nor sell any shares as the local stock broker that it uses was suddenly suspended from trading. Though this was said to be the result of an investigation by the local regulator, Hugger's $17 million fund, of which about 11% is held in Mongolian assets, suffered from the opportunity loss for two months.
On top of that, claims addressed to the regulator and the exchange were ignored, Hugger said.
Altai, who was not at the exchange during the episode, accepted Hugger's complaint. He vowed to "carefully examine" the case.
Investor confidence will be hard to regain. Under the previous Democratic Party-led government which was defeated in elections in June, a series of policy blunders led to a rapid draining of foreign capital, exacerbated by a crash in global prices for coal and copper, export commodities that the economy is highly reliant on. The extended dispute, which was only resolved this year, with metals producer Rio Tinto over further development of Oyu Tolgoi, the world's largest untapped copper and gold mine, symbolized damaged investor confidence.
As the new Mongolian People's Party-led government seeks to mend fences with the outside world, wariness is not easily wiped away. Speaking on a panel about the investment environment, Chris Bradley, director of structured commodity financer Rimu Resources, said that the main risk going forward is still the "predictability of the government." A veteran of Mongolia and the annual gathering in Hong Kong, he said that the conference used to be 10 times bigger.
This was echoed by Erik Versavel, chief representative in Mongolia for ING, at a separate panel on the banking sector on Wednesday. He summed it up by saying the "international financial community at this point wants to see establishment of trust in policy and in financial discipline."
Others tried to temper expectations that the resolution of the stalemate over Oyu Tolgoi would bring in foreign investment. "I think expectation that Oyu Tolgoi would solve all economic problems should not be the case," warned Tuyen Nguyen, resident representative in Mongolia of the International Finance Corp. He said that economic stabilization measures and other major mining projects need to be in place to lay the groundwork for fresh investment. "Mongolia for the next foreseeable future is at an investment stage. They need FDI to develop its infrastructure," he said.
But the stock exchange's Altai said that there is hope for change. "Mongolia as a country has learned a lesson. Maybe based on that, proper decisions will be made."
World Bank: Concept Integrated Safeguards Data Sheet-Integrated Safeguards Document - Mongolia Employment Support Project
November 2 (World Bank) --
Project Information Document/ Integrated Safeguards Data Sheet (PID/ISDS)
Concept Stage | Date Prepared/Updated: 26-Oct-2016 | Report No: PIDISDSC17908
* Copper bounces from losses
* Poll putting Trump ahead rattles investors
LONDON, Nov 2 (Reuters) - Copper was steady on Wednesday, supported by Chinese economic data that pointed to robust demand for industrial metals, balancing pressure from speculators booking profits after a rally this week.
Benchmark copper on the London Metal Exchange closed barely changed, up $1 to $4,920 a tonne, rebounding from an intraday low of $4,866. On Tuesday, copper hit a peak of $4,922, its highest since Aug. 2.
World markets, including metals, were also spooked by a poll on Tuesday that put U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump ahead of rival Hillary Clinton.
"Certainly I do expect some profit taking to come in at some point because the price has risen so much," said Capital Economics senior commodities economist Caroline Bain, adding the U.S. Presidential race was also dragging prices lower.
In times of economic or political uncertainty investors often move to safe-haven assets such as gold and the Swiss franc and away from world stocks and some commodities.
Helping to bolster copper was China's official Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) for October, which expanded at the fastest pace in more than two years, adding to the view that a credit and housing boom is stabilizing the world's second-largest economy.
China is the world's top consumer of industrial metals and indications of a quickening economy boosts commodities.
"LME copper has come off a bit after a strong rally in reaction to the data on Tuesday, but not by much," said Amy Li, an analyst with National Australia Bank.
"Overall, there is an expectation that the Chinese economy will perform well and that's helping keep metals up."
The economy in China, the world's biggest copper consumer, expanded at a steady 6.7 percent clip in the third quarter and looks set to hit Beijing's full-year target of 6.5 to 7 percent.
Elsewhere, zinc fell along with most other metals, retreating from a five-year high on profit-taking but it was still supported by supply-deficit fundamentals, traders said.
Zinc finished 1.6 percent weaker at $2,426 a tonne, having galloped to a half-decade high on supply concerns after Glencore shuttered its Black Star mine in Australia and as a report this week showed a 2017 deficit.
Zinc, used to galvanize steel, has been the top LME performer this year, with gains of more than 50 percent.
Tin ended down 0.4 percent at $20,775, retreating from an intraday peak of $20,895 a tonne, its highest level since September 2014. Prices for the metal are benefiting from shortage fears after stockpiles slipped to 12-year lows.
Aluminum dipped 0.5 percent to close at $1,726.50, lead shed 0.8 percent to $2,054, while nickel slipped 0.9 percent to end at $10,320.
Copper Rally No Prelude to Roar – Bloomberg Gadfly, November 2
November 2 (Business Insider Australia) Coking coal prices have ripped higher in 2016, rallying over 250% from the lows seen late last year.
Now, in response to the price surge — caused by a combination of factors including reduced output in China, continued strength in Chinese steel production and supply disruptions in seaborne markets — Australian suppliers are bringing mothballed mines back into production, looking to capitalise on the sudden and sharp spike in prices.
Vivek Dhar, a mining and energy commodities analyst at the Commonwealth Bank, explains:
Glencore plans to restart its Integra coal mine in New South Wales next year, which could remain operational until 2018, to take advantage of surging coking coal prices. The company is aiming to produce 1.3 Mtpa of semi hard coking coal at the mine next year, which has been on care and maintenance since July 2014. Glencore announced earlier in October that it will resume operations at its 6Mt Collinsville thermal and coking coal mine in Queensland. Indian steelmaker Jindal Steel & Power has also signalled plans to ramp output at its Wongawilli coking coal mines in New South Wales.
And who could blame them for restarting production given where prices currently sit?
On Tuesday, the spot price for premium coking coal lifted to $US266 a tonne (FOB Australia), leaving it at the highest level since September 2011, something Dhar put down to ongoing operational issues at South32's Illawarra coal mine.
While the price action in recent months is undeniably bullish, Dhar, like others, doesn't expect the rally will last, writing in October that spot prices would likely to settle around the $US100 a tonne level by mid-2017 as factors that have supported prices fade.
Coal, iron ore price surge to result in $12bn budget windfall for Australia – The Australian, November 2
Australia budget gets China gift, may save credit ratings crown – Reuters, November 2
U.S. coking coal miners seen slow to respond to price rally – Reuters, November 2
November 2 (Reuters) Gold prices briefly hit highest level at $1309.10 an ounce for the first time since October 4th, as the Federal Reserve announced it would leave interest rates unchanged on Wednesday.
Following their two-day November meeting, the Fed's decision to keep interest rates unchanged was widely expected. In September, the Fed hinted at an increase in December.
Spot gold was up 1.22 percent at $1,303.24 an ounce at 2:25 pm EDT. Bullion touched its highest since Oct. 4 at $1293.10 per ounce.
U.S. gold futures rose 1.34 percent at $1,304.60 per ounce, after earlier touching a one-month high at $1,294.10.
Investor anxiety over the election after the renewal of an FBI probe into Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton's emails knocked European stocks to near four-month lows and sent the dollar to its lowest since early October.
That helped push gold back above the $1,305 an ounce mark.
"The election polls are the main driver for this increase in the gold price. If there is a President Donald Trump, there could be a change in policy," LBBW analyst Thorsten Proettel said. "That would increase uncertainty among market participants."
Traders were starting to reconsider long-held bets of a victory for Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton amid signs Republican Donald Trump could be closing the gap after the FBI's announcement of the new email probe on Friday.
A Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll on Monday showed Clinton held a five percentage point lead over Trump, but other polls showed her lead slipping more sharply. Real Clear Politics, which averages the results of most major polls, shows it had dropped from 4.6 points on Friday to 2.5 points on Monday.
Markets were also awaiting direction on the timing of a U.S. interest rate hike from a two-day Federal Reserve policy meeting, which is due to conclude later in the day.
"The chance of rates being hiked today are slim to none," Marex Spectron said in a note. "What will be closely looked at is the wording of the accompanying announcement, as to whether December is on the cards."
Gold is highly sensitive to rising rates, which lift the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding assets such as bullion, and also boost the dollar, making the metal more expensive for those holding other currencies.
The world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, New York's SPDR Gold Shares, reported its first inflow in just over a week on Tuesday, of 2.7 tonnes. Last month the fund reported a net outflow of just over 5 tonnes.
Gold Miners was up over 2 percent, on pace for their fourth straight day of gains for the first time since July.
Among other precious metals, silver was up 1 percent to $18.51 per ounce. Earlier in the session, the metal hit a high of $18.55, its highest since Oct. 4.
