New York Subways at the Sixth Seal (Revelation 6)

http://assets.nydailynews.com/polopoly_fs/1.1196134%21/img/httpImage/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_635/alg-mta-tunnel-5.jpgHow vulnerable are NYC’s underwater subway tunnels to flooding?

Ashley Fetters

New York City is full of peculiar phenomena—rickety fire escapes; 100-year-old subway tunnels; air conditioners propped perilously into window frames—that can strike fear into the heart of even the toughest city denizen. But should they? Every month, writer Ashley Fetters will be exploring—and debunking—these New York-specific fears, letting you know what you should actually worry about, and what anxieties you can simply let slip away.

The 25-minute subway commute from Crown Heights to the Financial District on the 2/3 line is, in my experience, a surprisingly peaceful start to the workday—save for one 3,100-foot stretch between the Clark Street and Wall Street stations, where for three minutes I sit wondering what the probability is that I will soon die a torturous, claustrophobic drowning death right here in this subway car.

The Clark Street Tunnel, opened in 1916, is one of approximately a dozen tunnels that escort MTA passengers from one borough to the next underwater—and just about all of them, with the exception of the 1989 addition of the 63rd Street F train tunnel, were constructed between 1900 and 1936.

Each day, thousands of New Yorkers venture across the East River and back again through these tubes buried deep in the riverbed, some of which are nearing or even past their 100th birthdays. Are they wrong to ponder their own mortality while picturing one of these watery catacombs suddenly springing a leak?

Mostly yes, they are, says Michael Horodniceanu, the former president of MTA Capital Construction and current principal of Urban Advisory Group. First, it’s important to remember that the subway tunnel is built under the riverbed, not just in the river—so what immediately surrounds the tunnel isn’t water but some 25 feet of soil. “There’s a lot of dirt on top of it,” Horodniceanu says. “It’s well into the bed of the bottom of the channel.”

And second, as Angus Kress Gillespie, author of Crossing Under the Hudson: The Story of the Holland and Lincoln Tunnels, points out, New York’s underwater subway tunnels are designed to withstand some leaking. And withstand it they do: Pumps placed below the floor of the tunnel, he says, are always running, always diverting water seepage into the sewers. (Horodniceanu says the amount of water these pumps divert into the sewer system each day numbers in the thousands of gallons.)

Additionally, MTA crews routinely repair the grouting and caulking, and often inject a substance into the walls that creates a waterproof membrane outside the tunnel—which keeps water out of the tunnel and relieves any water pressure acting on its walls. New tunnels, Horodniceanu points out, are even built with an outside waterproofing membrane that works like an umbrella: Water goes around it, it falls to the sides, and then it gets channeled into a pumping station and pumped out.

Of course, the classic New York nightmare scenario isn’t just a cute little trickle finding its way in. The anxiety daydream usually involves something sinister, or seismic. The good news, however, is that while an earthquake or explosion would indeed be bad for many reasons, it likely wouldn’t result in the frantic flooding horror scene that plays out in some commuters’ imaginations.

<img src=”https://cdn.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_asset/file/9936059/8695441677_7fbb2d7d9a_o.jpg&#8221; alt=””>

The Montague Tube, which sustained severe damage during Hurricane Sandy.

MTA New York City Transit / Marc A. Hermann

Horodniceanu assures me that tunnels built more recently are “built to withstand a seismic event.” The older tunnels, however—like, um, the Clark Street Tunnel—“were not seismically retrofitted, let me put it that way,” Horodniceanu says. “But the way they were built is in such a way that I do not believe an earthquake would affect them.” They aren’t deep enough in the ground, anyway, he says, to be too intensely affected by a seismic event. (The MTA did not respond to a request for comment.)

One of the only real threats to tunnel infrastructure, Horodniceanu adds, is extreme weather. Hurricane Sandy, for example, caused flooding in the tunnels, which “created problems with the infrastructure.” He continues, “The tunnels have to be rebuilt as a result of saltwater corroding the infrastructure.”

Still, he points out, hurricanes don’t exactly happen with no warning. So while Hurricane Sandy did cause major trauma to the tunnels, train traffic could be stopped with ample time to keep passengers out of harm’s way. In 2012, Governor Andrew Cuomo directed all the MTA’s mass transit services to shut down at 7 p.m. the night before Hurricane Sandy was expected to hit New York City.

And Gillespie, for his part, doubts even an explosion would result in sudden, dangerous flooding. A subway tunnel is not a closed system, he points out; it’s like a pipe that’s open at both ends. “The force of a blast would go forwards and backwards out the exit,” he says.

