Battling for Blood Jade: Inside One of the World’s Most Dangerous Industries

When the earth collapsed, as it does nearly every day in the jade hills of Myanmar, Ye Min Naing was poised on a steep slope of rubble and scree. It was a rainy night six months ago, at the tail end of the monsoons. A truck with wheels the height of a man had just […]

Myanmar faces entrenched drug problem

Yangon, Myanmar – The eradication of illegal narcotics has been declared a top priority by Myanmar’s new civilian government under Nobel Peace laureate Aung San Suu Kyi. State Chancellor Suu Kyi instructed government ministers to implement a ramped-up, 100-day plan at the start of May, according to U Zaw Htay, deputy director general of the President’s Office. […]

Myanmar’s coffee growers bank on specialty niche

MANDALAY, Myanmar — When Tin Win Win opened Fuji Coffee House and Restaurant in Yangon in 1996, she had to make special trips abroad to source quality coffee beans. “She used to hand carry back Brazilian and African beans and process them with a mini-roaster,” recalled her son, Thu Zaw, who now heads the family’s […]

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 […]