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

US Raises Threat of Quake but Lowers Risk for Towers

New York Times


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.

“The eastern U.S. has the potential for larger and more damaging earthquakes than considered in previous maps and assessments,” the agency said, citing the magnitude 5.8 quake that struck Virginia in 2011.

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.

“Could there be a magnitude 6 in New York?” Mr. Armbruster said. “In Virginia, in a 300 year history, 4.8 was the biggest, and then you have a 5.8. So in New York, I wouldn’t say a 6 is impossible.”

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.”

The Iran Deal Will Soon Collapse

VIENNA (Reuters) – A collapse of the Iran nuclear deal would be a “great loss”, the U.N. atomic watchdog’s chief warned U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday, giving a wide-ranging defense of the accord and his agency’s work under it.


Trump has threatened to withdraw the United States from the accord between Tehran and six world powers, signed in 2015 before he took office, unless Congress and European allies help “fix” it with a follow-up pact. Trump does not like the deal’s limited duration, among other things.

Iran has stayed within the deal’s restrictions since Trump took office but has fired diplomatic warning shots at Washington in recent weeks. It said on Monday that it could rapidly enrich uranium to a higher degree of purity if the deal collapsed.

“If the JCPOA were to fail, it would be a great loss for nuclear verification and for multilateralism,” International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) chief Yukiya Amano said in a speech to his agency’s 35-nation Board of Governors, using the deal’s official name, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

Amano, whose agency polices the deal’s nuclear restrictions, later gave his most wide-ranging defense of the accord to date, listing numbers of buildings inspected, images captured and even seals placed on equipment since the accord was put into effect.

The IAEA now has the world’s most robust verification regime in place in Iran. We have had access to all locations that we needed to visit,” the veteran Japanese diplomat told a news conference after his speech.

Amano declined to comment on the position of the United States or any other country, but his remarks were clearly a response to Trump’s threat to scupper the accord, which also lifted painful economic sanctions against Iran.

“We have carried out more than 60 complementary accesses and visited more than 190 buildings since JCPOA Implementation Day,” he said, referring to a specific type of inspection under the IAEA’s Additional Protocol, which Iran is implementing under the deal.

Washington is telling European allies it wants a follow-on agreement that “ensures strong IAEA inspections”, according to a State Department cable obtained by Reuters last month.

That suggests that, from Washington’s standpoint, there is something deficient about the current inspection system.

Trump and his ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, have made similar comments. But diplomats familiar with the IAEA’s thinking have said the Trump administration’s view arises from a poor understanding of how the IAEA does its work in Iran.


“If America pulls out of the deal … Iran could resume its 20 percent uranium enrichment in less than 48 hours,” Behrouz Kamalvandi, spokesman for the Atomic Energy Organisation of Iran, told state-run Arabic language al-Alam TV.

Iran is not allowed to enrich uranium beyond 3.67 percent fissile purity under the deal, a level that is suitable for fuelling some civilian nuclear power stations and far short of the 80-90 percent that is considered weapons grade.

Kamalvandi, reiterating Tehran’s official stance, said the nuclear deal is not re-negotiable. The other countries that signed the deal – Germany, Britain, France, Russia and China – are committed to preserving it.

As mentioned in a quarterly IAEA report on Iran last month, Amano said in his speech that the agency had requested clarification from Iran about its plans for nuclear-powered naval vessels, suggesting the IAEA has still not heard back from the Islamic Republic.

Iran has long said publicly that it intends to develop nuclear propulsion for naval vessels, though analysts and diplomats say that remains a distant prospect. It formally notified the IAEA of that intention in January in what was widely seen as a rebuff to pressure from Trump.

Additional reporting by Parisa Hafezi in Ankara; Editing by Mark Heinrich

Yes, Iran is Already a Nuclear Horn (Daniel 8:4)


ANKARA (Reuters) – Iran said on Monday it could produce higher enriched uranium within two days if the United States quit a 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and six major powers, Tehran’s Arabic language al-Alam TV reported.

