The Sixth Seal: A Stack of Cards (Revelation 6:12)

Experts Warn NYC Could Fall Like ‘House of Cards’ With 5.0 Earthquake

A 3-D rendering of a destroyed NYC. (Pavel Chagochkin/

By Mike Dorstewitz    |   Wednesday, 04 April 2018 06:30 PM

A magnitude-5.0 earthquake in New York City would cause an estimated $39 billion in damage after buildings topple like a “house of cards,” according to the Daily Mail.

And the city is overdue for a quake of that size, seismologists say. The last one was in 1884 and they occur about every 100 years.

An estimated 30 million tons of debris would litter the streets after a 5.0 earthquake in NYC , and anything bigger than that would almost certainly collapse buildings and cause loss of life to the city’s 8.5 million residents.

“The problem here comes from many subtle faults,” said Lynn Skyes, lead author of a study by seismologists at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, the New York Daily News reported. “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.”

New York City is riddled with fault lines. The largest runs down 125th Street, extending from New Jersey to the East River. The Dyckman Street Fault runs from Inwood to Morris Heights in the Bronx. The Mosholu Parkway Fault line runs a bit farther north. The East River Fault is an especially long one, running south, skirting Central Park’s west side then heading to the East River when it hits 32nd Street.

New York’s main problem isn’t the magnitude of earthquakes, it’s how the city is built.

“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,” New York City Area Consortium for Earthquake Loss Mitigation wrote on its website.

Anticipating World War 3 Against Iran

Iran Hawks Raise the Pressure on Trump

WASHINGTON (AP) — A battle is brewing between the Trump administration and some of the president’s biggest supporters in Congress who are concerned that sanctions to be re-imposed on Iran early next month won’t be tough enough.

As President Donald Trump prepares to re-impose a second batch of Iran sanctions that had been eased under the 2015 nuclear deal, conservative lawmakers and outside advisers have become worried that the administration may break a promise to exert “maximum pressure” on Iran. They are angered by suggestions that measures to be announced Nov. 5 won’t include a provision cutting Iran off from a key component of the global financial system.

The self-described Iran hawks are concerned enough that they have drafted legislation that would require the administration to demand that Iran be suspended from the international bank transfer system known as SWIFT.

“The president asked for maximum pressure, not semi-maximum pressure,” said Richard Goldberg, a former aide to a Republican senator and senior adviser to the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, a group that supports punishing Iran with sanctions. “Maximum pressure includes disconnecting Iranian banks from SWIFT.”

Trump pledged Thursday to do whatever it takes to pressure Iran to halt what he refers to as its “malign conduct” such as nuclear and missile development and support for terrorism and groups that destabilize the Middle East.

“On Nov. 5th, all U.S. sanctions against Iran lifted by the nuclear deal will be back in full force,” he told a gathering at the White House to commemorate the 35th anniversary of the 1983 attack on the Marine Corps barracks in Beirut, Lebanon, which is blamed on Iranian-backed extremists. “And they will be followed up with even more sanctions to address the full range of Iran’s malign conduct. We will not allow the world’s leading sponsor of terror to develop the world’s deadliest weapons. Will not happen.”

The Nov. 5 sanctions cover Iran’s banking and energy sectors and will reinstate penalties for countries and companies in Europe, Asia and elsewhere that do not halt Iranian oil imports. They could also include measures to force Iran out of SWIFT.

Despite Trump’s tough stance, the hawks are worried about recent comments from Treasury Secretary Stephen Mnuchin and his staff that suggest Iran will be able to stay connected to SWIFT. They are also concerned the administration will back down on its stated zero-tolerance policy for Iranian oil purchases by granting waivers to certain countries and companies that do not fully stop buying it.

Iran deal supporters, like the other parties to the agreement, argue that pushing Iran out of SWIFT, the Belgium-based Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication, will lead to the creation of alternate mechanisms that could supplant it as the leading global institution for financial institutions to send and receive information about banking transactions. They also say expulsion will make it harder for Iran to conduct transactions, such as humanitarian purchases, that will still be allowed after Nov. 5.

