NYC earthquake risk: the Sixth Seal (Revelation 6:12)

NYC earthquake risk: Could Staten Island be heavily impacted?

By Ann Marie Barron

Updated May 16, 4:31 AM; Posted May 16, 4:00 AM

Rubble litters Main Street after an earthquake struck Sunday, Aug. 24, 2014, in Napa, Calif. A report by the U.S. Geological Survey outlines the differences between the effect of an earthquake in the West vs. one in the East. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. – While scientists say it’s impossible to predict when or if an earthquake will occur in New York City, they say that smaller structures — like Staten Island’s bounty of single-family homes — will suffer more than skyscrapers if it does happen.

“Earthquakes in the East tend to cause higher-frequency shaking — faster back-and-forth motion — compared to similar events in the West,” according to a report by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), published on its website recently “Shorter structures are more susceptible to damage during fast shaking, whereas taller structures are more susceptible during slow shaking.”

DIFFERENCES IN INTENSITY

The report, “East vs West Coast Earthquakes,” explains how USGS scientists are researching factors that influence regional differences in the intensity and effects of earthquakes, and notes that earthquakes in the East are often felt at more than twice the distance of earthquakes in the West.

Predicting when they will occur is more difficult, said Thomas Pratt, a research geophysicist and the central and Eastern U.S. coordinator for the USGS Earthquake Hazards Program in Reston, Va.

“One of the problems in the East Coast is that we don’t have a history to study,” he said. “In order to get an idea, we have to have had several cycles of these things. The way we know about them in California is we dig around in the mud and we see evidence of past earthquakes.”

Yet Pratt wouldn’t rule out the possibility of a high-magnitude event taking place in New York, which sits in the middle the North American Tectonic Plate, considered by experts to be quite stable.

“We never know,” he said. “One could come tomorrow. On the other hand, it could be another 300 years. We don’t understand why earthquakes happen (here) at all.”

Though the city’s last observable earthquake occurred on Oct. 27, 2001, and caused no real damage, New York has been hit by two Magnitude 5 earthquakes in its history – in 1738 and in 1884 — prompting many to say it is “due” for another.

While earthquakes generally have to be Magnitude 6 or higher to be considered “large,” by experts, “a Magnitude 5, directly under New York City, would shake it quite strongly,” Pratt said.

The reason has to do with the rock beneath our feet, the USGS report says.

OLDER ROCKS

In the East, we have older rocks, some of which formed “hundreds of millions of years before those in the West,” the report says. Since the faults in the rocks have had so much time to heal, the seismic waves travel more efficiently through them when an earthquake occurs.

“Rocks in the East are like a granite countertop and rocks in the West are much softer,” Pratt said. “Take a granite countertop and hit it and it’ll transmit energy well. In the West, it’s like a sponge. The energy gets absorbed.”

If a large, Magnitude 7 earthquake does occur, smaller structures, and older structures in Manhattan would be most vulnerable, Pratt said. “In the 1920s, ’30s and late 1800s, they were not built with earthquake resistance,” he said, noting that newer skyscrapers were built to survive hurricanes, so would be more resistant.

When discussing earthquake prediction and probability, Pratt uses the analogy of a baseball player who averages a home run every 10 times at bat and hasn’t hit one in the past nine games: “When he’s up at bat, will he hit a home run? You just don’t know.”

And though it would probably take a magnitude of 7 to topple buildings in the city, smaller earthquakes are still quite dangerous, he said.

“Bookshelves could fall down and hit you,” he said. “People could be killed.” A lot of stone work and heavy objects fell from buildings when a quake of 5.8 magnitude struck central Virginia in 2011, he noted, but, fortunately, no one was injured.

To be safe, Pratt encourages New Yorkers to keep a few days’ worth of drinking water and other supplies on hand. He, himself, avoids putting heavy things up high.

“It always gets me nervous when I go into a restaurant that has heavy objects high on shelves,” he said. “It’s unlikely you’ll get an earthquake. But, we just don’t know.”

