History Warns New York Is The Sixth Seal (Revelation 6:12)

New York Earthquake 1884

Friday, 18 March 2011 – 9:23pm IST | Place: NEW YORK | Agency: ANI

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.

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.

How Obama Helped the Iran Nuclear Horn

See the source imageSecret Obama-era permit let Iran convert funds to dollars

JOSH LEDERMAN, MATTHEW LEE, The Associated Press

Updated: Wednesday, June 6, 2018, 1:34 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) – After striking an elusive nuclear deal with Iran, the Obama administration found itself in a quandary in early 2016: Iran had been promised access to its long-frozen overseas reserves, including $5.7 billion stuck in an Omani bank.

To spend it, Iran wanted to convert the money into U.S. dollars and then euros, but top U.S. officials had repeatedly promised Congress that Iran would never gain access to America’s financial system.

Those assurances notwithstanding, the Obama administration secretly issued a license to let Iran sidestep U.S. sanctions for the brief moment required to convert the funds through an American bank, an investigation by Senate Republicans released Wednesday showed. The plan failed when two U.S. banks refused to participate.

Yet two years later, the revelation is re-igniting the bitter debate over the nuclear deal and whether former President Barack Obama was too eager to grant concessions to Tehran.

The Obama administration misled the American people and Congress because they were desperate to get a deal with Iran,” said Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, who chairs the Senate panel that conducted the investigation.

And Republican Rep. Ed Royce, the House Foreign Affairs Committee chairman, accused Obama of trying to “hide a secret push to give the ayatollah access to the U.S. dollar.”

Not so, former Obama administration officials said, arguing the decision to grant the license adhered to the spirt of the deal, which included allowing Iran to regain access to foreign reserves that had been off-limits because of U.S. sanctions. They said the public assurances that Iran would be kept out were intended to dispel incorrect reports about nonexistent proposals that would have gone much farther by letting Iran actually buy or sell things in dollars.

The former Obama officials disputed that the momentary access to U.S. banks to convert funds through the dollar constituted “access to the U.S. financial system.” What’s more, they dismissed the report as another example of a faulty approach to Iran policy by Republicans and by President Donald Trump, who last month withdrew the U.S. from the landmark 2015 nuclear accord.

“They continue to malign the deal in an effort to justify President Trump’s unjustifiable decision,” said Ned Price, who was Obama’s White House National Security Council spokesman, referring to GOP lawmakers.

Still, the report by the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations sheds light on the delicate balance the Obama administration sought to strike after the deal, as it worked to ensure Iran received its promised benefits without playing into the hands of the deal’s opponents. Amid a tense political climate, Iran hawks in the U.S., Israel and elsewhere argued that the United States was giving far too much to Tehran and that the windfall would be used to fund extremism and other troubling Iranian activity.

The Treasury Department license, issued in February 2016 and never disclosed, would have allowed Iran to convert $5.7 billion it held at Oman’s Bank of Muscat from Omani rials into euros by exchanging them first into dollars. If the Omani bank had allowed the exchange without such a license, it would have violated sanctions that bar Iran from transactions that touch the U.S. financial system.

The situation resulted from the fact that Iran had stored billions in Omani rials, a currency that’s notoriously hard to convert. The U.S. dollar is the world’s dominant currency, so allowing it to be used as a conversion instrument for Iranian assets was the easiest and most efficient way to speed up Iran’s access to its own funds.

“Yikes,” one former Treasury official told colleagues in an email, as described by the report. “It looks like we committed to a whole lot beyond just allowing the immobilized funds to settle out.”

The Obama administration approached two U.S. banks to facilitate the conversion, the report said, but both refused, citing the reputational risk of doing business with or for Iran.

Issuing the license was not illegal. Still, it went above and beyond what the Obama administration was required to do under the terms of the nuclear agreement, in which the U.S. and world powers gave Iran billions of dollars in sanctions relief in exchange for curbing its nuclear program.

