New York Quake Overdue (The Sixth Seal) (Rev 6:12)

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Won-Young Kim, who runs the seismographic network for the Northeast at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, said the city is well overdue for a big earthquake.

The last big quake to hit New York City was a 5.3-magnitude tremor in 1884 that happened at sea in between Brooklyn and Sandy Hook. While no one was killed, buildings were damaged.

Kim said the city is likely to experience a big earthquake every 100 years or so.

“It can happen anytime soon,” Kim said. “We can expect it any minute, we just don’t know when and where.”

New York has never experienced a magnitude 6 or 7 earthquake, which are the most dangerous. But magnitude 5 quakes could topple brick buildings and chimneys.

Seismologist John Armbruster said a magnitude 5 quake that happened now would be more devastating than the one that happened in 1884.

Woman and Child Killed Outside the Temple Walls (Revelation 11)

Gaza air strikes ‘kill woman and child’ after rockets hit Israel – BBC News

AFP

A fireball exploding during an Israeli air strike

Three Palestinians have reportedly been killed in Gaza, as Israel carried out dozens of air strikes in response to a barrage of rocket fire by militants.

Gaza health officials said a pregnant woman and her daughter, aged one, were killed in the Jaafari area. A Hamas militant also died in the north.

At least seven civilians were injured by rocket fire in southern Israel.

The violence came as the UN and Egypt tried to broker a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, which dominates Gaza.

UN Middle East envoy Nickolay Mladenov said he was “deeply alarmed” .

“Our collective efforts have prevented the situation from exploding until now. If the current escalation, however, is not contained immediately, the situation can rapidly deteriorate with devastating consequences for all people,” he warned.

This is the third serious flare-up in violence in the past month.

On Monday, two militants were killed after an Israeli tank shelled a Hamas border post in northern Gaza .

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said the tank had responded to shots fired at soldiers from the post. But Hamas said its fighters had been taking part in a live-fire exercise and that Israel would pay for their deaths.

On Wednesday afternoon, the IDF said militants had fired shots at civilians constructing an underground barrier along the border fence, damaging a vehicle. In response, a tank targeted a Hamas post in northern Gaza, it added.

After sunset, militants in Gaza launched rockets and mortars at Sderot and other towns in southern Israel, triggering sirens and sending civilians running for shelters.

The IDF said that approximately 180 projectiles were fired towards Israeli territory in total overnight. The Iron Dome aerial defence system intercepted more than 30 of them, while most of the others landed in open fields, causing no damage, it added. But some hit houses, cars, factories and a playground.

AFP

Cars, homes and factories were damaged by rockets and mortars that hit Israeli towns

A Thai woman was seriously injured when a rocket hit her home in the Eshkol Region Council, the Times of Israel said . A man was also lightly injured.

Five Israeli civilians were reportedly wounded elsewhere, while dozens were treated for shock.

The IDF said it responded by carrying out air strikes on more than 150 “military and strategic targets” in Gaza, including Hamas compounds, training camps, a weapons storage facility, a naval complex, a building site being used to make weapons and tunnel components, and two tunnels along the Gaza coast.

The Israeli military said it had hit “military and strategic targets” in Gaza

Gaza’s health ministry said pregnant 23-year-old Inas Khammash and her 18-month daughter Bayan were killed in one of the air strikes. Her husband was reportedly injured.

At least 12 other people were injured in other strikes, two of them critically, according to the ministry.

The IDF said its air strikes had represented a “significant blow to Hamas” and warned the group that it would “bear the consequences for its terrorist activities against the citizens of Israel”.

Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri tweeted that Israel bore “full responsibility for the current round of escalation”, and called on the international community to “shoulder its responsibilities towards Israel’s aggression and siege”.

• Who are Hamas?

• Life in the Gaza strip

A Palestinian official at a joint command centre for militant factions in Gaza told Reuters news agency that they had been “responding to crimes” by Israel – an apparent reference to the incident on Monday. But he added that this round of fighting was now “over as far as we are concerned”.

The calm only lasted a few hours, however, before a long-range Grad rocket landed in an open area on the outskirts of the southern Israeli city of Beersheba – setting off sirens there for the first time since the last Gaza war in 2014.

Shortly afterwards, an Israeli air strike hit a multi-storey cultural building in Gaza City, reducing it to rubble and injuring 18 people, Gaza health officials said.

There was no immediate confirmation from the IDF, but Israeli media said the building was believed to have served as a Hamas headquarters.

There has been an upsurge in violence since the end of March.

More than 160 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces – most during protests along the border at which thousands have expressed their support for the declared right of Palestinian refugees to return to their ancestral homes in what is now Israel.

Human rights groups have accused Israeli troops of using excessive force at the protests, but the military said they only opened fire in self-defence or on people trying to infiltrate its territory.

