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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.

Trump Builds Up Babylon the Great’s Nuclear Reserve

Trump’s $1.5B Uranium Bailout Triggers Rush of Mining Plans

President Donald Trump’s $1.5 billion proposal to prop up the country’s nuclear fuel industry has emboldened at least one company to take steps toward boosting operations at dormant uranium mines around the West, including outside Grand Canyon National Park.

By BRADY McCOMBS and ELLEN KNICKMEYER, Associated Press

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — President Donald Trump’s $1.5 billion proposal to prop up the country’s nuclear fuel industry has emboldened at least one company to take steps toward boosting operations at dormant uranium mines around the West, including outside Grand Canyon National Park.

The company, Canada-based Energy Fuels Inc., announced a stock sale late Thursday and said it would use the proceeds for its uranium mining operations in the U.S. West.

The Trump administration asked Congress this week for $1.5 billion over 10 years to create a new national stockpile of U.S.-mined uranium, saying that propping up U.S. uranium production in the face of cheaper imports is a matter of vital energy security. Approval is far from certain in a highly partisan Congress.

Some Democratic lawmakers, and market analysts across the political spectrum, charge that the Trump administration’s overall aim is really about helping a few uranium companies that can’t compete in the global market, and their investors.

Demand for the nuclear fuel has languished worldwide since Japan’s 2011 Fukushima disaster. U.S. uranium production has plummeted 96% in the last five years, the U.S. Energy Information Administration reported Thursday.

Energy Fuels Inc., a Toronto-based corporation that is the leading uranium mining company in the U.S., announced it was selling stock and putting the nearly $17 million in proceeds into its mining operations in Utah, Wyoming, Arizona, Texas and elsewhere in response to Trump’s 2021 budget. Company spokesman Curtis Moore said Friday that could mean opening a mine about 15 miles from the Grand Canyon’s South Rim entrance.

Environmentalists and Democrats have opposed uranium mining outside the national park, mainly over concerns it could contaminate water resources. Republicans say mining could bring much-needed jobs to the region.

Energy Fuels had been one of the main mining companies seeking U.S. taxpayer support for domestic uranium mining. It also helped sell the Trump administration on cutting the size of Bears Ears National Monument in Utah to open more land for possible future mining, and oil and gas development.

Energy Fuels has no mining claims or land inside the former territory of Bears Ears, Moore said Friday. “So, that’s a hard no,” he said, to any suggestion it planned any immediate uranium development there.

Launching operations at the company’s Canyon Mine claim outside the Grand Canyon is definitely on the table, however, if Congress approves Trump’s proposal, he said.

“Depending on how things go in the coming weeks and months, we may be in a position to use some of the money to put that small mine into production,” Moore said.

Trump made the request for a new national uranium reserve in his 2021 budget request this week. It was the latest illustration that trying to rescue the U.S. nuclear and coal industries is a political priority for the Republican president, who often invokes national security as justification.

The move has a range of critics.

“It’s not the responsibility of the taxpayer to bail out an industry, whether that’s uranium, solar, coal, what have you,” said Katie Tubb, a senior energy policy analyst at the conservative Washington Heritage Foundation.

The Energy Department said the plan would boost work for at least a couple of the U.S. West’s nearly dormant uranium operations. Residents near another of the mines, in Utah, say they fear an increase in radioactive threats.

“Whatever Trump does, we’ll be standing our ground to let the people know that we’re not going to give up,” said Yolanda Badback, a resident of White Mesa, a town of about 200 people who are members of the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe near a uranium mill in southern Utah.

Trump’s plan would need approval from a highly partisan Congress. Rep. Raul Grijalva, an Arizona Democrat and chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee, has opposed Trump’s effort to make domestic uranium mining a strategic issue. His aides said they needed to see more details from the administration on the stockpile proposal.

Sen. John Barrasso, a Wyoming Republican and chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, backed Trump’s proposal. “The United States should not be dependent on foreign imports of uranium. It is a risk to our national security,” Barrasso said in a statement.

Demand for nuclear and coal power sources has fallen against marketplace competition from ever-cheaper natural gas and renewable wind and solar. Trump has been unable to stop a string of coal and nuclear power plant closures.

The U.S. nuclear industry has sought help from the Trump administration, including asking for taxpayer subsidies to promote use of U.S. uranium. U.S. nuclear power plants in 2018 got 90% of their uranium from Canada, Kazakhstan and other foreign suppliers and only 10% from U.S. mines.

Trump in 2019 rejected a request from U.S. uranium mining operators that he set a minimum quota for domestic uranium. But he agreed to set up a task force of national security, military and other federal officials to look for other ways to revive domestic production of the whole nuclear fuel supply chain.

