Authorities Expecting The Sixth Seal? (Rev 6:12)

New York Times

By SAM ROBERTS

JULY 17, 2014

Here is another reason to buy a mega-million-dollar apartment in a Manhattan high-rise: Earthquake forecast maps for New York City that a federal agency issued on Thursday indicate “a slightly lower hazard for tall buildings than previously thought.”

The agency, the United States Geodetic Survey, tempered its latest quake prediction with a big caveat.

Federal seismologists based their projections of a lower hazard for tall buildings — “but still a hazard nonetheless,” they cautioned — on a lower likelihood of slow shaking from an earthquake occurring near the city, the type of shaking that typically causes more damage to taller structures.

“The tall buildings in Manhattan are not where you should be focusing,” said John Armbruster, a seismologist with the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University. “They resonate with long period waves. They are designed and engineered to ride out an earthquake. Where you should really be worried in New York City is the common brownstone and apartment building and buildings that are poorly maintained.”

Mr. Armbruster was not involved in the federal forecast, but was an author of an earlier study that suggested that “a pattern of subtle but active faults makes the risk of earthquakes to the New York City area substantially greater than formerly believed.”

He noted that barely a day goes by without a New York City building’s being declared unsafe, without an earthquake. “If you had 30, 40, 50 at one time, responders would be overloaded,” he said.

The city does have an earthquake building code that went into effect in 1996, and that applies primarily to new construction.

A well-maintained building would probably survive a magnitude 5 earthquake fairly well, he said. The last magnitude 5 earthquake in the city struck in 1884. Another is not necessarily inevitable; faults are more random and move more slowly than they do in, say, California. But he said the latest federal estimate was probably raised because of the magnitude of the Virginia quake.

Mr. Armbruster said the Geodetic Survey forecast would not affect his daily lifestyle. “I live in a wood-frame building with a brick chimney and I’m not alarmed sitting up at night worried about it,” he said. “But society’s leaders need to take some responsibility.”

The Russian Nuclear Nightmare (Daniel 7)

Nuclear Nightmare? Russia’s Avangard Hypersonic Missile Is About to Go Operational.

Russia’s Avangard hypersonic boost-glide missile is about to operational.

“This missile system is set to go on combat alert in December 2019,” Russia’s Ministry of Defense announced.

A defense industry source said “that the first two UR-100N UTTKh intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) outfitted with the Avangard nuclear boost-glide vehicle would go on experimental combat duty in late November – early December in the Dombarovsky division of the Strategic Missile Force,” according to Russian news agency TASS.

TASS also noted that another defense industry source said in October 2018 that “two Avangard regiments with six silo-based missiles each were due to assume combat duty in Russia.” And in December 2018, Sergei Karakayev, chief of the Strategic Missile Force, said that Avangard be deployed with the Dombarovsky missile division in the Orenburg Region in 2019. Orenburg is a city in southwest Russia near the border with Kazakhstan.

The Avangard is a nuclear-armed glider that travels at hypersonic (faster than Mach 5) speed. Lofted high into the atmosphere atop an ICBM, the glider descends on to its target with such velocity that it will be difficult to intercept the weapon.

“The boost-glide vehicle is capable of flying at over 20 times the speed of sound in the dense layers of the atmosphere, maneuvering by its flight path and its altitude and breaching any anti-missile defense,” said TASS. That last part is key: this is Moscow’s response to U.S. ballistic missile defense, which has stoked Kremlin fears that America will out to neutralize Russia’s nuclear deterrent.

Coincidentally or not, Russia has also just shown Avangard to U.S. inspectors, as required by the provisions of the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, or New START. “A U.S. inspection group was shown the Avangard missile system with the hypersonic boost-glide vehicle on the territory of Russia on November 24-26, 2019,” said the Ministry of Defense, which said it permitted the inspection to keep the treaty “viable and effective.”

New START, which limits the number and type of nuclear weapons possessed by the U.S. and Russia, was signed in 2010 under the Obama administration, and is set to expire in February 2020. While the Trump administration has not yet decided whether to renew or pull out of the accord, it did formally withdraw from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty this year. The INF accord, signed in 1987 by the Reagan administration, resulted in America and Russia slashing their arsenals of cruise missiles as well as short- and medium-range ballistic missiles.

The U.S. withdrawal from the INF agreement has spurred fears that the Washington and Moscow will revive the costly and dangerous Cold War nuclear arms race. At the same time, Russia has been developing a potpourri of exotic – and even bizarre — “wonder weapons” such the Avangard, the Poseidon thermonuclear-armed robot torpedo, and a nuclear-powered cruise missile.

