The Small Horn Separates From The Large Horn

926dd-rtxzhc5Iraq’s Changing Politics on Iran

Iran Focus

London, 14 Sep – Human Rights activist and former political prisoner in Iran, Hamid Bahrami, wrote a piece for Al Arabiya on how the changing balance of power in Iraq could be detrimental to the Iranian Regime’s bid to take over the Middle East.

The defeat of ISIS has created a power vacuum across the Middle East, but specifically in Iraq, that the Iranian Regime felt entitled to fill, however, many Iraqi politicians are changing their minds about obtaining support from Iran, including famed Shi’ite clerics Ammar Al Hakim and Muqtada al-Sadr.

Bahrami wrote: “After 14 years of internal violent conflicts, part of the pro-Tehran Shi’ite alliance has finally realized that the unconditional dependence on the Iranian regime will further exacerbate the sectarian conflict.”

Al Hakim has stepped down as the leader a pro-Iran Iraqi group, which means that many Iraqi Shi’ite voters will not be backing the plans of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) in the upcoming elections.

Meanwhile, al-Sadr, leader of the Sadrist movement, has even decided to visit Saudi Arabia and the UAE, where he will have to choose between supporting Iran or changing his views on Sunni political parties.

Bahrami wrote: “It is agreed that the former Iraqi prime minister, Nouri Al-Maliki’s catastrophic and sectarian policies lead to a deep division among different ethnicities in Iraq. These policies, adopted in coordination with Tehran and its IRGC, were in part based on suppression of the Sunnis and disregarding of their rights.”

He continued: “The weakness of Iraqi army, the frequent use of armed forces to achieve political goals, the direct control of commander of IRGC’s Quds force Qasem Soleimani over Iraqi Shi’ite militias, and eventually, the seizure of nearly one third of Iraqi territory by ISIS, all lead to the recent decision by both of these clerics to distance themselves from the Iranian regime.”This is terrifying to the Iranian Regime, in particular Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei, who sent a special envoy to Iraq to meet with Sadr and Grand Ayatollah Sistani; even worse for the Regime, their envoy was refused.

Amir al-Kanani, a spokesperson for the Sadrist movement, said: “Iran’s interference in political affairs is detrimental to Iraq’s national interest … Khamenei’s envoy carries a new sectarian project that Iran provided six months ago.”

Bahrami wrote: “Although the Iranian Supreme Leader got Sistani’s message, it would be naive to believe that the IRGC under Khamenei’s control will give up to the new reality in Iraq and not try to bypass all likely restrictions. The IRGC controls a powerful Shiite militia, known as People Mobilization Units, and it could use it to put pressure on its dissidents. Consequently, will Grand Ayatollah Sistani take real actions if Tehran uses the IRGC to eliminate its opponents in Iraq physically.”

Bahrami continued: “If Sadr, al-Hakim and Sunni parties agree to restrict Iran’s destructive role in Iraq, the balance of power will shift significantly in favour of the Iraqi people and their representatives. Such agreement will require complicated political negotiations and a real willingness from all these parties to compromise in the interest of an independent Iraq.”

Why New York City Will Be Shut Down At The Sixth Seal

Indian Point tritium leak 80% worse than originally reported

Published time: 10 Feb, 2016 22:12Edited time: 11 Feb, 2016 01:51

New measurements at the Indian Point nuclear power plant in upstate New York show levels of radioactive tritium 80 percent higher than reported last week. Plant operator insists the spill is not dangerous, as state officials call for a safety probe.

Entergy, which operates the facility 25 miles (40 km) north of New York City, says the increased levels of tritium represent “fluctuations that can be expected as the material migrates.”
“Even with the new readings, there is no impact to public health or safety, and although these values remain less than one-tenth of one percent of federal reporting guidelines,” Entergy said in a statement.

New York governor Andrew Cuomo raised an alarm last Saturday over the reports of groundwater contamination at Indian Point, noting that the company reported “alarming levels of radioactivity” at three monitoring wells, with “radioactivity increasing nearly 65,000 percent” at one of them.
The groundwater wells have no contact with any drinking water supplies, and the spill will dissipate before it reaches the Hudson River, a senior Entergy executive argued Tuesday, suggesting the increased state scrutiny was driven by the company’s decision to shut down another nuclear power plant.

