Another Child Killed Outside the Temple Walls (Revelation 11)

12-YEAR-OLD PALESTINIAN KILLED AS THOUSANDS RIOT ALONG THE GAZA BORDER

By JERUSALEM POST STAFF

Tear gas canisters are fired by Israeli troops toward Palestinians during a protest at the Israel-Gaza border fence, in the southern Gaza Strip February 22, 2019. (photo credit:“ REUTERS/IBRAHEEM ABU MUSTAFA)

About 8,000 Palestinian rioters gathered at several points Gaza border fence, hurling stones, and setting tires aflame on Friday.

A number of improvised explosive devices and grenades were thrown as troops responded with crowd dispersal measures, as well as live fire, according to the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit.

One 12-year-old Palestinian was killed from IDF fire, while ten more were injured, according to Palestinian media reports.

Pakistan Prepares for the First Nuclear War (Revelation 8)

Pakistan readies military, hospitals for war with its nuclear rival India after Pulwama terror attack

AP/Fareed Khan

Pakistan has readied its military and alerted its hospitals to stand by to receive wounded troops as tensions rise in anticipation of war with its nuclear rival, India. 

• A Pakistan-based Muslim separatist group carried out a massive terror attack in Indian-administered Kashmir, a contested region the two countries have already fought two wars over.

India and Pakistan both built nuclear arsenals to counter each other and now appear to be on the brink of war.

• Statements from China and the US indicate the two larger nuclear powers may already be picking sides in a potential fight. 

Pakistan has readied its military and alerted its hospitals to stand by to receive wounded troops as tensions rise after India, its nuclear rival and neighbor, unleashed its military to exact vengeance after a terror attack in Kashmir left 44 dead.

India and Pakistan both claim the border region of Kashmir but administer different parts of the disputed territory the countries have already fought two wars over.

The Muslim separatist group Jaish-e-Mohammed, which is based in Pakistan, took responsibility for the terror attack, but India has accused Pakistan of having official involvement.

Reuters

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi responded to the attack by saying his country’s „blood boils“ and he had set the military free to respond however it saw fit.

Pakistan then wrote to hospitals on February 20 to arrange a plan for medical support in the event that fighting breaks out, The Times of India reported.

The letter called for hospitals to earmark 25% of their beds for injured soldiers, to prepare to expand their capacity to house patients, and to plan on shifting them around and away from the front lines during fighting, according to The Times of India.

„We have no intention to initiate war, but we will respond with full force to full spectrum threat that would surprise you,“ Pakistan army spokesman Major General Asif Ghafoor told Reuters from the city of Rawalpindi. „Don’t mess with Pakistan.“

Nuclear rivals on the brink

Anjum Naveed/AP

The UN on Friday „condemned in the strongest terms the heinous and cowardly suicide bombing“ in Kashmir and called out Jaish-e-Mohammed by name.

Pakistan banned Jaish-e-Mohammed in 2002, but it knew exactly where to find the terror group on Friday. Authorities „took control“ of the terror group in Bahawalpur and appointed an administrator to look after its affairs, according to its government.

Jaish-e-Mohammed headquarters hosted a seminary with 600 students and 70 teachers, it said. 

The Kashmir issue and other regional issues have kept India and Pakistan on the edge of war for decades, but in recent years things have taken a turn for the worse.

Today, both Pakistan and India have grown in nationalist fervor, with online militias on Facebook and elsewhere lusting for blood and mocking each other’s militaries and nations.

India and Pakistan developed nuclear arsenals to deter each other from fighting, but small cross-border raids and violence have been common for years.

Furthermore, both Pakistan and India’s nuclear-armed backers have taken sides in the conflict already. 

China and US picking sides?

REUTERS/B Mathur

China tried to block the UN statement condemning Jaish-e-Mohammed and bizarrely downplayed the statement in its state-run media while the US national security adviser to President Donald Trump, John Bolton, defended India’s right to self-defense and called for Pakistan to crack down on the group, suggesting Pakistan provided a safe haven for terrorists.