One Israeli soldier has been shot dead by a Palestinian sniper during the same period, while incendiary devices attached to balloons and kites launched by Palestinians have sparked hundreds of fires in southern Israel.

Correction 23 October 2018: This article was amended on the day of publication after an earlier version reported incorrectly an IDF statement about an attack on an engineering vehicle.

Antichrist calls for anti-US protests amid new rocket attack

Iraqi Shiite cleric Moqtada Al-Sadr in Najaf, Iraq Jun 23, 2018. (Photo: REUTERS/Alaa al-Marjani)

(Updated: 15 Jan 2020 05:50AM)

Iraq’s Sadr calls for anti-US protests amid new rocket attack

15 Jan 2020 05:42AM

World

BAGHDAD: Firebrand Iraqi leader Moqtada Al-Sadr called on Tuesday (Jan 14) for a peaceful “million-strong march” against US troops in Iraq, days after parliament urged their departure following Washington’s killing of an Iranian general in a drone strike.

Further upping the pressure on the American deployment, Katyusha rockets on Tuesday night targeted an Iraqi airbase north of Baghdad where US-led coalition forces are based, in the latest attack on American forces in the country.

“The skies, land and sovereignty of Iraq are being violated every day by occupying forces,” Sadr, a populist Shiite politician and cleric, wrote on Twitter.

He urged Iraqis to hold “a million-strong, peaceful, unified demonstration to condemn the American presence and its violations”, without giving a date.

Washington on Jan 3 killed Iran’s revered Quds Force chief Qasem Soleimani in a Baghdad drone strike that also killed a senior Iraqi military official.

The Iraqi parliament responded by voting on Jan 5 to oust foreign forces – including some 5,200 American troops – who have backed the fight against Islamic State militants since 2014.

Bases where US forces are stationed have been under a steady stream of rocket attacks for several months that have killed one American contractor and one Iraqi soldier.

On Tuesday, a new rocket attack targeted the Camp Taji airbase north of Baghdad, the Iraqi military said, without specifying how many rockets hit the base.

Police and medical sources told AFP two Iraqi personnel members were wounded in the attack.

The military instability comes months into mass anti-government demonstrations in Baghdad and the country’s south, condemning politicians seen as corrupt and inept.

The rallies have persisted throughout but shifted to include calls for Iraq to be spared any conflict between Iran and the US.

Iraq has been in political paralysis since the resignation late last year of prime minister Adel Abdel Mahdi, with pro- and anti-Iran factions unable to agree on a candidate to form a new government.

Protesters have rejected the possibility of reinstating Abdel Mahdi.

“The people reject that,” said Hussin Ali Abdul Hussein, a demonstrator in Karbala, south of the capital. “We don’t want to recycle the rubbish, we want a prime minister the public can accept.”

The protest movement and the ensuing crackdown by security forces has left around 460 people dead, mostly protesters.

Activists have faced a campaign of intimidation, abductions and killings.

War Resumes Outside the Temple Walls (Revelation 11)

Israel carries out Gaza air strikes after Palestinian rocket fire

JERUSALEM/GAZA (Reuters) – Four rockets were fired at Israel from the Gaza Strip on Wednesday, the Israeli military said, and it responded with air strikes against facilities belonging to the enclave’s ruling Hamas militant group.

No casualties were reported on either side of the Israel-Gaza border.

Two of the projectiles launched from Gaza were shot down by Israel’s Iron Dome air defence system, the military said in a statement. Israel’s Channel 13 television said the other two struck uninhabited areas.

Sirens warning of rocket fire sounded in several Israeli communities near the Gaza frontier. Israel’s Magen David Adom ambulance service said no injuries or damage were reported in the first such attack in three weeks.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility from the Gaza Strip, which Israel keeps under blockade citing security concerns over Hamas, the dominant armed movement in the Palestinian territory.

The Israeli military said that in response to the rocket attack, its warplanes struck several “Hamas terror targets” in the northern Gaza Strip, including a weapons manufacturing facility and an armed compound.

Hamas’s armed wing usually evacuates its facilities in anticipation of Israeli retaliation after cross-border rocket strikes.

A statement by the Israeli military did not accuse Hamas of launching the rockets but said that it holds the group responsible “for all events transpiring in the Gaza Strip”.

Last month, a rocket was launched from the Gaza Strip at the southern Israeli city of Ashkelon as it hosted a rally with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, prompting him to seek shelter briefly before returning to the venue. No one was hurt.

But simmering tensions have mostly remained calm since a two-day surge of violence in November between Israel and the armed Gaza-based faction Islamic Jihad that left 34 Palestinians dead and dozens of Israelis injured.

