Trump Finally Gets Something Correct

At joint press conference with British PM Theresa May, Trump says countries are determined to prevent Iran from getting nuclear weapons. Iran’s supreme leader vows to continue resisting U.S. pressure.

U.S. President Donald Trump warned on Tuesday that Iran’s potential acquisition of nuclear weapons, and that of any other rogue country, was a paramount concern to his administration.

“Among the pressing threats facing our nations is the development and spread of nuclear weapons – perhaps that’s our biggest threat,” Trump said during a press conference with British Prime Minister Theresa May following a meeting at her residence.

The United States and the United Kingdom are determined to ensure that Iran never develops nuclear weapons and stops supporting and engaging in terrorism,” he stressed, before adding: “And I believe that will happen.”

Speaking alongside Trump in London, May said the two nations differed on how to limit the threat from Iran.

The U.K. still supports the 2015 international agreement to curb Tehran’s nuclear ambitions, but Trump has withdrawn the U.S. from the deal. “The U.K. continues to stand by the [Iran] nuclear deal. It is clear that we both want to reach the same goal,” May said.

Meanwhile, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said his country will continue resisting U.S. economic and political pressure on his country.

Khamenei spoke Tuesday on the anniversary of the death of Grand Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, founder of the Islamic Republic, in Khomeini’s mausoleum.

Without referring to the U.S. by name, Khamenei said “standing and resisting the enemy’s excessive demands and bullying is the only way to stop him.”

Khamenei added: “Resistance has a cost, but the cost of surrendering to the enemy is higher.”

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said last week the U.S. was willing to talk with Iran “with no preconditions.” Iran has rejected that offer, saying the U.S. must first return to the deal and lift the sanctions it imposed.

A Closer Look At the Sixth Seal (Revelation 6:12)

img_1532A LOOK AT NEW YORK CITY’S EARTHQUAKE RISKS

By Spectrum News NY1 | April 2, 2018 @4:32 PM

Not every New Yorker felt when the ground shook on August 23, 2011.

When a magnitude 5.8 earthquake cracked the soil near Mineral, Virginia that day, the energy traveled through the Northeast.

Some New Yorkers watched their homes tremor, while others felt nothing.

Researchers say New York City is due for a significant earthquake originating near the five boroughs, based on previous smaller earthquakes in and around the city. While New York is at moderate risk for earthquakes, its high population and infrastructure could lead to significant damage when a magnitude 5 quake or stronger hits the area.

Unbeknownst to many, there are numerous fault lines in the city, but a few stand out for their size and prominence: the 125th Street Fault, the Dyckman Street Fault, the Mosholu Parkway Fault, and the East River Fault.

The 125th Street Fault is the largest, running along the street, extending from New Jersey to the East River. Part of it runs to the northern tip of Central Park, while a portion extends into Roosevelt Island.

The Dyckman Street Fault is located in Inwood, crossing the Harlem River and into Morris Heights, while the Mosholu Parkway Fault is north of the Dyckman Street and 125th Street Faults.

The East River Fault looks a bit like an obtuse angle, with its top portion running parallel, to the west of Central Park, before taking a horizontal turn near 32nd St. and extending into the East River and stopping short of Brooklyn.

Just outside of the city is the Dobbs Ferry Fault, located in suburban Westchester; and the Ramapo Fault, running from eastern Pennsylvania to the mid-Hudson Valley, passing within a few miles northwest of the Indian Point Nuclear Plant, less than 40 miles north of the city and astride the intersection of two active seismic zones.

The locations of faults and the prevalence of earthquakes is generally not a concern for most New Yorkers. One reason might be that perceptions of weaker earthquakes vary widely.

On Nov. 30, a magnitude 4.1 earthquake, centered near Dover, Delaware, could be felt in nearby states. Less than 200 miles away in New York City, some people reported on social media that they felt their houses and apartments shaking. At the same time, some New Yorkers, again, did not feel anything:

Won-Young Kim is a senior research scientist at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, which monitors and records data on earthquakes that occur in the northeast. Kim says it’s not clear who feels smaller earthquakes, as evident by a magnitude 0.8 quake in the city in December of 2004.

