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.

Antichrist withdraws his support for Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi

Thousands of Iraqis defy government crackdown in Baghdad’s Tahrir Square

Earlier on Sunday, populist Iraqi cleric Moqtada Al Sadr withdrew his support for Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi

Iraqi security forces fire tear gas to disperse anti-government protesters during a demonstration in Tahrir Square, Baghdad, Iraq. AP Photo

Mina Aldroubi and Pesha Magid

October 27, 2019

Thousands of Iraqi protesters stood defiantly in Baghdad’s Tahrir Square on Sunday to demand civil rights, defying a crackdown that killed dozens of people over the weekend and an overnight raid by authorities trying to stop them.

Protesters erected barricades on a bridge leading to Baghdad’s fortified Green Zone, while security forces lobbed tear gas canisters at them. Medical sources told Reuters that 77 people had been injured.

Earlier on Sunday, populist Iraqi cleric Moqtada Al Sadr withdrew his support for Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi, accusing him of failing to meet protesters’ demands.

Clashes between security forces and protesters have killed at least 63 people and injured 2,592 in the past two days, an official with Iraq’s Human Rights Commission told The National on Sunday.

Despite their country being a major global centre for oil, many Iraqis live in poverty and have limited access to clean water, electricity, health care and education.

Protesters blame the country’s political elite for this and say it is subservient to regional allies in a way that does not consider most of Iraq’s people.

Thousands also gathered on Sunday in the three southern cities of Nasiriya, Hilla and Kerbala.

Members of the Saeroon bloc of MPs demanded the government resign and began a protest at Parliament.

“We are on our way now to Parliament for the sit-in until the enactment of all reforms the Iraqi people are demanding,” MP Badr Al Zayadi said.

The bloc, Iraq’s largest, is tied to Mr Al Sadr, the cleric who also called for early elections to be supervised by the UN.

He was known to be the kingmaker of the current government after Saeroon secured a majority of seats in May’s elections.

UN chief Antonio Guterres scolds Iraq over protesters’ deaths

UN says Iraqi government violated human rights in protest response

Friday witnessed the return of the protest movement that rocked the country this month.

On the first day of the protests Mohamed Al Shafajy approached The National with blood dripping from hands after he witnessed the killing of a protester on the Jumhuriya bridge.

“The blood came from one of the martyrs whose life was cut by the order of the prime minister,” Mr Al Shafajy said.

“They have Iranian militias killing Iraqi people. These are the people’s protests, they don’t belong to any party or any power.”

Abdul Rahman Berzanji, a wounded demonstrator in Baghdad, said: “In his last speech the prime minister said he would not target the protesters.

“I was hit by live bullets in the head and foot during the last two days. We are all here in Tahrir Square standing against corruption.”

The government must provide protection and security for people to safely demonstrate and to separate those who are trying to infiltrate the movement, Ali Al Bayati, a member of Iraq’s Human Rights Commission, told The National.

“The government must establish direct dialogue with representatives of the protests to meet their requests,” Mr Al Bayati said.

Protesters are angry with the authorities for failing to end their suffering and for not protecting them during the demonstrations, he said.

“More than 22 per cent of Iraqis live under the poverty line and Iraqi youth are 60 per cent of the population,” Mr Al Bayati said.

Hundreds of university students and women took the streets of Baghdad on Sunday to join the protest movement.

Sunday’s protests saw a high number of women and young girls still in school.

Tara Ali, 19, who attends the Atba bin Gazwan high school in Al Salhiah neighbourhood, said she arranged on Instagram a sit-in with her classmates.

Nearly 100 students gathered in front of the gate of her high school in solidarity with the protests.

“I’m fighting for the future of myself, my future children and my younger sister,” Ms Ali said.

She attended the protests with her younger sister Rose and their mother to help distribute food and fizzy drinks to the protesters.

“Women have a voice,” Ms Ali said. “We can help with everything we bring to the protesters.”

Mr Abdul Mahdi used Iraq’s elite counter-terrorism forces to protect state buildings around Baghdad from “undisciplined elements taking advantage of security forces being busy with protecting protests and protesters”, the government said.