Pakistan infamously hosted Osama Bin Laden for years before a 2011 US raid took him out in Abbottabad. Iran blamed a terror attack that killed 27 members of its elite Revolutionary Guards on a Pakistan man in February. 

India’s Modi seeks reelection this year and has built a name for himself as a strong Hindu nationalist. Christopher Clary, an international-affairs expert and professor at the Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy at the University of Albany, previously told Business Insider the situation could quickly spiral out of control because of political pressure on both sides.

„We don’t have that many countries with nuclear weapons that share a common border, so things can get pretty hairy,“ said Clary.

The Sixth Seal Will be in New York (Rev 6:12)

Earthquakes Can Happen in More Places Than You Think

By Simon Worrall

PUBLISHED AUGUST 26, 2017

Half a million earthquakes occur worldwide each year, according to an estimate by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). Most are too small to rattle your teacup. But some, like the 2011 quake off the coast of Japan or last year’s disaster in Italy, can level high-rise buildings, knock out power, water and communications, and leave a lifelong legacy of trauma for those unlucky enough to be caught in them.

In the U.S., the focus is on California’s San Andreas fault, which geologists suggest has a nearly one-in-five chance of causing a major earthquake in the next three decades. But it’s not just the faults we know about that should concern us, says Kathryn Miles, author of Quakeland: On the Road to America’s Next Devastating Earthquake. As she explained when National Geographic caught up with her at her home in Portland, Maine, there’s a much larger number of faults we don’t know about—and fracking is only adding to the risks.

When it comes to earthquakes, there is really only one question everyone wants to know: When will the big one hit California?

That’s the question seismologists wish they could answer, too! One of the most shocking and surprising things for me is just how little is actually known about this natural phenomenon. The geophysicists, seismologists, and emergency managers that I spoke with are the first to say, “We just don’t know!”

What we can say is that it is relatively certain that a major earthquake will happen in California in our lifetime. We don’t know where or when. An earthquake happening east of San Diego out in the desert is going to have hugely different effects than that same earthquake happening in, say, Los Angeles. They’re both possible, both likely, but we just don’t know.

One of the things that’s important to understand about San Andreas is that it’s a fault zone. As laypeople we tend to think about it as this single crack that runs through California and if it cracks enough it’s going to dump the state into the ocean. But that’s not what’s happening here. San Andreas is a huge fault zone, which goes through very different types of geological features. As a result, very different types of earthquakes can happen in different places.

There are other places around the country that are also well overdue for an earthquake. New York City has historically had a moderate earthquake approximately every 100 years. If that is to be trusted, any moment now there will be another one, which will be devastating for that city.

As Charles Richter, inventor of the Richter Scale, famously said, “Only fools, liars and charlatans predict earthquakes.” Why are earthquakes so hard to predict? After all, we have sent rockets into space and plumbed the depths of the ocean.

You’re right: We know far more about distant galaxies than we do about the inner workings of our planet. The problem is that seismologists can’t study an earthquake because they don’t know when or where it’s going to happen. It could happen six miles underground or six miles under the ocean, in which case they can’t even witness it. They can go back and do forensic, post-mortem work. But we still don’t know where most faults lie. We only know where a fault is after an earthquake has occurred. If you look at the last 100 years of major earthquakes in the U.S., they’ve all happened on faults we didn’t even know existed.

Earthquakes 101

Earthquakes are unpredictable and can strike with enough force to bring buildings down. Find out what causes earthquakes, why they’re so deadly, and what’s being done to help buildings sustain their hits.

Fracking is a relatively new industry. Many people believe that it can cause what are known as induced earthquakes. What’s the scientific consensus?

The scientific consensus is that a practice known as wastewater injection undeniably causes earthquakes when the geological features are conducive. In the fracking process, water and lubricants are injected into the earth to split open the rock, so oil and natural gas can be retrieved. As this happens, wastewater is also retrieved and brought back to the surface.

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Different states deal with this in different ways. Some states, like Pennsylvania, favor letting the wastewater settle in aboveground pools, which can cause run-off contamination of drinking supplies. Other states, like Oklahoma, have chosen to re-inject the water into the ground. And what we’re seeing in Oklahoma is that this injection is enough to shift the pressure inside the earth’s core, so that daily earthquakes are happening in communities like Stillwater. As our technology improves, and both our ability and need to extract more resources from the earth increases, our risk of causing earthquakes will also rise exponentially.