- Crude inventories rose 14.4 million barrels last week: EIA
- Imports increased to highest level since September 2012
November 3 (Bloomberg) Oil tumbled as a record increase in U.S. crude stockpiles heightens the pressure on OPEC to reduce production.
Crude stockpiles rose 14.4 million barrels, or 3.1 percent, last week, according to the Energy Information Administration. That's the biggest gain in agency data going back to 1982. A 2 million barrel increase was forecast by analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. Imports surged 28 percent to the highest in four years. Prices were down before the report's release on record OPEC output last month, which is complicating the group's effort to stabilize prices.
Oil is continuing its retreat triggered by the failure last week of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries to agree on the member quotas required to implement an output deal reached in Algiers in September. While Goldman Sachs Group Inc. sees little chance of an agreement at an official meeting of the group on Nov. 30, Bank of America Merrill Lynch and OPEC's head remain confident of a deal.
"Market conditions have deteriorated and we're back at $45," said Chris Kettenmann, chief energy strategist at Macro Risk Advisors LLC in New York. "This report increases the pressure on core OPEC members to come to an agreement on cuts by the time they meet on Nov. 30."
West Texas Intermediate for December delivery dropped $1.42, or 3 percent, to $45.25 a barrel at 12:15 p.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract touched $44.96, the lowest since Sept. 28. Total volume traded was 32 percent below the 100-day average.
Brent for January settlement slipped $1.42, or 3 percent, to $46.72 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. Prices reached $46.46, the lowest since Sept. 28. The global benchmark crude traded at a 91 cent premium to January WTI.
"We're right back at the price we saw before the OPEC meeting in September," said Rob Haworth, a senior investment strategist in Seattle at U.S. Bank Wealth Management, which oversees $133 billion of assets. "There's been a lot of bullish speculation in the market and the news hasn't supported it. We're now going to test the bottom end of the recent range."
The gain left U.S. crude supplies at 482.6 million in the week ended Oct. 28, according to EIA data. Stockpiles are at the highest seasonal level in more than 20 years. The industry-funded American Petroleum Institute reported Tuesday that inventories rose by 9.3 million barrels last week.
Crude imports rose 28 percent to 9 million barrels a day last week, the highest since September 2012. Production increased 0.2 percent to 8.5 million barrels a day.
"We could fall further but I don't think it goes below $40," said Joe Bozoyan, an equity portfolio manager who focuses on energy at John Hancock in Boston. "If prices go lower we will see a reversal in the rig count, which would hurt U.S. production."
Libya, Nigeria and Iran -- granted special status after OPEC members reached a supply deal Sept. 28 in Algiers -- pumped an extra 400,000 barrels a day in October, while Iraq, also demanding an exemption, added 50,000 barrels a day, according to a Bloomberg News survey of analysts, oil companies and ship-tracking data.
Oil prices slide 3 percent on record U.S. crude stock build – Reuters, November 2
Falling oil prices could crack $40 and get OPEC talking deal – CNBC, November 2
Oil Falls on 'Most Bearish Report of All Time' – WSJ, November 2
* Weaker yuan seen pushing onshore funds to dollar-linked assets
* Coke also pulls back from strongest level since 2013
* Rebar steady after scaling highest since April (Updates prices)
MANILA, Nov 2 (Reuters) Iron ore futures in China pulled back on Wednesday as investors locked in recent gains after the steelmaking raw material earlier rose to the highest in more than two years amid stronger steel and coal prices and a mending Chinese economy.
Activity in China's manufacturing sector expanded at the fastest pace in over two years in October thanks to a construction boom, according to data released on Tuesday.
Iron ore for January delivery on the Dalian Commodity Exchange climbed as far as 509 yuan ($75) a tonne, its loftiest since July 2014.
The contract closed down 1.8 percent at 491.50 yuan, in line with a retreat in other commodities on Chinese exchanges such as aluminium and rubber after recent gains.
Dalian iron ore gained more than 20 percent in October, driving a 16 percent increase in spot iron ore prices.
Iron ore for delivery to China's Tianjin port .IO62-CNI=SI rose 0.9 percent to $64.40 a tonne on Tuesday, the highest since April 29, according to The Steel Index.
Traders have mostly attributed iron ore's climb to the strength in coal prices as mills sought higher grade iron ore to be able to use less coal.
But Goldman Sachs said it may have more to do with the recent weakness in the yuan.
"A rising dollar/yuan led onshore investors to seek dollar-linked assets such as commodities and iron ore may be the first in line to benefit from such investment flows," Goldman analysts said in a report.
There may be further room for the yuan to depreciate given the high likelihood of the U.S. Federal Reserve hiking interest rates in December, they said.
"With ample onshore money supply chasing a limited menu of accessible dollar-linked assets, continued yuan depreciation means that iron ore prices may stay above what the fundamental demand and supply suggest in coming months," Goldman analysts said.
Steel and coal futures also came off session highs on Wednesday, but managed to cling to most of the day's gains.
The most-active rebar, a construction steel product, on the Shanghai Futures Exchange closed up 0.1 percent at 2,610 yuan a tonne after touching 2,665 yuan earlier, the highest since April 25.
January Dalian coking coal ended 1.1 percent firmer at 1,304.50 yuan a tonne, after touching a contract high of 1,348.50 yuan. Dalian coke dropped 0.4 percent to close at 1,778 yuan, after earlier hitting 1,843 yuan, its strongest since March 2013.
Goldman Says Sagging Yuan, Not Coal, Behind Iron Ore's Rally – Bloomberg, November 2
Goldman Sachs says watch the Chinese yuan if you want to know where iron ore prices are heading – Business Insider Australia, November 2
Iron ore climbs to fresh six-month high as analysts turn bullish on Chinese steel – The Australian, November 2
November 1 – Topics:
1. MPs Wealth Doubles
2. Erdenet Mine debated
3. Oyu Tolgoi dividends
4. Zorig case questioned
5. Happy birthday, Chinggis
November 1 (UB Post) President Ts.Elbegdorj, Speaker M.Enkhbold, Prime Minister J.Erdenebat, their spouses, and representatives from the government, the military, sports, arts, and traditional herders paid tribute to the statue of Chinggis Khaan on the occasion of the 854th anniversary of his birth, National Pride Day, on October 31.
The officials also participated in a ceremony for the presentation of the Order of Chinggis Khaan. After the ceremony, President Ts.Elbegdorj headed to the Wrestling Palace to watch a wrestling competition for National Pride Day and awarded the winning wrestlers.
Ulaanbaatar, November 2 (MONTSAME) A scientific workshop themed "Mongolian capitalism" will be co-organized by the Department of Anthropology of the University College London (UCL) and the Department of Anthropology of the National University of Mongolia on November 16 at the Mongolia-Japan Cultural Center of Ulaanbaatar.
The forthcoming event is being held in the scope of the "Subjects of New Economy" Project. The project team will present the results of their researches on the derivative types of capitalism in economies, and the independent scholars will put their papers, recommendations and comments forward for discussions.
Today's researchers tend to view that capitalism is not something that was brought from outside, but it is a phenomenon that is created in the course of a nation's historic paths.
Resin firing system leads way in strata control
November 2 (Australian Mining) A system to stop mines from caving in will be used to safeguard new projects in Mongolia.
The Trajectaflex Resin Firing System was developed by Wilco Technologies in South Australia and is a highly-effective resin capsule installation tool.
Resin bolts have become an increasingly popular strata control technique that incorporates the use of a chemical adhesive to anchor steel studs into mine walls or ceilings.
The Trajectaflex system centres around a steel nozzle that increases the efficiency and safety of resin set bolting cycles.
The innovation has been used at a number of mines across Australia and at the Grasberg mine in Indonesia, which is the largest gold mine and the third largest copper mine in the world.
Wilco is based in Kimba on Eyre Peninsula, about 480km northwest of South Australia's capital Adelaide.
It has recently sent two of its resin-firing systems to the Oyu Tolgoi mine in Mongolia.
Oyu Tolgoi is one of the largest copper mines in the world, with the majority of the value buried more than a kilometre underground.
Wilco CFO Clare Williams said the patented nozzle gave operators the ability to index the bolt hole effectively to install the resin capsules.
"Obviously in underground mines strata control is critical so jumbo operators install the resin bolts and each bolt can hold up to 25t of rock," she said
Mogi: giving the world the wrong idea about Mongolia and Mongolian food.
- CEO says company has no restrictions on how it pursues growth
- Spinoff to add 600 outlets yearly and franchise hotpot chain
November 2 (Bloomberg) Yum China Holdings Inc., the fast-food spinoff that began trading in New York on Tuesday, is ready to step out of the shadow of its parent company.
The newly minted business, which owns the KFC and Pizza Hut brands in China, has a carte blanche opportunity to pursue growth, Yum China Chief Executive Officer Micky Pant said in an interview Wednesday. The company will add 600 restaurants a year in China and plans to export its Mongolian hotpot chain that's popular in the country around the world.
