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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.

Pundit Says We Should Prepare for the Bowls of Wrath: Revelation 16

Lukashenko warns World War III
Belarus’ President Alexander Lukashenko, a key ally of Vladimir Putin, warned on Monday that Western countries have supplying military aid to Ukraine could lead to World War III. Above, Lukashenko is seen in Moscow on March 11.MIKHAIL KLIMENTYEV/SPUTNIK/AFP VIA GETTY IMAGES

Putin Ally Warns World War III Is Coming Unless West Stops Weapons Supply

BY ANDREW STANTON ON 5/23/22 AT 6:37 PM EDT

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, a key ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, has warned that Western countries supplying weapons to Ukraine could lead to World War III.

In a letter to United Nations Secretary General António Guterres released on Monday, Lukashenko warned that international efforts to bolster Ukraine’s security could lead to the conflict in that country expanding into another world war, according to Belarusian state media outlet Belta.

Lukashenko said Belarus “calls on the countries of the world to unite and prevent the regional conflict in Europe from escalating into a full-scale world war!”

Several world powers, including the United States, have recently supplied billions of dollars in aid, including weapons, to Ukraine, following Russia’s widely condemned invasion. But leaders have walked a thin line between supporting Ukraine and avoiding direct engagement with Russia in an effort not to escalate the conflict, specifically with regard to nuclear weapons.

As the Belarusian leader warned against the international community selling weapons to Ukraine, he accepted nuclear-capable missiles from Russia, an indication of just how close the two countries remain.

As most European countries condemned Russia’s invasion and supported Ukraine, Belarus has emerged as the Kremlin’s closest ally in the invasion. Lukashenko has remained relatively quiet about the war, offering only thinly veiled criticisms that the conflict is dragging on too long—a stark contrast from other European leaders who have wholeheartedly backed Ukraine.

In an English translation of his letter released on Monday, Lukashenko listed ways he said that the international community could help avoid escalating the conflict: “refrain from arms supplies, from information warfare and any provocations, from inflating hate speech in the media, from promoting racism and discrimination on the grounds of national, cultural, linguistic and religious affiliation, from legalizing and sending mercenaries.” He added, “We must jointly resist restrictive trade measures.”

He continued to advise that the United Nations play only a peacekeeping role throughout the conflict. Lukashenko also attacked Western leaders for their handling of Russia, appearing to cast blame on them for the invasion.

“The reluctance of Western countries to work to strengthen unified and indivisible security, their disrespect for legitimate interests and ignoring the concerns of other partners, primarily Russia, resulted first in trade, economic and information wars, and then provoked a heated conflict on the territory of Ukraine,” he wrote.

The Belarusian president’s letter came after the United States recently sent aid to Ukraine.

Among a Ukrainian aid package announced in April, the U.S. sent weapons including 72 155mm Howitzers, 144,000 artillery rounds, 72 tactical vehicles used to tow the Howitzers and more than 121 “Phoenix Ghost Tactical” drones. The U.S. Senate also passed a $40 billion bipartisan package last week.

Lukashenko’s letter was not the first time Russia and its allies have invoked World War III. In late April, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov warned there is a “serious” risk of a global conflict, accusing the North Atlantic Treaty Organization of engaging in a proxy conflict with Russia. He said sending weapons to Ukraine “adds fuel to the fire,” a similar argument to the one used by Lukashenko.

Guterres’ spokesman Stéphane Dujarric de la Rivière confirmed to Newsweek he received the letter but declined to comment on its contents.

The Russian Horn Continues to Nuke Up With Satan: Daniel 7

Sarmat missile test launch on April 20, 2022.
Sarmat missile test launch on April 20, 2022.

Russia warns it will soon have 50 brand new ‘Satan-2’ nuclear missiles

Snejana Farberov

May 23, 2022 2:57pm 

The Kremlin continued threatening the West with potential nuclear strikes by boasting that Russia’s arsenal will soon include 50 new missiles, dubbed “Satan-2” by NATO.