After Fukushima, the idea of storing nuclear waste underground cannot be guaranteed to be safe. Yet President Trump has recently green-lighted new funds for the Yucca Mountain site in Nevada. Is that wise?

The issue with Fukushima was not about underground nuclear storage but it is relevant. The Tohoku earthquake, off the coast of Japan, was a massive, 9.0 earthquake—so big that it shifted the axis of the earth and moved the entire island of Japan some eight centimeters! It also created a series of tsunamis, which swamped the Fukushima nuclear power plant to a degree the designers did not believe was possible.

Here in the U.S., we have nuclear plants that are also potentially vulnerable to earthquakes and tsunamis, above all on the East Coast, like Pilgrim Nuclear, south of Boston, or Indian Point, north of New York City. Both of these have been deemed by the USGS to have an unacceptable level of seismic risk. [Both are scheduled to close in the next few years.]

Yucca Mountain is meant to address our need to store the huge amounts of nuclear waste that have been accumulating for more than 40 years. Problem number one is getting it out of these plants. We are going to have to somehow truck or train these spent fuel rods from, say, Boston, to a place like Yucca Mountain, in Nevada. On the way it will have to go through multiple earthquake zones, including New Madrid, which is widely considered to be one of the country’s most dangerous earthquake zones.

Yucca Mountain itself has had seismic activity. Ultimately, there’s no great place to put nuclear waste—and there’s no guarantee that where we do put it is going to be safe.

The psychological and emotional effects of an earthquake are especially harrowing. Why is that?

This is a fascinating and newly emerging subfield within psychology, which looks at the effects of natural disasters on both our individual and collective psyches. Whenever you experience significant trauma, you’re going to see a huge increase in PTSD, anxiety, depression, suicide, and even violent behaviors.

What seems to make earthquakes particularly pernicious is the surprise factor. A tornado will usually give people a few minutes, if not longer, to prepare; same thing with hurricanes. But that doesn’t happen with an earthquake. There is nothing but profound surprise. And the idea that the bedrock we walk and sleep upon can somehow become liquid and mobile seems to be really difficult for us to get our heads around.

Psychologists think that there are two things happening. One is a PTSD-type loop where our brain replays the trauma again and again, manifesting itself in dreams or panic attacks during the day. But there also appears to be a physiological effect as well as a psychological one. If your readers have ever been at sea for some time and then get off the ship and try to walk on dry land, they know they will look like drunkards. [Laughs] The reason for this is that the inner ear has habituated itself to the motion of the ship. We think the inner ear does something similar in the case of earthquakes, in an attempt to make sense of this strange, jarring movement.

After the Abruzzo quake in Italy, seven seismologists were actually tried and sentenced to six years in jail for failing to predict the disaster. Wouldn’t a similar threat help improve the prediction skills of American seismologists?

[Laughs] The scientific community was uniform in denouncing that action by the Italian government because, right now, earthquakes are impossible to predict. But the question of culpability is an important one. To what degree do we want to hold anyone responsible? Do we want to hold the local meteorologist responsible if he gets the weather forecast wrong? [Laughs]

What scientists say—and I don’t think this is a dodge on their parts—is, “Predicting earthquakes is the Holy Grail; it’s not going to happen in our lifetime. It may never happen.” What we can do is work on early warning systems, where we can at least give people 30 or 90 seconds to make a few quick decisive moves that could well save your life. We have failed to do that. But Mexico has had one in place for years!

There is some evidence that animals can predict earthquakes. Is there any truth to these theories?

All we know right now is anecdotal information because this is so hard to test for. We don’t know where the next earthquake is going to be so we can’t necessarily set up cameras and observe the animals there. So we have to rely on these anecdotal reports, say, of reptiles coming out of the ground prior to a quake. The one thing that was recorded here in the U.S. recently was that in the seconds before an earthquake in Oklahoma huge flocks of birds took flight. Was that coincidence? Related? We can’t draw that correlation yet.

