The Antichrist calls on Iraq PM to step down as Basra crisis deepens

Muqtada al-Sadr calls on Iraq PM to step down as Basra crisis deepens

Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, who had entered an alliance with Iraq’s Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi following elections earlier this year, has called upon the premier to resign as deadly protests in the southern city of Basra worsen.

We demand the government apologise to the people and resign immediately,” said Hassan al-Aqouli, spokesman for Sadr’s list, which won the most seats in May’s poll.

Ahmed al-Assadi, spokesman for the second-largest list, Conquest Alliance, also called for Abadi’s resignation, denouncing “the government’s failure to resolve the crisis in Basra”.

The call came as parliament met on Saturday for an emergency session to discuss the crisis in public services in the city after 12 protesters were killed this week, the Iranian consulate torched and its airport hit by rockets.

The meeting was originally demanded by Sadr, whose political bloc won the largest number of seats in May elections although a new government has yet to be formed.

Sadr had called on politicians to present “radical and immediate” solutions at Saturday’s session or step down.

On Friday, Iraq’s most senior Shia cleric, Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, called for a government to be urgently formed to resolve the crisis in Basra.

Abadi described the unrest as “political sabotage” as he joined the session along with several ministers, charging that “the question of public services” was being exploited for political ends.

His government has announced the allocation of an unspecified amount of extra funds for Basra, although demonstrators say that billions of dollars in emergency funding pledged in July has failed to materialise.

In a session attended by 172 deputies in the 329-seat house, Abadi traded barbs with Basra’s governor, Asaad al-Eidani, who is also parliament speaker.

Iraqi officials have imposed a curfew on Basra starting at 4pm (1pm GMT) on Saturday, a military statement said.

Since Tuesday, demonstrators in Basra have set ablaze government buildings, the Iranian consulate and the offices of pro-Tehran militias and political parties.

The anger flared after the hospitalisation of 30,000 people who had drunk polluted water, in an oil-rich region where residents have for weeks complained of water and electricity shortages, corruption among officials and unemployment.

At least 12 demonstrators have been killed and 50 wounded in clashes with security forces, according to the interior ministry.

Airport and Iranian consulate attacked

Hours before parliament met, four rockets fired by unidentified assailants struck inside the perimeter of the Basra airport, security sources said.

Staff at the airport, which is located near the US consulate in Basra, said flights were not affected.

The attack came after a day of rage in the southern city, where hundreds of protesters stormed the fortified Iranian consulate, causing no casualties but sparking condemnation.

Abadi said he had instructed security forces to “act decisively against the acts of vandalism that accompanied the demonstrations”.

Iraq’s Joint Operations Command, which includes the army and police, vowed a “severe” response with “exceptional security measures”, including a ban on protests and group travel.

The foreign ministry called the attack on the consulate “an unacceptable act undermining the interests of Iraq and its international relations”.

Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Bahram Ghassemi denounced the “savage attack”, Iran’s Fars news agency reported.

A spokesman for the consulate said that all diplomats and staff had been evacuated from the building before the protesters attacked, and that nobody was hurt.

Iran’s ambassador to Iraq, Iraj Masjedi, said the consulate was “totally demolished” and charged that “foreign agents close to the US, Zionists and some Arab countries are trying to sabotage Iran-Iraq relations”, Iran’s ILNA news agency reported.

‘Sick and abandoned’

The wave of protests first broke out in Basra in July before spreading to other parts of the country, with demonstrators condemning corruption among Iraqi officials and demanding jobs.

Since then, at least 27 people have been killed nationwide.

“We’re thirsty, we’re hungry, we are sick and abandoned,” protester Ali Hussein told the AFP news agency on Friday in Basra after another night of violence.

“Demonstrating is a sacred duty and all honest people ought to join.”

The anger on Basra’s streets was “in response to the government’s intentional policy of neglect”, the head of the region’s human rights council Mehdi al-Tamimi said.

Iraq has been struggling to rebuild its infrastructure and economy after decades of bloody conflicts, including an eight-year war with Iran in the 1980s, the US-led invasion of 2003 and the battle against the Islamic State group.

In August, the oil ministry announced that crude exports for August had hit their highest monthly figure this year, with nearly 112 million barrels of oil bringing $7.7bn to state coffers.

Iraq, however, suffers from persistent corruption and many Iraqis complain that the country’s oil wealth is unfairly distributed.

Parliament said deputies would hear speeches by Abadi and key ministers and discuss the water contamination crisis, the latest breakdown in public services to spark public anger.

Two months ago, Abadi pledged a multi-billion dollar emergency plan to revive infrastructure and services in southern Iraq, one of the country’s most marginalised regions.

Trying to hold onto his post in the next government, Abadi had formed an alliance with Sadr, a former militia chief who has called for Iraq to have greater political independence from both neighbouring Iran and the United States.

The Sixth Seal Long Overdue (Revelation 6)

 

Exploring the Fault Where the Next Big One May Be Waiting

By MARGO NASH

Published: March 25, 2001

Alexander Gates, a geology professor at Rutgers-Newark, is co-author of ”The Encyclopedia of Earthquakes and Volcanoes,” which will be published by Facts on File in July. He has been leading a four-year effort to remap an area known as the Sloatsburg Quadrangle, a 5-by-7-mile tract near Mahwah that crosses into New York State. The Ramapo Fault, which runs through it, was responsible for a big earthquake in 1884, and Dr. Gates warns that a recurrence is overdue. He recently talked about his findings.