Dmitry Rogozin, head of Russia’s state space agency, Roscosmos — and a staunch ally of President Vladimir Putin — warned Sunday that the new Sarmat-2 intercontinental ballistic missiles, which measure 14 stories tall, will soon be combat-ready.

“I suggest that aggressors speak to us more politely,” Rogozin said.

He also tweeted a video showing a crater measuring 26 feet deep and 66 feet in diameter that was caused by a blank Satan-2 missile at the Kura Missile Test Range in Russia’s Kamchatka region.

“When equipped with a nuclear warhead, such a crater at an enemy target (geographic target) would be … very … very large and very deep and radioactive,” Rogozin warned. “And not just one, but exactly as many as the most powerful nuclear missile in the world will deliver to the territory of a hateful enemy.

Sarmat missile test launch on April 20, 2022.
Dmitry Rogozin warned Sunday that the new Sarmat-2 intercontinental ballistic missiles will soon be combat-ready.
The Yars mobile intercontinental ballistic missile launcher during the Victory Day military parade in Red Square marking the 75th anniversary of the victory in World War II, on June 24, 2020 in Moscow, Russia.
Kremlin continued threatening the West with potential nuclear strikes by boasting that Russia’s arsenal will soon include 50 new missiles.

In the video shared by Rogozin, a journalist with the TV channel Zvezda, which is operated by Russia’s Ministry of Defense, descends into the chasm left by the 220-ton Satan-2 missile, which he says “strikes the imagination.

After a successful test launch of Satan-2 last month, Putin said in a televised address that the missile, officially known in Russia as RS-28 Sarmat, had no competition and would make Russia’s enemies “think twice” before issuing threats.

The Kremlin strongman also warned that the Satan-2 missile “is capable of overcoming all modern means of anti-missile defense.”

Rogozin, whose agency oversees the missile factory building the Satan-2, described the test of the “superweapon” as a “present to NATO.”

First introduced in 2018, Satan-2 has an estimated range between 6,200 and 11,800 miles, allowing Kremlin to launch the missile anywhere across the world, although the Pentagon previously downplayed the threat to the US and its NATO allies, reported Live Science.

Defense Department press secretary John Kirby said Russia “properly notified” the United States ahead of the April test launch, and that “such testing is routine and was not a surprise.”

TV Zvezda presenter inside the Sarmat missile body showing its huge size.
TV Zvezda/east2west news
TV Zvezda cameraman inside the crater left by Sarmat test launch at Kura landfill, Kamchatka.
A TV Zvezda cameraman inside the crater left by the Sarmat test launch at Kura landfill, Kamchatka.

Talk of nuclear missiles and threats against the West comes as the invasion of Ukraine is about to enter its fifth month. And while Russian state TV has been rife with propaganda, there have been some glimmers of dissent.

Cellphone video emerged on Twitter over the weekend showing a crowd of Russian concertgoers at a performance by the punk band Kis-Kis in Saint Petersburg chanting in unison, “F–k the war!”

The act of mass civil disobedience, which in Russia could be punishable by fines and jail time, took place at the A2 Green Concert venue Friday, according to Business Insider.

Head of Russian space agency Roscosmos Dmitry Rogozin with Vladimir Putin at Vostochny cosmodrome on April 12, 2022.
Head of Russian space agency Roscosmos Dmitry Rogozin with Vladimir Putin at the Vostochny cosmodrome on April 12, 2022.
Head of Russian space agency Roscosmos Dmitry Rogozin
Head of Russian space agency Roscosmos Dmitry Rogozin is a staunch ally of President Vladimir Putin.

The Russian independent newspaper Novaya Gazeta has reported that since the start of the war on Feb. 24, 2,029 people have been charged with discrediting the Russian army by voicing their opposition to the invasion of Ukraine.