„Hundreds of people called local police, and police called us. Our system was unable to detect that tiny earthquake automatically,“ Kim said. „We looked at it, and, indeed, there was a small signal.“

Kim says some parts of the city will feel magnitude 1 or 2 earthquakes even if the seismic activity does not result in any damage.

You have to go back to before the 20th Century, however, to find the last significant earthquake that hit the city. According to Lamont-Doherty researchers, magnitude 5.2 earthquakes occurred in 1737 and 1884. In newspaper accounts, New Yorkers described chimneys falling down and feeling the ground shake underneath them.

„1737 — that was located close to Manhattan,“ Kim said. „It was very close to New York City.“

According to Kim, the 1884 quake was felt in areas in or close to the city, such as the Rockaways and Sandy Hook, New Jersey. But it was felt even as far away as Virginia and Maine.

From 1677 to 2007, there were 383 known earthquakes in a 15,000-square-mile area around New York City, researchers at Lamont-Doherty said in a 2008 study.

A 4.9 located in North Central New Jersey was felt in the city in 1783; a 4 hit Ardsley in 1985; and in 2001, magnitude 2.4 and 2.6 quakes were detected in Manhattan itself for the first time.

But the 1737 and 1884 quakes remain the only known ones of at least magnitude 5 to hit the city.

Smaller earthquakes are not to be ignored. Lamont-Doherty researchers say frequent small quakes occur in predictable ratios to larger ones and thus can be used — along with the fault lengths, detected tremors and calculations of how stress builds in the crust — to create a rough time scale.

The takeaway? New York City is due for a significant earthquake.

Researchers say New York City is susceptible to at least a magnitude 5 earthquake once every 100 years, a 6 about every 670 years, and 7 about every 3,400 years.

It’s been 134 years since New York was last hit by at least a magnitude 5. When it happens next, researchers say it won’t be much like 1884.

The city’s earthquake hazard is moderate, according to the New York City Area Consortium for Earthquake Loss Mitigation (NYCEM), but experts agree that, due to its higher population and infrastructure, the damage would be significant.

Before 1995, earthquake risks were not taken into consideration for the city’s building code. Thus, Lamont-Doherty says many older buildings, such as unenforced three- to six-story buildings, could suffer major damage or crumble.

The damage an earthquake causes is also dependent on what’s in the ground. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, bedrock is more resistant to earthquakes than sediment.

The upper third of Manhattan has harder soil that is more resistant to shaking. Parts of Midtown are more susceptible, while Downtown Manhattan’s soil is even softer, according to the NYCEM.

Exceptions to Upper Manhattan’s strength? Portions of Harlem and Inwood — both areas consist of a large amount of soft soil. Central Park has the strongest soil in Manhattan, outside of a small segment of Inwood..

Not all boroughs are created equal. While the Bronx is also made of solid bedrock, the ground in Queens and Brooklyn is softer.

„If you go to Queens and Brooklyn, you have sediment, so there would be more shaking relative to Manhattan,“ Kim said. „So, it’s not easy to say the damage would be the same.“

Analysis pins the damage from a magnitude 5 earthquake hitting New York City in the billions, according to Lamont-Doherty.

New York City is not a hotbed for seismic activity; it is not close to a tectonic plate, and it is not clear if one of the faults would be the source of a strong quake. But the predicted damage to the city has concerned many experts.

Until that day, earthquakes are isolated events for New Yorkers. Some have felt the ground move, while others have only felt shaking when subway cars travel underground.

But researchers agree: One day, the ground will wake up in the city that never sleeps, and all New Yorkers will understand what Mineral, Virginia felt when their homes rattled with the earth.

