The Sixth Seal Will Be On The East (Revelation 6:12)

New Evidence Shows Power of East Coast Earthquakes

Virginia Earthquake Triggered Landslides at Great Distances

Released: 11/6/2012 8:30:00 AM

“We used landslides as an example and direct physical evidence to see how far-reaching shaking from east coast earthquakes could be,” said Randall Jibson, USGS scientist and lead author of this study. “Not every earthquake will trigger landslides, but we can use landslide distributions to estimate characteristics of earthquake energy and how far regional ground shaking could occur.”

“Scientists are confirming with empirical data what more than 50 million people in the eastern U.S. experienced firsthand: this was one powerful earthquake,” said USGS Director Marcia McNutt. “Calibrating the distance over which landslides occur may also help us reach back into the geologic record to look for evidence of past history of major earthquakes from the Virginia seismic zone.”

This study will help inform earthquake hazard and risk assessments as well as emergency preparedness, whether for landslides or other earthquake effects.

The research is being presented today at the Geological Society of America conference, and will be published in the December 2012 issue of the Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America.

The USGS found that the farthest landslide from the 2011 Virginia earthquake was 245 km (150 miles) from the epicenter. This is by far the greatest landslide distance recorded from any other earthquake of similar magnitude. Previous studies of worldwide earthquakes indicated that landslides occurred no farther than 60 km (36 miles) from the epicenter of a magnitude 5.8 earthquake.

“What makes this new study so unique is that it provides direct observational evidence from the largest earthquake to occur in more than 100 years in the eastern U.S,” said Jibson. “Now that we know more about the power of East Coast earthquakes, equations that predict ground shaking might need to be revised.”

It is estimated that approximately one-third of the U.S. population could have felt last year’s earthquake in Virginia, more than any earthquake in U.S. history. About 148,000 people reported their ground-shaking experiences caused by the earthquake on the USGS “Did You Feel It?” website. Shaking reports came from southeastern Canada to Florida and as far west as Texas.

In addition to the great landslide distances recorded, the landslides from the 2011 Virginia earthquake occurred in an area 20 times larger than expected from studies of worldwide earthquakes. Scientists plotted the landslide locations that were farthest out and then calculated the area enclosed by those landslides. The observed landslides from last year’s Virginia earthquake enclose an area of about 33,400 km2, while previous studies indicated an expected area of about 1,500 km2 from an earthquake of similar magnitude.

“The landslide distances from last year’s Virginia earthquake are remarkable compared to historical landslides across the world and represent the largest distance limit ever recorded,” said Edwin Harp, USGS scientist and co-author of this study. “There are limitations to our research, but the bottom line is that we now have a better understanding of the power of East Coast earthquakes and potential damage scenarios.”

Learn more about the 2011 central Virginia earthquake.

The Asian Nuclear Horns Increase (Daniel 8:8)

Pakistan, China increase nuclear weapons, India maintains status quo

Zee Media Bureau Jun 17, 2019, 08:46 AM IST,

While six countries have either reduced or maintained the same number of nuclear weapons in their arsenal in the beginning of 2019 compared to 2018, four countries – China, Pakistan, Israel and North Korea – have increased the number of bombs. 

Pakistan and China continue to produce nuclear weapons and have increased their stockpile in the last one year even as India has maintained the same number in its arsenal as it had in the beginning of 2018. While Pakistan has approximately 150-160 nuclear weapons in its arsenal, China boasts of 290 with India having just 130-140 bombs, according to The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) Yearbook 2019 released on Monday.

China possessed 280 nuclear bombs in the beginning of 2019 but has now increased it to 290. Similarly, Pakistan’s stockpile has gone up from 140-150 to 150-160, Israel 80 to 80-90 and North Korea has doubled its arsenal from 10-20 to 20-30.

On the other hand, India has 130-140 nuclear bombs, the same number that it had at the start of 2018.

“China, India and Pakistan are increasing the size of their nuclear arsenals. ‘India and Pakistan are expanding their military fissile material production capabilities on a scale that may lead to significant increases in the size of their nuclear weapon inventories over the next decade,” says Shannon Kile, Director of SIPRI’s Nuclear Disarmament, Arms Control and Non-proliferation Programme.