So the subway-train version of that terrifying Holland Tunnel flood scene in Sylvester Stallone’s Daylight is … unrealistic, right?

“Yeah,” Gillespie laughs. “Yeah. It is.”

Got a weird New York anxiety that you want explored? E-mail tips@curbed.com, and we may include it in a future column.

One Third of the Sea Shall Perish (Revelation 8:8)

Putin unveils underwater Poseidon nuclear drone that can trigger 300ft tsunamis to wipe out Russia’s enemy naval bases

The massive weapon will carry two megatons of nuclear power and have the potential to cause mass destruction – Russia plans to have it finished by 2027

By Kelly Pigram

18th May 2018, 10:57 am

Updated: 18th May 2018, 11:58 am

VLADIMIR Putin has unveiled a massive underwater drone that could cause 300ft tsunamis with its two megatons of nuclear power.

The Poseidon nuclear drone will travel underwater in a specialised submarine – it has been designed to wipe out enemy naval bases.

Putin revealed his state-of-the-art weapon during his State of the Nation address to the Russian federal assembly on March 1.

He said the weapon is “primarily designed to destroy enemy naval bases”.

But according to experts, if deployed the weapon could produce tsunamis capable of causing mass destruction equal to that of the natural disaster in Fukushima, Japan in 2011.

Rex Richardson, a physicist, told Business Insider: “A well-placed nuclear weapon of yield in the range 20MT to 50MT near a sea coast could certainly couple enough energy to equal the 2011 tsunami, perhaps much more.”

The underwater drone is capable of carrying up to two megatons of nuclear power

Russian president Vladimir Putin said nothing in the world will be capable of withstanding his new nuclear weapon

He also said that the weapon and ensuing tsunami could blow ocean sediment into the air and create a radioactive dust cloud over nearby cities.

Over 20,000 people were killed or reported missing when a tsunami ravaged Fukushima in 2011.

Putin said his weapon will be armed with both conventional and nuclear power to destroy enemy infrastructure.

Putin’s massive Poseidon drone will carry a two-megaton nuclear weapon

It could be in operation by 2027

Putin said the weapon was designed so Russia could destroy enemy naval bases

If deployed underwater, it could cause a tsunami as big as 300ft

It will travel at speeds of 60-70 knots underwater in a specially built submarine

The weapon was unveiled by Vladimir Putin during his State of the Nation address on March 1

Experts have warned the damage could match Japan’s 2011 tsunami when 20,000 people died

He said the weapon will have “hardly any vulnerabilities” and “nothing in the world will be capable of withstanding it”.

Russian Navy Commander-in-Chief Sergei Koroyov said the new weapon would enable the fleet to accomplish a broad range of missions in waters adjacent to enemy territory.

Trials of the drone’s basic element have already been carried out.

War with Iran is a bad idea BUT Inevitable (Revelation 9:13)

iran-militarySunday Extra | War with Iran is a bad idea

By C.G. ESTABROOK

Israel is pushing the U.S. to go to war with Iran. We shouldn’t let it happen.

Fifteen years ago, the U.S. government attacked Iraq and killed a million people — on the basis of lies that Iraq had dangerous “weapons of mass destruction.”

During the presidential campaign, Donald Trump talked of his opposition to the attack on Iraq:

“Look at the war in Iraq and the mess that we’re in. I would never have handled it that way. … What was the purpose of this whole thing? Hundreds and hundreds of young people killed. And what about the people coming back with no arms and legs?

Not to mention the other side. All those Iraqi kids who’ve been blown to pieces. And it turns out that all of the reasons for the war were blatantly wrong. All this for nothing!”

A principal instigator of that shameful U.S. war against Iraq was the government of Israel, which wished to remove Iraq as a regional rival in the Middle East.

Now Israel is trying to repeat that crime, urging the U.S. to attack and kill Iranians.

The Iran nuclear deal guaranteed that Iran would not develop even one nuclear weapon. (The U.S. has thousands; Israel has at least 200.)

But Trump is violating the agreement and withdrew from the deal. The Israeli government cheers, because they want the U.S. to attack Iran for their benefit.

One commentator writes, “Trump cited Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s bogus speech from last week. Without doubt, this effort is coordinated. Will any Democrats call for an investigation of this Trump collusion with a foreign power (like ‘Russiagate’)?”

In order to get its war on, Israel has attacked Iranian troops in Syria (who are there legally, unlike U.S. troops). An Israeli government adviser has all but admitted that killing Iranians in Syria is designed to provoke an open war with Iran.

Meanwhile, Israeli snipers kill peaceful protesters in Gaza, including children and journalists.

