History Says Expect The Sixth Seal In New York (Revelation 6:12)

According to the New York Daily News, Lynn Skyes, lead author of a recent study by seismologists at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory adds that a magnitude-6 quake hits the area about every 670 years, and magnitude-7 every 3,400 years.

A 5.2-magnitude quake shook New York City in 1737 and another of the same severity hit in 1884.

Tremors were felt from Maine to Virginia.

There are several fault lines in the metro area, including one along Manhattan’s 125th St. – which may have generated two small tremors in 1981 and may have been the source of the major 1737 earthquake, says Armbruster.

“The problem here comes from many subtle faults,” explained Skyes after the study was published.

He adds: “We now see there is earthquake activity on them. Each one is small, but when you add them up, they are probably more dangerous than we thought.”

Armbruster says a 5.0-magnitude earthquake today likely would result in casualties and hundreds of millions of dollars in damage.

“I would expect some people to be killed,” he notes.

The scope and scale of damage would multiply exponentially with each additional tick on the Richter scale. (ANI)

Antichrist Orders for Slow Coup in Iraq

img_4544Demand for ‘slow coup’ against Iraqi corruption

Shiite cleric Muqtada Al-Sadr reportedly wants to see independent professionals fill top government seats in a bid to both fight corruption and improve services.

However, a prominent supporter of the cleric told Arab News that Al-Sadr has so far ruled out organising demonstrations to pile pressure for reform on prime minister Adel Abdul Mahdi.

“We can say that Al-Sadr is leading a peaceful and slow coup to correct the government,” an official of Al-Sadr’s party that controls Iraq’s largest parliamentary bloc Sairoon told the newspaper on condition of anonymity.

“He also wants to dismantle the mafia of financial and administrative corruption that controls the ministries and loots public money.”

Rival political groups in Iraq are competing to control thousands of top government positions under existing power-sharing arrangements.

A majority of the top jobs have been under the control of the Islamic Dawa Party that has led most of the governments that have run the country since the US-led invasion in 2003.

Negotiations between political factions and parties in June on sharing out positions ended in deadlock, and a new deadline at the end of October is now likely to be agreed.

According to Arab News, Al-Sadr blames Dawa’s appointments for endemic corruption that has also resulted in a decline in public services.

There have been demonstrations in Iraq’s southern provinces over a lack of basic services, including drinking water and electricity, as well as high levels of unemployment.

“We are working to achieve change by changing the government decision-makers,” added the anonymous official of Al-Sadr’s party.

However, the official has so far ruled out support by his leader for demonstrations, which often turn violent in Iraq.

Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index places Iraq among the most corrupt countries in the world.

Al-Sadr and other lawmakers have repeatedly said they are working to dismantle what they have called a “deep state” formed by Iraq’s former prime minister Nouri Al-Maliki.

Thousands Protest Outside the Temple Walls (Revelation 11)

7,000 protest on Gaza border after latest understandings between Israel, Hamas

Army says some burn tires, hurl rocks and explosive devices at soldiers; Hamas-run health ministry says 40 injured by IDF response; 2 Palestinians nabbed crossing border with knife

By TOI staffToday, 8:11 pm

Nearly 7,000 Palestinians participated in weekly protests along the Gaza border Friday, the Israeli military said, the first demonstration since Israel reached new ceasefire understandings with Hamas.

The Israel Defense Forces said some of the protesters burned tires and hurled rocks as well as explosive devices at soldiers.

Gaza’s Hamas-run health ministry reported that 40 demonstrators were injured by Israeli troops, at least 16 of whom were wounded by live fire.

Get The Times of Israel’s Daily Edition by email and never miss our top stories Free Sign Up

Palestinian media said a tear gas canister fired by the Israeli army hit a Red Crescent ambulance near Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip.

Two Gazans were arrested after crossing the security fence, with one of them carrying a knife, according to the IDF.

