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Extra! Scant Chinese Newspaper Coverage Of Market Crash

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Guangming Daily, Aug. 25, 2015

Even as it dominates headlines around the world, the Chinese stock market crash is getting notably scant coverage at home.

After a record drop in share prices at week's opening, the front page of national state-run newspaper Guangming Dailymade no mention at all of the stock exchange and accompanying fears for the Chinese and world economy. The newspaper instead featured stories on the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, national war memorial facilities and China's plans to pardon four categories of criminals on the occasion of commemorating the 70th anniversary of victory of the war against Japan.

The Beijing Evening News focused on foreign leaders visiting China and the World Track and Field Championships that the capital is hosting. The daily did make a passing reference ahead of Tuesday's opening to the "Opening of the stock market — A direct test of the 3,000-point mark."

The only front-page reference to the crisis in Tuesday's edition of The Beijing Daily was a small row of words on the bottom right, noting, "Global stock markets' black Monday —Shanghai plummeted 8.49%."

On Tuesday, the Chinese stock market continued to tank, with the Shanghai Composite index closing down 7.6% at 2,964.97 points.

But some state-run Chinese newspapers are attempting to tackle the issue. Xinhua's Economic Information Daily urged the government not to intervene in the stock market. "The purpose of the government's intervention is to control financial risks and not to lift up the equity market."

ABOUT THE SOURCE: Guangming Daily is a nationwide Chinese newspaper founded in 1949, and run by the Central Committe of the Communist Party of China. It is said to target Chinese intellectuals.

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Inside The Search For Record-Breaking Sapphires In A Remote Indian Valley

A vast stretch of mountains in India's Padder Valley is believed to house sapphire reserves worth $1.2 billion, which could change the fate of one of the poorest districts of Jammu and Kashmir.

Photo of sapphire miners at work in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kishtwar district

Sapphire mining in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kishtwar district

Jehangir Ali

GULABGARH — Mohammad Abbas recalls with excitement the old days when he joined the hunt in the mountains of Jammu and Kashmir’s Kishtwar district to search the world’s most precious sapphires.

Kishtwar’s sapphire mines are hidden in the inaccessible mountains towering at an altitude of nearly 16,000 feet, around Sumchan and Bilakoth areas of Padder Valley in Machail – which is one of the most remote regions of Jammu and Kashmir.

“Up there, the weather is harsh and very unpredictable,” Abbas, a farmer, said. “One moment the high altitude sun is peeling off your skin and the next you could get frostbite. Many labourers couldn’t stand those tough conditions and fled.”

Abbas, 56, added with a smile: “But those who stayed earned their reward, too.”

A vast stretch of mountains in Padder Valley nestled along Kishtwar district’s border with Ladakh is believed to house sapphire reserves worth $1.2 billion, according to one estimate. A 19.88-carat Kishtwar sapphire broke records in 2013 when it was sold for nearly $2.4 million.

In India, the price of sapphire with a velvety texture and true-blue peacock colour, which is found only in Kishtwar, can reach $6,000 per carat. The precious stone could change the socio-economic landscape of Kishtwar, which is one of the economically most underdeveloped districts of Jammu and Kashmir.

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