We should not allow the Trump administration to expand U.S. wars in the Mideast. The president and our congressional representatives should be urged to remember the lessons of Iraq and not attack Iran — among other things a more populous and better armed country, with powerful allies, notably Russia and China. War with Iran risks a much larger war — even a nuclear war.

The largest anti-war demonstrations in history occurred around the world before the U.S. attacked Iraq. As Americans, we must do even more to prevent this new criminal war.

If the U.S. and Israel attack Iran, there should be general work stoppages — strikes — and street demonstrations across the U.S.

In the meantime, write the president and our congressional representatives — Rep. Rodney Davis, Sen. Tammy Duckworth and Sen. Dick Durbin.

C.G. Estabrook is a retired visiting professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He conducts the weekly hour of news commentary, “News from Neptune ” on Urbana Public Television.

S Asian Nuclearisation Before the First Nuclear War (Rev 8)

Twenty years of S Asian nuclearisation

May 20, 2018

In May 1998, India and Pakistan tested their nuclear devices which plunged South Asia into a relentless nuclear arms race. Since then, the nuclearisation of South Asia has been a reality but the region is as insecure as it was before.

On May 11, 1998 when India conducted three and on May 13 two nuclear tests, Pakistan had the option either to respond accordingly or not to follow New Delhi’s going nuclear and subsequent systematic acts of provocation. From May 11 till May 28, two types of pressures were exerted on Pakistan: First, internal pressure particularly from those who wanted their country to give a matching response to India and second from external powers, particularly by American President Bill Clinton who asked Pakistan not to follow India and offered billions of dollars in economic aid and assistance. Pakistan exercised the first option and conducted five nuclear tests on May 28 and one nuclear test on May 30. Sanctions were immediately imposed on Pakistan by the United States and other world powers and the country’s economic predicament compounded with freezing of foreign currency accounts immediately after the nuclear tests.

Twenty years down the road one may ask: are India and Pakistan better off after conducting nuclear tests? To what extent is India responsible for plunging South Asia into this nuclear arms race? Is nuclear deterrence a guarantee for avoiding war in South Asia? In twenty years’ time, India and Pakistan have their respective nuclear weapon’s program claiming that their nuclear arsenal is in safe hands. The nuclear command and control system of the two countries seems to have been professionally designed to avoid nuclear disasters and inadvertent use of nuclear weapons on account of miscalculations and dangerous crisis.

Since last three decades, the two countries have been regularly sharing details about nuclear installations. Pakistan adheres to its minimum nuclear deterrence policy whereas; India still pursues its policy of no first use. Yet, despite all the safeguards, there exists the threat of a nuclear showdown between the two erstwhile neighbours in the event of an armed conflict as was the case of the Kargil war during the summer of 1999. Despite international pressure, neither India nor Pakistan have signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (1968) or the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (1996) and have no intention of doing so in the near future.

Three major realities account for the nuclear South Asia, particularly in view of existential conflicts between India and Pakistan. First, the so-called international community which had condemned the nuclear tests of the two countries and had imposed punitive sanctions changed its stance after 9/11 when sanctions were lifted thus enabling India and Pakistan to get away with their nuclear tests. Both India and Pakistan not only continued with their nuclear weapon’s programme but also gave an impetus to the nuclear arms race in South Asia. Undeterred from the recognised nuclear powers called as P-5, the two countries ventured into a relentless nuclear missile race thus threatening and jeopardising the peace and stability of the region. On this account, the reality that the lukewarm stance of P-5 countries on the nuclearisation of India and Pakistan encouraged other nuclear ambitious countries like Iran and North Korea to proceed with their own nuclear programs cannot be undermined. Second, nuclear deterrence may have made a conventional war in South Asia less likely, yet India and Pakistan are as insecure as they were before going nuclear. On the contrary, the deepening of nuclear arms race in South Asia tends to further deepen regional insecurity as the two nuclear states are unable to structure a nuclear regime which can at least prevent the threat of the use of nuclear arsenal of the two countries against each other. The so-called nuclear restraint regime in South Asia is fragile because of periodic phases of conflict escalation between the two nuclear neighbours, India and Pakistan.

