November 1, 2013

Nation & World Dispatches

SANTIAGO, Chile

Buildings sway during 6.6-magnitude earthquake

A 6.6-magnitude earthquake rocked north-central Chile on Thursday, causing buildings to sway in the capital and people to run out into the streets.

But Chile’s emergency services office said no damages to infrastructure were reported and Chile’s Navy discarded the possibility of a tsunami.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake’s epicenter was located about 65 kilometers (40 miles) southwest of the city of Coquimbo or about 400 kilometers (250 miles) from Santiago. Its depth was 10 kilometers (6 miles).

Chile is one of the world’s most earthquake-prone countries. A magnitude-8.8 quake and the tsunami it unleashed in 2010 killed more than 500 people, destroyed 220,000 homes, and washed away docks, riverfronts and seaside resorts.

TORONTO

Police say video shows mayor smoking crack pipe

Toronto police said Thursday they have obtained a video that appears to show Mayor Rob Ford smoking a crack pipe – a video that Ford had claimed didn’t exist and has been at the core of a scandal that has embarrassed and gripped Canada for months.

Police Chief Bill Blair said the video, recovered after being deleted from a computer hard drive, did not provide grounds to press charges. Ford, a populist mayor who has repeatedly made headlines for his bizarre behavior, vowed not to resign.

Toronto police discovered the video while conducting a surveillance operation into a friend and sometimes driver suspected of providing Ford with drugs.

AUSTIN, Texas

Ruling reinstates tough new abortion restrictions

A federal appeals court on Thursday issued a ruling reinstating most of Texas’ tough new abortion restrictions.

A panel of judges at the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals issued the ruling a day after District Judge Lee Yeakel said one provision serves no medical purpose.

The panel says the law requiring doctors to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital can take effect while a lawsuit moves forward. The restrictions could take effect Friday.

The panel left in place a portion of Yeakel’s order that prevents the state from enforcing the U.S. Food and Drug Administration protocol for abortion-inducing drugs in cases where the woman is between 50 and 63 days into her pregnancy. Doctors testifying before the court had said such women would be harmed if the protocol were enforced.

WASHINGTON

Defense Secretary Hagel denounces defiance over IDs

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel on Thursday sharply criticized U.S. states that are defying the Pentagon by refusing to allow National Guard facilities to issue ID cards that enable same-sex spouses of military members to claim benefits. 

– From news service reports

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