But The SIPRI Yearbook 2019 claims that the number of nuclear weapons in the beginning of 2019 has actually decreased from 2018. Nine countries – the United States of America, Russia, the United Kingdom, France, China, India, Pakistan, Israel and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea) – have approximately 13,865 nuclear weapons, which is a decrease of 600 from the number of bombs (14,465) at the start of 2018.

“The decrease in the overall number of nuclear weapons in the world is due mainly to Russia and the USA – which together still account for over 90 per cent of all nuclear weapons – further reducing their strategic nuclear forces pursuant to the implementation of the 2010 Treaty on Measures for the Further Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms (New START) while also making unilateral reductions. In 2018, Russia and the USA announced that they had achieved the final New START force reduction limits by the specified deadline,” the report states.

Country Deployed warheads* Other warheads** Total 2019 Total 2018
USA 1 750 4 435 6 185 6 450
Russia 1 600 4 900 6 500 6 850
UK 120 80 200 215
France 280 20 300 300
China 290 290 280
India 130–140 130–140 130–140
Pakistan 150–160 150–160 140–150
Israel 80-90 80–90 80
North Korea .. .. (20–30) (10–20)
Total 3 750 10 115 13 865 14 465

Source: SIPRI Yearbook 2019
* ‘Deployed warheads’ refers to warheads placed on missiles or located on bases with operational forces.
** ‘Other warheads’ refers to stored or reserve warheads and retired warheads awaiting dismantlement. 

While six countries have either reduced or maintained the same number of nuclear weapons in their arsenal in the beginning of 2019 compared to 2018, four countries – China, Pakistan, Israel and North Korea – have increased the number of bombs.

A total of 3,750 nuclear weapons out of the13,865 bombs are deployed with operational forces and almost 2,000 are in a state of high operational alert.

New START will expire in 2021 unless both parties agree to extend it. There are currently no discussions about extending New START or negotiating a follow-on treaty. ‘The prospects for a continuing negotiated reduction of Russian and US nuclear forces appears increasingly unlikely given the political and military differences between the two countries,’ says Shannon Kile, Director of SIPRI’s Nuclear Disarmament, Arms Control and Non-proliferation Programme.

Both Russia and the USA have extensive and expensive programmes underway to replace and modernize their nuclear warheads, missile and aircraft delivery systems, and nuclear weapon production facilities. In 2018, the US Department of Defense set out plans to develop new nuclear weapons and modify others to give them expanded military roles and missions.

Indian Point to test emergency sirens before the Sixth Seal (Revelation 6:12)

Indian Point to test emergency sirens Tuesday evening in Lower Hudson Valley

THOMAS C. ZAMBITO | ROCKLAND/WESTCHESTER JOURNAL NEWS
Indian Point will sound its sirens throughout the Lower Hudson Valley Tuesday evening as part of the nuclear power plant’s regular testing of its emergency warning system.
Sirens will sound at full volume for four minutes beginning at 6 p.m. in Putnam, Orange, Westchester and Rockland counties.
Entergy, Indian Point’s owner, is required to test the plant’s warning system four times a year, including once during evening hours.
In the event of an actual emergency, residents would be directed to tune in to local radio or television stations for more information after the sirens are activated.

Antichrist threatens to withdraw support for Abdul Mahdi’s government

Iraqi cleric Al-Sadr threatens to withdraw support for Abdul Mahdi’s government

BAGHDAD: Moqtada Al-Sadr, the powerful Iraqi Shiite cleric, on Monday threatened to withdraw his support for the government of Adel Abdul Mahdi if the prime minister fails to finalize the formation of his Cabinet within 10 days.
Al-Sadr is one of the most influential clerics in the country, with millions of followers, a large armed faction and a parliamentary bloc. He is the official sponsor of the Reform Alliance, the second-largest parliamentary coalition, which is overseeing the formation of the government following the national parliamentary elections in May last year. The removal of his support for Abdul Mahdi’s government might take the form of an announcement that he no longer has confidence in the Parliament, or the organization of mass demonstrations.
Abdul Mahdi, who became prime minister in October, formed his government with the support of Reform and the pro-Iranian Construction coalition. The latter is led by Hadi Al-Amiri, the commander of Badr Organization, one of the most powerful Shiite armed factions. However, disputes between the two alliances over some of the candidates erupted at the last minute, as a result of which four ministries remain vacant: Interior, defense, education and justice.