Israel Fights Outside the Temple Walls (Revelation 11:2)

5Israel Launches Broad Air Assault in Gaza Following Border Violence

An explosion from an Israeli airstrike in Gaza City on Friday.CreditBashar Taleb/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

JERUSALEM — Israeli warplanes launched a large-scale attack across the Gaza Strip on Friday, one of the fiercest in years, after a Palestinian sniper killed an Israeli soldier along the border fence during a day of escalating hostilities.

Successive explosions rocked Gaza City at nightfall and the streets emptied as warplanes struck dozens of sites that Israel said belonged to the military wing of Hamas, the Islamist group that controls Gaza.

Israeli security experts said the aerial assault was one of the most intense since a cease-fire ended 50 days of fighting in the territory in 2014. The ferocity of the bombings raised fears that the hostilities could spiral into a war, though analysts said neither side seemed eager to have an all-out conflict.

Indeed, after 1 a.m., about seven hours into the Israeli assault, a Hamas spokesman announced that the cease-fire had been restored with the mediation of Egypt and the United Nations. There was no immediate confirmation of a renewed truce from the Israeli side.

 

Israeli officials have denied reaching new truce agreements with Hamas after recent rounds of violence, but they have sometimes said that Israel would respond to calm with calm. There were no signs that Israel was poised for an imminent ground invasion.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel and his defense minister, Avigdor Lieberman, spent hours at military headquarters in Tel Aviv on Friday night holding emergency meetings with top officials, a highly unusual event for the start of Sabbath.

At least four Palestinians were killed by initial Israeli artillery and tank fire and in the subsequent airstrikes. Hamas said that three of the four were members of its military wing.

On the Israeli side of the border, the local authorities instructed residents to remain close to bomb shelters as they braced for possible retaliatory rocket fire from Gaza. The military this week placed batteries of its Iron Dome defense system in several locations in central Israel. But there was no immediate rocket bombardment from Gaza, signaling that Hamas may have decided to step back.

Nickolay E. Mladenov, the United Nations special coordinator in the Middle East, had urged the actors in Gaza “to step back from the brink” in a strongly worded post on Twitter on Friday night. “Not next week. Not tomorrow. Right NOW!” he wrote. “Those who want to provoke #Palestinians and #Israelis into another war must not succeed.”

Brig. Gen. Ronen Manelis, the chief spokesman for the Israeli military, blamed Hamas for escalating tensions over the past three and a half months, since the beginning of the Hamas-orchestrated mass protests along the border fence.

Speaking on Israeli television after 8 p.m., during the main evening news broadcast, General Manelis said the Israeli air assault would continue for several hours and would be “very severe.”

“We’re prepared for a broad array of scenarios and possibilities,” he said, adding, “We are determined to restore security and the sense of security to the Gaza periphery.”

By midnight, about six hours into the attack, the military said it had struck about 60 targets, many of them around three Hamas battalion headquarters in northern, southern and central Gaza. The military said the targets included weapons stores, command-and-control rooms, observation posts and a drone warehouse. Expecting Israeli retaliation for the death of the soldier, the Hamas forces had evacuated their posts ahead of time.

Image
Tear gas canisters fired by Israeli soldiers landed amid protesters in southern Gaza on Friday.CreditSaid Khatib/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus, another Israeli military spokesman, said it was the first time since 2014 that Israel had “taken out” active battalion headquarters. The Israeli soldier who was killed, he noted, was the first to have died in combat in the Gaza border area in the past four years.

This latest flare-up comes after months of tensions fanned by the often-violent protests along the fence dividing Israel and Gaza, during which Israeli snipers have killed more than 140 mostly unarmed Palestinians, according to Gaza health officials. The military says it has been acting to prevent breaches of the fence and to fend off attacks by Gaza militants, like the one that occurred on Friday.

The protests have since evolved into escalating exchanges of Palestinian mortar and rocket fire against Israeli positions and civilian border communities, and waves of Israeli airstrikes against Hamas targets in Gaza.

