Wednesday, July 27, 2016

[MMC settles EBRD debt; MNT hits new record low; E-Mart opens first branch; and Jack Ma is in Mongolia]

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Wednesday, July 27, 2016

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Int'l Market

975 closed +14.9% Monday before announcement

MMC: US$180 Million Loan from EBRD, FMO, DEG Discharged and Released

This announcement (the "Announcement") is made by Mongolian Mining Corporation (the "Company") pursuant to Rule 13.09(2) of the Rules Governing the Listing of the Securities on The Stock Exchange of Hong Long Limited and the Inside Information Provisions under Part XIVA of the Securities and Futures Ordinance (Cap. 571 of the Laws of Hong Kong).

Reference is made to the announcement of the Company dated 14 March 2016 in relation to the deed of termination and release (the "Deed of Termination and Release") entered into for settlement of the US$180 million term loan facilities, as amended (the "Agency Bank Loans") entered into by Energy Resources LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Company ("ER") as borrower with European Bank for Reconstruction and Development on 12 May 2010, and with Nederlandse Financierings-Maatschappij voor Ontwikkelingslanden N.V. and Deutsche Investitionsund Entwicklungsgesellschaft mbH on 11 August 2010.

As at the date of the Announcement, all conditions precedent as set forth in the Deed of Termination and Release have been fulfilled. Therefore, the Agency Bank Loans have been discharged in their entirety and the relevant security thereunder has been released.

Link to release


WOF last traded A$0.015 on Tuesday

Wolf Petroleum Completes Issue of Phase 1 & 2 Shares to SAM Group

July 27 -- Wolf Petroleum Limited ("the Company") is pleased to announce that it has completed the issue of the Phase 1 and Phase 2 Shares to China Sam Enterprise Group Co., Ltd ("SAM Group"). For more information please refer to the ASX announcement released on 14 June 2016.

The Company has now issued a total of 76,450,000 to the SAM Group for a total of $764,500.

The Company is currently preparing a notice of meeting seeking approval from shareholders for the issue of 243,316,000 ordinary shares at $0.01 per share ("Phase 3 Shares") and up to 242,907,013 options exercisable at $0.05 on or before 31 July 2018 ("WOF Options") to the SAM Group. The general meeting is expected to be convened in early September 2016.

Link to release

Link to Appendix 3B of Phase 2


China Sam Enterprise Becomes Substantial Holder in Wolf Petroleum with 5.43%

July 26, Wolf Petroleum Ltd. (ASX:WOF) --

Link to notice


Centerra Gold Favourably Revises 2016 Guidance and Reports Second Quarter Results

To view Management's Discussion and Analysis and the Unaudited Interim Consolidated Financial Statements and Notes for the three and six months ended June 30, 2016, please visit the following link:

TORONTO, ON--(Marketwired - July 26, 2016) - Centerra Gold Inc. (TSX: CG) today reported net earnings of $2.9 million or $0.01 per common share (basic) in the second quarter of 2016, compared to a net earnings of $21.9 million or $0.09 per common share (basic) for the same period in 2015, reflecting the processing and sale in the second quarter of 2016 of lower grade material from stockpiles and ore from the initial benches of cut-back 17 at Kumtor, partially offset by higher average realized gold prices and lower share-based compensation expense.

For the first six months of 2016, the Company recorded net earnings of $21.0 million or $0.09 per common share (basic), compared to a net earnings of $62.6 million or $0.26 per common share (basic) in the comparative period of 2015, reflecting a 36% decrease in gold ounces sold in the first half of 2016.

2016 Second Quarter Highlights

2016 Outlook

The Boroo operation will continue with closure activities mainly focusing on reclamation work. Any revenue from Boroo gold production from the drain down of the heap leach pad will be offset against mine closure costs. The 2016 production forecast assumes no gold production from Boroo or Gatsuurt, which is unchanged from the previous guidance.

Development Projects

Gatsuurt Project

The Company continued to engage in discussions with the Mongolian Government regarding the definitive agreements relating to the Gatsuurt Project, during the quarter. The Company is currently drilling on the property and is carrying out resource definition, metallurgical, exploration, geo-technical and hydrogeological drilling in support of eventual project development. See "Other Corporate Developments - Mongolia".

Link to release


Origo Partners: Further Update re Isle of Man Court Proceedings 

July 26, Origo Partners Plc (AIM:OPP) -- The Company announced on 11 March 2016 that it had been notified of a petition to the Isle of Man Court seeking an order to wind-up the Company on the grounds that it is just and equitable to do so and/or as relief under section 180 of the Isle of Man Companies Act 2006 (the "Petition"). The initial hearing in relation to the Petition was held at the Isle of Man Courts of Justice on 7 April 2016 (the "Initial Hearing"). 

Following the Initial Hearing the Company announced, on 8 April 2016, that the trial to consider the Petition (the "Trial") had been set for Friday 22 July 2016 and Monday 25 July 2016 (the "Initial Court Dates"). 

Following a subsequent disclosure application to the Isle of Man Courts, the Initial Court Dates were instead used by the Isle of Man Court to consider that disclosure application (the "Disclosure Hearing"). With the Disclosure Hearing now concluded, the Trial has now been set down for Monday 22 August 2016, Tuesday 23 August 2016 and Wednesday 24 August 2016

As previously announced, the presentation of a petition to the Isle of Man Court for winding up is deemed to have commenced a winding up by the Isle of Man Court, under S169(2) of the Isle of Man Companies Act 1931.  

Section 167 of the Isle of Man Companies Act 1931 states that any disposition of the property of the Company after the commencement of the winding up by the Isle of Man Court is void unless the court orders otherwise. Consequently, whilst the Company's daily operations should remain broadly unaffected, disposals of its assets without Court approval may be rendered void and, therefore, there are likely to be challenges in implementing the Company's investing policy pending the outcome of the Trial. The Company has received legal advice that the Isle of Man Court is likely to validate realisations where no person will be prejudiced by them, and also that the provisions of section 167 of the Isle of Man Companies Act 1931 may extend to any transfer of the Company's shares. 

As a result, the trading of the Company's securities on AIM will remain suspended, pending clarification of the Company's financial position and the outcome of the Trial. 

A further announcement will be made, as appropriate, in due course.

Link to release


Origo Partners: Result of AGM 

July 25 -- Origo announces that at its annual general meeting held earlier today all resolutions proposed were duly passed.

Link to release


Bestway Int'l Holdings Annual Report 2016

July 26, Bestway Int'l Holdings Ltd. (HKEx: 718) --

Management Discussion and Analysis

Mining Business

Same as past years, the Group still holds four tungsten mining licenses through two wholly owned Mongolian subsidiaries. Kainarwolfram LLC owns properties under Mining Licenses MV-011863, MV-011027 and MV-005518, which are located in the territory of Nogoonnuur Soum, Bayan-Ulgii province and Ikh Uuliin Erdenes LLC owns the property under the Mining License MV-003506, which located in the territory of Nogoonnuur Soum, Bayan-Ulgii province. With reference to the opinion from the Group's Mongolian legal advisers, the Directors are of the opinion that the Group is in compliance with all laws and governmental rules and regulations in Mongolia and the Group's four mining rights are still in effect and in good standing as at the reporting date. Meanwhile, the Board re-assessed the recoverable amount of the Mining CGU as at the end of the reporting period and details of the impairment assessment are set out in Note 13 to the financial statements.