Reporting by Jeffrey Heller and Nidal al-Mughrabi, Editing by William Maclean and Jonathan Oatis

The Iran Deal is OVER

The European Union’s foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell, talks to reporters Tuesday at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France. The same day, the U.K., France and Germany announced they were lodging a dispute against Tehran under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPoA, better known as the Iran nuclear deal.

‘Left With No Choice,’ European Allies Put Iran On Notice Over Nuclear Deal Breaches

Colin DwyerJanuary 14, 20203:07 PM ET

Jean-Francois Badias/AP

The 2015 Iran nuclear deal, already teetering after the U.S. withdrawal and subsequent breaches by the Iranian government, has suffered yet another grave blow.

The foreign ministers of the U.K., France and Germany — half of the deal’s remaining signatories — announced Tuesday that they are lodging a formal complaint that Iran is not meeting its commitments. To do so, they are triggering a dispute resolution mechanism in the agreement, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

The move launches a negotiation period of up to 60 days, during which the countries will seek to bring Iran back into full compliance. Should that process fail, U.N. sanctions on Tehran that were lifted as part of the deal, including an arms embargo, are likely to be reinstated.

Still, the three countries stressed that their goal is the deal’s survival, not the resumption of sanctions.

“Our three countries are not joining a campaign to implement maximum pressure against Iran,” the diplomats explained in a joint statement released Tuesday. “Our hope is to bring Iran back into full compliance with its commitments under the JCPoA.”

“We do this in good faith with the overarching objective of preserving the JCPoA and in the sincere hope of finding a way forward to resolve the impasse through constructive diplomatic dialogue, while preserving the agreement and remaining within its framework,” the diplomats explained in a joint statement released Tuesday.

They explained that, while they are concerned with recent Iranian violations, the decision to hash out the dispute using procedures laid out in the deal reflects their continued faith in its effectiveness — and their continued rejection of the route taken by the Trump administration, when it unilaterally pulled out over its own concerns and reinstated sanctions on Iran in 2018.

Since then, Iran has repeatedly breached the terms of the agreement, which stipulates that the country refrain from enriching its stores of uranium more than 3.67% — an amount commonly seen in nuclear power reactors around the world. Weapons grade uranium, the kind that could be used in a nuclear weapon, typically has enrichment levels closer to 90%.

In November, Iranian authorities announced plans to bump enrichment levels to 5% and ramp up operations at a controversial underground facility. Both steps violate the nuclear deal.

As hopeful as Tuesday’s announcement sounds, the move — which the deal’s other remaining signatories, Russia and China, did not join — is unlikely to improve the outlook for the battered nuclear deal. Tehran has forcefully rejected the idea that this move is a productive one — and, in a Foreign Ministry statement Tuesday, vowed to meet it with its own “serious and strong response.”

The three European countries “can save JCPOA but not by appeasing the bully & pressuring the complying party,” Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said Monday, in a statement anticipating the move and associating it with “bully” Washington. “Rather [the group] should muster the courage to fulfill its own obligations.”

The move comes at a particularly turbulent time for the Iran, which is reeling from the news that its military mistakenly shot down a Ukrainian passenger jet amid heightened tensions with the United States. Tehran admitted the “unforgivable mistake” late last week, after spending several days forcefully denying that one of its own missiles brought down the jetliner, killing scores of Iranians, Canadians and other passengers.

Iran carried out the unintentional strike around the same time it executed an attack it didintend — a series of strikes on Iraqi bases that host U.S. troops, in retaliation for the Washington-ordered killing of prominent Iranian commander Qassem Soleimani one week earlier.

Amid this deepening friction, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson likely made no friends in Tehran by suggesting that he is open to scrapping and replacing the Iran nuclear deal with a new agreement orchestrated by President Trump.

“If we’re going to get rid of it, let’s replace it, and let’s replace it with the Trump deal — that’s what we need to see. And I think that would be a great way forward,” Johnson told the BBC in an interview released Tuesday, without explaining details of what that deal would entail or how it would differ from the 2015 agreement. 

“President Trump is a great dealmaker, by his own account and many others,” Johnson added. “Let’s work together to replace the JCPOA and get the Trump deal instead.”

Despite Johnson’s remarks, his foremost diplomats and those of France and Germany reiterated that they hope above all to preserve the JCPOA.

“Given recent events,” they said, “it is all the more important that we do not add a nuclear proliferation crisis to the current escalation threatening the whole region.”

So, what’s next in the dispute?

According to Paragraph 36 of the agreement, the matter will be referred to a joint commission composed of representatives from Iran, Russia, China, Germany, France, Britain and the European Union. 

