India and Pakistan exchange strikes, raise fears of first nuclear war (Revelation 8)

India and Pakistan exchange strikes, raise fears of nuclear showdown

Gabe Lipton of GZERO MediaFeb 27

India and Pakistan are caught in a dangerous cycle of escalatory violence.

The latest: Pakistan claims to have shot down two Indian fighter aircraft and captured two pilots on Wednesday. This comes after Indian fighter jets screamed across the disputed border with Pakistan earlier in the week and dropped bombs there for the first time since the two countries were at war in 1971. That mission was a direct response to a Pakistan-based terrorist group’s recent killing of 40 Indian police officers on the Indian side of the border.

Are we about to see a major confrontation between these two long-standing, nuclear-armed foes?

• The last time we saw tit-for-tat skirmishes like this was back in 2016, and although that episode subsided, the domestic politics of each country this time around make things more dangerous.

• Driving the news: A big election looms in India and an untested leader now runs Pakistan.

In India, there were immediate calls for retaliation against Pakistan after the initial terror attack, and people took to the streets across the country this week to celebrate Prime Minster Narendra Modi’s decisive action.

• Modi stands to benefit from resolutely handling a national security crisis that distracts from his so-so economic record.

• After all, his BJP party faces a national election in the next few months and is still smarting from setbacks in state-level elections late last year. But using a national security crisis for electoral ends could also put the nationalistic Modi on a path towards escalation.

In Pakistan, the military sought to publicly downplay the extent of the Indian bombing, but also pledged to respond in time.

• On Wednesday, it shelled a number of targets in Indian-controlled Kashmir, and it now has at least one Indian pilot in its possession.

• Pakistan’s relatively new Prime Minister Imran Khan also called an emergency meeting of the body responsible for overseeing the nation’s nuclear arsenal. The message to Delhi: I may be politically inexperienced, but I am keeping all options on the table. So don’t mess around.

The bottom line: India/Pakistan has long been the most hair-raising nuclear standoff in the world. In the face of a real crisis, can two leaders who both have a strong incentive to act tough keep tensions in check?

Pakistan PM Predicts the Coming Nuclear War

Pakistan’s PM Imran Khan warns of nuclear war with India after both sides shoot down warplanes and Kashmir crisis escalates

South China Morning Post

The confrontation represents the first major foreign policy crisis for Pakistani Prime Minister Khan, who is believed to be close to the powerful military and who came to power last year vowing to seek dialogue with New Delhi.

While India has consistently accused its neighbour of supporting extremist groups, Pakistan has vehemently denied any role in attacks in India and its only Muslim-majority state, Kashmir.

Indian border villagers are evacuated from their homes in wake of escalating border tensions between India and Pakistan. Photo: EPA

On the sidelines of trilateral talks with Russia on Wednesday, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi met his Indian counterpart Sushma Swaraj and expressed concern over the escalating conflict.

Other global powers, including the United States and European Union, have also called for calm, while Malaysia issued a travel advisory for its citizens to avoid non-essential travel to the affected areas.

Additional reporting by Agence France-Presse

Israel strikes Hamas outside the Temple Walls (Rev 11:2)

Israel strikes Hamas posts in Gaza after explosive balloon attack

Reprisal comes after airborne explosive device damaged home in Eshkol region earlier in the day

By Judah Ari Gross and TOI staff

27 Feb 2019, 11:55 pm

Israeli jets struck multiple targets in the southern Gaza Strip linked to Hamas late Wednesday, a few hours after an incendiary device from Gaza damaged a home in the Eshkol region.

There were no immediate reports of casualties from the Israeli strikes.

According to Palestinian media reports, several Hamas posts in the southern strip were hit, including one in the Khan Yunis seafront and another outside the city.

Some of the sites hit are believed to belong to Hamas’s Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, the terror group’s armed wing.

The IDF said the strikes were in response for the “explosive balloons.”

“Our fighter jets and helicopters struck a number of Hamas targets in Gaza in response to the explosive balloons that were launched from Gaza earlier tonight and damaged an Israeli home,” the army said.

The army reiterated its position that it holds Hamas responsible for any violence emanating from the Strip.

A few hours earlier, an explosive device flown into Israel from the Gaza Strip detonated outside a home in the Eshkol region, causing damage but no injuries.

The small bomb had been attached to a cluster of balloons and launched toward Israel from the coastal enclave on Wednesday as part of nightly riots along the Gaza border.

Home in the Eshkol Regional Council damaged by an explosive device from Gaza on February 27, 2019. (Eshkol Regional Council)

“A string of balloons carrying an explosive object was spotted traveling from the southern Gaza Strip into Israeli territory. The object apparently exploded in midair and caused damage to a house in a nearby community,” the army said.