That task force’s findings are expected within two weeks. Trump’s budget proposal would be part of an effort “to put the United States back in the nuclear game around the world,” Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette told reporters Monday.

While Trump has called propping up U.S. uranium mining essential to national security, the Energy Department acknowledged in its budget presentation that “no immediate national security need has been identified” for the uranium reserve. The same document contends that the funds aren’t meant to “disrupt market mechanisms.”

“That is exactly what it is designed to do,” said Luke J. Danielson, president of Colorado-based Sustainable Development Strategies Group, which advises foreign governments about mineral policies.

“The history of the government of trying to subsidize the energy sector and pick winners and losers is abysmal,” Danielson added.

Many Democratic lawmakers have challenged Trump’s security argument for domestic uranium. Existing uranium reserves and production and trade with allies Australia and Canada were already adequate to securing the U.S. uranium supply, Rep. Alan Lowenthal, a California Democrat, said last year.

Energy Fuels called the Trump proposal “a good lifeline for the industry.” Moore, the spokesman, said the company is likely to benefit since it has operating mines in east-central Wyoming and southern Utah.

Moore said the program should lead to production of 2.5 million pounds of uranium per year. U.S. uranium mines produced less than 174,000 pounds in 2019, according to Thursday’s Energy Information Administration report. That’s down from 4.9 million pounds in 2014.

Energy Fuels recently laid off nearly one-third of the company’s 79 employees at the White Mesa Mill and La Sal Complex mines, both in Utah, he said.

At White Mesa in Utah, Badback and other nearby residents participate in a yearly protest walk to draw attention to negative impacts the mine has on an otherwise wide open and remote stretch of land.

Knickmeyer reported from Washington. Associated Press writers Mead Gruver in Cheyenne, Wyoming, and Felicia Fonseca in Flagstaff, Arizona, and business writer Dorothea Degen in New York contributed to this report.

This story has been corrected to show a yearly protest walk to draw attention to negative effects of a uranium mill occurs in Utah, not Wyoming, and that the mill is located in Utah.

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

The Iranian and Shi’a Martyr

Threats and Adulation: Iran Marks 40 Days Since Soleimani’s ‘Martyrdom’

(CNSNews.com) –  The Iranian regime and its terrorist proxies on Thursday marked the 40-day commemoration of the “martyrdom” of Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Qods Force chief Qassem Soleimani with a combination of adulatory rhetoric and threats directed at the U.S. and Israel.

Addressing a memorial ceremony in Tehran, IRGC commander Maj. Gen. Hossein Salami said Soleimani’s death in a U.S. airstrike in Baghdad last month had breathed new life into the Islamic revolution and the region’s “resistance front.”

The “resistance front” is the regime’s term for an axis comprising itself, the Assad regime, and terrorist groups such as Hezbollah in Lebanon, Hamas in Gaza, the Houthis in Yemen, and Shi’ite militias in Iraq such as Kata’ib Hezbollah – one of whose top leader was also killed in the airstrike targeting Soleimani.

“The U.S. was dealt a slap in the face,” Salami said of the IRGC’s retaliatory rocket attack on two Iraqi bases housing U.S. troops. “But the big and final slap is yet to come, until the last American trooper exits Muslim territories. This reality is upon them.”

Iran’s Press TV quoted IRGC Ground Force commander Brig. Gen. Mohammad Pakpour as saying that the path of Soleimani “will be pursued until annihilation of all terrorists and expulsion of the Americans from the region. The Americans are terrorists, and we should know that General Soleimani stood up to them.”

The U.S. holds Soleimani responsible for the deaths of more than 600 American troops during the Iraq War, and he oversaw a military intervention on behalf of the Assad regime that has reportedly cost untold thousands of Syrian lives.

Trump in his State of the Union described the slain general as “the Iranian regime’s most ruthless butcher” and “the world’s top terrorist.”

As Soleimani’s surviving IRGC colleagues eulogized him on Thursday, he was praised for helping Hezbollah battle Israel during a month-long war in 2006, and for making it possible for Hamas to lob thousands of rockets into Israel.

“He stood on the shores of the Mediterranean, so that Muslims would not be at risk,” Salami declared. “He thwarted the Americans’ policy for creating a new Middle East.”

Salami also used the opportunity to threaten Israel, saying that if it “takes any erroneous action” Iran will respond, and Israel should not rely on the U.S. to show up and defend it. “You should definitely look to the sea, because that is going to be your eventual residing place,” he said in comments directed at Israel.

In Lebanon, Hezbollah leader Hasan Nasrallah told Iranian TV that with Soleimani’s death the U.S. had “crossed a red line” and people were now prepared for confrontation. He added that he has receive applications from individuals for “self-sacrifice [i.e. suicide] operations.”