Palestinians prepare arson balloons near the city of Jabalia in the Gaza Strip, June 25, 2019. (Hassan Jedi/Flash90)

Last Friday, Israel and the Gaza-ruling Hamas terror group reached a new ceasefire agreement. An Israeli official confirmed that the country had agreed to a number of economic concessions for Gaza in exchange for an end to arson attacks and other violence along the border.

Israel also agreed to extend the fishing zone off the Gaza coast to 15 nautical miles and to restore the supply of fuel to the Palestinian territory, the official said.

Since the deal went into effect there has been a marked drop in the number of airborne arson attacks, though they have not stopped completely.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government has faced considerable criticism from southern residents and politicians on both sides of the aisle for what they say is a failure to adequately respond to ongoing violence by Hamas and other terror groups from the Gaza Strip, either militarily or via a long-term truce.

Since violence along the border began picking up last March, residents of the Gaza periphery have also held a number of protests throughout the country in response to what they see as government inaction in the face of terrorism.

Last month saw a fresh surge in serious violence between the two sides, including two nights of rocket attacks and retaliatory Israeli air force strikes.

At the Brink of the First Nuclear War (Revelation 8)

India and Pakistan: Two Nations Always At the Brink of Nuclear War

In other words, as the Kashmir dispute continues to fester, inducing periodic terrorist attacks on India and fueling the competition between New Delhi and Islamabad to outpace each other in the variety and size of their nuclear arsenals, the peril to South Asia in particular and the world at large only grows.

It’s possible that a small spark from artillery and rocket exchanges across that border might — given the known military doctrines of the two nuclear-armed neighbors — lead inexorably to an all-out nuclear conflagration. In that case the result would be catastrophic. Besides causing the deaths of millions of Indians and Pakistanis, such a war might bring on “nuclear winter” on a planetary scale, leading to levels of suffering and death that would be beyond our comprehension.

Alarmingly, the nuclear competition between India and Pakistan has now entered a spine-chilling phase. That danger stems from Islamabad’s decision to deploy low-yield tactical nuclear arms at its forward operating military bases along its entire frontier with India to deter possible aggression by tank-led invading forces. Most ominously, the decision to fire such a nuclear-armed missile with a range of 35 to 60 miles is to rest with local commanders. This is a perilous departure from the universal practice of investing such authority in the highest official of the nation. Such a situation has no parallel in the Washington-Moscow nuclear arms race of the Cold War era.

(This article by Dilip Hiro originally appeared at War is Boring in 2016.)

When it comes to Pakistan’s strategic nuclear weapons, their parts are stored in different locations to be assembled only upon an order from the country’s leader. By contrast, tactical nukes are pre-assembled at a nuclear facility and shipped to a forward base for instant use. In addition to the perils inherent in this policy, such weapons would be vulnerable to misuse by a rogue base commander or theft by one of the many militant groups in the country.

In the nuclear standoff between the two neighbors, the stakes are constantly rising as Aizaz Chaudhry, the highest bureaucrat in Pakistan’s foreign ministry, recently made clear. The deployment of tactical nukes, he explained, was meant to act as a form of “deterrence,” given India’s “Cold Start” military doctrine — a reputed contingency plan aimed at punishing Pakistan in a major way for any unacceptable provocations like a mass-casualty terrorist strike against India.

New Delhi refuses to acknowledge the existence of Cold Start. Its denials are hollow. As early as 2004, it was discussing this doctrine, which involved the formation of eight division-size Integrated Battle Groups. These were to consist of infantry, artillery, armor and air support, and each would be able to operate independently on the battlefield. In the case of major terrorist attacks by any Pakistan-based group, these IBGs would evidently respond by rapidly penetrating Pakistani territory at unexpected points along the border and advancing no more than 30 miles inland, disrupting military command and control networks while endeavoring to stay away from locations likely to trigger nuclear retaliation.

In other words, India has long been planning to respond to major terror attacks with a swift and devastating conventional military action that would inflict only limited damage and so — in a best-case scenario — deny Pakistan justification for a nuclear response.