An Escalation of Violence Outside the Temple Walls (Revelation 11)

Gaza Officials Warn of Escalation Over Israel’s ‘Foot-dragging’ in Implementing Ceasefire Agreements
Hamas’s rocket stockpile will surprise Israel, military commander says

Jack Khoury

Officials in Hamas and other Gaza-based organizations warn of escalation in this week’s planned demonstration along the border fence with Israel, over what they describe as foot-dragging in implementing agreements reached with Israel.
A senior official in the organizing committee of the weekly March of Return demonstrations told Haaretz that Palestinian factions, including Hamas, are demanding the transfer of additional funds from Qatar, a further easing on the import of dual-purpose goods from Israel, meaning goods which can be used for civilian or military purposes, and progressing with humanitarian projects.
Some in Gaza say that although the security situation is calm, their conditionsת other than added hours of electricity and expansion of the fishing zone in the Mediterranean, have not improved since the last round of clashes ended in early May.

A Gaza resident who works for an international aid organization said that ahead of the end of Ramadan, he saw long lines forming outside banks. He said that these were Gazans who were waiting to withdraw money sent to them by relatives abroad for the holiday. “It was a harsh scene, showing that increasing numbers of people are relying on help from their relatives, or on monthly sums of $100 from the Qatari money,” he said. “It’s painful that Gazans are now supported by people in other countries. It’s just getting worse,” he added.
As part of the negotiations with Israel over the last month, Palestinian organizations agreed to keep demonstrators away from the border fence, stop launching incendiary balloons and end the nightly operations meant to disrupt the lives of Israelis living along the border.
Two weeks ago, a day after Israel announced it was expanding the fishing zone as part of the negotiations, Gazans launched incendiary balloons over the border, causing 11 brushfires in Gaza border communities. Israel restricted the fishing zone once again in response, but re-extended it on Tuesday.
Gazans said that the relative quiet was not just a result of the agreements, but because of the daily Ramadan fast, which has ended. A member of the organizing committee told Haaretz that next Friday, demonstrators will return to their nighttime riots near the fence, as well as renewing the balloon launches.

On the Hamas website, the commander of the rocket unit in the military wing of Hamas said that the organization has a stockpile of rockets that will surprise Israel. He added that in the last round of clashes, his organization found a way to overcome the Iron Dome aerial defense system: shooting multiple rockets at one target.
At the same time, there are reports from Gaza and Ramallah that inter-Palestinian reconciliation talks have resumed. A member of the PLO executive committee, Saleh Rafat, said that delegations from Hamas, Fatah and other factions would leave for Cairo after the holiday to attempt to form a unity government, among other reasons.
In early May, factions in Gaza launched nearly 700 rockets into Israel, marking the largest outbreak of violence since the 2014 Gaza war. Four Israelis were killed and 194 wounded by the rockets. The Palestinian Ministry of health reported 25 killed in Gaza, and 177 Palestinians were wounded, mainly by Israeli air strikes. After two days of hostilities, Israel and the Palestinian factions reached a ceasefire agreement, ahead of Israel’s hosting of the Eurovision Song Contest and Israeli Independence Day.

Save the Oil and the Wine (Revelation 6:6)



The true test for Iran sanctions is nearing

By Mohammad Al Asoomi, Special to Gulf News

Oil flow being adjusted at the Soroush oil field south of Tehran. Image Credit: Reuters

Although the US has been seeking to zero out Iranian oil exports from the beginning of May, violations have hampered these efforts, as was expected. According to Reuters data, Iranian oil exports plummeted last month to just 400,000 barrels per day, compared to 1.5 million barrels per day in April.

This means Iran still exports oil using twisted ways, as the governor of the Central Bank of Iran, Abdul Nasser Hamati, said last week, “The US sought to cut down Iran’s sales of oil, but we found a practical way and some methods to get our oil revenues, so that Washington cannot influence it.”