Allowing Iran to remain in SWIFT would make it easier for Tehran to import humanitarian goods like medicine permitted under U.S. sanctions and “would help the United States make clear that its critique of Iran is directed at the regime, not the people of Iran,” said Elizabeth Rosenberg, a former Treasury official now with the Center for a New American Security. She added, though, that disconnection would be a “fast track” to isolation.

The debate underscores the challenges the administration faces as it tries to isolate Iran without the full backing of other world powers who remain supportive of the nuclear deal.

Although the hawks had been pleased by Trump’s decision to withdraw from the nuclear deal in May and cheered the August re-imposition of an initial set of sanctions, they are now seething that Treasury may opt to use existing safeguards to isolate Iran instead of hitting SWIFT members with sanctions if they don’t disconnect Tehran.

Treasury has been coy about its intentions, saying only that Mnuchin and the agency have led “an intense economic pressure campaign against Iran as part of this administration’s comprehensive strategy to address the totality of Iran’s malign and destabilizing activity, with much more to come.”

“Treasury has made it very clear that we will continue to cut off bad Iranian actors, including designated banks, from accessing the international financial system in a number of different ways,” it said. “We will also take action against those attempting to conduct prohibited transactions with sanctioned Iranian entities regardless of the mechanisms used.”

That less-than-categorical position has rallied the hawks around the legislation prepared by Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, that would require the administration to impose sanctions on SWIFT members, including some U.S. banks, should it not suspend Iran on its own.

Federal law currently gives the administration authority to act against Iran’s central bank and other banks covered by terrorism and money laundering sanctions. Cruz’s legislation, however, would authorize the administration to hit all of Iran’s banks with sanctions and require it to act against SWIFT if it connects any Iranian bank under sanctions to its system, according to a copy seen by the AP.

In August, Cruz led a group of 16 GOP senators, including Trump Republican allies Tom Cotton of Arkansas, Marco Rubio of Florida, Thom Tillis of North Carolina and John Barrasso of Wyoming, in demanding action against SWIFT if Iran is not suspended. Congressional aides say they believe support for his proposed legislation will be strong. “The administration’s maximum pressure campaign will not succeed if the Islamic Republic remains connected to SWIFT,” the senators told Mnuchin.

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Five Palestinians Killed Outside the Temple Walls (Revelation 11:2)

GAZA CITY, Palestinian Territories — Five Palestinians were killed Friday as fresh clashes broke out with Israeli troops on Gaza’s border with the Jewish state, despite Egyptian-brokered truce efforts, the health ministry in the Hamas-run enclave said.

The five men, aged between 22 and 27, died in separate incidents along the border fence, the ministry said.

The violence came despite talk of progress towards an Egyptian-brokered deal to end the months of often violent protests along the border.

Israeli helicopters and planes later struck three bases of Hamas in northern Gaza without causing injuries, the army said and witnesses said.

The army did not comment on the deaths but said around 16,000 “rioters and demonstrators” had gathered along the border, with some setting tires alight and hurling rocks, firebombs and grenades towards soldiers. Troops responded with “riot dispersal means”, a spokesman added.

Three of the men were shot dead east of Khan Yunis in southern Gaza, while one was killed east of Jabalia in the north of the coastal territory, the Health Ministry said. A fifth man died east of Bureij in central Gaza when a hand grenade he was holding exploded accidentally, witnesses said.

Palestinians have gathered for protests along the Gaza Strip’s border at least weekly since March 30. At least 212 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire in Gaza since the protests began, according to figures collated by AFP.

The majority have died during protests, while smaller numbers have been killed by airstrikes and tank fire. One Israeli soldier was shot dead by a Palestinian sniper along the border in the same period.

The protesters are calling to be allowed to return to lands their families fled or were expelled from in a 1948 war surrounding the creation of Israel and which are now inside the Jewish state. They are also protesting over Israel’s crippling blockade of Gaza.

Israel accuses Hamas of orchestrating the often violent demonstrations. Israel and Hamas have fought three wars since 2008.

The fresh violence could also scupper hopes of a deal to end the months of protests. Egypt and the United Nations have been brokering indirect negotiations between Hamas and Israel with the aim of calming the situation amid fears of another war.

Last week, a rocket fired from Gaza hit an Israeli home, narrowly avoiding killing a family. In response the Israeli army carried out air strikes on around 20 Hamas targets in Gaza.