“There are a number of stakeholders, including the governor, who do not like the fact that we are having to close Fitzpatrick,” Michael Twomey, Entergy’s vice president of external affairs, said during an appearance on ‘The Capitol Pressroom,’ a show on WCNY public radio.
The James A. Fitzpatrick plant is located on the southern shore of Lake Ontario, near Oswego, New York. Entergy said it intended to close the plant once it runs out of fuel sometime this year, citing its continued operations as unprofitable.

Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant on the Hudson river © wikipedia.org
‘65,000% radioactivity spike’: New York Gov. orders probe into water leak at Indian Point
“We’re not satisfied with this event. This was not up to our expectations,” Twomey said, adding that the Indian Point spill should be seen in context.

Though it has never reported a reactor problem, the Indian Point facility has been plagued by issues with transformers, cooling systems, and other electrical components over the years. It currently operates two reactors, both brought on-line in the 1970s.

In December, the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission allowed Entergy to continue operating the reactors, pending license renewal. The facility’s initial 40-year license was set to expire on December 12, but the regulators are reportedly leaning towards recommending a 20-year extension.

By contrast, Reactor 4 at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in Pripyat, Ukraine was only three years old when it exploded in April 1986. To this day, an area of 1000 square miles around the power plant remains the “exclusion zone,” where human habitation is prohibited.

The tritium leak at Indian Point most likely took place in January, during the preparations to shut down Reactor 2 for refueling, according to Entergy. Water containing high levels of the hydrogen isotope reportedly overfilled the drains and spilled into the ground.

According to Entergy, tritium is a “low hazard radionuclide” because it emits low-energy beta particles, which do not penetrate the skin. “People could be harmed by tritium only through internal exposure caused by drinking water with high levels of tritium over many years,” an Entergy fact sheet says.

Environmentalist critics are not convinced, however.

“This plant isn’t safe anymore,” Paul Gallay, president of environmental watchdog group
Riverkeeper, told the New York Daily News. “Everybody knows it and only Entergy and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission refuse to admit it.”

Earthquake Assessment For The Sixth Seal (Revelation 6:12)

https://i2.wp.com/cdn.abclocal.go.com/content/wabc/images/cms/automation/vod/929833_1280x720.jpgEarthquake Risk in New Jersey

by Daniel R. Dombroski, Jr.

 

by Daniel R. Dombroski, Jr.

A 10–fold increase in amplitude represents about a 32–fold increase in energy released for the same duration of shaking. The best known magnitude scale is one designed by C.F. Richter in 1935 for

west coast earthquakes.

An earthquake’s intensity is determined by observing its effects at a particular place on the Earth’s surface. Intensity depends on the earthquake’s magnitude, the distance from the epicenter, and local geology. These scales are based on reports of people awakening, felt movements, sounds, and visible effects on structures and landscapes. The most commonly used scale in the United States is the Modified Mercalli Intensity Scale, and its values are usually reported in Roman numerals to distinguish them from magnitudes.

Past damage in New Jersey

New Jersey doesn’t get many earthquakes, but it does get some. Fortunately most are small. A few New Jersey earthquakes, as well as a few originating outside the state, have produced enough damage to warrant the concern of planners and emergency managers.

Damage in New Jersey from earthquakes has been minor: items knocked off shelves, cracked plaster and masonry, and fallen chimneys. Perhaps because no one was standing under a chimney when it fell, there are no recorded earthquake–related deaths in New Jersey. We will probably not be so fortunate in the future.

Area Affected by Eastern Earthquakes

Although the United States east of the Rocky Mountains has fewer and generally smaller earthquakes than the West, at least two factors  increase the earthquake risk in New Jersey and the East. Due to geologic differences, eastern earthquakes effect areas ten times larger than western ones of the same magnitude. Also, the eastern United States is more densely populated, and New Jersey is the most densely populated state in the nation.

Geologic Faults and Earthquakes in New Jersey

Although there are many faults in New Jersey, the Ramapo Fault, which separates the Piedmont and Highlands Physiographic Provinces, is the best known. In 1884 it was blamed for a damaging New York City earthquake simply because it was the only large fault mapped at the time. Subsequent investigations have shown the 1884 earthquake epicenter was actually located in Brooklyn, New York, at least 25 miles from the Ramapo Fault.

More recently, in the 1970’s and early 1980’s, earthquake risk along the Ramapo Fault received attention because of its proximity to the Indian Point, New York, Nuclear Power Generating Station. East of the Rocky Mountains (including New Jersey), earthquakes do not break the ground surface. Their focuses lie at least a few miles below the Earth’s surface, and their locations are determined by interpreting seismographic records. Geologic fault lines seen on the surface today are evidence of ancient events. The presence or absence of mapped faults (fault lines) does not denote either a seismic hazard or the lack of one, and earthquakes can occur anywhere in New Jersey.