Link to full report

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Local Market

MSE Trading Report, July 25: Top 20 -0.07%, ALL -0.01%, Turnover 6.2 Million Shares

July 25 (MSE) --

Link to report


MSE Trading Report, July 26: Top 20 +1.04%, ALL +1.41%, Turnover 5.4 Million Shares

July 26 (MSE) --

Link to report

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Previous historic low 2,050.85/USD set March 28, 2016. Reds are rates that set a new low at the time

BoM MNT Rates: Monday, July 25 Close
















































































































































































































Bank USD rates at time of sending: Khan (Buy ₮2,047 Sell ₮2,063), TDB (Buy ₮2,048 Sell ₮2,063), Golomt (Buy ₮2,048 Sell ₮2,063), XacBank (Buy ₮2,052 Sell ₮2,064), State Bank (Buy ₮2,047 Sell ₮2,065)

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

Link to rates


BoM issues 373 billion 1-week bills at 10.5%, total outstanding -16.9% to 1.03 trillion

July 25 (Bank of Mongolia) BoM issues 1 week bills worth MNT 373 billion at a weighted interest rate of 10.5 percent per annum /For previous auctions click here/

Link to release


BoM sells US$14m, CNY32m at undisclosed prices, accepts $45.5m MNT swap offers

July 26 (Bank of Mongolia) Spot trade: Commercial banks bid MNT and CNY and the BOM accepted bid offers of USD 14.0 million and CNY 32.0 million.

Swap and forward trade: The BOM accepted the bid offers of USD 45.5 million.

Link to release


Mongolia Agreements With S. Korea Are Credit Positive: Moody's

By Michael Kohn

July 25 (Bloomberg) -- Mongolia and South Korea's discussion of Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) and other pacts signed during President Park Geun Hye's visit to Ulaanbaatar are credit positive, according to Anushka Shah of Moody's Investors Service in Singapore.

* Shah, assistant vice president-analyst in sovereign risk group, comments credit outlook published Monday

* EPA offers opportunities for Mongolia's natural resource sector to move further up in terms of value added, lowers costs of imports from S. Korea, diversifies Mongolia's external economic relations, which are currently weighted largely toward China and Russia: Moody's

* S. Korea is Mongolia's fourth-largest trading partner, with bilateral trade having climbed to $325 million in 2015 from $76 million in 2001: Moody's

* Four-fifths of trade flows are presently skewed toward imports from S. Korea, EPA would aid the shift toward more sustainable and diversified trade and investment inflows: Moody's

* FDI inflows from S. Korea were $187.9 million in 2014, or 1.1% of total, versus 14.1% from Greater China, and implementing projects will significantly add to FDI inflows from S. Korea: Moody's

* Agreements with S. Korea, along with recent official visits from Japan, U.S., India and Germany suggest greater effort to boost ties with other countries as Mongolia seeks to offset reliance on trade with Russia and China



Social Insurance Revenue Up 24.4% in First Half, Expenditure 3.2%

Ulaanbaatar, July 26 (MONTSAME) In the first half of 2016, the revenue of the Social Insurance Fund amounted to MNT 853.2 billion, reflecting increase of MNT 167.1 billion or 24.4 percent. Expenditure of the fund reached MNT 802.9 billion which increased by MNT 24.7 billion or 3.2 percent compared to the same period of last year.

In the first six months of this year, a total of MNT 73.7 billion was granted to 203.2 thousand people as pensions and welfare benefits from the Social Welfare Fund. The number of the beneficiaries increased by 11.0 thousand or 5.7 percent, and the amount of pensions and allowances decreased by MNT 174.1 million or 0.2 percent compared to the end of June of 2015.

MNT 122.5 billion was granted from the Human Development Fund to 1021.1 thousand children, aged below 18, as cash benefits.

Link to article

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Politics & Legal

Defacto Review (2016.07.24)

1. Could MPP form a "professional" government?
2. The new government and 49% stake of Erdenet Mining Corporation.
3. Can Mongolian Democratic Party undergo a reform?

Link to video


Mongolia Parliament Approves 11 Ministers, Four Spots Unfilled

By Michael Kohn

July 24 (Bloomberg) -- Mongolia's Parliament has approved the nominations of 11 ministers, according to the government's website. The newly appointed individuals include:

* Khurelsukh Ukhnaa (Deputy Prime Minister)
* Munkhbat Jamiyan (Chief of Staff, Minister of Mongolia)
* Dashdorj Tsedev (Minister of Mining and Heavy Industry)
* Oyunkhorol Dulamsuren (Minister of Environment & Tourism)
* Munkh-Orgil Tsend (Minister of Foreign Affairs)
* Choijilsuren Battogtokh (Minister of Finance)
* Byambatsogt Sandag (Minister for Justice and Domestic Affairs)
* Nomtoibayar Nyamtashir (Minister of Labor & Social Welfare)
* Bat-Erdene Badmaanyambuu (Minister of Defense)
* Batsuuri Jamiyansuren (Minister of Education, Culture, Science & Sport)
* Ganbat Dangaa (Minister of Roads & Transportation)



Mongolian president clashes with new prime minister over cabinet posts

July 25 (Reuters) Mongolian President Tsakhia Elbegdorj is already at loggerheads with the new prime minister over cabinet appointments, raising the specter of further instability as the economy slows and foreign investment declines.

In June, Elbegdorj's Democratic Party lost a landslide parliamentary election to the Mongolian People's Party (MPP) of former finance minister Jargaltulga Erdenebat, who took over as prime minister this month.

The dispute centers on the prime minister's appointments of several officials that violate a presidential order to avoid conflicts of interest by not giving ministerial posts to members of parliament.

"The new government: I can't say it's professional," Elbegdorj wrote on his official account on social media network Twitter on Monday, adding, "Money and power trump the rules."

Foreign investment, led by the giant Oyu Tolgoi copper-gold mine now run by Rio Tinto, powered a two-year economic boom in Mongolia from 2010, but growth has slumped because of slowing demand from neighboring China, along with investor concerns about a surge in "resource nationalism".

Among the officials figuring in the clash are Tsedev Dashdorj, a former oil company engineer appointed to oversee the mining industry, which attracts most of Mongolia's foreign investment, and business tycoon and land developer Battogtokh Choijlsuren.

Nicknamed "speed" for his businesses (Mogi: his group "Khurd" literally means "speed") , the latter will oversee Mongolia's growing debt, which amounted to 66.3 percent of GDP in 2015, according to Fitch Ratings.

Mongolia's legislature, the State Great Khural, worked into the early hours of Saturday before approving 11 of the prime minister's 15 appointments.

The posts for energy, health, food and agriculture and industry, however, remained vacant amid concerns about conflicts of interest.

In 2014, the president proposed to ban the "Double Deel", the practice of individuals holding multiple roles in government that is named for the traditional robes Mongolians wear, but parliament did not pass the bill.

Link to article


Mongolia's June elections and their impact

By Zorigt Dashdorj, former Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy of Mongolia

·         Constitutional majority may allow new government to weaken presidency

·         Social spending pledges may be hard to keep with debt squeeze

·         Chinese trade deal and preserving Russian economic ties are top foreign policy goals

July 22 (Geopolitical Intelligence Services) The June 29 parliamentary election was a landslide win for the opposition Mongolian People's Party (MPP), which captured 65 of the 76 seats in the unicameral legislature after the abolition of proportional representation earlier this year. The election is likely to have far-reaching consequences in three areas: constitutional reform, management of the slowing economy and relations with China, Russia and other world powers.

The elections dealt a crushing blow to the governing Democratic Party (DP) and almost obliterated other groupings. The DP's representation in parliament dropped from 35 to only nine seats, even though it won a respectable 33 percent of the popular vote.

Link to article (needs subscription for full report)


Supporting Legislative Action on Land Acquisition and Resettlement: A Case Example from Mongolia

Building Country Safeguard Systems Briefing Note No. 3: Strengthening Country Safeguard Systems for the Protection of Displaced Persons

May 2016 (ADB) The radical changes in the structure of Mongolia's economy after 1990 and, more recently, the fast economic growth tied to the mining sector, have driven infrastructure and urban development. The population of the capital city of Ulaanbaatar has more than doubled since 1990 to 1.25 million, accounting for nearly half of the country's total population. The explosive growth of Ulaanbaatar and the legacy of the largely uncontrolled influx of people present a major challenge to the government in improving existing public infrastructure and creating conditions for future growth. Putting in place adequate legislation is a crucial aspect of this effort. Unplanned and unregulated gher9 communities sprouted in the surrounds of Ulaanbaatar as a result of the migration to the city. Since there was no private ownership before the enactment of the 2003 Land Allocation Law, the status of these lands had been uncertain. Through the law, land can now be owned, leased, or used.

