Too Little Too Late (Revelation 6:12)

Image result for indian pointBuchanan Mayor Talks About Game Plan For Indian Point Closure

  MAY 28, 2019

Less than a year from now, one of two reactors at New York’s Indian Point nuclear power plant will be permanently shut down. The second is slated for closure by April 30, 2021. Indian Point is in Buchanan, where Theresa Knickerbocker is mayor. She spoke with WAMC’s Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Allison Dunne about plans to replace revenue from the plant and more.

Indian Point is the largest employer and taxpayer in the village and surrounding communities. A bill recently introduced by Democrat Sandy Galef in the state Assembly would allow spent fuel rods, whether stored in pools or dry cask storage, to be taxed as real property. And with Buchanan standing to lose close to 50 percent of its revenue from Indian Point’s closure, Knickerbocker welcomes the possibility of making up for some of the loss.

She says securing a new revenue source from storing spent fuel would be novel in New York.

The surprise January 2017 announcement that an agreement had been reached to permanently close Westchester County-based Indian Point left Knickerbocker scratching her head about a new PILOT, or payment in lieu of taxes, deal.

Knickerbocker says she just focused on how to move forward.

And part of that game plan includes economic development, along with exploring shared services with the county and other municipalities. Knickerbocker addresses work on the state Indian Point Closure Task Force, of which she’s a member.

She says a biotech firm had inquired but needed the site ready within the year, which the village wasn’t sure it could pull off in time. She says another business is looking for financing, but declined to speak more about it. In April, Indian Point’s parent company Entergy announced it would sell the plant after shutting down to a subsidiary of Holtec International. Meantime, Knickerbocker is up for re-election to a fourth, two-year term in March 2020.

Independent Theresa Knickerbocker is mayor of the Village of Buchanan, home to the Indian Point nuclear power plant.

Iran Advances Her Nuclear Horn

In this photo released by the official website of the office of the Iranian Presidency, President Hassan Rouhani speaks in a public gathering at the city of Yazd, Iran, Sunday, Nov. 10, 2019.

Iran’s Rouhani says Tehran testing new IR-9 uranium enrichment centrifuges

AP/ Office of the Iranian Presidency 2019©

IR-9 centrifuges said to be five times as powerful as the advanced IR-6 models

Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani said on Wednesday that the development of the new IR-9 uranium centrifuges is now in the test phase.

The statement was made during Rouhani’s visit to Malaysia, as reported by the IRNA news agency.

Rouhani, as cited by the outlet, praised the progress made in the nuclear field despite US pressure, saying that IR-6 centrifuges are now running, and IR-9 were being tested.

The prototype of the IR-9 model, five meters tall and, reportedly, 5 times as powerful as the advanced IR-6 models, was first unveiled in early November.

Iran has recently been scaling down its commitments under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action agreement, also known simply as the nuclear deal, which sought to curb its nuclear ambitions in return for sanctions relief.

It also repeatedly lashed out at the EU for failing to stand up to the US as Washington pulled out of the accord.

Several EU states, in their turn, expressed their concerns over Iranian missile program in a letter to UN Secretary General in early December.

The Indian Nuclear Horn

Meet India’s Fighter Jet Armed With Supersonic Nuclear Missiles

Key Point: Pairing a supersonic missile with a jet fighter strengthens one leg of India’s nuclear triad.

India’s nuclear command has begun receiving fighter jets armed with the country’s most advanced, supersonic cruise missile.

According to media reports, India’s Strategic Forces Command (SFC) has begun receiving 42 Su-30MKI air dominance fighters modified to carry air-launched BrahMos supersonic cruise missile. This will significantly enhance the striking power of the air leg of India’s nuclear triad.

“Individually, the Su-30 and BrahMos are powerful weapons,” Russia and India Report noted. “But when the world’s most capable fourth generation fighter is armed with a uniquely destructive cruise missile, together they are a dramatic force multiplier.”

The Sukhoi Su-30 MKI is a twin-seater, highly maneuverable, fourth-generation multirole combat fighter aircraft built by Russia’s Sukhoi Design Bureau and licensed to India’s Hindustan Aeronautics Limited. The plane will serve as the backbone of India’s Air Force through 2020 and beyond. Delhi has already acquired around 200 jets, and eventually plans to acquire 282 of them.

The same report notes that the Su-30 will add to the Brahmos’ already deadly effect. “The Sukhoi’s blistering speed will add extra launch momentum to the missile, plus the aircraft’s ability to penetrate hardened air defences means there is a greater chance for the pilot to deliver the missile on to its designated targets.”

