A Warning Of The Sixth Seal (Rev 6:12)

Geography of Disaster

New York News & Pollitics

The fault lines shown on this map are mainly in Manhattan because the island’s exposed bedrock makes it most at risk for earthquake damage, explains Charles Merguerian, chairman of Hofstra University’s geology department, who drew them for us. Faults elsewhere in the city are harder to detect because they are buried under hundreds of feet of soil and sediment.

In case of hurricane, up to three zones of the city will be evacuated, depending on the storm’s strength. The city will set up 23 “evacuation reception centers” for those fleeing, though two-thirds of evacuees are expected to shack up with friends and family. The city has mapped out the fastest routes to these reception centers and put up street signs along those roads. There will be extra trains for those leaving the city altogether as well as fuel and tow trucks along major outbound roads, to prevent tie-ups.

No matter which disaster strikes, these seventeen trauma centers are the hospitals best equipped for large numbers of casualties.

Is Babylon the Great Ignorant Or Playing Politics?

Obama: Iran has not advanced nuclear ambitions since U.S. negotiations started

President Barack Obama on CNN’s “State of the Union” Dec. 21, 2014.
When you close out the year by ditching America’s 50-year isolation of Cuba, you can expect a few broader questions about your style on the international stage.

President Barack Obama said in a year-end interview with CNN’s Candy Crowley that he has been “consistent in saying that where we can solve problems diplomatically, we should do so.”

Crowley pressed Obama to respond to the charge that he is too willing to cut deals that produce little in return for the United States.

“The gist of it is that you’re naive and they’re rolling you,” Crowley said, speaking of other world leaders.

Obama shot back that on a couple of major fronts, his track record is looking pretty good. Russia now has a crisis on its hands as its economy stalls and the value of the ruble tumbles. On Iran, the president said there have been real gains.

“Over the last year and a half, since we began negotiations with them, that’s probably the first year and a half in which Iran has not advanced its nuclear program in the last decade,” Obama said.
The fear that Iran is developing nuclear weapons, a charge that Iran denies, has bedeviled the international community for over 15 years. We decided to take a closer look at whether Iran’s program has advanced or not.

We found general agreement that in terms of curtailing the means to produce enriched uranium and plutonium, the essential fuels needed for an atomic bomb, negotiations between the United States, Iran and other United Nations countries contributed to real progress. However, some analysts define Iran’s nuclear program more broadly to include suspected efforts to design nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles. The negotiations don’t address those elements, however, and what Iran is doing or has done in that area is subject to much debate.

By way of refresher, in November 2013, the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, plus Germany, and Iran signed an agreement that temporarily stopped or rolled back Iran’s production of potentially weapons grade nuclear material. In November 2014, that agreement was extended by four months, with some additional restrictions on Iran. In exchange, Iran has been able to sell more of its oil and gain access to millions of dollars that had been frozen in overseas bank accounts.

The key elements in the agreements

Negotiators focused on nuclear fuel. This had three main aspects.

  • Stopping the production and accumulation of uranium enriched to the 20 percent level of the isotope U-235 and converting a large fraction of what it had to a form harder to use in a weapon.
  • Stop the installation of additional centrifuge machines at Iran’s two enrichment facilities. Centrifuges are essential to the enrichment process.
  • Put the brakes on construction of Iran’s heavy water reactor in Arak. If it were operational, this reactor could produce enough plutonium in its spent fuel for one to two nuclear warheads.

Importantly, Iran agreed to inspections by the International Atomic Energy Agency. That agency has found that Iran complied with the terms of the original November 2013 agreement. In its November 2014 report, the agency said, “All of the enrichment related activities at Iran’s declared facilities are under Agency safeguards, and all of the nuclear material, installed cascades, and feed and withdrawal stations at those facilities are subject to Agency containment and surveillance.”

To be clear, Iran continues to enrich uranium, but only to the level of 5 percent of U-235, a form that falls well short of the needs of weapon makers.

Regarding heavy water facilities, the IAEA said that Iran had not stopped all work across all of its heavy water projects, but it had not installed any major components.

What the experts say

As far as nuclear material is concerned, the experts we reached said the agreements successfully, though perhaps only temporarily, curtailed production.

“When President Obama says that for the first time in the past decade Iran has not advanced its nuclear program he is correct,” said Daryl Kimball, executive director of the Arms Control Association, a research group that advocates for arms control policies. “Leading up to the interim deal, Iran had nearly amassed enough 20 percent enriched uranium gas, which when further enriched to weapons grade is enough for one bomb.”