Tenth Shake Before the Sixth Seal: Revelation 6

20th earthquake strikes in Kershaw County since December

The area has seen 20 small earthquakes since December.

Author: WLTX

Published: 3:52 PM EST March 9, 2022

Updated: 11:49 PM EST March 9, 2022

KERSHAW COUNTY, S.C. — Kershaw County has recorded its second earthquake this month, continuing a trend of minor tremors in that area that began late last year.

The quake is on the lower end of the strength scale and it’s unlikely anyone felt it unless they were near the epicenter. 

Just four days ago–on March 5–a 1.8 magnitude quake was recorded only a few miles from this latest tremor. Since December 27, a total of 20 earthquakes have rattled the same region, 17 of those presumed to be aftershocks of a considerably larger magnitude 3.3 earthquake that preceded them.

It’s not known why this area has seen so many earthquakes in such a short amount of time. 

Credit: WLTX

Earthquakes happen throughout the state but most occur near the coast. Approximately 70 percent of earthquakes are in the coastal plain, with most happening in the Lowcountry.

Back in 1886, Charleston was hit by a catastrophic earthquake. It had an estimated magnitude of 7.3, and was felt as far away and Cuba and New York. At least 60 people were killed, and thousands of building were damaged.

Structural damage extended hundreds of miles to cities in Alabama, Ohio, and Kentucky.

Geologists say that Charleston lies in one of the most seismically active areas in the eastern United States. 

Israel says 5 Palestinians arrested outside the Temple Walls: Revelation 11

FILE - Masked Palestinians carry Palestinian and Hamas flags during Eid al-Fitr celebrations next to the next to the Dome of the Rock Mosque in the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in the Old City of Jerusalem on May 2, 2022. Israeli authorities said Tuesday, May 24, they have foiled a wide-ranging plot by Hamas militants to shoot a member of parliament, kidnap soldiers and bomb Jerusalem's light rail system during a surge of violence that has left dozens dead in recent weeks. (AP Photo/Mahmoud Illean, File)

Israel says 5 Palestinians arrested in alleged attack plots

FILE – Masked Palestinians carry Palestinian and Hamas flags during Eid al-Fitr celebrations next to the next to the Dome of the Rock Mosque in the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in the Old City of Jerusalem on May 2, 2022. Israeli authorities said Tuesday, May 24, they have foiled a wide-ranging plot by Hamas militants to shoot a member of parliament, kidnap soldiers and bomb Jerusalem’s light rail system during a surge of violence that has left dozens dead in recent weeks. (AP Photo/Mahmoud Illean, File)

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israeli authorities said Tuesday they have foiled a wide-ranging plot by Palestinian militant Hamas group to shoot a member of parliament, kidnap soldiers and bomb Jerusalem’s light rail system during a surge of violence that has left dozens dead in recent weeks.

The police and Shin Bet security services said in a statement that five Palestinian men from east Jerusalem had been arrested for allegedly planning a shooting attack against far-right lawmaker Itamar Ben-Gvir and other targets at a time of heightened tensions in the flashpoint city.

The suspects, authorities said, had planned the attacks last month, during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, to “destabilize” the area around the Al-Aqsa Mosque, known to Jews as the Temple Mount.

Authorities said a drone was found, intended to be armed and used in an attack on Jerusalem’s light rail, which sees daily crowds of commuters and tourists.

They identified the plot leaders as Hamas militants Rashid Rashak and Mansur Tzafadi, who “delivered many fireworks, flags and Hamas videos” to east Jerusalem neighborhoods last month during Ramadan. Security forces also seized a camera to be used to photograph “abductees,” cash and other equipment.

Biden says the U.S. would be willing to intervene militarily against the Chinese Horn

Biden says the U.S. would be willing to intervene militarily to defend Taiwan

Updated May 23, 20228:33 AM ET 

ANTHONY KUHN

President Joe Biden speaks during a news conference with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida at Akasaka Palace, Monday, May 23, 2022, in Tokyo.

