The Sixth Seal Is Past Due (Revelation 6:12)

New York City is Past Due for an Earthquake

by Jessica Dailey, 03/22/11

filed under: News

New York City may appear to be an unlikely place for a major earthquake, but according to history, we’re past due for a serious shake. Seismologists at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory say that about once every 100 years, an earthquake of at least a magnitude of 5.0 rocks the Big Apple. The last one was a 5.3 tremor that hit in 1884 — no one was killed, but buildings were damaged.

Any tremor above a 6.0 magnitude can be catastrophic, but it is extremely unlikely that New York would ever experience a quake like the recent 8.9 earthquake in Japan. A study by the Earth Observatory found that a 6.0 quake hits the area about every 670 years, and a 7.0 magnitude hits about every 3,400 years.

There are several fault lines in New York’s metro area, including one along 125th Street, which may have caused two small tremors in 1981 and a 5.2 magnitude quake in 1737. There is also a fault line on Dyckman Street in Inwood, and another in Dobbs Ferry in Westchester County. The New York City Area Consortium for Earthquake Loss Mitigation rates the chance of an earthquake hitting the city as moderate.

John Armbruster, a seismologist at the Earth Observatory, said that if a 5.0 magnitude quake struck New York today, it would result in hundreds of millions, possibly billions of dollars in damages. The city’s skyscrapers would not collapse, but older brick buildings and chimneys would topple, likely resulting in casualities.

The Earth Observatory is expanding its studies of potential earthquake damage to the city. They currently have six seismometers at different landmarks throughout the five boroughs, and this summer, they plan to place one at the arch in Washington Square Park and another in Bryant Park.

Won-Young Kim, who works alongside Armbuster, says his biggest concern is that we can’t predict when an earthquake might hit. “It can happen anytime soon,” Kim told the Metro. If it happened tomorrow, he added, “I would not be surprised. We can expect it any minute, we just don’t know when and where.”

Armbuster voiced similar concerns to the Daily News. “Will there be one in my lifetime or your lifetime? I don’t know,” he said. “But this is the longest period we’ve gone without one.”

Via Metro and NY Daily News

The Futile Argument Against the Australian Nuclear Horn (Daniel 7)

Australia’s nuclear-weapons debate: shifting the focus | The Strategist

Albert Palazzo

Australia’s national security community is once again in the midst of a debate on whether or not Australia should acquire nuclear weapons. This latest round was initiated by the publication of Hugh White’s new book, How to defend Australia, which includes a chapter on the possibility of Australia developing a nuclear capability.

Having a debate on the nation’s future security is a good thing, even a necessary one, because it recognises that a reconsideration of national security is needed as Australia navigates a more dangerous and problematic era. While for many it’s natural that nuclear weapons be included in such a discussion, it shouldn’t take too long to dismiss them.

There are two reasons why the discussion will be a brief one: the lack of wisdom in relying for security on weapons that can’t be used, and their irrelevance to Australia’s most pressing future security risk—climate change.

Every security thinker and military professional who supports Australia joining the nuclear club can do so only if they accept the following consequence: the result of a use of nuclear weapons would likely be the extermination of the human species, as well as many others. Some may counter that they’ve been used before and, except for the victims of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, humanity has gone on to enjoy the greatest period of prosperity that it has ever had. It’s easy to forget that the United States dropped only two bombs because it didn’t have more. Today, that’s not the case.

Anyone who authorises a nuclear attack against another nuclear-armed state is deluding themselves if they think escalation will not result. Some nuclear-weapons states field thousands of these devices, each more powerful than those used in 1945, and the employment of even a small percentage would still trigger an extinction-level event. Those who were lucky to survive the initial blasts would eventually expire in the ensuing nuclear winter.

It can be comforting to consider these weapons in the abstract, but once they’re created the consequences of their use becomes real. Defence thinkers need to factor in what such weapons can do; otherwise, the current debate is nothing more than a game.

