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Brace Yourselves for the Sixth Seal (Revelation 6)

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Brace Yourselves, New Yorkers, You’re Due for a Major Quake

A couple of hundred thousand years ago, an M 7.2 earthquake shook what is now New Hampshire. Just a few thousand years ago, an M 7.5 quake ruptured just off the coast of Massachusetts. And then there’s New York.

Since the first western settlers arrived there, the state has witnessed 200 quakes of magnitude 2.0 or greater, making it the third most seismically active state east of the Mississippi (Tennessee and South Carolina are ranked numbers one and two, respectively). About once a century, New York has also experienced an M 5.0 quake capable of doing real damage.

The most recent one near New York City occurred in August of 1884. Centered off Long Island’s Rockaway Beach, it was felt over 70,000 square miles. It also opened enormous crevices near the Brooklyn reservoir and knocked down chimneys and cracked walls in Pennsylvania and Connecticut. Police on the Brooklyn Bridge said it swayed “as if struck by a hurricane” and worried the bridge’s towers would collapse. Meanwhile, residents throughout New York and New Jersey reported sounds that varied from explosions to loud rumblings, sometimes to comic effect. At the funeral of Lewis Ingler, a small group of mourners were watching as the priest began to pray. The quake cracked an enormous mirror behind the casket and knocked off a display of flowers that had been resting on top of it. When it began to shake the casket’s silver handles, the mourners decided the unholy return of Lewis Ingler was more than they could take and began flinging themselves out windows and doors.

Not all stories were so light. Two people died during the quake, both allegedly of fright. Out at sea, the captain of the brig Alice felt a heavy lurch that threw him and his crew, followed by a shaking that lasted nearly a minute. He was certain he had hit a wreck and was taking on water.

A day after the quake, the editors of The New York Times sought to allay readers’ fear. The quake, they said, was an unexpected fluke never to be repeated and not worth anyone’s attention: “History and the researches of scientific men indicate that great seismic disturbances occur only within geographical limits that are now well defined,” they wrote in an editorial. “The northeastern portion of the United States . . . is not within those limits.” The editors then went on to scoff at the histrionics displayed by New York residents when confronted by the quake: “They do not stop to reason or to recall the fact that earthquakes here are harmless phenomena. They only know that the solid earth, to whose immovability they have always turned with confidence when everything else seemed transitory, uncertain, and deceptive, is trembling and in motion, and the tremor ceases long before their disturbed minds become tranquil.”
That’s the kind of thing that drives Columbia’s Heather Savage nuts.

New York, she says, is positively vivisected by faults. Most of them fall into two groups—those running northeast and those running northwest. Combined they create a brittle grid underlying much of Manhattan.

Across town, Charles Merguerian has been studying these faults the old‐fashioned way: by getting down and dirty underground. He’s spent the past forty years sloshing through some of the city’s muckiest places: basements and foundations, sewers and tunnels, sometimes as deep as 750 feet belowground. His tools down there consist primarily of a pair of muck boots, a bright blue hard hat, and a pickax. In public presentations, he claims he is also ably abetted by an assistant hamster named Hammie, who maintains his own website, which includes, among other things, photos of the rodent taking down Godzilla.

That’s just one example why, if you were going to cast a sitcom starring two geophysicists, you’d want Savage and Merguerian to play the leading roles. Merguerian is as eccentric and flamboyant as Savage is earnest and understated. In his press materials, the former promises to arrive at lectures “fully clothed.” Photos of his “lab” depict a dingy porta‐john in an abandoned subway tunnel. He actively maintains an archive of vintage Chinese fireworks labels at least as extensive as his list of publications, and his professional website includes a discography of blues tunes particularly suitable for earthquakes. He calls female science writers “sweetheart” and somehow manages to do so in a way that kind of makes them like it (although they remain nevertheless somewhat embarrassed to admit it).

It’s Merguerian’s boots‐on‐the‐ground approach that has provided much of the information we need to understand just what’s going on underneath Gotham. By his count, Merguerian has walked the entire island of Manhattan: every street, every alley. He’s been in most of the tunnels there, too. His favorite one by far is the newest water tunnel in western Queens. Over the course of 150 days, Merguerian mapped all five miles of it. And that mapping has done much to inform what we know about seismicity in New York.

Most importantly, he says, it provided the first definitive proof of just how many faults really lie below the surface there. And as the city continues to excavate its subterranean limits, Merguerian is committed to following closely behind. It’s a messy business.

Down below the city, Merguerian encounters muck of every flavor and variety. He power‐washes what he can and relies upon a diver’s halogen flashlight and a digital camera with a very, very good flash to make up the difference. And through this process, Merguerian has found thousands of faults, some of which were big enough to alter the course of the Bronx River after the last ice age.
His is a tricky kind of detective work. The center of a fault is primarily pulverized rock. For these New York faults, that gouge was the very first thing to be swept away by passing glaciers. To do his work, then, he’s primarily looking for what geologists call “offsets”—places where the types of rock don’t line up with one another. That kind of irregularity shows signs of movement over time—clear evidence of a fault.

Merguerian has found a lot of them underneath New York City.

These faults, he says, do a lot to explain the geological history of Manhattan and the surrounding area. They were created millions of years ago, when what is now the East Coast was the site of a violent subduction zone not unlike those present now in the Pacific’s Ring of Fire.

Each time that occurred, the land currently known as the Mid‐Atlantic underwent an accordion effect as it was violently folded into itself again and again. The process created immense mountains that have eroded over time and been further scoured by glaciers. What remains is a hodgepodge of geological conditions ranging from solid bedrock to glacial till to brittle rock still bearing the cracks of the collision. And, says Merguerian, any one of them could cause an earthquake.