In Iraq, senior Kata’ib Hezbollah (KH) figure Hashem al-Haydari said in a ceremony in Qom that the killing of Soleimani and KH leader Abu Mahdi al Muhandis paved the way for U.S. expulsion from the region, and “the de facto annihilation of the Zionist regime.”

Haydari, who is also “director of doctrinal guidance” for the Popular Mobilization Forces – the Qods Force-backed umbrella of mostly Shi’ite militias in Iraq – spoke in front of a giant banner featuring images of Soleimani, Muhandis, and Khamenei, and the words, “Your blood challenges any adversary.”

Addressing the same event, IRGC Brig. Gen. Mohammad Reza Naqdi echoed Haydari words.

“The great revenge will be the annihilation of Israel and expulsion of the U.S. from the region,” Iran’s state news agency IRNA quoted him as saying.

 

Authorities Expecting The Sixth Seal? (Revelation 6:12)

New York Times

By SAM ROBERTS

JULY 17, 2014

Here is another reason to buy a mega-million-dollar apartment in a Manhattan high-rise: Earthquake forecast maps for New York City that a federal agency issued on Thursday indicate “a slightly lower hazard for tall buildings than previously thought.”

The agency, the United States Geodetic Survey, tempered its latest quake prediction with a big caveat.

Federal seismologists based their projections of a lower hazard for tall buildings — “but still a hazard nonetheless,” they cautioned — on a lower likelihood of slow shaking from an earthquake occurring near the city, the type of shaking that typically causes more damage to taller structures.

“The tall buildings in Manhattan are not where you should be focusing,” said John Armbruster, a seismologist with the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University. “They resonate with long period waves. They are designed and engineered to ride out an earthquake. Where you should really be worried in New York City is the common brownstone and apartment building and buildings that are poorly maintained.”

Mr. Armbruster was not involved in the federal forecast, but was an author of an earlier study that suggested that “a pattern of subtle but active faults makes the risk of earthquakes to the New York City area substantially greater than formerly believed.”

He noted that barely a day goes by without a New York City building’s being declared unsafe, without an earthquake. “If you had 30, 40, 50 at one time, responders would be overloaded,” he said.

The city does have an earthquake building code that went into effect in 1996, and that applies primarily to new construction.

A well-maintained building would probably survive a magnitude 5 earthquake fairly well, he said. The last magnitude 5 earthquake in the city struck in 1884. Another is not necessarily inevitable; faults are more random and move more slowly than they do in, say, California. But he said the latest federal estimate was probably raised because of the magnitude of the Virginia quake.

Mr. Armbruster said the Geodetic Survey forecast would not affect his daily lifestyle. “I live in a wood-frame building with a brick chimney and I’m not alarmed sitting up at night worried about it,” he said. “But society’s leaders need to take some responsibility.”

Violence Spikes Outside the Temple Walls Following Trump’s New Peace Plan Reveal

Violence Spikes In Israel, West Bank And Gaza Following Trump’s New Peace Plan Reveal

13 Feb, 2020  in Current Events / North America / United States by Gracen Graham (updated on February 13, 2020)

Violence and tension have been extremely high over the past few days in Israel, West Bank and Gaza. This violence has occurred right on the cusp of United States President Donald Trump’s recently released “Peace-plan” for these areas. Within 24 hours, several violent incidents occurred.

Firstly, CNN reported a ramming attack was carried out by a Palestinian driver targeting Israeli soldiers in Jerusalem. None of the impacted soldiers were killed or have sustained life-threatening injuries, but there have been reports that three soldiers have sustained at least minor injuries. Following this CNN reported a second attack, where an Israeli shooter opened fire on border police officers outside of an Al-Aqsa mosque. None of the targets were killed, however, the attacker has been confirmed dead after fire was returned.

Over in the Jenin refugee camp, CNN has reported that a Palestinian police officer has been killed by an Israeli sniper who opened fire on Israeli troops. The sniper was also shot and killed by retaliation fire. A Palestinian teenager was shot and killed by Israeli soldiers during a riot. In Gaza and West Bank, protests against Trump’s peace plan have become increasingly tense. And lastly, there has been a spike in rocket and mortar use from Gaza into Southern Israel.

It is highly unusual for so many violent events to occur within 24 hours in three places so close together, even during these volatile times. Emanuele Giaufret, the European Union Ambassador to Israel expressed concern on Twitter about the spike in violence and rising tensions, also mentioning that “thoughts are with the families of victims and I wish a speedy recovery to those who were injured. Violence is never justified.” The Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu also expressed his concerns for the wounded and said, “terrorism will not defeat us”.