The second reason for Australia to reject nuclear weapons is that they have no utility to address the most critical security risk facing Australia. White’s book doesn’t even give climate change a passing reference, and it has been largely absent from the current debate. Unfortunately, the discourse of security thinkers is dominated by analysis of the possibility and consequences of state-on-state conflict, with occasional mentions of non-state actors.

Nation-states are human constructs. They are part of the made environment. But what many commentators too often overlook is that the made environment exists within a natural environment. For thousands of years the natural world has been relatively benign, which has allowed humanity to propagate and construct the civilisation that we know today.

While defence thinkers may be comfortable talking about the shift in power that is underway in East Asia, they display less enthusiasm for discussing the security implications of climate change that is happening at the same time. Of the two, however, climate change is the far more significant threat, not just for Australia, but for all of humanity.

The question to ask in the current debate, therefore, is what part nuclear weapons can play in mitigating the security risks of climate change. My sense is that nuclear weapons have no utility in such a scenario. In fact, the opportunity costs of investing in a nuclear capability would consume resources that Australia could allocate to capabilities that are more relevant.

The best we can expect from the current episode of climate change is that the overall experience will be catastrophic for all of humanity. In part, this is a prediction, but it’s one based on the fact that all prior climate change events that humanity has undergone have been catastrophic. This one is likely to be the same, especially as efforts to minimise its effects have been slow to gain traction.

Past climate events suggest that many states will come under immense strain as climatic shifts disrupt their access to essential resources. Already-fragile states won’t be able to bear the additional pressure and intra-state conflicts will likely hasten their collapse. As societal support structures such as public health fail, epidemics and famines will break out and mass migrations will occur. These societies will have to make hard decisions if any of their people are to survive. Many of these fragile states sit within Australia’s primary area of interest and the Australian Defence Force may need to become involved.

Nuclear weapons will offer no assistance in such a situation. Rather, what the ADF will need is more medical, engineering and strategic and tactical lift, for example, and the greater numbers of personnel essential to separate warring factions of a collapsing society. These capabilities and the means to get them to where they are needed should be the priority, not nuclear weapons.

Defence thinkers can provide answers only to the questions they actually ask. The current debate has been robust and wide-ranging, but the proposals that have been made are derived from asking the wrong questions. A solution that includes the extermination of the species is not a useful one. Nor is one that offers little relevance to the main risk humanity faces. From the point of view of climate change and human survival, nuclear weapons are a non-starter. Instead, different questions need to be posed so that a more useful and relevant debate can be held.

Albert Palazzo is the director of war studies in the Australian Army Research Centre. The views expressed here are his own. Image: Department of Defence.

The Terrible Russian Nuclear Horn (Daniel 7)

Russia news: footage shows the drone flying alongside a Su-57 fighter jet (Image: Russia Defence Ministry)

Russia expands military with terrifying ‘Hunter’ drone as US nuclear tensions escalate

TERRIFYING footage shows Russia testing its new heavy drone Okhotnik, also known as ‘Hunter’, as it flies alongside a Su-57 fighter jet.

By KATIE WESTON

PUBLISHED: 06:50, Fri, Oct 4, 2019

UPDATED: 06:50, Fri, Oct 4, 2019

The Russian Defense Ministry release impressive footage of their new heavy drone Okhotnik, also known as ‘Hunter’, flying alongside a Su-57 fighter jet.

The Russian Defence Ministry has released footage of the first test flight of its newest stealth drone, the Sukhoi S-70 Okhotnik. A video shows the drone, also known as ‘Hunter’, flying alongside a Su-57 fighter jet and performing manoeuvres. The test flight reportedly took place at a testing aerodrome of the Defence Ministry, according to Russia news agency TASS.The Defence Ministry claimed the new drone was controlled in an automated mode.

The stealth drone resembles the US’ Lockheed Martin RQ-170 Sentinel, which is also an unmanned aerial vehicle.

The ministry claimed the drone and Su-57 fighter jet interacted through their computer systems “to broaden the fighter’s radar coverage and to provide target acquisition for employing air-launched weapons”.