Evan Vucci/AP

SEOUL — President Biden said Monday that the U.S. would defend Taiwan if it was attacked by mainland China, while insisting that America’s policy toward the island had not changed.

Biden, asked at a press conference in Tokyo if the U.S. would intervene military to defend Taiwan, said, “that’s the commitment we made.” Speaking alongside Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, he added that the U.S. maintains a “one China policy,” recognizing Beijing as the government of China, but said that the idea that Taiwan can be “just taken by force … is just not appropriate.”

China considers the self-ruled island part of its territory, and its Foreign Ministry swiftly rejected Biden’s remarks as interference in its internal affairs.

“When it comes to issues related to China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and other core interests,” ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin told reporters, “there is no room for China to compromise or make concessions.”

The White House walked back similar remarks by Biden last year, which appeared to undercut America’s long-standing policy of “strategic ambiguity,” that is, not telegraphing how Washington might respond to an invasion of Taiwan.

“I think it is unlikely that allies will perceive this as a gaffe, even as the White House insists that there has been no change in policy,” said Corey Wallace, an expert on Japanese politics at Kanagawa University, near Tokyo.

“Greater U.S. commitment or involvement with regards to Taiwan will certainly be appreciated by Kishida and others in the Japanese government,” Wallace added.

Tokyo’s previous reticence about speaking out on Taiwan has melted away as Beijing has turned up the heat on the island, and Japanese officials have publicly called for Tokyo to join Washington in defending Taiwan.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has amplified the concerns over Taiwan, as Tokyo fears Russia’s moves could embolden Beijing.

A joint statement by Biden and Kishida included a long list of concerns about China’s actions, from its upgrading its nuclear arsenal and human rights issues in China’s far-west Xinjiang region, to the “non-transparent” signing of a security agreement between China and the Solomon Islands.

Biden also unveiled a new trade agreement dubbed the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity (IPEF). The pact, signed by the U.S. and 12 Asian nations, aims to secure industrial supplies, cut carbon emissions and combat corruption.

Japan has made clear that it would prefer that the U.S. join a trade pact which then-President Trump abandoned in 2017. Originally called the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the remaining nations rebranded the TPP and ratified it without the U.S. in 2018.

While Biden promised the IPEF would bring “concrete benefits” to its members, the response from some nations has been tepid because it provides no additional access to U.S. markets and is seen as another effort to cut China out of regional trade pacts and supply chains.

Despite its reservations, though, Japan sees the IPEF as a plus, said Wallace, because it could serve as a “strategic foundation for continuing U.S. commitment to Asia by deepening U.S.-Japan economic linkages.”

Biden also received strong backing for the IPEF, and America’s policy toward Asia in general, from South Korea’s government.

President Yoon Suk Yeol, who was inaugurated less than two weeks ago, hailed the U.S. and South Korea’s military alliance and shared values at a joint press briefing with Biden over the weekend.

“We advocate democracy, human rights and freedom,” Yoon said.

Yoon’s rhetoric on the campaign trail had signaled a harder line on China, but that has yet to materialize. But the tougher stance he promised on North Korea did seem to take shape during Biden’s visit.

The two nations pledged to discuss expanding military exercises intended to deter North Korea, as well as repositioning military hardware, some potentially nuclear-armed, to the Korean Peninsula or closer to it.

Seoul and Washington had both expressed concerns that North Korea might detonate an atomic bomb or test launch an intercontinental ballistic missile while Biden was in town, but it didn’t happen.

Iranian Horn Blames US for Assassination

Colonel shot dead in Tehran; Guards blame US for attack

AFP Published May 23, 2022 –  Updated a day ago

TEHRAN: An Iranian Revolutionary Guards colonel was shot dead outside his Tehran home on Sunday, the Guards said, blaming his “assassination” on assailants linked to the United States and its allies.