Shake Before the Sixth Seal (Revelation 6:12)

An earthquake occurred Thursday night in Rockland County on the Hackensack River not far from the New York Thruway. The quake was recorded at 9:41 p.m. (map via U.S. Geological Survey)

Earthquake Registers In Rockland County Thursday Night

The quake was recorded by the Lamott Doherty Earth Observatory and the U.S. Geological Service.

Updated Oct 25, 2019 3:13 pm ET

WEST NYACK, NY — An earthquake occurred Thursday night in Rockland County on the Hackensack River not far from the New York Thruway. The quake was recorded at 9:41 p.m.

The magnitude was just 1.1 on the Richter Scale, so you might not have felt it.

“Because they’re very small, being close allows us to see them,” said Mitchell Gold, network manager for the Lamott Cooperative Seismic Network. “We have enough instrumentation close to New York that allows these things to be seen.”

Here’s where the U.S. Geological Survey pinpointed it:

• 0.7 mile east-southeast of West Nyack, New York

• 2.8 miles east of Nanuet, New York

• 3.9 miles northeast of Pearl River, New York

• 4.1 miles south-southeast of New City, New York

• 72.9 miles northeast of Trenton, New Jersey

The depth was about about 1.9 miles.

The observatory has stations all over the New York metro area just “listening” and recording seismic activity, Gold said. There’s one in Central Park, there’s one in New Paltz, and several others around New York and New Jersey.

This little quake was picked up by several of their stations. Having better equipment and more stations makes the difference with the smallest quakes, Gold said.

Did you feel it? If so report it on the event page run by the Lamott Doherty Earth Observatory (right here in Palisades) for the U.S. Geological Survey.

Littlea earthquakes hit the Hudson Valley occasionally. See: Aftershocks Hit Hudson Valley Wednesday

95 Demonstrators Injured Outside the Temple Walls (Revelation 11)

95 Demonstrators Injured In Gaza Protests

This past Friday marked the 80th Great March of Return in the occupied Gaza Strip. Since March 2018, protesters have gathered near the Israel border fence every Friday. Israeli forces have killed over 300 Gazans since the protests started, most near the border fence.

At the most recent demonstrations, 95 protesters were injured, among them 43 children, 2 paramedics, and a journalist. 36 of those wounded were shot with live bullets, the rest either hit with rubber bullets or tear gas canisters.

Demonstrators are demanding an end to the blockade that has been in effect since 2007. The economy of Gaza is in dire straits, unemployment is around 50 percent, and about 70 percent for the occupied territories’ youth.

Israeli forces have killed children, journalists, paramedics, and disabled people since the protests began. In February, the UN released a report accusing Israeli soldiers of war crimes for how they targeted the civilian protesters.

The UN commission that investigated the protests said in a statement, “The Commission has reasonable grounds to believe that during the Great March of Return, Israeli soldiers committed violations of international human rights and humanitarian law. Some of those violations may constitute war crimes or crimes against humanity, and must be immediately investigated by Israel.”

The War Before the First Nuclear War (Revelation 8 )

Tensions between Pakistan and Indian remain high along the Line of Control. — AFP/File

Pakistan Army has killed over 60 Indian soldiers at LoC since Feb 27: Asif Ghafoor

The Pakistan Army has killed more than 60 Indian soldiers during firing at the Line of Control (LoC) since February 27, Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor, the director general of the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), said on Saturday.

On February 27, the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) had shot down two Indian aircraft which had violated Pakistani airspace. An Indian pilot was also arrested but he was later released by Pakistan as a goodwill gesture.

Tweeting from his personal account, Ghafoor said many Indian troops were also injured and their bunkers destroyed by Pakistani forces since the February tit-for-tat airstrikes.

“Artillery gun positions also damaged [and troops] forced to relocate,” he wrote.

The head of the army’s media wing noted that since February the PAF had downed two Indian Air Force jets, two Indian helicopters had “met fratricide under fear” and the Indian navy was “under deterrence”.

Ghafoor’s tweeted was accompanied by the hashtag #CostForCDS.

On Friday, the ISPR had said that Indian army chief Bipin Rawat with “irresponsible statements” and “blood of innocents on his hand” seeks to become India’s first Chief of Defence Staff (CDS).

