New York earthquake: City of the Sixth Seal (Revelation 6:12)

New York earthquake: City at risk of ‘dangerous shaking from far away’

Joshua Nevett

Published 30th April 2018

SOME of New York City’s tallest skyscrapers are at risk of being shaken by seismic waves triggered by powerful earthquakes from miles outside the city, a natural disaster expert has warned.

Researchers believe that a powerful earthquake, magnitude 5 or greater, could cause significant damage to large swathes of NYC, a densely populated area dominated by tall buildings.

A series of large fault lines that run underneath NYC’s five boroughs, Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, The Bronx and Staten Island, are capable of triggering large earthquakes.

Some experts have suggested that NYC is susceptible to at least a magnitude 5 earthquake once every 100 years.

The last major earthquake measuring over magnitude 5.0 struck NYC in 1884 – meaning another one of equal size is “overdue” by 34 years, according their prediction model.

Natural disaster researcher Simon Day, of University College London, agrees with the conclusion that NYC may be more at risk from earthquakes than is usually thought.

EARTHQUAKE RISK: New York is susceptible to seismic shaking from far-away tremors

But the idea of NYC being “overdue” for an earthquake is “invalid”, not least because the “very large number of faults” in the city have individually low rates of activity, he said.

The model that predicts strong earthquakes based on timescale and stress build-up on a given fault has been “discredited”, he said.

What scientists should be focusing on, he said, is the threat of large and potentially destructive earthquakes from “much greater distances”.

The dangerous effects of powerful earthquakes from further away should be an “important feature” of any seismic risk assessment of NYC, Dr Day said.


THE BIG APPLE: An aerial view of Lower Manhattan at dusk in New York City


RISK: A seismic hazard map of New York produced by USGS

“New York is susceptible to seismic shaking from earthquakes at much greater distances” Dr Simon Day, natural disaster researcher

This is because the bedrock underneath parts of NYC, including Long Island and Staten Island, cannot effectively absorb the seismic waves produced by earthquakes.

“An important feature of the central and eastern United States is, because the crust there is old and cold, and contains few recent fractures that can absorb seismic waves, the rate of seismic reduction is low.

Central regions of NYC, including Manhattan, are built upon solid granite bedrock; therefore the amplification of seismic waves that can shake buildings is low.

But more peripheral areas, such as Staten Island and Long Island, are formed by weak sediments, meaning seismic hazard in these areas is “very likely to be higher”, Dr Day said.

“Thus, like other cities in the eastern US, New York is susceptible to seismic shaking from earthquakes at much greater distances than is the case for cities on plate boundaries such as Tokyo or San Francisco, where the crustal rocks are more fractured and absorb seismic waves more efficiently over long distances,” Dr Day said.

In the event of a large earthquake, dozens of skyscrapers, including Chrysler Building, the Woolworth Building and 40 Wall Street, could be at risk of shaking.

“The felt shaking in New York from the Virginia earthquake in 2011 is one example,” Dr Day said.

On that occasion, a magnitude 5.8 earthquake centered 340 miles south of New York sent thousands of people running out of swaying office buildings.


FISSURES: Fault lines in New York City have low rates of activity, Dr Day said

NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg said the city was “lucky to avoid any major harm” as a result of the quake, whose epicenter was near Louisa, Virginia, about 40 miles from Richmond.

“But an even more impressive one is the felt shaking from the 1811-1812 New Madrid earthquakes in the central Mississippi valley, which was felt in many places across a region, including cities as far apart as Detroit, Washington DC and New Orleans, and in a few places even further afield including,” Dr Day added.

“So, if one was to attempt to do a proper seismic hazard assessment for NYC, one would have to include potential earthquake sources over a wide region, including at least the Appalachian mountains to the southwest and the St Lawrence valley to the north and east.”

Even Russia Warns About the Risk of Nuclear War

Putin issues ominous warning on rising nuclear war threat

MOSCOW (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin issued a chilling warning Thursday about the rising threat of a nuclear war, putting the blame squarely on the U.S., which he accused of irresponsibly pulling out of arms control treaties.

Speaking at his annual news conference, Putin warned that “it could lead to the destruction of civilization as a whole and maybe even our planet.”