Pairing the Su-30 with the Brahmos missile will also drastically expand the striking power of the air leg of India’s nuclear triad. The Su-30 itself has a range of up to 1,800 kilometers while the Brahmos missile can strike targets nearly 300 kilometers away. Thus, the newly modified Su-30s will allow India’s nuclear aircraft to strike deep in the heart of China or Pakistan, Delhi’s two main adversaries.

The plan to modify the Su-30 to carry the Brahmos missiles was first hatched back in 2010 when the SFC submitted a proposal for two squadrons of Su-30s to be put under its command. Later, in 2012, India’s cabinet approved the project to modify 42 Su-30s to carry 216 Brahmos missiles. According to the Times of India, the integration project was mostly carried out by BrahMos Aerospace, with HAL also contributing crucial modifications.

The first of the new planes was handed over to the SFC in February and is believed to have undergone tests last month. Production on the second of the modified Su-30s has already begun. It is unclear when the SFC expects to receive the rest of the planes.

The Brahmos-armed Su-30s is only one of the ways that India is strengthening its strategic deterrent. It has also been busy testing the Agni-V, which is three-stage solid-fueled intermediate-range ballistic missile (IRBM) with a range of about 5,000 km. When the Agni-V is inducted into service, India will have the ability to strike any part of China with nuclear weapons for the first time. Furthermore, India is currently testing ballistic missile submarines (SSBN), which will complete the nuclear triad.

Zachary Keck is a former managing editor of The National Interest. You can find him on Twitter: @ZacharyKeck.

Pakistan threatens India with nuclear war over citizenship law

Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan

Imran Khan threatens India with nuclear war over citizenship law

18 Dec 2019

ANI

We in Pakistan are not just worried that there’ll be a refugee crisis; we are worried that this could lead to a conflict. A conflict between two nuclear-armed countries, Imran Khan said

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has once again threatened India with nuclear war over the recently enacted Citizenship (Amendment) Act, which promises Indian citizenship to non-Muslim refugees of the neighbouring countries.

Khan, while addressing the first Global Refugee Forum as a co-convener here on Tuesday, said: “I want to tell the whole world that they should be aware of the biggest impending refugee crisis (in South Asia).”

He was apparently referring to the recently enacted Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019, which promises Indian citizenship to non-Muslim refugees of Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan, who arrived in India on or before December 31, 2014.

“We in Pakistan are not just worried that there’ll be a refugee crisis; we are worried that this could lead to a conflict. A conflict between two nuclear-armed countries,” Khan remarked.

Leaving no opportunity to condemn India on the world stage, Khan also put forth his rhetoric on New Delhi’s decision to revoke Article 370 that accorded special status to Jammu and Kashmir, saying “It is time for the world to take notice of the situation in Kashmir,” despite India time again stating that such matters are entirely “internal” to the country.

“We know from our past experience that prevention is better than cure. If the world acts right now and puts pressure on the Indian government to stop this illegal activity, we could prevent this crisis,” the cricketer-turned-politician told the forum, adding that millions of Muslims could flee from India because of the “curfew imposed in Kashmir”.

It should be noted that this is not the first time when Pakistan has abused the global platform to imply a clear message of threat asserting that if India provokes Pakistan – Islamabad will not hesitate to use its nuclear weapons.

In his maiden address to the September UN General Assembly meeting in New York, Khan had warned of dire consequences in the event of a nuclear war with India after New Delhi revoked the special status of Jammu and Kashmir on August 5.

“If a conventional war starts between the two countries, anything could happen. A country seven times smaller than its neighbour, what will it do — either surrender or fight for its freedom,” he told the UN.

“My belief is we will fight and when a nuclear-armed country fights till the end it will consequence far beyond the borders. I am warning you. It’s not a threat but the worry about where are we heading to. If this goes wrong, you hope for the best but prepare for the worst,” the prime minister added.

Pakistan has repeatedly criticised India on the global platform for revoking the special status of Jammu and Kashmir, instead of taking care of the vulnerable condition of the minorities who are facing the constant threat of persecution on its soil.

It is also worth mentioning, at the same time, that the United Nations, as well as the entire international community, has regularly condemned the extra-judicial killings and enforced disappearances of Balochs, Ahmadiyya, and other minority communities by the Pakistani establishment.

“Over the past 72 years, Pakistan has systematically persecuted its minorities, forcing most of them to flee to India. PM Khan wishes world forgets what his Army did in ’71 to people of erstwhile East Pakistan. Pakistan must act to protect and promote rights of its own minorities and co-religionists,” the MEA statement said.

