1 US-MONGOLIA 'THIRD NEIGHBOR TRADE ACT' ON THE WAY WWW.THEDIPLOMAT.COM PUBLISHED:2018/11/17      2 CHINA'S FIGHT AGAINST SMOG MAKES PALLADIUM 2018'S BEST METAL WWW.MINING.COM PUBLISHED:2018/11/17      3 MILLENNIUM CHALLENGE CORPORATION PRESENTS GMS LICENSES WWW.MONTSAME.MN PUBLISHED:2018/11/17      4 MONGOLIA CALLS FOR GLOBAL ATTENTION ON CLIMATE CHANGE WWW.NEWS.MN PUBLISHED:2018/11/17      5 ADB OPENS A NEW WASTEWATER TREATMENT PLANT IN ARVAIKHEER, MONGOLIA WWW.AGENPARL.EU PUBLISHED:2018/11/17      6 CHINA TO BOOST COOPERATION WITH INDIA, MONGOLIA: DEFENSE MINISTER WWW.GLOBALTIMES.CN PUBLISHED:2018/11/17      7 DEATH ON MONGOLIA’S ‘COAL ROAD’ WWW.NEWS.MN PUBLISHED:2018/11/17      8 MONGOLIA SHAKEN BY WIDENING LOAN SCANDAL WWW.ASIA.NIKKEI.COM PUBLISHED:2018/11/17      9 MONGOLIA’S UNEMPLOYMENT FALLS BY 2.2 PERCENT WWW.NEWS.MN PUBLISHED:2018/11/16      10 MEETING MEAT DEMAND: MONGOLIA TO TRADE 17.9 PERCENT OF LIVESTOCK WWW.NEWS.MN PUBLISHED:2018/11/16      БНСУ-ЫН АЖ АХУЙН НЭГЖҮҮДИЙН АУТСОРСИНГ ЗАХИАЛГЫГ ГҮЙЦЭТГЭХ ЗАЛУУЧУУДЫГ СОНГОН, ШАЛГАРУУЛНА WWW.UNUUDUR.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/11/17     НҮҮРСНИЙ ЭКСПОРТ 10 ХУВИАР ӨСӨЖ, 31.3 САЯ ТОНН БОЛОВ WWW.GOGO.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/11/17     СУДАЛГААГААР ЖДҮ ЭРХЛЭГЧИД ЗЭЭЛИЙН ХҮҮНИЙ ЗАРДАЛ ХАМГИЙН ИХ ХҮНДРЭЛ УЧРУУЛДАГ ГЭЖ ХАРИУЛЖЭЭ WWW.BLOOMBERGTV.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/11/17     ERDENE RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT: ХАЙГУУЛЫН ЗАРДАЛ III УЛИРАЛД 42 ХУВИАР БУУРСАН WWW.BLOOMBERGTV.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/11/17     ГОРХИ, ТЭРЭЛЖИЙН БАЙГАЛИЙН БОХИРДОЛД АНХААРАЛ ХАНДУУЛЖ ЭХЛЭВ WWW.MONTSAME.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/11/17     ИРЭХ БААСАН ГАРАГТ ХОТЫН ДАРГЫГ ОГЦРУУЛАХ ЭСЭХИЙГ ХЭЛЭЛЦЭНЭ WWW.MONTSAME.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/11/17     “АМГАЛАН” ХОТХОНД БАЙРЛАХ ГЭРТЭЭ КАННАБИС ТАРЬЖ, УРГУУЛЖ БАЙСАН ТУРК ИРГЭНИЙГ БАРИВЧИЛЖЭЭ WWW.MEDEE.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/11/17     ӨНӨӨДӨР АВТОМАШИНЫ ДУГААРЫН ХЯЗГААРЛАЛТ ҮЙЛЧЛЭХГҮЙ WWW.EAGLE.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/11/17     ГАШУУНСУХАЙТЫН НҮҮРСТЭЙ МАШИНЫ ЦУВАА 120 КМ БОЛЖЭЭ WWW.EAGLE.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/11/16     ТАТВАРЫН ОРЛОГО 32.2 ХУВИАР ӨСӨЖ, ТӨСВИЙН ТЭНЦЭЛ 341.9 ТЭРБУМ ТӨГРӨГИЙН АШИГТАЙ ГАРЛАА WWW.BLOOMBERGTV.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/11/16    

