America Overdue For The Sixth Seal (Revelation 6:12)

New Study: America Overdue For Major Earthquake … In States You Didn’t Suspect

Written by: Daniel Jennings Current Events July 31, 2014

Most Americans have a reasonable chance of experiencing a destructive earthquake within the next 50 years, the US Geological Survey (USGS) has concluded.

The survey’s new National Seismic Hazard Map show that the risk of earthquakes in parts of the country — such as the Midwest, Oregon and the Rocky Mountains — is far higher than previously thought. All total, Americans in one-third of the country saw their risk for an earthquake increase.

“I worry that we will wake up one morning and see earthquake damage in our country that is as bad as that has occurred in some developing nations that have experienced large earthquakes,” Carl Hedde, a risk management expert at insurer Munich Reinsurance America, said of the map in The Wall Street Journal. “Beyond building collapse, a large amount of our infrastructure could be immediately damaged. Our roads, bridges and energy transmission systems can be severely impacted.”

Among the findings:

• The earthquake danger in parts of Missouri, Arkansas, Tennessee, Illinois and South Carolina is as high as that in Los Angeles.

• 42 of the 50 states have a reasonable chance of experiencing a damaging earthquake in the next 50 years.

• Parts of 16 states have the highest risk of a quake: Alaska, Hawaii, California, Oregon, Washington, Nevada, Utah, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Missouri, Arkansas, Tennessee, Illinois, Kentucky and South Carolina

“We know the hazard has increased for small and moderate size earthquakes,” USGS scientist William Ellsworth told The Journal. “We don’t know as well how much the hazard has increased for large earthquakes. Our suspicion is it has but we are working on understanding this.”

Frightening Results From New Study

The USGS used new computer modeling technology and data collected from recent quakes such as the one that struck Washington, D.C. in 2011 to produce the new maps. The maps show that many Americans who thought they were safe from earthquakes are not.

New Relocation Manual Helps Average Americans Get Out Of Harms Way Before The Coming Crisis

Some of the survey’s other disturbing findings include:

• The earthquake danger in Oklahoma, Alabama, Colorado, Georgia, Indiana, Michigan, Virginia, New York and parts of New England is higher than previously thought.

• Some major metropolitan areas, including Memphis, Salt Lake City, Seattle, St. Louis and Charleston, have a higher risk of earthquakes than previously thought. One of the nation’s most dangerous faults, the New Madrid fault, runs right through St. Louis and Missouri. It is the nation’s second most active fault. On Dec. 16, 1811, the New Madrid Fault was the site of the most powerful series of earthquakes in American history.

There are at least four active earthquake faults in the United States that are at risk for major quakes. The Ramapo fault runs right under New York City; in 1884 there was a 5.2 earthquake in Brooklyn.

A map of operating Nuclear Reactors prepared by the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission shows that there are nuclear power plants located in the regions that are most at risk for quakes. There are four nuclear reactors located near the New Madrid Fault alone. There are two nuclear reactors at Indian Point just north of New York City and the Ramapo fault.

“Obviously the building codes throughout the central U.S. do not generally take earthquake risk or the risk of a large earthquake into account,” USGS Seismologist Elizabeth Cochran told The Journal. Her take: Earthquake damage in the central US could be far greater than in places like California, because structures in some locations are not built to withstand quakes.

Others agree.

“Earthquakes are quite rare in many places but when they happen they cause very intense damage because people have not prepared,” Mark Petersen, the project chief for the USGS’s National Seismic Hazard Map, told The Journal.

This new map should be a wakeup call for Americans.