Israelis’ nerves have also been frayed by a plague of wildfires set by flaming kites and balloons launched from Gaza into southern Israel, which have charred large tracts of woodland and farmland. One flaming balloon landed in the yard of an Israeli kindergarten this week. It caused no damage or injuries.

Nevertheless, there has been increasing talk of war in recent days, with Israeli leaders warning Hamas that they would not tolerate a continuation of the arson attacks.

The friction had already led to two recent bursts of conflict, which ended with hurried efforts by Egypt to restore the cease-fire. In one such episode last weekend, two Palestinian youths were killed in an Israeli airstrike on an otherwise empty shell of a building used by Hamas as a training site, and four Israelis were wounded as more than 100 mortar shells and rockets were launched from Gaza.

Israel and Hamas had seemed determined to deter each other from further action. Fawzi Barhoum, the Hamas spokesman, said on Friday that “bombing will be met with bombing, and sniping will be met by sniping.” Hamas vowed to avenge the death of one of its militants on Thursday from Israeli shelling in Rafah in southern Gaza.

Ehud Yaari, an Israeli television analyst and a fellow of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, said Hamas was “interested in maintaining a controlled level of confrontation with Israel” to press its broader demands for assistance for Gaza, an impoverished and isolated coastal enclave.

The armed, low-intensity skirmishes between Hamas and Israel in recent weeks were intended by both sides not to kill, Mr. Yaari said. “It got out of hand, igniting this cycle,” he added.

Mr. Yaari said Israel’s next moves would largely depend on Hamas. If Hamas did not unleash heavy barrages of rocket fire, he said, there was a good chance that the current confrontation would be contained.

Israel has other military priorities for now, with tensions growing in the north. President Bashar al-Assad’s forces are poised to regain control of the Syrian side of the Golan Heights, and oust rebel insurgents from the areas just beyond Israel’s northern frontier.

Still, Hamas has become increasingly frustrated. Israel has been using new technologies to systematically destroy Hamas’s network of tunnels beneath the fence, one of its main military assets and one in which it has invested heavily.

And instead of the fence protests pressuring Israel to ease its tight control of the movement of people and goods in and out of Gaza, Israel has clamped down with even harsher economic sanctions.

Mr. Barhoum, the Hamas spokesman, had said earlier on Friday that the marches on the border would continue, aimed at breaking the Israeli blockade.

“Our people won’t be broken,” he said, “no matter what the sacrifices.”

Iyad Abuheweila and Ibrahim El-Mughraby contributed reporting from Gaza City.

New York Subways at the Sixth Seal (Revelation 6)

How 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.

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.

Iran Refuses to Deal with the Donald (Daniel 8:4)

 

President Donald Trump asked to meet with Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani numerous times during the U.N. General Assembly session in New York last year, the Iranian leader’s chief of staff claims.

“Trump asked the Iranian delegation eight times to have a meeting with the president,” Mahmoud Vaezi told reporters, Iran’s Mehr News Agency reported Thursday.

In October, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Ghasemi said that the Trump administration had requested a meeting but that the Iranian delegation had refused, according to the news agency. However, the alleged insistence by the Trump administration to hold a face-to-face sit-down was not previously reported.

Responding a request for comment, the U.S. delegation to the U.N. referred Newsweek to the White House. The White House and the State Department did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Vaezi said that Iran maintains a “clear position” with respect to the U.S. He added that the current Iranian administration and the Iranian people “will not yield to pressure.” The presidential aide also took a dig at North Korea, saying that “Trump should know that Iran and its people are different from” the Asian nation.

Trump has long been a staunch critic of Iran and frequently condemned the 2015 nuclear deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). In May, the president announced that the U.S. would officially withdraw from the agreement, which was signed with Iran and five other world powers. Following Trump’s decision, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo promised to implement the “strongest sanctions in history” against Tehran.

Earlier this month, Trump said that he expects Iran will feel the impact of the sanctions and call him to make a new deal. However, an Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesperson said Monday that Trump will have to “initiate” any call himself. Previously, Iran said it would negotiate only with the other signatories.