"We really have no restrictions on us at all," said Pant in Shanghai. "We have the flexibility to invest in anything we like. It's a blank canvas for us."
The separation follows a tumultuous stretch for the company's Asia operations -- Yum has been losing Chinese market share lately after a food-safety scare, changing tastes and more local competition took a toll. Yum China may now win more customers over by being considered a local business, according to Yum! Brands CEO Greg Creed.
"This is a Chinese brand; this is not a U.S. brand anymore," Creed said in an interview with Bloomberg Television. The separation "reduces volatility and reduces risk."
November 2 (gogo.mn) Air pollution season has already approached. How do you protect yourself from smoke? Air pollution creates allergy, respiratory and heart conditions, inflammation of eye, ear, throat and nasal cavity, adversely affects reproductive system and child`s physical development. Doctors warn on risks of air pollution to develop cancer.
Joint team of health experts and researchers from Mongolia, USA and Japan has been conducting Mongolian Air Pollution Solution Campaign (MASC) since last year, focusing on educating people, especially youth and children about harmful effects of air pollution. The team recommends residents to wear masks regularly to prevent the spread of diseases during the cold season.
David Chace from MASC stated that air pollution is caused by many factors. In Mongolia, smoke from ger district is the major cause of air pollution. Traffic and power plants also add up to air pollution. Raw coal widely used in ger districts for heating produces the most hazardous pollution. Developing countries mostly burn raw coal and it creates the worst pollution in the air. However, the Government is not taking actions to protect the children`s health. Therefore, the organization operates mainly in the field of children`s health and providing health education for children.
David Chace has first visited Ulaanbaatar city in 2013. Previously, he heard that Ulaanbaatar is a polluted city, but he was not aware that air pollution of the city has already reached disasterous levels.
"I had a lung disease caused by the pollution during my first year in Ulaanbaatar. I cough when I smell smoke in the morning. During that time there were no companies selling pollution mask. Moreover, people have not got enough information on benefits of wearing mask", he said.
MASC campaign created volunteer team consisting of 12 students and conducted training for them in cooperation with the Institute of Public Health and experts of Mongolian National University of Medical Sciences on causes of air pollution, difference between PM2.5 and PM10, health effects of pollution, samples of other countries and how to prevent air pollution.
"Children had lack of scientific knowledge at that time. By educating and training children, they started to strive for sharing their knowledge with others. After the training, they also persuade their families and friends to protect themselves from air pollution", emphasized David Chace.
As of today, MASC campaign educated 250 secondary school students for a year and handed over dedicatory masks for free, aiming to protect their health.
Wearing mask can be the simplest and affordable way to fight against air pollution in Mongolia. People can protect themselves from health risks which might occur in the future by wearing masks.
Especially, people should wear masks in the morning, evening and any time spent outdoors. Because air pollution reaches its highest level in the morning and evening. Also, respiratory tract is irritated when people suddenly breath cold and polluted air, which might soon cause the asthma.
By Louisa Rohde
November 2 (UB Post) Stray animals used to roam freely in Ulaanbaatar until the government decided to get rid of the problem. Between January and September of this year, approximately 65,000 stray cats and dogs have been killed by hired sharpshooter, tearing a hole of 829 million MNT into the country's budget. Their attempts, however, have proven to be unsuccessful.
I sat down with T.Zoriglon, the director of Lucky Paws NGO, to discuss the issue of the stray animal situation in Mongolia's capital. Lucky Paws is the only NGO in Mongolia that focuses on stray animal welfare in the country. It was founded by young animal-lovers in 2013, and was officially registered in April 2014.
According to T.Zoriglon, the sharpshooters hired by the government operate during the early morning hours with their main targets being dogs, as cats are too difficult to catch and shoot.
"The shooting companies do very bad things. Some of them catch the dogs, collect them alive, take them to another place and kill them one by one before their eyes. They are trying to catch them with a sort of lasso and accidently cut the dog's neck. Some dogs escape with big wounds," says T.Zoriglon.
"Little puppies are even beaten to death. They don't want to spend a bullet on them," he adds.
Apparently, a dog's life is worth 12,500 MNT, which is approximately 5.5 USD. The price was raised this April from 7,500 MNT. In the same month under the former government, another regulation was implemented. From then on, it became open for anyone to make some extra money by taking dogs to the shooting companies hired by the government. Especially the poor and homeless have made use of this regulation, though T.Zoriglon states that even some teenagers saving up for computer games would exploit this opportunity.
When it comes to problem solution, the so-called culling campaigns are, however, nothing but a farce. They do not solve the problem; they merely contain it for a year as the stray animal population is set back to its starting point of the year before.
Even the numbers show that there has not been any improvement over the several last years. In fact, in 2012, 346.6 million MNT was spent on killing 77,037 stray animals, in 2013 it was 664.2 million MNT for 91,666 dogs and cats, in 2014 it was 898 million MNT for 87,200 abimals, and in 2015 it was 461.6 million MNT for a total of 61,544 stray animals.
To do the math, over the course of four years, around 383,000 animals were eliminated, costing the government about three billion MNT, while there are still thousands of animals out on the streets, procreating.
Dogs breed twice a year with a litter of usually five to seven puppies, which reach their sexual maturity within 12 months depending on their size. Suffice it to say, that the number of dogs, if left unchecked, will get out of hand very quickly. It is estimated that between 300,000 and 320,000 stray animals are currently roaming the dirt roads of the ger districts and the streets of down-town Ulaanbaatar. The greater part of these animals, however, ekes out a miserable existence in the ger district, and this is also where the problem originates.
"In the ger districts, people do not feel responsible for their dogs and let them go out and they breed, and after that, they give birth, but people don't want too many puppies, so they throw them out at a market, where there are many people," the director of Lucky Paws says.
It is basically a vicious cycle. People especially don't want females because they are the ones giving birth to the puppies, so people rarely take them in. Ger district residents also usually use their dogs as guard dogs, which is why they prefer males as they believe them to be more aggressive. And since they do not feel responsible for the whereabouts of their dogs, their dogs run around impregnating the stray bitches.
It is obvious that Ulaanbaatar is in a desperate need of solution that is long-term, so that the money wasted for unnecessary killing and animal cruelty can be used for more beneficial projects like schools, clinics or infrastructure.
The much more efficient and humane solutions would simply be neutering and spaying. What goes without saying in most Western countries, however, is a widely foreign concept for a lot of Mongolians and is sometimes even met with resistance and incomprehension. But where does this hindering behaviour stem from?
Many Mongolians in the ger district do not regard their pets as family members, but rather more as useful objects to protect their properties or keep their kids entertained. Especially puppies are treated as toys children can have fun with. They will just discard it once it gets boring or too big, adding one more dog to the stray dog population.
The Lucky Paws director believes it to be a problem in education.
"We found lots of injured puppies kicked by kids. One time, a little puppy was full on painted green and the people tolerate that. Some kids painted the little puppy and another person watched it and brought the puppy to us. The person asked the kids why they were doing it and the kids said that it was funny," he tells me.
This is why a lot of people are not willing to pay for spaying or neutering, especially in times when money is tight anyway. Spaying costs range depending on the dog's weight, between 80,000 and 150,000 MNT. It would be easier and less expensive to neuter, but apparently, dog owners, especially men, absolutely want their male dogs to remain intact. Apart from the financial reasons, there is also the manifested belief of some people that humans should not interfere with the animals' reproductive rights, and deny them a family. According to them, spaying violates the law of nature. It is hard and frustrating to argue against this deep-rooted, idealistic conviction, and then again it is impossible to make people pay for something that they cannot afford.
Therefore, Lucky Paws tries to raise awareness. "For a little less than three years now, our main goal has been spaying. We use every chance to promote spaying on TV and radio, and in the newspapers. And then we tried to urge the government to introduce spaying five times until now," T.Zoriglon says.
Under the former government, their pleas for regulating legislation fell on deaf ears. In contrast, the current government seems to be making steps in the right direction. According to the Lucky Paws director, they have recently started to gather information on the experience of other countries with stray animals and spaying in general.
The NGO does more than the mere promotion of spaying. At the beginning, Lucky Paws even provided payment for the spaying and neutering of other people's dogs and cats. Unfortunately, however, the non-profit organization is largely relying on donations and could not cope financially with this arrangement over the long run. Therefore, Lucky Paws ventured to open their own veterinarian clinic in 2015, going by the name of AzVet, to ease the financial burden and be independent of vet practices. "Other vets are business. Our work is just for the dogs!" T.Zoriglon emphasizes.
Since the opening of the clinic, however, the government has been holding up their progress. Ten months have passed already, and the NGO is still struggling to attain a veterinarian license, which would permit them to perform surgeries. As of now, only minor treatments are allowed at the clinic. Maintenance costs such as rent for the clinic and staff salaries are still to be paid, pushing the NGO to its financial limits.