He pointed at Washington’s intention to walk away from the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, or INF, and its reluctance to negotiate the extension of the 2010 New START agreement, which expires in 2021 unless the two countries agree to extend it. “We are witnessing the breakup of the arms control system,” he said.

Moscow and Washington have been at loggerheads over the INF, which bans an entire class of weapons — all nuclear and conventional ground-launched ballistic and cruise missiles of intermediate range. U.S. officials say Washington’s withdrawal from the pact was prompted by Russian violations of the treaty, which Moscow vehemently denies.

Earlier this month NATO, at U.S. request formally declared Russia to be in violation of the INF and demanded that it halt activity that breaches it. The move put the full weight of the alliance behind the U.S., which has given Russia until February to come into compliance or trigger Washington’s withdrawal from the treaty.”

Officials in both Russia and the U.S. have given mixed signals about the future of the New START treaty, signed by President Barack Obama and then-Russian President Dmitry Medvedev amid a brief thaw in Russia-U.S. ties. U.S.-Russian strategic nuclear weapons — those capable of striking each other’s territory — are governed by New Start.

During the nearly four-hour news conference, Putin maintained Russia was not interested in “gaining unilateral advantages. We aren’t seeking advantages, we are trying to preserve the balance and ensure our security.”

Russia-U.S. ties have sunk to their lowest levels since the Cold war times over the Ukrainian crisis, the war in Syria and the allegations of Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, among other disputes.

The U.S. and European nations have repeatedly called out Russia and imposed sanctions on it for its support of separatists in eastern Ukraine and its annexation of Crimea in 2014. At the same time the West has harshly criticized Russia for its military and political support for Syrian President Bashar Assad, which U.S. officials say has prolonged the war in Syria and the suffering of its people.

The Russian leader scoffed at the allegations, rejecting them as part of a smear campaign driven by domestic policy in the U.S. and elsewhere in the West.

He dismissed claims that Russia is interfering abroad, from a nerve agent poisoning in Britain to an alleged effort to infiltrate the U.S. National Rifle Association, charging that those accusations are part of U.S.-led efforts to malign Russia to strengthen the Western allies’ unity.

“They need an external threat to cement NATO unity,” Putin said, accusing the U.S. and its allies of exploiting “phobias of the past” to achieve domestic political goals.

“As for ruling the world, we know where the headquarters trying to do that are located, and the place isn’t Moscow,” he said, noting that the Pentagon’s annual budget of over $700 billion dwarfs Russia’s defense spending of $46 billion.

Russia’s hopes for repairing ties with the U.S. under President Donald Trump have fizzled amid the allegations of Russian meddling in the 2016 election — charges Putin has denied.

He noted that he’s still keeping the door open for a meeting with Trump, but added that the prospect for that looks increasingly dim in view of the Democrats winning control of the House.

“You can predict new attacks on the president with 100-percent probability,” Putin said. “I don’t know if he could engage in a direct dialogue with Russia in such conditions.”

He charged that that the continuing U.S. political infighting reflects a “lack of respect for the voters” who elected Trump. “They don’t want to acknowledge his victory and do everything to delegitimize the president,” Putin added.

He insisted that a Russian woman in U.S. custody has not carried out any mission for the Russian government, even though she pleaded guilty this month to acting as a covert agent of the government. Putin claimed that Maria Butina — accused of trying to infiltrate the NRA and American conservative circles around the time of Trump’s election — entered the guilty plea because of the threat of a long prison sentence in the case, which Putin described as fabricated.

Amid a litany of complaints over Washington’s policies, Putin had one positive thing to say about the United States: He welcomed Trump’s decision to withdraw the U.S. military from Syria.

The U.S. “has done the right thing,” Putin said, reaffirming the long-held Russian argument that the U.S. presence in Syria is illegitimate because it wasn’t vetted by the U.N. Security Council or approved by Syrian President Bashar Assad’s government. The pullout is also likely to strengthen Russia’s role in Syria’s future.

He showed no sign of backing down from Russia’s stance on Ukraine, accusing his Ukrainian counterpart of provoking a naval standoff with Russia to boost his electoral prospects. The Russian coast guard fired upon and seized three Ukrainian naval vessels and 24 seamen when they tried to sail from the Black Sea into the Sea of Azov in what the U.S. and its NATO allies condemned as unjustified use of force by Russia.