Since March 2018, Palestinians in the Gaza Strip have launched thousands of balloons carrying incendiary and explosive devices into Israel, causing wildfires in nearby agricultural fields, forests and nature reserves.

An Israeli policeman watches a fire started by a balloon with attached burning cloth launched by Palestinians from Gaza Strip in Karmia nature reserve park near Israel and Gaza border, Thursday, October 11, 2018. (AP/Tsafrir Abayov)

These arson and bombing attacks largely stopped at the end of last year, in light of a de facto ceasefire between Israel and the Gaza-ruling Hamas terror group, but they returned earlier this month as this understanding began to fray.

Last Tuesday a brush fire in southern Israel was sparked by incendiary balloons from the Gaza Strip.

Wednesday night’s balloon attacks came as hundreds of Palestinians took part in riots along the border of the Gaza Strip near the city of Beit Hanoun.

Demonstrators burned tires, threw rocks and explosives at soldiers and attacked the security fence.

Two of the Shia Horns Meet


AMMAN (Reuters) – Syrian President Bashar al Assad made his first public visit to his closest regional ally Iran since the start of Syria’s war in 2011, meeting Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in Tehran on Monday and championing their alliance, state media reported.

Syrian and Iranian state television showed Assad and Khamenei smiling and embracing. Syrian television said the two leaders agreed “to continue cooperation at all levels for the interests of the two friendly nations”.

Khamenei was quoted as saying the two countries’ military victories in Syria had dealt “a harsh blow” to U.S plans in the region.

Assad regained the upper hand in Syria’s war with the help of Russian air power and Iranian and Lebanese Hezbollah forces, retaking all main cities from rebels and militants backed variously by Western powers and Gulf Arabs.

Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad shakes hands with Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in Tehran, Iran in this handout released by SANA on February 25, 2019. SANA/Handout via REUTERS

Sitting next to Assad was Major General Qassem Soleimani, the head of Iran’s elite Quds Force – an overseas arm of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). He has appeared on frontlines across Syria, where his presence has infuriated Sunni-led insurgents who oppose what they view as Shi’ite Iran’s expansion in the region.

It was Assad’s first known foreign visit other than to Russia since the war began and his first to Tehran since 2010

Iranian-backed Shi’ite militias have expanded their control over mainly Sunni areas around Damascus, southern and eastern Syria that bore the brunt of the heaviest bombardment and led to mass displacement or emigration to neighbouring countries.

Iran’s growing influence in Syria, where it has struck economic and trade deals, has also raised the prospect of a military confrontation with its arch-enemy Israel.

Israel, regarding Iran as its biggest threat, has repeatedly attacked Iranian targets in Syria and those of allied militia, including Lebanon’s Hezbollah.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has threatened to escalate its fight against Iranian aligned forces in Syria after the withdrawal of U.S. troops from the country.

Assad was quoted by Syrian state television as saying that

any escalation by Western powers would not stop Iran and Syria from defending their own interests.

Iranian state media said Khamenei praised Assad as a hero who had strengthened the alliance between Iran, Syria and Hezbollah.

Russian TV lists nuclear targets in U.S.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran sees helping Syria’s government and nation as support for the resistance movement (against Israel) and is deeply proud of doing it,” Khamenei said.

Assad was also briefed by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani about efforts by Russia, Iran and Turkey – supporters of the main sides in the Syrian civil war – to end the conflict.

Syria wants Turkey, which has backed Sunni rebels and carved a sphere of influence in the northwest of the country, to remove its troops from Syrian territory and end its support for rebels.

Efforts have so far failed to make progress towards a political settlement to end a war that has killed hundreds of thousands of people and displaced about half of Syria’s pre-war population of 22 million.

Reporting by Suleiman Al-Khalidi, Additional reporting by Parisa Hafezi.; Editing by Mark Heinrich

Too Little Too Late for the Sixth Seal (Revelation 6:12)

Op-Ed: Indian Point Should Be Decommissioned, Cleaned Up ASAP

The NRC allows nuclear power plants up to 60 years and that’s too long, says the Riverkeeper Staff Attorney.

By Lanning Taliaferro | Jun 13, 2018 10:24 am ET

Riverkeeper submitted its comments on the Annual Report from the State Indian Point Closure Task Force on Friday, June 8, 2018. The report lays out for the public complex issues regarding spent fuel management, current U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission regulations, the radiological contamination of the site, effects on communities and workers, and useful references regarding other reactors that have closed.

It also clarifies that replacement energy is already available even without new gas power plants.