Once they have their license, Lucky Paws and their AzVet Clinic will, nevertheless, continue to offer free spaying for mixed ger district dogs, and considerably cheaper spaying for pure-bred dogs. On top of that, Lucky Paws will try to further their attempts for promoting neutering and spaying as a means of limiting and, hopefully one day, eradicating the stray animal population in Ulaanbaatar in a humanitarian way. After all, as Mahatma Gandhi said, "The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated."
SEOUL, Nov. 2 (Yonhap) -- North Korea is seeking ways to export its workers to Mongolia as the central Asian country is recruiting foreign laborers to work at its mines, a U.S. broadcaster, monitored here, said Wednesday.
"(As far as I know), the North Korean authorities recently set up ways to make use of its workforce, and keeps trying to make contacts with the Mongolian side," the Radio Free Asia (RFA) cited a Mongolian construction official as saying over the phone.
As Mongolia is currently recruiting foreign laborers as miners, North Korea workers are likely to aggressively apply, the official said.
The mining work will go on full scale in March next year, he added.
Mongolia began to hire North Korean workers en masse in 2008, and such employment peaked with 5,000 in 2013.
At present, however, the number of North Korean workers working in Mongolia has decreased to some 1,000 due to an economic slump that hit the central Asian nation in 2014.
More than 50,000 North Koreans are believed to be forced to work overseas, mainly in China and Russia, sending substantial amounts of their salaries to the Pyongyang regime. The North reportedly earns more than US$200 million per year through labor exports.
November 2 (Focus Taiwan) Taiwan's representative to Mongolia Huang Kuo-jung (黃國榮, center) poses with four hospital representatives in Ullan Baatar on Tuesday. Taiwan donated 100 hospital beds to the hospitals. Photo courtesy of Taipei Trade and Economic Representative Office in Ullan Baatar Nov. 2, 2016
Ulaanbaatar, November 2 (MONTSAME) Over 3,000 medical experts and physicians from about 130 countries are assembling in Paris to seek ways of preventing cancer and intervening in the growth of cancer cases.
Doctor of medical science B.Tsetsegsaikhan is attending the congress upon an invitation owing her essay, along with those written by seven other young leaders from different countries, on the unconventional approaches for reducing the non-communicable disease cases by 2030. Young leaders from 120 countries have submitted their essays to the congress, out of which selected were eight essays, written by professionals from Mongolia, Australia, Brazil, the USA, Kenya, Rwanda and Argentina.
B.Tsetsegsaikhan is currently working as an adviser to the Minister of Health of Mongolia.
November 2 (news.mn) Global Music Award-winning nomadic folk metal group Tengger Cavalry is thrilled to announce an upcoming acoustic performance at the 29th Annual Chinggis Khaan Memorial Ceremony.
The event takes place in Princeton, NJ at the NJHA Conference and Event Center this Saturday, November 5th at 1:00pm. The band's set will include new songs and fan favorites and will begin at 4:00pm.
The Chinggis Khaan Memorial Ceremony, which is presented by the Chinggis Khaan Memorial Foundation and Mongol American Cultural Association, is one of the biggest conferences dedicated to the legendary Mongolian ruler in the United States. The event will also include a Mongolian-American cuisine reception in honor of all of the day's musical performers. For more information, please visit the Mongol American Cultural Association website.
Tengger Cavalry frontman Nature Ganganbaigal states, "We are greatly honored to perform at this event! The Chinggis Khaan Memorial Ceremony is a historical and academic event that has been held for 29 years stateside and people from all over the world gather together to celebrate the greatness of the Khaan. There are always traditional performances and literature readings, and even a shaman summoning ritual of Chinggis Khaan's spirit. To play at such event, alike no other commercial gig, is so meaningful to us on cultural and religious levels."
Tengger Cavalry is a folk metal band currently based in New York City. They combine elements of the traditional music of Mongolia with heavy metal into a kind of folk metal.
By Jargal "DeFacto" Dambadarjaa
November 2 (UB Post) The 2018 Winter Olympics will be held in South Korea's Pyeongchang County, which is located in the mountainous region to the northeast of the country. When the 1988 Summer Olympics took place in South Korea, the country was hailed globally as the Miracle on the Han River for its flourishing development. Today, an ordinary county in South Korea is preparing to host the next Winter Olympics and completing many modern facilities to accommodate the world's biggest winter sports tournament. This is a true miracle.
About 50 years ago, the New Community Movement (Saemaul Undong in Korean) started in Pyeongchang County. The Global Saemail Leadership Forum was held in the county last week. The forum was attended by South Korea's President Park Geun-hye. In her remarks, President Park talked about how the sense of togetherness (encouraging the "you can do it" and "we are the one" spirit) from the New Community Movement yielded great accomplishments and transformed the way people living in rural areas think. She noted how the labor productivity and income in rural areas improved significantly as people worked together and made the best out of the timely support of construction materials from the government by building roads and bridges with collective effort.
Within 30 years, South Korea transformed itself from a poor country that asked others for financial support to one of the ten most highly developed countries in the world. Today, they are offering help to other nations rather than asking for help themselves.
BENCHMARK MODEL FOR RURAL DEVELOPMENT
The United Nations Development Fund and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development have acknowledged the New Community Movement as the benchmark model for rural development. The movement has been initiated in a total of 396 villages in 52 different countries today and has been reducing poverty, leveraging the practical knowledge of community members.
South Korea is creating a new way of providing substantial support in aiding the development of communities and improving livelihoods by changing the way they provide assistance internationally. In cooperation with central and local governments, the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) is providing material support to communities, organizing on-site training for Koreans, and helping them implement projects in order to promote the New Community Movement and encourage the "you can do it" and "we are the one" spirit.
President Park Chung-hee started the New Community Movement in 1972, which transformed rural life and laid the foundation for the flourishing development that would come. His daughter, current President Park Geun-hye, has picked it up again and is working hard to promote the movement globally and help the 1.3 billion people living in poverty today.
In 1972, the Korean government gathered all provincial governors and heads of local government in Seoul and held the first-ever forum on the New Community Movement. Following the forum, then President Park called on the country to initiate the movement nationwide and provided 335 sacks of cement to every village. The villagers – as a community – decided what they would do with the cement and established a committee appointing female and male leaders. The Korean government has always provided support to villages in developing infrastructure and housing.
South Korea has seen a real change in the mindsets of people as communities changed their attitudes for the better, after seeing what they could achieve with concerted effort. Over time, interest groups – such as youth clubs – were established under New Community Movement committees, which brought positive changes to interactions between people. Most importantly, everyone felt that the movement was endorsed by the government and produced good outcomes.
Eventually, they moved to a system where 20 percent of funding for projects came from community members, 30 percent from the government, and the rest was granted by credit unions.
The development committees of the villages constantly reminded people that everyone had a part to play and an obligation to fulfill (since loans from credit unions were shared), and established a good work ethic. The government supported the communities through local governments by providing technical advice and organizing training.
MONGOLIA'S NEW COMMUNITY MOVEMENT
A woman named Marina Kuykel first introduced the New Community Movement to Mongolia over ten years ago. Today, the movement has 22 branches and 9,000 members. During the forum held in Pyeongchang last week, it was announced that an international NGO named Saemaul Undong Global League was created. The Global League has national New Community Movement centers in 20 countries as permanent members and 12 centers as deputy members. The national center of South Korea was selected as head of Global League, the Ugandan center is deputy head representing Africa, and the Mongolian center is deputy head representing Asia.
If countries study the history of the New Community Movement thoroughly and if community members find suitable ways to adapt the system to their local conditions by working together, there is a real opportunity to improve rural livelihoods quickly. Ideas about how the movement can be implemented can be read in my columns titled "New Community Movement" and "Community Development and Youth Involvement" at jargaldefacto.com .
The core of Mongolia's rural development are bags. Soums and aimags (provinces) are the bridge that connects local communities to the government. Therefore, soums and aimags need to be more proactive in supporting initiatives that come from people and in providing assistance in implementing projects.
Mongolia has a vast countryside. The territorial area of one soum can equal that of a single South Korean province. Our herders roam around the country looking for better pasture throughout the year. If Mongolian herder families work together and implement the New Community Movement, we can improve livelihoods and income levels.
Learning from South Korea's New Community Movement and implementing it in a suitable way will offer leverage to bring about development in rural areas quickly. It would be far more efficient if herder families worked together in activities such as building houses, digging wells, protecting pasture, and collecting hay.
If our bags develop the countryside and improve living conditions, the migration from rural areas to urban settlements would decrease. We should learn from this classic policy to develop the countryside and implement it in our country in our own way.
Translate by B.Amar
By Susan Portnoy
November 1 (The Insatiable Traveler) It was milking time. Again. And all hands were on deck.