You don’t have to follow him belowground to find these fractures. Even with all the development in our most built‐up metropolis, evidence of these faults can be found everywhere—from 42nd Street to Greenwich Village. But if you want the starkest example of all, hop the 1 train at Times Square and head uptown to Harlem. Not far from where the Columbia University bus collects people for the trip to the Lamont‐Doherty Earth Observatory, the subway tracks seem to pop out of the ground onto a trestle bridge before dropping back down to earth. That, however, is just an illusion. What actually happens there is that the ground drops out below the train at the site of one of New York’s largest faults. It’s known by geologists in the region as the Manhattanville or 125th Street Fault, and it runs all the way across the top of Central Park and, eventually, underneath Long Island City. Geologists have known about the fault since 1939, when the city undertook a massive subway mapping project, but it wasn’t until recently that they confirmed its potential for a significant quake.

In our lifetimes, a series of small earthquakes have been recorded on the Manhattanville Fault including, most recently, one on October 27, 2001. Its epicenter was located around 55th and 8th—directly beneath the original Original Soupman restaurant, owned by restaurateur Ali Yeganeh, the inspiration for Seinfeld’s Soup Nazi. That fact delighted sitcom fans across the country, though few Manhattanites were in any mood to appreciate it.

The October 2001 quake itself was small—about M 2.6—but the effect on residents there was significant. Just six weeks prior, the city had been rocked by the 9/11 terrorist attacks that brought down the World Trade Center towers. The team at Lamont‐Doherty has maintained a seismic network in the region since the ’70s. They registered the collapse of the first tower at M 2.1. Half an hour later, the second tower crumbled with even more force and registered M 2.3. In a city still shocked by that catastrophe, the early‐morning October quake—several times greater than the collapse of either tower—jolted millions of residents awake with both reminders of the tragedy and fear of yet another attack. 9‐1‐1 calls overwhelmed dispatchers and first responders with reports of shaking buildings and questions about safety in the city. For seismologists, though, that little quake was less about foreign threats to our soil and more about the possibility of larger tremors to come.

Remember: The Big Apple has experienced an M 5.0 quake about every hundred years. The last one was that 1884 event. And that, says Merguerian, means the city is overdue. Just how overdue?

“Gee whiz!” He laughs when I pose this question. “That’s the holy grail of seismicity, isn’t it?”

He says all we can do to answer that question is “take the pulse of what’s gone on in recorded history.” To really have an answer, we’d need to have about ten times as much data as we do today. But from what he’s seen, the faults below New York are very much alive.

“These guys are loaded,” he tells me.

He says he is also concerned about new studies of a previously unknown fault zone known as the Ramapo that runs not far from the city. Savage shares his concerns. They both think it’s capable of an M 6.0 quake or even higher—maybe even a 7.0. If and when, though, is really anybody’s guess.

“We literally have no idea what’s happening in our backyard,” says Savage.

What we do know is that these quakes have the potential to do more damage than similar ones out West, mostly because they are occurring on far harder rock capable of propagating waves much farther. And because these quakes occur in places with higher population densities, these eastern events can affect a lot more people. Take the 2011 Virginia quake: Although it was only a moderate one, more Americans felt it than any other one in our nation’s history.

That’s the thing about the East Coast: Its earthquake hazard may be lower than that of the West Coast, but the total effect of any given quake is much higher. Disaster specialists talk about this in terms of risk, and they make sense of it with an equation that multiplies the potential hazard of an event by the cost of damage and the number of people harmed. When you take all of those factors into account, the earthquake risk in New York is much greater than, say, that in Alaska or Hawaii or even a lot of the area around the San Andreas Fault.

Merguerian has been sounding the alarm about earthquake risk in the city since the ’90s. He admits he hasn’t gotten much of a response. He says that when he first proposed the idea of seismic risk in New York City, his fellow scientists “booed and threw vegetables” at him. He volunteered his services to the city’s Office of Emergency Management but says his original offer also fell on deaf ears.

“So I backed away gently and went back to academia.”

Today, he says, the city isn’t much more responsive, but he’s getting a much better response from his peers.

He’s glad for that, he says, but it’s not enough. If anything, the events of 9/11, along with the devastation caused in 2012 by Superstorm Sandy, should tell us just how bad it could be there.

He and Savage agree that what makes the risk most troubling is just how little we know about it. When it comes right down to it, intraplate faults are the least understood. Some scientists think they might be caused by mantle flow deep below the earth’s crust. Others think they might be related to gravitational energy. Still others think quakes occurring there might be caused by the force of the Atlantic ridge as it pushes outward. Then again, it could be because the land is springing back after being compressed thousands of years ago by glaciers (a phenomenon geologists refer to as seismic rebound).

“We just have no consciousness towards earthquakes in the eastern United States,” says Merguerian. “And that’s a big mistake.”

Adapted from Quakeland: On the Road to America’s Next Devastating Earthquake by Kathryn Miles, published by Dutton, an imprint of Penguin Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House, LLC. Copyright © 2017 by Kathryn Miles.