Some analysts suggest that Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Khamenei, has instituted a hard-line policy of no engagement with Washington under the Trump administration. Iranian leaders remain deeply distrustful of Western nations, particularly the U.S. Tensions have increased since Trump’s election, especially following the withdrawal from JCPOA and the president’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital last December.

“The biggest obstacle to a U.S.-Iran dialogue is not Trump but Khamenei,” Karim Sadjadpour, a senior fellow in the Middle East program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, told The New York Times. “Trump flew halfway around the world to meet with Kim Jong Un. Khamenei hasn’t left Iran since 1989.”

Saeid Golkar, a senior fellow on Iran policy at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, wrote for Al Jazeera earlier this month and said it would “delegitimize” Khamenei’s “domestic rhetoric” and “push away supporters at home and abroad” if he chose to negotiate directly.

“The U.S. withdrawal from the nuclear deal was the ultimate proof he needed for his claim that Washington could not be trusted,” Golkar wrote.

One Step Closer to Nuclear War (Revelation 8)

See the source imageAsia’s nuclear nemeses

Author: S Paul Kapur, Naval Postgraduate SchoolOn 3 June 2018, India conducted the sixth test of its Agni V intermediate-range ballistic missile. The launch reportedly brought the weapon one test away from eligibility for induction into India’s Strategic Forces Command. With a range of 5000 kilometres, the nuclear-capable Agni V can strike targets across China — a point that Indian officials and analysts have publicly stressed.

The China-centric nature of the rhetoric surrounding the missile serves as a reminder that although South Asia watchers often focus on India’s rivalry with Pakistan, India’s real strategic competitor is China.

China’s economy and military are far larger than India’s and are growing rapidly. China–India territorial disputes — which triggered the bloody 1962 border war that India lost badly — remain unresolved. The assertive nature of China’s recent regional behaviour suggests to Indian leaders that Beijing may try to settle such disagreements through coercion and fait accompli. If these trends continue, India could find itself economically and militarily outmatched and hard pressed to resist coercive Chinese pressure.

India views nuclear weapons as an important backstop against Chinese power. Despite pledging to maintain only a credible minimum deterrent’, India continues to take steps to improve its nuclear capabilities. These measures include the production of fissile material to expand its nuclear arsenal; development of both ballistic and cruise missiles to deliver nuclear weapons further, faster and with greater accuracy; and pursuit of a full nuclear triad that includes sea-based nuclear weapons to enhance force survivability.

India could also revisit its nuclear doctrine of no first use (NFU) and adopt a more ambiguous stance. Indeed, it has already begun to do. In 2003, India announced that it would consider using nuclear weapons in response not only to a nuclear attack on its territory, but also in the event of a major chemical or biological weapons attack on its territory or in response to a nuclear, chemical or biological weapons attack on its forces anywhere.

Whether India will take further steps in this direction remains to be seen. The incentives to do so will endure and the possibility is a topic of lively debate in Indian strategic circles.

China claims to not view India as a serious strategic competitor and often expresses its disdain for India’s nuclear capabilities. But the pointed commentary in the Chinese press that followed India’s tests of the Agni V, coupled with Beijing’s substantial support for Pakistan’s ballistic missile program, suggest a degree of concern over India’s growing nuclear prowess. China generally does not try to match other countries’ nuclear capabilities tit for tat, but rather seeks simply to ensure that its arsenal is sufficient to avoid nuclear blackmail. With approximately 260 nuclear warheads compared to India’s 120–130, China will likely maintain this capacity against India for some time.

In contrast to China, Pakistan views India as its primary strategic competitor and designs its nuclear force structure in direct response to India’s military posture — even though significant elements of Indian forces like the Agni V are not Pakistan-centric. Pakistan is extremely sensitive to Indian capabilities and relies heavily on nuclear weapons to counter them. Due to Pakistan’s broader strategic shortcomings and inability to maintain military parity with an increasingly powerful India, Islamabad depends on nuclear forces to protect it against both conventional and nuclear Indian threats.

