Nuclear Buildup Before the Great War (Revelation 15)

US to leave Russian nuclear treaty

The US will withdraw from a landmark nuclear weapons treaty with Russia, President Donald Trump has confirmed.

Mr Trump said Russia had “violated” the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty, which banned ground-launched medium-range missiles, with a range of 500 to 5500km.

The US would not let Russia “go out and do weapons [while] we’re not allowed to”, Mr Trump said.

“I don’t know why President [Barack] Obama didn’t negotiate or pull out,” the president said after a campaign rally in Nevada. “They’ve been violating it for many years.”

In 2014, President Obama accused Russia of breaching the INF after it allegedly tested a ground-launched cruise missile. He reportedly chose not to withdraw from the treaty under pressure from European leaders, who said such a move could restart an arms race.

A Russian foreign ministry source said the US move was motivated by a “dream of a unipolar world” where it is the only global superpower, state news agency RIA Novosti reported.

The US insists the Russians have, in breach of the deal, developed a new medium-range missile called the the Novator 9M729 – known to NATO as the SSC-8.

It would enable Russia to launch a nuclear strike at NATO countries at very short notice.

Russia has said little about its new missile other than to deny that it is in breach of the agreement.

Analysts said Russia saw such weapons as a cheaper alternative to conventional forces.

The New York Times reported on Friday the US was considering withdrawing from the treaty in a bid to counter China’s expanding military presence in the western Pacific.

The country was not a signatory of the deal, allowing it to develop medium-range missiles without restraint.

American national security adviser John Bolton is expected to tell the Russians of the withdrawal during talks in Moscow later this week.

What is the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty?

• Signed by the US and the USSR in 1987, the arms control deal banned all nuclear and non-nuclear missiles with short and medium ranges, except sea-launched weapons.

• The US had been concerned by the Soviet deployment of the SS-20 missile system and responded by placing Pershing and Cruise missiles in Europe – sparking widespread protests.

• By 1991, nearly 2,700 missiles had been destroyed. Both countries were allowed to inspect the others installations

• In 2007, Russian president Vladimir Putin declared the treaty no longer served Russia’s interests. The move came after the US withdrew from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty in 2002.

The last time the US withdrew from a major arms treaty was in 2002, when President George W. Bush pulled the US out of the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, which banned weapons designed to counter ballistic nuclear missiles.

His administration’s moves to set up a missile shield in Europe alarmed the Kremlin, and was scrapped by the Obama administration in 2009 to be replaced by a modified defence system in 2016.

– BBC

Two Centuries Before The Sixth Seal (Revelation 6:12)

The worst earthquake in Massachusetts history 260 years ago

It happened before, and it could happen again.

By Hilary Sargent @lilsarg

Boston.com Staff | 11.19.15 | 5:53 AM

On November 18, 1755, Massachusetts experienced its largest recorded earthquake.

The earthquake occurred in the waters off Cape Ann, and was felt within seconds in Boston, and as far away as Nova Scotia, the Chesapeake Bay, and upstate New York, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

Seismologists have since estimated the quake to have been between 6.0 and 6.3 on the Richter scale, according to the Massachusetts Historical Society.

While there were no fatalities, the damage was extensive.

According to the USGS, approximately 100 chimneys and roofs collapsed, and over a thousand were damaged.

The worst damage occurred north of Boston, but the city was not unscathed.

A 1755 report in The Philadelphia Gazette described the quake’s impact on Boston:

“There was at first a rumbling noise like low thunder, which was immediately followed with such a violent shaking of the earth and buildings, as threw every into the greatest amazement, expecting every moment to be buried in the ruins of their houses. In a word, the instances of damage done to our houses and chimnies are so many, that it would be endless to recount them.”

The quake sent the grasshopper weathervane atop Faneuil Hall tumbling to the ground, according to the Massachusetts Historical Society.

An account of the earthquake, published in The Pennsylvania Gazette on December 4, 1755.

The earthquake struck at 4:30 in the morning, and the shaking lasted “near four minutes,” according to an entry John Adams, then 20, wrote in his diary that day.

The brief diary entry described the damage he witnessed.

“I was then at my Fathers in Braintree, and awoke out of my sleep in the midst of it,” he wrote. “The house seemed to rock and reel and crack as if it would fall in ruins about us. 7 Chimnies were shatter’d by it within one mile of my Fathers house.”

The shaking was so intense that the crew of one ship off the Boston coast became convinced the vessel had run aground, and did not learn about the earthquake until they reached land, according to the Massachusetts Historical Society.

In 1832, a writer for the Hampshire (Northampton) Gazette wrote about one woman’s memories from the quake upon her death.

“It was between 4 and 5 in the morning, and the moon shone brightly. She and the rest of the family were suddenly awaked from sleep by a noise like that of the trampling of many horses; the house trembled and the pewter rattled on the shelves. They all sprang out of bed, and the affrightted children clung to their parents. “I cannot help you dear children,” said the good mother, “we must look to God for help.