The Russian Defence Ministry added: “As part of the ongoing test program, the Okhotnik drone performed a flight in the automated mode in its full configuration, entering the airborne alert area.”

Russia news: the drone can be seen performing maneouvres in the video (Image: Russia Defence Ministry)

The test flight comes as Russian President Vladimir Putin pressures US President Donald Trump by agreeing new nuclear and trade ties with Cuba, defying Washington sanctions.

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev arrives in Cuba this Thursday, at a time when the island is going through a new economic crisis while under new pressure from the United States.

Havana has been crippled by US sanctions intended to stop third parties from doing business with the Caribbean island or shipping fuel to the country amid the crisis.

With Cuba in a desperate situation, depleted of oil and struggling to power the country, Putin has agreed a nuclear pact and new trade ties with Havana in an effort to further undermine Trump.

Russia news: the drone reportedly performed the flight in “automated” mode (Image: Russia Defence Ministry)

A statement from the Russian government this week signalled that the countries will sign accords and commercial agreements.

According to the Russian Government official, no less than £500million of borrowed capital may be invested into the project of major overhaul of ten power generation units at three thermal power plants in Cuba.

Medvedev, who is making his third trip to Cuba, is scheduled to meet with Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel, tour an energy project on the outskirts of the capital and see restoration work on Havana’s emblematic capitol building, whose golden dome came thanks to a donation from Moscow.

The Russian Prime Minister’s meeting with the Cuban President coincides with toughening US sanctions.

Cuba produces around 42,000 barrels of oil a day, but it has a daily deficit of 62,000 barrels that is filled primarily by Venezuela, also a close partner of Russia.

Shortages have provoked long lines at petrol stations, problems with public transportation and increased use of animal-powered vehicles.

There have also been prolonged shortages of food and other goods.

Washington’s stated objective is to suffocate the island economically, pressuring for a change to Cuba’s political system and, in addition, sap Venezuela’s socialist government of an ally.

Aside from the Americas, Putin has also caused Trump grief in NATO – selling missiles to supposed US allies Turkey, and also in Syria where US objectives to challenge the regime of Bashar al Assad have been scuppered by Putin backing.

Palestinian Dies in Violent Riots Outside the Temple Walls (Revelation 11)

Palestinians riot in front of the Bureij refugee camp, in the central Gaza Strip. IDF troops use tear gas in an attempt to deter them from getting close to the fence. Gaza envelope, Aug 2, 2019. (photo credit:” KOBI RICHTER/TPS)

Palestinian dies in violent riots on Gaza border, as IDF chief visits | The Jerusalem post

Palestinian dies in violent riots on Gaza border, as IDF chief visits

By Ezra Taylor

Palestinians attempted to cross the fence but were stopped by IDF gunfire, Channel 12 reported.

One Palestinian died and eleven others were injured in violent riots along the Gaza security fence, the Gaza Health Ministry said on Friday.

The IDF said in a statement that around 6,000 Palestinians took part in Friday’s demonstrations, throwing stones and explosives at several locations along the fence. It said that a Molotov cocktail hit a military jeep but no casualties ensued.

According to Palestinian reports, Ala Nizar Haish Hamdan, a 28-year-old resident of Beit Hanoun, is said to have died in Friday’s protests.

Palestinians attempted to cross the fence but were stopped by IDF gunfire, Channel 12 reported.

IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Aviv Kochavi toured the Gaza Division on Friday. Kochavi was accompanied by Southern Command Maj.-Gen. Ratzi Halevi and Gaza Division Commander, Brigadier General Eliezer Toledano.

Kochavi noted the deployment of forces at a tactical level. In addition, he expressed his appreciation for the efforts of commanders and fighters to maintain security on the Gaza border throughout deployment, especially during the holidays.

Iraq protests: Antichrist demands government resign

Anti-government protesters set fires and close a street during a demonstration in Baghdad Credit: AP

Iraq protests: Powerful cleric Moqtada al-Sadr demands government resign as toll rises close to 100

Reuters News Agency

One of Iraq’s most influential clerics called on Friday for the government to resign as the death toll rose to 93 in the violent national protests against official corruption that have now entered their fifth day.

