History Says Expect The Sixth Seal In New York (Revelation 6:12)

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If the past is any indication, New York can be hit by an earthquake, claims John Armbruster, a seismologist at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory.

Based on historical precedent, Armbruster says the New York City metro area is susceptible to an earthquake of at least a magnitude of 5.0 once a century.

According to the New York Daily News, Lynn Skyes, lead author of a recent study by seismologists at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory adds that a magnitude-6 quake hits the area about every 670 years, and magnitude-7 every 3,400 years.

A 5.2-magnitude quake shook New York City in 1737 and another of the same severity hit in 1884.

Tremors were felt from Maine to Virginia.

There are several fault lines in the metro area, including one along Manhattan’s 125th St. – which may have generated two small tremors in 1981 and may have been the source of the major 1737 earthquake, says Armbruster.

There’s another fault line on Dyckman St. and one in Dobbs Ferry in nearby Westchester County.

“The problem here comes from many subtle faults,” explained Skyes after the study was published.

He adds: “We now see there is earthquake activity on them. Each one is small, but when you add them up, they are probably more dangerous than we thought.”

“Considering population density and the condition of the region’s infrastructure and building stock, it is clear that even a moderate earthquake would have considerable consequences in terms of public safety and economic impact,” says the New York City Area Consortium for Earthquake Loss Mitigation on its website.

Armbruster says a 5.0-magnitude earthquake today likely would result in casualties and hundreds of millions of dollars in damage.

“I would expect some people to be killed,” he notes.

The scope and scale of damage would multiply exponentially with each additional tick on the Richter scale. (ANI)

Prepare For a Nuclear Iran (Daniel 8:4)

Trump to ‘decertify’ Iran nuclear deal next week: report

BY REBECCA KHEEL
President Trump plans to “decertify” the Iran nuclear deal next week and announce that it is not in the United States’ national interest, The Washington Post reported Thursday.

Such an announcement would leave the next move up to Congress, which would have 60 days to use a fast-track process to reimpose sanctions and deliver a potentially fatal blow to the deal, which Tehran agreed to in 2015 with the U.S. and five other nations.

Trump faces an Oct. 15 deadline to tell Congress whether Iran remains in compliance with the Obama-era nuclear accord, which gave Tehran billions of dollars of sanctions relief in exchange for limits on its nuclear program. The deadline is part of the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act, which also says the president must tell Congress whether suspension of sanctions remains vital to the national security interests of the United States.

According to the Post, which cited individuals briefed on an emerging White House strategy, Trump has tentatively scheduled an Oct. 12 speech to lay out a larger strategy on Iran that would open the door to modifying the agreement but hold off on recommending Congress reimpose sanctions.

The Post’s sources cautioned that plans are not fully set and could change. The White House would not confirm the speech or its contents, the newspaper reported.

Trump has repeatedly bashed the Iran deal, known formally as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, calling it “an embarrassment” and promising on the campaign trail to tear it up.

But the international body overseeing the deal, the International Atomic Energy Agency, has said Iran remains in compliance, as have Secretary of Defense James Mattis, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Joseph Dunford.

Administration officials in favor of keeping the deal in place have been looking for a way to split the difference between saving the deal and saving face for Trump.

Mattis hinted at a congressional hearing this week at the idea of decertifying Iran’s compliance while leaving sanctions relief in place.

“We have two different issues,” Mattis told the House Armed Services Committee. “One is the [Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action] and one is what Congress has passed, and those two are distinct but integral with each other. As you look at what the Congress has laid out at a somewhat different definition of what’s in our best interest, and therein lies, I think, the need for us to look at these distinct but integral issues the way the president has directed.”

Trump said last month he had made a decision on the deal, but refused to say what it entailed. On Thursday, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders reiterated that Trump has made a decision and will announce it at the “appropriate time.”

The Sixth Seal (Revelation 6:12)

NEW YORK IS 40 YEARS OVERDUE A MAJOR EARTHQUAKE AND AMERICA ISN’T PROPERLY PREPARED, ‘QUAKELAND’ AUTHOR KATHRYN MILES TELLS TREVOR NOAH

BY TUFAYEL AHMED ON 9/27/17 AT 9:28 AM

Updated | An earthquake is long overdue to hit New York and America isn’t prepared, author and environmental theorist Kathryn Miles told Trevor Noah on Tuesday’s Daily Show.
Miles is the author of a new book, Quakeland, which investigates how imminently an earthquake is expected in the U.S. and how well-prepared the country is to handle it. The answer to those questions: Very soon and not very well.

“We know it will, that’s inevitable, but we don’t know when,” said Miles when asked when to expect another earthquake in the U.S.

She warned that New York is in serious danger of being the site of the next one, surprising considering that the West Coast sits along the San Andreas fault line.

