Monday, December 24, 2012

NEWS: Mongolia in the News - Dec 24

  • The Wall Street Journal (USA) Dec 24
    Bus Lanes Catch On Across Asia — Could They Work Elsewhere?

    Derided by some as a waste of money and space, Jakarta’s dedicated bus lanes have proved a popular poor man’s metro, helping to ease some of the traffic mess in this metropolis of 20 million as the government fails to deliver on more ambitious rail projects. The Transjakarta Busway network of empty strips of pavement carved out of the city’s ever-worsening car congestion is the world’s longest of its kind and has become a model for other cities in Asia struggling to ease traffic jams with limited resources. (continued)
    Bus lanes in Seoul

  • Mother Jones (USA) Dec 18
    World Bank Says Poor People Need Coal

    Last week, I reported on environmental groups calling foul on the World Bank for even considering a proposal to finance a new coal-fired power plant in Mongolia. Funding the Oyu Tolgoi copper and gold mine project, which also includes a 750 megawatt coal plant, was out of line with the Bank's stated concern that the world is heading to devastating and irreversible climate consequences. Rio Tinto has asked the World Bank Group's private funding arm, International Finance Corporation, for part of the money needed to start construction on the project. IFC was not able to comment at press time, but did send a lengthy email response on Tuesday. Basically they argue that poor nations need energy, that the World Bank is increasingly shifting its focus toward renewables, and that renewable energy can't meet all of Mongolia's needs. (continued)

  • National The Australian - National Affairs (Australia) Dec 24
    Freed Aussie lawyer Sarah Armstrong leaves Mongolia

    AN Australian lawyer who had been barred from leaving Mongolia has been cleared of involvement in a corruption case and had left the country tonight. Sarah Armstrong's mother Yvonne confirmed to The Australian that her daughter had been released and was due to arrive in Australia tomorrow night. "She's on the plane now, that has been my biggest worry," Mrs Armstrong said. "It was the plan that she was to arrive tomorrow night, but I still need conformation of that." It is understood Ms Armstrong will fly from Ulan Bator to Bejing then on to Hong Kong. She is due to arrive in Sydney tomorrow morning before heading to her parents' home in Launceston. Foreign minister Bob Carr tonight applauded the decision of the Mongolian authorities to release Ms Armstrong. "This is great news for Sarah and her family," Senator Carr said. (continued)

  • Radio Australia (Australia) Dec 24
    Christmas in Mongolia

    Harsh and bitter winters are not a new weather phenomenon in Mongolia and this Christmas is no different. The night temperature could plummet to minus-forty degreess celcius. Amy Hunter is one of about 100 volunteers the Australian Red Cross has sent to developing countries across the world. She has spent the past nine months in Ulaan Bator as a youth development officer and is spending her first Christmas in chilly Mongolia. AUDIO (continued)