In Burma’s wildest corner, jade, drugs and rebels will test the new government

MYITKYINA, Burma — The jade tycoon of Burma lives behind stone walls and a sophisticated security system. A visitor must be buzzed through a gate into the garden, pass a hunk of jade as big as a compact refrigerator, enter through a sliding screen and glide by the preserved tusks of the family elephant before sitting […]

For businesses in Myanmar, the promise is unfulfilled

Six years ago, Jon North started collecting data on Myanmar. He bought maps, secured satellite imagery and started scouting. He has travelled the world kicking rocks, and liked what he saw in the Southeast Asian nation. A banana-shaped arc of young volcanic rock curves through the Southwest Pacific, and its gold deposits have fed rich […]

What’s so special about a white elephant?

The expression “white elephant” refers to a gift, typically cumbersome and large in size, that is difficult to dispose of and exorbitantly expensive to maintain. Like, say, something that eats 200 to 600 pounds of food in a single day. Legend holds that the king of Siam would bestow white elephants upon his wilier courtiers, […]