Islamabad, in turn, has been planning ways to deter the Indians from implementing a Cold-Start-style blitzkrieg on its territory. After much internal debate, its top officials opted for tactical nukes. In 2011, the Pakistanis tested one successfully. Since then, according to Rajesh Rajagopalan, the New Delhi-based co-author of Nuclear South Asia: Keywords and Concepts, Pakistan seems to have been assembling four to five of these annually.

All of this has been happening in the context of populations that view each other unfavorably. A typical survey in this period by the Pew Research Center found that 72 percent of Pakistanis had an unfavorable view of India, with 57 percent considering it as a serious threat, while on the other side 59 percent of Indians saw Pakistan in an unfavorable light.

This is the background against which Indian leaders have said that a tactical nuclear attack on their forces, even on Pakistani territory, would be treated as a full-scale nuclear attack on India, and that they reserved the right to respond accordingly. Since India does not have tactical nukes, it could only retaliate with far more devastating strategic nuclear arms, possibly targeting Pakistani cities.

According to a 2002 estimate by the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency, a worst-case scenario in an Indo-Pakistani nuclear war could result in eight to 12 million fatalities initially, followed by many millions later from radiation poisoning. More recent studies have shown that up to a billion people worldwide might be put in danger of famine and starvation by the smoke and soot thrown into the troposphere in a major nuclear exchange in South Asia. The resulting “nuclear winter” and ensuing crop loss would functionally add up to a slowly developing global nuclear holocaust.

Last November, to reduce the chances of such a catastrophic exchange happening, senior Obama administration officials met in Washington with Pakistan’s army chief, Gen. Raheel Sharif — the final arbiter of that country’s national security policies — and urged him to stop the production of tactical nuclear arms. In return, they offered a pledge to end Islamabad’s pariah status in the nuclear field by supporting its entry into the 48-member Nuclear Suppliers Group to which India already belongs. Although no formal communiqué was issued after Sharif’s trip, it became widely known that he had rejected the offer.

This failure was implicit in the testimony that DIA Director Lt. Gen. Vincent Stewart gave to the Armed Services Committee this February. “Pakistan’s nuclear weapons continue to grow,” he said. “We are concerned that this growth, as well as the evolving doctrine associated with tactical [nuclear] weapons, increases the risk of an incident or accident.”

Strategic nuclear warheads

Since that DIA estimate of human fatalities in a South Asian nuclear war, the strategic nuclear arsenals of India and Pakistan have continued to grow. In January 2016, according to a U.S. congressional report, Pakistan’s arsenal probably consisted of 110 to 130 nuclear warheads. According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, India has 90 to 110 of these.

China, the other regional actor, has approximately 260 warheads.

As the 1990s ended, with both India and Pakistan testing their new weaponry, their governments made public their nuclear doctrines. The National Security Advisory Board on Indian Nuclear Doctrine, for example, stated in August 1999 that “India will not be the first to initiate a nuclear strike, but will respond with punitive retaliation should deterrence fail.”

India’s foreign minister explained at the time that the “minimum credible deterrence” mentioned in the doctrine was a question of “adequacy,” not numbers of warheads. In subsequent years, however, that yardstick of “minimum credible deterrence” has been regularly recalibrated as India’s policymakers went on to commit themselves to upgrade the country’s nuclear arms program with a new generation of more powerful hydrogen bombs designed to be city-busters.

In Pakistan in February 2000, President General Pervez Musharraf, who was also the army chief, established the Strategic Plan Division in the National Command Authority, appointing Lt. Gen. Khalid Kidwai as its director general. In October 2001, Kidwai offered an outline of the country’s updated nuclear doctrine in relation to its far more militarily and economically powerful neighbor, saying, “It is well known that Pakistan does not have a ‘no-first-use policy.’”