With respect to land acquisition and involuntary resettlement (LAR), Mongolia's legal and administrative systems were weak, and implementing agencies lacked clear procedures and oversight. Other challenges have included: inadequate institutional capacity, public participation, and transparency. The key constraints to urban development have been the lack of eminent domain for local development, and land compensation rates that were not based on market values.

In October 2010, ADB approved the first of three phases of the Reform of Legal and Regulatory Framework for Involuntary Resettlement in Mongolia as a subproject of the larger regional technical assistance project for Strengthening and Use of Country Safeguard Systems.

The Process and the Outputs

Situation and gap analyses of Mongolia's existing legal and institutional framework for LAR and corresponding ADB safeguard provisions were conducted during the first phase. The major differences found are summarized in the table. The analyses identified other weaknesses, including (i) inadequate and unclear procedures for the valuation of land and properties and a dearth of experienced valuation appraisers; (ii) cases of conflict of interest between project approval and land acquisition approval; (iii) weak resettlement implementation; (iv) unclear role and responsibilities of the private sector in LAR; (v) property database irregularities, lack of cadastral records, overlapping disputes on land titles, and inaccuracies and incompleteness of the cadastral maps; and (vi) absence of LAR monitoring. The subject of compensation valuation is where the greatest disagreements arise, especially between those at risk of resettlement (in particular, those dwelling in the gher areas) and the authorities.

The initial assessments and local consultations served as a basis for recommendations for improved LAR legislation and regulations, and for institutional and capacity development needs assessment. A review of possible amendments to the Land Law and the Law on Urban Redevelopment was conducted and development of a separate LAR legislation was recommended and agreed upon by local stakeholders. Two initial drafts of LAR legislation incorporating international good practices were prepared during Phase I for consideration by the Ministry of Construction and Urban Development. Public awareness and consultation activities continued throughout all phases.

Phase II comprised (i) assistance to the Government of Mongolia to finalize the LAR law and build consensus for its approval, (ii) assessment of institutional requirements and formulation of a capacity development plan, and (iii) capacity development for government officials. The drafting of LAR regulations was deferred until a complete version of the law was reviewed by the government. Phase III10 generated a revised draft of the LAR law, a set of supporting regulations, an assessment of the impact of the draft law, and an institutional assessment and capacity development plan to implement the proposed legislation.


ADB experience in Mongolia indicates that: (i) international good practice standards on involuntary resettlement are an appropriate basis for a legal framework that addresses LAR risks and impacts, (ii) there should be adequate capacity to initiate the legislative action, and (iii) efforts in reforming the LAR framework and improving capacity must include nurturing domestic support of legal reform. Despite the success of the LAR reform project in Mongolia, there is no assurance that a consensus has been achieved on all underlying issues.

Experience from the project also shows that a phased approach to implementing a demanding reform agenda in DMCs that have weak capacity and limited experience with international good practices is preferred. ADB's engagement must then be more collaborative, longer-term, and shared with other MFIs whenever possible to ensure that the reform agenda continues to advance.

Principal Findings of the 2011–2012 Gap Analysis of Mongolia's Land Acquisition and Resettlement Legislation

Link to report page

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Attendance to Jack Ma's lecture by invitation only

July 26 ( The founder and executive chairman of Alibaba Group, Mr.Jack Ma is paying a visit to Mongolia during Jul 24-27. 

The National Investment Bank of Mongolia will organize a lecture for 300 young Mongolian enterpreneurs for free with the aim to make investment in their intellectual wealth. 

Entrance to a lecture by Jack Ma, scheduled tomorrow, will be invitation only. 

GoGo news agency is working as a media partner.

Link to article


Mongolia and Russia discuss banking sector ties at St. Petersburg conference

July 26 (UB Post) Mongol Bank and a number of Mongolian commercial banks attended the Saint Petersburg International Banking Conference, held from July 13 to 15, in Saint Petersburg, Russia, to discuss banking system trends and possibilities for cooperation with Russia.

In addition to Russia's biggest commercial banks, international banks including ING, the Bank of New York Mellon, Commerzbank, and Arab Banking Corporation, and representatives from Bloomberg and Reuters took part in the meeting.

During the conference, the Central Bank of Russia and Promsvyazbank organized a consultative meeting at the initiative of Mongol Bank, "Expanding its Land: Modern Banking System of Mongolia", to talk about Mongolia's current banking system, possibilities for making investments in Mongolia, challenges faced by the two countries' banks in their cooperation and their solutions.

As a result of the consultation, the two countries agreed to mitigate expenditures for loan advances being drawn from commercial banks in Russia, conducting 24-hour trading for RUB, easing foreign payment conditions, and expanding cooperation in the trade and financing sectors.

Mongol Bank suggested organizing the conference every year, which was supported by the Russian side. The next meeting is expected to take place in 2017 in Ulaanbaatar.

Link to article


Korea's E-mart officially joins Mongolian retail market

July 26 ( Emart - the leading Korean retailer will officially join Mongolia retail market on July 28. 

"Emart Chinggis" branch is situated on an area of over 43 thousand square meter and centralized more than 40 services, such as hypermarket, bank, international cuisines, coffee shop and game center. 

Emart offers 33 thousand types of products and goods to the customers. Moreover, Emart building has 260 indoor parking lots at its 3rd and 4th floors. 

After 2 years of surveying and researching Mongolian market, Altai Holding LLC is officially launching the Emart hypermarket for the first time in Ulaanbaatar city. Mongolia became the 166th branch country. Altai Holding LLC noted that the most of times were spent on finding and contracting with organic producers. 

"We have planned to open over 20 branches in Ulaanbaatar city and other biggest cities. As a result, more than 1500 workplaces will be created. 300 people were employed at Emart Chinggis branch. We contracted with more than 400 producers in order to support domestic producers and entities. Emart will be the biggest channel to promote Mongolian production", said Executive Director of Sky Hypermarket B.Bolor-Erdene.

The grand opening of Emart Chinggis branch will take place on July 28 at 11AM. Participating in the Emart Grand Opening Day, customers will enjoy many surprises and shopping with many promotional programs of over 100 products. 

Also, membership card registration and new customer promotion will available at the grand opening. 

Link to article


MNCCI registering businesses for 2017 Foodex Japan trade fair

July 26 (UB Post) The Mongolian National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MNCCI) is registering domestic entities interested in taking part in the 2017 Foodex Japan trade fair, which is going to be organized from March 7 to 10, in Chiba, Japan.

The international food and beverages trade fair is being jointly organized by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs; Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare; Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries; and Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO).

JETRO is cooperating in the trade fair to provide businesses from developing countries with the opportunity to become familiar with Japan's food sector and support them in entering the Japanese market.

Domestic entities interested in participating in the trade fair need to submit a registration application to the MNCCI by July 29. The MNCCI will submit the application to JETRO's Representative Office in Mongolia to enable their participation.

The trade fair's organizers say that around 3,000 companies take part in the trade fair, which sees around 77,000 visitors each year.

Link to article


Addressing the world: How to find anywhere on the planet

July 2 (The Economist, Print Edition) LAST year, a brush fire threatened the home of Ganhuyag Chuluun Hutagt, who lives in Mongolia's capital, Ulaanbaatar. Instead of giving the fire brigade his address, though, Mr Ganhuyag had to guide them to the blaze by describing a series of landmarks along the way. That was because, like most buildings in Mongolia, his house does not have an address. Road names and building numbers are so sparse there that fewer than 1% of Mongolians do. But Mr Ganhuyag, who is on the board of the country's post office, Mongol Post, proposes to do something about it.

