3.6 magnitude Earthquake near Fort St. John felt this morning

first_imgMore information on seismic monitoring can be found here.No damage was reported resulting from this earthquake. You may or may not have felt it, but there was a 3.6 magnitude earthquake this morning around 5:40 AM.The earthquake occurred near Sikanni Chief, 147 km northwest of the city.This quake joins a series of past ones, ranging from only 1 to 3 on the Richter scale, all occurring west of Fort St. John.- Advertisement -Early this morning, Natural Resources Canada’s automatic detection system read the event as being a 4.0 – however, the BC Oil and Gas Commission’s Alan Clay said it was determined that it was a 3.6 magnitude earthquake, instead.Clay told Energetic City by e-mail that there was some industrial activity occurring in the area and fracking operations were wrapping up, and added that in the event of an earthquake 4.0 or higher in magnitude, companies are required to shut down operations, report to the OGC and put in place a mitigation plan to be approved by them.He said that procedure was not needed for this situation, as it turned out to be a 3.6 magnitude earthquake.Advertisementlast_img read more

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Trump signs order against Obamacare

first_imgTrump signs an executive order on Affordable Care Act at Oval Office in Washington on Friday. ReutersUS president Donald Trump on Friday signed an executive order aimed at limiting the “burden” of the Obamacare health law that the incoming US leader has vowed to repeal.During the signing in the Oval Office, Trump’s chief of staff Reince Priebus described the order as aimed at “minimizing the economic burden” of the 2010 Affordable Care Act, “pending repeal.”Doing away with Barack Obama’s signature domestic achievement is a top priority for Republicans, who control both chambers of Congress and, since Trump’s inauguration Friday, the White House.In their view, Obamacare-which aimed to ensure healthcare for the millions of Americans who are neither covered by public insurance, nor by their employers-marked a costly drift toward socialized, European-style medical care.Until lawmakers are able to repeal Obamacare, “it is imperative for the executive branch to… take all actions consistent with law to minimize the unwarranted economic and regulatory burdens of the Act, and prepare to afford the States more flexibility and control to create a more free and open healthcare market,” the executive order said.The order instructs the US health secretary and other departments and agencies to “exercise all authority and discretion available to them to waive, defer, grant exemptions from, or delay the implementation of any provision or requirement of the Act” that imposes a fiscal burden or other cost on a state, on consumers, on insurers or on a range of healthcare providers.Trump has pledged to start undoing the divisive health law on his first day in office, while also declaring it inconceivable that poor Americans are locked out of coverage.The president has said the law should be repealed and replaced “simultaneously,” a stiff challenge given the complexity of America’s vast health care system.Obamacare added more than 20 million people onto insurance rolls, lowering the percentage of Americans without coverage from 16 percent in 2010 to 8.9 percent last year.Republicans are pledging a repeal of Obamacare-which has been blamed for sharply rising insurance premiums-and rapid votes on a replacement bill in order to prevent gaps in coverage and reassure a restless insurance industry.Only one third of the US population is covered by public insurance-either Medicare, for those over age 65, or Medicaid for the poorest Americans.Half of all Americans are insured through their employers, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation, while about seven percent are covered through the so-called individual market, which serves those who are self-employed or are employees without coverage through work.Obama’s solution rested largely on requiring that everyone be insured, and providing federal subsidies to those who cannot afford coverage.Republicans deemed the first requirement too coercive, and the latter too costly.last_img read more