The women and children were in all out commando mode. Their tongues clicked and their arms flailed as they chased the herds of goats and sheep into a pen over and over again. Hundreds of hooves darted this way and that, swirling and spinning, trying to avoid what was coming next.
One woman used her long cotton skirt like a whip, flicking it at the goats she was driving towards the gate. At the last second they made a hairpin turn and lost her. She put on the brakes exasperated.
The spectacle reminded me of that comical scene in Rocky when he chased a chicken around a room, and I couldn't help but chuckle, albeit quietly. It was clear that my hosts didn't find the situation as amusing.
Not all the animals were rebellious, a few ran into the corral, chewedtheir cud and waited. It wasn't long before a hand grabbed them by a horn or a back leg and dragged them to a rope line where they were tied at the neck, smashed together like sardines. But most were defiant, scattering in all directions. "Herding cats" came to mind more than once.
A few sheep escaped by leaping over the four-foot log fence with the ease of a gazelle, only to be yanked back into the enclosure, defeated. Others not wanting to be left behind would leap in to the pen and then look around as if wondering, "Uh oh, what did I just do?"
During my two-week summer adventure in the Altai Mountains of Mongolia, I saw this spectacle of horns and hooves on several occasions. It's one of the chores assigned to women and children, though sometimes the men chipped in to tie up the herds but never the milking.
The teat-pulling task didn't stop with the goats and sheep—they were just the beginning. When I visited each ger, the women and children always seemed to be just finished with milking, in the middle of milking or on the cusp of milking. They milked the cows once a day, the herds of goats and sheep twice, and lactating mares were pulled every two hours.
Why so much milking?
On the whole, a Kazakh's diet consists of meat and dairy products. There's no agriculture to speak of. As nomads, living hundreds of miles from the nearest town or grocery store, they slaughter their own livestock and almost everything else comes from some kind of milk. They make their own bread, butter and yogurt, plus a variety of hard cheeses they produce by the barrel and store for the winter. Their dependence on animals is the cornerstone of their culture. They move up to six times a year based on where land will support grazing.
Once all the goats and sheep were tied up, phase two began. The women sat behind all the woolly butts, teetering on tiny wooden stools the width of one butt cheek—the children kneeled. They gripped their pails between their thighs and not so gently tugged on the teats of their captives, letting the warm white liquid fill their containers.
From start to finish the escapade took nearly two hours. When they were done the herd was released and allowed to graze. I was exhausted just watching. I couldn't imagine multiplying the ordeal times two, plus the cows and the mares and everything else the women did like raising the kids, making all the food and taking care of the home. The Kazakhs live the gift of a simple life but it's not for the faint of heart.
As I watched the hodgepodge of fuzz walk off into the distance and the swoosh of the ladies' skirts disappear into their gers, I felt a sense of awe for the women I'd met. I knew I'd go home and bask in the ease and variety of my local Trader Joe's. But those women, they'd have no such luck.
For more stories and photos from my trip to Mongolia click HERE.
THE EAGLE HUNTRESS | NYT Critics' Pick | Directed by Otto Bell | Documentary, Adventure, Family, Sport | G | 1h 27m
November 1 (New York Times) Aisholpan is a 13-year-old girl who lives in Mongolia, dividing her time between a boarding school and her nomadic family's campsite. With the release of "The Eagle Huntress," a thrilling new documentary directed by Otto Bell, she may well become something else: a pop-culture heroine with the power to inspire girls (and not only girls) everywhere. It would not be surprising on future Halloweens to spot a handful of Aisholpans, dressed in traditional fur-and-embroidery hunting gear, pigtails fastened with pink bows, amid the throngs of Elsas and Katnisses.
A hit at the Sundance and Telluride film festivals, "The Eagle Huntress" has been shaped with wide accessibility in mind. The subtitled dialogue is supplemented by gently didactic voice-over narration, read by the British actress Daisy Ridley (also credited as an executive producer). A rousing Sia song plays over the end credits. A few moments that might trouble the sensitivities of young viewers — the sacrifice of a sheep at the beginning and the death of a fox at the end — are edited to minimize bloodshed. And the story is a simple and appealing fable of indomitability and father-daughter companionship.
Aisholpan's father, Nurgaiv, comes from a long line of eagle hunters, men who catch young birds and train them to hunt other animals for meat and fur. The tradition of eagle hunting is almost exclusively male, and the filmmakers assemble a counsel of elders to explain why girls should not participate. Nurgaiv ignores their arguments, and when his daughter shows up at the annual eagle festival as the youngest and only female contestant, nobody tries to stop her.
That event, which gathers 70 eagle hunters on horseback in a Mongolian provincial capital, Olgii, near the Kazakh border, provides the film with a sports-movie structure. We follow Aisholpan through the stages of preparation, as she plucks an eaglet from a mountainside nest and teaches it to follow her directions. Nurgaiv is a wise and patient coach, adept at managing expectations and meting out praise when it's most needed. His daughter, meanwhile, wrangles her captive raptor with ease and confidence, and commands the screen with natural charisma. She is open and cheerful and also, as her father proudly notes, "a very tough child."
It could hardly be otherwise, given the challenges of her vocation and the harshness of her surroundings. "The Eagle Huntress" may be driven by its main character and her story, but it's also a nature documentary, reveling in spectacular images of the Central Asian steppes and the snow peaks that surround them. In keeping with the avian theme, the movie abounds in swooping, sometimes vertiginous aerial shots, most of them captured by drone-mounted cameras. The military and commercial uses of drone technology may be controversial, but it's hard to deny the cinematic benefits that these hovering, buzzing robots bestow, especially in the hands of a skilled cinematographer like Simon Niblett.
In form and content, then, this is a movie that expands your sense of what is possible. A girl can hunt with an eagle. A camera can fly. Sometimes it all seems a little too smooth and easy: Aisholpan's preparation for the festival seems to proceed without a hitch, and restless viewers may crave a little more suspense. Viewers jaded by daily doses of digital dazzlement might not fully register the reality of the wonders they are witnessing. But that doesn't, in the end, make "The Eagle Huntress" any less wonderful.
"The Eagle Huntress" is rated G. In English and Kazakh, with English subtitles. Running time: 1 hour 27 minutes.
November 2 (LA Weekly) Aisholpan Nurgaiv has never met this eagle she's posing with — borrowed from a local animal wrangler — on a balcony at the London Hotel in West Hollywood. In 90-degree heat, she's a 15-year-old girl sweating in her Mongolian winter clothes, including a hat made from the first fox she caught with her eagle. She's with her mother, Alma, and father, Nurgaiv. A photographer places director Otto Bell into the scene and asks Aisholpan to raise the eagle up high, as though she were about to let it go soaring into the air, and a wide smile crosses her face. While the girl's parents take a cautious step back, Bell braces himself, because the eagle — which has spread its wings and lost its footing just above his head — reaches a talon into his neck, dragging the thick claw all the way down to his shoulder.
"Ow!" he yelps, laughing. "I'm bleeding for my art, yeah?"
I'm here to talk to the family (through their translator) about what's changed since Bell's documentary The Eagle Huntress — depicting Aisholpan's rise to become both the best and the first female eagle huntress — has been screening at film festivals all over the world, also touring schools, where Aisholpan gives her eagle demonstrations. I expect to find a little girl out of her element in the big city, but find something else entirely: a confident kid having some fun.
Two years ago, when Bell saw Asher Svidensky's photograph of Aisholpan with her eagle on a mountaintop in remote Mongolia on the BBC Facebook page, he spent his life's savings to hop on a plane to meet this girl and her family. The British-born director had been making short docs in faraway places for a while and wondered if there was a story with this teenager. Her father welcomed Bell into their home and within minutes announced that they were about to lower Aisholpan down a cliffside to steal her eagle from a nest — so bring the cameras.
Since then, the director's life has become intertwined with this family's. They've dined and traveled together, developing a nonverbal language of camaraderie, though their translator does help smooth out the edges. In a few months, the three of them will even be flying in for Bell's wedding.
"I've always felt responsible for them," Bell says. "I always wanted to make sure they were having a good time. When they came to Sundance, we stopped first in New York. I took them on a sightseeing bus, and we went out to the Statue of Liberty and we had big family meals with the producers."
Once they were in Utah on that trip, Bell made the decision to have the family stay in the home of some locals. That family has a girl Aisholpan's age who was having a birthday party at a bowling alley. Hearing this, I ask Aisholpan if she got a strike.
"A few," she says confidently.
"I believe it!" says Bell.
She still exchanges short letters with the Utah girl through Facebook when she can sneak away at her boarding school in the town — just like any parents, mom and dad don't approve of too much screentime.