Pakistan is expanding its nuclear capabilities to achieve what it calls ‘full-spectrum deterrence’ that focusses on the development of low-yield ‘battlefield’ nuclear weapons. Pakistan hopes that these smaller weapons will make its nuclear threats more credible and enhance its deterrence capability against India. Pakistan’s move toward full-spectrum deterrence will likely create pressure for India to consider building flexibility into its force structure, potentially through the development of smaller nuclear weapons of its own.

These nuclear developments will pose numerous dangers for South Asia, including possible arms-racing pressures, first-use incentives and challenges regarding the physical custody of nuclear materials, technologies, and weapons. Yet the greatest regional danger stems from Pakistan’s emergent battlefield nuclear capability. By lowering the threshold for nuclear use, Pakistani battlefield weapons increase the likelihood that a conventional India–Pakistan conflict will escalate to the nuclear level. Pakistan’s strategy of employing Islamist militants to help it  wrest control of Kashmir from India makes the eruption of a conventional confrontation — potentially triggered by a third-party non-state actor — a constant possibility.

Efforts to improve this situation will need to focus less on technical fixes and more on political choices. Pakistan will have to decide that its efforts to forcibly acquire Kashmir are not worth the cost or the risk and bring them to an end. Even modest steps in this direction could enable India to lower its military pressure on Pakistan, which could in turn help lessen Pakistan’s reliance on nuclear weapons and its need for Chinese support for its nuclear weapons program. This would help to ease India–Pakistan tensions and mitigate at least one irritant in the China–India strategic relationship.

Pakistan has not wavered in its efforts to acquire Kashmir in the seven decades since its founding and the odds that it will change course now are admittedly slim. But unless it does so, South Asia’s most serious nuclear dangers will remain unabated and Pakistan and the region will continue to court disaster.

S Paul Kapur is a professor in the Department of National Security Affairs at the Naval Postgraduate School, California. He is also an Affiliate at Stanford University’s Center for International Security and Cooperation, and a Visiting Fellow at the Observer Research Foundation in New Delhi. The views expressed in this article are his alone, and do not necessarily represent those of the Department of Defense.

Russian nuclear horn flexes her muscle (Daniel 7)

Russia Tests New ‘Invincible’ Missiles as Putin Warns Nuclear Treaty With U.S. Will Expire

By Jason Lemon On 7/19/18 at 11:05 AM

Russia has tested “invincible” hypersonic missiles as President Vladimir Putin warned that a nuclear treaty with the U.S. will expire.

The Russian Defense Ministry announced the missile test, The Moscow Times reported Friday, and also announced that it is gearing up to test “fine-tuned” and “unlimited-range” nuclear-powered cruise missiles. Ahead of his re-election in March, Putin revealed the development of a range of new weapons that would be capable of “circumventing” those of the U.S.

Now the new hypersonic Kinzhal missiles have been tested, showing a significantly increased range from about 1,200 miles to more than 1,800 miles. According to media reports, the hypersonic missiles have been tested at least three times. The Russian Defense Ministry also posted a video of a missile test to Facebook on Thursday.

As for the “unlimited-range” nuclear missiles, the ministry told reporters Friday that “ground tests continue” as preparations are made for aerial tests, according to Russian news agency Tass. The missile is “low-flying,” carries a nuclear warhead and is difficult to observe, the ministry explained. It has “an almost unlimited range, an unpredictable trajectory and [the] capability to bypass interception lines.”

According to the ministry, the weapon “is invincible to all the existing and advanced air and missile defense systems.”

“Launching systems are also being designed, while technological processes to manufacture, assemble and test the missile are being improved. This range of work will make it possible to start designing a totally new sort of weapon—a strategic nuclear complex armed with a nuclear-powered missile,” the ministry also noted.

The announcements come as Putin has warned that the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) with the U.S. is set to expire. START I was first signed in July 1991 between the former Soviet Union and the U.S. It entered into force in 1994, aiming to regulate both powers strategic offensive arms through limitations and reduction.