The Cape Ann earthquake came just 17 days after an earthquake estimated to have been 8.5-9.0 on the Richter scale struck in Lisbon, Portugal, killing at least 60,000 and causing untold damage.

There was no shortage of people sure they knew the impretus for the Cape Ann earthquake.

According to many ministers in and around Boston, “God’s wrath had brought this earthquake upon Boston,” according to the Massachusetts Historical Society.

In “Verses Occasioned by the Earthquakes in the Month of November, 1755,” Jeremiah Newland, a Taunton resident who was active in religious activities in the Colony, wrote that the earthquake was a reminder of the importance of obedience to God.

“It is becaufe we broke thy Laws,

that thou didst shake the Earth.

O what a Day the Scriptures say,

the EARTHQUAKE doth foretell;

O turn to God; lest by his Rod,

he cast thee down to Hell.”

Boston Pastor Jonathan Mayhew warned in a sermon that the 1755 earthquakes in Massachusetts and Portugal were “judgments of heaven, at least as intimations of God’s righteous displeasure, and warnings from him.”

There were some, though, who attempted to put forth a scientific explanation for the earthquake.

Well, sort of.

In a lecture delivered just a week after the earthquake, Harvard mathematics professor John Winthrop said the quake was the result of a reaction between “vapors” and “the heat within the bowels of the earth.” But even Winthrop made sure to state that his scientific theory “does not in the least detract from the majesty … of God.”

It has been 260 years since the Cape Ann earthquake. Some experts, including Boston College seismologist John Ebel, think New England could be due for another significant quake.

In a recent Boston Globe report, Ebel said the New England region “can expect a 4 to 5 magnitude quake every decade, a 5 to 6 every century, and a magnitude 6 or above every thousand years.”

If the Cape Ann earthquake occurred today, “the City of Boston could sustain billions of dollars of earthquake damage, with many thousands injured or killed,” according to a 1997 study by the US Army Corps of Engineers.

130 Shot Outside the Temple Walls (Revelation 11:2)

Israeli forces wound 130 Palestinians at Gaza border protest | Reuters

GAZA (Reuters) – Israeli soldiers shot and wounded 130 Palestinians during protests near the Gaza Strip border on Friday, the enclave’s Health Ministry said.

A wounded Palestinian is evacuated during a protest calling for lifting the Israeli blockade on Gaza and demanding the right to return to their homeland, at the Israel-Gaza border fence in the southern Gaza Strip October 19, 2018. REUTERS/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa

An Israeli military spokeswoman said about 10,000 demonstrators massed at the border and that some threw burning tires, grenades and explosive devices at the troops across the fence.

But the protest was relatively small – some of the previous gatherings included about 30,000 people, a sign that tensions that have built up in the past few days may be easing.

On Thursday Israel had ramped up armored forces along the Gaza border, a day after a rocket fired from the enclave destroyed a home in southern Israel. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, vowed “very strong action” if attacks continued.

A Palestinian official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Egyptian security officials had held separate meetings in the past few days with Israeli counterparts and with leaders of the Palestinian Islamist Hamas group that rules Gaza in an effort to prevent an escalation in violence.

Palestinians have been protesting along the border since March 30, demanding an end to Israel’s blockade of the territory and the right to return to lands that Palestinians fled or were driven from upon Israel’s founding in 1948.

About 200 Gazans have been killed by Israeli troops since the protests started, according to Palestinian Health Ministry figures, and an Israeli soldier was killed by a Palestinian sniper.

Palestinians have also launched incendiary balloons and kites from Gaza into Israel and on occasion breached the Israeli frontier fence.

More than 2 million Palestinians are packed into the narrow coastal enclave. Israel pulled troops and settlers from Gaza in 2005 but maintains tight control of its land and sea borders. Egypt also restricts movement in and out of Gaza on its border. Israel and Hamas have fought three wars in the past decade.

Reporting by Nidal Almughrabi; Writing by Maayan Lubell; Editing by Mark Heinrich

Iran Turns Against the European Nuclear Horns (Daniel)

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has elaborated on his disappointment with Europe during an October 17 meeting with a group his website has described as Iran’s “academic elites and prominent scholars.”

“We should look East, not West. Pinning our hope on the West or Europe would belittle us as we would beg them for favor and they would do nothing,” Khamenei told the group which included Iranian academics returning from various Western countries.

Instead, Khamenei said that Iran should look East, “where countries are taking quick steps on their roads to growth,” The Iranian Students News Agency (ISNA) quoted him as saying on Wednesday.

Khamenei had suggested earlier to President Hassan Rouhani that his government should abandon hope in Europe’s initiatives to save the nuclear deal with the West or help Iran’s failing economy to improve.