Events

Name organizer Where
Frontier's "Invest Mongolia Tokyo 2018" Frontier Securities Tokyo Japan
"Open to Export" ICC WTO International business award ICC WTO London

NEWS

64x64

Mongolia denies running secret casino in Moscow www.news.mn

Under headers, such as "Mongolian Consulate transformed into Casino", the Russian media reported Monday that a secret casino has been discovered in offices belonging to the Mongolian Embassy in the Arbat region of Moscow. D.Davaasuren, State Secretariat of Foreign Ministry has informed that Mongolian diplomatic representatives were no longer working in the building where the secret casino was being run. The articles noted, however, that the building was still the property of the Mongolian government. The illegal casino evidently advertised itself as a yoga centre; in reality, it attracted a wealthy predominately male clientele and was fully equipped with gaming tables and gambling machines. The embassy building was established in 1965. The Mongolian diplomatic representatives moved out of the building in 2007 after the Moscow City authorities warned of structural damage and the risk of collapse. However, a company called "Moscow Centre Region Style" LLC rented the building for 10 years in 2007. The rent agreement will end in September, 2017. The renters deny any secret casino and Mongolian officials are examining the issue.

...


64x64

Positioned for Belt and Road benefits www.gogo.mn

Relationship with southern neighbor China is key to Mongolia’s development potential as link between Asia and Europe.
A visit to China by Mongolia’s foreign minister late last month marked a significant and positive shift in the relations between the two countries and facilitated the implementation of an economic bailout package that Mongolia badly needs.
On Feb 20, just as Mongolian Foreign Minister Tsend Munkh-Orgil visited Beijing, China joined an international consortium to provide Mongolia with a series of loans to ensure the country has enough cash on hand to cover payments on some so-called Chinggis Bonds that are coming due this month.
China’s part of the package included a commitment to extending a currency swap line worth 15 billion yuan ($2.18 billion).
Mongolia had angered China in November by allowing a visit by the 14th Dalai Lama, who has pushed for separating Tibet from China.
In January, during a phone call between Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Munkh-Orgil, Mongolia said it had reflected deeply on the visit and promised to not allow the Dalai Lama to visit again.
On Feb 20, Wang said the bilateral relationship “is ready for another start”.
Just five years ago, Mongolia was the fastest growing economy in the world with GDP expanding by more than 17 percent. In 2016, the country barely avoided a contraction, and only managed growth of about 1 percent thanks to a resurgence in coal prices toward the end of the year.
“The economy (of Mongolia) has been slowing in addition to the softening of commodity prices, but in terms of the near-term outlook I would say it is positive,” said Akiko Terada-Hagiwara, a senior economist in the East Asia department of the Asian Development Bank.
Long reliant on its plentiful natural resources, Mongolia has other needs, not the least of which is infrastructure to facilitate further growth.
“In terms of infrastructure, the country needs to build a lot. Electricity demand is high … but they will need to shift to clean energy,” said Terada-Hagiwara. “In terms of growth, probably more infrastructure is needed around the mining areas, including transportation and water supply.”
And both the investment and markets that Mongolia needs are in China. Mongolia depends on China for much more than just quick cash to stave off a default.
The country is likely to benefit from infrastructure projects associated with the Belt and Road Initiative, a China-led drive to improve connectivity along the historical Silk Road trading routes.
A landlocked country of 3.1 million people, Mongolia has just two neighbors, China and Russia. Without access to ports, Mongolian coal has to be transported overland.
The country has been working with a number of international companies, including large Chinese enterprises, to develop mega projects but it has yet to overcome a bottleneck caused by a lack of railway capacity.
That is why Mongolia could emerge as one of the biggest beneficiaries of the Belt and Road and become a pivotal link between Asia and Europe. One leg of a proposed Eurasian rail link would travel through Mongolia.
Little of this is likely to happen, however, without support from China.
Mongolia’s neighbor has long been the largest export market for its goods, including coal, milk, copper, gold, cashmere and leather. By the end of 2016, China bought some 80 percent of Mongolia’s exports. At the same time, China provided about a third of Mongolia’s own imports.
This year, the development of the Oyu Tolgoi gold and copper mine, which has long been delayed, is coming online and is expected to be a big driver of economic growth and should help keep the economy in positive territory.
The Oyu Tolgoi mine is operated by multinational mining giant Rio Tinto which started construction of the mine in 2010 but production was stopped in 2013 after a disagreement over costs and revenue sharing between the company and the Mongolian government. Shipments started again in 2015.
Copper and gold are two of Mongolia’s many plentiful natural resources.
However, the country may be most famous for its coal deposits. Most coal mined in Mongolia goes to China.
“Coal has to be exported to China but currently most of it is done by truck. If they had trains going to China that would be more efficient but currently they don’t,” said Terada-Hagiwara.
Most coal moves out of Mongolia’s giant mines such as Tavan Tolgoi in large trucks that, on good days, flow relentlessly into China through border crossings along the Inner Mongolia autonomous region.
There are occasionally hiccups — the flow was temporarily stopped in December when some border townships such as Urad Middle Banner raised fees to cross into China.
It is only when it reaches the other side of the Chinese border that the coal can finally be loaded into trains and distributed throughout the country.
For China, having access to high quality coal from nearby Mongolia is a boon.
Thomas Hugger, founder and CEO of Asia Frontier Capital, a fund that invests in Mongolia and Mongolia-focused companies, noted that China has to source other commodities from around the world, while for coal “they have some of the best resources at their doorstep”.
The timing may also be good for Mongolia, said Hugger, because “China just announced that it will stop importing coal from North Korea, and that is huge for Mongolia”.
China has been keen to work with Mongolia to develop projects that give it access to coal, often at prices below the global market price.
In December, the Mongolian government met with representatives of Shenhua Coal, a major Chinese State-owned enterprise, which is considering taking over the development of the giant Tavan Tolgoi mine from Mongolian government-owned Erdenes Tavan Tolgoi.
The one outstanding issue is a $350 million loan that Erdenes owes to another Chinese company, Chalco.
Mongolia’s Prime Minister Jargaltulga Erdenebat is likely to attend the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in China, which will take place in May.
Mongolia is also looking to boost ties with Russia. The two countries signed a cooperation agreement in February during a visit by the Mongolian foreign minister.
The tripartite program to establish the Mongolia-Russia-China Economic Corridor is also being discussed. The idea for an economic corridor between the three countries was first floated in 2015 and cemented in June 2016 during the 16th Summit of State Heads of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, of which all three countries are members.
The corridor fits in well with the Belt and Road strategy, which was initiated by President Xi Jinping in 2013.
“I am happy with the way our trilateral ties are developing,” said Xi in June 2016. “Our three countries’ ministries, local authorities and companies are working actively to implement this road map, and are organizing intensive coordination of projects in trade, the economy, humanitarian ties, transit traffic, tourism and sports.”
Source: www.chinadailyasia.com