The license issued to Bank Muscat stood in stark contrast to repeated public statements from the Obama White House, the Treasury and the State Department, all of which denied that the administration was contemplating allowing Iran access to the U.S. financial system.

Yet almost immediately after the sanctions relief took effect in January 2016, Iran began to complain that it wasn’t reaping the benefits it had envisioned. Iran argued that other sanctions – such as those linked to human rights, terrorism and missile development – were scaring off potential investors and banks who feared any business with Iran would lead to punishment. The global financial system is heavily intertwined with U.S. banks, making it nearly impossible to conduct many international transactions without touching New York in one way or another.

As the Obama administration pondered how to address Iran’s complaints in 2016, reports in The Associated Press and other media outlets revealed that the U.S. was considering additional sanctions relief, including issuing licenses that would allow Iran limited transactions in dollars. Democratic and Republican lawmakers argued against it throughout the late winter, spring and summer of 2016. They warned that unless Tehran was willing to give up more, the U.S. shouldn’t give Iran anything more than it already had.

At the time, the Obama administration downplayed those concerns while speaking in general terms about the need for the U.S. to live up to its part of the deal. Secretary of State John Kerry and other top aides fanned out across Europe, Asia and the Middle East trying to convince banks and businesses they could do business with Iran without violating sanctions and facing steep fines.

“Since Iran has kept its end of the deal, it is our responsibility to uphold ours, in both letter and spirit,” Treasury Secretary Jack Lew said in March 2016, without offering details.

That same week, the AP reported that the Treasury had prepared a draft of a license that would have given Iran much broader permission to convert its assets from foreign currencies into easier-to-spend currencies like euros, yen or rupees, by first exchanging them for dollars at offshore financial institutions.

The draft involved a general license, a blanket go-ahead that allows all transactions of a certain type, rather than a specific license like the one given to Oman’s Bank Muscat, which only covers specific transactions and institutions. The proposal would have allowed dollars to be used in currency exchanges provided that no Iranian banks, no Iranian rials and no sanctioned Iranian individuals or businesses were involved, and that the transaction did not begin or end in U.S. dollars.

Obama administration officials at the time assured concerned lawmakers that a general license wouldn’t be coming. But the report from the Republican members of the Senate panel showed that a draft of the license was indeed prepared, though it was never published.

And when questioned by lawmakers about the possibility of granting Iran any kind of access to the U.S. financial system, Obama-era officials never volunteered that the specific license for Bank Muscat in Oman had been issued for months.

According to the report, Iran is believed to have found other ways to access its money, possibly by exchanging it in smaller quantities through another currency.

JOSH LEDERMAN, MATTHEW LEE, The Associated Press

North Korea Makes Good on Nuclear Promise

This picture from North Korea’s official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) taken on August 29, 2017, and released on August 30, 2017, shows North Korea’s intermediate-range strategic ballistic rocket Hwasong-12 lifting off from the launching pad at an undisclosed location near Pyongyang. In April, Kim announced that North Korea would unilaterally halt ballistic missile and nuclear testing.

PHOTO: STR/AFP/GETTY IMAGES

NORTH KOREA DESTROYED KEY MISSILE TEST FACILITY IT COULD USE TO ATTACK THE U.S., SATELLITE IMAGERY REVEALS

By Cristina Maza On Wednesday, June 6, 2018 – 13:41

North Korea destroyed a missile test stand at one of its main testing facilities, new satellite imagery reveals.

A new analysis by 38 North, a North Korea monitoring group affiliated with the Washington, D.C.-based Stimson Center, shows that a missile test stand north of the city of Kusong was razed to the ground after North Korean leader Kim Jong Un pledged to halt the country’s weapons testing.