Millions have shared Aisholpan's photo on Facebook, admiring her from afar, and millions more about to see her documentary. But she has remained grounded. She's become a celebrity back home because of her positivity and perseverance, and now she's gotten a scholarship to a prestigious Turkish school in Mongolia, along with a handful of awards from the government. Throughout the filmmaking process, Bell says he's done his best to make the experience equal and non-exploitative. But as a white American man coming in to document a foreign girl's life and culture, he says he felt pressure to show the family as they are, with respect, rather than display them as curiosities for Westerners. He was also intimidated by the fact that he had little understanding of what a regular girl does in her daily life.
"I was showing these clips to friends and family and had all these drone sequences I was really proud of, and my friends and family were like, 'Where do they live? Where do they get water? Does she go to school?'"
Bell realized he wanted to bring in cinematographer Martina Radwan to live side by side with the family, which resulted in the film's most intimate moments, like Aisholpan painting her nails pink with her little sister or Alma making dinner. These scenes beautifully counter Bell's epic shots of grandeur as Aisholpan scours a cliffside nest for an eaglet or treks across dangerous, snow-covered mountains to hunt her first fox. That combo of regular-but-extraordinary-girl shots is the reason so many have connected to Aisholpan's story, especially children, who've spontaneously erupted into roaring cheers just upon seeing her at their school assemblies. Aisholpan's reaction is always the same: a measured smile and wave.
Even as she flies around the world on a surreal film-fest tour, where movie stars like Amy Adams, Casey Affleck and Jennifer Garner stop her in the street to gush about how much they love her, Aisholpan shrugs. In Toronto, I ran into the family shaking hands — polite but unenthused — with Paul Verhoeven and Isabelle Huppert. Richard Gere tracked them down at a festival to talk about Mongolia, but it took their translator hours in the hotel later to explain who Gere is; the only film of his they'd seen was 2009's Hachi: A Dog's Tale, or "the movie with the teacher and the dog," as Aisholpan calls it. What most interests Aisholpan: adventure, competition, her family and her dream of becoming a doctor.
While I barrage her with questions, Aisholpan sits calmly on the couch in the London Hotel's lounge. Her answers are terse but complete. What she really wants to do, Bell reveals, is finish the interview and head out to the beach and the Hollywood sign. Later, when I call up Bell to see how the L.A. trip went, he laughs. Aisholpan won the rigged and unwinnable ring toss game on the Santa Monica pier on her first try. The woman working the booth was flabbergasted, and Aisholpan picked a giant teddy bear that needed its own seat home on the plane.
"We all rode the roller coaster too, and I hate roller coasters," Bell says. "You know when they capture the photo at the top? She's got her arms flung out, literally soaring, with this calm angelic smile on her face, and I'm gripping the bar, howling through my teeth at how awful it is." Bell has deep reverence in his voice as he speaks of this fascinating girl who will forever be intertwined with his own life. "It's kind of indicative of how we all were when we were filming: She's not afraid of anything, and I'm along for the ride."
November 2 (NPR) A documentary about a teenager who breaks a 2,000-year-old Mongolian tradition is so satisfying it makes you feel good about feeling good. says Morning Edition film critic Kenneth Turan.
November 2 (China Daily USA) The Hollywood Reporter says China is getting ready to up the quota of foreign-made films allowed into the country from 34 to 44.
One they should definitely let through the gate is The Eagle Huntress from Sony Pictures Classics, which this writer was lucky enough to see at an advance screening in New York City on Monday.
It's a docudrama about a 13-year-old Kazakh girl - Aisholpan - who wants to defy thousands of years of tradition and become - like her father and his father before him and on and on for 12 generations - an eagle hunter. Just to be clear, this ancient art is not hunting down eagles but using magnificent trained golden eagles to hunt - usually foxes, rabbits and the occasional mountain goat or wolf.
While some of the old guard pooh-pooh the very idea of a girl even imagining such a thing, Aisholpan's father, Nurgaiv, one of the all time greatest dads in any movie ever, is all for it. Her mother is too. Nurgaiv is not only an expert eagle hunter, he's won the big eagle hunters championship twice.
"There is no gender discrimination when it comes to hunting with eagles," Nurgaiv says. "Anyone who is capable of hunting with an eagle is allowed to do so. Aisholpan is a very brave girl. She rides horses, climbs rocks and hunts with eagles easily, like a boy. I am very proud of her."
Aisholpan, whose chronic shyness is only part of her charm, says, "I was 10 years old when I decided I wanted to be an eagle huntress. Girls and boys are just as strong: if a boy can do something, girls can do it as well."
The movie takes you into the vast breathtaking expanses of Mongolia and the Altai Mountain range, where winter temperatures regularly dip to minus 40 Fahrenheit and rugged little Mongolian horses are the only way to get in and out of the hunting tracts.
No spoiler alert here, but when you see these birds up close - they weigh 15 pounds, stand 3 feet tall and have a wing span of 6 feet - and this beaming apple-cheeked kid hold out her arm for one to swoop out of the sky and land on (oh yes, and she is on horseback at full gallop), your immediate reaction is to jump up and cheer.
As executive producer Morgan Spurlock, the director of Super Size Me, put it: "It makes me really emotional to watch Aisholpan catch her eagle. There are things that you see that are such feats of human endeavor that you can't even put words to them - they leave you speechless. I don't even know how many times I've watched the film and I cry every time."
The film premiered at Sundance in January and at the time, according to press notes, everybody was talking about the new Star Wars movie. Spurlock, who helped director Otto Bell get the film wrapped up, saw a connection between Aishlopan and the Daisy Ridley character "Rey" in the new Star Wars film.
"There's a moment that's happening in our world and our time right now where we are giving voice and power to young women in a way that hasn't ever happened before," he said. "This film resonates in that space in a massive way."
He arranged to show Daisy Ridley the film and Bell called her soon afterwards.
"She told me about how she'd been curled up in a ball watching it in her living room crying, and she talked in great detail about specific moments," Bell said.
Not only did Ridley go aboard as executive producer, she also recorded the narrative voice over for the theatrical version.
The movie is not just about breaking age-old barriers of tradition, and it's not just about keeping an ancient (and thrilling) sport (and human-raptor relationship) alive, it's about a young girl looking back at 12 generations of tradition and saying, "I want to do that too."
And doing it.
It's a stunning reminder that young people's dreams are meant to soar.
November 2 (District) This film documentary chronicles a 13-year old girl's quest to become a true "Eagle Huntress." It is packed with all the struggles and challenges that come with such an endeavor: climbing a mountain, raising a wild animal, training arduously for months and risking your life at every step of the way.
But the film is about so much more than that. It's about cultural identity and transformation. It's about challenging rigid traditions. It's about the inseparable, powerful bond between a caring father willing to stand up to his peers and risk his reputation, and a passionate daughter with a dream worth pursuing.
This message rippled through the audience's hearts at the Savannah Film Festival, who left the Lucas Theatre on Thursday, October, 27 only after clapping through the credits.
But perhaps the most remarkable thing about this documentary is the exploration of Kazakh culture. More specifically, how their identity is wrapped up in this century-old practice known as eagle hunting.
These Kazakh people living in Western Mongolia are there for historical reasons. In the 1800s, after the Russian Empire drove them out of Kazakhstan, they were allowed to settle in what would later become a tightly-knit community in Western Mongolia. Only recently have they abandoned their isolated values and embraced co-existence with other cultures.
Eagle hunters capture young eaglets during their transitional phase into adulthood. About three months in, when the bird is old enough to survive without its mother, but not old enough to leave the nest.
Aisholpan grips firmly on the rope. "Give me more rope," she shouts at her father, descending further down the rocks. She looks down; a slip could prove fatal. "More rope!" she says again, reaching extending her arm to reach the eagle's nest. Two eaglets squeal nervously at this looming figure, terrified. The mother soars in the air, observant and territorial, but cautious. Aisholpan only has a few minutes before the mother attacks.
The archers draw their bows, pulling tight and taking aim. A parade of mounted musicians march by, playing the dombra, as the children chase hares in the critter pen. It's the Eagle Festival.
Hunters from all over the region emerge on the horizon, one by one, their horses approach dragging their hooves, thirsty and exhausted. Dozens arrive with ornate gowns and drapes, sheepskin coats and camel-hair camisoles, wolf boots and silk embroidered hats. This year, more than 70 hunters gather in attendance, each with their own eagle, each yearning to prove themselves for recognition.
A gold ceremonial gown flutters with the freezing wind as the catcher gallops towards the scurrying fox. The hunter stands patient and ready. Her sight is clear and the wind blows in her favor. The eagle's talons clutch her arm anxiously, it's eyes transfixed on the prey, ready to pounce at her command. This test of the festival is known as the calling technique of eagle falconry. It is a unique skill passed down through generations, in the same way Aisholpan's father passed it on to her.
The Golden Eagle festival is a yearly celebration put together by the Mongolian Eagle Hunting Association every first week of October. This is where Aisholpan, the film's main character, marked an unprecedented feat in Kazakh history, by being the first female to ever compete.