USGS Evidence Shows Power of the Sixth Seal (Revelation 6:12)

New York,Earthquake,Nuclear,Sixth Seal,new jersey,revelation 6,nyc,andrewtheprophet,indian point,Andrew the Prophet,

New Evidence Shows Power of East Coast Earthquakes
Virginia Earthquake Triggered Landslides at Great Distances
Released: 11/6/2012 8:30:00 AM USGS.govEarthquake shaking in the eastern United States can travel much farther and cause damage over larger areas than previously thought.U.S. Geological Survey scientists found that last year’s magnitude 5.8 earthquake in Virginia triggered landslides at distances four times farther—and over an area 20 times larger—than previous research has shown.“We used landslides as an example and direct physical evidence to see how far-reaching shaking from east coast earthquakes could be,” said Randall Jibson, USGS scientist and lead author of this study. “Not every earthquake will trigger landslides, but we can use landslide distributions to estimate characteristics of earthquake energy and how far regional ground shaking could occur.”“Scientists are confirming with empirical data what more than 50 million people in the eastern U.S. experienced firsthand: this was one powerful earthquake,” said USGS Director Marcia McNutt. “Calibrating the distance over which landslides occur may also help us reach back into the geologic record to look for evidence of past history of major earthquakes from the Virginia seismic zone.”This study will help inform earthquake hazard and risk assessments as well as emergency preparedness, whether for landslides or other earthquake effects.This study also supports existing research showing that although earthquakes  are less frequent in the East, their damaging effects can extend over a much larger area as compared to the western United States.The research is being presented today at the Geological Society of America conference, and will be published in the December 2012 issue of the Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America.The USGS found that the farthest landslide from the 2011 Virginia earthquake was 245 km (150 miles) from the epicenter. This is by far the greatest landslide distance recorded from any other earthquake of similar magnitude.Previous studies of worldwide earthquakes indicated that landslides occurred no farther than 60 km (36 miles) from the epicenter of a magnitude 5.8 earthquake.“What makes this new study so unique is that it provides direct observational evidence from the largest earthquake to occur in more than 100 years in the eastern U.S,” said Jibson. “Now that we know more about the power of East Coast earthquakes, equations that predict ground shaking might need to be revised.”It is estimated that approximately one-third of the U.S. population could have felt last year’s earthquake in Virginia, more than any earthquake in U.S. history. About 148,000 people reported their ground-shaking experiences caused by the earthquake on the USGS “Did You Feel It?” website. Shaking reports came from southeastern Canada to Florida and as far west as Texas.In addition to the great landslide distances recorded, the landslides from the 2011 Virginia earthquake occurred in an area 20 times larger than expected from studies of worldwide earthquakes. Scientists plotted the landslide locations that were farthest out and then calculated the area enclosed by those landslides. The observed landslides from last year’s Virginia earthquake enclose an area of about 33,400 km2, while previous studies indicated an expected area of about 1,500 km2from an earthquake of similar magnitude.“The landslide distances from last year’s Virginia earthquake are remarkable compared to historical landslides across the world and represent the largest distance limit ever recorded,” said Edwin Harp, USGS scientist and co-author of this study. “There are limitations to our research, but the bottom line is that we now have a better understanding of the power of East Coast earthquakes and potential damage scenarios.”The difference between seismic shaking in the East versus the West is due in part to the geologic structure and rock properties that allow seismic waves to travel farther without weakening.Learn more about the 2011 central Virginia earthquake.

More winds of God’s Wrath on the way: Jeremiah 23

Active 2020 Hurricane Season not finished yet: next week, in the Atlantic

Sunday, October 18th 2020

Active 2020 Hurricane Season not finished yet: next week, in the Atlantic

Nikita Pero of Gulfport, Miss., walks with her son Vinny Pero, 2, on the beach along the Gulf of Mexico in Biloxi, MS, Monday, Sept. 14, 2020.{ } (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

We’re already into the Greek Alphabet for names. After Alpha, Beta, Gamma, and Delta, “Epsilon” is next on the list. Long range guidance models show a brewing area of tropical weather that’s expected to become the next one.

By the middle of next week, it’s expected to gain strength in the mid-Atlantic, then start moving northward, pulled ahead of an approaching cold front. As a result, that surf should build along the Eastern Seaboard, including Southern New England.

Even longer range guidance models show another system brewing in the Caribbean, that may stall near the Gulf of Mexico, and get pulled towards Florida in the ramp up to Halloween. Stay tuned!

China’s New Hypersonic Nuclear Weaponry: Daniel 7

Video Of Chinese Missile Carrier Jet Hauling What Appears To Be A Hypersonic Weapon Emerges

The video could be the first visual evidence that China is actively testing an air-launched hypersonic weapon.

Tyler RogowayOctober 17, 2020

Chinese Internet

DF-17s at the 70th Anniversary of the Chinese Communist Party parade. 

Video has emerged out of China showing what appears to be an H-6N missile carrier aircraft with a massive weapon slung underneath it. The unique wedge-shaped profile of the missile’s forward section points to the possibility that the missile is a hypersonic weapon system. In particular, the form factor looks similar to the one found on China’s ground-launched DF-17 hypersonic weapon, which uses a ballistic missile to boost an unpowered DF-ZF hypersonic boost-glide vehicle to a velocity well over Mach 5 before the vehicle continues on maneuvering path through the atmosphere to its target. You can read our previous post on the DF-17 here. 

China’s work on air-launched adaptations of their ground-launched ballistic missiles is not necessarily new. An air-launched DF-21D anti-ship ballistic missile is thought to have been in development for some time. The pursuit of an air-launched hypersonic boost-glide vehicle weapon by China should be expected, as well, but this could be the first time we are actually seeing it. 

Being able to lug a hypersonic boost-glide vehicle hundreds or thousands of miles from Chinese territory would put bases that were previously outside the range of those weapons under threat from a so-far indefinable capability. Andersen Air Force Base on Guam and Wake Island, in particular, come to mind, but such a weapon could be used on many other highly defended adversary locales throughout the hemisphere. Hypersonic weapons are also being developed to counter adversary armadas, as well. Such a capability would assume China is a step ahead of the U.S. in that regard, which is debatable. 