“New York is 40 years overdue for a significant earthquake…Memphis, Seattle, Washington D.C.—it’s a national problem,” said Miles.

Miles told Noah that though the U.S. is “really good at responding to natural disasters,” like the rapid response to the hurricanes in Texas and Florida, the country and its government is, in fact, lagging behind in its ability to safeguard citizens before an earthquake hits.

“We’re really bad at the preparedness side,” Miles responded when Noah asked how the infrastructure in the U.S. compares to Mexico’s national warning system, for example.

“Whether it’s the literal infrastructure, like our roads and bridges, or the metaphoric infrastructure, like forecasting, prediction, early warning systems. Historically, we’ve underfunded those and as a result we’re way behind even developing nations on those fronts.”

Part of the problem, Miles says, is that President Donald Trump and his White House are not concerned with warning systems that could prevent the devastation of natural disasters.

“We can invest in an early warning system. That’s one thing we can definitely do. We can invest in better infrastructures, so that when the quake happens, the damage is less,” said the author.

“The scientists, the emergency managers, they have great plans in place. We have the technology for an early warning system, we have the technology for tsunami monitoring. But we don’t have a president that is currently interested in funding that, and that’s a problem.”

This article has been updated to reflect that Miles said New York is the possible site of an upcoming earthquake, and not the likeliest place to be next hit by one.

The Terrorism of the Pakistani Horn (Daniel 8)

629966-pakistan-terroristsPakistan Is Inviting Its Favorite Jihadis Into Parliament

October 4, 2017

The notorious jihadi Hafiz Saeed has apparently had a change of heart. Like many extremists in Pakistan, the 67-year-old firebrand used to rage against democracy. But earlier this month a new political party, controlled in all but name by Saeed — the leader of the militant organization Lashkar-e-Taiba, and the alleged mastermind of a string of horrific massacres in India, including the killing of 166 people in Mumbai nine years ago — peacefully contested its first by-election for national parliament.

Bearded party workers from the Milli Muslim League wandered the streets of Lahore in hi-visibility jackets. Posters of Saeed were plastered across the city, in direct contravention of a ruling by the Election Commission, which does not recognize the MML as a party. The candidate backed by the MML, Yaqoob Sheikh, himself designated a terrorist by the U.S. Treasury in 2012, notched up an unexpectedly high 5 percent of the vote for the former National Assembly seat of recently ousted prime minister, Nawaz Sharif. (A further 6 percent went to another new Islamist party, the Tehreek-e-Labaik Pakistan, founded to cherish the legacy of a man who was hanged for the murder of a senator campaigning for reform of the country’s strict blasphemy laws.)

Why have bloodthirsty, anti-democratic groups suddenly chosen to enter the world of politics — and how have they been allowed to operate so openly? For the answer, look to Pakistan’s army. Earlier this year, according to Muhammad Amir Rana of the Pakistan Institute for Peace Studies, the military held successful talks with several “banned organizations” over a deradicalization strategy that would, in theory, see them drop their AK-47s and pick up clipboards.

Well-meaning supporters of the strategy argue that not all extremists can be killed or locked up. Some point to the IRA in Ireland or Islamist radicals in Indonesia as proof that political engagement can defang terrorist groups. Others ask why the political transition now seen as the inevitable path of the Afghan Taliban should not also apply to Pakistan’s own jihadis.

But deradicalization is tricky at the best of times, and the conditions that made it work elsewhere in the past simply don’t apply to Pakistan today. Most of all, it needs a state willing to threaten nonstate actors with something they would rather avoid (a military offensive) while proffering the reward of something they want (political influence). In Pakistan, neither condition is fulfilled. In fact, the “mainstreaming” project appears just as likely to strengthen jihadi militants as quell them — and you don’t have to be a conspiracy theorist to wonder whether that isn’t really the point.

By global standards, the Pakistani army is large, well equipped, and well disciplined. But it’s next door to India, a foe three times its size, which has beaten it soundly in every conflict the two have ever had. That leaves the military willing to resort to the darkest methods to even the score.

The army has been chasing the possibility of a “good Taliban” for decades — starting with the Afghan Taliban itself, sponsored and supported by Pakistan’s intelligence agency, the Inter-Services Intelligence. The main reason that Lashkar-e-Taiba and its charitable front, Jamaat-ud-Dawa, survive under Hafiz Saeed’s leadership is that as far as the military is concerned, they’re the good jihadis.

Lashkar-e-Taiba has never carried out an attack within Pakistan — at least one that’s made the press. Rather, it has served as a proxy for the military in its asymmetric war with India, particularly in the disputed territory of Kashmir. According to David Headley, one of the Lashkar-e-Taiba members involved in the 2008 attack on Mumbai, the ISI provided “financial, military, and moral” support for the operation.