The London-based Arabic newspaper Al-Hayat reported Friday that a deal had been reached that would see the protests end in exchange for an easing of Israel’s blockade.

Hamas officials denied a deal had been struck but confirmed to AFP that progress was being made. “We expect to reach an agreement very soon,” a senior Hamas official said earlier Friday on condition of anonymity.

Israel also fully reopened its border crossings with the Gaza Strip this week following a week of relative calm. It allowed dozens of trucks of fuel paid for by Qatar into the strip, having previously banned their entry in response to the border violence.

Israel says the decade-long blockade is necessary to isolate Hamas, while critics say it amounts to collective punishment of Gaza’s two million residents. — AFP

Unlivable Outside the Temple Walls (Revelation 11:2)

UN Special Rapporteur: Gaza Has Become ‘Unliveable’

Friday, 26 October, 2018 – 09:00

New York – Ali Barada

The Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the occupied Palestinian territories, Michael Lynk, has lamented that the economy of the Gaza Strip is in free fall, saying the enclave has become “unliveable” amid a 70 percent youth unemployment, widely contaminated drinking water and a collapsed health care system.

Lynk told the Third Committee (Social, Humanitarian and Cultural) of the UN General Assembly this week that Israel continued to block his visits to the occupied territories.

He painted a pessimistic state of affairs, noting that 200 Palestinians have been killed by Israel’s security forces — 40 of them children — during peaceful protests each Friday along the Gaza frontier for the past seven months.

Lynk also said it was high time the international community takes firm action to stop Israel’s annexation of large parts of the West Bank through settlement expansion and legislative initiatives, warning that failure to do so will likely prompt Israel to formalize annexation into domestic law.

“During five decades of the occupation, Israel has steadily entrenched its sovereign footprint throughout the West Bank,” the Special Rapporteur said in his report to the UN General Assembly. He highlighted settlement construction and expansion, as well as recent legislative measures he said amounted to illegal de facto annexation.

“The Israeli Knesset has adopted a number of laws in the past year that have become a flashing green light for more formal annexation steps,” he said, noting recent measures that sought to apply Israeli law to the West Bank, as well as the 2017 settlement regularization law.

“The strict prohibition against annexation in international law applies not only to a formal declaration, but also to those acts of territorial appropriation by Israel that have been a cumulative part of its efforts to stake a future claim of formal sovereignty over the occupied Palestinian territory.”

The Rapporteur urged the international community to act. “Lacking in repeated condemnations of Israel’s annexationist actions have been any meaningful steps by the international community to insist upon accountability. Despite Israel’s record of non-compliance with the directions of the international community, it has rarely paid a meaningful price for its defiance, and its appetite for entrenching its annexationist ambitions has gone largely unchecked,” Lynk said.

He describing the human rights situation in Gaza as dire.

“The United Nations stated in 2012 that Gaza may well be unliveable by 2020. When electricity has been cut to five hours a day, when safe drinking water has almost disappeared, and when its economy is cratering before our eyes, then the state of unliveability is upon us, and the international community must insist that all parties, and particularly Israel, the occupying power, bring an immediate end to this disaster,” he said.

Indian Point Tests Sirens Before the Sixth Seal (Revelation 6:12)

Indian Point Photo Credit: File

Indian Point Will Test Sirens On Halloween

Fear not, it’s just a test, not a Halloween scare.

There will be a test of the Indian Point Energy Center sirens in Westchester, Rockland, Putnam and Orange counties during a regular test of the system. At approximately 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 31, officials will conduct the test, which will involve sounding the sirens at full-volume in the area.

Officials noted that, because this is a test, the public is not required to respond when they hear the siren.

“Please note that sirens are not a signal to evacuate,” Entergy stated. “In an actual emergency, the sirens would sound to alert the public to tune in to a local EAS radio or television station for important information and direction.”

According to the Stony Point Police Department, “this is only a test. If there was an emergency at the nuclear power plants, the sirens would be sounded continuously at full volume for 4 minutes, followed by an activation of the Emergency Alert System (EAS) on radio and television stations to broadcast important information and instructions. The sirens are not a signal to evacuate, rather they are intended to alert the public to tune to this or another EAS radio or TV station for important information. This siren sounding is only a test. No action by the public is necessary.