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In Mongolia, Kerry seeks closer ties with democracy ‘oasis’
ULAANBAATAR, Mongolia — Cultivating closer ties in this land of Genghis Khan lore and traditional yurts, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Sunday tried his hand at archery, sampled curdled cheese and watched ancient wrestling, all while hailing Mongolia as a modern “oasis of democracy” in its neighborhood.
The world’s best and worst places to die, ranked
No one likes to think about the end, even if everyone knows it’s coming. We prefer to prepare for more joyful milestones: birthdays and marriages, graduations and employment. These all factor into our measures of well-being — our quality of life.
From Russia to Iran, the consequences of the global oil bust
While we have been watching the Islamic State and discussing Iran, something much bigger is happening in the world. We are witnessing a historic fall in the price of oil, down more than 50 percent in less than a year. When a similar drop happened in the 1980s, the Soviet Union collapsed. What will it [...]
Could a mask maker’s quest to see the Dalai Lama bring about world peace?
Gankhuyag “Ganna” Natsag’s journey, or at least one leg of it, started after midnight in New Delhi. Under a dark December sky, the Mongolian American artist boarded a minibus with six other passengers and several large boxes. The one labeled “fragile” contained the culmination of his life’s work.
In China’s Inner Mongolia, mining spells misery for traditional herders
When the wind blew in their direction, smoke and dust from a huge aluminum smelter would drift across the grasslands where herders had grazed their flocks for generations in China’s Inner Mongolia.
China’s ‘creeping invasion’
A few months ago it looked like East Asia might be the place where the crumbling global order of the past quarter-century, centered on U.S. power and values, would face a decisive crisis. Chinese boats, planes and oil rigs were pressing into territories claimed by Japan, Vietnam and the Philippines; there was anti-Japanese fervor in [...]
North Korea has reportedly banned Choco Pies
The North Korean border has never been a hospitable place. It’s home to mines, guard towers and guns — all of it an intractable symbol of the animosity between the North and the South. But just six miles into North Korea sits a sprawling complex of factories, where today a very different type of struggle [...]
These 10 countries are set to be the fastest-growing economies in 2014
The Economist Intelligence Unit has released its projections for economic growth in 2014, including the economies that are expected to grow the most this year. The results are telling – and have implications way beyond these 10 countries.
NSA infiltrates links to Yahoo, Google data centers worldwide, Snowden documents say
The National Security Agency has secretly broken into the main communications links that connect Yahoo and Google data centers around the world, according to documents obtained from former NSA contractor Edward Snowden and interviews with knowledgeable officials.
The Swedish model for economic recovery
Europe has been the source of unremitting gloom and doom for four years. The euro crisis has threatened the global economy. Most Americans, and many Europeans, have become exasperated with European nations’ failure to respond decisively to their troubles.
‘No Such Agency’ spies on the communications of the world
The National Security Agency, nicknamed “No Such Agency” because of its ultra-secrecy, is the government’s eavesdropper-in-chief.
Mongolia, amid influx of foreign money, clashes with a major partner, mining giant Rio Tinto
Outside, it’s minus 22 degrees as a February wind blasts across the Central Asian steppe and through the Mongolian capital, Ulaanbaatar. Inside Government House, President Tsakhia Elbegdorj delivers a televised speech that simultaneously warms his people and chills foreign investors.
Mongolian general under investigation in attempted sale of fighters to North Korea
ULAN BATOR, Mongolia — Mongolia’s anti-corruption agency is investigating the recently resigned commander of the Mongolian air force for attempting to sell the engines and other parts of old Russian-made jet fighters to North Korea.
Ninja miners: Four pitfalls for Mongolia’s astonishing growth
Traditionally, Mongolian life has been based around herding, with nomadic families sleeping in yurts and tending livestock. That’s why it’s surprising to hear stories like that of Khorloo, a 65-year-old Mongolian who spends her days digging through the Mongolian steppe with metal detectors and shovels, plucking out the occasional gold nugget after days of scratching [...]
Mandalay Capital, Myanmar’s first investment bank, taps Mongolia funds for local entrepreneurs
YANGON, Myanmar — Alisher Ali knew on the morning of his second day in Myanmar that the long-closed country was a risk worth taking. Less than two months later he moved his wife and four children to crumbling, tree-lined Yangon and opened Myanmar’s first-ever investment bank with $1 million of his own money.