The New Leader of the Pakistani Horn (Daniel 8:8)

Aug. 3 2018

Having won the recent elections in July, the former Pakistani cricket star Imran Khan is set to take office as his country’s prime minister on August 11. Khan entered politics in 1996, and, for at least a decade, has remade himself as an Islamist of sorts. The translators at the Middle East Research Institute (MEMRI) present some of Khan’s stated views:

[A]bout a week before the July 25, 2018 parliamentary and provincial elections in Pakistan, the veteran jihadist leader Maulana Fazlur Rehman Khalil joined Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) political party. . . . On September 30, 2014, the U.S. Department of the Treasury designated Maulana Fazlur Rehman Khalil a “global terrorist.” In May 2014, the jihadist group Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (“Movement of the Pakistani Taliban”) released a video clip in which Imran Khan tells an audience: “By ending the politics in the name of language and [territorial] nationalism, [I] will gather the entire Pakistan in the name of La Ilaha Illallah [there is no deity but Allah].” These Arabic words are used to proclaim one’s faith in Islam. . . .

In 2012, Khan was asked by Pakistan’s Aaj TV about the decline in Pakistani media coverage . . . of his political activities. Khan said: . . . “Advertisements play a big part and [therefore] a small minority, the Jewish lobby, which controls the global media [is responsible].” . . . In another interview, Khan was asked to explain the U.S. agenda. . . . Khan responded: “There is a very big lobby in America, and it’s a very powerful lobby, and that’s basically the Israeli lobby. It wants the Pakistani nuclear program rolled back. . . . And that lobby is very powerful. The one which is trying to get an attack launched on Iran, the same lobby is after the nuclear program of Pakistan.” . . .

In 2011, when his party was still insignificant, Khan criticized the U.S.-led war on terror and blamed the Pakistani elite for being complicit in it. Opposing U.S. aid to Pakistan, he said: “I have been warning against this for a while, because according to all the polls taken in Pakistan, all the surveys, over 80 percent of the Pakistanis think that the U.S. is an enemy. Why do they think of them as an enemy? Because they think the U.S. is not fighting a war against terror. It’s a war against Islam. So, if 80 percent of the population thinks like that, then if you take it to the army, surely 80 percent of the armed personnel would also be thinking like that. That is why it is very dangerous.”

Iraq Turns Away from the Iranian Horn (Daniel 8)

Iraqis protest in front of the Basra provincial council building on July 31, 2018. Reuters

Protests undermine Iranian influence in Iraq

Iraqis increasingly see Tehran seen as obstacle to better governance

The protests in Iraq over a lack of basic services have dealt a blow to Iran’s influence in the country, experts say.

Residents of southern Iraq have taken to the streets since mid-July to vent their anger over the government’s failure to provide clean water, reliable power supply and jobs. The unrest spread to cities across the south from Basra and even reached the capital, Baghdad.

Ordinary Iraqis see Tehran’s support of the country’s political elite as an obstacle to reform in the country.

But many Iraqi Shiite politicians have also become anti-Iranian, leaving Tehran in a very delicate position, said Renad Mansour, senior research fellow at Chatham House.

The protests erupted after Iran cut off its electricity supply to Iraq in early July – the height of summer – over unpaid bills, leading to accusations that Tehran was seeking to create unrest in the country.

“Protest movements in the country have been anti-Iranian, they view Tehran as the occupying power and strongest foreign actor in Iraq,” Mr Mansour told The National.

He said some Iraqis suspect the Iranian move was an attempt to influence the formation of Iraq’s next government following the May 12 general election.

Voters seeking change rejected many established political figures and gave the alliance led by populist Shiite cleric Moqtada Al Sadr the most seats but not a majority, leaving the country in a political limbo.

“It seems every summer since 2003, with brutally hot temperatures, Iraqis take to the streets because the government can’t keep the electricity on,” said Andrew Parasiliti, director of the Rand Centre for Global Risk and Security.

“This year the protests are more intense, and growing, coupled with frustration over corruption and inadequate social services.”

In Basra, demonstrators held signs calling for Iran to “get out” and set fire to the headquarters of the Badr Organisation, a political party with close ties to Iran.

Protesters also attacked offices of Dawa, Hikma, Fadhila, Kataeb Hezbollah and other parties that have close links to Iran and have electoral strongholds in the country’s centre and south.