Turning to nuclear weapons, Putin warned that if the U.S. puts intermediate-range missiles in Europe after its planned exit from the INF Treaty banning them, Russia will be forced to take countermeasures.

As for what he described as U.S. reluctance to extend the New START nuclear arms reduction treaty, he said: “You aren’t interested? You don’t need it? OK, we will survive. … But it will be very bad for the whole of humankind, because it would take us to a very dangerous area.”

Antichrist Continues to Shape Parliament

Updated 12/18/2018 9:56 AM

BAGHDAD — Iraq’s parliament confirmed three ministers to Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi’s government Tuesday but left other key posts, including ministers of Defense and Interior, vacant as an impasse over the appointments threatened to stretch into its third month.

The confirmations come two days after Abdul-Mahdi’s controversial nominee to head the Interior Ministry returned to his former posts as the chairman of the Popular Mobilization militias and national security adviser to the prime minister.

Falih al-Fayadh retook his seat at a National Security Council meeting on Sunday after he was sacked from his positions by caretaker prime minister Haidar al-Abadi in August for political behavior.

Al-Fayadh has been at the center of the deadlock surrounding Abdul-Mahdi’s appointees. His nomination to run the Interior Ministry has the backing of the largest Iranian-aligned bloc in Parliament, which includes representatives of the Popular Mobilization Forces.

The PMF were formed in 2014 to stop the advance of Islamic State group militants through Iraq. They include several militias funded and trained by Iran.

The political bloc of populist cleric Moqtada al-Sadr is opposing Al-Fayadh’s appointment at the Interior Ministry, saying it wants to limit outside influence in politics. Sadr’s bloc, Sa’eroun, won the largest share of seats in parliamentary elections last May.

The Interior Ministry has been under the control of ministers close to Iran since 2010.

Abdul-Mahdi was sworn in to his post in October but has governed without a full cabinet after parliament approved just 14 of 22 ministerial appointments. On Tuesday, parliament approved new ministers of culture, planning and higher education, leaving five posts unfilled.

But Al-Fayadh’s return as national security adviser and chairman of the PMF could soon break the deadlock over the remaining appointments, said Hussein Allawi, director of Baghdad-based Akkad Center for Strategic Affairs and Future Studies.

“This gives Abdul-Mahdi an opportunity to name a new nominee to the Interior Ministry,” said Allawi.

Parliament is slated to meet again Thursday to discuss the remaining cabinet vacancies.

Impending Crisis Outside the Temple Walls (Revelation 11:2)

UN: Gaza showing early warning signs for coming ‘unprecedented’ crisis

—December 18, 2018

Welcome to Jewish Voice for Peace’s monthly Health and Human Rights Media Watch. Members of the Health Advisory Council monitor relevant organizations and websites and compile a list of important news and issues which are summarized here.


UN: early warning indicators show Gaza facing ‘unprecedented’ crisis

13 December 2018 OCHA oPt—The Gaza Strip faces an unprecedented humanitarian crisis, impacting the livelihoods and access to essential services by its two million residents. This crisis has been driven by over 11 years of an Israeli blockade and an unsolved internal Palestinian divide, exacerbated since March 2018 by the massive increase in Palestinian casualties in the context of demonstrations taking place near Israel’s perimeter fence, as well as limited escalations in hostilities.

(Image: OCHA oPt)

19 November 2018 Mondoweiss by Ahmad Kabariti—With all of the Israeli shootings to the lower limbs of Palestinian protesters during the weekly March of Return, a prosthetic limb workshop is struggling to deal with the needs of the injured. NPR also reported on Gaza’s prosthetic leg factory. See more: NPR

The health system in Gaza cannot handle another war

13 November 2018 +972 Magazine by Amjad Yaghi—In early November, Gaza saw one of the worst firefights since 2014, after Israeli special forces bungled a covert operation inside Gaza. If the Egyptian-brokered ceasefire does not hold, Palestinian health officials warn that a new war would lead to the collapse of Gaza’s already-debilitated medical infrastructure. Gazan hospitals are full of patients still being treated for injuries following violence in which Israeli snipers shot thousands of demonstrators during the Great Return March, which is overwhelming Gazan hospitals to the point where hundreds of patients were being treated in corridors and on the floor. A swine flu outbreak in early November has challenged Gazan health services, because no vaccine supplies are available for the virus in Gaza, neither in private practices, nor within the Health Ministry’s stocks. Of 143 medications in the Health Ministry’s formulary, nearly 100 are out of stock, with 16 more expected to be used up in the next month. There is also a shortage of specialists. 12 government-run hospitals in Gaza employ about 2,000 doctors, of whom 800 are specialists. The political division between the Fatah-run Palestinian Authority and the Hamas government in Gaza has caused young doctors to avoid joining government hospitals. The largest hospital in the Gaza Strip, Al-Shifa, performs 50 surgeries a day, and because of understaffing, surgeons have to perform 8 surgeries in a single day (much higher than surgeons in other countries). And despite this rate of surgeries, thousands of people are on waiting lists.