Moqtada al-Sadr, a populist political leader who has a huge following on the Iraqi street, said new elections should be held soon.

“Respect the blood of Iraq through the resignation of the government and prepare for early elections overseen by international monitors,” a statement from his office said.

Nearly 4,000 people have been injured since the protests against chronic unemployment, poor public services and widespread corruption erupted in the capital on Tuesday, the Iraq parliament’s human rights commission said.

It was not immediately clear whether the latest deaths were from Friday’s huge protests or fresh demonstrations on Saturday.

The authorities have imposed a virtual blackout of the internet and confirmation of protest casualties in the provinces has trickled in slowly.

Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi called for calm as more than 190 people were wounded in the capital on Friday, but protesters scorned his promises of political reform.

Sadr’s intervention appeared likely to encourage them to continue their uprising until the government backs down.

Anti-government protesters take cover while Iraq security forces fire during a demonstration in Baghdad Credit: AP

On the streets of Baghdad, police appeared to be targeting individual protesters. Reuters reporters saw one fall to the ground after being shot in the head. He was pronounced dead in hospital.

Elsewhere, a Reuters television crew saw a man critically wounded by a gunshot to the neck after snipers on rooftops opened fire at a crowd. Sporadic shooting could be heard in Baghdad into the late evening.

Police shot dead three people trying to storm the provincial government headquarters in the southern city of Diwaniya, police and medics said.

The violence is the worst since Iraq put down an insurgency by Islamic State two years ago. The protests arose in the south, heartland of the Shi’ite majority, but quickly spread, with no formal leadership.

“It is sorrowful that there have been so many deaths, casualties and destruction,” Iraq’s most influential cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, said in a letter read out by his representative during a sermon.

Iraqi security forces stand guard outside the interior ministry during a demonstration  Credit: AFP

“The government and political sides have not answered the demands of the people to fight corruption or achieved anything on the ground,” said Sistani, who stays out of day-to-day politics but whose word is law for Iraq’s Shi’ites. “Parliament holds the biggest responsibility for what is happening.”

Sadr, who leads the largest opposition bloc in parliament, ordered his lawmakers to suspend participation in the legislature until the government introduces a programme that would serve all Iraqis.

Parliament is to convene Saturday to discuss protesters’ demands. A curfew was lifted at 5am local time (7am UK time) on Saturday morning,  two days after imposing the measure in an attempt to quell the protests.

Security remains heavily deployed but streets and main squares are now open to traffic. Municipal workers were on Saturday morning clearing the streets of the bullets and debris left behind by the latest confrontations.

The speaker of Iraq’s parliament has called the protests a “revolution” against corruption but urged calm and proposed reforms such as better state housing support for poor people and ensuring Iraqi graduates are included on lucrative foreign projects for energy sector development.

Many government officials and lawmakers are widely accused of siphoning off public money, unfairly awarding contracts in state institutions and other forms of corruption.

The violence is an unprecedented test for Adel Abdul Mahdi, a mild-mannered veteran politician who came to power last year as a compromise candidate backed by powerful Shi’ite groups that have dominated Iraq since the downfall of Saddam Hussein in 2003.

Iraqi Shiite cleric and leader Moqtada al-Sadr has demanded the government resign  Credit: AFP

In his overnight address, Abdul Mahdi pledged reforms but said there was no “magic solution” to Iraq’s problems. He insisted politicians were aware of the suffering of the masses: “We do not live in ivory towers – we walk among you in the streets of Baghdad,” he said.

A young man in a crowd fleeing sniper shots at a central Baghdad square was scornful. “The promises by Adel Abdul Mahdi are to fool the people, and today they are firing live gunshots at us,” he said.

“Today this was a peaceful protest. They set up these barricades, and the sniper is sitting right there since last night.”

Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdel Mahdi gives his first televised speech following the outbreak of deadly protests in Baghdad  Credit: AFP

The unrest occurs on the eve of Arbaeen, a Shi’ite pilgrimage which in recent years has drawn 20 million worshippers, trekking for days on foot across southern Iraq in the world’s biggest annual gathering, 10 times the size of the Mecca Hajj.

Some pilgrims were already taking to the roads on Friday, although in smaller numbers than in recent years. Iran has closed one of the border crossings used by millions of pilgrims. Qatar has told its citizens to stay away.

A senior Iranian cleric blamed the unrest on the United States and Israel, saying they aimed to thwart the pilgrimage.

The protests could grow if they receive formal backing from Sadr, who has long denounced corruption and the political elite. Parliament was set to hold a session dedicated to finding a solution, but Sadr’s faction was staying away.

Sadr has not called on his followers to join the protests, but his faction has expressed sympathy with their aims. One senior Sadrist politician, Awad Awadi, described the protests to Reuters as “a revolution of hunger”.

The Iranian Threat Rises (Daniel 8:4)

The Iran Threat Is Still on the Rise

A damaged installation in Saudi Arabia’s Abqaiq oil processing plant is pictured on September 20, 2019. (Fayez Nureldine/AFP/Getty Images)

By Raymond Tanter

Thursday, 03 Oct 2019 2:07 PM

Nearly five years after the Iran Nuclear Deal, which was meant to contain the Iranian nuclear threat as well as taming its regional rogue behavior, the Iranian regime remains the biggest threat to the United States and its allies in the region.

Intelligence from the main Iranian Resistance coalition, the National Council of Resistance of Iran Office in Washington (NCRI-US), shows that Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei and President Hassan Rouhani approved the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) attack on Saudi oil installations from Iranian territory, according to a press conference and report by the group.

The information shows that top IRGC commanders of aerospace force were deployed from Tehran to Omydieh base in Khuzestan province in southwestern Iran to command this operation.

The attack was overseen by the most senior military commander of Iran during the war/crisis situation, namely IRGC Major General Gholamali Rashid, who directly reports to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, according to NCRI official Alireza Jafarzadeh who provided the details at the press conference.

There is mounting evidence that the resistance group is correct, U.S. Government officials said privately about the NCRI press conference on the Iranian attack on the Saudi oil installations, according to the Washington Times.

The information provided by the NCRI is significant because it indicates Tehran is willing to take serious risks to threaten the countries in the region and the free flow of oil in the Persian Gulf, as a means to extract concessions from the Unites States and western nations.

The regime’s behavior in the Persian Gulf region has a high level of risk, because it could trigger a military response and much harsher reaction from the West.

The Supreme Leader seems to be confident that the United States will not get engaged in any military actions. Supreme Leader Khamenei hopes to get the oil sanctions lifted using terrorism and destabilizing activities in the region as a bargaining chip. Khamenei relies on his regime’s past behavior of four decades of terrorism and hostage taking as a profitable tool to gain concession from the west and the central core of its foreign policy.

That device explains why the Foreign Minister Javad Zarif and President Hassan Rouhani are in line with such behavior. Zarif has repeatedly boasted about his close ties and friendship and cooperation with notorious IRGC Qods Force commander Qassem Soleimani.

The information also demonstrates that in light of internal crisis resulting from systemic corruption engulfing the regime like a cancer, widespread discontent of the population because of poverty and inflation, strikes by workers and other sectors of the society, and continued protests in Iran, Tehran has found no other way but to escalate regional aggression. Such aggressive behavior, if not confronted with decisiveness and power, would boost the morale of the IRGC commanders, and further emboldens the regime.

After Pompeo’s accusations against Iran and Trump’s “locked and loaded” tweet, Trump struck a more oblique posture, including both threats and diplomacy.

Pompeo made trips to Europe to underscore our relationship to transatlantic security and economic prosperity, for which many Americans and Europeans sacrificed across generations to build and safeguard.

President Hassan Rouhani tried to push back against the, “maximum pressure strategy” of Trump and Pompeo.