Thanks to his urging, Mongol Post is adopting an ingenious new system of addresses that can locate any place in the country—and, indeed, in the world. Instead of house number, street name, town, province and so on, or the unwieldy co-ordinates of latitude and longitude, this system, the brainchild of Chris Sheldrick, boss of What3Words, a firm based in London, divides the Earth's surface into nine-metre-square blocks. Each block is then given names consisting of trios of randomly selected, unrelated words. One patch of Siberia, for example, is called, in English, "mirroring.surrendered.epidemics". But it also has nine other names, in other languages, including Russian.

Divvying up Earth's surface into nine-metre-square blocks requires nearly 57 trillion addresses (to be precise, 56,764,364,951,858 of them). That sounds a lot, but Mr Sheldrick realised that 40,000 words would be enough to do the job—indeed, more than enough, since that number actually yields 64 trillion three-word combinations. Moreover, places that are at sea have only English addresses. The other languages, restricted to the land, thus require a mere 25,000 words each. When drawing up a list in a new language, What3Words' linguists toss out homophones, and also any words that may create offence, such as "fondle", in English, or, in Arabic, words for alcoholic drinks. Otherwise, words are selected based on their familiarity and frequency of use.

A way with words

Besides nailing down locations in Mongolia, Mr Sheldrick's system is also proving useful in the favelas of Rio de Janeiro. That city's government has, according to Sila Vieira da Silva, failed to generate addresses fast enough to keep up with the new shacks and alleyways appearing in these shanty towns, and does not bother to bring post into at least 11 of them anyway. Mr Vieira da Silva is one of the owners of Carteiro Amigo, a company that has delivered letters in Rio's favelas since 2000 by compiling directions to residents who pay for the service. Now, using software licensed from What3Words, Carteiro Amigo is converting to three-word addresses.

Rich countries, too, can benefit, says Peter Atalla, the boss of Navmii, a London firm that has folded What3Words' software into navigation apps for motorists. One search in ten that uses Navmii's app is for a What3Words address. Not only are they easy to memorise, type out and communicate by phone, Mr Atalla says people also like the precision of directing others to, say, a specific entrance rather than an entire building, or to a picnic spot instead of the whole park. Direct Today Couriers, another British outfit, reports that converting standard addresses into What3Words ones has reduced the number of missed deliveries by 83%.

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2,730 housings commissioned in scope of ger district redevelopment out of 7,374

July 26 ( MPs stated at the meeting with City Governor and the City Mayor on the process of ger district re-planning project and its further implementation that 2730 housings out of 7374 were commissioned in scope of ger district re-planning project. 

In the framework of ger district re-planning project, 2583 citizens of 615 families have swapped their lands. In result, carbon dioxide emissions per year were decreased by 105.6 tones, dust were decreased by 2.92 tones and sulfur emissions were reduced by 10.4 tones. 

As of today, total of 34 entities are implementing the re-planning project at 75 partial areas of 24 ger district locations. Total of 78,292 people were involved in the project which covers 1506 hectares of land. 

MPs noted that ger district is the main facing issue of Ulaanbaatar city as well as the main source of both air and soil pollution. Therefore, it is significant to intensify and implement the ger district re-planning project. We will focus on creating the legal framework needed to improve and continue the project. Moreover, we will pay attention to reconstruction of old housings and facilities which needed to be rebuilt.

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Mongolia's new foreign minister receives Chinese ambassador

Ulaanbaatar, July 26 (MONTSAME) On July 26, the newly appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Ts.Monkh-Orgil received the Ambassador of China to Mongolia, Mr Xing Haiming.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs underlined his satisfaction with the current state of the bilateral ties. The sides exchanged opinions on issues of enriching the two countries' economic and trade cooperation with more new contents, and pledged active collaboration.  

The ambassador congratulated Mr Monkh-Orgil on being appointed the Minister of Foreign Affairs, and promised to closely cooperate with the Government of Mongolia on boosting ties between the two countries. Then, he handed the congratulatory letter of the Chinese FM, Mr Wang Yi.

Link to article


Mongolia's new foreign minister receives Russian ambassador

Ulaanbaatar, July 26 (MONTSAME) The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Ts.Monkh-Orgil met with the Ambassador of Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Russian Federation to Mongolia, Mr I.K.Azizov on July 26. The latter handed the congratulatory letter from the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Russia S.V.Lavrov to his Mongolian counterpart.

The Mongolian FM and the Russian Ambassador exchanged opinions on the bilateral relations, and the events being organized in the margin of the 95th anniversary of the diplomatic ties between Mongolia and Russia this year.

The dignitaries also noted the importance of fixing the date of the 20th meeting of the Mongolia-Russia Intergovernmental Committee on Trade, Economy and Science Cooperation, which is the main mechanism of economic cooperation of the two countries, to take place in Ulaanbaatar.

Link to article


US provides $800,000 aid to Mongolia for dzud preparedness

Ulaanbaatar, July 26 (MONTSAME) The U.S. is providing nearly USD 800,000 in aid to help Mongolians mitigate the effects of the 2015-2016 winter emergency and develop systems to increase disaster preparedness. This new funding is in addition to USD 150,000 in humanitarian assistance provided to support logistics operations and the distribution of critical relief supplies to those affected by the winter emergency and expands ongoing disaster preparedness training with province and county-level officials.

Through the U.S. Agency for International Development's Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA), the U.S. Government partners with Mercy Corps to work with communities to recover from the impact of the winter emergency and support the long-term sustainability of herding systems across 15 winter emergency-affected provinces.

The program will improve province and county-level ability to manage risks and lessen the impact of future winter emergencies through disaster risk reduction (DRR) training and the scale-up of a national SMS, or short message-based information-sharing system.

This system, easily accessible by mobile phone, allows herders to access weather forecast data by equipping them with the tools to make informed decisions and develop disaster preparation strategies.

Since 2011, the U.S. has provided approximately USD 2.5 million for DRR programs in Mongolia through USAID/OFDA — including school-based disaster planning to prepare school administrators and students for disasters, as well as incident command system training to help local officials improve disaster response operations.

Winter conditions in Mongolia can be exceptionally harsh and dangerous. The United States is proud to work with its partner Mongolia to help the Mongolian people meet the challenge of any winter emergency, reports the Voice of America.

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Where Europe Meets Asia: Why Russia Needs ASEM

By Victoria Panova, PhD in History, Director, Oriental Studies Institute – School or Regional and International Studies; Far Easter Federal University

July 25 (Russian International Affairs Council) In spite of constant assertions by officials that Russia is a Eurasian power, recent years have seen growing references to Russia's pivot towards the East and commitment to interaction priority with Asia. Often the sharp turn towards the Asia-Pacific Region is mentioned in the context of Russia's deteriorating relations with Western countries, which make it necessary to compensate for the losses caused by geopolitical confrontation and sanctions imposed against Russia in 2014.

Yet this simplistic interpretation may only come from a superficial observer who has forgotten the principles of multi-vector diplomacy introduced into Russian foreign policy discourse when Evgeny Primakov was Foreign Minister, at first more as a theory, but one which eventually yielded practical results. The foreign ministers who have succeeded Primakov and subsequent leaders of the Russian state have not departed an inch from that principle.

Another principle of Russian diplomacy over the past quarter century has been maximum involvement in international institutions and mechanisms. This makes it possible not only to "keep a finger on the pulse" of current events, but also offers the full range of opportunities to promote all Russian initiatives, depending on the format of the meetings.

The recent summit of ASEM, the Asia-Europe Meetings mechanism, was created back in 1996, anticipated by the 1994 report "New Asia Strategy" which harbingered the wish to formalize such a dialogue and also the recognition by the narrow circle of original EU members of the APR countries' increasingly important role. That it was the narrow circle of EU members is not accidental because it was in the 1990s, after the end of bipolar confrontation, that the Europeans showed a maximum of independence, promotion of their own interests and a commitment to a multi-vector policy.