However, on site reuse, the Task Force report fails to examine one of the best options, which would be to decommission and clean up the whole Indian Point site within a reasonable period, such as 20 years. Instead, the Task Force goes into details on options for the reuse of small parcels that are highly constrained and that Entergy has said it will not make available until the site is decommissioned.

The Task Force took this limited approach because the the NRC, which oversees decommissioning, allows nuclear power plants up to 60 years to decommission. However, the NRC is focused on the interests of nuclear licensees, not the local community.

It is therefore necessary and appropriate for the State and its Task Force to act as a champion of local concerns and interests during the forthcoming Indian Point decommissioning process. Experience with decommissioning so far shows that it can be done within 20 years or even faster if the will is there.

A prompt decommissioning and cleanup that would allow reuse of the whole site would be the best option for the local communities on several levels. First, they would need many workers for the task, supporting local businesses. Second, the whole site would yield far more value than trying to segregate small parcels. Third, it would ensure that spent fuel is moved rapidly into safer dry storage and would protect the Hudson River from the radioactive plumes of contamination that are currently under the site.

Although the NRC has exclusive jurisdiction over safety, the State has jurisdiction over economic issues. It could therefore exert state jurisdiction to mandate a prompt decommissioning.

At a more detailed level, Riverkeeper supports the idea of an inclusive Citizens Oversight Board that would work in parallel with the Task Force, but would include a broader range of stakeholders. We also believe it is important to minimize the risks from the long term storage of spent fuel and to consider the risks from the gas pipelines that are on and close to the site.

Maggie Coulter

(The writer is Riverkeeper Staff Attorney)

Global Cooling: The New Nuclear Winter (Revelation 8)

How a nuclear war between India and Pakistan could reverse global warming

by Philip Klein

| February 27, 2019 01:19 PM

We’re at a scary moment internationally as tensions escalate between the nuclear powers of India and Pakistan, and we should all be praying for things to calm down. In addition to the horrible death toll and humanitarian crisis that would follow, according to scientists, a small-scale nuclear war could actually reverse global warming and actually cause devastating global cooling.

To be abundantly clear, what follows isn’t meant as a how-to guide advocating nuclear war as some sort of out-of-the box alternative solution to climate change. It’s meant as a description of the science surrounding how a theoretical regional nuclear war could affect the Earth’s atmosphere, and thus the climate, even for people not directly in the blast radius.

Though they weren’t looking specifically at the current India-Pakistan conflict, in 2011, NASA scientists released a report based on a model that predicted the climate effects of the use of 100 Hiroshima-size bombs in a regional conflict. Though this would not be as intense as full-scale nuclear war between superpowers, such as the threat that existed between the U.S. and USSR during the Cold War, it still would be expected to have a dramatic effect on the climate.

That’s because the bombs would inject up to 5 megatons of black carbon into the upper troposphere, the highest point of the lowest layer of the Earth’s atmosphere. As National Geographic wrote, „In NASA climate models, this carbon then absorbed solar heat and, like a hot-air balloon, quickly lofted even higher, where the soot would take much longer to clear from the sky.“

These carbon clouds were projected to cause temperatures to fall 1 degree Celsius, or 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit, over the first three years, then to as low as 2.25 F before starting to creep back up. Even after 10 years, temperatures would still be expected to be 0.9 F lower than they would have been without the nuclear war.

According to a report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, human activity has caused temperatures to rise 1 C, or 1.8 F, above pre-industrial levels, and that figure is expected to rise to 1.5 C, or 2.7 F, as early as 2030 and as late as 2052.

If the NASA model is correct, climate change from a nuclear war could be much more sudden and severe, and it is also predicted to be associated with a decrease in precipitation.

„Agriculture … would likely be disrupted from the combination of cooler temperatures, less precipitation and decreases in solar radiation reaching the surface,“ the lead scientist on the study, Luke Oman, said. „This would cause widespread interruptions to growing seasons by producing more frequent frosts.“

The result could be famine in parts of the world.

So, for these among other reasons, let’s hope the situation in India and Pakistan de-escalates, as it has when they’ve come to the brink of war in the past.

Israeli bulldozers invade outside the Temple Walls (Revelation 11)

Israeli bulldozers carry out limited invasion into Gaza Strip

PNN/ Gaza/

Israeli military bulldozers on Tuesday morning carried out a limited invasion into the east of Beit Hanoun city in the northern Gaza Strip.

According to local sources, several military bulldozers moved into a limited areas outside the border fence in the city.

In a related context, local sources said  IOF also fired tear gas at farmers near the site of Sufa, east of al-Fakhari village, east of Khan Yunis, in the southern Gaza Strip.

Israel Completes Military Drill Outside the Temple Walls (Rev 11)


The Israel Defense Forces wrapped up a major snap drill on Tuesday simulating a future war in the Gaza Strip.