Unending cold war between India and Pakistan causes further erosion of regional security because from time to time the two nuclear neighbours do not miss any opportunity of crossing the ‘red line’. Nuclear deterrence in South Asia is functioning only by default otherwise, given the level of tension and hostility of New Delhi and Islamabad against each other, any serious crisis can trigger the outbreak of an all-out war in the region. Furthermore, neither India nor Pakistan feel secure despite possessing a nuclear arsenal or the two countries have been able to use their nuclear program for dealing with their energy shortfalls. Nuclear energy, particularly in Pakistan is unsubstantial as compared to other sources of energy like thermal and hydel. It was expected that India and Pakistan will use their nuclear program for energy purposes but that has not happened so far. Third, nuclear arms race tends to augment military expenditures which the two counties in view of poverty and under-development cannot afford. The concept that nuclear weapons will slash conventional forces has not taken practical shape in case of India and Pakistan as the two countries are simultaneously involved in conventional and nuclear arms race. Pakistan spends around 3.5 percent of its GDP i.e. around US $ 10 billion on defence, whereas, India spends 2.5 percent of its GDP on defence amounting to around 50 billion dollars.

In reality, India spends seven times more on defence than Pakistan. The nuclear arms race of the two countries that has been ongoing since 1998 keeps on adding to the cost of their expenditures as the two sides are not willing to cut their conventional forces. A shrewd and calculated Indian strategy to drag Pakistan in nuclear and conventional arms race hopes to inflict unprecedented economic damage to Pakistan thus destabilising its eastern neighbour without firing a single shot. India, in view of its robust economy and its regional/global power ambitious is confident to further escalate its military expenditures so as to further lure Pakistan into a vicious arms race.

With such realities and facts in mind, nuclear status of India and Pakistan has not only augmented their security predicament but also heightened their defence expenditures at the cost of their progress and development. If the United States is spending 700 billion dollars and China 175 billion dollars on defence it doesn’t matter much to these countries because of their global economic standing, numbering as first and second.

Those who are the champions of preventing nuclear proliferation have been exposed because of their failure to compel India and Pakistan roll back their nuclear weapon’s program. More so, the selective policy of nuclear arms control and disarmament pursued by the P-5 members of the UN Security Council particularly United States has proved to be disastrous and responsible for horizontal proliferation. Sadly, the discriminatory policy of the US appeasing North Korea despite its crossing the red line and penalising Iran by withdrawing from the nuclear deal tends to create a bad precedent as far as the goal of controlling nuclear proliferation is concerned.

Antichrist’s bloc wins Iraq election

Cleric Muqtada al-Sadr’s bloc wins Iraq election

Foreign1 day ago BY Agencies

BAGHDAD: A political bloc led by populist cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, a long-time adversary of the United States who also opposes Iranian influence in Iraq, has won the country’s parliamentary election, the electoral commission said on Saturday.

Sadr himself cannot become prime minister as he did not run in the election, though his bloc’s victory puts him in a position to have a strong say in negotiations. His Sairoon electoral list captured 54 parliamentary seats.

The Al-Fatih bloc led by Hadi al-Amiri, who has close ties with Iran and heads an umbrella group of paramilitaries that played a key role in defeating Islamic State, came in second with 47 seats.

The Victory Alliance, headed by incumbent Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, took third place with 42.

The victory was a surprising change of fortunes. The cleric, who made his name leading two violent uprisings against US occupation troops, was sidelined for years by Iranian-backed rivals.

His bloc’s performance represented a rebuke to a political elite that some voters blame for widespread corruption and dysfunctional governance.

Sadr’s unlikely alliance with communists and secular Iraqis says it fiercely opposes any foreign interference in Iraq, which is strongly backed by both Tehran and Washington.

It has promised to help the poor and build schools and hospitals in Iraq, which was battered in the war to defeat Islamic state and has suffered from low oil prices.

Before the election, Iran publicly stated it would not allow Sadr’s bloc to govern.

In a tweet shortly after results were announced, Sadr said: “Reform is victorious and corruption is diminishing.”

Winning the largest number of seats does not automatically guarantee that Sadr will be able to hand-pick a prime minister. The other winning blocs would have to agree on the nomination.

In a 2010 election, Vice President Ayad Allawi’s group won the largest number of seats, albeit with a narrow margin, but he was blocked from becoming premier, which he blamed on Tehran.

The election dealt a blow to Abadi, but he could still emerge as a compromise candidate palatable to all sides because he has skillfully managed the competing interests of the United States and Iran – unwitting allies in the war against Islamic State – during his term in office.

Amiri is regarded as one of the most powerful figures in Iraq. He spent two decades fighting Saddam Hussein from Iran.

Iranian Major General Qassem Soleimani, commander of foreign operations for Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards and a highly influential figure in Iraq, has been holding talks with politicians in Baghdad to promote the formation of a new cabinet which would have Iran’s approval.

Negotiations are expected to drag on for months.

The government should be formed within 90 days of the official results.