Q. What have you found?

A. We’re basically looking at a lot more rock, and we’re looking at the fracturing and jointing in the bedrock and putting it on the maps. Any break in the rock is a fracture. If it has movement, then it’s a fault. There are a lot of faults that are offshoots of the Ramapo. Basically when there are faults, it means you had an earthquake that made it. So there was a lot of earthquake activity to produce these features. We are basically not in a period of earthquake activity along the Ramapo Fault now, but we can see that about six or seven times in history, about 250 million years ago, it had major earthquake activity. And because it’s such a fundamental zone of weakness, anytime anything happens, the Ramapo Fault goes.

Q. Where is the Ramapo Fault?

A. The fault line is in western New Jersey and goes through a good chunk of the state, all the way down to Flemington. It goes right along where they put in the new 287. It continues northeast across the Hudson River right under the Indian Point power plant up into Westchester County. There are a lot of earthquakes rumbling around it every year, but not a big one for a while.

Q. Did you find anything that surprised you?

A. I found a lot of faults, splays that offshoot from the Ramapo that go 5 to 10 miles away from the fault. I have looked at the Ramapo Fault in other places too. I have seen splays 5 to 10 miles up into the Hudson Highlands. And you can see them right along the roadsides on 287. There’s been a lot of damage to those rocks, and obviously it was produced by fault activities. All of these faults have earthquake potential.

Q. Describe the 1884 earthquake.

A. It was in the northern part of the state near the Sloatsburg area. They didn’t have precise ways of describing the location then. There was lots of damage. Chimneys toppled over. But in 1884, it was a farming community, and there were not many people to be injured. Nobody appears to have written an account of the numbers who were injured.

Q. What lessons we can learn from previous earthquakes?

A. In 1960, the city of Agadir in Morocco had a 6.2 earthquake that killed 12,000 people, a third of the population, and injured a third more. I think it was because the city was unprepared.There had been an earthquake in the area 200 years before. But people discounted the possibility of a recurrence. Here in New Jersey, we should not make the same mistake. We should not forget that we had a 5.4 earthquake 117 years ago. The recurrence interval for an earthquake of that magnitude is every 50 years, and we are overdue. The Agadir was a 6.2, and a 5.4 to a 6.2 isn’t that big a jump.

Q. What are the dangers of a quake that size?

A. When you’re in a flat area in a wooden house it’s obviously not as dangerous, although it could cut off a gas line that could explode. There’s a real problem with infrastructure that is crumbling, like the bridges with crumbling cement. There’s a real danger we could wind up with our water supplies and electricity cut off if a sizable earthquake goes off. The best thing is to have regular upkeep and keep up new building codes. The new buildings will be O.K. But there is a sense of complacency.

MARGO NASH

The Antichrist Tells US Pawn to Quit

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi speaks during the first session of the new Iraqi parliament in Baghdad, Iraq September 3, 2018. (Reuters)

Iraq’s top two parliament groups urge PM to resign

• Basra has been rocked by protests since Tuesday, with demonstrators setting ablaze government buildings, the Iranian consulate and the offices of pro-Tehran militias and political parties.

• At least 12 demonstrators have been killed and 50 wounded in clashes with security forces, according to the interior ministry.

Updated 22 sec ago

AFP

September 08, 2018

BAGHDAD: The two leading groups in Iraq’s parliament on Saturday called on Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi to resign, after lawmakers held an emergency meeting on unrest shaking the country’s south.

“We demand the government apologise to the people and resign immediately,” said Hassan Al-Aqouli, spokesman for the list of populist Shiite cleric Moqtada Sadr that won the most seats in a May election.

The announcement dealt a severe blow to Abadi’s hopes of holding onto his post through a parliamentary bloc unveiled just days earlier with Sadr, a former militia chief.

Ahmed Al-Assadi, spokesman for the second-largest list, the Conquest Alliance, condemned “the government’s failure to resolve the crisis in Basra”, a southern city where 12 protesters were killed this week in clashes with security forces.

The Conquest Alliance was “on the same wavelength” as Sadr’s Marching Towards Reform list and they would work together to form a new government, Assadi said.

Abadi defended his record in parliament, describing the unrest as “political sabotage” and saying the crisis over public services was being exploited for political ends.

Anger in Basra flared after the hospitalisation of 30,000 people who had drunk polluted water, in an oil-rich region where residents have for weeks complained of water and electricity shortages, corruption among officials and unemployment.

Demonstrators have set fire to government buildings, the Iranian consulate and the offices of pro-Tehran militias and political parties.

Iran and Russia Threaten America

Iran and Russia can work together to restrain America: Iran supreme leader

GENEVA (Reuters) – Iran and Russia can work together to restrain America, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said in a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday, according to Fars News.

Putin arrived in Tehran on Friday to attend a trilateral meeting with Iran and Turkey focused on the Syrian province of Idlib, the last stronghold of active opposition to the government of President Bashar al-Assad.

“One of the issues that the two sides can cooperate on is restraining America,” Khamenei said. “Because America is a danger for humanity and there is a possibility to restrain them.”