The killing of Colonel Sayyad Khodai is the most high profile murder announced by Iran since the 2020 killing of top nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh.

Iran had accused Israel of masterminding the attack on Fakhrizadeh’s convoy near Tehran.

On Sunday, Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps said that “elements linked to global arrogance” — a reference to the US and its allies, including Israel — were responsible for the “terrorist act” that claimed Khodai’s life.

In a statement posted on their website, the Guards said Khodai “was assassinated in an armed attack carried out by two motorcyclists on Mojahedin-e Eslam street in Tehran”, outside his home.

The Guards — the ideological arm of Iran’s military — described Khodai as a “defender of the sanctuary”, a term used for anyone who works on behalf of the Islamic republic in Syria or Iraq.

Iran wields considerable influence in Iraq where it says it has “military advisors” tasked with training foreign “volunteers”.

The Islamic republic is also a major ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and has backed his government in that country’s 11-year civil war.

Tehran says it has deployed forces in Syria at the invitation of Damascus, but only as advisors. State television said that Khodai was “well-known” in Syria, without elaborating.

Five bullets

The official news agency IRNA said Khodai was killed by five bullets as he returned home at around 4pm. The agency published pictures showing a man slumped over in the driver’s seat of a white car, with blood around the collar of his blue shirt and on his right upper arm.

He is strapped in with his seat belt and the front window on the passenger side has been shot out.

The Guards said they launched an investigation to identify the “aggressor or aggressors”.

The Fars news agency reported that the state prosecutor visited the scene of the killing and ordered the “quick identification and arrest of the authors of this criminal act”. Khodai’s killing came as Iran and world powers have been negotiating a deal to restore a 2015 nuclear pact.

The 2015 agreement gave Iran sanctions relief in exchange for curbs on its nuclear programme to prevent Tehran from developing an atomic bomb — something it has always denied wanting to do.

But the US unilaterally withdrew from the accord in 2018 under then-president Donald Trump and reimposed biting economic sanctions, prompting Iran to begin rolling back on its own commitments.

The negotiations, aimed at bringing the US back into the deal and Iran to full compliance with it, have stalled for about two months.

One of the main stumbling block is Tehran’s demand to remove the Guards from a US terrorism list — a request rejected by Washington.

Published in Dawn, May 23rd, 2022

Antichrist will execute Iraqis communicating with Israel

Iraqis communicating with Israel in any way could soon face execution – report

Bill also forbids ‘financial or moral assistance’ to Israel, UK’s Jewish News reports, raising concern for Iraq’s Jewish community; UK Jewish leader from Iraq calls bill ‘barbaric’

By TOI STAFFToday, 3:03 pm  

Illustrative: Session at a newly elected parliament during its first session in Baghdad, Iraq, September 3, 2018. (AP Photo/Karim Kadim)

A drastic anti-Israel law set to come into effect in Iraq will see citizens who communicate with Israelis in any way sentenced to death, the UK’s Jewish News reported Monday.

The bill will apply to all Iraqi citizens, foreigners visiting Iraq, and Iraqis abroad, and will extend to Israeli-linked organizations and online communication via social media.

Titled “Banning Normalization and Establishment of Relations with the Zionist Entity,” the bill strictly forbids “contact and communication of any kind and means with the occupying Zionist entity, its nationals, and representatives, whether individuals or institutions or organizations, for any reason.”

The bill, which was introduced by anti-Western Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, also forbids the “promotion of any ideas, ideologies, principles, or Israeli or Zionist conduct, in any form,” with transgressors facing potential “execution or lifelong imprisonment.”

On a more practical level, the bill bans any form of “financial or moral assistance” to Israel or any institution affiliated with it, raising concerns for Iraqi Jews living in the semi-autonomous region of Kurdistan — once home to a vibrant Jewish community that has largely relocated to Israel since its establishment.