Trump and Putin have said they discussed their countries’ respective nuclear arsenals during a controversial summit in Helsinki on Monday. Following the meeting, the Russian Defense Ministry said it is “ready for practical implementation of the agreements in the sphere of international security,” including START.

However, Trump has faced a wave of backlash following the meeting, with lawmakers across party lines criticizing his actions and statements. In a joint press conference with Putin, the president suggested that he trusts the Russian leader’s assurances over those of U.S. intelligence services. Since then, Trump has walked back from those comments, with the White House insisting that he simply misspoke.

On Thursday morning, Trump once again praised his meeting with the Russian leader, calling it a “great success” in a Twitter post. He blamed the “fake news media” as the “real enemy of the people,” suggesting news outlets misrepresented the summit. “We can start implementing some of the many things discussed, including … nuclear proliferation,” the president tweeted.

Russian and U.S. negotiations over nuclear arsenals also came on the heels of reports suggesting Moscow has moved to upgrade some of its nuclear facilities. Satellite images appear to show that Russia has expanded a storage facility in its Kaliningrad enclave, a document released last month by the Federation of American Scientists (FAS) revealed.

Iran Shows Its Nuclear Cards (Daniel 8:4)

Iranian official: ‘We hold possession of 950 tons of uranium’

July 19, 2018 at 5:59 am

Head of the Atomic Energy Organisation of Iran, Ali Akbar Salehi said on Wednesday that his country owns about 950 tons of uranium reserves.

“We currently have between 900 and 950 tons of uranium reserves,” he said during a speech he delivered on Iranian official TV channel in which he talked about his country’s nuclear program.

Salehi pointed out that this amount of uranium is sufficient for the nuclear program of his country in light of its long-term goals.

He equally noted the completion of the construction of a facility to produce the necessary “circulation spare parts” for the production of advanced centrifuges, under the directives of the country’s Supreme Leader  Ali Khamenei.

Salehi said a uranium hexafluoride gas plant was being built at a uranium conversion facility in Isfahan to increase gas reserves used as raw material in centrifuges at the uranium enrichment plant.

He stressed that all these activities are being undertaken in accordance with the P5+1 nuclear deal.

The joint comprehensive action plan signed between Iran, the five permanent member states of the UN Security Council, and Germany in 2015, allows Tehran to continue its uranium enrichment activities by 3.67 per cent.

Iran had been enriching uranium by 20 per cent before signing the deal, from which the United States has recently withdrawn.

It is worth mentioning that uranium should be enriched by 90 per cent to reach the production phase of nuclear weapons.

The Ramapo: The Sixth Seal Fault Line (Revelation 6:12)

Image result for ramapo fault lineThe Ramapo fault and other New York City area faults 

 Map depicting the extent of the Ramapo Fault System in New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania

The Ramapo Fault, which marks the western boundary of the Newark rift basin, has been argued to be a major seismically active feature of this region, but it is difficult to discern the extent to which the Ramapo fault (or any other specific mapped fault in the area) might be any more of a source of future earthquakes than any other parts of the region. The Ramapo Fault zone spans more than 185 miles (300 kilometers) in New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. It is a system of faults between the northern Appalachian Mountains and Piedmont areas to the east. This fault is perhaps the best known fault zone in the Mid-Atlantic region, and some small earthquakes have been known to occur in its vicinity. Recently, public knowledge about the fault has increased – especially after the 1970s, when the fault’s proximity to the Indian Point nuclear plant in New York was noticed.

There is insufficient evidence to unequivocally demonstrate any strong correlation of earthquakes in the New York City area with specific faults or other geologic structures in this region. The damaging earthquake affecting New York City in 1884 was probably not associated with the Ramapo fault because the strongest shaking from that earthquake occurred on Long Island (quite far from the trace of the Ramapo fault). The relationship between faults and earthquakes in the New York City area is currently understood to be more complex than any simple association of a specific earthquake with a specific mapped fault.