This rise in tension, I believe, is the result of Trump’s recently revealed peace plan. Protests and violence are the common reactions to the suggestion of a plan described by some Palestinians as “racist” and as a deliberate attempt to take away their rights. CNN reported that the suggestion of creating more ghettos which essentially function as isolated areas in which exits will be controlled by Israeli military personnel. This deal throws a wrench into resolutions created by the United Nations and the Security Council; and is in my opinion, a step backward for peace. I think this plan has clearly dangerous racist ideals, legitimizing segregation and apartheid systems in the way it separates Palestinians (even banning them from using Israeli exclusive roads, literally called segregation roads).

This is a plan that is only going to cause more violence and tension – as we have already seen. It should also be considered terrifying to the international community that society is reverting back to apartheid the world has worked so hard to abolish, and that it is the American president who has legitimized it. This is a huge threat to peace that I am certain will go on to cause catastrophic issues.

India’s Hypersonic Missile Could Start A Nuclear War

February 14, 2020, 7:38 PM UTCKey Point: The situation depends on Pakistan’s reaction.

India’s test of a hypersonic missile signifies more than the advance of Indian weapons technology.

It also is one step closer to triggering a nuclear war with Pakistan.

Ironically, the first launch of the Hypersonic Technology Demonstrator Vehicle, or HSTDV, was a failure. The HSTDV, which is shaped almost like a sailing ship, is supposed to be a testbed for developing future hypersonic weapons such as cruise missiles. It is launched atop an Agni 1, an Indian ballistic missile.

“The vehicle was test launched using the Agni 1 missile platform that was to take it up to a predetermined altitude where scramjet technology—the ability to fly at speeds in excess of Mach 6 while using atmospheric oxygen as oxidizer—had to be validated with separation of the platform and a short flight at high altitude,” according to India’s Economic Times.

“Sources said that while the missile on which the platform was mounted successfully took off from the range, the test could not be completed to demonstrate the vehicle at hypersonic speed as the Agni 1 did not reach the desired altitude for the test. Scientists are looking at the technical reasons behind this and are studying all available data.”

While that doesn’t necessarily mean the HSTDV has a problem, it’s not good news for India’s strategic nuclear deterrent. “The Agni 1 is a nuclear-capable missile that is in service with the strategic forces and has been successfully tested several times in the past,” noted the Economic Times. “Its failure to reach the desired altitude is a reason for concern and is being studied.”

Who are Antichrist’s Blue Hats in Iraq and what side are they on?

Who are Sadr’s Blue Hats in Iraq and what side are they on?

In the face of harsh criticism from religious authorities and the Iraqi public, cleric Muqtada al-Sadr called on his followers to retreat Feb. 8 from protests where they had clashed with anti-government demonstrators.

Sadr leads the Sadrist political current in Iraq and a group of followers among them called “Blue Hats.”

The outspoken, influential Shiite cleric’s sentiments change frequently. He formed the Blue Hats in October in support of the public protests against the government. Soon, Blue Hats filled Tahrir Square in central Baghdad with an initial directive to protect protesters. But Sadr withdrew his support, and his followers, from the protests in late January. Within a week, however, he sent his followers back out, this time to subdue the protests.

Protesters objected and cheered against Sadr. In southern Iraq, student coordination committees attended a massive protest Feb. 4 in Baghdad to reject the Blue Hats’ behavior.

Women’s rightsIraqi protests blush pink as feminists flood streets

Recently, Sadr recalled them again, but not before they allegedly killed protesters in Najaf.

The Blue Hats raided a Najaf protest center Feb. 5, where initial reports said at least eight people were killed and 20 wounded. (Medical personnel later said 23 protesters were killed and 197 wounded, but those figures have not been confirmed.) The Blue Hats also had deployed against protesters Feb. 6 in Tahrir Square in central Baghdad. Sadr‘s call that time came soon after he publicly announced he would endorse Iraqi Prime Minister-designate Mohammed Tawfiq Allawi, whom the protesters reject as being under Iranian influence.

Sadr had the Blue Hats retreat again from the square Feb. 8. Security forces replaced them to keep order, and the protests reportedly stabilized.

This week, on Feb. 11, Sadr changed course once again, saying he might not endorse Allawi after all.

Among all these contradictions are conflicting reports about the Blue Hats’ actions. An activist told Al-Monitor on condition of anonymity, “Sadr’s followers who are part of the Blue Hats [were] torturing protesters in Tahrir Square, and they expelled protesters from the ‘Turkish Restaurant’ that constitutes the main protest platform in Baghdad. The followers destroyed many tents, under the pretext that their owners are vandals tarnishing the protests and offending Sadr.”

Videos posted online Feb. 4 showed the Blue Hats attacking protesters. A demonstrator in Tahrir Square told Al-Monitor, “This attack coincided with the appointment of a new prime minister, which means there is an agreed-upon political goal between the government and parties to subdue the protests.”