However, India was quick to react to the Pakistani leader’s comment, with the Indian External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar claiming that Khan had earlier also peddled “familiar falsehoods to advance his narrow political agenda by making such gratuitous and unwarranted remarks.”

Prior to this, New Delhi also “categorically” rejected a resolution adopted by Pakistan against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, saying that the move directly referred to matters that are “internal” to the country and is “a thinly-veiled attempt” by the Islamic state to peddle its false narrative on Kashmir.

The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill was passed from Parliament earlier this week and became an Act with the Presidential assent to it on November 12.

The first-ever Global Refugee Forum (GRF) in Geneva has been convened in recognition of an exemplary role for the protection and well-being of refugees by several countries including Pakistan, Islamabad said in a statement.

NO, Russia And The U.S. Will Not Agree To Keep A Lid On Their Nuclear Arsenals

Russia’s Sarmat intercontinental missile is shown off to media at an undisclosed location in Russia on March 1, 2018.

Can Russia And The U.S. Agree To Keep A Lid On Their Nuclear Arsenals?

December 15, 2019 10:31 GMT

By Mike Eckel

One major Cold War-era weapons treaty has collapsed. Another, aimed at building trust among the United States, Russia, and other countries, is under severe strain. Washington and Moscow are modernizing their arsenals, building new, more advanced weapons.

By most accounts, the United States and Russia are on the verge of a new arms race, if not already in one.

But last month, something unusual happened: U.S. inspectors traveled to Russia to examine a new missile that Moscow says is super-fast. The demonstration was “aimed at facilitating efforts to ensure the viability and efficiency of New START,” the Russian Defense Ministry said.

The move has arms control observers wondering whether, despite poisoned relations, Moscow and Washington may in fact find a way to agree to extend the biggest — and last — major weapons treaty restraining the holders of the world’s two largest nuclear arsenals.

Dmitry Stefanovich, a researcher with the Russian International Affairs Council, said the inspection of the weapon — called Avangard by Russian military designers — was a demonstration that Moscow was eager to extend New START.

“It is more like an offer: See, we will [give] you transparency on some new weapons and probably some more in the future, but we have to extend the treaty for it to work,” he told RFE/RL. “And we expect the same from you, when your modernization of strategic weapons reaches fruition.”

Large Arsenals

Signed in 2010 by Presidents Barack Obama and Dmitry Medvedev, New START limited the U.S. and Russian nuclear arsenals by capping the numbers of delivery systems — long-range bombers, silo-based land missiles, and submarine-launched missiles — and deployed warheads.

As of September 1, Russia had 513 deployed strategic launchers with 1,426 warheads, according to State Department figures. The United States deploys 668 strategic launchers with 1,376 warheads, according to the data.

The launch of what Putin said was Russia’s new nuclear-powered intercontinental cruise missile on March 1, 2018.

Taken together, the two arsenals are larger than those of the world’s other six professed nuclear-armed states combined, according to the Federation of American Scientists, a Washington-based research organization. That doesn’t include the undeclared nuclear states: Israel and North Korea.

The treaty expires in February 2021, although provisions allow for it to be prolonged by five years if both sides agree.

With not much more than a year to go, whether that will happen is uncertain. U.S. President Donald Trump has sent mixed signals about his intentions for New START, while making clear that he would like a treaty that also limits the nuclear arsenals of other countries, particularly China.

During a news conference in London with French President Emmanuel Macron on December 3, Trump indicated he had discussed the issue with Putin.

“Also, with respect to nuclear weapons, I’ve spoken to President Putin, and I’ve communicated with him,” Trump said. “He very much wants to, and so do we, work out a treaty of some kind on nuclear weapons that will probably then include China at some point, and yourselves, by the way. But it will include China and some other countries.”

Earlier this year, the United States pulled out of another keystone arms control agreement — the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty — after years of accusing Russia of developing, then deploying, a treaty-violating weapon.

As part of that withdrawal, the United States moved to start testing its own missiles that would also be in violation of the INF treaty. In 2018, Congress approved $48 million to develop such weaponry, and just last week, on December 12, the Pentagon tested a noncompliant ballistic missile.

However, the new defense policy legislation that passed Congress with bipartisan support a day earlier bars the Trump administration from building any such missiles.

Washington’s European allies have largely supported the United States in the INF dispute, although several have voiced specific fears about being targeted by Russian weaponry.

