Cannabis and euthanasia votes bring New Zealand to moral crossroads


HONG KONG — The general election in New Zealand may be over, with popular Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern reelected in a landslide, but on two weighty issues the country is still awaiting outcomes.

After impassioned campaigns, preliminary results of referendums on decriminalizing cannabis and legalizing euthanasia will be released by the Electoral Commission on Friday, with the official numbers due Nov. 6.

The latest polling, released on the eve of the Oct. 17 election, suggests the marijuana bill is unlikely to pass while the “assisted dying” legislation has a better chance. A Newshub-Reid Research survey found 55.6% of respondents planned to vote “no” to cannabis, versus 38.3% who intended to tick “yes.”

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China’s Leaders Focus on Tech as They Make 5-Year Economic Plan

By Joe McDonald

Chinese leaders met Monday to formulate an economic blueprint for the next five years that is expected to emphasize development of semiconductors and other technology at a time when Washington is cutting off access to U.S. technology.

President Xi Jinping’s government is working to promote self-sustaining growth supported by domestic consumer spending and technology development as tensions with trading partners hamper access to export markets and technology.

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High stakes: Growing cannabis player Curaleaf poised to capitalize if CT legalizes pot

By Kevin Zimmerman

Curaleaf, headquartered in the Bay State town of Wakefield, is already the world’s largest cannabis company by sales, with expected annual revenue this year of roughly $1 billion. That valuation is driven mostly by its high-profile acquisitions of Chicago cannabis cultivator and retailer Grassroots for $830 million in July, and of Oregon’s Cura Partners for about $400 million in February.

In March, Curaleaf acquired three Arrow Alternative Care dispensaries in Connecticut, including the one at 814 E. Main St. in Stamford, for an undisclosed amount. On Oct. 12 it announced it was rebranding the Arrow facilities – as well as the Grassroots Herbology dispensary in Groton – as Curaleaf dispensaries.

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Sweden Becomes Latest – and Among Most Forceful – to Ban Huawei From 5G

By Shannon Tiezzi

On October 20, Sweden became the latest country to ban Huawei, China’s telecommunications giant, from participating in its 5G networks.

PTS, the Swedish telecom regulator, said that companies supplying 5G services in the country will have until 2025 to remove any equipment from Chinese firms Huawei and ZTE from their infrastructure networks. PTS added that the decision was based on the advice of Sweden’s military and security services, which apparently described China as “one of the biggest threats against Sweden.”

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Stocks Erase Gains With Stimulus Odds Still Long: Markets Wrap

By Vildana Hajric and Anchalee Worrachate

U.S. stocks turned lower as investors remained on edge with aid talks showing little progress and data signaling coronavirus cases on the rise. The dollar strengthened.

Technology shares led the S&P 500 Index’s retreat. AT&T Inc. advanced after the phone giant added more wireless subscribers than analysts estimated. Luxury handbags and scarves house Hermes International rose after surpassing analysts’ sales estimates on a rebound in demand from Asia.

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Bitcoin Closes on $12K But a Wall of Sell Orders Awaits: Analyst

By Omkar Godbole

Bitcoin is on the rise toward $12,000, but may face a stiff challenge to cross the price hurdle.

  • The leading cryptocurrency by market value is currently trading near $11,900, a 1.2% gain on the day.
  • Prices broke out of a descending triangle on Monday, confirming a resumption of the rally from Oct. 8 lows near $10,500 and opening the doors for the psychological hurdle of $12,000.
  • “I expect bitcoin to reach $12,000,” Patrick Heusser, senior cryptocurrency trader at Zurich-based Crypto Broker AG, told CoinDesk, noted in his analysis early Tuesday.
  • Crypto analyst Lark Davis believes bitcoin is now positioned for a notable rally.

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Biden win could be net positive for metals and mining, observers say

By Chip Somodevilla

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden may be against the further proliferation of fossil fuels, but observers have said a different part of the natural resource economy could get a lift if he bests President Donald Trump in the U.S. election in November: the metals and mining sector.

Trump ran for president in 2016 on a populist economic message that promised the return of a diminished U.S. industrial workforce, including the mining sector. While his government slashed environmental rules in the name of saving U.S. jobs, it was not a saving grace for the mining industry. U.S. coal mining jobs sunk to record lows, and the mining sector in general has hemorrhaged jobs since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. Meanwhile, Trump administration policy objectives that could fuel domestic demand for metals, such as an infrastructure program, have yet to manifest.

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Who’s Hiring And Reskilling In Tech And What Are They Looking For?

By Ilya Brotzky

Covid-19 will permanently wipe out between 6.2 million and 8.7 million jobs in the U.S. by the end of the year. In my home country of Canada, we are still 1 million jobs short of our pre-Covid employment levels. Due to this grim outlook, many are asking: Who’s hiring and what are they looking for? Some innovation-driven sectors are adapting and actually growing a lot during this time which provides signs of hope. 

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