Unfortunately, Russia was not a member of ASEM in its first fifteen years. This was because, on the one hand, the country at the time was orientated towards the West (as manifested first in Andrey Kozyrev's appeasement policy and later in the rivalry-cooperation key) and priority was attached to resolving the military-political problems connected with NATO enlargement and events around Yugoslavia. The topic of socio-economic cooperation – which is key to the ASEM agenda – did not receive its fair share of attention from Russia. One might recall that in those years Russia went out of its way to become a fully-fledged member of the G7 and saw the answer to economic problems in an international context, in obtaining loans and restructuring previously incurred loans by the leading Western countries, i.e., G7. Although many experts still maintain that the formal announcement of the 1998 Birmingham summit of the G8 marked the start of Russia's full membership in that elite club of nations, the 1998 default, which dealt a sharp blow to the Russian economy, put into question the key financial-economic component of Russia's membership of that group. At the same time, Russia was not invited to the SecondASEM Summit held in 1998 in London, although it would have been more than logical to do so, considering its agenda and the discussion of the 1997 Asian financial crisis and how to overcome it. Equally surprising was Russia's absence from ASEM, which discussed strengthening the links between two major regions of Europe and Asia, especially given Russia's strategic position as a bridge between Europe and Asia, as Russian politicians and experts have pointed out.

Because Russia initially showed little interest in this platform, its accession to this forum was, for a certain period, put on the back burner on the specious pretext that Russia did not belong to any of the above mega-regions. In accordance with the "two keys" rule, Russia was not allowed to take part in this mechanism as part of Europe. Notwithstanding the twists and turns of a long, drawn-out process, Russia eventually became a member of ASEM in 2010, but only as part of Asia. As of today, the forum has 51 members, a representative of the European Communities Commission (ECC), and the ASEAN secretariat.

ASEM recently marked its 20th anniversary. Its membership has almost doubled in the interim. Its agenda has also changed considerably, owing to increased global and regional threats and admission of new ASEM members, whose priorities are largely military and political. In addition to social and financial-economic problems, security concerns have come to the fore: the fight against terror (not surprisingly, the tragic events in Nice and the abortive government coup in Turkey have influenced the agenda), cross-border crime, drug trafficking and money laundering.

Yet, as regards the significance of ASEM for Russia, there is a sense that, apart from membership as such, the attitude to the dialogue format has not changed much. Although key media did cover the meetings to varying degrees, it was nothing on par with the level of excitement generated, for example, by the BRICS summit, let alone the NATO summit in Warsaw, though it is a bit of a stretch to compare the amount of attention given to these events. The level of participation was another indicator of the lukewarm interest in the event. While the previous summits had been attended by the Russian President, this year's ASEM summit in Ulaanbaatar had to be content with participation by Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev.

Even so, a similar attitude toward the forum was demonstrated by most other members. At least half the European members sent their foreign ministers and, of the great Western powers, only the leaders of Germany and Japan saw fit to attend the summit. This suggests that the key ASEM partners do not see this platform as the most promising and give priority to others, such as G20, as well as G7 and BRICS, depending on affiliation with one or the other "camp," and, to some extent, APEC (potential wrangling over the formation of TPP, RCEP, etc.).

The fact that the US is not a member of ASEM is not the least of the reasons that the forum fails to occupy a leading position among the plethora of similar international venues. On the other hand, the absence of Washington offers some advantages, which, however, cannot yet be realised because many ASEM members look towards the US.

Without exaggerating the significance of ASEM, the usefulness of this dialogue mechanism cannot be denied. The summit adopted two documents, the Ulaanbaatar Declaration on the forum called "Asia-Europe at the Turn of the Third Millennium" and the Statement of the Chairman of the 11th ASEM Summit, listing the results of the Summit. Although no ground-breaking decisions were made (which would have been virtually impossible), ASEM does offer an additional chance for high-level communication (including bilateral talks on the fringes of the forum). Effective business communication among ASEM countries may strengthen trade and economic ties and increase interdependence, one of the key aspects for Russia today. Finally, involvement in international dialogue platforms does not merely provide an opportunity to demonstrate Russia's fully-fledged participation in global and regional affairs, but also greater room for diplomatic manoeuvre in the complicated current situation.

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Health, Education

Mogi: Measles?

Birthrate declines 3.3% in Mongolia while infant mortality spikes 28.6% in first half

Ulaanbaatar, July 26 (MONTSAME) Total of 38,689 mothers delivered 38,867 children (live births) in the first six months of 2016. The birthrate decreased by 1,333 mothers or 3.3 percent and 1,385 children or 3.4 percent compared to the same period of last year.

Infant mortality was counted at 810, indicating increase of 180 newborns or 28.6 percent, under-five mortality reached 953, showing increase of 215 children or 29.1 percent compared to the same period of the previous year.

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TASIS Students Inspired by School's First Journey to Mongolia

Understanding Ulgii (Teaching in Mongolia), the newest addition to the TASIS Global Service Program, is a Service Learning Group dedicated to supporting and building a lasting relationship between TASIS students and a community of English language learners in Ulgii, a city in western Mongolia. After a year of preparation, 10 TASIS students and three faculty members—Anna Kavalauskas, Stephen Moon, and Kim Goldsworthy—traveled to Mongolia during the first 13 days of summer vacation to help provide English language lessons to aspiring students. Fundraising covers the cost of supplies such as books, posters, new desks, and Rosetta Stone subscriptions.


July 8 (The American School in Switzerland) Upon setting foot in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, after twelve hours of traveling (a maximum two of sleep) and some mystery meat from the plane filling our empty stomachs, our group of ten students and three teachers had already found the service trip anything but selfish.

Understanding Ulgii, a new addition to the Global Service Learning Program at TASIS, is a service trip designed to build connections with the Kazakh community in the western part of Mongolia. This year's project, which also happened to be the first project ever, was to create a sort of conference room for a local university that could also serve its purpose as an English resource center.

Perhaps the first thing we noticed was that Mongolian toilet paper did not come with a cardboard roll in the middle, but Mongolian people came with very big hearts and the facade of the houses did not say anything about the people living inside. The fact that a group of kids had flown all the way from Switzerland to paint a room in their university seemed incredible to them, and for a while, it seemed incredible to us too. Of course, Understanding Ulgii ended up being much more than just painting. So while we can tell you we are still trying to rub off the blue paint from our hands, we will never erase the looks of happiness on the locals' faces as they looked around their new conference room/English Resource Center. 

We organized books into their correct genres, sanded and painted the walls of the room, and even held English classes for the locals. All of it would have been impossible without the support of the community, who seemed to be willing to help us with whatever we needed.

So while we can tell you we are still trying to rub off the blue paint from our hands, we will never erase the looks of happiness on the locals' faces as they looked around their new conference room/English Resource Center.

And of course we could not have had the full Mongolian experience without staying in gers for two nights. You might be wondering what a ger is, and trust us, so did we until we actually saw one up close. No matter how much prior research you do before the trip, nothing will prepare you for the round tent made of wood and goatskin that is a ger.

During the day, we watched the locals herd sheep, goats, horses, and cows, and we were welcomed by the local families to taste their homemade dairy products and even hold a hefty eagle and ride horses. The warmth of the people contrasted the cold nights, which made us wonder who thought sleeping bags were a good idea.

Much like the service part of the trip, our countryside experience will remain with us as the memory of peace lives inside our hearts and the beautiful environment lives on, sunburnt on our backs.

So I guess what we are trying to say, in the words of Dory (don't worry, we found her), this trip was remarkable and simply unforgettable.

Click here to see more incredible photos from the trip.