Populist Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr speaks during a press conference in Najaf, Iraq, Nov. 18, 2021. (AP Photo/Anmar Khalil, File)

The bill means that any form of contact between Jewish relatives from Kurdistan and Israel could result in the death penalty.

The bill still needs to receive the approval of a parliamentary subcommittee, but the Jewish News cited sources saying it would likely become law.

Across Iraq, Jewish roots run deep: Ur in the southern plains is the traditional birthplace of biblical Abraham, and the Babylonian Talmud, a central text of Judaism, was compiled in the town of the same name in the present-day Arab state.

A Kurdish Jewish grandfather and child en route to Israel in Tehran, Iran, 1950 (public domain)

In the north, the Kurdish regional capital of Erbil was once the heart of the ancient kingdom of Adiabene, which converted to Judaism in the 1st century and helped fund the building of the Temple of Jerusalem.

Jews once comprised 40 percent of Baghdad’s population, according to a 1917 Ottoman census. But after the creation of Israel in 1948, regional tensions skyrocketed and anti-Semitic campaigns took hold, pushing most of Iraq’s Jews to flee.

The roughly 150,000 Jews still in Iraq during the establishment of the Jewish state in 1948 fled fast: by 1951, 96 percent were gone. Staying meant facing growing discrimination and property expropriation.

The threat of facing execution for communicating with Israel is merely the latest attack on Iraq’s small remaining Jewish community, according to the Jewish News report, which cited “great disappointment” among Iraq’s Jewish community over being excluded from the country’s Citizenship Act of 2006 — seen by the Jewish community as a reflection of the country’s continued policy of “ethnic cleansing.”

Every three hours a plane arrived at Lod Airport carrying Jewish immigrants from Iraq and Kurdistan via Tehran, May 1951 (photo credit: GPO)

A plane arriving at Lod Airport carrying Jewish immigrants from Iraq and Kurdistan via Tehran, May 1951. (GPO)

Originally from Iraq, British Jewish leader Edwin Shuker told the Jewish News that the proposed bill was “barbaric” and argued it posed “an affront to Iraq and the good people of Iraq with whom we grew up, who desire peace, and to reconnect with Iraqi Jews wherever they have been displaced.”

“These and others are now threatened with execution. This is state-sponsored terrorism against civilians and I for one have shelved any plans to visit the country or to connect with it, even though I am a British citizen,” Shuker said, calling on the British government “to demand clarifications and to take the appropriate measures against such brutality.”

The report about the draconian bill came as London is set to host the Iraq Britain Business Council (IBBC) Spring Conference, which attracts both Iraq and British diplomatic and business officials and is sponsored by major British companies such as BP, Shell, PWC, and Serco.

Last year, a group of 300 Iraqi officials gathered at a conference in the Kurdish capital of Erbil, where speakers called for peace and reconciliation with Israel. However, they soon recanted their remarks after being subjected to death threats and arrest warrants, with Iraq’s government condemning the event as illegal and vowing to prosecute those who attended.

AFP contributed to this report. 

The Risk of No Obama Deal: Daniel 8

A view of a damaged building after a fire broke out at Iran’s Natanz nuclear facility in 2020, a blaze allegedly caused by sabotage [Atomic Energy Organization of Iran/ West Asia News Agency via Reuters]

No Iran nuclear deal ‘worse’ than even a bad one: Israel sources

Failure to revive Iran’s nuclear accord poses much more danger even than ‘a bad’ deal, Israeli intelligence sources tell the Jerusalem Post.

Published On 23 May 202223 May 2022

Not reviving the Iran nuclear deal could result in more imminent nuclear danger for Israel and its allies, anonymous intelligence sources told the Jerusalem Post, saying Tehran was only weeks away from weaponising uranium to 90 percent.

Iran is in a position to produce not only one but as many as four nuclear bombs, the sources told the Israeli news outlet.