That material is no longer available, Kimball said.

Matthew Bunn, a principal investigator with the Project on Managing the Atom at Harvard University’s Kennedy School, also said Obama basically has it right on Iran. “They don’t have any more equipment in place for producing bomb material than they had a year and a half ago,” Bunn said.

David Albright, president of the Institute for Science and International Security, a Washington-based group that aims to stop the spread of nuclear weapons, offered a more qualified view. Albright called progress on enrichment, centrifuges and the heavy water facilities in Arak, a “great accomplishment.”

But Albright noted that, “Iran continues to run almost 10,000 centrifuges, enriching and stockpiling 3.5 percent low enriched uranium.” And Iran’s research on advanced centrifuges, with limits, is ongoing.

Albright is also concerned that Iran has so far not allowed the international inspectors the access they need to learn more about any nuclear weapons research Iran had in the past.

Matthew Kroenig, a professor of international relations at Georgetown University, also focused on the weapons side of the equation. Kroenig noted that the agreements that limited and rolled back the production of nuclear-grade material were silent on this front.

“Iran’s missile production continues, and we are uncertain about the nuclear weapons design work, although many experts believe that continues as well,” Kroenig said.

But Kroenig also described curtailing the production of nuclear fuel as the “most important” piece of the nonproliferation effort with Iran.

Two notes on the time elements mentioned in Obama’s comments.

He said this is the first time in a decade that Iran’s nuclear program did not advance. Iran restarted its uranium enrichment program in 2005. That would mean it has been a bit over nine years.

Also, the president’s year and a half is a bit of a stretch. The first agreement with Iran was signed barely over a year ago, although the terms were announced earlier.

Our ruling

Obama said that we have seen “probably the first year and a half in which Iran has not advanced its nuclear program in the last decade.” The agreement signed in November 2013 has made it harder for Iran to produce weapons-grade nuclear material. International observers report that Iran complied with the terms of the temporary agreement. The amount of enriched uranium is less, and the country’s facilities to produce weapons-grade material has been curtailed.

But that does not mean the country has completely stopped all activities that could produce nuclear weapons material in the future. There is also concern about broader aspects of a nuclear weapons program, such as weapons design and missile development.

We rate Obama’s claim Mostly True.

“They Will Trample On The Holy City 42 months” (Revelation 11:2)

Israel carries out airstrike on Hamas site in Gaza

APTOPIX Mideast Israel Palestinians

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel’s military struck a Hamas site in the Gaza Strip early Saturday in its first airstrike on the Palestinian territory since this summer’s war.

The Israeli military said the airstrike on what it called a “Hamas terror infrastructure site” in the southern Gaza Strip was in response to a rocket fired from Gaza into southern Israel on Friday. The rocket fire caused no injuries.

Palestinian residents reported hearing two explosions in the Khan Yunis region of Gaza, in an area that contains training sites for Palestinian militants. No injuries were immediately reported.
Lt. Col. Peter Lerner, an Israeli army spokesman, said Israel’s military “will not permit any attempt to undermine the security and jeopardize the well being of the civilians of Israel. The Hamas terrorist organization is responsible and accountable for today’s attack against Israel.”

The Gaza rocket attack and Israeli retaliation came days after a European Union court ordered Hamas removed from the EU terrorist list for procedural reasons, but said the bloc can maintain asset freezes against Hamas members for now. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Hamas is “a murderous terror organization” and called for Hamas to be immediately returned to the list.

Israel and Hamas, the Palestinian militant group that controls Gaza, fought a 50-day war this summer. In that war, Hamas launched thousands of rockets and mortars toward Israel, which carried out an aerial campaign and a ground invasion.

The war left more than 2,100 Palestinians dead, according to Palestinian and U.N. officials. On the Israeli side, 66 soldiers and six civilians were killed.

In the West Bank on Friday, fierce clashes erupted between Palestinian protesters and Israeli forces at a West Bank military checkpoint and near the village of Turmus Aya, though no injuries were reported.

The village was the site of a Palestinian-Israeli scuffle earlier this month during which Palestinian Cabinet minister Ziad Abu Ain collapsed. He later died en route to hospital.

Palestinian and Israeli pathologists subsequently disagreed over the cause of Abu Ain’s death. The Palestinian expert said the cause of death was a “blow,” while his Israeli colleague said Abu Ain died of a heart attack.