Surgeons in Gaza are overwhelmed with the number of injuries

11 November 2018 The Independent by Sarah Helm—The Israeli military policy to shoot to maim, with half of injuries occurring in the lower limbs of protesters and bystanders during the Great March of Return, has created an orthopedic crisis with exhausted personnel and shortages of surgical supplies.

Israeli incursions into Gaza are very common though underreported

13 November 2018 +972 Magazine by Henriette Chacar—There have been 70 known attacks, ground incursions and operations in 2018 and an unknown number of covert operations.

The terror of the Israeli air attacks, up close and personal

13 November 2018 Mondoweiss by Ahmad Kabariti—This article describes the human cost of Israeli attacks in Gaza in a very personal manner through the voices and experiences of civilians living in the Strip.

Author Sandy Tolan discusses the worsening water crisis in Gaza and the risks of water born epidemics that are affecting the most vulnerable

13 November 2018 The Daily Beast by Sandy Tolan—Two thirds of Gazans rely on a network of unregulated water trucks delivering desalinated water of dubious quality. He reminds us that raw sewage flowing into the Mediterranean knows no borders. Al Jazeera also reports on the water catastrophe, the rise of gastroenteritis, typhoid fever, childhood stunting, and blue baby syndrome. See more: Al Jazeera and Al Jazeera


In the Palestinian territories, science struggles against all odds

14 November 2018 Nature: International Journal of Science by Alison Abbott—The Palestinian Neuroscience Initiative (PNI) at Al-Quds University, featured in a recent article in Nature, represents an effort to advance research, training, and care in the neurosciences under the challenging conditions of occupation. Founded in 2009, and with funding from international sources (including the U.S. National Institutes of Health), PNI has trained more than 150 Palestinian students and researchers and helped more than 5000 Palestinian patients with psychiatric disorders. One project concerns the biology of depression, which has a prevalence of around 30 percent in the Palestinian territories, one of the highest rates in the world.


American Funding Cutback to East Jerusalem Hospitals: A Blow to the Health of the City

7 November 2018 American Journal of Public Health by A. Mark Clarfield MD, Karl Skorecki MD, Ora Paltiel MD, Shimon M. Glick MD, Rafi Beyar MD, DSc, MPH, Dina Ben Yehuda MD, Rivka Carmi MD, Ziv Gil MD, PhD, Salem Billan MD, Zaher Azzam MD, Fuad Basis MD, Ephrat Levy-Lahad MD, Amnon Lahad MD, Shai Izraeli MD, Dan Turner MD, and Yonatan Halevy MD—The authors protest the recent decision by the US government to withdraw funding of up to $25 million from the East Jerusalem Hospital Network (as part of a larger cancellation of Palestinian aid by the US). The authors note that the withdrawal decision was sudden and politically motivated. It will affect the 6 hospitals in the network, which primarily provide tertiary referral care for Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza, for services which the Palestinian Authority’s Health Ministry is unable to provide, including cancer care, cardiac and eye surgeries, neonatal intensive care, pediatric dialysis, and pediatric rehabilitation.

The Palestinian government provides hospitals in East Jerusalem with $12.5 million

Ma’an News Agency 6 November 2018—In September, the US decided to cancel $20 million in funds to Palestinian hospitals in East Jerusalem weeks after it had also announced that it will cut all funds to the United Nations Relied and Aid Agency (UNRWA) and the cut of $200 million for economic and social projects for the Palestinians.