As it sits now, this video serves as a reminder that a hypersonic arms race is very real and very active. While the U.S. has an alphabet soup of hypersonic programs under development, and more that are classified, China is not standing still, either. Like the Air Force’s own first hypersonic weapon, the bomber-launched AGM-183 ARRW, the People’s Liberation Army would benefit greatly from being able to put any target at risk within thousands of miles of its shores via a currently impossible to defend against and highly-precise air-launched hypersonic boost-glide vehicle. If this one video is any indication, they may be actively trying to keep pace with U.S. developments in that regard. Otherwise, the video shows the aircraft carrying a ballistic missile, which, depending on its application, has its own major strategic implications.

Details surrounding this video and the weapon seen in it are bound to change. We will keep you updated with additional information and analysis as we find out more. 

Contact the author: Tyler@thedrive.com

Iran can Strengthen it’s Nuclear Horn

Iran hails ‘momentous day’ as UN arms embargo expires

October 18, 2020 3:41 pm

Iran nuclear deal

Symbolic victory deals blow to US but Trump administration threatens sanctions over any weapons deal with Tehran

An Iran-made cruise missile being fired during exercises by the northern Indian Ocean in June © WANA/Reuters

A UN arms embargo on Iran expired on Sunday, in a blow to the Trump administration that failed in its attempts to extend it.

The lifting of the embargo, part of the nuclear deal that Tehran signed with world powers in 2015, is a symbolic victory for the Islamic republic, which has been under intense pressure from Washington since President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew the US from the accord two years ago.

Mohammad Javad Zarif, Iran’s foreign minister, said the expiration of the embargo was a “momentous day” for the international community, which had defied the US’s “malign” efforts and protected the nuclear accord.

Mike Pompeo, US secretary of state, said Washington would sanction “any individual or entity that materially contributes to the supply, sale, or transfer of conventional arms to or from Iran”.

“Every nation that seeks peace and stability in the Middle East and supports the fight against terrorism should refrain from any arms transactions with Iran,” Mr Pompeo said in a statement. “Providing arms to Iran will only aggravate tensions in the region.”

The Trump administration had sought to extend the embargo but suffered a defeat at the UN Security Council in August, when Russia and China voted against the move and 11 powers, including the UK, France and Germany, abstained.

The following month, the US imposed more sanctions and Mr Trump claimed that all UN sanctions on Iran had been restored and the arms embargo extended.

While sharing some of the US’s concerns, Washington’s European allies said that the US could not take such measures because it had already withdrawn from the nuclear deal, known as the JCPOA.

“In the short term, the impact of the expiry will be limited. Iran’s financial position means we don’t expect them to be able to make large purchases of arms,” said a European diplomat. “We share the US objectives; where we differ is on whether you should collapse the JCPOA to achieve them. For us it’s really important to prevent Iran developing a nuclear weapon and we still believe the JCPOA is the best vehicle.”

The UK, Germany and France opposed Mr Trump’s decision to pull the US out of the deal in 2018 and impose swingeing sanctions on the republic. Iran increased its nuclear activity in response but Tehran and the other signatories, including Russia and China, have remained committed to the 2015 deal.

The expiration of the embargo, which the UN Security Council imposed in 2007, was agreed as one of the so-called sunset clauses in the accord.

Hassan Rouhani, Iran’s president, said this week that Tehran could import and export arms to “whoever we like as of Sunday”. But potential buyers will be wary of being targeted by secondary US sanctions.

Iran’s president Hassan Rouhani (third from left) chairs a meeting in Tehran on Sunday © Ebrahim Seydi/Iranian Presidency/dpa

Analysts said it was unlikely that Iran would embark on large arms purchases because its economy has been crippled by the US sanctions, coronavirus and the slump in oil prices.

However, Ellie Geranmayeh, an Iran specialist at the European Council on Foreign Relations think-tank, said Russia and China were likely to announce arms agreements with Iran “to poke the Trump administration in the eye” and show that “the US was the loser in the game”.

But she added: “US sanctions on the financial sector and recent measures targeting Iran’s defence industry will make Russian and Chinese companies think twice, both in terms of coming under US pressure and if they can get paid by Iran.”

The lifting of the embargo is unlikely to alter the balance of military power in the region, as Iran’s regional rivals, including Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, spend tens of billions of dollars on US weapons.

Iran has been under varying degrees of international sanctions since the 1979 Islamic revolution, which forced it to develop an indigenous defence industry.

It produces an array of weapons, including drones and ballistic missiles, that are considered core to its national security. It has also built up a network of militant groups across the region that act as proxies as part of its defence strategy, aware that it cannot compete with its rivals in terms of conventional weapons.

“Iran has neither the resources, the personnel, the doctrine or the eager sellers to grow into a conventional power rapidly,” said Emile Hokayem, Middle East expert at the International Institute for Strategic Studies. “But there are discrete capabilities that would threaten US dominance, such as anti-ship missiles.”

Copyright The Financial Times Limited . All rights reserved. Please don’t copy articles from FT.com and redistribute by email or post to the web.

Palestinians fire rocket from outside the Temple Walls: Revelation 11

Palestinians fire rocket into southern Israel

October 17, 2020

The Gaza-Israel border has been mostly quiet, with Hamas has batting both the Covid pandemic and rival terror groups.

By World Israel News Staff and AP

Palestinian terrorists in the Gaza Strip fired a rocket into southern Israel on Friday, the Israeli military announced.

There were no reports of casualties or damage and no one immediately claimed responsibility for the rocket fire.

The Gaza-Israel border has been mostly quiet since a coronavirus outbreak spread in the Hamas-ruled coastal territory in August. Hamas has its hands full, between the Covid pandemic and its violent clashes with rival terror groups in the Gaza Strip, such as Palestinian Islamic Jihad.

In September, Gazan terrorists fired 13 rockets into Israel.

The strike was launched on the day of a historic signing ceremony in Washington, where two Gulf Arab states established full diplomatic relations with Israel.