With an arsenal of 528 land- and submarine-based ICBMs, plus nuclear weapons on bombers, Russia would already seem to have an immensely powerful nuclear capability. In that sense, Avangard doesn’t add very much – unless the U.S. can develop a ballistic missile defense system that can stop hundreds of ICBMs. So far, America’s missile defenses have only focused on intercepting a handful of ICBMs launched by a small power like North Korea.

Michael Peck is a contributing writer for the National Interest. He can be found on Twitter and Facebook.

Image: Reuters.

India Prepares For Nuclear War (Revelation 8 )

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‘Ready to fire anytime on short notice‘: India successfully test-fires nuclear-capable Prithvi-II missiles

November 30, 2019 Staff Writer

‘Ready to fire anytime on short notice‘: India successfully test-fires nuclear-capable Prithvi-II missiles India’s Strategic Forces Command has test-fired two short-range ballistic missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads as part of a yearly training session. The launches went off without a hitch.

The pair of Prithvi-II missiles were fired from Abdul Kalam Island off the coast of Odisha late on Wednesday night in a readiness test for the Indian missile forces, government sources told local media.

“Both tests met all parameters,” an official from the Integrated Test Range told the PTI news agency, adding: “The missile trajectory was tracked by radars, electro-optical tracking systems and telemetry stations by the [Defense Research and Development Organization].”

The munitions reportedly landed in the Bay of Bengal off India’s east coast.

“The test proved the reliability of the weapon and reconfirmed its operational readiness. The army is now ready to fire the missile anytime and in any terrain [at] short notice,” another defense official told the New Indian Express.

The domestically designed surface-to-surface missile has a range of some 220 miles (350km) and a payload capacity of up to 2,200 pounds (1,000kg). First inducted into India’s armed forces in 2003, the missile is single-stage, meaning it is propelled by only one set of rocket engines, and runs on a liquid fuel.

Earlier this week, New Delhi test-launched an intermediate-range Agni-II missile, while its rival Pakistan followed up by firing off its Shaheen-I munition in a test of its own, both of which are also nuclear-capable.

Hostilities between India and Pakistan soared earlier this year after New Delhi carried out airstrikes on Pakistan-controlled Kashmir, claiming to bomb “terror camps” in the first Indian incursion across the Kashmiri border since 1971, when the two countries were at war. The strikes prompted Islamabad to scramble its own fighters, culminating in a dog fight which shot down an Indian MiG.

Tensions erupted again more recently when India moved to revoke Kashmir’s special autonomy status in August, which Pakistan slammed as illegal.

Over the summer, Indian Defense Minister Rajnath Singh said the country’s ‘No First Use’ policy for nuclear weapons could soon change “[depending] on the circumstances,” implying that Pakistan could be the cause.

Antichrist Calls His Supporters To Continue Protests

Iraq’s Sadr calls his supporters to continue protests

BAGHDAD

Hours after Prime Minister Abdel Abdul Mahdi’s decision to step down, Iraqi Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr called the Iraqi people to stay in the streets with a view to exerting pressure on the Iraqi regime.

Al-Sadr, who leads Sairoon bloc in the parliament, went on to call the protestors to agree on a candidate to lead the upcoming government, suggesting that Abdul Mahdi’s decision is the first outcome of the two-months long protests.

“The new prime minister should not appoint his cabinet on ethnic and sectarian bases,” he added.

Sadr also called on the demonstrators to continue protesting and not to leave the street, calling on what he dubbed “Iraq’s friendly countries” to give the Iraqi people an opportunity to determine their own future.

Iraq has been rocked by mass protests since early October against poor living conditions and corruption. Protesters’ demands later spiraled into calls for dissolving the government of Abdul Mahdi.

According to Iraq’s High Commission for Human Rights, at least 406 Iraqis have been killed and 15,000 have been injured since protests began Oct. 1.

*Writing by Havva Kara Aydin

Iraqi PM submits resignation to clear way for the Antichrist

Iraqi prime minister says he will submit resignation to head off further bloodshed

Mustafa Salim and Sarah Dadouch, The Washington Post|November 29, 2019

BAGHDAD – Iraq’s embattled prime minister announced Friday that he will submit his resignation to parliament in hopes of curbing two months of widespread protests that have resulted in the deaths of hundreds of Iraqis.

Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi decided to resign in response to a call Friday by Iraq’s powerful Shiite Muslim religious leader, Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani, for a change of leadership, according to a statement issued by the prime minister’s office.

The statement said Abdul Mahdi’s resignation aims to “preserve the blood” of Iraqis amid a rising death toll in protests since early October over official corruption, high unemployment and poor government services in the oil-rich nation.

