The Sixth Seal: The Big Apple Shake (Revelation 6:12)

Image result for new york earthquake

Big Apple shake? Potential for earthquake in New York City exists

NEW YORK CITY (PIX11) – For the last 43 years John Armbruster has been a seismologist with Columbia University’s Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory.  A veteran of what he describes as “a couple of dozen” quakes, he is interested in the seismic activity throughout the Pacific region in recent weeks.

However, does the amount of plate movements around the world in recent weeks as well as years to translate to New York City being more vulnerable, “These earthquakes are not communicating with each other, they are too far apart,” said Armbruster in an interview with PIX 11 News on Wednesday.

What would a magnitude 6.0 earthquake inflict upon the city?

“We know that its unlikely because it hasn’t happened in the last 300 years but the earthquake that struck Fukushima Japan was the 1000 year earthquake and they weren’t ready for the that.

Iran Increases Her Nuclear Horn (Daniel 8 )

Iran has developed a new uranium centrifuge

February 2, 2020

Tehran will present in April this year a new generation of centrifuges for uranium enrichment, according to Iranian news Agency ISNA. The Agency quoted Deputy head of atomic energy Organization of Iran Ali Asghar of Sareena, said that the new generation of centrifuges of Iranian production will be presented in April.

About the launch of the network of 30 centrifuges declared in November last year, the head of atomic energy Organization of Iran Ali Akbar Salehi. He noted that since September 2019 Iran has installed 15 of centrifuges of the new generation, “which is a very big achievement.” Testing before installing in the primary sector, including the mechanical stabilization, are on the nuclear site at Natanz.

the Iranian initiative was a response to the US unilateral withdrawal from the Joint comprehensive plan of action in 2018 and the subsequent sanctions against Tehran, but also in response to Europe’s failure to preserve Iran’s interests under the agreement.

The Real Risk of Nuclear Terrorism (Daniel 8 )

Forum draws attention to threat of nuclear terrorism

Sunday February 2 2020

Yigal Unna, Director General of the Israel National Cyber Directorate during the Cybertech Global Conference in Tel Aviv. PHOTO | FAUSTINE NGILA | NATION MEDIA GROUP

The seventh annual Cybertech Global Conference has drawn critical attention to the shock waves of cyberthreats on energy, as attackers devise more advanced tools to control social life even as hyperconnectivity in a rapidly changing technology space becomes inevitable.

Speaking on behalf of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during the forum, Israel’s Minister of Energy Yuval Steinitz stressed the need for governments to use artificial intelligence (AI) to proactively prevent nuclear terrorism.

The near future of cyberdefence must use AI because the field is already very complicated,” he said, adding that more emphasis is needed in protecting nuclear power stations all over the world.

“This is because the calamities that can be caused by attacks on nuclear reactors are beyond imagination. Countries like Iraq can create a lot of havoc to other crucial systems like communication and transportation,” he highlighted.

Accentuating the sensitivity of the energy sector in Israel and the world, he expounded that if cybercriminals manage to paralyse the systems in the energy sector such as solar power stations, electricity transmission and water supply chains, it could be a total disaster.

Having detected a very sophisticated potential attack on power stations that aimed at controlling and vandalising Israel’s energy systems a few months ago, the energy ministry embarked on building an energy cyber-laboratory in Beer Sheva, the cyber-capital in the southern region of the “Start-up Nation”.

Yiftah Ron-Tal, chairperson of the Israel Electric Corporation board, said the future of the energy sector lies within decentralised smart power networks for better cybersecurity.

Predicting that 80 per cent of power consumption and retailing will be on a blockchain by 2040, he underscored that any surface exposed to the sun will be able to generate energy.

“Through a decentralised system, every family will generate power for its needs and sell the surplus in digital tokens to the electric corporation. They will both power consumers, producers and retailers. Every home will own the grid system,” he remarked.

Maj-Gen Ron-Tal also painted the picture of a future of energy where a multidimensional and sectoral power system will connect all devices, and termed it the Internet of Electricity (IoE).

“Through an international peer-to-peer blockchain platform, every power consumer will be connected and payments will be made as tokens of the Wattcoin cryptocurrency to give affordable power to one billion humans who live without power in all five continents,” he exemplified.