What do violent conflicts have to do with health? Everything, says People’s Health Assembly

20 November 2018 Peoples Dispatch by Subin Dennis—From November 15 – 19, in Bangladesh, approximately 1000 health care organizers and activist met in the People’s Health Assembly to discuss how to provide and organize for the health of the people and that of the planet. Representatives from around the globe shared their experiences of how the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank recommended prescriptions of austerity and structural adjustment policies that in fact worsened the health of the people. In addition, they discussed how war and civil conflict impacted peoples’ health focusing on Palestine and the Rohingya people in Bangladesh.

See more: Shatha Odeh, from the Health Work Committees of Palestine, discussed how the Israeli occupation, from the Nakba on, was the main determinant of the health of Palestinians. Her presentation emphasized the role of land confiscation, expansion of illegal settlements, checkpoints, the wall, Israeli control over natural resources, shootings, killings, indiscriminate arrests, the siege on Gaza and movement restrictions have been brutal violations of basic human rights, affecting the Palestinians’ right to health. She highlighted the crisis in Gaza caused by the destruction of the water and electrical infrastructure and its impact on health.

On the occasion of Universal Children’s Day, the Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates said, ‘Generations of Palestinian children have been subjected to terror’

22 November 2018 Ma’an News AgencyThe ministry said, “Generations of Palestinian children have been subjected to terror, insecurity, and injustice under the prolonged Israeli colonial occupation that started fifty-one years ago.”

“A routine founded on violence.” 24 Nov. 2018 – 7 Dec. 2018. Source information from Palestinian DCO and B’Tselem field researchers. (Image: B’Tselem)

A routine founded on violence

13 December 2018 B’Tselem—This infographic, updated monthly, gives statistics by region on arrests, raids, and “flying” checkpoints in the Occupied Territories – a measure of the impact of Israeli policies on Palestinians’ daily life.

Offline: The health of Palestinians is a global responsibility

3 November 2018 The Lancet by Richard Horton—A recent WHO report looked at the impact of the decade-long land, sea, and air blockade on Gazans’ health. In addition to effects on development and shortages of essential medical supplies, the blockade and associated security, political and economic barriers combine to cause severe restrictions on Gazans’ access to care. In 2017, only 54% of applications (from 12,153 patients seeking care primarily for cancer) were approved in time for them to be able to attend their medical appointments, the lowest approval rate since 2012 (and for comparison, patients living in the West Bank who sought access to care in East Jerusalem or in Israel had an 88% approval rate). The problem is made worse by recent severe cutbacks in US support. This editorial makes the case that the international community shares responsibility for improving the inexcusable state of affairs for the health of Palestinians.

WHO reports on the Right to Health in the OPT as a fundamental human right.

8 December 2018 World Health Organization—WHO published its report on the Right to Health in the OPT as defined by access to high quality medical care, adequate food, water, and housing. The report focuses on restrictions to access due to Israel’s strict permitting system and direct attacks on health workers and facilities as key issues. The right to health is recognized as a fundamental human right that is ultimately the responsibility of the occupying power.


Netanyahu Supports Death Penalty against Palestinians

14 November 2018 TeleSur by Ramzy Baroud—On November 4, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu supported legislation that would make it easier for Israeli courts to issue death sentences against Palestinians accused of carrying out “terrorist” acts.

Israeli parents protest arrests of Palestinian children in central Tel Aviv

22 November 2018 +972 Magazine by Orly Noy—On the International Day for the Rights of the Child, “Parents Against Child Arrests,” a group of Israeli parents, rallied in central Tel Aviv to raise awareness about the conditions of Palestinian minors in Israeli custody. The Israeli media are full of stories of mass arrests of Palestinians in the occupied territories, but the Israeli mainstream rarely hears about Palestinian children who are routinely rounded up from their beds in the middle of the night and taken into detention.

A good discussion of the Lancet Palestinian Health Alliance and its political ramifications

8 November 2018 Middle East Eye by Ghada Karmi—Infiltrating every area of public life in a bid to control the global discourse may well shield Israel’s crimes temporarily – but in the long run, it will only reveal Israel as the villain, including in the realm of health care.

India and Pakistan Prepare for a Nuclear Race (Revelation 8)

Modi government says aware of reports on Pakistan expanding nuke weapons capability

The government Wednesday said it was aware of reports on expansion of Pakistan’s capability for production of fissile material for nuclear weapons and asserted that it was committed to take all necessary steps to respond to any threat “suitably”.

