Philippine environment minister says to uphold President Duterte’s open-pit mining ban

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte gestures as he delivers his state of the nation address at Congress in Manila. Duterte has been against open-pit mining activities in the Philippines. (AFP)
Updated 04 October 2017
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Philippine environment minister says to uphold President Duterte’s open-pit mining ban

MANILA: Philippine Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Roy Cimatu said on Wednesday that he will uphold President Rodrigo Duterte’s plans to ban open-pit mining.
“We will eventually abide by the instruction of the president to stop open-pit mining in the future,” Cimatu told lawmakers during a confirmation hearing in Congress.
Duterte said last month he agreed with banning open-pit mining in the world’s top nickel ore exporter, given the environmental damage it causes, but would give mining firms time to find other ways to extract minerals.
Open-pit mining is formally allowed under the Philippines’ mining law, but Cimatu’s predecessor, Regina Lopez, slapped a ban on it during the 10 months she spent in office before being forced out after failing to win congressional confirmation.


Ninth lawmaker quits Britain’s opposition Labour Party

Updated 22 February 2019
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Ninth lawmaker quits Britain’s opposition Labour Party

  • Corbyn, a supporter of Palestinian rights and critic of the Israeli government, has previously been accused by some of failing to tackle anti-Semitism in the party. He denies the allegation

LONDON: British lawmaker Ian Austin resigned from the opposition Labour Party on Friday, the ninth person to do so this week, saying it was “broken” and had been taken over by the “hard left.”

Austin said he was appalled at the treatment of Jewish lawmakers who had taken a stand against anti-Semitism and that the “the party is tougher on the people complaining about anti-Semitism than it is on the anti-Semites.”

“The Labour Party has been my life, so this has been the hardest decision I have ever had to take, but I have to be honest and the truth is that I have become ashamed of the Labour Party under (leader) Jeremy Corbyn,” he told the Express and Star newspaper.

“I could never ask local people to make Jeremy Corbyn Prime Minister.”

Corbyn has promised to drive anti-Semitism out of the party.

Austin said he did not currently have any plans to join The Independent Group in parliament, launched by seven of his former Labour colleagues on Monday and since joined by an eighth as well as three former members of the governing Conservatives.

A Labour lawmaker since 2005 and a former government minister, Austin supports Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit deal and is not in favor of holding a second referendum, putting him at odds with the other Independent Group members.