Protesters gathered in a central Baghdad square welcomed the announcement but said it did not go far enough.

Abdul Mahdi did not specify when he would submit his resignation. Friday marks the start of the weekend in Iraq, and parliament is set to meet Sunday for an emergency session to discuss the ongoing crisis in the country.

In some of the latest protest-related violence, security forces fatally shot seven people Friday in the southern city of Nasiriyah, a local health department official told The Washington Post, speaking on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to disclose the information publicly.

The situation was later defused after Abdul Mahdi’s resignation announcement when local tribal leaders assuaged protesters who were surrounding the city’s police headquarters. The commander of Nasiriyah’s police department resigned Friday, a day after the resignation of the governor Dhi Qar province, of which Nasiriyah is the capital.

Earlier, the deputy governor of Najaf province also stepped down.

In a statement, influential Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr said Abdul Mahdi’s resignation announcement was only the first of the protest movement’s outcomes.

 

“Keep in mind that his resignation does not mean the end of corruption,” the cleric said in a statement. He added that a new prime minister should be chosen by voters through a referendum and that the incoming prime minister should select his cabinet ministers independent of sectarian, nationalist or party divisions.

In a statement that began with a Koranic verse about offering oneself up for sacrifice, Abdul Mahdi said his decision came after listening to a sermon Friday from Sistani, Iraq’s “marja,” or supreme Shiite religious authority.

In the sermon, read by a Sistani aide at Friday prayers in the central Iraqi city of Najaf and broadcast nationally, Sistani called on the government to “reconsider its options” to prevent further bloodshed in the country. He cited tense conditions and a “clear inability” on the part of authorities to deal with the unrest in the last two months.

More than 350 people have been killed in Iraq since the protests shook the country on Oct. 1. Protesters have tried to gain control of central Baghdad and key downtown bridges leading to the seat of government. Security forces have fired live ammunition, rubber bullets and tear gas at the crowds.

The latest surge of violence included an attack on the Iranian Consulate in Najaf, a city that is sacred to Shiite Muslims and where Sistani resides. Blockades of burning tires cut off parts of the city about 100 miles south of Baghdad.

In the capital, marchers tried to hold bridges leading to the fortified Green Zone, the site of many government offices and diplomat missions, including the U.S. Embassy. Later on Friday, a rocket landed on the edge of the Green Zone, but there were no casualties, according to the Iraqi joint operations command.

Iraq’s constitution does not spell out a process that follows the resignation of a prime minister, said Ziad al-Ali, a lawyer specializing in comparative constitutional law and international commercial arbitration.

Iraq’s Federal Supreme Court can decide that a resignation equates to a vacancy, Ali said, which constitutionally means that the president of Iraq temporarily fills the role of prime minister.

“But in Iraq, according to the conditions and our history in the last 15 years, ‘temporary’ conditions may remain for a long time,” Ali said. If Abdul Mahdi asks parliament to withdraw its confidence in him, and it complies, effectively forcing him to resign, the whole government has to change. Abdul Mahdi would take the role of caretaker prime minister in the meantime.

Earlier in the day, palpable grief was etched on the faces of protesters in Baghdad’s central Tahrir Square, mourning people killed on Thursday. But shouts and cries flooded the square when Abdul Mahdi’s statement was announced over loudspeakers.

A speaker at the demonstration congratulated people on the news but urged them not to leave the square. Protesters did not gather there only for Abdul Mahdi’s resignation, the speaker said, adding: “We want to bring down the regime.”

Arms waving and shoulders swaying, lines of men danced in the exposed facade of an abandoned building known as the Turkish Restaurant, where they have set up a command center overlooking Tahrir Square.

“We welcomed this news with hearts heavy over the souls of the martyrs,” said Ali Dabdab, a protester who has been in the square since the first day. “I wanted them to be with us. The joy is not complete because martyrs of Nasiriyah and Najaf were just buried; their blood is still red.”

Dabdab, 28, said the resignation announcement was not enough and that Abdul Mahdi should be put on trial and held responsible for the hundreds killed in the last two months.

“We want to change everything: all these thieves and faces,” he said. “This resignation is only step one, but it’s not what we came for. We want our country back.”

One woman draped in an Iraqi flag hugged friends and strangers alike, tears streaming down her face. “We’ve been waiting for this day to come,” said Reema al-Obaidi, 25. “This is what tears of joy look like.”

– – –

Dadouch reported from Beirut. The Washington Post’s William Branigin in Washington contributed to this report.