Blockchain technology has garnered global popularity due its immutability, decentralised, enhanced security, traceable and data protection features.

However, he warned world governments that technology alone is not enough, since the modern cyber-environment comes with existential threats, where 11,000 attacks per second are launched against power systems.

“The attack surface is endless. The border between Information Technology (IT) and Operational Technology (OT) is not clear anymore. Older systems are no longer unique. The world needs real-time collaboration in threat intelligence,” he told delegates of the second largest cyber-forum outside the United States.

The director-general of the Israeli National Cyber Directorate, Mr Yigal Unna, revealed that cyber-insecurity is sixth on the index of the most potential risks to human life.

“The ecosystem has never been as complex and dangerous, but we have national initiatives to guarantee cybersecurity such as the hotline number 119 which citizens can call whenever they feel insecure. We respond immediately and keep monitoring cyber-risk scores of attacks all over the world,” he said.

While no cyberdefence mechanism can guarantee 100 per cent safety on the internet, Israel tops the world with 95 per cent of live cybersecurity, according to Gartner.

More than 540 Israeli IT companies specialise in cybersecurity, contributing to 46 per cent of GDP in exports, according to Bloomberg.

The industry was born in the late 80s and has grown to be the world’s destination for security on the web, cloud, IoT, air and sea.

The forum, founded seven years ago by veteran military correspondent Amir Rapaport, who doubles as the editor-in-chief of Cybertech and Israel Defense, attracts over 2.5 million visitors ever year from around the world. Mr Rapaport was a journalist for Israeli publications Maariv and Yediot Achronot.

ANTICHRIST’S MEN WRESTLE CONTROL OF TURKISH RESTAURANT BUILDING FROM PROTESTERS IN BAGHDAD

Ahead of PM announcement

Turkish Restaurant building in Baghdad on February 1, 2020. (NRT Digital Media)

2020-02-01

SADRIST MILITIA WRESTS CONTROL OF TURKISH RESTAURANT BUILDING FROM PROTESTERS IN BAGHDAD

SULAIMANI — Forces loyal to Shia cleric and political leader Moqtada al-Sadr took control of the Turkish Restaurant building on Tahrir Square in Baghdad on Saturday (February 1), wresting the iconic protest site from unaligned anti-government demonstrators.

A source told NRT Digital Media that a large number of members of Sadrist militia Saraya Al-Salam stormed the building by force and took control of a platform that protesters had been using to broadcast official messages.

The move appeared to be in anticipation of the announcement by the parties of the nomination of a prime ministerial candidate. President Barham Salih had set a deadline of Saturday evening for the parties to make a pick that was acceptable to all, including the protesters.

During the attack the members of the militia used batons to force the other protesters from the building, which overlooks Tahrir Square. By taking the Turkish Restaurant, Sadr may be trying to make it appear that the demonstrators support the parties’ choice.

A week ago, Sadr withdrew his support for the protests, calling on his followers to leave the square. In their absence, the security forces attacked several protest sites in Baghdad and the southern provinces, burning tents and arresting demonstrators.

On Friday, Sadr appeared to again throw his support behind the protests in a message posted on Twitter.

The protesters have strongly rejected the Iraqi political establishment, of which Sadr is a part, instead calling for independent leadership and new elections.

Approximately 500 people have died in the demonstrations since October 1, the vast majority of whom were unarmed protesters.

(NRT Digital Media)

Iraqi cleric Sadr tells followers to clear sit-ins after PM appointed

University students carry posters depicting the newly appointed Prime Minister of Iraq, Mohammed Tawfiq Allawi, to express their rejection o
University students carry posters depicting the newly appointed Prime Minister of Iraq, Mohammed Tawfiq Allawi, to express their rejection o

Iraqi cleric Sadr tells followers to clear sit-ins after PM appointed

By Aziz El Yaakoubi and Nadine Awadalla

BAGHDAD (Reuters) – Populist Iraqi cleric Moqtada al-Sadr urged his followers on Sunday to help security forces clear roads blocked during months of sit-in protests, calling for a return to normal life after the designation of a new prime minister.