“If America pulls out of the deal … Iran could resume its 20 percent uranium enrichment in less than 48 hours,” Behrouz Kamalvandi, spokesman for the Atomic Energy Organisation of Iran, told al-Alam TV.

Uranium refined to 20 percent fissile purity is well beyond the 5 percent normally required to fuel civilian nuclear power plants, though still well short of highly enriched, or 80-90 percent, purity needed for a nuclear bomb.

Kamalvandi said the deal – under which Iran curbed its uranium enrichment to help ensure it was for peaceful purposes only and secured an end to financial sanctions in return – is not re-negotiable, as demanded by the United States. The deal’s European signatories – Germany, Britain and France, as well as Russia and China – are committed to preserving the agreement.

Back to the Nuclear Games (Revelation 15)


The two leaders most responsible for bringing the Cold War to a peaceful end were U.S. President Ronald Reagan and Soviet head of state Mikhail Gorbachev. They also kick-started the dramatic reductions in nuclear arsenals with a mix of unilateral measures and bilateral agreements. The driving force behind this was acceptance of Reagan’s affirmation in his State of the Union address on Jan. 25, 1984, that “A nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought.”

Now their successors, U.S. President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin, seem determined to resurrect the Cold War rivalry, restart a nuclear arms race, and look for technological breakthroughs and doctrinal justifications for “usable” nuclear weapons.

Delivering his own annual state of the nation speech on March 1, Putin boasted of a new array of invincible nuclear weapons that can penetrate any defenses to reach anywhere in the world. Unsurprisingly, most of the world’s media attention has focused on this claim and linked the public pronouncements to the March 18 presidential election. Of greater import were passages proclaiming that Russia is back as a power not to be trifled with, the justifications for it, and the intimations of a potential new nuclear arms race.

The most important passage in Putin’s address was the declaration that efforts to contain Russia had failed. The United States, Putin asserted, had exploited Russia’s economic, political and military weakness after the collapse of the former Soviet Union to sideline Russia as a major international actor, ignore its views (as in the NATO intervention in 1999 to break up Russia’s ally Serbia by detaching Kosovo from it), and kept moving NATO closer to Russia’s borders.

The U.S. and NATO have justified their nuclear modernization and upgrades with reference to the need to counter “rogue” states like Iran and North Korea. The identification of Russia and China as the major strategic threats in official U.S. documents in 2018 removes this fiction. The new U.S. Nuclear Posture Review levels three charges against Russia and China: “They have added new types of nuclear capabilities to their arsenals, increased the salience of nuclear forces in their strategies and plans, and engaged in increasingly aggressive behavior, including in outer space and cyber space.”.

The systems that Russia is developing seem to be designed to evade or penetrate U.S. anti-missile defenses. Russia and China have complained for many years about U.S. missile defense systems deployed in eastern Europe and the Pacific. A major weakness of missile defenses has always been held to be that the other side can develop counter-measures to penetrate them.

As far as China and Russia are concerned, in recent years Washington has moved away from a commitment to (Russia) or an acknowledgment of (China) mutual vulnerability, which is the foundation of deterrence resting on mutually assured destruction. Instead the U.S. has seemed to be pursuing nuclear primacy that would allow limited use of nuclear weapons in certain contingencies. Putin’s announcement is a bold declaration that Russia will not permit this to happen. He noted that the U.S. had not heeded Russian warnings when President George W. Bush pulled out of the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty in 2001: “You didn’t listen to our country then. Listen to us now.”

The language Putin used in his address was reminiscent of the Cold War, matching the video demonstration of a new weapon targeting Florida. Putin boasted of Russia’s military might and put on a display of new weapons systems including underwater drones, intercontinental ballistic missiles and a nuclear-powered air-launched cruise missile. This followed the February announcement that the Pentagon is embarking on a $1.2 trillion upgrade of U.S. land, air and sea-based strategic nuclear forces. “I would like to tell those who have been trying to escalate the arms race for the past 15 years, to gain unilateral advantages over Russia, and to impose restrictions and sanctions …The attempt at curbing Russia has failed,” Putin said.