CDS is a proposed position for the combined head of the Indian army, Indian air force and Indian navy. The creation of the post was announced by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his independence day speech in August.

‘Rogue force’

The ISPR had accused Gen Rawat of converting the Indian army into a “rogue force” and wasting lives of his men because of his reckless command and for the attainment of personal ambitions.

The tweets came in response to Gen Rawat’s latest comments at a lecture in which he alleged that Azad Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan were controlled by “terrorists”.

The Indian army chief’s statement came days after Pakistan exposed his claims of having neutralised three “terror launch pads” in Azad Kashmir in heavy artillery strikes in the early hours of Sunday. The Foreign Office and Army later took a group of 23 foreign diplomats and media to the areas hit by Indian shelling to show that India had actually targeted civilian population instead of the claimed “terror launch pads”.

Indian High Commission representatives had been invited to the trip, but they stayed away.

Moreover, Indian authorities did not even provide the coordinates of the terrorist targets they claim to have destroyed.

The Indian army chief has made a number of careless statements on Pakistan in the past also, which served to escalate tensions between the two countries.

Tensions between the nuclear-armed rivals that got engaged in a military stand-off in February have remained high this year, but spiked sharply after India revoked occupied Kashmir’s autonomy on August 5.

Australia Is The Next Nuclear Weapons State (Daniel 7)

The Next Nuclear Weapons State: Australia?

ASPI releases today the second issue of its Strategist Selections series, pulling together a collection of 36 of my Strategist posts on nuclear strategy. I’m honoured to follow in the footsteps of Kim Beazley, whose collected posts formed the first issue, and hope that readers find value in the latest publication. The Strategist, ASPI’s commentary and analysis site, is now over seven years old, and a vast archive of more than 6,000 articles is there for the mining. I do not think the latest volume in the series could be more timely.

In recent months the question of whether Australia should build its own nuclear arsenal has received considerable attention. It’s a question that demands careful handling, not least because it’s an invitation to the incautious respondent to take a length of rope and hang themselves in the corner. And all too often, respondents do exactly that, burdening the argument for a domestic nuclear arsenal with poor judgement, strategic paranoia and moral insensibilities.

For many years the simple, formal answer to the question has always been the same: Australia is a party to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, and it is not a repentant state. (Repentant states are those that signed the treaty but later came to regret their own hastiness.) That’s because the NPT generally represents the last major occasion on which states were asked to choose their nuclear identity.

The strategic commentariat has, over the years, been reluctant to challenge the choice Canberra made then. For good reason: Australia hasn’t confronted a serious strategic challenge since Richard Nixon’s opening to China, an event almost contemporaneous with the NPT. That’s why Hugh White’s recent book is novel. It explores the option of an indigenous arsenal essentially in 21st-century strategic terms.

So, should Australia build its own nuclear arsenal? I think the answer is, ‘Yes, if it needs to.’ That’s a big ‘if’—indeed, a series of big ‘ifs’: if the regional strategic environment becomes appreciably darker; if US extended nuclear deterrence is no longer available, or patently incredible; and, perhaps just as importantly, if there’s bipartisan Australian acceptance of the need for an indigenous arsenal.

The first ‘if’ poses a major challenge of assessment: how dark does the regional strategic environment need to be? The fact that the Australian mainstream is already broken over the ‘China threat’, despite China’s recent blatantly coercive behaviour, doesn’t bode well for its ability to reach a consensus on what might constitute the grounds for initiating a nuclear-weapons program.

I’d venture one, imperfect, benchmark: the environment would need to be sufficiently dark that an Australian nuclear-weapons program would be seen (by some countries at least) as a positive contribution to regional stability. It certainly would have to be dark enough for us to satisfy the ‘supreme national interests’ test of Article X of the NPT—the article covering withdrawal from the treaty.