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Culture, Society

'Warrior Queens Are in My Blood': Meet Mongolia's Notorious Female Archers

Female archers are not only raising eyebrows— they're raising hopes that all of Mongolia's Olympic style games will be open to women once again.

by Lila Seidman

July 22 (Broadly) Archery, one of the so-called "three manly sports," along with wrestling and horse racing, is practiced at Naadam the country's Olympics style festival, which is held every summer. They sports are given a masculine edge because their linguistic roots/ The full title of the games is eriin (man's/strength)gurvan (three) Naadam can translate to "the three games to challenge strength and vigor" or "the three games of men" because the word root for "strength" and "male" are the same. Women have only been allowed to compete in archery after in the last few decades but their presence is not only lifting eyebrows, but also raising hopes that all the games will be open to women once again.

It's believed that Genghis Khan used the games to cultivate able warriors when he founded the Mongol Empire in 1206. Many of the warriors in his army were women. In the late 13th century, Khutulun, a Mongolian princess warrior and great-great granddaughter of Khan, reigned as the undefeated wrestling champ of the kingdom.

"Khutulun was unusual, but not unique," historian Jack Weatherford writes in his essay The Wrestler Princess. "Mongol women rode horses as skillfully as men, often carried a bow and wore a quiver, and they repeatedly appeared in early reports as fighting alongside men."

In Mongolian culture, "as soon as there's a woman who is clever, who is a good leader, she is also a good archer," says Oyungerel Tsedevdamba, former Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism. The Mongolian queen Mandukhai, who is credited with reuniting warring factions of Mongols in the 15th century, is depicted in literature and legend as inseparable from her bow and arrow.

Historical claims notwithstanding, women were only allowed to re-enter Naadam, and only as archers, in the 1960s – more than seven centuries after the death of Khutulun (Young girls can now also participate in horse racing.)

In the intervening centuries, women's rights eroded significantly. The rise of Buddhism saw the replacement of shamans (spiritual leaders of both sexes) with lamas (male only). A woman's place in the ger (a traditional nomadic dwelling), as well as her place in society at large, gradually downshifted.

Ironically, the Communist People's Revolution of 1921, which brought its own set of cultural repressions, "at the same time brought new beginnings," Oyungerel says. "Among them was women's equality." The first day of Naadam coincides with the anniversary of the People's Revolution, which liberated the country from Chinese rule.

Yet under Soviet rule, any talk of Genghis Khan or traditional Mongolian culture was banned as "anti-revolutionary."

"That's why, since the 1990s, when we can freely visit our history, we started visiting 13th century history and seeing that women had way bigger equality in 13th century than in the 16th century," Oyungerel explains. "Then we started having inspirations from our 13th century history and all its legendary women. We started inserting our traditional place, which is very important for national sports."

This awakening extends to modern female archers. Many competitors in this year's Naadam stressed the direct bloodline between them and warrior princesses of centuries past. They assured me their traditional place was on the field alongside men, not on the sidelines.

This year, there are even rumors circulating that the one form of Mongolian archery women are have always been forbidden to practice, Uriankai, may reinvent itself as a coed sport.

Below are five of the female archery competitors in this year's games.

Nyamdavaa Jugderkhuu

Tsetseg Dondognyam

Davaajargal Khishigt

Bulgan Tsagaanzaan

Bayartsetseg Radnabat

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Nomads of Mongolia Saving Land Through Way of Life

Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, July 27  - "ILCHDIIN GAL" NGO recently launched an Indiegogo campaign to raise money to provide a solution to electricity issues in the rural areas of Mongolia. The plan is to protect the nature, continue the traditional lifestyle, and to ensure that the land is properly looked after.

"The traditional nomadic way of life of Mongols is environmentally friendly.  They move around from one area to another ensuring minimal damage and pollution to the land," the creator explains, "Unfortunately the downside of this lifestyle is no access to permanent electricity due to constant moving around. Solar power has been used in the recent times but it does not generate enough electricity to meet modern day needs."

The project is being initiated by a group of like-minded volunteers who have come together to protect the environment and the way of life of people in Mongolia. The new electricity source will be used for things like access to television, cell phones, fridge and freezers to store meat and produce in the warm months, and for heat in the cold months.

The way that they intend to do this is by re-using animal dung and manure to produce energy. This method would reduce greenhouse gas emissions and the release of harmful compounds in the atmosphere. 

The fertilizer produced from the machine can also be used to feed the livestock, since Mongolia is facing shortage in pasture land.  This will keep the environment pristine and also maintain the traditional way of herding without damaging the land. 

Their hope is that each and every family will have ability generate their own electricity and be self-sufficient.

"We have 10 years of experience in working in the area of environmental protection in the country. The wisdom of nomadic Mongols have always lied on effective consumerism in koi day to day life rather than over consumption which western developed countries are now striving to achieve," says the team, "Advancing the nomadic way of life, a lifestyle that has least negative impact on the environment, and inheriting it to the next generation is the goal of our many years of hard work."

In exchange for pledging to the project, backers can gain access to a variety of rewards including a handwritten postcard for $25, a felt coaster with original Mongolian patterns for $100, and more! Backers can also pledge $250 for a handcrafted seat cover or $5,000 for a private tour of Mongolia for two.

For more information, please visit the Indiegogo page here or contact the creator below.

Media Contact

Company Name: "ILCHDIIN GAL" NGO
Contact Person: Erdenesuvd Namjildorj
Phone: 976-91199951
Country: Mongolia

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State Worship Ceremony Held for Sutai Mountain

Ulaanbaatar, July 26 (MONTSAME) President of Mongolia Ts.Elbegdorj attended the Heaven Hallowing State Worship Ceremony for Sutai Mountain on July 25, Day of the Monkey of the last month of summer of the Year of the Monkey, according to Mongolian-Tibetan Calendar. Sutai Mountain, elevated 4,220 meters above sea level, draws the boundary of Gobi-Altai and Khovd provinces.

President Ts.Elbegdorj arrived in accompaniment by four honor guards, at the ceremonial yard next to the "ovoo". The President took a blessing from the Great "Ganjuur" Chronicles, while the four guards carried and placed the State Flag, the War-time Black Banner, Flag of Gobi-Altai province, Chinggis Khaan's portrait and the Seven Treasures of the State beside the ceremonial "ovoo".

Present at the ceremony were, Sh.Radnaased and B.Purevdorj MPs, Chief of Staff of President's Office P.Tsagaan, deputy chief B.Togtokhbuyan, presidential advisers R.Bold and O.Chuluunbileg, Chief of the Headquarters of the Mongolian Armed Forces Major-General D.Davaa, Governor of Gobi-Altai O.Amgalanbaatar, Governor of Khovd D.Tseveenrevdan, leaders of the citizen's khurals, Buddhist monks of two provinces, the second Khamba (bishop) of the Center of Mongolian Buddhism Gandantegchinlen Monastery L.Amgalan, and the citizens.

Ancient legend tells that the Mountain had grown in the east of Baatar (Hero) Mountain, a part of the Himalayan Mountains. The name Sutai has derived from the word "Suutei", which means "milky" in Mongolian, probably because the locals have brought down wild yaks from the mountain for domestication and which later gave plenty of milk.

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Nature, Environment

Paleontologist out to save Mongolian dinosaurs with "laser guns"

"We're trying to save dinosaurs."

July 26 (ABC) Dr Phil Bell might sound like he's a few million years late, but the palaeontologist from the University of New England in Armidale says his mission is no joke.

"In the last 20 or so years there's been an enormous explosion of black market dinosaur bones," Dr Bell said.

He is about to leave for Mongolia as part of a very special project to repatriate dinosaurs bones, which have been taken illegally from sites in the Gobi desert and found in private collections or auction houses.

Mongolia has a rich history of paleontological exploration starting in the 1920s when Roy Chapman Andrews from the American Museum of Natural History first opened up the Gobi desert region across Mongolia and China.

Interestingly, Dr Andrews was initially looking for human fossils.

"Instead he found what would be one of the biggest treasure troves of dinosaur fossils anywhere in the world," Dr Bell said.

"You can still go there today and literally stumble over skeletons laid out in the rocks."