...


64x64

Life expectancy for Mongolian women increasing www.montsame.mn

Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/ Mongolians are celebrating International Women’s Day for the 62th time since 1955 when the day was first marked following an ordinance issued by People’s Great Khural, the then Parliament.

In dedication to the occasion, we are unveiling some interesting statistics on the state of Mongolian women. Mongolia’s population is 3,119,935, and there are 1,585,952 women, 69 percent of whom live in a city and 31 percent live in the countryside.

On average, Mongolian women weigh 59.4 kg with average height being 157.7 cm. Life expectancy in Mongolia is 69.89 whereas the number is 76 for women and is continually increasing.

Average marriage age among Mongolian women is 24.5, average number of children is 2-3 and 4.9 percent are single mothers.

1 out of every 5 woman holds higher education diploma, and 580,100 women are employed with average wage being MNT 808,900. 54 percent of Mongolian women actively vote.

...


64x64

Beijing listed as billionaire capital of world once again www.chinadaily.com.cn

 
Beijing is listed as the billionaire capital of the world for the second year running, ahead of New York, and followed by Hong Kong and Shenzhen, according to the latest findings in the Hurun Global Rich List 2017 released on Tuesday.
 
Bill Gates remains the richest man in the world with a net wealth of $81 billion, and Warren Buffett held onto the second place with $78 billion. Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon.com Inc, reached the top three for the first time, after his wealth surged 37 percent to $72 billion.
 
The total number of Chinese billionaires exceeded that of the United States for the second year running. China and the US, with 609 and 552 billionaires respectively, accounted for half of the billionaires worldwide, the report said.
 
Globally, the logistics and retail sectors performed the best, gaining 15 percent and 13 percent respectively, in terms of the number of billionaires.
 