In April, Kim announced that North Korea would unilaterally halt ballistic missile and nuclear testing. The announcement came after nearly a year of frequent tests. In 2017, experts said North Korea launched 23 missiles, including intercontinental ballistic missiles capable of hitting targets in the United States. The country’s nuclear program also appeared to be developing swiftly, and some experts began speculating whether the country would soon have the ability to fit a nuclear weapon onto a ballistic missile.

Since then, however, the situation appears to have calmed substantially. Both North and South Korea have expressed an interest in pursuing peace, and President Donald Trump is expected to meet with North Korea’s Kim for the first time in Singapore next week to discuss the complete denuclearization of the Korean peninsula. Pyongyang also recently invited foreign journalists to witness the demolition of one of its nuclear sites, although international inspectors were not there to verify whether the site had been completely decommissioned by the blast.

But regardless of whether the nuclear testing site and the missile test stand are completely destroyed, experts argue that the moves show Pyongyang is taking the peace process seriously.

“Like the demolition of North Korea’s nuclear testing site, this move isn’t irreversible, but it does demonstrate seriousness about North Korea’s stated commitment to suspend nuclear and long-range missile tests for the time being,” Daniel Wertz, associate director of the National Committee on North Korea, told Newsweek.

“All of the long-range missiles that North Korea has tested thus far have been liquid-fueled. North Korea’s development of a solid-fueled ICBM [intercontinental ballistic missile] would represent a significant new challenge to U.S. military planners, as solid-fueled missiles are more easily transported and can be launched with shorter preparation times than liquid-fueled missiles,” he said.

Wertz added: “If North Korea has decided not to move ahead with the development of these next-generation ICBMs, it would be a positive development.”

Others, however, argued that the destruction of a testing stand does not signify that North Korea is suddenly dismantling its weapons program. The real test will be whether North Korea gives up its nuclear capabilities.

“While any destruction of any materials in North Korea’s missile program is a great thing, we should not get too excited. It’s a missile stand, not eliminating a whole class of weapons systems or missile platforms,” Harry Kazianis, director of defense studies at the Center for the National Interest, a public policy think tank in Washington, D.C., told Newsweek. “It might just be that Pyongyang does not need it anymore, [or] is moving to another type of testing.”

Iran Moves Forward with Nukes (Daniel 8:4)

 

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on June 4 ordered the country’s Atomic Energy Organization to make preparations for boosting uranium enrichment capacity within the requirements of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

In remarks on the occasion of the anniversary of the death of the Islamic Republic’s founder, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the Iranian leader warned Europe, saying, “Some European governments are acting as if the Iranian nation has to endure these sanctions and their effects, while at the same time [Iran] must cease nuclear activities — which we will certainly need in the future — and curb the nuclear program.”

He added, “The West’s dream regarding the JCPOA will not come true. … The Atomic Energy Organization of Iran must make the necessary arrangements to reach 190,000 SWU [separative work units] in the framework provided by the JCPOA, and it must begin some other preparations that Mr. President has ordered [previously] effective tomorrow.” SWU is a unit that measures uranium isotope separation, i.e., uranium enrichment capacity.

This is not the first time that the Iranian leader has spoken of the necessity of achieving 190,000 SWU enrichment capacity; he also did so during the 2013-15 negotiations, which led to the nuclear deal, then calling it an “absolute need” though without specifying the timeline for achieving such a capability.

One day after Khamenei’s speech, Ali Akbar Salehi, a vice president of Iran and the head of its Atomic Energy Organization, said that the current nuclear infrastructure of the country can rapidly be ramped up if given the order to do so.

“If we withdraw from the JCPOA, we can urgently add centrifuges and increase the capacity of our enrichment, and [we can achieve 190,000 SWU capacity] in a maximum of two years,” Salehi said June 5. He said, “We currently work within the framework of the JCPOA, and we won’t do anything in violation of the JCPOA as this is the order of the supreme leader.”