The commission will have 15 days to offer a resolution, though the participants can agree on an extension. If there is no resolution after this period elapses, the matter is then, for another 15 days, referred to the group’s foreign ministers or an advisory board with three members — one each appointed by either side and a third, independent member.

Only then, after at least 30 days, can the complainants use the dispute as acceptable grounds for withdrawing from the agreement and notifying the U.N. Security Council of Iran’s noncompliance.

After such a notification, the Security Council would need to pass a resolution in order to continue Iran’s relief from U.N. sanctions — which would be a tall order, given the veto power of by the U.S., the U.K. and France. Should no such resolution be approved, previous U.N. sanctions would snap back into place.

Shi’ite Militia Leaders And Antichrist Call For One Million Man March To End U.S. Military Presence

January 14, 2020

Special Dispatch No.8496

After Meeting In Iran, Shi’ite Militia Leaders And Cleric Muqtada Al-Sadr Call For One Million Man March To End U.S. Military Presence

On January 14, 2020, Iraqi Shi’ite cleric Muqtada Al-Sadr posted a statement[1] to his Twitter account calling for a mass demonstration to end the U.S. military presence in Iraq. The statement comes one day after his meeting with leaders of armed factions in the Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) in Qom, Iran, where those present agreed on a unified position regarding their new roles following the deaths of Qassem Soleimani and Abu Mahdi Al-Muhandis.[2]

In his statement, Al-Sadr says that “the sky, land and soverignity of Iraq is being violated by the invading forces, so let us rise with an Iraqi revolution, not eastern nor western [not associated with Iran nor the U.S.], that will bring victory and blessings to Iraq, and its people.”

Al-Sadr further says that Iraqis should join his call and peacefully march in a “one-million man” march that condemns the U.S. presence in Iraq and defends their country and the highest authority of the Shi’a, referring to Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani.

“Soldiers of Allah, soldiers of Iraq, let us have a peaceful demonstration (of one million man) that denounces the U.S. presence and its violations. Make up your mind and do not spare any efforts, Iraq and Marjayia [Highest Authority of the Shi’a] are calling upon you, so do not fall short.”

He reiterates that Iraqis “will not kneel to the power of the international arrogance [the U.S. and its western allies], we shall only kneel to Allah.”

He closes by noting that there will be further parliamentary and political steps taken to ensure and maintain the dignity of the Iraqi people and the sovereignty of their country.

Hadi Al-Amiri, the new deputy commander of the PMU, and commander of the Badr Organization, was the first one to issue a statement[3] endorsing Al-Sadr’s call, telling Iraqis “to reject the U.S. and foreign occupation and maintain Iraq’s sovereignty over its land and skies.”

Akram Al-Kaabi, Secretary-General of the Al-Nujaba Movement in Iraq, also voiced his support in a statement[4] that he tweeted, in which he calls upon “our proud people to refuse the humiliation and submission, and to forcefully rise to the slogan ‘No to the U.S. presence.'”

The Secretary-General of the Imam Ali Brigades, Shibl Al-Zaidi, commented on Al-Sadr’s call in a statement,[5] saying that the U.S. is to blame for all the hardships in Iraq: “The occupation brought a blockade, the occupation divided the country and laid the foundations for quotas, the occupation brought destruction and death squads, bombing, and displacement, the occupation dissolved the Iraqi state and ended its ministries and local industrial institutions, the occupation slayed the national identity by planting sectarian and ethnic representation in all the branches of the state, the occupation targeted and marginalized our competencies, the occupation is the cause of all woes and tragedies, the occupation does not want good for us.”

Within the same context, the leader of the Asa’ib Ahl Al-Haq, Qais Khazali, called for rejecting the U.S. presence in Iraq, further calling for a “national” stance that sends a message to the whole world: “The people of Iraq refuse to be humiliated, they refuse occupation and aggression.”[6]

Abu Dua’a Al-Issawi, the military advisor to the Sadrist Movement, commented on Al-Sadr call by saying: “Stay tuned for an epic written by the brave sons of Iraq, all of their sects, to denounce the violation of their country’s sovereignty, and to demand the dismissal of the vicious occupying forces from the land of sacredness.”[7]

 

[1] Twitter.com/Mu_AlSadr/status/1217083534432768001,January 14, 2020.

[2] See MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 8491 Commanders Of Shi’ite Militias In Iraq Continue To Threaten U.S. Forces While Seeking To Mend Internal Rifts, January 13, 2020.

[3] Nasnews.com, January 14, 2020.

[4] Twitter.com/Akram_Alkabee/status/1217103332470378496, January 14, 2020.

[5] Twitter.com/alzaidyshibl/status/1217120171107717122, January 14, 2020.

[6] Nasnews.com, January 14, 2020.

[7] Twitter.com/AleysawiD/status/1217108799447883777, January 14, 2020.