One of the fascinating new approaches to prediction is the MyQuake app. Tell us how it works—and why it could be an especially good solution for Third World countries.

The USGS desperately wants to have it funded. The reluctance appears to be from Congress. A consortium of universities, in conjunction with the USGS, has been working on some fascinating tools. One is a dense network of seismographs that feed into a mainframe computer, which can take all the information and within nanoseconds understand that an earthquake is starting.

MyQuake is an app where you can get up to date information on what’s happening around the world. What’s fascinating is that our phones can also serve as seismographs. The same technology that knows which way your phone is facing, and whether it should show us an image in portrait or landscape, registers other kinds of movement. Scientists at UC Berkeley are looking to see if they can crowd source that information so that in places where we don’t have a lot of seismographs or measuring instruments, like New York City or Chicago or developing countries like Nepal, we can use smart phones both to record quakes and to send out early warning notices to people.

You traveled all over the U.S. for your research. Did you return home feeling safer?

I do not feel safer in the sense that I had no idea just how much risk regions of this country face on a daily basis when it comes to seismic hazards. We tend to think of this as a West Coast problem but it’s not! It’s a New York, Memphis, Seattle, or Phoenix problem. Nearly every major urban center in this country is at risk of a measurable earthquake.

What I do feel safer about is knowing what I can do as an individual. I hope that is a major take-home message for people who read the book. There are so many things we should be doing as individuals, family members, or communities to minimize this risk: simple things from having a go-bag and an emergency plan amongst the family to larger things like building codes.

We know that a major earthquake is going to happen. It’s probably going to knock out our communications lines. Phones aren’t going to work, Wi-Fi is going to go down, first responders are not going to be able to get to people for quite some time. So it is beholden on all of us to make sure we can survive until help can get to us.

This interview was edited for length and clarity.

Antichrist Amps Up Iraqi Cooperation


As Iraq’s government formation continues to stall, the country’s two main political movements — Fatah and Sairoon — are teaming up to take control of the political scene and to prevent progress from being stalled by infighting with smaller parties.

The Iraqi political scene is known to be one of continuous crises. Political parties are addicted to them, often dealing with crises by creating bigger ones so they can forget the previous ones. They postpone any decision related to the previous crises and deal only with the one at hand. However, after the formation of the current government Oct. 24, political crises have been few and far between, perhaps due to the fact that President Barham Salih works in full sync with Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi and parliament Speaker Mohammed al-Halbusi. All three cooperate on policy issues, and the president deals with crises that erupt, as he did when he mediated a dispute between the Hikma political coalition and the paramilitary group turned political movement Asaib Ahl al-Haq. At the same time, the prime minister does not interfere with the daily political issues that concern the political blocs, keeping his distance and leaving them on their own to deal with these subjects.

Yet the slow government formation process has disturbed the calm seas of politics. The country’s two largest parliamentary blocs — Islah and Al-Binaa — have failed to agree on who will head the three ministries that remain without a minister, namely the Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Defense and Ministry of Justice. Sairoon is part of the Islah bloc, and Fatah is part of the Al-Binaa grouping. The political wrangling among the parties within the blocs has meant failure to reach consensus over a single candidate for each ministry. The government is also slow in the implementation of its program as it is waiting for the completion of the Cabinet. It is also waiting on the appointments of high-ranking positions, such as heads of independent commissions, deputy ministers and director generals of many of the ministries.

The Fatah movement headed by Hadi al-Amiri and the Sairoon movement headed by Muqtada al-Sadr have engaged in covert negotiations for some time to reach an agreement on how to cross to the next phase of politics. On Feb. 11, representatives of the two movements met publicly and announced an agreement between them. Amiri, speaking at a press conference following the meeting between the two sides, said they had “formed a joint committee between Sairoon and Fatah to discuss [with our partners] the completion of the Cabinet formation, the appointment of independent commissions and remaining institutions, and the subject of local governments and services.” He also added, “We have not discussed names of any [potential ministers for the vacant posts], but will do so in the first parliament session.”