Meanwhile, Germany had the third-largest number of billionaires this year, surpassing India. The United Arab Emirates and Indonesia broke into the top 20 for the first time.
 
"Shenzhen and Hong Kong now have one of the highest concentrations of wealth in the world, ahead of even California, the state with the most billionaires in the US," said Rupert Hoogewerf, chairman and chief researcher of Hurun Report.
 
"Global wealth is being concentrated in the hands of the billionaires at a rate far exceeding global growth," Hoogewerf added.
 
China added 41 billionaires over last year and their average age was 58, younger than the global average of 64.
 
The IPO of Chinese leading delivery and logistics firm SF Express Group Co in February made Wang Wei, the CEO of the company, the third-richest man in China.
 
His wealth surged fivefold to $27 billion, just behind Dalian Wanda's Wang Jianlin with $30 billion and Alibaba's Jack Ma with $29 billion.
 
In China, the real estate sector generated the biggest number of billionaires, followed by the manufacturing, technology, media, and telecom industries.
 
At the same time, 15 percent of the billionaires were women. Among the 152 women who made the fortunes by themselves, Chinese led the way with 121.
 
"China is indisputably now the best place in the world to be a female entrepreneur," Hoogewerf said.
...


64x64

Solar power growth leaps by 50% worldwide thanks to US and China www.theguardian.com

 
The amount of solar power added worldwide soared by some 50% last year because of a sun rush in the US and China, new figures show.
 
New solar photovoltaic capacity installed in 2016 reached more than 76 gigawatts, a dramatic increase on the 50GW installed the year before. China and the US led the surge, with both countries almost doubling the amount of solar they added in 2015, according to data compiled by Europe’s solar power trade body.
 
Globally there is now 305GW of solar power capacity, up from around 50GW in 2010 and virtually nothing at the turn of the millennium.
 
The industry called the growth “very significant” and said the technology was a crucial way for the world to meet its climate change commitments.
 
James Watson, the chief executive of SolarPower Europe, said: “In order to meet the Paris [climate agreement] targets, it would be important if solar could continue its rapid growth. The global solar industry is ready to do that, and can even speed up.”
 
In the UK the amount of solar power installed in 2016 fell by about half on the record level added the year before. The drop came after the government drastically cut incentives for householders to fit solar panels and ended subsidies for large-scale “solar farms”.
 
But despite the slowdown, the UK still led Europe for solar growth with 29% of new capacity, followed by Germany with 21% and France with 8.3%. Germany, which moved several years ago to subsidise and build a solar industry, still retains the crown for total solar capacity capacity, with Italy second top.
 
“We need to build a major industrial project around solar and renewables. To start with, increasing the 2030 renewable energy target to at least 35% [up from 27%] will send a strong signal that Europe is back in the solar business,” said Alexandre Roesch, policy director at SolarPower Europe.
 
European solar companies have also been urging the European commission to rethink the anti-dumping tariffs it imposed on Chinese solar panels in 2013. The commission is looking to extend the tariffs by 18 months, shorter than previously planned, after opposition to them from member states.
 
Nearly half of the solar installed last year was in China, with Asia as a whole making up two-thirds of new capacity in 2016.
 
Solar is still a relative minnow in the electricity mix of most countries, the figures show. Even where the technology has been embraced most enthusiastically, such as in Europe, solar on average provides 4% of electricity demand.
...


64x64

Brazil's recession worst on record www.bbc.com

 
Brazil has been in recession for two years, the latest figures show, marking the deepest economic decline since records began.
The economy contracted by 3.6% in 2016, meaning it is now 8% smaller than it was in December 2014.
The country has been hard hit by the fall in commodity prices and an internal political crisis that has undermined investor confidence.
However, analysts believe the economy should start to pick up from here.
The two-year slump has seen the number of unemployed rise by 76% to 12.9 million, a rate of 12.6%.
Brazil was once one of the fastest-growing economies in the world, the 'B' in the Brics group of nations regarded by many investors are having the world's best growth potential.
Its key exports - including oil, soy and metals, were in hot demand.
But as growth in the biggest element of that grouping, China, began to slow so did demand for commodities and their prices.
Another drag factor has been corruption, which has engulfed Brazilian society at the highest levels, seeing off its President, Dilma Rousseff for illegally manipulating government accounts, and involving some of the country's biggest and best-known companies.
...