The army proved how effective it can be in a recent sustained assault on the jihadis it doesn’t like — those who carry out attacks within the nation. A crackdown in the northeastern tribal areas came as a furious reply to the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan’s 2014 massacre at a school in Peshawar. Deaths from terrorism have since fallen by two-thirds.
But none of the circumstances that have historically shielded Lashkar-e-Taiba from a similar military crackdown have changed — in fact, some of them have become more entrenched. The belligerent tone of Narendra Modi, India’s prime minister, has fuelled the military’s hard-wired belief that it must retain all its assets in the 70-year-old conflict.
Meanwhile, the ever-expanding charitable works of Jamaat-ud-Dawa, which the armed forces have supported by granting it permission to work in parts of the country that international nongovernmental organizations and other local organizations cannot reach, have softened public opinion. A popular actor congratulated Hafiz Saeed after the Lahore by-election, praising him as a “righteous man.” While much of Pakistan’s civilian elite share the condemnatory line of its English-language newspapers, read by 2 percent of the population, the broader public tends to a less harsh view. Just 36 percent of the population holds an unfavorable opinion of Lashkar-e-Taiba, compared to 60 percent for the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan, according to a 2015 Pew survey.

If the army has no clear incentive to wholly “deradicalize” Lashkar-e-Taiba at this point in time, it has more than enough to present its old strategic asset as newly defanged in order to ward off international pressure. America has reduced its aid to Pakistan for housing, in the words of U.S. President Donald Trump, “the very terrorists who we are fighting.” Allies closer to home have recently shown signs of losing patience with its tolerance of favored jihadi groups.

At last month’s BRICS summit among five of the world’s most rapidly developing nations, a statement was issued condemning — for the first time — Lashkar-e-Taiba and its affiliates by name as a threat to regional stability. Pakistan’s civilian government daringly echoed the criticism. It cannot lift a finger against Saeed, given the military’s stranglehold over counterterrorism and foreign policy. But the sum effect of such glancing blows, and the potential diplomatic isolation that would result from maintaining the status quo, may have convinced elements of the military to make a show of “politically deradicalizing” its historic playmates.

The transformation might, moreover, yield strategic fruit. The army is known to loathe the recently ousted Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who favored peace with India.
And the reduced margin of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s victory in Lahore last week, compared to the general election in 2013, owed much to the rise of the MML and its fellow religious party, which split the right-wing vote. The new parties’ street power alone might sway the future course of the country’s politics.

At large MML rallies, supporters chanted “Long live the Pakistan Army!” and — by coincidence or not — the party’s main goal is said to be opposing repeal of the broad, Islam-based articles of the constitution that the Supreme Court used to justify Sharif’s removal. It would take a brave politician to speak out in favor of reform when Jamaat-ud-Dawa and the MML control huge and boisterous vote banks.

Pakistan’s Ministry of Interior has so far resisted granting the Milli Muslim League the status of a political party — hence the need for MML to support its nominally independent candidate at arm’s length. But it may not be able to hold out much longer. One challenge the civilian government faces in dealing with Saeed’s organizations is the smoothness with which they adapt to rules. Jamaat-ud-Dawa, his charity, works zealously across the country. Its members carry out disaster relief, run around 200 schools, and have deliberately offered support to minorities — such as Hindus and Shiites — to win more public sympathy. The country’s former military dictator, Pervez Musharraf, referred to Jamaat-ud-Dawa as a “very fine NGO” in an interview earlier this year. Military officials point out that if the MML submits to the requirements of Pakistan’s Constitution, whether they “wear beards or not, they would not be stopped [from forming a party] anywhere in the world.”

That runs a little wide of the truth, and, of course, operating a political party with one hand doesn’t prevent fostering jihad, covertly, with the other. Consider Hezbollah, for example. To date, Saeed’s outfits have played a similar double game as the Lebanese organization, which grew its militant wing alongside a burgeoning political front.
Jamaat-ud-Dawa, funded by charitable donations, operates from a sprawling base outside Lahore. Yet it was on the large lake inside those headquarters that Lashkar-e-Taiba militants reportedly prepared for their amphibious assault on Mumbai. If Saeed slips into the political mainstream, such practices suggest he will merely funnel some of the financial rewards to terrorist activities, while instructing his henchmen to smile for election officials.

The Pakistan army may find that its strategy backfires in another way. The whole point of using militants against India is to maintain a facade of plausible deniability. But bringing Saeed into the system puts all that at risk. After Lashkar-e-Taiba militants shot up the Indian parliament in 2001, 800,000 troops massed the border as India and Pakistan — two nuclear-armed nations — nearly went to war. The Pakistani state denied it had anything to do with the attack. That excuse was thin at the time. Repeating it now would wear it to vanishing point.