There is certainly exaggeration in Hamati’s statement, but there is also a chance for Iran to bypass the sanctions and find alternative outlets for its smuggled oil. Firstly, thanks to past experiences, Iran has been able to find ways to circumvent sanctions, especially through neighbouring countries, such as Iraq, Afghanistan and others. But maritime cargoes are almost all suspended, with oil tankers loaded at Iranian ports awaiting buyers.

The other possibility is that some countries, which have declared a commitment to boycotting Iranian oil, have not practically done so. They instead found alternative — and crooked ways — to import Iranian oil, or are doing so through regional ports in Iraq by changing certificates of origin, or by smuggling small, but steady, amounts of oil to loading centres.

The other reason for the relatively large volume of exports in May could be to give more time to the mullah regime to think through its destabilising policies in the region, stop interventions in the internal affairs of other countries, as well as reconsider its nuclear and missile program.

In all cases, we are so far facing an incomplete scenario with regard to the depletion of Iran’s oil exports. Observers expect June’s oil export data to become clearer, especially as it coincides with other sanctions coming into effect, covering Iranian metal exports, including aluminium and iron, which are worth $3.5 billion and represent 8.5 per cent of Iran’s total non-oil exports.

This is a significant proportion that would seriously damage a vital sector and an important source of foreign exchange. It would be difficult for Iran to circumvent US sanctions imposed on such sectors. The export of these materials is not as easy as with crude oil, which is available at more than one level.

Even before imposing the sanctions on aluminium and iron exports, Iran’s trade exchange with many countries were severely affected. Being one of Iran’s most important trade partners, Germany’s imports from Iran halved to 340 million euros in the first quarter compared to last year. The number of German companies operating in Iran also dropped by half during the same period to 60 companies.

Excluding metal exports, Iran has another, more important, source of foreign currency — its petrochemical exports, which account for the bulk of total non-oil exports. These are not covered by the US sanctions so far, which throws a lifeline to Iran and help it continue its intransigence against the international community.

It also gives Iran the opportunity to pursue its nuclear and missile programme and interfere in the internal affairs of others. This comes in line with its ideology, which focuses on exporting a revolution that caused enormous losses to the Iranian people who mostly live below the poverty line in a country that enjoys multiple resources.

In the next few weeks, everything will be clear, including the seriousness and impact of US sanctions, and whether or not Iranian oil exports will be cut down to zero. Anyway, the result will be either Iran’s compliance and responding to peace efforts and to international norms, or going ahead with its chauvinist and sectarian agenda.

Dr Mohammad Al Asoomi is a UAE economic expert and specialist in economic and social development in the UAE and the GCC countries.

Hamas Restocks Weapons Outside the Temple Walls (Revelation 11)

Hamas Restocks Weapons Cache, Threatens to Take Aim at Tel Aviv

The Wall Street Journal reports that terrorists in Gaza have already replenished their rocket supply since their last conflict with Israel.

The report says Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) restocked their weapons to the same capacity they had before unloading them on Israeli civilians last month through a combination of Iran smuggling supplies into Gaza and terrorists producing them in the Strip.

US Middle East envoy Jason Greenblatt responded to the report Tuesday saying, “Hamas & Palestinian Islamic Jihad continue to bring misery & suffering to Palestinians in Gaza.”

“Iran provided us with rockets, and we surprised the world when our resistance targeted Beersheba,” Sinwar said in a live TV address.

He was referring to last month’s attack during which Hamas and PIJ fired approximately 700 rockets at Israel.

“Had it not been for Iran, the resistance in Palestine would not have possessed its current capabilities,” Sinwar added.

The Hamas leader then warned that Hamas would take aim at Tel Aviv and other cities with twice as many rockets if Israel “resumes its aggression.”

He also blasted the Trump administration’s upcoming peace plan and said the “conflict will not be over until the occupation is removed from all of our land.”

Israeli and US leaders have repeatedly warned of Iran’s ability to supply terror groups in the Middle East with weapons.

Iran has supplied tens of thousands of rockets to the Hezbollah terror group in Lebanon.