The military said the three-day exercise included troops from numerous branches of the armed forces, including from infantry units, the Armored Corps and the Israel Air Force. They drilled rapid deployment, live-fire, combined air-ground fighting, maneuvering and providing combat and administrative assistance.

Soldiers also practiced urban warfare techniques, fighting at night and on vehicles such as tanks and armored personnel carries, according to the IDF, which said the exercise took place at the Tzeelim training base in southern Israel

The multi-branch drill was meant to test the capabilities and operational readiness of the forces for a campaign in the Gaza Strip,” a statement from the military said.

IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kohavi joined the drill on Tuesday and afterwards spoke with soldiers and senior officers who took part.

Though a surprise announcement, the military said on Sunday the exercise had been planned in advance as part of its training schedule.

Recent weeks have seen a dramatic increase in the level of violence along the Gaza border, with near nightly riots and a return of airborne arson attacks, which had waned in light of a de facto ceasefire agreement between Israel and the Gaza-ruling Hamas terror group.

The exercise also came amid growing concerns in the military concerning its readiness for war in light of allegations by former military ombudsman Maj. Gen. (res.) Yitzhak Brick that the army, especially its ground troops, were not prepared for a large-scale war.

Last week, the army also tested its automated system for calling up reservists in what it said was a planned exercise aimed at improving preparedness.

Judah Ari Gross contributed to this report.

The Shi’a Horns of Syria and Iran

Syria’s Assad meets Iran’s Supreme Leader in Tehran

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad made his first public visit to his closest regional ally Iran since the start of Syria’s war in 2011, meeting Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in Tehran on Monday and championing their alliance, state media reported.

Syrian and Iranian state television showed Assad and Khamenei smiling and embracing. Syrian television said the two leaders agreed “to continue cooperation at all levels for the interests of the two friendly nations.”

Khamenei was quoted as saying the two countries’ military victories in Syria had dealt “a harsh blow” to US plans in the region.

While Assad expressed his gratitude to Iran for all that it has done for Syria during the conflict, according to the Syrian presidency’s account on the Telegram messaging app.

#Assad in #Iran meeting @Khamnai_ir. #assad is alone in this meeting looks like he was summonsed to #Iran pic.twitter.com/SCHuEXKSBC

— Bassam (@BASSAMPDC) February 25, 2019

During the day, Assad met separately with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.

In pictures published by Iranian and Syrian news agencies, Assad appears without a delegation of his own during his meetings with Khamenei and Rouhani. The commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps, Gen. Qassem Soleimani, can be seen pictured during both meetings.

Soleimani has become known as a prominent figure in Iran’s foreign military missions in Iraq and Syria.

Assad regained the upper hand in Syria’s war with the help of Russian air power and Iranian and Lebanese Hezbollah forces, retaking all main cities from rebels and militants.

It was Assad’s first known foreign visit other than to Russia since the war began and his first to Tehran since 2010.

Iranian-backed Shiite militias have expanded their control over mainly Sunni areas around Damascus, southern and eastern Syria that bore the brunt of the heaviest bombardment and led to mass displacement or emigration to neighboring countries.

Iran’s growing influence in Syria, where it has struck economic and trade deals, has also raised the prospect of a military confrontation with its arch-enemy Israel.

Israel, regarding Iran as its biggest threat, has repeatedly attacked Iranian targets in Syria and those of allied militia, including Lebanon’s Hezbollah.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has threatened to escalate its fight against Iranian aligned forces in Syria after the withdrawal of US troops from the country.

Assad was quoted by Syrian state television as saying that any escalation by Western powers would not stop Iran and Syria from defending their own interests.

Iranian state media said Khamenei praised Assad as a hero who had strengthened the alliance between Iran, Syria and Hezbollah.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran sees helping Syria’s government and nation as support for the resistance movement (against Israel) and is deeply proud of doing it,” Khamenei said.

Assad was also briefed by Rouhani about efforts by Russia, Iran and Turkey – supporters of the main sides in the Syrian civil war – to end the conflict.

Syria wants Turkey, which has backed Sunni rebels and carved a sphere of influence in the northwest of the country, to remove its troops from Syrian territory and end its support for rebels.

Efforts have so far failed to make progress towards a political settlement to end a war that has killed hundreds of thousands of people and displaced about half of Syria’s pre-war population of 22 million.

Last Update: Tuesday, 26 February 2019 KSA 01:04 – GMT 22:04

The Sixth Seal Long Overdue (Revelation 6:12)

ON THE MAP; 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

Photo: Alexander Gates, a Rutgers geologist, is mapping a part of the Ramapo Fault, site of previous earthquakes. (John W. Wheeler for The New York Times)