64x64

Chinese Tourists in Moscow Urged Not to Hug Russian Children www.themoscowtimes.com

The Chinese Embassy in Moscow is urging Chinese tourists not to try and touch or hug Russian children when visiting the capital.

The embassy included the advice in a special six-part video series, informing Chinese tourists about Russian traditions and etiquette.

Other helpful tips include asking Chinese tourists not to climb on trees or monuments, not to speak loudly while on the Moscow metro, and to queue correctly in shops and restaurants.

It also prepares vital advice on the correct flowers to give during a Russian wedding ceremony.

The number of Chinese tourists in Russia continues to rise, with many government tourist attractions and high-end department stores working to accommodate the new wave of visitors. More than 1.3 million Chinese tourists visited Russia in 2015, according to the Federal Tourism Agency — a 64 percent increase from 2014.

...


64x64

Britain's CO2 emissions at levels not seen since 1894 www.mining.com

While newly-minted President Donald Trump is fighting to get coal back in the energy game, on the other side of the pond the fossil fuel is decidedly out of fashion.

The closure of coal mines, including the last British underground coal mine in 2015, is part of a global trend away from coal, as countries transition to less polluting natural gas and renewables.

The effect of the mine closures, along with the shuttering of coal-fired power stations – three closed in 2016 – has meant a dramatic fall in greenhouse gas emissions for the island nation.

According to Carbon Brief, an energy and climate science website, with the use of British coal used for electricity at record lows, carbon emissions in 2016 were about 381 million tonnes. New Scientist points out that with greenhouse gas escapes dropping almost 6% in 2016, the UK's carbon pollution is at its lowest level since 1894:

Emissions of carbon dioxide from coal fell 50 per cent in 2016 as use of the fossil fuel dropped by 52 per cent, contributing to an overall drop in carbon output of 5.8 per cent last year compared with 2015, Carbon Brief said.

The assessment reveals that coal use has fallen by almost three-quarters in just a decade.
New Scientist names cheaper natural gas, a hike in carbon taxes, expansion of renewable energy, less demand for overall energy, and the closure of Redcar steelworks in late 2015, as all factors resulting in cleaner air. Although, it points out that carbon from natural gas use rose 12.5%, and emissions from oil increased 1.6% due to lower gasoline prices.

Over 20% of the United Kingdom's energy needs are still met by coal, which is mostly imported. Since 2000, U.K. power generators Electricite de France SA to RWE AG have bought more of the fuel from abroad, where coal from Australia to Colombia is cheaper, according to the Confederation of U.K. Coal Producers.

...


64x64

Copper price falls to 8-week low www.mining.com

In New York on Tuesday copper for delivery in May fell as much as 1.7% to $2.6080 per pound or $5,750 a tonne after a surge in warehouse stocks in Asia limiting the impact of supply disruptions at the world's biggest mines.

Reuters reports copper inventories at facilities controlled by the LME unexpectedly jumped by almost 39,000 tonnes, the biggest inflow in more than a decade and reversing a downtrend in place since mid-December. Shanghai Exchange stocks jumped by 24,000 tonnes to total 320,000 tonnes, an 11-month high.

In February copper jumped to its highest level since May 2015 after workers at BHP Billiton's giant Escondida mine in Chile first went on strike, but a slowdown in China which consumes some 46% of the world's copper and diminishing prospects of a bold infrastructure program in the US have shifted market attention to demand strength.

In 2006, the company went door to door talking to workers’ wives, trying to convince them to tell their husbands to go back to work
The strike by the main union representing 2,500 workers at Escondida, the world's largest copper operation by a wide margin, already in its 26th day shows no signs of ending. Protestors again blocked access to the mine on Tuesday, while management appears to be awaiting the 30-day deadline that will allow it to make individual offers to workers to return to duties.

Bloomberg explains that should more than 50% of workers accept BHP's individual proposals the union will legally have to end the strike although the union said it's prepared to hold out for 60 days:

"In 2006, the company went door to door talking to workers’ wives, trying to convince them to tell their husbands to go back to work," Carlos Allendes, a union spokesman said. "We understand that their policy will be exactly the same this time."

The previous labour strike in 2006 ended after 25 days. The previous wage deal was signed four years ago copper was trading around $3.40 a pound.

