Grind for January 21st, 2019
“Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none.”
– William Shakespeare
California judge blocks Trump Administration’s birth control policy
Like his efforts to overturn Obama-era rules protecting immigrants, President Trump’s attempts to correct the disastrous Affordable Care Act have been interrupted every step of the way.
This week, a federal judge in California blocked new rules that would have allowed companies to claim religious or moral exemption to the ACA provision which requires employers to include coverage for FDA-approved birth control.
The rule had been set to go into effect nationwide on Monday.
In the 2014 Hobby Lobby case, the Supreme Court ruled that privately-held companies have the right to claim exemption to the birth control mandate even if that decision imposes restrictions on employees.
Trump’s new policy, which would have expanded that decision to include publicly-traded companies, is now on hold for the following 13 states: Connecticut, California, Hawaii, Delaware, Minnesota, Maryland, Illinois, North Carolina, New York, Rhode Island, Virginia, Vermont, and Washington.
Challengers in the states listed above had argued that Trump’s new policy “cannot be reconciled with the text and purpose of the ACA, which seeks to promote access to women’s healthcare, not limit it,” wrote Judge Haywood Gilliam, Jr., who was nominated by Obama in 2014.
“The law couldn’t be clearer,” adds notoriously liberal California AG Xavier Becerra. “Today’s court ruling stops another attempt by the Trump Administration to trample on women’s access to basic reproductive care.”
Russian telescope goes rogue
Russia’s only space telescope stopped responding to commands from Earth this month following a problem that began on January 10th. It is unclear if or when the problem will be solved.
The Spektr-R telescope, launched in 2011, uses a variety of instruments to record data on solar wind and the Earth’s outer magnetosphere. It has a 33-foot antenna it uses to search for radio signals from within and beyond the Milky Way.
The Spektr-R telescope encountered “multiple delays” during development and at its time of launch was only expected to work until 2014. Even though it can’t receive commands, it is still transmitting data.
Russia’s other satellite – the Mikhailo Lomonsov – is experiencing a data transfer issue making it all but useless.
Russian scientists are currently working with Germany on a telescope that is expected to launch this March, but for the time being Moscow’s eyes in space are closed.
GOOD TO THE LAST DROP:
Did you know… New York’s Central Park is nearly twice the size of the entire country of Monaco.