He then laid out the “thresholds” for the use of nukes. The country’s nuclear weapons, he pointed out, were aimed solely at India and would be available for use not just in response to a nuclear attack from that country, but should it conquer a large part of Pakistan’s territory (the space threshold), or destroy a significant part of its land or air forces (the military threshold), or start to strangle Pakistan economically (the economic threshold), or politically destabilize the country through large-scale internal subversion (the domestic destabilization threshold).

Of these, the space threshold was the most likely trigger. New Delhi as well as Washington speculated as to where the red line for this threshold might lie, though there was no unanimity among defense experts. Many surmised that it would be the impending loss of Lahore, the capital of Punjab, only 15 miles from the Indian border. Others put the red line at Pakistan’s sprawling Indus River basin.

Within seven months of this debate, Indian-Pakistani tensions escalated steeply in the wake of an attack on an Indian military base in Kashmir by Pakistani terrorists in May 2002. At that time, Musharraf reiterated that he would not renounce his country’s right to use nuclear weapons first. The prospect of New Delhi being hit by an atom bomb became so plausible that U.S. Ambassador Robert Blackwill investigated building a hardened bunker in the embassy compound to survive a nuclear strike. Only when he and his staff realized that those in the bunker would be killed by the aftereffects of the nuclear blast did they abandon the idea.

The Face of the Antichrists and Their Victims (Revelation 13)

The faces behind the oil America went to war for

By David Bacon5 July 2019

Despite the geopolitical importance of Iraq’s oil, and the central role that oil played in its invasion by a US-led coalition in March 2003, 16 years ago people in the US and Europe knew very little about the workers who made the world’s second biggest oil industry function. In October 2003, the US photographer David Bacon went to Baghdad to learn how the occupation was affecting Iraq’s workers and unions. At the Daura Oil Refinery and at other factories in Baghdad, he documented the lives of workers. After meeting Hassan Juma’a, president of the then newly-reorganised Iraqi Federation of Oil Unions, two years later he visited Basra in southern Iraq, where most of the country’s oil industry is located. There he took photographs and recorded interviews, determined to “pierce this invisibility. I wanted to give unions and workers, a sense of who their brothers and sisters were, and how they were affected by the occupation.”

Bacon, a former union organiser who has spent over 30 years documenting the struggles of working people around the globe, recalls one story in particular that workers in Basra told him. After the invasion of Iraq, the US occupation authorities put Halliburton and its subsidiary KBR (corporations formerly headed by then-US Vice President Dick Cheney) in charge of civil administration in Basra. In the first weeks of the occupation the companies didn’t pay workers their wages. Workers responded by blocking the gate into the refinery at the shift change with a crane to stop trucks from leaving with the oil. US soldiers then showed up in tanks.

“At first there were only 100 of us, but workers began coming out,”Faraj Arbat, one of the plant’s firemen, told Bacon. “Some took their shirts off and told the troops, ‘Shoot us’. Others lay down on the ground.” Ten of them even went under the oil tankers, brandishing cigarette lighters. They announced that if the soldiers fired, they would set the tankers alight. The soldiers did not fire. Instead, by the end of the day, Halliburton paid the workers the wages they had been withholding. Within a week the oil union in Basra had been reborn. Finally, oil workers stopped work.

Three days of paralysis in the oil fields was enough to force Halliburton out of Basra, marking one of the first big victories of Iraqi’s rekindled union movement.

Bacon came back to the US with stories like these, and photographs showing people what life in the oil fields was like for those working there. US Labor Against the War, a coalition of unions opposed to the US occupation, managed to get visas for a handful of Iraqi trade union leaders to come to the US and tell their stories in person. In Los Angeles, the US oil workers union gave the Iraqis laptop computers. An exhibition of the workers held in 2005 and again in 2006, showed Californian workers how their counterparts in Iraq were treated, often by the same oil monopolies. Iraqis explained that they saw the country’s oil as the people’s property – the only resource that could pay the enormous cost of rebuilding their country after decades of war. “These photographs,” writes Bacon, “were documentation with a purpose. Photographers often speak about ‘putting a human face’ on a particular social problem or movement. These images certainly introduced the human faces of Iraqi oil workers to workers [abroad].” Thanks to the exhibition, Bacon’s photographs helped bring Iraqi oil workers “to the United States where they could speak for themselves, finding common ground with the workers of the country occupying theirs. If they helped to encourage peace and solidarity, the photographs served a good purpose.”

