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
0

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.


Bomb in Afghan mosque kills senior cleric during Friday prayers

Updated 18 min 50 sec ago
0

Bomb in Afghan mosque kills senior cleric during Friday prayers

  • No group has claimed responsibility for the attack but the Taliban and Daesh fighters regularly stage attacks in the capital
  • The explosion hit at a time when dozens of men had gathered for prayers

KABUL: A bomb exploded in a mosque in the Afghan capital, Kabul, during Friday prayers, officials said, killing three people including a senior preacher and wounding at least 20 men who had gathered for worship.
The preacher, Samiullah Raihan, was a supporter of the Western-backed Afghan government which Taliban militants are trying to bring down. He was also a member of the National Ulema Council, Afghanistan’s top Muslim clerical body.
Firdaws Faramarz, a police spokesman, said explosives were apparently placed near the altar of the Al-Taqwa mosque, a place used by the mosque leader to initiate the prayers.
The neighborhood where the bombing took place is dominated by Sunni Muslims. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack but the Taliban and Daesh fighters regularly stage attacks in the capital.
The explosion hit at a time when dozens of men had gathered for prayers. The death toll could rise, said a second official.