Frequency of Damaging Earthquakes in New Jersey

Records for the New York City area, which have been kept for 300 years, provide good information

for estimating the frequency of earthquakes in New Jersey.

Earthquakes with a maximum intensity of VII (see table DamagingEarthquakes Felt in New Jersey )have occurred in the New York City area in 1737, 1783, and 1884. One intensity VI, four intensity V’s, and at least three intensity III shocks have also occurred in the New York area over the last 300 years.

Buildings and Earthquakes

The 1995 earthquake in Kobe, Japan, is an example of what might happen in New Jersey in a similar quake. It registered a magnitude 7.2 on the Richter scale and produced widespread destruction. But it was the age of construction, soil and foundation condition, proximity to the fault, and type of structure that were the major determining factors in the performance of each building. Newer structures, built to the latest construction standards, appeared to perform relatively well, generally ensuring the life safety of occupants.

Structures have collapsed in New Jersey without earthquakes; an earthquake would trigger many more. Building and housing codes need to be updated and strictly enforced to properly prepare for inevitable future earthquakes.

Pakistan Helps Iran’s Nuclear Agenda (Daniel 8)

Pakistan′s indirect role in North Korea′s nuclear program

Asia | DW | 14.09.2017

DW: To what extent North Korea owes its nuclear technology to Pakistan?

Pervez Hoodbhoy: Pakistan did transfer centrifuge technology to North Korea. It did not, however, directly contribute to the program because North Korean nuclear program is essentially based on the extraction of plutonium rather than the uranium centrifugation process.

When did Pakistan’s “nuclear transfer” to North Korea begin, and when did it end?

It ended in 2003 when Pakistani scientist A Q Khan was caught in the transfer of nuclear technology and subsequently all nuclear transfer came to an end. It is unclear when it began, but it is possible that it started shortly after former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto came to power in 1989, so in the years after that it must have begun at some point.

Pervez Hoodbhoy: ‘In return for the centrifuge that Pakistan supplied to North Korea, it received so-called Dudong missiles’

Was Pakistani scientist A Q Khan the only person responsible for nuclear proliferation to Pyongyang?

It is very hard to believe that A Q Khan single-handedly transferred all technology from Pakistan to North Korea, Libya and Iran as it was a high-security installation in Pakistan and guarded with very fearsome amount of policing and military intelligence surrounding it. Moreover, the centrifuge weighs half a ton each and it is not possible that these could have been smuggled out in a match box, so certainly there was complicity at a very high level.

But some military generals in Pakistan deny helping out Pyongyang because North Korean nuclear technology is a plutonium-based one unlike Pakistan’s.

I think that it is true the North Korean nuclear weapons are plutonium-based and this plutonium bomb is not the same as the uranium bomb. Pakistan did supply centrifuges to Pyongyang, but the relation between the North Korean nuclear program and Pakistan is not direct.

What did Pakistan get in return for “helping” Pyongyang?

In return for the centrifuge that Pakistan supplied to North Korea, it received so-called Dudong missiles. These are liquid-fueled missiles, which were taken over by the A Q Khan laboratory and were renamed “Ghouri” missiles. I think they are part of Pakistan’s missile arsenal. These are not as effective as solid-fuel missiles, which do not need much preparation time.

So, certainly there was a quid pro quo. I think both North Korea and Pakistan benefited from this exchange, but not majorly.

Does the A Q Khan “nuclear network” still exist?

It is difficult to say that such network exists now. Pakistan’s nuclear program is now under observation and it will be very difficult to smuggle nuclear technology out of the country.

Should the international community accept North Korea as a nuclear power the way it accepted Pakistan?

It is now a fact that North Korea has had six successful nuclear tests, and the last one probably that of a hydrogen bomb. This certainly exceeds what Pakistan has achieved and is on par with India’s nuclear program.

There is no doubt that a nuclear North Korea is now reality, so the country should be put in the same category as India and Pakistan.

What measures should the international community take to counter the threat posed by “rogue states” with nuclear capabilities?

The notion of rogue state is something that has been manufactured by those who already possess nuclear weapons. The United States has used this term time and again in relation to Iran and North Korea, and earlier Iraq as well. The term has no legitimacy because the US itself has used nuclear weapons – once in Hiroshima and once in Nagasaki. Moreover, we have seen that the US actions have not been conducive to world peace. Being a superpower does not give the US a license to label other states around the world as “rogue.”

