No sign Duterte will end ban on open-pit mining — spokesman

By: Arjay L. Balinbin

PRESIDENT Rodrigo R. Duterte is not likely to lift the ban on open-pit mining — a method widely used by miners here and abroad — anytime soon, his spokesman said on Thursday last week.

“I think he will maintain the ban. Ayaw niya ng open-pit mining. ‘Yun ang kanyang policy… (He does not like open-pit mining, that is his policy),” Presidential Spokesperson Salvador S. Panelo said in an interview.

Antonio N. Apostol, officer-in-charge of the Mines and Geosciences Bureau’s Lands Geological Survey Division, told reporters at the sidelines of a Sept. 24 news conference that “there is a lot of pressure because business people have a lot of influence, and it’s a political decision.”

Rodolfo L. Velasco, head of the MGB’s Mine Safety, Environment and Social Development division, said in the same conference that the lifting of the ban will depend on the recommendation of the current environment secretary, Roy A. Cimatu.

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How to invest in the stock market – a guide for beginners with a little cash to spare

By: Yashvardhan Bardoloi  

Just got your first bonus? Congrats! You’ve worked hard for it. Being flush with cash feels great. Now what? Well, first, do treat yourself a bit. Those bills are just some high production value paper if you do not spend them. But don’t blow all of it away; future-you will be thankful for the money you save and invest today.

You may have heard about “interest rates” in the news. Interest is what banks pay you for depositing your money, which they then lend to other people for a higher interest rate.) Interest rates fluctuate depending on how the economy is going, which influences the policies of leading financial institutions such as the International Monetary Fund and the US Federal Reserve.

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China’s tech ambition is ‘unstoppable’ — with or without the trade war, analyst says

By: Arjun Kharpal

China is closing in on the U.S. in some areas of technology and could soon even overtake America in certain respects, experts told CNBC.

The world’s second-largest economy is already showing some good progress in its push on homegrown industries such as artificial intelligence and chips. 

“China is closing the technological gap with the United States, and though it may not match U.S. capabilities across the board, it will soon be one of the leading powers in technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, energy storage, fifth-generation cellular networks (5G), quantum information systems, and possibly biotechnology,” U.S.-based think tank the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) said in a recent report.

It comes as Beijing gears up to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China on October 1. With much fanfare expected, the event will see the Asian giant flaunt its military prowess in a parade in Beijing and President Xi Jinping talk up the nation’s progress

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MOBILE FCC pushes 5G forward with upcoming midband spectrum auction


The US Federal Communications Commission is moving forward on its plans to auction off a key sliver of midband spectrum licenses for 5G service. The agency voted unanimously Thursday to seek comment on bidding rules for the auction, which is set to start June 25. 

The 3.5GHz spectrum, known as the Citizens Broadband Radio Service, is coveted midband spectrum that big carriers like AT&TVerizon and T-Mobile see as valuable for 5G. But it’s also spectrum that small rural fixed wireless service providers say can help them increase speeds and reach more customers.

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The glory days are back for the mining sector in Nigeria

There was a time when Nigeria’s mining sector was booming, particular coal mining. Up until the late 1960s, this sector contributed significantly to the country’s GDP (see sidebar). 

Today, it is estimated that Nigeria is endowed with about 34 solid minerals identified in 450 locations in the country.

These include bitumen, located in the states of Ondo, Ogun, Lagos and Edo; gold located in Kogi, Niger and Kaduna; lithium located in Ekiti, Kaduna and Nasarawa; and uranium in Bauchi and Taraba states – to name a few.

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Why Does the Stock Market Even Care About Impeachment

By: Josh Barro

President Trump says market would “crash” if he impeached. That is probably an overstatement, but intrady market moves on Tuesday did make clear that investors consider impeachment to be neagitve event. Around noon on Tuesday, as news reports came out that Nancy Pelosi was expected to announce her support for a formal impeachment inqury, the Dows Jones Idustrial Average lost hundreds of point within minutes.

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Venezuela’s central bank holding Bitcoin is just crazy enough to work

By: Jose Antonio Lanz

Venezuela’s dreams of becoming a crypto nation evidently extend beyond just the state-backed petro.

Earlier today, Bloomberg reported that Venezuela’s central bank could soon be holding an undisclosed amount of Bitcoin and Ethereum as part of its international reserves. 

According to Bloomberg’s unnamed sources, the country’s national oil company (and primary source of revenue), Petroleos de Venezuela, is exploring ways to send BTC and ETH to the central bank so that the state-owned firm can pay its monetary obligations to international suppliers.

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Months after release of new tech strategy, US Air Force is still deliberating a path forward

By: Valerie Insinna

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Air Force is considering establishing a new program office inside its research laboratory to run pathbreaking “vanguard programs,” the head of Air Force Materiel Command told Defense News in an exclusive interview.

In April, the service released a new science and technology strategy that called for about 20 percent of Air Force Research Laboratory efforts to be restructured as vanguard programs that would bring together promising leap-ahead technologies from across the organization and push them forward using prototyping and experimentation.

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New Petition Would Turn Florida Cannabis Industry Into Monopoly, Critics Say


Now that a ton of corporate money is being poured into Florida’s petition-gathering process, it’s almost guaranteed the legalization of recreational marijuana will be on the 2020 ballot, where it would need 60 percent approval to become state law.

But that same corporate money is also seeking control over the future of cannabis by funding a petition that does not allow citizens to grow their own weed — a right granted to the residents of almost two dozen other states where marijuana has been legalized.

That fact has many Florida cannabis activists refusing to sign the Make It Legal Florida petition, which is being mailed with prepaid return envelopes to make it easier for Florida voters to sign and send.

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