“After the decision of the end of the INF Treaty, we have to build something new. Because now this is a risk for Germany, France, and a lot of European countries to have new missiles coming from Russia, exposing us,” Macron said during the news conference with Trump in London.

Russia, meanwhile, has signaled that it was open to extending New START and suggested that if that didn’t happen, the United States would be to blame for it.

“Russia is ready to immediately, as soon as possible, right before the end of this year, without any preconditions, extend the New START treaty,” Putin said on December 5 at a meeting with top military and defense-industry officials. “So that there would be no further [misinterpretation] regarding our position, I say this now officially.”

Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov appeared to reiterate that statement during a December 11 visit to Washington, where he met with Trump.

“Russia has reconfirmed its offer already now to make the decision to extend this treaty. President Putin has expressed this position, reconfirmed it in his public speech,” he said.

New Nukes

While Putin and other Russian officials have signaled a desire to prolong New START, Russian weapons designers have pushed forward with the development of sophisticated new weapons systems.

“I think the Kremlin is truly interested in extending New START, but it is currently taking advantage of the Trump administration’s fumbling on the issue,” Hans Kristensen, a longtime nuclear weapons expert at the Federation of American Scientists, told RFE/RL.

Putin is taking full advantage of Trump’s inability to embrace something signed by Obama by playing the good guy,” Kristensen said. “In doing that, the Kremlin is seeking to capitalize on Trump’s withdrawal from INF and opposition to New START as a way to paint Russia as the good guy and the United States as the threat to international security.”

One of the main sticking points for the United States has been a demand to include new Russian weapons in the prolonged agreement.

The new nuclear-capable systems of concern to Washington include an air-launched ballistic missile known as Kinzhal; a nuclear-powered unmanned torpedo called Poseidon; a nuclear-powered cruise missile known as Burevestnik; and the Avangard, which Putin bragged about publicly in his state-of-the-nation speech in March 2018.

The system, which can carry conventional or nuclear warheads, is designed to be launched from an intercontinental missile and to glide to its target at hypersonic speeds.

On November 24, U.S. inspectors examined the Avangard, under the rules stipulated by New START. The inspection, formally known as an exhibition, was confirmed by the State Department in a statement to RFE/RL.

“Russia hosted an exhibition under the New START Treaty,” a spokesman said. “The United States exercised its right under the treaty to participate in the exhibition. Both the United States and Russia continue implementation of the treaty. We cannot discuss any details given the confidential nature of the exhibition.”

While the White House gives mixed signals about its interest in extending New START, other military and civilian officials have made stronger arguments about its need.

Top U.S. commanders have voiced support for the New START inspections provisions, saying U.S. intelligence would lose access to valuable information that it gleans from inspections.

The treaty “has provided us with valuable insight into Russian, in this case, capabilities,” Admiral Charles Richard, the commander of all U.S. nuclear forces, said at his Senate confirmation hearing in October. “It gives us a feel for their size, capacity, capability.”

But the treaty “doesn’t address large categories of weapons that are not treaty-constrained,” he added. “It is only with Russia, and they are developing new systems.”

Why Are Russian Spy Planes In The Sky Over Washington?

EXPLAINER: Why Are Russian Spy Planes In The Sky Over Washington?

During another Senate hearing in early December, Christopher Ford, assistant secretary of state for nonproliferation, gave a mixed assessment of Moscow’s adherence to treaties.

“We assess that Russia does still remain in compliance with its New START obligations, but its behavior in connection with most other arms control agreements — and not merely the ill-fated INF Treaty — has been nothing short of appalling,” Ford said.

David Trachtenberg, who left as deputy undersecretary of defense in July 2019, said New START’s inspection rules were not as good as those included in previous treaties. He echoed Ford’s assertions that Moscow was “selectively complying” with some treaties.

“Rather than extending New START on the pretense that it is better than nothing, perhaps it is time to consider renegotiating it in favor of an agreement that truly serves American security interests,” he said in an op-ed published in the journal Real Clear Defense. “Arms control is not an end unto itself…. New START should not be viewed in isolation from Russia’s overall arms control behavior and nuclear weapons activities.”

Trust, But Verify

Trachtenberg’s argument about a lack of trust in Russia is one of the primary reasons that the INF collapsed, experts say: the inability to fully verify, or disprove, the U.S. allegations about the Russian missile that is allegedly in violation.

As the dispute came to a head in 2017, U.S. officials provided Russian counterparts with some evidence to back up their assertions and suggested they be allowed to inspect the missile in question.