Sadr, who had alternately sided with the anti-government protesters and the Iran-backed political groups they reject, urged his unarmed supporters known as “blue hats” to work with authorities to ensure schools and businesses can operate normally again.

Protests broke out immediately in Baghdad and several southern cities on Saturday night after President Barham Salih named Mohammed Tawfiq Allawi as prime minister in an effort to end the political unrest.

On Sunday, thousands gathered in Baghdad’s Tahrir square, where the main protest camp in the capital is located, to reject the move. They banged drums and chanted against Allawi and Sadr, saying “Allawi is rejected and so are his parties”.

In a message issued on Twitter, Sadr said “I advise the security forces to stop anyone from cutting off roads and the ministry of education should punish those who obstruct regular working hours, be they students, teachers or others”.

Some of his followers appeared to have helped already to clear out protest areas in Tahrir Square overnight, a Reuters reporter said.

Hours before Allawi’s appointment, the blue hats, armed with batons, attacked a skeleton building in Tahrir Square, known as the Turkish Restaurant, that demonstrators have occupied since October.

The building was mostly empty on Sunday and the blue hats stood guard, occupying its gates and pacing with walkie-talkies outside it.

“They attacked us by surprise and forced us out of the building shouting that we didn’t do any good to the country except ruining its economy,” said Rassoul, 20, a protester who has lived in the Turkish Restaurant since October.

Anti-government protests continued nearby, with demonstrators directing their ire towards Allawi. He was named on Saturday as part of a deal between Sadr and rival Iran-backed political groups, who have wrangled since November’s resignation of premier Adel Abdul Mahdi.

Allawi must form a government within a month and face a confidence vote in parliament. Iran welcomed his designation on Sunday.

Protesters demanding the removal of Iraq’s ruling elite and the creation of better jobs and services have regularly blocked main roads in Baghdad and southern Iraq since demonstrations erupted in October.

U.N. AND EU FLAGS

Some of the protesters in Baghdad on Sunday waved the national flag while others had United Nations and European Union flags. “We call on the UN to support and protect Iraqi protesters,” read several signs.

“Allawi is a member of the political game that has destroyed Iraq, he needs to go,” said Malek Jawad, a student and protester.

A dozen young Iraqis stood on a truck carrying massive speakers and cheered the crowed.

“Moqtada al-Sadr sent conflicted messages since the beginning but at the end he made it clear that he’s against the protesters,” Jawad added.

Sadr supporters watched the protesters from in and around the Turkish Restaurant.

Sadr has directed anti-government unrest in previous years but he has not been able to control this round of demonstrations and many protesters oppose him as much as the rest of the political class.

Sadr’s supporters had previously bolstered the protesters and sometimes helped shield them from attacks by security forces and unidentified gunmen.

Many of Sadr’s supporters hail from eastern Baghdad slums and share the same grievances as many Iraqis over a lack of job opportunities, poor healthcare and education.

The unrest is Iraq’s biggest crisis for years. It has shattered nearly two years of calm that prevailed after the defeat of the Sunni Muslim extremist Islamic State in 2017.

(Reporting by Nadine Awadalla, John Davison and Aziz El Yaakoubi; Editing by Helen Popper and Frances Kerry)

Hundred Seconds to the Bowls of Wrath (Revelation 8 )

Hundred Seconds to Doomsday at Midnight

Physicist and JNU professor emeritus, R Rajaraman explains in an interview to Rashme Sehgal why the clock has been moved to just 100 seconds from doomsday for the human race.

01 Feb 2020

The Doomsday Clock is a striking metaphor for the precarious state of the world, especially since it is backed by rigorous scientific scrutiny. The University of Chicago-based Bulletin of Atomic Scientists (BAS) issues an annual warning to the public as to just how close human beings are to extinction.

Physicist and JNU professor emeritus, R Rajaraman, is the only Asian scientist who has been a member of the Board of Science and Security of the Bulletin, which sets the clock annually. He explains in an interview to Rashme Sehgal why the clock has been moved to just 100 seconds from doomsday for the human race.

Why has the Doomsday Clock been moved forward this year?