European states promised to save the nuclear deal with Iran, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) after the United States withdrew from the agreement in May.

EU officials have also promised to introduce a financial arrangement to protect European companies from the impact of US sanctions. Major European companies have already left Iran fearing US sanctions can damage their interests in other markets.

After the U.S. withdrawal from JCPOA, Khameni had expressed his disappointment with initial European reactions, but had reluctantly agreed that Iran should remain in the nuclear deal as Europe tried to save it.

While allowing talks to continue with European countries, Khamenei reiterated that he was “suspicious” about Europe’s promises. This is in line with the aging leader’s consistent anti-Western posture and policies.

Khamenei repeated his suspicion of Europe on Wednesday while President Rouhani and his Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif as well as some other Iranian officials have sounded upbeat about Europe’s measure, although few details have been released.

Zarif said in a recent interview with the BBC that what Europe has offered “was possibly better than what we originally expected.” However, U.S. officials have repeatedly voiced doubts if any EU measures can dissipate the concerns companies might have about violating sanctions. The bottom line is, they insist, whether companies prefer to do business with the U.S. or with Iran, with a much smaller market.

While stressing on the futility of interaction with the West, Khamenei did not mention who in the East Iran should turn to. One can surmise that mentioning quick economic growth, could have been an allusion to India, South Korea and China and perhaps Indonesia and Malaysia to a lesser extent. This comes while South Korea has already stopped importing oil from Iran several weeks ahead of the second round of US sanctions that target Iran’s oil exports and international banking operations and the only prospect for trade with India and China is an outdated form of barter trade.

At the same time, a sharp devaluation of Iranian currency, the rial, has increased the rate of exchange for US dollar from 35,000 rials to over 190,000 rials during the past seven months, and unemployment, mismanagement, corruption and discrimination have paralyzed the economy. But Khamenei is still in denial of the country’s worst economic crisis ever, and said on Wednesday that reports about the economic crisis were merely disparaging images Iran’s “enemies” draw.

Khamenei said that “in spite of fluctuations in the foreign exchange market and problems in people’s life, the real image of the country is diagonally different from what foreigners portray.” However, he did not explain what led him to believe there was nothing wrong with the state of the economy.

Just three days before his latest remarks, Khamenei revealed his vision for the year 2065, saying Iran would be one of the world’s top ten economies.

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

Israel steps up armored deployment on Gaza border | Reuters

YAD MORDECHAI, Israel (Reuters) – Israel ramped up its armored forces along the Gaza border on Thursday in a daylight show of force, a day after a Palestinian rocket destroyed a home in southern Israel.

With the deployment clearly visible from main Israeli roads near the Gaza Strip, senior Egyptian security officials met leaders of the enclave’s ruling Hamas to try to calm tensions.

Hamas and the smaller Islamic Jihad militant group quickly denied firing the rockets.

Much may depend on the scope and intensity of a planned Palestinian protest at the border with Israel on Friday, where often violent demonstrations have been held over the past six months.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who convened his security cabinet on Wednesday after the rocket wrecked a home in the city of Beersheba, pledged to take “very strong action” if Palestinian attacks continued.

Israeli leaders have said they will not tolerate rocket attacks or attempts, during the border protests, to breach Israel’s frontier fence with the Palestinian territory of two million people.

A Reuters photographer counted some 60 tanks and armored personnel carriers at a deployment area near the border, calling it the largest number he has seen there since the 2014 war between Israel and Hamas.

In Gaza, a Palestinian official said the Egyptian delegation was also in contact with Israeli leaders to curb the current tensions.

Armoured Israeli military vehicles are seen gathered in an open area near Israel’s border with Gaza Strip October 18, 2018. REUTERS/Amir Cohen

“The situation is delicate. No one wants a war,” he said.

“Palestinian factions are demanding an end to the Israeli blockade that strangled life and business in Gaza,” the official told Reuters.

Palestinians have been protesting along the border since March 30, demanding an end to Israel’s blockade of Gaza and the right to return to lands that Palestinians fled or were driven from upon Israel’s founding in 1948.

About 200 Gazans have been killed by Israeli troops since the border protests began, according to Palestinian Health Ministry figures. Palestinians have launched incendiary balloons and kites into Israel and on occasion breached an Israeli frontier fence.

More than 2 million Palestinians are packed into the coastal enclave. Israel withdrew its troops and settlers from Gaza in 2005 but maintains tight control of its land and sea borders. Egypt also restricts movement in and out of Gaza on its border.

In addition to sporadic incidents, Israel and Hamas have fought three wars in the past 10 years. The internationally-mediated peace process aimed at finding a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is all but moribund.

Reporting by Amir Cohen, and Nidal Almughrabi in Gaza, Writing by Jeffrey Heller, Editing by Ori Lewis and Richard Balmforth