Nation/World

In brief: McAuliffe takes oath of Virginia governorship

Richmond, Va. – Terry McAuliffe, the former Democratic National Committee chairman and fundraiser for Bill and Hillary Clinton, was sworn in as Virginia’s 72nd governor on a mild and rainy Saturday.

In an inaugural address on the south portico of the state Capitol designed by Thomas Jefferson, McAuliffe emphasized bipartisanship as he put several years of campaigning behind him to begin the more challenging task of leading a politically divided government. Republicans have firm control of the House of Delegates, while the outcome of two special elections will determine control of the Senate.

“Common ground doesn’t move towards us, we move towards it,” McAuliffe told a drenched crowd that included the Clintons, who huddled under a black umbrella until the rain stopped and the sun briefly peeked out during the new governor’s speech.

The state will face “serious economic headwinds” over the next four years, McAuliffe said, and skeptics are predicting partisan gridlock.

“Virginia, together, we will prove them wrong again,” he said.

It was one of several references to consensus building that McAuliffe sprinkled throughout a 16-minute speech.

Indonesia now banning export of raw minerals

Jakarta, Indonesia – An Indonesian law banning the export of unprocessed minerals took effect today.

Coordinating Economic Minister Hatta Rajasa said the export ban is intended to add value to mineral exports by having them processed in Indonesia and create more jobs.

The announcement that the law would take effect came late Saturday following days of intense negotiations involving government officials, entrepreneurs and experts to explore ways to minimize the impact of the ban.

“The president has signed a decree stipulating that beginning Jan. 12, all raw mineral or ores are banned from being exported,” Rajasa said after a limited Cabinet meeting led by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono at his private residence in the southern outskirts of the capital Jakarta.

He did not mention any exemptions but said the decision took into account concerns about preventing mass layoffs, promoting regional economic development and enabling local mining companies to continue operating.

He added that a number of regulations will be issued by related ministries regarding implementing the ban.

Mining companies, including PT Freeport Indonesia and PT Newmont Nusa Tenggara, have warned that they will have to lay off thousands of their workers if the law was imposed without exemptions.



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