As President Donald Trump hosted the peace treaty signing ceremony at the White House on September 16, terrorists in Gaza fired two rockets at Israel, sending hundreds of thousands of Israelis scrambling to reach bomb shelters. The Iron Dome defense system shot down one of the rockets, but the second exploded on a street in the port city of Ashdod, injuring four Israelis, one moderately and three lightly.

IDF aircraft retaliated with airstrikes at Hamas targets in Gaza, but overnight residents of a dozen communities that border Gaza were shocked out of bed by alerts starting at 4:30 a.m,. when terrorists fired 13 rockets over the next hour.

Once radar detects incoming rockets and sets of alarms, people living in the small city of Sderot and other local towns and farming villages have only 15 seconds to reach shelter before the rockets explode.

Eight of the rockets fired from Gaza during the Sept. 16-17  attack were intercepted by Iron Dome, and the others exploded in unpopulated areas, the army said.

The  Islamic Jihad terror group announced that the morning attack was carried out as part of the “bomb for bomb” equation following the air force retaliation. Hamas spokesman Hazem Qassem also said that the rockets were a response to the “IDF attack.”

Ex-Official Remarks on Normalizing Ties with Israel Spurs the Antichrist

Ex-Official Remarks on Normalizing Ties with Israel Spurs Controversy in Iraq

Baghdad – Fadhel al-Nashmi 

Iraq’s former deputy prime minister and well-known politician Bahaa al-Araji made contentious remarks that sparked widespread controversy over the chances of Iraq normalizing ties with Israel. 

Najaf, the center of Shiite political power in Iraq, would play a major role in the normalization of ties with Israel, Araji said. 

In an interview with a local television channel funded by Iran, Araji, who is also a former member of the Sadrist Movement, said that “Iraq is very prepared to normalize relations with Israel, and the conditions are well-suited.” 

“It is possible that the normalization decision will come from the Najaf governorate, not from the capital, Baghdad,” he said, referring to the Shiite religious authorities. 

Araji was one of the most prominent leaders of the Sadrist Movement, an Iraqi national movement led by Shiite cleric, Muqtada al-Sadr. 

Despite Shiite authorities in Najaf not responding to Araji’s statements, Sadr spokesman Saleh Muhammad Al-Iraqi used his Facebook page to deliver a serious threat. 

“The enemy of Najaf … if he does not get disciplined, we will punish him,” al-Iraqi said in a post directed at Araji. 

Normalizing ties with Israel has long divided Iraqis into three main groups: supporters, oppositionists and those who do not consider the matter a pressing issue because of the geographical distance between Baghdad and Tel Aviv. 

The third group sees that Iraq suffers from division, corruption, violence and mismanagement and is not ready to address the question of normalizing ties with Tel Aviv. 

The Iraqi government, under Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi, has elected to ignore other Arab states normalizing ties with Israel. 

Asked about the UAE and Israel normalizing ties, Kadhimi told the Washington Post that it was a UAE decision and that Iraq must not interfere. 

Mithal al-Alusi , the leader of the Iraqi Ummah Party, on the other hand, outspokenly calls for pushing Iraq towards normalizing ties with Israel.

In 2004, after making a public visit to Israel, Alusi was expelled from the Iraqi National Congress. He was indicted by the Central Criminal Court of Iraq for “having contacts with enemy states.”

A year later, Alusi’s car was ambushed by armed assailants in the Hayy Al-Jamia neighborhood of Baghdad. His two sons Ayman, 29, and Jamal, 24, were killed in the attack, as well as one of his bodyguards.

Real Risk, Few Precautions (Revelation 6:12)