Negotiations to revive the landmark 2015 nuclear deal signed between Iran and world powers resumed in 2021 after former US President Donald Trump withdrew from the historic agreement in 2018 and re-imposed crippling sanctions on Tehran.

After more than a year of negotiations, it remains unclear whether a deal can be reached to save the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) – the agreement’s official name.

The United States and Israel have expressed their commitment to work together to prevent Iran from ever obtaining a nuclear weapon.

Iran has denied allegations that it plans to produce nuclear arms, saying there is no weapons programme operational at the moment, and the country is working on the peaceful use of nuclear energy.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has said the administration of President Joe Biden supports restoring the nuclear deal is “the best way to put Iran’s programme back in the box”, after former President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew Washington from it in 2018.

Talks have stalled over a number of issues including a US “terror” designation against Iran’s elite military force, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).

Tensions rose again on Sunday after an Iranian colonel was assassinated outside his home in Tehran by motorcycle-riding gunmen – an attack Iran suggested was carried out by Israeli operatives.

The Russian Horn Threatens the UK Horn: Daniel

‘Destroy whole UK in two minutes!’ Russia MP threatens nuclear strike in on-air outburst

A RUSSIAN MP has boasted during a TV interview that a nuclear strike could “destroy the whole UK in two minutes” amid mounting hostility between London and Moscow.

By TIM MCNULTY

06:45, Mon, May 23, 2022 | UPDATED: 06:45, Mon, May 23, 2022

Russian MP warns nuclear strike would destroy UK in two minutes

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MP Yuri Shvytkin has declared that “if necessary”, Vladimir Putin could destroy the entire UK in a couple of minutes with a single Russian Sarmat nuclear weapon. The sinister boast came as the Russian politician was pressed to comment during an interview on the growing tensions between the UK and Russia amid the war in Ukraine. Mr Shvytkin also argued that the expansion of NATO to possibly include Finland and Sweden was a step closer to a “nuclear disaster.”

Mr Shvytkin told Al-Jazeera: “I need to point out if we have to, if a nuclear strike is carried out against the UK…

“Only if we have to I stress, under no circumstances are we striving to do it and we are doing everything that we can so that it doesn’t happen.

“But a single Sarmat missile will destroy the whole of the UK in two minutes.

“Is that what they need? Let them answer that question themselves.

More Seismic Shakes Before the Sixth Seal: Revelation 6

This map shows the location of the epicenter for the last two earthquakes to shake South Carolina. Image: USGS

This map shows the location of the epicenter for the last two earthquakes to shake South Carolina. Image: USGS

South Carolina Remains Seismically Active; More Earthquakes Shake the State

BY WEATHERBOY TEAM METEOROLOGIST – MARCH 29, 2022

More than 20 earthquakes have struck seismically active South Carolina since December and another pair struck within the last 48 hours.  According to the USGS and the South Carolina Emergency Management Division (SCEMD), a 2.1 magnitude earthquake struck near Lugoff on Sunday at 2:27pm.  At 4:05 am yesterday, a weak 0.9 magnitude earthquake struck near Dorchester County. That quake is the second to strike the Lowcountry this year; the first happened on January 9, when a 1.4 magnitude event unfolded.

According to the South Carolina Emergency Management Division (SCEMD), there are approximately 10-15 earthquakes every year in South Carolina, with most not felt by residents; on average, only 3-5 are felt each year. Most of South Carolina’s earthquakes are located in the Middleton Place-Summerville Seismic Zone. The two most significant historical earthquakes to occur in South Carolina were the 1886 Charleston-Summerville earthquake and the 1913 Union County earthquake. The 1886 earthquake in Charleston was the most damaging earthquake to ever occur in the eastern United States; it was also the most destructive earthquake in the U.S. during the 19th century.

No one is sure what’ll become of this steady stream of light earthquakes or whether or not something larger is looming. For now, the SCEMD has been sending out Tweets to the people of South Carolina encouraging them to be prepared for any disaster this year –earthquakes included.