In other developments, the Israeli military on Friday began relaxing travel restrictions for Palestinian Christians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip for the Christmas holiday season, saying it granted 700 permits for Gazans to travel to Israel, the West Bank and Jordan.

Israel said it was also allowing West Bank Christians to travel to Israel, permitting 500 of them to visit their families in the Gaza Strip, subject to security checks.

Israel restricts Palestinians in the two territories from entering the country without special permits, citing security concerns. Travel between the territories is also restricted but those bans are usually relaxed for Christians during the holiday season.

The army also said it would also expand the working hours at military checkpoints to allow pilgrims from around the world faster access to the West Bank city of Bethlehem during Christmas.

Gitmo Prisoner Released Is A Nuclear Bomb Expert (Rev 15:2)

Obama releases high-risk terrorist from Gitmo, threat assessment ignored

The Examiner
December 20, 2014 1:36 PM MST
Gitmo prisoners
High-risk terrorists from Gitmo
(Walid Shoebat, Shoebat Foundation)
Amid fears that the recent release of four Guantanamo terrorist detainees by the Obama administration whose efforts to reduce the detainee population toward his goal of closing the facility will endanger troops in Afghanistan, one of those detainees Mohammed Zahir, previously owned uranium to manufacture nuclear bombs and was deemed a high-risk threat but ignored, the Shoebat Foundation reported on Saturday.

The Pentagon identified the four detainees as Mohammed Zahir, Shawali Khan, Abdul Ghani, and Khi Ali Gul. Fox News reported on Saturday that the four were released after the inter-agency Guantanamo Review Task Force conducted a comprehensive review, including whether they were a security risk, as directed by Obama’s Jan. 22, 2009, executive order. Now that the four have been released, Walid Shoebat of the Shoebat Foundation stated that releasing Mohammed Zahir has opened the door where Zahir will pose a serious threat to the United States and other parts of the world with his knowledge of nuclear weapons. Mohammed Zahir was a leading Taliban weapons supplier, according to his official Guantanamo file, leaked three years ago to The Telegraph by the Wikileaks hacker group.

In the Wikileaks Department of Defense Threat Assessment dated, February 2008, it stated, “Detainee, Zahir, is assessed to be a “HIGH” risk, as he is likely to pose a threat to the US, its interests, and allies. Detainee was reported to be a major weapons dealer in the Ghazni area. Detainee reportedly owned several Stinger missiles and an unknown quantity of uranium. Weapons were believed to be stored at his compound.”

“Detainee is assessed to be a veteran high-level member of the Taliban Intelligence Directorate. Detainee is also assessed to be a weapons smuggler in the Ghazni Province and has possible ties to Afghanistan narcotics trafficking. Detainee was arrested on suspicion of possessing weapons including Stinger missiles and uranium, which detainee’s recovered documents indicate was intended for use in a nuclear device. Detainee is associated with senior members of the Taliban intelligence and other Taliban officials and Anti-Coalition Militia (ACM) members including Jalaluddin Haqqani.” The report went to say, “Detainee was arrested on suspicion of possessing weapons including Stinger missiles and uranium, which detainee’s recovered documents indicate was intended for use in a nuclear device.”

The Shoebat Foundation said, “Some former inmates, especially a celebrated group of Saudi jihadis known as “Batch 10” who were repatriated in 2007, have rejoined al-Qaeda. Zahir was said when recommended for continued detention seven years ago to be a “veteran high-level member of the Taliban Intelligence Directorate” as well as having links to narcotics smuggling.” In referencing the other three terrorists who were released, the Shoebat Foundation said, “Abdul Ghani was a member of an assassination squad who admitted to having been involved in at least one rocket attack on US forces. Khi Ali Gul was noted to have ties to the Haqqani terrorist network and to have planned and executed attacks against US and Coalition forces, and Shawali Khan, who was said to be the nephew of a leader of the Taliban-linked Hezb-E-Islami Gulbuddin with possible ties to al-Qaeda and Iranian extremist elements.”

“The Taliban is instrumental in Pakistan, and we must remember the dangers of Pakistan, the Shoebat Foundation,” said in November 2014. “We have written extensively on the significance behind Pakistan and how it will play a major role in the coming war with Islam. Pakistan has some unprotected nuclear weapons and ISIS certainly has its eyes on that and beyond any doubt, it will strive to reach those weapons.”