The "Eagle Huntress" releases to select U.S. theaters on November 2, 2016.
November 2 (MONTSAME) Worshipping sacred mountains at the state level might sound odd for foreigners. However, from ancient times Mongolians have been practicing a culture and tradition of protecting, loving and worshipping the mother-nature while harmonizing them with their way of living in high awareness of essential bonds between the nature and human being.
A vivid historical example of this is that all the Presidents of Mongolia have decreed to worship at the state level overall 10 mountains so far. These are the Altai Tavan Bogd, Altan Khokhii, Burkhan Khalduun, Gobi Gurvan Saikhan, Dari Ovoo, Otgontenger, Sutai, Suvarga Khairkhan and Khan Khokhii which have unique natural formation and conserve historical and cultural tracks.
Being under special state protection these sites are visited by the President of Mongolia once in four years for worshipping along with the locals. The tradition of respecting and protecting nature has been relayed from generation to generation. Today it has been developed into a ceremony staged by the state in association with the locals and non-governmental organizations.
Kuching, November 2 (AFC): Macau coach Tam Iao San is aiming to reach at least the last four of the AFC Solidarity Cup Malaysia 2016 as the East Asians prepare to take on Mongolia in their Group B opener at Sarawak Stadium on Thursday.
The sides are on familiar terms with each other having played out a 2-2 draw in the EAFF East Asian Cup preliminary round back in June, before both were beaten to the qualification spot by group winners Chinese Taipei.
But with the newly introduced AFC Solidarity Cup offering some of Asia's lower ranked sides the chance of continental glory, Tam (pictured, right) will be looking for the winning start that would stand Macau in good stead for achieving his semi-final goal.
"This tournament is a very good opportunity for us because it provides the chance for teams of a similar ranking to play against each other," said Tam, whose side will also face Laos and Sri Lanka in Group B.
"Next year there are no big competitions for teams like us so this is a great idea. Here we can play at least three competitive matches, and it's tournament matches like these that help us improve.
"The EAFF was a good tournament for us even though we were knocked out. We drew 2-2 with Mongolia and that was a fair result for both teams.
"Now we know their strengths and they know ours, so we're hoping we can use our strengths better than they can use theirs tomorrow."
As with Macau, Mongolia last played a competitive match at the EAFF East Asian Cup qualifiers when they claimed a resounding 8-0 victory over the Northern Mariana Islands to round off their campaign in style.
Japanese coach Toshiaki Imai (pictured, left) only recently stepped into the role and has since taken his new side to a training camp in China to escape the freezing winter conditions in Mongolia.
And he will hope the time spent together will have familiarised the Mongolian players with his methods ahead of their first fixture at the inaugural tournament.
"I only joined the team two weeks ago so it's been a very short time, but I think the players have made good progress and I hope they can perform well tomorrow," said Imai.
"Macau have very young, but very aggressive players. It was a difficult match for us when we last played them.
"The competition is very important for Mongolia. Winter is very cold there so the players can't play and there are only a few international matches.
"But before we came to Malaysia we were in China so we were able to train in hotter conditions and I think my players are well prepared."
November 2 (UB Post) On October 27, President of Mongolia Ts.Elbegdorj welcomed the Mongolian national university basketball team which won the 6th Asian University Men's Basketball Championship.
The Mongolian university basketball team secured a gold medal at the 6th Asian University Men's Basketball Championship, which was held from September 18 to 25 in Ulaanbaatar.
President Ts.Elbegdorj said, "Congratulations on winning gold medal at the Asian University Championship and I wish you all more success. We think that the state has to support team sports such as basketball and volleyball. If you have any good and beneficial ideas for developing team sports, we are ready to support."
"It is very nice to pursue things you like. But it is very difficult to shine amidst many people who like to play basketball. All of you are very lucky, I think. It is a lie that Mongolians can't achieve in team sports. The Mongolian people are unique. The most important thing is discipline and teams have to be well organized. I will support you. Cooperate with you. Congratulations again."
The Mongolian university team handed the president a white jersey with the number four and a basketball signed by the team.
The president of the Mongolian Basketball Association, State Honored Coach Ts.Tseverbal, executive director of the Mongolian Student Sports Federation Ch.Erdenetuya, secretary general of the Mongolian Basketball Association B.Damba, leader of the Mongolian national university basketball team D.Gooshookhuu, senior coach S.Tulga, referee B.Ganzorig, MVP E.Dulguun, athlete A.Temuujin and other players of the team attended the ceremony.
November 2 (news.mn) A young Mongolian draughts player E.Khuslen has become world champion for the category of girls under the age of 11 at the World Junior Draughts Championships in Izmir, Turkey.
Competing against 28 other draughts player, E.Khuslen became champion with six wins and three draws (15 points) after nine rounds. However, she is not alone; another Mongolian, N.Naljormaa, took the silver medal with 14 points in the same category, while B.Misheel won silver with 12 points in under 14 age category.
In other age categories, draught players from Russia won four golds, China two and the Netherlands one.
E.Khuslen becomes blitz draught junior world champion – Montsame, November 2
Ulaanbaatar, November 2 (MONTSAME) Shooter G.Nandinzaya made it to the top ten of the women's "50m rifle 3 positions" category in the world ranking by the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF). She was ranked at the seventh place (7/8).
State Honored Athlete (title) and Olympic silver medalist O.Gundegmaa was ranked at the ninth and 13th places in the categories of 10m and 25m pistol respectively.
As of the International Master (title) Ts.Monkhzul, she was ranked эху 15th in 25 m pistol.
Nandinzaya Gankhuyag has been taking active parts in the international shooting competitions since 2007, coached by her father J.Gankhuyag. She won the World University Shooting Championships, held in Kazan of Russia in 2012, and won silver medal in women's team 10m air rifle and bronze medal in women's 10m air rifle categories at the 2013 Summer Universiade.
She earned her pass to the Rio Olympics by having ranked at the fourth place of the USA qualifier in 2015. G.Nandinzaya completed her participation in Rio 2016 holding the 14th place out of a total of 51 shooters, competed in the women's rifle shooting.
November 2 (UB Post) The top 18 junior chess players of Mongolia competed in the World Cadets U8, U10, U12 Championships 2016, which was held in Batumi, Georgia from October 18 to 31.
Chess player D.Unurzul won a silver medal in the girls' U8 category with nine wins. She competed against 85 players from other countries. D.Unurzul previously won a bronze medal at the World Junior Chess Championship and a silver medal from the Asian Championship. She is the younger sister of world champion D.Munkhzul.
A total of 722 chess player from 66 countries competed in the tournament.
The USA ranked first in the medal tally, and Russia and Turkmenistan placed second and third.
Silver medalist of the World Junior Championship Ye.Tugstumur came in fourth place in the boys' U10 category.
Asian champion B.Mungunzul came in sixth place in the girls' U12 category, while world champion D.Munkhzul placed seventh in the girls' U10 event.
November 2 (UB Post) On the occasion of the 377th anniversary of Ulaanbaatar, the Mongolian Bowling Amateurs Association, Mayor's Office of Ulaanbaatar and Big Bowling Center have jointly organized the City Cup 2016 on October 31.
More than 100 bowlers of 20 teams competed in the eighth City Cup.
Mobicom Corporation's team defeated Baganuur JSC to claim a gold medal in the finale. Mobicom was followed by Baganuur JSC and Ulaanbaatar Thermal Power Plant No. 3.
Bowler of Mobicom B.Turmandakh was named the best player of the tournament after claiming 231 points.
Mobicom previously won the City Cup 2013.
November 2 (news.mn) A Mongolian film called 'Faith' (Itgel) has won the Viewers' Award at the Asian World Film Festival (AWFF) currently being held in Los Angeles. Based on a true story, 'Faith' is directed by B.Garamkhand and the main role is played by Mongolian 'Hollywood' actor Amarsaikhan. Last year, 'Thief of the Mind', a movie with Amarsaikhan in the main role also won the Viewers' Award.
According to the organisers, when 'Faith' premiered at the Asian World Film Festival (AWFF), it immediately proved to be such a total sell-out that 'ArcLight' cinema had to show it on two screens in the same building simultaneously. This is the first time this has happened during a premier at the Asian World Film Festival.
Famous artists such as 'Oscar' winning producer Andre Morgan and Hollywood School House founder Ferris Bebe, are major figures behind the film festival. More than 50 films from Asian 40 countries have competed for seven nominations. Two Mongolian films, namely 'Faith' and 'Mother' are contending. The Asian World Film Festival brings the best of a broad selection of Asian World cinema to Los Angeles in order to draw greater recognition to the region's wealth of filmmakers as well as strengthening the ties between the film industries of Asia and Hollywood.