Both Moscow and Washington have promised to abide by the obligations of the 2010 New START, which restricts the number of deployed strategic nuclear warheads to 1,550 each. But there is no expectation of any follow-up agreement for still deeper cuts. Weapons retained under New START are being updated by both parties, and they are developing and deploying new systems not covered by the agreement.

As always, each side describes its actions and developments as defensive, designed to counter enhancements by the other side. The U.S. development of low-yield submarine launched ballistics missiles and sea-launched cruise missiles are held to be necessary to stop Russia from considering the use of tactical nuclear weapons in a “limited” war. The end result is the resurgence of the Cold War dynamic where Moscow and Washington try to outmatch each other with new nuclear weapons.

The ratcheting-up of the rhetoric of nuclear weapons developments and deployments risks the normalization of the discourse of nuclear weapons use. In conjunction with modernization and technological upgrades, this will increase the temptation to develop doctrines of nuclear war fighting with “variable” and “low” yield bombs. As well, the Moscow-Washington nuclear dyad of the Cold War has given way to interlinked nuclear chains in which developments in the bilateral nuclear relationship have cascading effects on other nuclear powers like China, India and Pakistan.

The more that Putin and Trump revalidate the role of nuclear weapons in guaranteeing their respective national security, the more they undermine efforts to delegitimize the nuclear weapon aspirations of Kim Jong Un and will embolden calls of nuclear weapon acquisition in other countries, including Japan and South Korea. North Korea shows no sign of curbing its nuclear and missile programs. China is upgrading its considerably smaller nuclear arsenal. India and Pakistan are enlarging, modernizing and upgrading stockpiles while investing in battlefield tactical nuclear weapons (Pakistan) and systems to counter them (India).

The intensification of the competitive buildup of sophisticated nuclear armaments by the world’s major military powers makes a mockery of their treaty obligation to reduce and eliminate nuclear arsenals. It also explains the accumulating frustrations in the international community at the discredited step-by-step — now relabeled “progressive” — approach to nuclear disarmament whose most visible steps seem to be going backward. And it increases the attraction of last year’s Nuclear Ban Treaty as an alternative normative framework for closing the legal gap on nuclear abolition, and increasing global pressure on the nuclear powers to cap, reduce and eliminate their nuclear stockpiles.

Ramesh Thakur is director of the Center for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament and a professor in the Crawford School of Public Policy, Australian National University..

Correct: if President Bush had not invaded Iraq we would not be in the Endtimes (Revelation 13)

See the source imageWhat if President Bush had not invaded Iraq?
By Silvio Canto, Jr.

In a few weeks, we will remember the 15th anniversary of the Iraq War. President Bush made a tough call, and I’m still supporting it years later.

Close your eyes and imagine Saddam Hussein running Iraq.

Over there, Saddam would be trying to compete with Iran for nuclear weapons. Libya would still have them.

Israel would have probably gone to war with Iran or Iraq by now.

Oil would be $100 a barrel, at least.

Over here, John Kerry would be giving speeches that Pres. Bush left a madman in power. He’d tell us about his vote to remove Saddam Hussein.

Hillary Clinton would remind us that her husband’s administration said Iraq had WMDs and connections to al-Qaeda.

Al Gore would argue that 9-11 changed everything and that the U.S. looks weak playing cat and mouse with Iraq.

I’m sure that a few other Democrats would tell us about their opposition to Saddam Hussein.

It was 15 years ago, and President Bush was right. All you have to do is look at North Korea. The lesson of North Korea is that you cannot allow these regimes to go nuclear. You cannot give them the benefit of the doubt because they have no intention of complying with any agreements.

Saddam won’t be conducting any nuclear tests. He is dead and gone.

Better than that, we don’t have to hear John Kerry say the Bush administration passed up an opportunity to take out Saddam before he conducted a nuclear test.

Last, but not least, we salute all of the men and women who served in Iraq. We also remember the ones killed and their wonderful families.

PS: You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.

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