BHP, which operates and majority owns the mine with fellow Melbourne diversified giant Rio Tinto, declared force majeure at the mine on February 10. In its annual financial results BHP said it expected full-year production at Escondida of 1.07 million tonnes, which gives the mine a nearly 5% shares of global primary copper production.

Peru strike adds to Freeport woes
In Peru top listed copper producer Freeport McMoRan's Cerro Verde mine which recently underwent a massive expansion has also been hit by labour action. The mine union said workers will walk off the job on Friday for a five-day period, but both representatives from the union and mine management did not rule out an indefinite strike Reuters reports. Cerro Verde last year more than doubled its copper output to a shade under 500,000 tonnes.

Freeports Grasberg mine faces a concentrate export ban as it negotiates a new operating licence and ownership agreements from the government of the Asian nation. Last week Phoenix-Arizona-based Freeport said last week it saw not return to business as usual at its operating subsidiary in the country.

PT-FI is in the process of suspending its investments in Papua and reducing production by roughly 60% from normal levels. In January Freeport said for each month of delay in obtaining approval to export, the Indonesian subsidiary's share of production is projected to be reduced by approximately 32,000 tonnes of copper and 100,000 ounces of gold.

...


64x64

WikiLeaks says it releases files on CIA cyber spying tools www.reuters.com

Anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks on Tuesday published what it said were thousands of pages of internal CIA discussions about hacking techniques used over several years, renewing concerns about the security of consumer electronics and embarrassing yet another U.S. intelligence agency.

The discussion transcripts showed that CIA hackers could get into Apple Inc iPhones, Google Inc Android devices and other gadgets in order to capture text and voice messages before they were encrypted with sophisticated software.

Cyber security experts disagreed about the extent of the fallout from the data dump, but said a lot would depend on whether WikiLeaks followed through on a threat to publish the actual hacking tools that could do damage.

Reuters could not immediately verify the contents of the published documents, but several contractors and private cyber security experts said the materials, dated between 2013 and 2016, appeared to be legitimate.

A longtime intelligence contractor with expertise in U.S. hacking tools told Reuters the documents included correct "cover" terms describing active cyber programs.

Among the most noteworthy WikiLeaks claims is that the Central Intelligence Agency, in partnership with other U.S. and foreign agencies, has been able to bypass the encryption on popular messaging apps such as WhatsApp, Telegram and Signal.

The files did not indicate the actual encryption of Signal or other secure messaging apps had been compromised.

The information in what WikiLeaks said were 7,818 web pages with 943 attachments appears to represent the latest breach in recent years of classified material from U.S. intelligence agencies.

Security experts differed over how much the disclosures could damage U.S. cyber espionage. Many said that, while harmful, they do not compare to former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden's revelations in 2013 of mass NSA data collection.

"This is a big dump about extremely sophisticated tools that can be used to target individual user devices ... I haven’t yet come across the mass exploiting of mobile devices," said Tarah Wheeler, senior director of engineering and principal security advocate for Symantec.

Stuart McClure, CEO of Cylance, an Irvine, California, cyber security firm, said that one of the most significant disclosures shows how CIA hackers cover their tracks by leaving electronic trails suggesting they are from Russia, China and Iran rather than the United States.

Other revelations show how the CIA took advantage of vulnerabilities that are known, if not widely publicized.

In one case, the documents say, U.S. and British personnel, under a program known as Weeping Angel, developed ways to take over a Samsung smart television, making it appear it was off when in fact it was recording conversations in the room.

The CIA and White House declined comment. "We do not comment on the authenticity or content of purported intelligence documents," CIA spokesman Jonathan Liu said in a statement.

Google declined to comment on the purported hacking of its Android platform, but said it was investigating the matter.

Snowden on Twitter said the files amount to the first public evidence that the U.S. government secretly buys software to exploit technology, referring to a table published by WikiLeaks that appeared to list various Apple iOS flaws purchased by the CIA and other intelligence agencies.

Apple Inc did not respond to a request for comment.

The documents refer to means for accessing phones directly in order to catch messages before they are protected by end-to-end encryption tools like Signal.

Signal inventor Moxie Marlinspike said he took that as "confirmation that what we’re doing is working." Signal and the like are "pushing intelligence agencies from a world of undetectable mass surveillance to a world where they have to use expensive, high-risk, extremely targeted attacks."

...