The Faith wins Audience Award at Asian World Film Festival – Montsame, November 2
November 2 (gogo.mn) Mongolia is being represented by D.Altankhuyag, Mongolian Cultural Ambassador and solo dancer of Mongolian State Academic Theatre of Opera and Ballet and Boston Ballet at the International Ballet Festival of Havana, which is being held in the Great Theater of Havana, Cuba during Oct 28 to Nov 6.
International Ballet Festival of Havana is one of the biggest ballet festivals, held every two years. This year, outstanding ballet dancers from 16 countries including Belgium, Brazil, Canada, South Korea, Great Britain, USA, Russia and Mongolia have invited to attend the festival.
State Honored Artist of Mongolia, D.Altankhuyag is set to perform the ballet "Le Corsaire" with Ginett Moncho, solo dancer of Cuban National Ballet Theatre.
D.Altankhuyag is one of the best eight ballet dancers of the world as well as honorary dancer of Komaki ballet company and La Skala ballet company. He was appointed as Mongolian Cultural Ambassador in 2015 and has been promoting Mongolia to the world through his success.
Mongolian ballet to be staged in Cuba – news.mn, November 2
November 2 (gogo.mn) The Mongolian State Academic Theater of Opera and Ballet is set to stage both Mongolian and world classics in November, 2016 including opera "Dramatic Three Heads" by B.Damdinsuren, ballet "Uran Khas" by J.Chuluun, ballet "Swan Lake" by P.Y.Tchaikovsky and opera "Cio Cio San" by J.Puccini.
Moreover, Verdi`s Night joint concert in cooperation with Theatre of Parma, Italy will be staged on Nov 17, performing the best of world famous composer G.Verdi.
Tickets for the all performances of November are available now at www.ticket.mn and ticket office of the Mongolian State Academic Theater of Opera and Ballet. Technically, ticket prices vary by location and prices are set at MNT 10,000, 20,000, 30,000 (USD 5, 10, 15).
Below is the Program for November, 2016.
By Kristine De Leon
November 2 (UB Post) "Scenography 3", the Union of Mongolian Artists exhibition of theatrical stage art curated by artist T.Gankhuyag, opened its doors to the public on October 31, 2016, for the 85th anniversary of the State Academic Theater of Drama and National Pride Day. The exhibition is an alternative journey into theater a world away from the usual stereotypes, portraying Mongolian creativity in the lesser-known art of scenography.
This is T.Gankhuyag's third solo exhibition, featuring his latest collection of stage design presentations, following "Scenography 2" in 2011, and his first exhibition, "Dorjpalam and Theater Artists", in 2006. Beginning his career in 1998 at the State Academic Theater of Drama, T.Gankhuyag has created over 40 theatrical stages. "Scenography 3" features different artistic elements from 15 plays within the last 10 years and offers insight into the artistic sensibility of a scenographer.
A hybrid art in rapid evolution, scenography refers to all of the elements that contribute to forming an atmosphere for a theatrical presentation— acoustics, lighting, set, and costume design. Accordingly, T.Gankhuyag's exhibition presents miniature theater dioramas, illustrations of costume designs, paintings of theatrical scenes, and photographs of live performances. In groups of costume illustrations, paintings, and photographic works, T.Gankhuyag captures the essence of partaking in live theatrical performances.
Upon entering the exhibit, the viewer is faced with a diorama of T.Gankhuyag's first major work in stage design for the Mongolian play "Tamgagui Tur" (State Without a Seal) by B.Lkhagvasuren. The miniature prototype of the stage is complemented with paintings and photographs of the 1998 live performance. The stage design is embellished with the traditional Buddhist symbol known as the "khas temdeg", perhaps a reflection of the play's intention to instill ideology, morality, aesthetics, and patriotism in the citizen.
In one corner of the exhibition, T.Gankhuyag displays his artistic vision for the classic Mongolian play "Unenii Khaan, Buddha" (The King of the Truth) by B.Tsognemekh. In another major work, T.Gankhuyag presents photographs, paintings, and costume designs along with a diorama for D.Namdag's "Orolmaa Ekh" (Mother Orolmaa). The tiny mechanisms of the diorama utilize the traditions of the country's folklore in miniature scale and recall the austerity of the Soviet theater's influence during the 1930s. The frozen scenography of the accompanying diorama for each theatrical play function as both methodology and a story-telling device, in which time respectively slows down and comes to a halt. The concept of "Scenography 3" generates a dialogue between theater and literature; it is a collective creative process that bridges performance art and visual art.
"Scenography is not about decorating. A scenographer's job is very important. We have to give the concept of the play through stage design. We do different sketches and designs for every act. We do three versions of one sketch. Scenographers have to work with the playwright and also have to be close with the director. The playwright, director and scenographer are the keystones of a play," said T.Gankhuyag during the opening ceremony at the UMA Art Gallery.
T.Gankhuyag's "Scenography 3″ weaves together time and space through a mosaic of theatrical representation, from recreating the Ancient Greek theater in "Antigone" by Sophocles, to creating the stage for contemporary Mongolian theater in Sh.Gurbazar's "Chi Miniikh" (You are Mine). For the visitor, the exhibition is a journey across Mongolia's theater medium that is both young and ancient, whose scenography – heterogeneous, hybrid, and intense – reflects the change in the repertoire of Mongolia's State Academic Drama Theater following the country's democratic transition.
As Mongolia's re-envisioned society embraced freedom and openness, many plays by playwrights of the Western world were produced and staged, including William Shakespeare's "Hamlet", Victor Hugo's "Notre Dame de-Paris", and Sophocles' "Antigone". At the same time, Mongolians proudly viewed their history and culture, and the theater focused on historically-themed plays written by local playwrights, which is demonstrated by T.Ghankuyig's stage representations of B.Galaarid's "Opposite Love" (the Mongolian version of the Japanese classic, "The Tale of Genji") and B.Tsognemekh's "The King of the Truth".
by Kent Babin
A thrilling tale of intrigue and revenge played out on the wild steppes of Mongolia.
Industrial espionage firm Furtive Khan Global is in the business of stealing secrets. When a prospective client requests dirt on the mining companies operating in Mongolia, Furtive Khan dispatches its newest interloper, Intikam, to complete the job.
A tragic mining death on Intikam's first day on the ground shocks the country and sets off a dramatic chain of events behind closed doors. The world must not know that the death was anything more than an accident.
Intikam's search for the truth takes him across Mongolia and China, and puts him up against a former KGB agent who will stop at nothing to maintain the status quo. As Intikam begins to uncover a scandal that promises to bring down Mongolia's power structure, the KGB agent turns his attention to eliminating the threat.
Intikam quickly finds himself on the gallows. It's only a matter of time before the noose tightens completely.
November 2 (boarding.today) A day with lots more driving, and seeing the Przewalski horses in Khustain Nuruu National park.
Sunrise in the desert
Last night, I discussed with the guide and the driver about the opportunities to take advantage of the golden hour this morning. The idea was to capture the sunrise over the sand dunes. They came up with great ideas and a spot, and we decided to get up early. So that's why at 5am, we're driving on the black roads of Mongolia.
I see however on my phone that we're pretty far out still from the dunes, and that the sunrise moment is getting close now. It soon becomes clear that we're going to miss the spot we'd agreed on by over an hour. I start looking out for a nice alternative to make the best of my morning. I spot horses in a steppe not too far away from the road, and have some good fun shooting them in the red sky of the rising sun over the Mongolian steppe. But it also meant this team of experts had some trouble planning, despite knowing the importance of the photo moments…
A little later that day we made it to these sand dunes. It's sold to many tourists as the Gobi desert, but it's several hundreds of miles out still to the real desert. It's about 7 kilometer long, and a couple of hundred meters wide. Good for the images, but I'll come back to see the real Gobi desert, and I'll have a train ride in it next week.
Khustain Nuruu, home of the Prezwalski horses
After a breakfast in the Gobi alike sand dunes, we make our way to the Khustain Nuruu National Park. It's here that one of the real original horse species, the Przewalski's horse, can still be found.
Khustain Nuruu is an open park without fences, but it's large enough to give the horses the space they need.
Thanks to going here outside of the season, there are not many tourists. The park is quiet. I can walk up to a large group of horses and get some nice pictures. I created a small collection here on the Przewalski Horse Images portfolio.
On the way back, my phone had lost all signal. Turns out that adding money to the phone wasn't the only thing I had to do, but there was a manipulation needed to activate a data bundle. My Mongolian being somewhat non-existent, I didn't do that, and now fell without signal. Khongor to the rescue. He remotely charged my phone, and I was back able to communicate with the rest of the world, and have a signal that permitted me to see on the maps where we go.
Back in the Ger
We return to the same camp were we slept yesterday. I get used to the cold and quietness of the gers. The good and warm food makes it a bit more comfortable. The small fire in the ger is fed with some berch wood from a nearby forest, and we all go to sleep way earlier than I would in the city.
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