A leader in the Sadrist current, Hakim al-Zamili, begged to differ, saying the videos online were fabricated and take events out of context, and are part of a “distortion campaign” against Sadrists.

“Sadrist protesters were the first to stand up against the government. They boosted the protests, and if it weren’t for them, demonstrations would have died out a long time ago,” he told Al-Monitor. “The Blue Hats deterred vandalizing armed militias in Tahrir Square and the Sanak area. In Khalani Square in Baghdad, those militias tried to rob stores and take over the Central Bank of Iraq.”

He also dismissed allegations claiming that the Blue Hats are armed militias.

“They are volunteers who believe in the political and ideological convictions of the Sadrist current. They do not receive any support or salary from anyone,” he said. “They are barely 2,000 to 3,000 individuals from across Iraq, and they are unarmed. They never participated in military or security sessions to be dubbed militias.”

Watheq al-Jabri, head of the Iraqi Institute for Strategic Studies, told Al-Monitor the Blue Hats initially withdrew support from the protests because demonstrators had not backed Sadr’s “million-strong” march Jan. 24 against the US presence in Iraq, and because protesters “tried to block roads to prevent Sadr supporters coming from the provinces from reaching Baghdad.”

Rami al-Sukeini of the Sairoon Alliance, led by the Sadrist current, responded to the accusations of violence by telling Al-Monitor, “Since the beginning of the protests, Sadr has invested his efforts in complying with the will of the people and working on giving them the rights they were deprived of and standing by them against the political class. His supporters have been alongside the protesters since the outbreak of the protests, and this is documented in statements and actions.”

He added, “Concerns about vandals infiltrating the protests and messing up the situation to harm Sadrists … prompted Sadrists to wear blue hats to stand out and prevent [outside agitators from] taking the protests in another direction to achieve partisan interests and certain ends.”

Sukeini admitted, “The Blue Hats made mistakes in the public square protests, which is expected among such massive crowds. But these mistakes weren’t intentional and did not aim to terrorize protesters. The Sadrist current is popular in the streets and in public square protests, and it derives its strength in politics from this popularity.”

Tamimi Ali Tamimi, a legal expert and former judge, told Al-Monitor, “Regardless of the violent parties and their names, the constant truth is that protesters are being killed. Security forces are responsible, as they are the only official group that should provide protection — not the Blue Hats or any other party.”

Ali al-Bayati, a member of the Iraqi High Commission for Human Rights, told Al-Monitor, “The violations in protests have been ongoing since Oct. 1. Official institutions are the only ones that should provide protection. Clearly, the confrontations are escalating because of the increasing number of party and political bloc supporters, not just protesters, in the squares. Protests have become the front yard of political disputes.”

And Now We Have Created Iran’s Greatest Martyr

Islamic revolution and legacy of martyrs

TEHRAN – The night was heavily overcast with snow and cold, but the day started with gentle breeze and bright sunshine. The mood on the streets was cheerful as the occasion was historic and momentous.

Tens of thousands poured into the streets of Tehran and other Iranian cities on Tuesday, Bahman 22, to mark the 41st anniversary of the Islamic revolution.

Exactly 41 years ago, the West-backed despotic monarch Reza Shah Pahlavi was deposed by the people of Iran, led by their charismatic leader Rohullah Mosavi Khomeini, popularly known as Imam Khomeini.

Imam Khomeini had triumphantly returned to Iran from Paris on February 1 (Bahman 12), ending his 15-year long exile. Ten days later, on February 11 (Bahman 22), the final vestiges of the Pahlavi regime crumbled as people reclaimed their country with honor and pride.

With the disgraceful ouster of Pahlavi, a minion of the Western powers, America’s criminal interference in Iranian affairs also came to an end. It was only a matter of time that they packed up and left, which was triggered by the takeover of the US embassy by angry Iranian students.

Bahman 22 is observed every year with tremendous patriotic fervor in Iran. It serves as a powerful reminder of what the foreign powers and their pawns inside the country did to destroy the sovereignty and independence of a proud nation and make it subservient to the West. People have not forgotten their history, which is evident by the massive participation in these annual rallies.

On Tuesday, like every year, there was a tremendous buzz as people marched from different parts of the city and converged at the city’s most popular landmark, Maidan e Azadi, where President Hassan Rouhani addressed the people.

Patriotic songs filled the air as marchers, young and old, men and women, sporting colorful outfits and carrying flags and posters, marched in unison towards Maidan e Azadi, which translates into ‘Freedom Square’, a reminder of the great sacrifices rendered by the people of Iran to liberate themselves from the shackles of Pahlavi dictatorship.