In Mongolia, Clinton argues for free markets with democracy in Asia, challenging Chinese model
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton took aim Monday at China’s model of economic growth without democracy, arguing that it undermines long-term prospects and urging other Asian countries to expand markets and political freedom at the same time.
Opposition bests ruling party in tight Mongolian vote centered on spending a mining windfall
ULAN BATOR, Mongolia — The opposition Democratic Party edged out Mongolia’s ruling party in a tightly contested legislative election that centered on how best to use the wealth generated by the still poor but fast-developing country’s mining boom.
Mongolian coal miner says production to stop amid controversy over Chinese acquisition bid
The operator of a Mongolian coal mine that is at the center of a controversy over a Chinese acquisition bid said Tuesday it will stop production this month.
Twitter’s role in 2012 presidential campaign extends beyond 140 characters
NEW YORK — (at)BarackObama is on Twitter. So is (at)MittRomney. And so are all the voters following the 2012 presidential contest, whether they know it or not.
Case in Point: How lousy growth can make for a great stock
The big idea: In April 2011, an equity investor can buy stock in America’s fastest-growing company, Ivanhoe Mines, or the most rapidly contracting company, Questar. For an investor seeking to maximize returns, which stock makes the better investment?
Kim Jong Il, North Korean leader, is dead at age 69
Kim Jong Il, the North Korean leader who threatened the world with his nuclear weapons ambitions and suppressed his own people with imprisonment and isolation, left in the wake of his death an antiquated country with a power vacuum.
In China, Google Earth reveals unidentified structures
Few roadways cross the wide expanse of the Gobi desert, but thanks to Google Earth satellite technology a few structures have been spotted dotting the arid landscape. Against a background of brown, the glowing blue squares and criss-crossed lines have spurred heavy Internet speculation as to what China has built out in the emptiness of [...]
Dalai Lama makes low-key visit to Mongolia as neighboring China protests
The Dalai Lama began a series of lectures to Buddhists in Mongolia on Tuesday in a low-key visit which nonetheless drew a protest from neighboring China. The Tibetan spiritual leader spoke at a Chinese-built sports stadium on the outskirts of Ulan Bator that underscored the economic sway that Beijing exercises over landlocked and largely poor [...]
Czechs to fly more rare wild horses to Mongolia to reintroduce them to native habitat
The Prague Zoo says it will transport more rare wild horses to Mongolia next year as part of its efforts to reintroduce the endangered species to its native habitat. The zoo moved four of its Przewalski horses to the western Mongolian reserve of Khomiin Tal in June.
European leaders reach agreement on plan to stem debt crisis
ATHENS — European leaders moved early Thursday to stem the debt crisis gripping the continent by agreeing to a plan that imposes steep losses on investors holding troubled Greek bonds and boosts the firepower of the region’s bailout fund to as much as a trillion dollars. After marathon negotiations that continued well past midnight, European [...]
Another country to appease — North Korea now
The Obama administration never tires of trying to curry favor with despotic regimes. They’ve tried soothing words and unilateral gestures with China, Iran, Russia, and Cuba. None of this paid dividends for the U.S. The regimes have become more repressive at home and more aggressive abroad. So naturally, it’s time to repeat the same error [...]
WHO: Cities in Iran, South Asia among worst worldwide for pollution
Cities in Iran, India, Pakistan and the capital of Mongolia rank among the worst on the planet for air pollution, while those in the U.S. and Canada are among the best, according to the first global survey by the World Health Organization. The southwest Iranian city of Ahvaz walked away with the unfortunate distinction of [...]
Mongolian government demands bigger stake in gold, copper mine
ULAN BATOR, Mongolia — Mongolia’s government is demanding a bigger stake in the massive gold and copper mine it is developing in conjunction with mining companies Rio Tinto and Ivanhoe. A statement released by the government this week says the Cabinet had asked the ministers of finance and minerals to re-negotiate an investment agreement signed [...]
Leaders of foreign students protesting Pa. chocolate plant conditions reject proposed trip
Companies involved in employing foreign students who walked off their jobs in protest at a facility that serves the Hershey chocolate manufacturer on Friday developed a plan to send the students on a trip to see some of the United States’ cultural and historical landmarks, but leaders of the protesting students rejected the idea flatly.
A showdown over traditional throat singing divides China and Mongolia
ULAANBAATAR, Mongolia — For nearly two decades, Odsuren Baatar, a master of Mongolian throat singing, has been visiting China to teach his craft — making the human voice soar, quiver and drone, its pitches in eerie unison like a bagpipe.