In Najaf, they stormed the airport, briefly halting air traffic. In Karbala, they set fire to the offices of Asaeb Ahl Al Haq, another party with close links to Iran.

“For the first time, protesters targeted the full spectrum of the [mainly Shiite] ruling elites, from former exiles backed by either the US or Iran to those who survived Saddam’s regime and have developed strong nationalist orientations,” the International Crisis Group said in a report.

It said the unrest underlined the Iraqi population’s deep alienation from the political system.

“Iranian-backed groups did stir up existing resentments ahead of these protests, but as usual, Tehran failed to keep control of something it started in Iraq,” Michael Knights, a senior fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, told The National.

“Tehran’s own allies like Asaeb Ahl Al Haq and Badr look bad because it is their own guards who are shooting civilian protesters dead,” he said.

Germany About to Become a Nuclear Horn (Daniel 7)

 

BERLIN — Imagine a nuclear-armed Germany.

No, this isn’t a fantasy à la “The Man in the High Castle” (Philip K. Dick’s dystopian novel in which the Nazis got the bomb first and dropped it on Washington to win World War II), but a real debate, happening in present-day Berlin.

As Germany’s foreign policy establishment becomes increasingly convinced that Donald Trump’s aggressive rhetoric toward Berlin and NATO represents a seminal shift in transatlantic relations, some are daring to think the unthinkable.

“Do We Need the Bomb?” read the front page headline in Welt am Sonntag, one of the country’s largest Sunday newspapers.

“For the first time since 1949, the Federal Republic of Germany is no longer under the U.S.’s nuclear umbrella,” Christian Hacke, a prominent German political scientist, wrote in an essay in the paper.

“It’s crucial for Germany and Europe that we have a strategic debate” — Ulrike Franke, analyst with the European Council on Foreign Relations

For Hacke, the next step is clear: “National defense on the basis of a nuclear deterrent must be given priority in light of new transatlantic uncertainties and potential confrontations.” Counting on a European solution to materialize is “illusory” because national interests are too different, he argued.

It would be easier to dismiss the article as the ramblings of an eccentric academic were Hacke not a fixture of Germany’s foreign policy establishment and a respected university professor.

That the debate is happening at all speaks to how unnerved Germany’s security community has become in the face of Trump’s threats, including his warning at last month’s NATO summit that the U.S. might “go it alone.”

This isn’t the first time Germany has considered its nuclear options. In the early 1960s, then-Chancellor Konrad Adenauer, who had his own doubts about the reliability of the U.S. as an ally, approached Charles de Gaulle to see if he might include Germany in the Force de frappe, France’s nuclear strike force. He was politely rejected.

A few years after Adenauer left office, Germany ratified the 1968 nuclear non-proliferation treaty, which bars it from developing atomic weapons. Under the so-called Two Plus Four Agreement, a 1990 treaty between the two Germanys and World War II allies that paved the way to German reunification, the country also committed to eschew nuclear weapons.

Those agreements are why the prospect of a nuclear Germany remains extremely unlikely.

“If Germany was to relinquish its status as a non-nuclear power, what would prevent Turkey or Poland, for example, from following suit?” Wolfgang Ischinger, the head of the Munich Security Conference and a former German ambassador to the U.S., asked in response to Hacke’s essay. “Germany as the gravedigger of the international non-proliferation regime? Who can want that?”

Indeed, given how important maintaining the international order is to Germany’s political establishment, it’s hard to imagine it taking such a drastic step.

Nonetheless, even some who oppose Germany going nuclear are grateful for the debate.

“It’s crucial for Germany and Europe that we have a strategic debate,” said Ulrike Franke, an analyst with the European Council on Foreign Relations. “What Germany is slowly realizing is that the general structure of the European security system is not prepared for the future.”

‘Nothing flies, nothing floats and nothing runs’

For years, German politicians have avoided discussing defense, worried about alienating an electorate skeptical of devoting more resources to the military.

After decades under the U.S. nuclear shield, most Germans came to take such protection for granted (if they were aware of it at all).