 By WILLIAM K. STEVENSPublished: October 24, 1989
AN EARTHQUAKE as powerful as the one that struck northern California last week could occur almost anywhere along the East Coast, experts say. And if it did, it would probably cause far more destruction than the West Coast quake.
The chances of such an occurrence are much less in the East than on the West Coast. Geologic stresses in the East build up only a hundredth to a thousandth as fast as in California, and this means that big Eastern quakes are far less frequent. Scientists do not really know what the interval between them might be, nor are the deeper-lying geologic faults that cause them as accessible to study. So seismologists are at a loss to predict when or where they will strike.
But they do know that a temblor with a magnitude estimated at 7 on the Richter scale – about the same magnitude as last week’s California quake – devastated Charleston, S.C., in 1886. And after more than a decade of study, they also know that geologic structures similar to those that caused the Charleston quake exist all along the Eastern Seaboard.
For this reason, ”we can’t preclude that a Charleston-sized earthquake might occur anywhere along the East Coast,” said David Russ, the assistant chief geologist of the United States Geological Survey in Reston, Va. ”It could occur in Washington. It could occur in New York.”
If that happens, many experts agree, the impact will probably be much greater than in California.Easterners, unlike Californians, have paid very little attention to making buildings and other structures earthquake-proof or earthquake-resistant. ”We don’t have that mentality here on the East Coast,” said Robert Silman, a New York structural engineer whose firm has worked on 3,800 buildings in the metropolitan area.
Moreover, buildings, highways, bridges, water and sewer systems and communications networks in the East are all older than in the West and consequently more vulnerable to damage. Even under normal conditions, for instance, water mains routinely rupture in New York City.
The result, said Dr. John Ebel, a geophysicist who is the assistant director of Boston College’s Weston Observatory, is that damage in the East would probably be more widespread, more people could be hurt and killed, depending on circumstances like time of day, and ”it would probably take a lot longer to get these cities back to useful operating levels.”
On top of this, scientists say, an earthquake in the East can shake an area 100 times larger than a quake of the same magnitude in California. This is because the earth’s crust is older, colder and more brittle in the East and tends to transmit seismic energy more efficiently. ”If you had a magnitude 7 earthquake and you put it halfway between New York City and Boston,” Dr. Ebel said, ”you would have the potential of doing damage in both places,” not to mention cities like Hartford and Providence.
Few studies have been done of Eastern cities’ vulnerability to earthquakes. But one, published last June in The Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, calculated the effects on New York City of a magnitude 6 earthquake. That is one-tenth the magnitude of last week’s California quake, but about the same as the Whittier, Calif., quake two years ago.
The study found that such an earthquake centered 17 miles southeast of City Hall, off Rockaway Beach, would cause $11 billion in damage to buildings and start 130 fires. By comparison, preliminary estimates place the damage in last week’s California disaster at $4 billion to $10 billion. If the quake’s epicenter were 11 miles southeast of City Hall, the study found, there would be about $18 billion in damage; if 5 miles, about $25 billion.
No estimates on injuries or loss of life were made. But a magnitude 6 earthquake ”would probably be a disaster unparalleled in New York history,” wrote the authors of the study, Charles Scawthorn and Stephen K. Harris of EQE Engineering in San Francisco.
The study was financed by the National Center for Earthquake Engineering Research at the State University of New York at Buffalo. The research and education center, supported by the National Science Foundation and New York State, was established in 1986 to help reduce damage and loss of life from earthquakes.
The study’s postulated epicenter of 17 miles southeast of City Hall was the location of the strongest quake to strike New York since it has been settled, a magnitude 5 temblor on Aug. 10, 1884. That 1884 quake rattled bottles and crockery in Manhattan and frightened New Yorkers, but caused little damage. Seismologists say a quake of that order is likely to occur within 50 miles of New York City every 300 years. Quakes of magnitude 5 are not rare in the East. The major earthquake zone in the eastern half of the country is the central Mississippi Valley, where a huge underground rift causes frequent geologic dislocations and small temblors. The most powerful quake ever known to strike the United States occurred at New Madrid, Mo., in 1812. It was later estimated at magnitude 8.7 and was one of three quakes to strike that area in 1811-12, all of them stronger than magnitude 8. They were felt as far away as Washington, where they rattled chandeliers, Boston and Quebec.
Because the New Madrid rift is so active, it has been well studied, and scientists have been able to come up with predictions for the central Mississippi valley, which includes St. Louis and Memphis. According to Dr. Russ, there is a 40 to 63 percent chance that a quake of magnitude 6 will strike that area between now and the year 2000, and an 86 to 97 percent chance that it will do so by 2035. The Federal geologists say there is a 1 percent chance or less of a quake greater than magnitude 7 by 2000, and a 4 percent chance or less by 2035.
Elsewhere in the East, scientists are limited in their knowledge of probabilities partly because faults that could cause big earthquakes are buried deeper in the earth’s crust. In contrast to California, where the boundary between two major tectonic plates creates the San Andreas and related faults, the eastern United States lies in the middle of a major tectonic plate. Its faults are far less obvious, their activity far more subtle, and their slippage far slower. 
Any large earthquake would be ”vastly more serious” in the older cities of the East than in California,  said Dr. Tsu T. Soong, a professor of civil engineering at the State University of New York at Buffalo who is a researcher in earthquake-mitigation technology at the National Center for Earthquake Engineering Research. First, he said, many buildings are simply older, and therefore weaker and more  vulnerable to collapse. Second, there is no seismic construction code in most of the East as there is in California, where such codes have been in place for decades.
The vulnerability is evident in many ways. ”I’m sitting here looking out my window,” said Mr. Silman, the structural engineer in New York, ”and I see a bunch of water tanks all over the place” on rooftops. ”They are not anchored down at all, and it’s very possible they would fall in an earthquake.”
 Many brownstones, he said, constructed as they are of unreinforced masonry walls with wood joists between, ”would just go like a house of cards.” Unreinforced masonry, in fact, is the single most vulnerable structure, engineers say. Such buildings are abundant, even predominant, in many older cities. The Scawthorn-Harris study reviewed inventories of all buildings in Manhattan as of 1972 and found that 28,884, or more than half, were built of unreinforced masonry. Of those, 23,064 were three to five stories high.
Buildings of reinforced masonry, reinforced concrete and steel would hold up much better, engineers say, and wooden structures are considered intrinsically tough in ordinary circumstances. The best performers, they say, would probably be skyscrapers built in the last 20 years. As Mr. Silman explained, they have been built to withstand high winds, and the same structural features that enable them to do so also help them resist an earthquake’s force. But even these new towers have not been provided with the seismic protections required in California and so are more vulnerable than similar structures on the West Coast.
Buildings in New York are not generally constructed with such seismic protections as base-isolated structures, in which the building is allowed to shift with the ground movement; or with flexible frames that absorb and distribute energy through columns and beams so that floors can flex from side to side, or with reinforced frames that help resist distortion.
”If you’re trying to make a building ductile – able to absorb energy – we’re not geared to think that way,” said Mr. Silman.
New York buildings also contain a lot of decorative stonework, which can be dislodged and turned into lethal missiles by an earthquake. In California, building codes strictly regulate such architectural details.
Manhattan does, however, have at least one mitigating factor: ”We are blessed with this bedrock island,” said Mr. Silman. ”That should work to our benefit; we don’t have shifting soils. But there are plenty of places that are problem areas, particularly the shoreline areas,” where landfills make the ground soft and unstable.
As scientists have learned more about geologic faults in the Northeast, the nation’s uniform building code – the basic, minimum code followed throughout the country – has been revised accordingly. Until recently, the code required newly constructed buildings in New York City to withstand at least 19 percent of the side-to-side seismic force that a comparable building in the seismically active areas of California must handle. Now the threshold has been raised to 25 percent.
New York City, for the first time, is moving to adopt seismic standards as part of its own building code. Local and state building codes can and do go beyond the national code. Charles M. Smith Jr., the city Building Commissioner, last spring formed a committee of scientists, engineers, architects and government officials to recommend the changes.
”They all agree that New York City should anticipate an earthquake,” Mr. Smith said. As to how big an earthquake, ”I don’t think anybody would bet on a magnitude greater than 6.5,” he said. ”I don’t know,” he added, ”that our committee will go so far as to acknowledge” the damage levels in the Scawthorn-Harris study, characterizing it as ”not without controversy.”
For the most part, neither New York nor any other Eastern city has done a detailed survey of just how individual buildings and other structures would be affected, and how or whether to modify them.
”The thing I think is needed in the East is a program to investigate all the bridges” to see how they would stand up to various magnitudes of earthquake,” said Bill Geyer, the executive vice president of the New York engineering firm of Steinman, Boynton, Gronquist and Birdsall, which is rehabilitating the cable on the Williamsburg Bridge. ”No one has gone through and done any analysis of the existing bridges.”
In general, he said, the large suspension bridges, by their nature, ”are not susceptible to the magnitude of earthquake you’d expect in the East.” But the approaches and side spans of some of them might be, he said, and only a bridge-by-bridge analysis would tell. Nor, experts say, are some elevated highways in New York designed with the flexibility and ability to accommodate motion that would enable them to withstand a big temblor.
Tunnels Vulnerable
The underground tunnels that carry travelers under the rivers into Manhattan, those that contain the subways and those that carry water, sewers and natural gas would all be vulnerable to rupture, engineers say. The Lincoln, Holland, PATH and Amtrak tunnels, for instance, go from bedrock in Manhattan to soft soil under the Hudson River to bedrock again in New Jersey, said Mark Carter, a partner in Raamot Associates, geotechnical engineers specializing in soils and foundations.
Likewise, he said, subway tunnels between Manhattan and Queens go from hard rock to soft soil to hard rock on Roosevelt Island, to soft soil again and back to rock. The boundaries between soft soil and rock are points of weakness, he said.
”These structures are old,” he said, ”and as far as I know they have not been designed for earthquake loadings.”
Even if it is possible to survey all major buildings and facilities to determine what corrections can be made, cities like New York would then face a major decision: Is it worth spending the money to modify buildings and other structures to cope with a quake that might or might not come in 100, or 200 300 years or more?
”That is a classical problem” in risk-benefit analysis, said Dr. George Lee, the acting director of the Earthquake Engineering Research Center in Buffalo. As more is learned about Eastern earthquakes, he said, it should become ”possible to talk about decision-making.” But for now, he said, ”I think it’s premature for us to consider that question.”