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US top court delays litmus test on abortion

first_imgIn this file photo taken on 27 January, 2017 Pro Life supporters gather at the Washington Monument to hear vice president Mike Pence speak at the March for Life rally in Washington, DC. Photo: AFPThe conservative-leaning US Supreme Court on Friday said it has delayed what is sure to be a highly polarizing upcoming abortion rights test case.A clinic and two doctors offering abortions in Louisiana have appealed to the Supreme Court to block a law restricting access to abortion that is due to come into force next week in the conservative southern state.The law, approved in 2014, would require doctors offering abortions to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of where they operate.Louisiana argues that the risks of complications arising during an abortion procedure mean that patients may need to be transferred to a nearby hospital where doctors could step in.That argument was endorsed by a state appeals court and the law was to come into effect on Monday unless challenged by the Supreme Court.Then Justice Samuel Alito on Friday ordered an administrative delay until 7 February so justices have time to review all relevant documents.A similar law limiting abortion access in Texas was struck down by the Supreme Court in 2016.But since Trump came to office two years ago, he has appointed two new conservative justices, tilting the balance of the court sharply to the right.A decision not to take up the case would encourage the American right-wing and evangelical movement to step up challenges to longstanding abortion laws.The plaintiffs in the Louisiana case argue the new law “will have disastrous consequences for women in the state,” where 10,000 women seek abortions every year.”Louisiana’s admitting privileges requirement would leave only one physician providing abortions in the entire state and that all-but-one clinic that provides abortion care would be forced to close,” they said.They said the Texas law, adopted in 2013, led to the closure of half of the services offering abortions in the state, before being overturned by the Supreme Court three years later.All eyes on new judgesDespite being a twice-divorced former casino mogul, Trump won over the powerful evangelical right by promising to appoint judges opposed to abortion rights.Once in office, he made good on his pledge by nominating Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh, tipping the balance of the court to five conservative justices and just four liberals.Both men stressed the importance of legal precedent in their confirmation hearings, but anti-abortion activists saw their appointments as a chance to assail the landmark 1973 Supreme Court ruling allowing abortion, known as Roe v Wade.The Louisiana case will prove a key stress test for that ruling.If either one of the new appointees sides with the progressives, the top court can freeze the Louisiana law.Otherwise, the court will not intercede and the law will go into effect.Defenders of women’s right to abortion fear that silence from the court will encourage other states to follow Louisiana’s lead.1,000 cutsA 57-percent majority of Americans back women’s right to seek abortions, but the hot-button issue cuts deeply along political and religious lines, according to a survey by the Pew Research Centre.Some 59 per cent of Republicans and 61 per cent of evangelicals say that abortion should be illegal in all or most cases.Since Roe v. Wade came into effect, states have sought ways to restrict access, trying to impose delays and threatening non-reimbursement of costs to patients.That has led to huge regional disparities in the availability of abortions, with more than 500 centres offering them in California and only four in Kansas, according to the Guttmacher Institute.The Guttmacher Institute said the “changing composition of the Supreme Court has heightened the risks” of restrictions on access to abortions.”Anti-abortion politicians are hoping that the Supreme Court will stand by and let them legislate abortion out of reach — without the court ever having to reverse Roe v. Wade,” said Nancy Northup, head of the Centre for Reproductive Rights.”That would be death to Roe by a thousand cuts,” she said in an opinion piece in the New York Times.last_img read more

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Kanchenjunga Stadium set to get a facelift

first_imgDarjeeling: Kanchenjunga Stadium in Siliguri is all set to undergo a facelift. It will be developed into a soccer stadium along with facilities for indoor games.Tourism minister Goutam Deb along with Ajit Ranjan Bardhan, principal secretary, Sports and Youth Affairs visited the stadium on Wednesday. “The state Sports and Youth Affairs department will undertake the task of giving the stadium a facelift. We have decided on a number of upgradation plans,” said Deb. Also Read – Bose & Gandhi: More similar than apart, says Sugata BoseFour new changing rooms for players with tunnels connecting the rooms with the Ground, multi gym, VIP gallery, media centre with internet connectivity, toilets, drinking water and parking facilities will come up at the stadium. “We will upgrade it to a world class soccer stadium. A synthetic track will also come up. We will also have the necessary infrastructure for indoor sports like badminton, volleyball and a well-equipped gymnasium. After this season we will not allow cricket and other games here,” Deb said. The minister added that allocation of funds will not be a problems as Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is an avid sports enthusiast and promotes sports and games. The stadium was built in 1988 with a seating capacity of 30,000.last_img read more

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