Monday’s statement, which was signed by Al-Sadr and described as his “last call,” was addressed to his Saeiroon parliamentary bloc, the leaders of all political blocs, and Abdul Mahdi. It was issued in response to criticism on social on Monday because of the vote by members of the parliamentary blocs, including Al-Sadr’s MPs, the day before to grant all the privileges enjoyed by the former MPs to the deputies who ruled out by the Federal Supreme Court due to the error of counting their votes.
“All the political blocs must authorize the prime minister to complete his ministerial Cabinet within 10 days…and he (Abdul Mahdi) must choose (the ministers) according to the standards of integrity, efficiency and specialization, or I will not support him,” Al-Sadr’s statement read.

His position is the latest in a series of events that have put pressure on Abdul Mahdi in recent weeks. These include efforts by some political blocs, including Saeiroon, to dismiss a number of ministers under the pretext of failure to improve services and inability to combat the financial and administrative corruption that is rampant in their departments.
While most political leaders believe that reaching a political agreement on candidates to fill the vacant ministries within 10 days “will be very difficult” and predict “this may be the end of the government of Abdul Mahdi,” some believe that Al-Sadr’s goal is to pile more pressure on Abdul Mahdi as a way to obtain certain concessions.

“Saeiroon is still negotiating with the prime minister and the other political partners to obtain some key government posts that its rivals are looking to get, and Abdul Mahdi refused to give them to the Saeiroon candidates, so this could be a part of this,” said a prominent Shiite negotiator who asked not to be named. “No one can predict what Al-Sadr thinks and even his MPs do not know what the man thinks, so it is likely that this threat is part of the ongoing negotiations.”

The Iran-U.S. tinderbox about to ignite!

Is the Iran-U.S. tinderbox about to ignite?

Published June 17. 2019 4:59PM 

David Ignatius

As Secretary of State Mike Pompeo accused Iran of “unprovoked attacks” near the Strait of Hormuz, video screens behind him showed thick black smoke billowing from the two tankers that were struck Thursday. It was the dramatic imagery that sometimes precedes armed conflict.

The U.S. response in the escalating confrontation with Iran, for now, seems to be continued pressure short of war. “Our policy remains an economic and diplomatic effort to bring Iran back to the negotiating table,” Pompeo said.

Thursday’s attacks were especially brazen because one of the targeted ships is Japanese-owned, and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was in Tehran at the time carrying a message from President Trump. As Pompeo put it, Abe’s mission was “to ask the regime to de-escalate and enter into talks.” Abe was rebuffed in person by Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, and symbolically by the attack on the tanker.

The bottom line is that Trump’s “maximum pressure” campaign has collided head on with Khamenei’s maximum resistance. Trump’s recent talk about Iran’s supposed eagerness for negotiations has been self-deluding, but so is any hope that Iran will quickly moderate its behavior. Met by American economic warfare, Iran’s hard-liners are doubling down with their own forms of deniable warfare, with mines, drones and proxy attacks.

What are the internal dynamics of this escalating crisis and where is it heading? Conversations with a half-dozen current and former senior U.S. officials and other experts produced some early assessments:

• Iran is attacking partly because it has been badly hurt by U.S. economic sanctions. Tehran’s early approach of strategic patience, hoping to wait Trump out, “has bled into gradual escalation,” argues Behnam Taleblu of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. “Iran is now willing to embrace the dynamic of risk” to escape the economic straitjacket.

• Trump has a new opportunity to broaden international support for his Iran policy, after isolating the U.S. last year by abandoning the Iran nuclear agreement. Brian Hook, the State Department special envoy for Iran, has been coordinating efforts at the United Nations Security Council. At a private meeting Thursday morning, most members condemned the tanker strikes, a U.S. official said. This coalition-building will increase.

Trump’s hopes for a quick win were misplaced. At recent overseas events, Trump has been dangling concessions and inviting negotiations. “We’re not looking for regime change. I want to make that clear. … We’re looking for no nuclear weapons,” he said in Tokyo May 27. “I’d much rather talk. … The only thing is, we can’t let them have nuclear weapons,” he offered in London last week. And in Normandy, he declared: “I understand they want to talk and that’s fine, we’ll talk. One thing they can’t have is nuclear weapons.”

Not exactly subtle as a diplomatic pitch. Also, not successful.