Israel: Gaza militants fire rocket into southern Israel from outside the Temple Walls: Revelation 11

Israel: Gaza militants fire rocket into southern Israel

4:05 pm EDT, Friday, October 16, 2020

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — Palestinian militants from the Gaza Strip fired a rocket into southern Israel on Friday, the Israeli military said. There were no reports of casualties or damage and no one immediately claimed responsibility for the rocket fire.

The Gaza-Israel border has been mostly quiet since a coronavirus outbreak spread in the Hamas-ruled coastal territory in August. The militant group has devoted its efforts to contain the spread of the virus in the crowded enclave, which is blockaded by Israel and Egypt.

However, Hamas is disgruntled, saying Israel ignores terms of an unofficial cease-fire brokered by regional and international mediators. That deal envisions an easing of the blockade, large-scale projects to save the economy and job programs to tackle soaring unemployment in the strip.

Here comes the big one! Jeremiah 23

Low pressure system has 90% chance of becoming Tropical Storm Epsilon, hurricane center says

Paola Pérez

Orlando Sentinel

Oct 17, 2020 at 1:41 PM

National Hurricane Center

The National Hurricane Center increased the odds of development on Saturday for a low pressure system in the mid-Atlantic with higher chances of becoming the next tropical depression or storm this season.

Hurricane specialists are also keeping their eye on a second system with low odds of development in the southwestern Caribbean Sea.

First, a non-tropical low pressure system is experiencing better organization and is located about 500 miles east-southeast of Bermuda, according to the NHC’s 2 p.m. update.

Forecasters expect some gradual tropical development from the system through the middle of next week. The system has a 80% chance of developing into the next tropical depression or tropical storm in the next two days, and a 90% chance of doing so in the next five.

Forecasters expect it to become a subtropical or tropical depression in the next few days as it moves to the southeast of Bermuda.

A second broad area of low pressure is predicted to emerge early next week in the southwestern Caribbean Sea. There is an expectation of some development as the system moves slowly northward or north-northwestward, the NHC said.

Forecasters give the system a 30% chance of developing into a tropical depression or storm in the next five days.

Whichever system, if either, develops into a tropical storm, it would be the 26th named storm of the year and given the Greek letter Epsilon as its name.

The official last day of hurricane season is Nov. 30.

Paola Pérez can be reached at paoperez@orlandosentinel.com or on Twitter @pdesiperez.

Orlando Sentinel staff writer Joe Mario Pedersen contributed to this report.

Paola Pérez is a web producer for the Sentinel, working behind the scenes on the homepage and social media. Hailing from the Dominican Republic, she lived in Fort Myers, Florida, since 2003, and then went on to study journalism at the University of Central Florida. Paola also served as a reporter at the New York Times’ Student Institute.

The Indian and Korean nuclear horns: Daniel 7

UN reports confirm India-North Korea illicit nuclear links (part-11)

The case in point regarding the Indian-North Korean illicit nuclear connection glaringly exposes that India violated the commitments adhered in the NSG waiver given to India.The NSG passed a waiver of restrictions on nuclear commerce with India in September 2008 despite India’s failure to meet either of these nonproliferation norms. The NSG exempted India from its full- scope safeguards (FSS) condition, making it the first country to be allowed to have nuclear trade with NSG members along with its nuclear weapons program.