In the time of the dinosaurs, the region was lush and green with plenty of water, and a valley that collected sediment.

Now it is a desert.

"As the desert sands shift and as erosion continues you get new things exposed all the time, and we've been going back to the same places for almost a century now," Dr Bell said.

Mongolia does not have a monopoly on ancient bones: China, Canada, the US and Argentina all have exceptional fossil deposits, but Dr Bell said there was a historical reverence about the South-East Asian site.

"It's a real Mecca for palaeontologists."

The Mecca for scientists is also a trove for treasure hunters but much has been done recently to try and repatriate the bones back to Mongolia and a new natural history museum.

Dr Bell said palaeontology had changed over the last century, and was no longer just about collecting and preserving dinosaur bones.

"We're more interested these days in how these animals lived, how they breathed, how they reproduced and how the whole ecosystem worked, so it's more like being a palaeoecologist rather than a treasure hunter."

That's where his team comes in. Its brief is to develop a chemical map of the Gobi Desert and match it with the chemical makeup of the repatriated fossils to pinpoint where the bones have been removed from.

"We have tiny lasers which tell us the chemical composition of the bones and rocks, and it's our theory that different rocks and the different bones that are in them will have different chemical elements that will signify where the bones came from," Dr Bell explained.

"We have laser guns and dinosaurs together at last," he laughed.

This will be the palaeontologist's third trip to Mongolia.

Dr Bell said the repatriation of fossils had led to some significant discoveries, and enabled scientists to solve some mysteries and discover new species.

"From these efforts to return fossils we are learning things we have never dreamed of," he said.

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Harumafuji beats Hakuho to claim 8th title

NAGOYA, July 24 (The Asahi Shimbun)--Yokozuna Harumafuji notched his eighth career championship by beating fellow Mongolian yokozuna Hakuho on July 24, the final day of the Nagoya Grand Sumo Tournament, and avoiding a three-man playoff.

Harumafuji's force-out win dashed the promotion hopes of ozeki Kisenosato to become the first Japanese-born yokozuna in 18 years since Wakanohana. Kisenosato won the penultimate bout to keep his chances for a playoff alive, which ended with Harumafuji's win in the day's final bout.

Harumafuji finished with a 13-2 record to capture his first title in four tourneys.

"I am genuinely happy," he said in an interview during the awards ceremony at the Aichi Prefectural Gym. "I came to the last day of the tournament, only thinking that I will fight so that I will never have any regrets."

Harumafuji has long been plagued by injuries. He said he was determined to take one day at a time and do his best.

"The accumulation of each day led me to the trophy," he said, adding he appreciates the unwavering support from his fans and spectators, in addition to his stable.

He also said that Nagoya is a lucky venue for him, saying that he has won three of his eight titles here.

"I like the Nagoya tournament, and I love the people of Nagoya," Harumafuji said.

Hakuho finished with a 10-5 mark after winning the championship in the previous two tourneys.

Hakuho, who boasts of a record 37 career titles, was knocked out of the race on Day 14 after Kisenosato dodged and forced him down to his fourth defeat.

Kisenosato finished with a 12-3 mark after defeating compatriot ozeki Goeido, who departed with a disappointing 7-8 record.

Fans have packed the arena in Nagoya during the 15-day tournament in hopes of seeing Kisenosato hoisting his first emperor's cup, which would have made it a virtual certainty that he would be promoted to sumo's highest rank.

Kisenosato has been long considered the strongest contender for yokozuna promotion among Japanese-born wrestlers. He posted impressive 13-2 records in his previous two tournaments. However, he has failed to win a championship in his long career.

Perhaps the most devastating blow to Kisenosato came on Day 13 when he was muscled out by Harumafuji, leaving the yokozuna the solo front-runner.

On the final day, Takanoiwa, a maegashira No. 10 from Mongolia, kept his hopes alive for a playoff by forcing out Yoshikaze after teetering at the edge and turning the tables on the maegashira No. 5.

Takanoiwa posted an outstanding 12-3 record while Yoshikaze finished at 10-5.

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Erchim FC: Mongolia's Football Powerhouse

The nine-time champions of Mongolia are owned by Thermal Power Plant No. 4, which provides Ulan Bator with its power and heat.

July 25 (HITC Sport) In the shadow of the cooling towers of Thermal Power Plant No. 4, Mongolia's dominant football force Erchim FC are preparing for their big test, the AFC Cup.

While the other teams in the Mongolian Premier League share the Mongolian Football Federation Stadium, Erchim have their own ground, which must rate amongst the most striking in the world. Off to one side is Power Plant No. 4, the facility that provides the vast majority of Ulan Bator's power, to the other you can see the beautiful mountains that surround Mongolia's capital.

Reigning champions Erchim have won Mongolia's top league nine times and currently lead the pack once more with 2014 champions Khoromkhon hot on their heels, but this year they are hoping to do Mongolia proud on the international stage at the AFC Cup (Asia's equivalent of the Europa League as Mongolia has no spot in the Asian Champions League).

While past results in Asian competitions haven't been the best, Mongolian football is on a high after the national team, rated 202nd in the world, recorded a much-needed and resounding 8-0 victory against the Northern Mariana Islands in the recent East Asian Cup qualification tournament in Guam.

It was a team largely composed of Erchim players and led by Erchim's young coach Tulga Zorigt, aided by English assistant boss Shadab Iftikhar. Iftikhar, a 26-year-old UEFA A License coach, is expected to link up with Tulga again for the AFC Cup and his renowned tactical expertise could help Erchim upset the odds.

Coach Tulga visited Barnet FC along with Erchim striker Soyol-Erdene Gal-Erdene and spent the month of January in North London learning from the coaches at The Hive. Known as a dynamic young coach determined to raise the profile of Mongolian football, this is Tulga's greatest opportunity to make his mark.

In a country where Premier League football is king but domestic football has often been overlooked, there's at last a feeling that Mongolian football is on the up. Erchim will be determined to prove that when they line up for their AFC Cup clashes with Cambodia's Nagaworld FC and Three Star Club of Nepal.

Can Erchim progress in the AFC Cup this time around? One thing is for certain: history has shown that you underestimate Mongolia at your peril...

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Rio 2016: 16-year-old girl to represent Mongolia

July 26 ( ESUI Bayaraa is the youngest athlete of the Mongolian Olympic Team. She will represent Mongolia in the 50-meter freestyle swimming at the 2016 Summer Olympics. 

She is 10th grade student at the 4th secondary school of Orhon aimag. B.Esui, just got 16 years old five days ago, is a promising athlete. She belongs to Mongolian National Team and Hangarid sport committee. 

Esui, began swimming at the age of six, have competed in 2014 Incheon Asian Games, World Cup and 2015 World Championships. At the International Open Competition held in Singapore, she set a new national record in the 50-meter freestyle with a time of 29:51. 

In 2016, she held the title of Sports Master at the Adults National Championship by winning in the 100-meter backstroke with a time of 1:11.36. 

Esui has prepared for the Olympics at the Azura swim camp, located in Miami, for a month with five athletes. Now she has arrived in Mongolia and continuing her preparation. Good luck to the youngest athlete of the Mongolian Olympic Team.

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Team Mongolia in Rio 2016 staying at Volta Redonda

Ulaanbaatar, July 26 (MONTSAME) Mongolian team for Rio 2016 has just settled in the Volta Redonda sports complex in Brazil. The Olympic team includes 24 judo wrestlers, 16 boxers, 3 archers, 4 taekwondo athletes, and 28 free-style wrestlers, along with their coaches, doctors and masseurs.

For the first time in Mongolia's Olympic history, a customized rental bus is running for services for the Mongolian athletes. With 45 seats the "Team Mongolia" bus is able to provide shuttle service at once for all 42 athletes, taking part in the Rio games.

It is decorated with Mongolian symbols and colors, designed by painter of the "Mongol Post" Company Ch.Bat-Erdene, Designer J.Gankhuyag and postcard specialist Ts.Adiyadorj.