Hard-liners are more ascendant than ever in Tehran. Pompeo cited a steady escalation of attacks since early May on tankers, a Saudi oil pipeline, the U.S. Embassy compound in Baghdad and a Saudi airport. Potentially more dangerous are Iran’s moves to escape provisions of the 2015 nuclear agreement. Yukiya Amano, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, reported this week that Iran is increasing its production of enriched uranium, which was capped under the pact.

Diplomatic feelers from Iran, which raised some hopes in Washington, lack support from the supreme leader’s camp. One such feint was this week’s release after four years in prison of Nizar Zakka, a Lebanese businessman who had been living in Washington. Two months ago, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif had proposed “serious dialogue” on a prisoner swap for Zakka. Sabotaging such diplomatic byplay may have been one goal of hard-liners in Thursday’s tanker attacks.

The tableau of recent weeks has been striking. Trump has been a whirling dervish of diplomacy, almost pleading for Iran to come to the negotiating table and discuss a broader, longer-lasting deal that Trump could claim was an improvement over the one negotiated by his predecessor. Meanwhile, Khamenei has sat implacable, even as President Hasan Rouhani dangled hints Iran might be willing to talk.

But as long as Khamenei is alive, his voice is decisive. And it couldn’t have been clearer Thursday, as he rejected Abe’s mediation: “I do not consider Trump, as a person, deserving to exchange messages with. We will not negotiate with the United States.”

You could almost hear, in the supreme leader’s voice, an echo of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, who said during the Iran hostage crisis, “America can’t do a damn thing against us.” That Iranian overconfidence is what makes this confrontation so dangerous.

David Ignatius’ column is distributed by the Washington Post Writers Group.

 

 

Worse than Disturbing

Posted By Tim Hains
On Date June 16, 2019South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg told CNN’s Jake Tapper Sunday on “State of the Union” that it is “extremely disturbing” and “shocking” to see escalating tensions with Iran.“There is a pattern that is disturbingly reminiscent of the run-up to the war in Iraq, in some cases being driven by the same people,” he added. “The fact that one of the architects of the Iraq War is the president’s national security adviser right now, when the president himself has pretended that he was against the Iraq War all along, this is shocking. And it should be extremely disturbing to all of us.”JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: Let’s turn to Iran. The United States is blaming Iran for an attack on two tankers in the Gulf of Oman this week. The U.S. says this video that we’re showing you right now proves it. The U.S. government said it shows Iranian sailors removing an unexploded mine from one of the tankers.Secretary of State Pompeo called the attack part of — quote — “an unacceptable campaign of escalating tension by Iran.”Do you agree? And how would you respond if you were president right now?

MAYOR PETE BUTTIGIEG: Well, I think we need a measured assessment of information as it continues to come in.

There’s no question that Iran has a pattern of malign activities. There’s also no question that there is a pattern that is disturbingly reminiscent of the run-up to the war in Iraq, in some cases being driven by the same people.

I mean, the fact that one of the architects of the Iraq War is the president’s national security adviser right now, when the president himself has pretended that he was against the Iraq War all along, this is shocking. And it should be extremely disturbing to all of us.

As somebody who felt five years ago, when I left Afghanistan, that I was one of the last troops leaving, and five years ago, notes that we’re still there. And, pretty soon, you’re going to be old enough to enlist and be sent over and have not even been alive on 9/11.

I think we have learned as a country in my lifetime just how hard it is to end a war. We’d better be working very hard to make sure we don’t start one.

And you when you look at the destabilizing chain reaction that appears to have been initiated when this president withdrew us from the Iran nuclear deal, I’m very concerned about the stability of the region and the possibility that this is a dynamic that even the president won’t be able to control, if it continues to move in the direction of escalation and hostility.

TAPPER: But what would you do if you were president? Because whatever you think about the path that the president is taking us, in terms — taking the nation, in terms of withdrawing from the Iran deal, sanctions on Iran, sending a fleet to the region, to the Strait of Hormuz, this is an act of violence by Iran, if you believe Secretary Pompeo and the Pentagon.

Do you believe Secretary Pompeo and the Pentagon that Iran is behind this? And what would you do?

BUTTIGIEG: So, as president, the first thing I would do is consult with the intelligence community, and not politicize their findings, but try to find out what’s going on.

I think, at this point, there’s still a lot that we need to make sure we understand about what’s going on there. There’s no question that the U.S. has an interest in maintaining the security and safety and freedom of movement in those key shipping lanes.