‘Iraq Free 2005’ is painted on a broken machine on the factory floor of the Basra Oil Refinery on 27 May 2005.

Photo: David Bacon

Many of the machines, such as pressure vessels and other equipment in the refinery, were damaged during the war with Iran (1980 – 1988), and later from US bombing in early 2003. Under the rule of Saddam Hussein, economic data in Iraq was considered a state secret, but according to some estimates, Iraq’s oil industry was worth billions of dollars at the time of the US-led invasion.

Faraj Arbat (left) and members of the fire department of the Basra Oil Refinery, photographed on 27 May 2005.

Photo: David Bacon

In this photo, the men are discussing the privatisation of the oil industry in Iraq. For decades before the invasion, the industry had been run by the state-owned Iraq National Oil Company. In the aftermath of the invasion, the US government wanted to open up the industry to international investors and multinationals, but this was opposed by oil workers, who said that the oil wealth of Iraq belonged to its people.

Ibrahim Arabi, leader of the union at the Basra Oil Refinery, photographed at his home in Basra on 26 May 2005.

Photo: David Bacon

A picture of the Islamic cleric Moqtada al Sadr, leader of the Sairoon political alliance supported by many unions and left-wing groups, is in on the door. Arabi was blacklisted by the oil ministry for his union activities.

Workers on an oil drilling rig in the South Rumaila oil field just outside of Basra, in southern Iraq, on 27 May 2005.

Photo: David Bacon

At the time these photos were taken, making the rigs function required great skill because the equipment was often old, and economic sanctions against Iraq in the 1990s made it difficult to obtain parts for repairs. The heat in the Iraqi desert is extreme in the summer, rising to over 110 degrees Fahrenheit (43 degrees Celsius). Workers also worried about the danger from both occupying military forces and from Saddam Hussein’s old secret police, who were responsible for assassinating a number of trade unionists during the occupation.

Abdi Settar Ajid, an assistant driller, controls the speed of the drill on an oil rig in Basra on 27 May 2005.

Photo: David Bacon

At the time he was photographed, Abdi Settar Ajid had been drilling oil wells for 30 years and was working on an oil rig in the South Rumaila oil field just outside of Basra. Controlling the drill is the most highly-skilled job on an oil rig, and Ajid was the most senior and most respected worker in the crew.

Workers eat together on an oil drilling rig in the South Rumaila oil field, photographed on 27 May 2005.

Photo: David Bacon

Today, oil accounts for 99 per cent of all government revenue in Iraq. The country has the fifth largest reserves in the world and is thought to be the largest unexplored market for oil. But the great wealth produced by oil is yet to trickle down to ordinary citizens. Basra and southern Iraq were rocked by demonstrations in 2018 over lack of electricity, water scarcity and high unemployment. According to Hassan Juma’a of the Iraqi Federation of Oil Unions, “these events are an inevitable result of the government’s neglect and financial corruption in the state system”.

People sit by and walk towards apartment buildings built by the government for the working-class residents of Basra. Photograh taken on 26 May 2005.

Photo: David Bacon

At the time these photographs were taken, many of the residential buildings in Basra had spent years surrounded by the wreckage of war, including depleted uranium ammunition. Iraqi doctors report that thousands of people received higher doses of radioactivity than those received from standard natural sources of radiation, due to the use of depleted uranium weapons by the US military. Low level radiation exposure has led to an increase of children’s leukemia, birth defects and breast cancer.