Pictures of Imam Khomeini, the chief architect of the Islamic revolution and Ayatollah Khamenei, the Supreme Leader of Iran dotted the streets from every side. Latter, a protégé of the former, has quite impressively kept alive the illustrious legacy of his mentor and infused new life into the revolution. While Imam Khomeini led the first phase of the revolution that culminated with its victory in 1979, Ayatollah Khamenei has admirably led its second phase that continues till date.

The pictures of martyrs, most notably, the slain head of IRGC’s Quds Force Gen. Qassem Soleimani, were put up along the way from Maidan e Enghelab (Revolution Square) to Maidan e Azadi (Freedom Square). These bravehearts dedicated their whole lives to the revolution and ensured that Iran becomes a free, independent and proud nation.

It is important to note here that this Islamic revolution is not confined to Iran and Iranians. It is a guiding principle for every campaigner of truth and justice across the world. The glorious legacy of martyrs has inspired people in different corners of the world. That’s precisely why we see rallies commemorating the anniversary of the Islamic revolution in different countries today. People relate to it.

As I participated in the march on Tuesday, the feeling was strangely beautiful. I constantly reminded myself of the principles that guided the revolution, as envisioned by Imam Khomeini. I felt a hint of pride walking alongside these brave men and women, who are making history every single day by resisting the arrogant powers of the world. I felt immensely pleased to hold aloft a poster of Gen. Soleimani, who was the best student of the revolution that the great Imam Khomeini spearheaded.

Then I realized that the legacy of Imam Khomeini is no different from the legacy of Imam Hussain (as). Imam Khomeini is the product of the Karbala school of thought, where death with dignity is better than life with humiliation, where resistance against oppressors is a sacrosanct duty, where martyrdom is a badge of honor for the free men.

The revolution that toppled the Pahlavi regime has not culminated yet. It has taken a different shape and form, but the core idea, vision and concept is the same, rooted in the profound philosophy of Karbala. In every time and age, we have to identify Yazid and Hussain, Umr e Saad and Hurr. Then we have to choose our side wisely. That’s what separates free men from the slaves.

People who chanted ‘Death to America’ and ‘Death to Israel’ on the streets of Tehran today know the significance of these slogans. It is a part of resistance too, because as George Orwell puts it, during the times of universal deceit, telling truth becomes a revolutionary act.

This is the Iran that challenges the political and cultural hegemony of Western powers, this is the Iran that the likes of Trump and Netanyahu have to deal with, and this is the Iran that refuses to surrender despite overt and covert pressure. This Iran has survived thousands of years, and most probably shall outlive its enemies.

PG&E Prepare for the Third Woe

PG&E Conducts Earthquake Exercise at New Emergency Operations Facility

Pacific Gas and Electric Co. (PG&E) conducted a large-scale earthquake exercise on Jan. 23, at its new emergency operations center in Vacaville.

Hundreds of PG&E employees at that location, and elsewhere across the service area, took part in the emergency exercise that simulated a magnitude 7.0 earthquake with the epicenter near Oakland and subsequent aftershocks in the East Bay Area.

The company was joined by representatives of several agencies, as either observers or participants, including the Edison Electric Institute (EEI), the California Office of Emergency Services, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART), the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), the California Independent System Operator (CAISO) and the Department of Energy (DOE).

The simulated quake caused massive damage throughout the nine-county Bay Area — about 1.5 million PG&E electric customers and about 200,000 gas customers lost service. Assessments began shortly after the quake but the company told customers that full restoration could take weeks, even with a large influx of mutual-aid and contract crews.

Under the direction of the emergency operations center commander, PG&E employees from nearly every organization, from gas and electric operations to corporate security and customer care, took part in the exercise.

“We live in an earthquake country and seismologists say that the Big One is not a matter of if, but when. The PG&E has a plan and we practiced executing that plan in a real-world scenario. It’s vitally important that our customers are prepared too — by having individual and family emergency plans and go bags — and making sure the PG&E has your updated contact information,” said Mark Quinlan, senior director of emergency preparedness and response for the PG&E.

The 30,000-sq ft PG&E Vacaville Emergency Response Center opened in 2019. A purpose-built critical facility, it has redundant utility power, backup generator power, and backup and telecom infrastructure. To improve earthquake structural resilience, the facility was constructed to a 1.5 importance factor, which is 50% above the California commercial building standard. It contains emergency operations for electric, gas, and energy procurement.

Trump Builds Up Babylon the Great’s Nukes

VANCOUVER, BC / ACCESSWIRE / February 12, 2020 / AZARGA URANIUM CORP. (AZZ.TO)(AZZUF)(P8AA.F(“Azarga Uranium” or the “Company”) is pleased to announce that President Trump’s fiscal 2021 budget proposal has requested an annual allocation of US$150 million for a 10-year period, totaling US$1.5 billion, to establish a United States uranium reserve, noting that “establishing a uranium reserve provides assurance of availability of uranium in the event of a market disruption and supports strategic U.S. fuel cycle capabilities.”