When India was given the NSG waiver via US intervention, not only Pakistan but some members of the NSG were also opposed to this unjust grant of a waiver to India by the NSG that allowed it to trade in the nuclear materials. However, there remained justified concerns that the group, instead of applying a criteria-based approach, encouraged selective states for nuclear trade to become its part through country-specific exemptions. Therefore, the reservations chartered by Pakistan and other states like Australia, New Zealand, Ireland and Switzerland were based on these logical arguments.

Firstly, on India’s nuclear testing moratorium, most of the member states emphasized a legally-binding testing moratorium. Although India committed itself to continue its unilateral moratorium on nuclear testing, it was suggested to provide some legally-binding assurances such as signing the CTBT (Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty). A diplomat is quoted as saying, ‘when every single member country of the NSG has signed the CTBT, why should India get a free pass’. Another diplomat also said ‘Nobody seriously expected India to sign the CTBT as a precondition for the waiver-as the American diplomats’ lobby would have favoured India. What needs to be looked at is how to deal with the new situation which would be created were India to test again’.

Some countries suggested conditioning the waiver on India’s signing the CTBT and others recommended that there should be some mechanism to deal with the situation if India tested a nuclear weapon and was not willing to sign the treaty. Some members called for automatic termination of the waiver in case of an Indian nuclear test; while others wanted to leave this to the individual member countries. It is important to note here that only the US domestic laws provide for immediate termination of the nuclear trade in case of a nuclear test. But unjustlythere had been no reference given in the waiver to work towards full-scope safeguards.

India has been providing both financial and military assistance to North Korea in total disregard to and in violation of global non-proliferation regimes and at the expense of regional and global stability

Secondly, because of India’s uncertain compliance with the nonproliferation commitments, it was also suggested to incorporate a review provision in the proposed waiver draft. Some countries had suggested having some kind of monitoring mechanism to assess the extent to which India is abiding by its nonproliferation commitments. Thirdly, the question of enrichment and reprocessing (ENR) technology was also a grave issue. Some member states argued to include a provision denying the transfer of ENR technology.Nonetheless, with the NSGnew guidelines introduced in 2011 regarding the transfer of sensitive nuclear technology, India’s privilege of a clean waiver was duly nullified. Now that the NSG has agreed on new guidelines which require NPT membership, India vehemently criticized the decision that this is against the ‘clean waiver’.The NSG made it clear that the waiver exempted India from the requirement of FSS safeguards but not NSG policies on ENR transfer.

Basically, the only real technological barrier to the construction of a covert nuclear weaponsprogramme is access to fissionable material itself. There seems a growing black market for this material as vindicated by the DRPK-India nuclear links, and eventually, demand will result in enough material reaching as-yet- unidentified buyers to produce a nuclear weapon in the basement. Obviously, the terrorist threatsof contamination– using radioactive substances gain enhanced credibility as the number of smuggling incidents continues to rise. The current revelation by the UN panel is indicative of the fact that an illicit nuclear connection remains established between Pyongyang and New Delhi. Eliminating the menace of nuclear terrorism while making a substantial and enduring contribution to world peace in this area, an action must be taken in order to prevent the short-term and the long term threats.

Although to a large extent India has been successful in securing membership of the Missile Technology Control Regime (June 2016), the Wassennar Arrangement (Dec 2017), and the Australia Group (Jan 2018), New Delhi’s credentials– to acquire its peaceful means of nuclear energy/ fissile material-are not yet a good fit for the UN set goals/ objective towards the complement of a world seeking multilateral commitments from world’s de jure and de/ facto, and the aspirant nuclear states. And yet, there is a strong bipartisan proposition/consensus that argues that the Indo-US nuclear deal has had a strategic importance to US imperialism’s strategy to counter China’s growing rise in the first half of the 21st century.

Needless to say, India has a long record of developing both nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles under the guise of peaceful nuclear and space cooperation since the US-India nuclear deal. Supporting India’s reactors only reinforces the perceived prestige of nuclear technology for developing countries, but a double standard set by the United States sets a bad example for the acquisition of peaceful nuclear energy. Recently, the Foreign Policy magazine alleged that India started building a secret nuclear city in Challakere in Karnataka, which when completed would be “the subcontinent’s largest military-run complex of nuclear centrifuges, atomic-research laboratories, and weapons- and aircraft-testing facilities”.

As part of the India-US Nuclear Agreement-2005, the United States sought an India-specific NSG waiver in 2008-overridingly exempting India from its full-scope safeguards condition. India is now bidding on NSG membership. But the veritable fact isshown by the NSG previous waiver negotiations with India that New Delhi would resist non-proliferation conditions and it would undermine the credo of the nonproliferation nuclear regime.Unfortunately, the US political nuclear umbrella given to India has been undermining the NSG neutral evaluation criteria.According to Pierre Goldschmidt, the former IAEA’s official, ” there is a need to give the International Atomic Energy Agency “both the authority and capabilities to detect any undeclared nuclear related activity.”

Arguably, the Indian waiver– largely influenced by the economic and political motivations of large nuclear suppliers –establishes a double standard for providing India with the same trade benefits of NPT members but without the nonproliferation obligations-consequently paves the way for a nuclear apartheid regime- a bad omen for the nuclear non-proliferation regime.Needless to say, India has been providing both financial and military assistance to North Korea in total disregard to and in violation of global non-proliferation regimes and at the expense of regional and global stability. Against this backdrop, it is argued that India must lose its right to use the NSG waiver. Concluded

The writer is an independent ‘IR’ researcher and international law analyst based in Pakistan