Korea Fires Another Missile at Japan

TELEMMGLPICT000139573930_trans_NvBQzQNjv4BqpVlberWd9EgFPZtcLiMQfy2dmClwgbjjulYfPTELibANorth Korea Launched Another Missile Over Japan Into Pacific

Shin Shoji More stories by Shin Shoji

North Korea fired its second missile over Japan in as many months, a fresh provocation that comes shortly after the United Nations approved harsher sanctions against Kim Jong Un’s regime.

Japan didn’t attempt to shoot down the missile, which was launched at 6:57 a.m. on Friday and flew over the northern island of Hokkaido before landing 2,000 kilometers (1,200 miles) away in the Pacific Ocean, according to Japanese broadcaster NHK. An initial assessment indicated that it was an intermediate range ballistic missile, U.S. Pacific Command said in a statement.

“These continued provocations against our country by North Korea can absolutely not be tolerated,” Yoshihide Suga, Japan’s government spokesman, told reporters. Japan’s benchmark Topix index was little changed in early Tokyo trading.

North Korea conducted its sixth and most powerful nuclear test on Sept. 3, and has launched more than a dozen missiles this year as Kim seeks the capability to hit the continental U.S. with an atomic weapon. President Donald Trump has said all options — including military — are on the table to stop North Korea from threatening the U.S.

Trump was briefed on Friday’s missile launch, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement. In remarks at a White House dinner on Thursday night, he didn’t mention North Korea.

Here Are the Options for Dealing With North Korea: QuickTake Q&A

Kim Jong Un: Nuke-Wielding Madman or Astute Dictator?

The UN Security Council plans to convene on Friday in New York, Yonhap News reported. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was en route to Japan from India at the time of the launch on Friday, and didn’t speak to reporters immediately after landing.

Suga told reporters that the situation was similar to that when a missile was fired over Japan on Aug. 29, NHK reported. North Korea had called that test a “meaningful prelude” to containing the American territory of Guam, and threatened to launch more missiles over Japan into the ocean.

The missile on Friday, fired from Pyongyang, flew 3,700 kilometers and reached an altitude of 770 kilometers, South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said. The intermediate-range missile fired on Aug. 29 over Japan traveled 2,700 kilometers and reached an altitude of 550 kilometers.

In July, North Korea fired two intercontinental ballistic missiles on steep trajectories into the sea between the Korean peninsula and Japan. The regime said those launches put the entire U.S. in its range.

South Korea’s military said it simultaneously conducted a drill in which it fired a ballistic missile into the East Sea, also known as the Sea of Japan.

Sink Japan

On Thursday, North Korea had threatened to sink Japan “into the sea” with a nuclear strike and turn the U.S. into “ashes and darkness” for agreeing to the latest UN sanctions. The rhetoric prompted U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to press China into cutting off oil exports.

“We hope China will not reject that or discard that as a very powerful tool, that they alone really have the ability to assert,” Tillerson said at a briefing in London with U.K. Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson. Echoing that sentiment, Johnson said there was room for China, North Korea’s top trading partner, to do much more, “particularly in respect to oil.”

China’s foreign ministry didn’t respond to faxed questions about the latest North Korea missile launch.

On Monday, the UN Security Council approved new sanctions after the U.S. dropped key demands such as an oil embargo to win support from Russia and China, both of which can veto any proposals. The resolution seeks to limit oil imports, ban textile exports and increase inspections of ships suspected of carrying cargo in breach of sanctions.

North Korea’s first nuclear test since Trump took office was a “perfect success” and confirmed the precision and technology of the bomb, according to the Korean Central News Agency. Kim claimed that his regime could mount a hydrogen bomb onto an ICBM.

Read More: Smugglers on China-North Korea Border Undercut Sanctions

While North Korea’s ICBM threat is growing, the U.S. military says it’s not yet imminent. Kim’s regime has yet to demonstrate that it can accurately guide a long-range missile to a target with a nuclear warhead that survives the trip, General Paul Selva, the No. 2 U.S. military official said in a statement to Bloomberg last month.

“A full-out ICBM test could have really rattled the international community as a whole, so they decided to respond to the recent UN sanctions this way,” said Harry J. Kazianis, director of defense studies at the Center for the National Interest in Washington. “They could have been testing improvements in engine design or the reentry vehicle.”

— With assistance by Isabel Reynolds, Shoko Oda, Lily Nonomiya, Kiyotaka Matsuda, John McCluskey, Sam Kim, Chelsea Mes, and Justin Sink