Blake Steele, President and CEO stated, “We commend the President’s recognition of the importance of the United States nuclear fuel cycle and specifically the uranium sector. President Trump’s proposed fiscal 2021 budget requests US$1.36 billion for the office of nuclear energy, which includes US$150 million (US$1.5 billion for 2021 to 2030) to establish a strategic United States uranium reserve. The budget proposal from President Trump confirms the administration’s commitment to reviving the United States nuclear fuel cycle, of which uranium mining is a critical component.”

Steele further noted, “Our flagship asset, the advanced stage Dewey Burdock In-Situ Recovery Uranium Project in South Dakota, USA (the “Dewey Burdock Project”), is one of the preeminent undeveloped uranium projects in the United States. A robust Preliminary Economic Assessment was recently filed for the Dewey Burdock Project, which estimated direct cash costs of US$10.46 per pound of production and low initial capital expenditures of US$31.7 million. This, coupled with the positive Atomic Safety and Licensing Board decision on the Nuclear Regulatory Commission license and the Environmental Protection Agency permit advancements in 2019, continues to de-risk the Dewey Burdock Project and pave the way towards construction. The Company anticipates being well positioned to realize the benefits of the administration’s support of the United States nuclear industry.”

On 15 July 2019, the Company announced that President Trump had established the United States Nuclear Fuel Working Group (the “NFWG”) to develop recommendations for reviving and expanding domestic nuclear fuel production. The Company also noted that President Trump acknowledged that the “United States uranium industry faces significant challenges in producing uranium domestically and that this is an issue of national security.” The proposed fiscal 2021 budget “addresses immediate challenges to the production of domestic uranium and reflects the Administration’s NFWG priorities. The NFWG will continue to evaluate issues related to uranium supply chain and fuel cycle.”

About Azarga Uranium Corp.

Azarga Uranium is an integrated uranium exploration and development company that controls ten uranium projects and prospects in the United States of America (“USA”) (South Dakota, Wyoming, Utah and Colorado), with a primary focus of developing in-situ recovery uranium projects. The Dewey Burdock in-situ recovery uranium project in South Dakota, USA (the “Dewey Burdock Project”), which is the Company’s initial development priority, has received its Nuclear Regulatory Commission License and draft Class III and Class V Underground Injection Control (“UIC”) permits from the Environmental Protection Agency (the “EPA”) and the Company is in the process of completing other major regulatory permit approvals necessary for the construction of the Dewey Burdock Project, including the final Class III and Class V UIC permits from the EPA.

For more information please visit www.azargauranium.com.
Follow us on Twitter at @AzargaUranium.

For further information, please contact:

Blake Steele, President and CEO
+1 303 790-7528
E-mail: info@azargauranium.com

Disclaimer for Forward-Looking Information

Certain information and statements in this news release may be considered forward-looking information or forward-looking statements for purposes of applicable securities laws (collectively, “forward-looking statements”), which reflect the expectations of management regarding its disclosure and amendments thereto. Forward-looking statements consist of information or statements that are not purely historical, including any information or statements regarding beliefs, plans, expectations or intentions regarding the future. Such information or statements may include, but are not limited to, statements with respect to President Trump’s proposed fiscal 2021 budget requesting US$1.36 billion for the office of nuclear energy, which includes US$150 million (US$1.5 billion for 2021-2030) to establish a strategic United States uranium reserve, the Company’s Dewey Burdock Project Preliminary Economic Assessment (“PEA”), the future financial or operating performance of the Company and its mineral projects, including the Dewey Burdock Project, the timing and amount of estimated future production and capital, operating and exploration expenditures, the Company anticipating being well positioned to realize the benefits of the administration’s support of the U.S. nuclear industry and Azarga Uranium’s continued efforts to obtain all major regulatory permit approvals necessary for the construction of the Dewey Burdock Project, including the final Class III and Class V UIC permits from the EPA. Such statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results, performance or developments to differ materially from those contained in the statements. No assurance can be given that any of the events anticipated by the forward-looking statements will occur or, if they do occur, what benefits Azarga Uranium will obtain from them. These forward-looking statements reflect management’s current views and are based on certain expectations, estimates and assumptions, which may prove to be incorrect. A number of risks and uncertainties could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements, including without limitation: the risk that President Trump’s final approved budget for fiscal 2021 does not include the proposed or any allocations for the office of nuclear energy and the establishment of a strategic United States uranium reserve, the risk that the Dewey Burdock Project is not constructed and the estimated economics of the PEA are not realized, the risk that the estimated economics contained in the PEA do not reflect actual project economics, the risk that the Company does not realize the benefits of the administration’s support of the U.S. nuclear industry, the risk that Azarga Uranium does not obtain all major regulatory permit approvals necessary for construction of the Dewey Burdock Project, including the final Class III and Class V UIC permits from the EPA, the risk that such statements may prove to be inaccurate and other factors beyond the Company’s control. These forward-looking statements are made as of the date of this news release and, except as required by applicable securities laws, Azarga Uranium assumes no obligation to update these forward-looking statements, or to update the reasons why actual results differed from those projected in the forward-looking statements. Additional information about these and other assumptions, risks and uncertainties are set out in the “Risks and Uncertainties” section in the most recent AIF filed with Canadian security regulators.