Israeli Troops Kill Palestinian Teen Outside the Temple Walls (Revelation 11)

Israeli troops kill Palestinian teen at Gaza protest, Palestinians say

GAZA (Reuters) – Israeli soldiers shot and killed a Palestinian teenager near the border fence with the Gaza Strip on Friday, Palestinian officials said.

Relatives of a Palestinian teenager who was killed near the border fence, mourn at the hospital in the southern Gaza Strip November 29, 2019. REUTERS/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa

Israel’s military said soldiers had been fending off Palestinians who had approached and tried to sabotage its security fence. The military also said the demonstrators threw a number of explosive devices.

Residents in Gaza said a few dozen Palestinians had approached the border fence, an area in which Israel’s military, citing security concerns, enforces a “no go” zone. Some in the crowd hurled stones at the barrier, residents said.

One 16-year-old was killed and four other people were wounded by live fire, Gaza’s health ministry said.

An Israeli army spokesman said soldiers had “identified a number of attempts to approach the fence as well as a number of attempts to sabotage it”.

“Troops responded with riot dispersal means and 0.22 caliber rounds,” the spokesman said. “A report regarding the death of a Palestinian is being looked into.”

Israeli soldiers have been confronted by frequent Palestinian protests that often turn violent along the Gaza border. They have used tear gas, rubber bullets and live ammunition against demonstrators who the military said hurled rocks or petrol bombs at them.

The organisers of those protests said they had called off this week’s mass-demonstration, but a smaller crowd still gathered.

Egypt, Qatar and the United Nations have been working to keep the border calm.

Gaza officials say about 210 Palestinians have been killed since the weekly protests began in March 2018. In that time an Israeli soldier was shot dead by a Palestinian sniper along the frontier and another was killed during an undercover raid into Gaza.

Reporting by Nidal al-Mughrabi; Editing by Gareth Jones and Giles Elgood

Iraq PM Clears The Way For The Antichrist

Iraq’s PM announces he’ll resign amid worsening crisis

By SAMYA KULLAB and MURTADA FARAJ, Associated Press

BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi said Friday he would submit his resignation to parliament, a day after more than 40 people were killed by security forces and following calls by Iraq’s top Shiite cleric for lawmakers to withdraw support.

In a statement, Abdul-Mahdi said he “listened with great concern” to al-Sistani’s sermon and made his decision in response to his call and in order to “facilitate and hasten its fulfillment as soon as possible.”

“I will submit to parliament an official memorandum resigning from the current prime ministry so that the parliament can review its choices,” he said. Abdul-Mahdi was appointed prime minister just over a year ago as a consensus candidate between political blocs.

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Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani said parliament, which elected the government of Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi, should “reconsider its options” in his weekly Friday sermon delivered in the holy city of Najaf via a representative.

“We call upon the House of Representatives from which this current government emerged to reconsider its options in that regard,” al-Sistani said in the statement.

Three more protesters were killed and eight wounded by security forces on Friday who used live rounds in the southern city of Nasiriyah, amid continuing violence after the previous day’s bloodshed.

Al-Sistani also said protesters should distinguish between peaceful demonstrators and those seeking to turn the movement violent, following the burning of an Iranian consulate building in Najaf on Wednesday that government officials say was perpetrated by saboteurs from outside the protest movement.

The Islamic Dawa party called for parliament to convene immediately and choose an alternative government, in a statement.

Forty protesters were shot dead by security forces in Baghdad and the southern cities of Najaf and Nasiriyah on Thursday, in a sharp escalation of violence that continued Friday.

Three protesters were shot and eight wounded by security forces in Nasiriyah when the demonstrators attempted to enter the city center to resume their sit-in, security and hospital officials said. Security forces had fired live rounds the previous day to disperse protesters from two key bridges, killing 31 people.

In Baghdad, protesters gathered around the historic Rasheed Street near the strategic Ahrar Bridge and burned the Iranian flag, chanting “Iran out!”

Four people were shot by security forces on the bridge the previous day. Protesters are also occupying parts of the nearby bridges Jumhuriya and Sinar — all of which lead to the fortified Green Zone, the seat of Iraq’s government.

At least 400 protesters have died since Oct. 1, when thousands of Iraqis took to the streets in Baghdad and the predominantly Shiite southern provinces to decry corruption, poor services and lack of jobs. Security forces have used live fire, tear gas and smoke bombs to disperse crowds.

A spokesman for the U.N. secretary-general expressed deep concern over the use of live ammunition against protesters on Friday.

“The Secretary-General reiterates his call on the Iraqi authorities to exercise maximum restraint, protect the lives of demonstrators, respect the rights to freedom of expression and assembly, and swiftly to investigate all acts of violence,” said Stéphane Dujarric, in a statement.

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