By: PTI December 19, 2018 9:55

The minister said the government was “committed to take all necessary steps to safeguard national security and respond to any threat suitably and adequately”.

The government Wednesday said it was aware of reports on expansion of Pakistan’s capability for production of fissile material for nuclear weapons and asserted that it was committed to take all necessary steps to respond to any threat “suitably”. Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, replying to a question in Lok Sabha, said the government continues to monitor developments in this regard.

“Government is aware of reports on the expansion of Pakistan’s capability for fissile material production for nuclear weapons, the expansion in its delivery capabilities and purported development of tactical nuclear weapons,” she said. The minister said the government was “committed to take all necessary steps to safeguard national security and respond to any threat suitably and adequately”.

To a separate question on whether India has lost any territory as a result of international agreement and wars since independence or whether the country has gained any foreign territory through global pacts or wars during the period, she said the information is being collected form the ministries concerned.



By Tom O’Connor On Tuesday, December 18, 2018 – 13:06

The Russian military’s Strategic Missile Forces launch a Topol intercontinental ballistic missile from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome at the Kura range in Mirny, Arkhangelsk Oblast, Russia, October 26, 2017. Moscow is seeking to enhance its offensive nuclear power in order to deter any potential U.S. attacks.


Russia has announced that its military will hold an exercise of its nuclear forces next year, one of the thousands of drills scheduled after the United States threatened to pull out of a key arms control treaty.

Addressing his ministry’s annual defense board meeting Tuesday, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said that over 18,000 exercises and training sessions were conducted in the past year and that new ones are being planned for 2019. These included the strategic command and staff drill called Center-2019 and the strategic forces Thunder exercise, both designed to test the country’s ability to unleash nuclear attacks, if necessary.

“The Strategic Nuclear Forces are maintained at a level that makes it possible to guarantee nuclear deterrence,” the ministry said in a readout of the meeting. “The task set out in 2017 to bring the Strategic Nuclear Forces to a level of 82 percent modernization has been completed.”

According to the ministry, Shoigu noted that “in contrast to the U.S. deployment of a global missile defense system, the armed forces are increasing their strike potential.” He touted the addition of new strategic carriers for air, land and sea, as well as the development of new nuclear-capable weapons such as the RS-28 Sarmat intercontinental ballistic missile, the Avangard hypersonic glide vehicle and the Kinzhal hypersonic air-launched missile, which were “all guaranteed to overcome the most modern anti-missile systems.”

Both President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin have sought to modernize their nuclear arsenals, the scopes of which have been limited by arms control agreements such as the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty and the 2010 New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, itself a renewal of the earlier START signed between the U.S. and Soviet Union in 1991.

In 2014, however, Washington first accused Moscow of violating the INF through its development of the Novator 9M729 missile system, said to fall within the restricted 310- to 3,400-mile range for land-based nuclear and conventional weapons. Russia has denied this and instead charged the U.S. with breaking the agreement by installing defensive missile systems that could allegedly be used to attack as well.

The Trump administration announced in October that it intended to withdraw from the INF and has reportedly refused to begin negotiations on renewing the New START, which expires in 2021. Putin has vowed to respond by working to “restore balance” in the military sphere and warned during Tuesday’s Russian Defense Ministry meeting that a U.S. exit from the INF “will have the most negative consequences and will noticeably weaken regional and global security.”

“In fact, in the long term, we can talk about the degradation and even collapse of the entire architecture of arms control and the nonproliferation of weapons of mass destruction,” Putin said. “We will be forced to take additional measures to strengthen our security.”

With Russia’s new nuclear-capable weapons said to have demonstrated unprecedented capabilities, Putin added that he hoped those who “got accustomed to militaristic rhetoric” would now be made to “think.” The words echoed his previous speech in March, when—upon revealing his country’s new “super weapons”—he warned rivals who dismissed Russia as a world player that “you will listen to us now.”

Though the U.S. maintains a sizable lead over Russian military power, Putin has sought to close this gap by increasing his country’s strategic offensive prowess and by seeking closer regional relations with countries such as China, India and Pakistan. Russian senators have also reportedly considered easing the country’s nuclear doctrine in response to growing tensions with the Trump administration and its own nuclear vision.

Neither Russia nor the U.S. has agreed to maintain a “no-first-use” policy, and both countries reserve the right to use nuclear weapons pre-emptively.