NYC earthquake risk: the Sixth Seal (Revelation 6:12)

NYC earthquake risk: Could Staten Island be heavily impacted?

By Ann Marie Barron

Updated May 16, 4:31 AM; Posted May 16, 4:00 AM

Rubble litters Main Street after an earthquake struck Sunday, Aug. 24, 2014, in Napa, Calif. A report by the U.S. Geological Survey outlines the differences between the effect of an earthquake in the West vs. one in the East. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. – While scientists say it’s impossible to predict when or if an earthquake will occur in New York City, they say that smaller structures — like Staten Island’s bounty of single-family homes — will suffer more than skyscrapers if it does happen.

„Earthquakes in the East tend to cause higher-frequency shaking — faster back-and-forth motion — compared to similar events in the West,“ according to a report by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), published on its website recently „Shorter structures are more susceptible to damage during fast shaking, whereas taller structures are more susceptible during slow shaking.“

DIFFERENCES IN INTENSITY

The report, „East vs West Coast Earthquakes,“ explains how USGS scientists are researching factors that influence regional differences in the intensity and effects of earthquakes, and notes that earthquakes in the East are often felt at more than twice the distance of earthquakes in the West.

Predicting when they will occur is more difficult, said Thomas Pratt, a research geophysicist and the central and Eastern U.S. coordinator for the USGS Earthquake Hazards Program in Reston, Va.

„One of the problems in the East Coast is that we don’t have a history to study,“ he said. „In order to get an idea, we have to have had several cycles of these things. The way we know about them in California is we dig around in the mud and we see evidence of past earthquakes.“

Yet Pratt wouldn’t rule out the possibility of a high-magnitude event taking place in New York, which sits in the middle the North American Tectonic Plate, considered by experts to be quite stable.

„We never know,“ he said. „One could come tomorrow. On the other hand, it could be another 300 years. We don’t understand why earthquakes happen (here) at all.“

Though the city’s last observable earthquake occurred on Oct. 27, 2001, and caused no real damage, New York has been hit by two Magnitude 5 earthquakes in its history – in 1738 and in 1884 — prompting many to say it is „due“ for another.

While earthquakes generally have to be Magnitude 6 or higher to be considered „large,“ by experts, „a Magnitude 5, directly under New York City, would shake it quite strongly,“ Pratt said.

The reason has to do with the rock beneath our feet, the USGS report says.

OLDER ROCKS

In the East, we have older rocks, some of which formed „hundreds of millions of years before those in the West,“ the report says. Since the faults in the rocks have had so much time to heal, the seismic waves travel more efficiently through them when an earthquake occurs.

„Rocks in the East are like a granite countertop and rocks in the West are much softer,“ Pratt said. „Take a granite countertop and hit it and it’ll transmit energy well. In the West, it’s like a sponge. The  energy gets absorbed.“

If a large, Magnitude 7 earthquake does occur, smaller structures, and older structures in Manhattan would be most vulnerable, Pratt said. „In the 1920s, ’30s and late 1800s, they were not built with earthquake resistance,“ he said, noting that newer skyscrapers were built to survive hurricanes, so would be more resistant.

When discussing earthquake prediction and probability, Pratt uses the analogy of a baseball player who averages a home run every 10 times at bat and hasn’t hit one in the past nine games: „When he’s up at bat, will he hit a home run? You just don’t know.“

And though it would probably take a magnitude of 7 to topple buildings in the city, smaller earthquakes are still quite dangerous, he said.

„Bookshelves could fall down and hit you,“ he said. „People could be killed.“ A lot of stone work and heavy objects fell from buildings when a quake of 5.8 magnitude struck central Virginia in 2011, he noted, but, fortunately, no one was injured.

To be safe, Pratt encourages New Yorkers to keep a few days‘ worth of drinking water and other supplies on hand. He, himself, avoids putting heavy things up high.

„It always gets me nervous when I go into a restaurant that has heavy objects high on shelves,“ he said. „It’s unlikely you’ll get an earthquake. But, we just don’t know.“