Looking at the developments in Iran and Tehran’s behavior domestically and internationally, clearly indicates the major weaknesses of the regime and its vulnerability inside Iran. Tehran’s aggressive behavior is more of a sign of desperation rather than its strength.

President Trump’s repeated statements about his reluctance to use military force does not play well with a regime which only understands the language of force and decisiveness. He should continue with the maximum pressure strategy, coupled with sending supportive signals to the people of Iran and their organized opposition.

The administration’s 12-point demands announced by Secretary Pompeo a year ago should remain as the prerequisite if the Iranian regime seeks to end its international isolation. Nothing more, and nothing less.

Prof. Raymond Tanter (@AmericanCHR) served as a senior member on the Middle East Desk of the National Security Council staff in the Reagan-Bush administration, Personal Representative of the Secretary of Defense to international security and arms control talks in Europe, and is now Professor Emeritus at the University of Michigan. Tanter is on the comprehensive list of conservative writers and columnists who appear in The Wall Street Journal, Townhall.com, National Review, The Weekly Standard, Human Events, The American Spectator, and now in Newsmax. To read more of his reports.

The Toll of the First Nuclear War (Revelation 8 )

Terrifying India and Pakistan nuclear war toll projected

A death toll more than all six years of World War II

By PTI in Washington

A nuclear war between India and Pakistan could kill in less than a week 50-125 million people, more than the death toll during all six years of World War II, according to a study by academics in the US.

It can also lead to global climate catastrophe, the researchers said.

A study by researchers from the University of Colorado Boulder and Rutgers University examined how a hypothetical future conflict would have consequences that could ripple across the globe.

India and Pakistan each have about 150 nuclear warheads at their disposal now, and that number is expected to climb to more than 200 by 2025, the researchers said.

An India-Pakistan war could double the normal death rate in the world,” said Brian Toon, a professor at the University of Colorado Boulder. “This is a war that would have no precedent in human experience,” Toon said.

“Such a war would threaten not only the locations where bombs might be targeted but the entire world,” said co-author Alan Robock of Rutgers University-New Brunswick.

The study, published in the journal Science Advances, looked at a war scenario that may occur between India and Pakistan in 2025. The neighbouring countries could come to possess a combined count of 400 to 500 nuclear weapons by 2025, the study noted.

“They’re rapidly building up their arsenals. They have huge populations, so lots of people are threatened by these arsenals, and then there’s the unresolved conflict over Kashmir,” Toon said.

The researchers found that the exploding nuclear weapons could release 16 to 36 million tonnes of soot — tiny black carbon particles in smoke — that could rise to the upper atmosphere and spread around the world within weeks. The soot, the researchers said, would absorb solar radiation, and heat up the air, boosting the smoke’s swift rise.

In the process, the study noted that the sunlight reaching the Earth would decline by 20 to 35 per cent, causing the planet’s surface to cool by 2 to 5 degrees Celsius.

Rainfall across the world may also reduce by 15 to 30 per cent, both of which could have larger regional impacts, the study noted.

The researchers added that vegetation growth would decline globally by 15 to 30 per cent on land, and the oceans could see a productivity decline by 5 to 15 per cent. Overall, the study noted that recovery from the collective impact would take more than 10 years as the smoke would linger in the upper atmosphere.

“Nine countries have nuclear weapons, but Pakistan and India are the only ones rapidly increasing their arsenals,” Robock said.

He said the continuing unrest between the two nuclear-armed countries, particularly over Kashmir, made it important to understand the consequences of a nuclear war.

According to the researchers, the nuclear weapons in the year 2025 could range from 15 kilo tonnes in explosive power — the same size as the bomb dropped on Hiroshima by the US in 1945 — to a few hundred kilo tonnes.

In the scenario, the researchers estimated that 50 to 125 million people could die from the direct effects, with additional deaths from mass starvation also possible worldwide.

“Nuclear weapons cannot be used in any rational scenario but could be used by accident or as a result of hacking, panic or deranged world leaders,” Robock said.

According to Robock, the only way to prevent accidental usage of nuclear weapons is to eliminate them.