The second ‘if’—extended deterrence—is already encountering some choppy waters, waters which Donald Trump’s presidency has roiled rather than calmed. True, the administration’s 2018 nuclear posture review comes closer to underlining the specific provision of a US nuclear umbrella to Australia than any of its predecessors. On page 22 of the main text, there’s a sentence that reads: ‘The United States has extended nuclear deterrence commitments that assure European, Asian, and Pacific allies.’ That’s an interesting separation of America’s usually hyphenated Asian and Pacific allies, and may reflect a deliberate attempt by Washington to reinforce its assurance to Australia.

Still, US extended nuclear deterrence was a doctrine invented for a different era; it faces genuine credibility issues in a more risk-tolerant world, especially if themes of nationalism and buck-passing continue to resonate in US strategic policy.

The third ‘if’ is just as awkward, and often overlooked. Australia, to use a rowing metaphor, hasn’t got its head in the boat in relation to an indigenous nuclear-weapons program. For Australian thinking about nuclear weapons to change, we’d probably have to be facing an existential threat. Only such a condition could generate the level of bipartisan agreement necessary to develop, build and deploy a serious nuclear force.

But, of course, if we were staring down the barrel of an existential threat, we’d probably want to have a nuclear arsenal to hand relatively quickly. And there’s the problem. Nuclear-weapons programs take time. In wintertime, many Canberrans are acutely conscious of how far their most remote hot-water tap is from their hot-water system, and the amount of time it takes for hot water to move through the house. But pursuing an indigenous nuclear-weapons program in Australia’s current circumstances would be worse: it would be the equivalent of turning on a tap in a house to which no hot-water system had ever been fitted.

It would be easier to build nuclear weapons if we had in place a stronger core of nuclear skills in our workforce, some capacity to produce fissionable materials, and a suitable delivery vehicle. (More ‘ifs’.) Australia has few of those assets. We have one research reactor at Lucas Heights. We have neither an enrichment capability for uranium nor a reprocessing facility for plutonium. And our best delivery vehicle, the F-111, has long since faded into history. If Australia was to attempt to proliferate, using only national resources, we’d likely face a 15-year-plus haul.

Working in partnership with others would allow us to shorten that timeframe. Indeed, in a post-NPT world we might even be able to buy an arsenal, or critical parts thereof, off the shelf—our usual path to acquiring high-technology military weaponry. But that seems an unlikely scenario.

Nuclear weapons cast long political shadows—which, indeed, is their primary purpose. But they’re also weapons of mass destruction, meaning a decision to proliferate should never be taken lightly.

Personally, I think there are enough large strategic variables already at play that we should be thinking now about an indigenous nuclear-weapons program in much the same way that we did between the 1950s and 1970s.

That is, we should be acting to minimise the lead time required for us to have such a capability, just in case we decide we do need it.

This article first appeared at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute in 2019.

Image: Reuters.

US Advances Saudi’s Nukes (Daniel 7)

US Says Talks Progressing With Saudi on Possible Nuclear Program

US President Donald Trump reaches out to shake hands with Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, DC, March 20, 2018. Photo: REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst/File Photo.

US Energy Secretary Rick Perry said on Saturday that conversations with Saudi Arabia on a nuclear program are going forward.

The world’s top oil exporter had said it wanted to use nuclear power to diversify its energy mix. It wants to go ahead with a full-cycle nuclear program, including the production and enrichment of uranium for atomic fuel.

In order for US companies to compete for Saudi Arabia’s project, Riyadh would normally need to sign an accord on the peaceful use of nuclear technology with Washington.

Reuters has reported that progress on the discussions has been difficult because Saudi Arabia does not want to sign a deal that would rule out the possibility of enriching uranium or reprocessing spent fuel — both potential paths to a bomb.

“The kingdom and the leadership in the kingdom … will find a way to sign a 1, 2, 3 agreement with the United States, I think,” Perry said.

Speaking at a round table in Abu Dhabi, Perry added that the United States was doing everything it could to have a ready global supply of oil.

“We are the number one oil and gas producer in the world, we don’t intend to use it as a weapon. We intend to make it available and in as many places and as competitively priced as we can,” Perry said.

Oil prices rose on Friday, registering the strongest weekly gains in more than a month as optimism over a US-China trade deal, falling US crude stocks, and possible action from OPEC to extend output cuts outweighed broader economic concerns.