This new agreement between Fatah and Sairoon — without the participation of bloc partners such as the Hikma Movement headed by Ammar al-Hakim, who is also head of the Islah bloc, and Al-Binaa bloc member State of Law, headed by former Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki — is a significant development. It seems that both movements, Fatah and Sairoon, have come to realization that they are unable to settle the issue of which will be the largest bloc, and meanwhile the smaller parties within them are taking advantage of this. The smaller parties hold the key for completing a quorum for any session if there are disagreements between Islah and Al-Binaa and are holding the blocs hostage. Fatah and Sairoon also face problems from the Sunni blocs, as they jump from one side to the other whenever it suits them, requiring more compromise to satisfy the Sunnis.

So both Fatah and Sairoon decided to set aside their differences for now to move on with the government completion. After all, it was these two who jointly nominated Mahdi to become prime minister and they both voted for his Cabinet. They feel obliged to see the Cabinet completed, given the major challenges they face in the coming months. At the same time, the two movements want to show that they are the main political force on the Iraqi scene — the days of Dawa, Hikma and others dominating the arena are over, according to Fatah and Sairoon’s thinking.

Political observers predict that a Fatah-Sairoon coalition will try to replace the National Alliance that was formed in the past and contained all Shiite parties. Fatah and Sairoon will likely work to entice both Hikma and State of Law to join as junior partners. Fatah and Sairoon might also try to attract Sunni and Kurdish groupings to complete the picture and form the largest bloc in parliament. On the other hand, there are those who think that no new blocs will be announced, but that this level of cooperation between Fatah-Sairoon will continue for the time being in order to deal with the multiple challenges ahead. Many holding the view that no new blocs will be forthcoming say they think the Fatah-Sairoon alliance will disappear with the first signs of trouble.

There are multiple challenges ahead. The political elite must tackle these challenges head on or else they will face a tough and hot summer, especially since there seems to be no solution in place to deal with the chronic issues of electricity shortages and lack of services in the main cities of the south, specifically in Basra.

The war on the Islamic State (IS) is going to cast its shadow over Iraq. It is widely reported that thousands of IS fighters have crossed the Syrian border to come to Iraq. They represent a real threat to Iraq’s stability. Baghdad, however, did score a big win against the terror group this week when Iraqi security forces broke up a cell funding IS. At the same time, the issue of troop withdrawals by coalition partners or the suspension of the Strategic Framework Agreement needs to be dealt with as soon as possible. Iraqi army generals and military men think that Iraqi armed forces are not fully ready to deal with the IS threat on their own, at least for the time being.

The US efforts to contain Iran by imposing economic sanctions put Iraq between a rock and hard place. The Iraqis understand that the US-Iran crises have little to do with them — these crises extend to Syria, Lebanon, Yemen and the Gulf, and Iraq has little to gain from them and plenty to lose. It is going to be tough to stay neutral in a struggle where both sides expect you to be on their side one way or another.

Fatah and Sairoon need to think very carefully about how to deal with these challenges in the coming weeks and months. They need to make sure they don’t mix the long-term interests of Iraq with local party-politics antics, and they need to figure out how to get the government to deliver on the services and promises it made to the people; otherwise this summer could become a season of fire and fury.

Farhad Alaaldin is the political advisor to Iraqi President Barham Salih and served as political advisor to former President Fuad Masum from 2014 to 2018. Prior to this period, he was the Chief of Staff for the Kurdish Regional Government prime minister from 2009 until 2011, then senior advisor to the KRG prime minister from 2011 till 2012. Farhad is also Executive Director  of RCD-English, and a member of the RCD board of directors. He is a writer and observer on current political affairs of Iraq and Kurdistan and holds a master’s degree in Leading Innovation and Change from York St. John University.

Russia Ready to Strike Babylon the Great

Moscow ready to cut time for nuclear strike on US if necessary: Putin

But in his toughest remarks yet on a potential new arms race, he said Russia’s reaction to any deployment would be resolute and that U.S. policymakers, some of whom he accused of being obsessed with U.S. exceptionalism, should calculate the risks …

Feb 21, 2019, 11.04 AM IST

MOSCOW: Moscow will match any U.S. move to deploy new nuclear missiles closer to Russia by stationing its own missiles closer to the United States or by deploying faster missiles or both, President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday.