There’s also no question that, whatever we do, we need to make sure that we’re not contributing to a dynamic that could become more and more unstable, and could lead to something that could get away from the White House itself.

TAPPER: Do you believe Secretary Pompeo?

BUTTIGIEG: Based on what we have — I mean, what we have seen is video evidence.

But I think we also want to see a lot more context about exactly what’s happening. And that’s hopefully what’s being made available to the president, perhaps in forms that can’t be made public. That’s the question, the set of questions I would be asking as president.

And, on the public side, we’re going to have to see more information come in.

More Ammo Added to the Fire

U.S. BASE IN IRAQ HIT BY ROCKETS AS NEW PHOTOS RELEASED CLAIMING TO SHOW IRAN BEHIND GULF ATTACKS

Newsweek Exclusive Details Military Options For Iran Ground Invasion
NEWSINTERNATIONAL AFFAIRSMIDDLE EASTIRAN

An Iraqi military base where U.S. and allied coalition troops are stationed has been targeted by a rocket attack just as the Pentagon released new photos purporting to show Iran was behind recent attacks on oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman.

The Iraqi military’s official Security Media Cell reported Monday that “a short time ago, three Katyusha rockets fell on Camp Taji,” a military installation also known as Camp Cooke, located about 17 miles north of Baghdad. The apparent attack came just two days after unknown assailants fired rockets at Balad air base, another Iraqi installation where U.S. military personnel were present.

No casualties were reported in the previous attack, though the Security Media Cell said more details would be forthcoming about the latest incident, which also came amid a spike in tensions between the U.S. and Iran, which has begun to scale back its commitments to a 2015 nuclear deal that the White House pulled out of completely on a year ago.

President Donald Trump’s decision to leave the deal despite it still being supported by Iran and fellow signatories China, the EU, France, Germany, Russia and the United Kingdom was accompanied by a “maximum pressure” campaign of strict sanctions designed to undermine the Islamic Republic’s economy. As Tehran dismissed Washington’s warnings of a heightened threat posed by Iranian forces and their allies in the Middle East, recent incidents have left the region on edge.

Iraq, which has close ties to both the U.S. and Iran, has found itself caught in the middle of the latest unrest as various Shiite Muslim paramilitaries supportive of Tehran threatened to expel U.S. troops, which have largely been present in the country since overthrowing its former government and attempting to quel a Sunni Muslim insurgency led first by Al-Qaeda and then the Islamic State militant group (ISIS). Iran, too, was active in battling these jihadis, but also accused the Pentagon of destabilizing the country, as Washington has accused Tehran of doing.

Isolated rocket attacks have occurred near U.S. government facilities in past months and have usually been blamed by the Trump administration on Iran, which has denied any role. The U.S. has also accused Iran of being behind recent attacks on oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman, located less than 100 miles away from the Strait of Hormuz, the world’s most important maritime oil route and the subject of dueling threats by both countries.

Both U.S. and Iranian military personnel responded to the most recent incident, which occurred Thursday, but the Pentagon has released footage it claimed showed Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards removing an unexploded limpet mine from one of the damaged vessels, something purported to prove Tehran was behind the attacks. Iran has dismissed the charges, but on Monday the Pentagon released additional, clearer photos again alleging they tied the Revolutionary Guards to the scene.

Carla Babb

@CarlaBabbVOA

#BREAKING Latest images from US military show better view of what appears to be Iran #IRGC on fast attack craft approaching damaged tanker, removing limpet mine. Damage appears to be clearly made by limpet mine, weapon used by #Iran in past. pic.twitter.com/i6PNQgGUGX

Also on Monday, Iranian ambassador to the U.K. Hamid Baeidinejad warned that Tehran and Washington were currently “heading towards a confrontation.” He called on the U.S. to end its sanctions policy, which he described as a form of “economic terrorism.”

A number of experts have expressed skepticism toward the Trump administration’s attempts to link Iran to recent attacks. Some drawing comparisons to former President George W. Bush’s decision to invade Iraq based on charges that former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction and supported militant groups⁠ — accusations that later proved to be false.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and others have specifically pointed to White House national security adviser John Bolton, an architect of the Bush administration’s decision to invade Iraq, as potentially pushing the country toward another conflict in the Middle East. Zarif has grouped Bolton in with a so-called “B-Team” including Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, U.A.E. President Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, all vocal critics of the Islamic Republic who he claimed sought war between the U.S. and Iran.