Hassan Abedini, a political analyst of the state broadcaster, appeared on Iran’s Channel 1, saying June 4, “The need for 190,000 SWU is necessary to [fuel the reactors at] the Bushehr and Tehran nuclear plants.” He continued, “To achieve 190,000 SWU in enrichment of uranium, we [should] produce hydrofluoric gas which, of course, is not considered as a violation of the JCPOA.”

Meanwhile, pro-reform academic Sadegh Zibakalam believes that Iran’s nuclear policy is returning to the era of former hard-line President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

“The new nuclear approach announced by the supreme leader is the last shot at Europe’s efforts to reach a compromise with the US, and on the other hand, is the end of the [moderate] policy of the government of Mr. Rouhani in the past five years,” Zibakalam tweeted June 5.

He concluded, “It is not important if Rouhani stays or leaves; what is important is that we returned to the era of Mr. Ahmadinejad.”

In reply to Zibakalam’s tweet, outspoken Reformist member of parliament Mahmoud Sadeghi argued that Khamenei’s order is not in violation of the JCPOA. Sadeghi tweeted June 5, “The Leader’s approach isn’t inconsistent with the JCPOA; He explicitly emphasized on ‘Within the framework of the JCPOA for now.’ Based on JCPOA, European sides, like the US, are required to lift the sanctions. The ‘for now’ term indicates that if Europe does not fulfill its obligations, Iran will have the right, based on the JCPOA, to withdraw from the JCPOA.”

Meanwhile, the conservative ANA news agency argued that Khamenei’s order has put the onus on Europe to uphold the nuclear deal.

“The order [to eventually achieve enrichment capacity] of 190,000 SWU was issued by the Leader while the US government tore up the JCPOA and the residents of the green continent are seeking [to achieve another] Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action or improving the JCPOA,” the Ana news agency wrote June 5. The news agency added, “[Khamenei’s order] has frustrated the West and has thrown the ball in the Europeans’ court.”

Describing Khamenei’s order as “strategic,” conservative member of parliament Hossein Naghavi Hosseini, the spokesman of parliament’s national security and foreign policy commission, on June 5 was not positive about the prospects of Europe to provide Iran with the economic dividends promised by the JCPOA. He said, “Therefore, we shouldn’t waste the time of the Iranian nation and the establishment, and [we shouldn’t] wait for [European] governments, which don’t honor their commitments.”

Ex-PM Tries to Unseat the Antichrist

 

The election was won by a bloc led by cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, a long-time adversary of the United States who also opposes Iran’s sway in Iraq.

Haider al-Abadi told a news conference that a report presented to the government recommended a partial manual recount of the vote and the cancellation of results from overseas and displaced voters.

And he said most of the blame for violations lay with Iraq’s Independent High Elections Commission (IHEC).

Abadi said he had initially been in favor of moving forward with the political process after the election because Iraq had a history of electoral irregularities that were usually worked out.

“In the beginning I said ‘Let’s keep going and let the commission deal with the violations’. There are violations each election, here and there.”

But he said he was alarmed after studying the report’s findings.

“The committee has revealed dangerous things, honestly. Yes there may have been some violations by candidates but the election commission bears the largest share of the responsibility,” he said.

High ranking members of IHEC would now be banned from traveling abroad without his permission, Abadi said. Criminal charges might be brought against some people although he did not name them or say if they belonged to the commission.

Abadi said the main issue was with the electronic vote counting devices used by IHEC this year, which he said had been used without prior inspection for errors.

An IHEC spokesman declined to comment.

Abadi’s stance raises the prospect of further uncertainty in Iraq at a time when political blocs were starting the complicated process of forming a new government, watched closely by Baghdad’s Western allies.

Sadr, whose bloc won the election, led two violent uprisings against U.S. occupation troops after the fall of Saddam Hussein in 2003, secured a surprise victory in the poll by tapping into resentment with government corruption and Tehran’s deep influence in Iraq, its most important Arab ally.

Reporting by Ahmed Aboulenein; writing by Michael Georgy; editing by Richard Balmforth