A 2008 study argued that a magnitude 6 or 7 earthquake might originate from the Ramapo fault zone, which would almost definitely spawn hundreds or even thousands of fatalities and billions of dollars in damage. Studying around 400 earthquakes over the past 300 years, the study also argued that there was an additional fault zone extending from the Ramapo Fault zone into southwestern Connecticut. As can be seen in the above figure of seismicity, earthquakes are scattered throughout this region, with no particular concentration of activity along the Ramapo fault, or along the hypothesized fault zone extending into southwestern Connecticut.

Just off the northern terminus of the Ramapo fault is the Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant, built between 1956 and 1960 by Consolidated Edison Company. The plant began operating in 1963, and it has been the subject of a controversy over concerns that an earthquake from the Ramapo fault will affect the power plant. Whether or not the Ramapo fault actually does pose a threat to this nuclear power plant remains an open question.

More Killing Outside the Temple Walls (Revelation 11:2)

air strikeReport: One dead, three wounded in IDF strike on Gaza Strip

Palestinians in the southern Gaza Strip fired two mortar shells at IDF soldiers who were engaged in operational activity near the security fence.

By JERUSALEM POST STAFF
July 19, 2018 16:24

Smoke rises following what witnesses said was an Israeli air strike in Gaza August 21, 2014.. (photo credit: AHMED ZAKOT / REUTERS)

An IDF aircraft struck a Hamas terror cell in the southern Gaza Strip on Thursday, the IDF spokesperson confirmed.

The cell was responsible for launching incendiary kites and balloons into Israel.

Palestinian reports also stated that an aircraft attacked balloon launchers east of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip.

According to the Hamas-run Palestinian Health Ministry in Gaza, one Hamas officer was killed and three individuals were wounded in the strike. The officer killed was Abd al-Karim Reduan, Palestinian sources reported.

The IDF statement affirmed that Israel’s defense forces will continue to act intensively against terror activity led by Hamas.

Later on Thursday, Palestinians in the southern Gaza Strip fired two mortar shells at IDF soldiers who were engaged in operational activity near the security fence.

KKL-JNF firefighters positioned near the Gaza Strip reported that fires have broken out in 11 locations in southern Israel on Thursday. Two of them are in the region of Be’eri, and nine others are near Kibbutz Kissufim.

Israel has seen a sharp increase in violence and terrorism in the Gaza Strip in recent weeks, culminating last weekend when over 200 rockets and mortars were launched into Israel, and the IDF dropped over 50 tons of explosives on targets within the coastal enclave.

On Monday evening, Israel limited the movement of goods into the Gaza Strip through the Kerem Shalom Crossing, stopping the transfer of fuel and gas supplies but allowing essential medicines and food to pass. The fishing zone in the Gaza Strip was also reduced from a range of six to three nautical miles.

Israel has threatened further action if the incendiary kites and balloons do not stop.

Both Hamas and Islamic Jihad responded by saying that there would be “severe consequences” for tightening the siege on Gaza and that additional pressure on the coastal enclave would lead the region to “an explosion.”

Anna Ahronheim contributed to this report.

The Antichrist Supports the People (Revelation 13)

 

BAGHDAD (Reuters) – Shi’ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, whose political bloc won Iraq’s May 12 election, called on all politicians to delay efforts to form a new government until the demands of protesters seeking better services in the south are met.

FILE PHOTO: Iraqi Shi’ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, who’s bloc came first, meets with Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, who’s political bloc came third in a May parliamentary election, in Najaf, Iraq June 23, 2018. REUTERS/Alaa al-Marjani

 

“The winning political parties in the election have to suspend all political dialogues for forming coalitions and until they meet protesters’ rightful demands,” Sadr tweeted, in his first public comments on unrest which has swept the south.

Sadr won the election by promising to alleviate poverty, create jobs and provide better services to Iraqis, many of whom have grown tired of a political elite they see as corrupt.

Thousands have protested in cities in the long neglected south, Iraq’s Shi’ite heartland.

Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, who is seeking another term, has said his Shi’ite-led government would provide funding for water and electricity in the oil hub of Basra and others parts of the south.

Reporting by Ahmed Rasheed; Writing by Michael Georgy; Editing by Matthew Mpoke Bigg and Alison Williams