Iran Pushes the Nuclear Envelope (Daniel 8:4)

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani attends the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit in Bishkek on June 14, 2019.

Rouhani: Iran Will Enrich Uranium to ‘Any Amount We Want’


(TEHRAN, Iran) — Iran’s president warned European partners in its faltering nuclear deal on Wednesday that Tehran will increase its enrichment of uranium to “any amount that we want” beginning on Sunday Tehran will increase its enrichment of uranium to “any amount that we want” beginning on Sunday, putting pressure on them to offer a way around intense U.S. sanctions targeting the country.

The comments by President Hassan Rouhani come as tensions remain high between Iran and the U.S. over the deal, which President Donald Trump pulled America from over a year ago.

Authorities on Monday acknowledged Iran broke through a limit placed on its stockpile of low-enriched uranium. An increasing stockpile and higher enrichment closes the estimated one-year window Iran would need to produce enough material for a nuclear bomb, something Iran denies it wants but the nuclear deal sought to prevent.

President Trump Stays Mostly On-Script and off Politics at Fourth of July ‘Salute to America’

Meanwhile, the U.S. has rushed an aircraft carrier, B-52 bombers and F-22 fighters to the region; Iran recently shot down a U.S. military surveillance drone.

Speaking at a Cabinet meeting in Tehran, Rouhani’s comments seemed to signal that Europe has yet to offer Iran anything to alleviate the pain of the renewed U.S. sanctions targeting its oil industry and top officials. Iran’s nuclear deal currently bars it from enriching uranium above 3.67%, which is enough for nuclear power plants but far below the 90% needed for weapons.

“In any amount that we want, any amount that is required, we will take over 3.67,” Rouhani said.

“Our advice to Europe and the United States is to go back to logic and to the negotiating table,” Rouhani added. “Go back to understanding, to respecting the law and resolutions of the U.N. Security Council. Under those conditions, all of us can abide by the nuclear deal.”

There was no immediate reaction in Europe, where the European Union just the day before finalized nominations to take over the bloc’s top posts. On Tuesday, European powers separately issued a statement over Iran breaking through its stockpile limit, calling on Tehran “to reverse this step and to refrain from further measures that undermine the nuclear deal.”

Under the nuclear deal, Iran agreed to have less than 300 kilograms (661 pounds) of uranium enriched to a maximum of 3.67%. Both Iran and the U.N.’s nuclear watchdog agency confirmed Monday that Tehran had breached that limit.

While that represents Iran’s first major departure from the accord, it still remains likely a year away from having enough material for a nuclear weapon. Iran insists its program is for peaceful purposes, but the West fears it could allow Iran to build a bomb.

Also on Wednesday, relatives of those killed in the 1988 downing of the Iranian passenger jet threw flowers into the Strait of Hormuz in mourning.

The downing of Iran Air flight 655 by the U.S. Navy remains one of the moments the Iranian government points to in its decades-long distrust of America. They rank it alongside the 1953 CIA-backed coup that toppled Iran’s elected prime minister and secured Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi’s absolute power until he abdicated the throne before the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

Just after dawn on July 3, 1988, the USS Vincennes sent a helicopter to hover over Iranian speedboats the Navy described as harassing commercial ships. The Iranians allegedly fired on the helicopter and the Vincennes gave chase, the Navy said. Unacknowledged for years afterward by the Navy though, the Vincennes had crossed into Iranian territorial waters in pursuit. It began firing at the Iranian ships there.

The Vincennes then mistook Iran Air flight 655, which had taken off from Bandar Abbas, Iran, heading for Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, for an Iranian fighter jet. It fired missiles, killing all 290 people on board. The U.S. later would give USS Vincennes Capt. William C. Rogers the country’s Legion of Merit award, further angering Iran.

Iranian state television aired footage Wednesday of mourners in the strait, as armed Iranian Revolutionary Guard fast boats patrolled around them. They tossed gladiolas into the strait as some wept.

Contact us at editors@time.com.