The Chef of the Olympic team is Ts.Baigalmaa, an experienced nutritionist, a member of Mongolian Nutrition Society and consultant engineer of Mongolia. She is specialized in the nutrition and diets of the athletes who are in weight training.

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Bayangol FC – Trying to Do Things Differently in Mongolia

July 20 (The Football Experience) Lying between the giants of Russia and China in the East of Asia, Mongolia is a fascinating country that is more famous for its traditions and history than its football. The game is still in its relative infancy when compared to other Asian nations which is reflected in their current FIFA ranking.

Despite being the 19th largest land mass on the planet, the population is small with an estimated half the population leading a traditional, nomadic lifestyle. And with other sports such as wrestling, archery and horse-racing still dominating the sporting landscape, resources and talent are somewhat lacking in football.

Currently the Mongolian national team are ranked 202nd out of 205 in the FIFA rankings and have already seen their FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign ended by Timor-Leste after a 5-1 aggregate defeat. Timor-Leste are by no means a powerhouse in Asian football being just 17 places higher in the rankings, but the difference in quality was apparent with the Timorese victorious both home and away.

However, one project in the picturesque capital city of Ulaanbaatar, where most of the country's football teams are based is trying to develop the game in the country by putting their club, Bayangol FC on the footballing map.

Bayangol FC was founded in 2013 as a club for the regular people of Mongolia – one which is run in the right way – they have an ethical and charitable ethos which is already helping people who wouldn't otherwise have a chance better themselves – and all through football.

The challenges the club are facing are significant considering the lack of infrastructure, demographics and climatic conditions of the East Asian Steppes – remember this is a country where many of its inhabitants still lead a traditional nomadic lifestyle that has been practised for centuries.

This type of living means that families move their homes called Ger several times a year and deal with temperatures of around 30°C in summer and a huge swing to a severe -40°C in winter. Life in the country flourishes in summer but winter is about survival – football in the country mirrors the climate with teams reverting to futsal from October to April.

The Directors of the club are passionate and have a refreshing approach to implementing their ideas in the Mongolian game – it is just a matter of how and when they implement them. We were lucky enough to have an enjoyable, casual chat with one of them, Jimmy Kroeger who managed to spare an hour of his (very early) Sunday morning to discuss the project in more detail.

I began by asking how the club was formed three years ago.

Bayangol FC was formed in 2013 when one of the Directors, Enki Batsumber contacted Paul Watson (coach and author of Up Pohnpei) regarding his interest in setting up a club in the capital that was based on honesty and transparency. He was in the middle of setting up a new league format in the country, so an opportunity arose to build something special.

As a club we are very much against discrimination and corruption which is unfortunately part of the modern game. Mongolian football was pretty crooked, like FIFA as a whole with pretty much the entire Mongolian Football Federation (MFF) resigning at one point after a scandal linked to the FIFA Presidential elections.

Some questionable practices may still exist in Mongolian football, but we are basically anti everything that is wrong in football and will hopefully make a difference to local people's lives in the future.

How did you get involved in the club?

Finally, how is Bayangol FC run financially and how can people help out if they feel they have something to offer?

We are a very approachable and transparent club so if anyone has any ideas or would like to offer their help, please get in touch. You can find our email addresses on the site – we are always available to listen to new ideas and suggestions. Some of those relationships we develop will hopefully build into something bigger in the future.

In terms of finance, we are currently sponsored by Study UK, which is obviously based out of the UK. Recently we had around nine students from Universities such as Cambridge and Oxford come over to run some camps with local children – they of course played football, but more importantly travelled the country and taught the children English during their stay, which was a great experience for the youngsters.

We also rely on monetary donations through our own site and we currently have a crowdfunding page up on Tifosy. Our goal is to raise £3,000 to help us with the running costs that will see us through to the end of the season. There are different levels of contributions, whereby contributors can receive club scarves or shirts and even sponsor a player, etc. The campaign started on 27th June and will run until at least 8th August, 2016, so please check it out should you have an interest in the club and what we're doing.

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Art, Entertainment

Haranga tribute concert to be staged on July 30

Ulaanbaatar, July 26 (MONTSAME)  A concert dubbed "Tribute of Fame" will take place at the square of Chinggis Khaan at 21.00 on July 30 on the occasion of the award of "Star of Fame" is being given to The Kharanga, the famous rock band of Mongolia.

The 'stars of fame' will be presented to the members of The Kharanga at 13.00 that day.

The tribute concert is being organized by the Art and Culture Department of the UB City and directed by N.Khaliun.

Bands and artists, who made valuable contributions to the development of Mongolia's rock and pop cultures, are presented with the "Star of Fame" on July 30 of each year.

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12th Sunset Music Festival at Hotel Mongolia, July 29-30

July 26 ( The 12th Sunset Music Festival will take place at the Hotel Mongolia (Mongol Shiltgeen) in Gachuurt on July 29 and 30. Leading Mongolian DJs will attend the music festival, which will  be held under the theme 'Everybody, let's have fun in the fresh air, beautiful nature and on the silky sand'. Mongolian artists and groups such as 'Kiwi', 'Lumino', 'A Sound' and 'UFO' as well as Choijoo, G.Tenuun will be performing.  The party boasts high tech equipment, amazing live music performances, fireworks, audiovisual lightening and crystal clear sound, to name but a few. The ticket price is 20,000 MNT.

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Eric Nam, Seo In Guk, BTOB's Changsub, And More To Head To Mongolia For "Law Of The Jungle"

July 26 (Soompi) Some of the cast of the upcoming season of "Law of the Jungle" has been revealed!

On July 26, a source from SBS stated that Ye Ji WonPark Se YoungLee Chun HeeKim Min KyoEric Nam, and BTOB's Changsub will be starring in the upcoming Mongolia season of "Law of the Jungle."

In addition, on July 27, the production team of "Law of the Jungle" announced that actor Seo In Guk will be making his second appearance on the show by joining the cast in Mongolia.

According to the team, Seo In Guk has remained good friends with the show's producing director (PD) Kim Jin Ho since his last appearance on the show back in 2015, during the Indochina season. Seo In Guk is currently busy filming his drama "Squad 38," and he is said to have happily accepted Kim Jin Ho's offer to join the cast right after finishing up filming the show in early August.

More cast members are expected to be added, and it has not yet been decided which cast members will be in the first and which will be in the second half of the season.

The next season of "Law of the Jungle" is expected to premiere in early September. Meanwhile, the show is currently airing its season set in New Caledonia.

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Increase in tourists before Naadam

July 26 ( Tourist arrivals in Mongolia have been continually increasing. Before the Mongolian national festival of Naadam, earlier this month, the country received a total of 42,823 tourists; this represents a 9.7% increase compared to the same period in 2015.

Growth has been strongest among tourists from Japan (+9%), the USA (+0.4%), Russia (+18%), Germany (+0.5%), Australia (+50%), South Korea (+35%), and France (+38%). A decrease, however, has been observed among tourists from China (-3.8%) and the UK (-1.8%).

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33 thousand kilometer motorcycle cruise stops by Ulaanbaatar

Ulaanbaatar, July 26 (MONTSAME) Hungarian traveler Gabor Payer arrived today (July 26) in Ulaanbaatar, after cruising over 10 thousand kilometers on motorcycle all the way from Hungary to Mongolia, passing through 13 different countries. It has been eight days since he crossed Mongolian border through Bayan-Olgii province.

Payer's high school friend Ervin Kotezki initiated the cruise and the two started their preparations a couple of years ago. The friends repaired their motorcycles by themselves and spent one night each week in motels, spending other nights in tents. Payer used to work as an engineer in Switzerland, while his friend was an electrician in Austria. Two friends have named their travel "HUNomad", and are planning to overcome 33 thousand kilometers through 16 countries.

They intend to complete their journey within 120 days. The next stop is Lake Baikal, Russia, says Payer.

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