In Washington, the U.S. State Department dismissed Putin’s comments as „propaganda designed to divert attention from what Washington alleges are Moscow’s violations of the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty.

Putin said Russia was not seeking confrontation and would not take the first step to deploy missiles in response to Washington’s decision this month to quit a landmark Cold War-era arms control treaty.

But in his toughest remarks yet on a potential new arms race, he said Russia’s reaction to any deployment would be resolute and that U.S. policymakers, some of whom he accused of being obsessed with U.S. exceptionalism, should calculate the risks before taking any steps.

„It’s their right to think how they want. But can they count? I’m sure they can. Let them count the speed and the range of the weapons systems we are developing,“ Putin told Russia’s political elite to strong applause.

„Russia will be forced to create and deploy types of weapons which can be used not only in respect of those territories from which the direct threat to us originates, but also in respect of those territories where the centres of decision-making are located,“ he said.

„These weapons, by their tactical and technical specifications, including their flight time to the command centres I’m talking about, will fully correspond to the threats that will be directed against Russia.“

The U.S. State Department said Washington was not developing „exotic new nuclear weapons delivery systems“ and repeated its claim that Russia violates the INF treaty while the United States does not.

„President Putin’s remarks are a continuation of Russia’s propaganda effort to avoid responsibility for Russia’s actions in violation of the INF Treaty,“ added a State Department spokeswoman on condition of anonymity.

Russian nuclear missiles already target the United States and vice versa.

Putin’s statement is likely to evoke memories of the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962 when the then Soviet Union responded to a U.S. missile deployment in Turkey by sending ballistic missiles to Cuba, sparking a standoff that brought the world to the brink of nuclear war.

Washington said this month it was suspending its obligations under the 1987 INF treaty because of what it said were Moscow’s violations, starting the process of quitting it and untying its hands to develop new missiles.

FLIGHT TIME

Any U.S. move to place new missiles in Europe would cut the time it took some U.S. missiles to reach Moscow to 10-12 minutes, Putin said, something he called a serious threat.

Such a scenario, if left unmatched, would open up the possibility of Russia being hit by a nuclear strike before its own missiles fired in response could reach U.S. territory.

The Russian land-based missiles that currently target the United States are based on Russian territory and therefore the flight time to major U.S. population centres would be longer than for U.S. missiles deployed in Europe.

Putin did not confirm how, technically, Russia would deploy missiles with a shorter strike time. Possible options include deploying them on the soil of an ally near U.S. territory, deploying faster missiles on submarines, or using one of the hypersonic weapons Moscow says it has under development.

In his speech on Wednesday, Putin said that a submarine capable of carrying a new underwater drone with nuclear strike capability, which is called Poseidon, would be launched this spring, and also spoke of the successful development of a new hypersonic missile called Tsirkon.

Russian state television on Wednesday broadcast footage of Poseidon being tested for the first time, the RIA news agency reported.

TREATY WITHDRAWAL

The INF Treaty banned Russia and the United States from stationing short- and intermediate-range, land-based missiles in Europe and its demise raises the prospect of a new arms race between Washington and Moscow, which denies flouting the treaty.

Putin responded to the U.S. move by saying Russia would mirror Washington’s actions by suspending its own obligations and quitting the pact.

But the Russian leader, who has sometimes used bellicose rhetoric to talk up Russia’s standoff with the West, did not up the ante.

He did not announce new missile deployments, said money for new systems must come from existing budget funds and declared that Moscow would not deploy new land-based missiles in Europe or elsewhere unless Washington did so first.

On Wednesday, he made clear however that he was ready, reluctantly, to escalate if the United States escalated and that Russia was continuing to actively develop weapons and missile systems to ensure it was well prepared for such an eventuality.

Putin said Russia wanted good ties with the United States, but was ready with its defensive response if necessary.

„We know how to do this and we will implement these plans immediately, as soon as the corresponding threats to us become a reality.“