But Trump’s persistent criticism of Germany’s modest defense spending, currently about half of NATO’s 2 percent of GDP target, is forcing the political class to confront the issue.

It’s not just Trump. A steady stream of press reports in recent months has revealed the woeful state of Germany’s military. In May, for example, only four of Germany’s 124 Eurofighter jets could actually fly. The navy and army faced similar readiness problems.

“Nothing flies, nothing floats and nothing runs,” Hacke said.

Another concern is recruitment. Since ending conscription in 2011, Germany has relied on volunteers. Trouble is, there aren’t enough of them.

For many Germans, there’s still a stigma attached to wearing a military uniform. Even some officers prefer to wear civilian clothes to and from work to avoid bad looks and taunts.

The personnel shortfall has become so severe that the Bundeswehr, as the army is known, is considering recruiting foreigners.

Despite such problems and the tense security environment in Europe, only 15 percent of Germans support spending more than the 1.5 percent of GDP Merkel committed to pay out annually by 2024, according to a poll last month.

Ischinger and others have suggested that instead of building its own nuclear capability, Germany might consider helping to fund France’s arsenal as part of a Europe-wide “extended deterrence” strategy under the banner of a European defense union.

Even if Paris was to agree, however, such a shift would take years to realize.

A study last year by the research department of the Bundestag, Germany’s parliament, concluded that while there aren’t any legal restrictions to co-financing another country’s nuclear arsenal, there would be no discernible advantage for Germany beyond the status quo. In other words, Germany’s membership of NATO and the EU already put it under France and the U.K.’s nuclear protection.

Franke, of the ECFR, concurred, saying that almost any scenario that would justify Germany employing nuclear weapons against an aggressor would prompt France to take the same step. “There is de facto a nuclear umbrella, even if there isn’t a special provision for it,” she said.

Considering Germany’s aversion to all things nuclear, it’s unlikely the German public would go along with it any time soon.

“It took us nine years just to buy armed drones,” Franke said.

How Pharma Supported the Antichrist

Shiite Muslims protest close to an image of anti-US cleric Moqtada al-Sadr during a protest following Friday noon prayers in the impoverished Sadr City neighborhood of eastern Baghdad in 2008. AFP PHOTO

US probes pharma firms accused of aiding Iraqi militia that killed Americans

The lawsuit argues firms knowingly provided drugs sold on by the Mahdi Army to fund attacks on US troops

Michael Chand was working in south-east Iraq as a civilian contractor for American reconstruction efforts when his convoy was attacked in 2007 by forces believed to be loyal to then firebrand Shia cleric Moqtada Al Sadr.

At first, his family were told he was shot and killed. They later learned he was being held hostage at a time when militant attacks on American forces were at their bloodiest.

His body was returned three years later, bearing the hallmarks of torture.

Now his widow is one of the dozens of bereaved relatives who accuse big international pharmaceutical companies of helping bankroll the Mahdi Army in its campaign of violence through kickbacks of medicine and supplies given to the Iraqi ministry of health which was then under Mr Al Sadr’s control.

For Washington, Mr Al Sadr has been the most vocal opponent of the American war. His militias were blamed for deadly attacks on a US-backed political opponent and soldiers, triggering an arrest warrant for murder that was never executed. But in recent years he has moved away from his openly anti-US stance and the position in Washington has softened.

The five pharmaceutical companies deny the allegations but this week it emerged that the US Department of Justice had launched an investigation.

In a regulatory filing, AstraZeneca, the UK pharmaceutical giant, said it “has received an inquiry from the US Department of Justice in connection with an anti-corruption investigation relating to activities in Iraq, including interactions with the Iraqi government and certain of the same matters alleged in the lawsuit.”

The suit, filed in federal court in the District of Columbia on behalf of 112 victims, seeks to hold five companies responsible for the deaths of hundreds of American soldiers from 2005 to 2009.

The defendants are household names: General Electric, Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer and Roche as well as AstraZeneca.