Russia initially refused to even acknowledge the existence of the missile: “How can you verify something that doesn’t exist?” as one U.S. official, who tried to explain the Russian position, told RFE/RL.

When Russia did confirm the missile’s existence, it claimed that the missile complied with the treaty, so there was no need for U.S. inspections.

The fate of another verification treaty, Open Skies, has come into question for indirectly related reasons.

The deal allows member countries to conduct flights over one another’s territories to do surveillance of things like military bases and deployed units. Some U.S. officials and several top Republicans have accused Russia of conducting illegal overflights and blocking similar flights over strategic Russian territory.

In September, the Trump administration signaled that it was preparing to withdraw from the treaty, but analysts in Washington told RFE/RL that a final decision on withdrawing had been postponed.

The annual U.S. defense policy budget ordered the administration to give lawmakers 120 days notice if it intended to withdraw from either Open Skies or New START.

Armed Terrorist Shot Outside the Temple Walls (Revelation 11)

Israeli soldiers wait in position near the border fence between Israel and the Gaza Strip, during a protest on the Gaza side, as seen from the Israeli side March 30, 2019. (photo credit:” REUTERS/AMIR COHEN)

ARMED TERRORIST SHOT BY IDF NEAR GAZA BORDER FENCE

By TZVI JOFFRE

The IDF fired a missile towards the terrorist and identified a hit. It is unclear what condition the terrorist is in. No IDF soldiers were injured in the incident.

An armed Palestinian terrorist was shot near the border fence with the Gaza Strip after being spotted by an IDF lookout, according to the IDF Spokespersons’ Unit.

The IDF fired a missile towards the terrorist and identified a hit. It is unclear what condition the terrorist is in. No IDF soldiers were injured in the incident.

Palestinian media reported that the injured Palestinian was taken away from the scene by IDF soldiers. Earlier, Palestinian media reported that IDF soldiers prevented Gazan medical teams from accessing the injured terrorist. The terrorist was identified as Abdallah Abu Nasser, a resident of the southern Gaza Strip, by Palestinian media. It is unclear if he is affiliated to a specific terrorist group.

In November, Defense Minister Naftali Bennett announced that Israel would stop releasing the bodies of terrorists, no matter what terrorist group they belonged to. Exceptions can be made at the defense minister’s discretion.

On Friday, approximately 2,200 Palestinians rioted in several locations along the Gaza border fence, according to Maariv. Multiple efforts were made to approach the border fence and a number of Molotov cocktails were thrown throughout the day. No injuries and no damage were reported.

On Sunday, IDF soldiers arrested an unarmed Palestinian next to the Gaza border fence.

Hamas celebrated the 32nd anniversary of its founding last week by holding mass rallies in the Gaza Strip.

In August, three armed Palestinians were killed by IDF troops as they tried to cross into southern Israel from Gaza.

Khaled Abu Toameh, Anna Ahronheim and Jerusalem Post Staff contributed to this report.

Khamenei Threatens the Merchant of Babylon the Great (Daniel 8:4)

‘Death to America’ means death to Trump, Bolton & Pompeo – Iran’s supreme leader

Denton Staff Contributor

‘Death to America’ means death to Trump, Bolton & Pompeo – Iran’s supreme leader The slogan “Death to America” is directed against the “evil” US President Donald Trump and his associates, not the American people, Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has said.

Speaking to a gathering of Iranian Air Force officers, Khamenei hit back at Trump’s State of the Union address, which included an attack on the Iranian “regime that chants ‘Death to America.’”

The US is the embodiment of evil, but still complains when you chant ‘Death to America,’” Khamenei said. He then explained that those chants specifically target the people ruling the country, not “the American nation.”

Death to America means death to Trump, John Bolton, and Pompeo.

Iranians will keep using the belligerent slogan, the Ayatollah added, as long as the US remains “evil and wicked.”

The current administration in Washington – spearheaded by the three officials named in Khamenei’s speech, Trump, National Security Advisor John Bolton, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo – have sharply antagonized Iran. They have taken every opportunity to accuse Tehran of being a state sponsor of terrorism that is hellbent on the destruction of Israel, the Trump administration’s closest Middle Eastern ally.

Trump pulled the US out of the landmark 2015 Iran nuclear deal, which the other signatories have hailed as a breakthrough in preventing Tehran from acquiring nuclear weapons. He has been threatening sanctions against anyone who keeps trading with Iran in defiance of American warnings.

Speaking on Friday, the Ayatollah called the American “regime” an “embodiment of evil and violence,” whose existence depends on “encroachment aimed at securing its own interests.”