The Doomsday Clock was started soon after the first nuclear explosion, by scientists who were worried about the future of the world. Many top scientists, inspired by Bertrand Russell and Albert Einstein, decided they needed to start a journal that would highlight the level of danger we face. A very clever artist got the idea of a clock on the cover of each month’s issue of this journal, on whose board have been numerous Nobel laureates.

Midnight on the clock represents the Holocaust or end of the world, caused by nuclear weapons. Every year the Science and Security Board of the bulletin sets the clock. This was meant to indicate how advanced, in their judgement, the prospects of Holocaust are. It slowly acquired the name, Doomsday Clock. The public has also come to be involved with it. At the end of every November, a dozen members assess the situation. I was the only Asian Asian on the Science and Security Board. I joined the board seven years ago; it is a three-year term. I was also asked to serve another term.

It was a very enriching experience. The public announcement of the position of the clock has become a PR event, which is held in Washington in January.  This year, to register additional concerns, they decided to move the clock a 100 seconds closer to Holocaust. Some years ago, they added climate change as another existential threat. Climate scientists are now on the board along with nuclear scientists and strategists in international relations.

Why the additional concerns on the nuclear front ?

Because things are getting worse on the nuclear front. Until a few years back, there were various arms control treaties such as NPT in place and though movement towards disarmament was not as fast as we would have liked, the number of nuclear weapons was coming down (although not in India and Pakistan). That was a healthy direction we were moving in. Most importantly, the relationship between Russia and the United States, which had 90% of the weapons, had gradually improved. Their arsenal of 60,000 nuclear weapons had come down to 16,000 because of gradual negotiations. That is a huge reduction, but if exploded together, they could still reduce civilisation to rubble.

Why was this reversal stopped?

These arsenals reduced until and during [former United States President Barack] Obama’s period. He was the first American president committed to disarmament and took several measures to reduce nuclear weapons. The New START Nuclear Arms Treaty is one example. Obama met then Russian president [Dmitry] Medvedev and they made a joint declaration to make the world nuclear weapons-free. But by the end of Obama’s term, the situation began deteriorating.  President Trump’s coming to power was viewed as a disaster, especially by liberal Americans. In 2016, when I went for the meeting, there was massive of gloom amongst my colleagues. Trump had a one-point agenda to undo whatever Obama had done, whether in the field of healthcare or immigration and of course on nuclear matters.

Trump pulled out from the Iran deal which had been a great step forward towards ending hostilities. The treaty with Iran and countries of Europe had been worked out with great difficulty. There were other treaties that Trump pulled out from, including the INF Treaty which banned a certain class of missiles. Meanwhile, Putin has also become very aggressive in his postures and both these countries are behaving very belligerently.

Trump did try to bring about some détente with North Korea?

Trump’s tweets against the North Korean’s president were very aggressive, but then North Korea developed both nuclear bombs and missiles to carry them all the way to the United States mainland. This was a huge threat to the United States. The only other country that could do so was Russia. Though both Russia and the United States have built an armoury, they had deterrents too.  The US had been obsessed with Iran possibly developing nuclear capability, but here was small nation with President Kim Jong-un, whom they had perceived a joker, announce a successful test.

Trump has no embarrassment when he reversed his position and agreed meet with Kim. Both North Korea and the United States held negotiations, but they came to nothing.

Is Iran developing a nuclear bomb?

After the United States pulled out of the Iran Nuclear agreement, Iran may go back to where they had started. It may not have a bomb now, but they are developing the capabilities.

What factors are causing so much alarm amongst scientists?

The United States under Trump has strengthened its nuclear program. They have a Nuclear Policy Review (NPR) every few years. Their NPR of last year suggested all kinds of increases in their arsenal. The present treaty binds them somewhat, so they can’t make more in number, but they are making smaller bombs, and improvements—hypersonic and supersonic missiles. Their plan is to be able to use these bombs.

Trump has given them the license to make usable bombs. This is a huge development. Since Hiroshima, the accepted taboo is that nuclear weapons would not be used. Now bombs that can be used even in small conflicts are being developed. This is a very dangerous development. There is enough indication that Putin is also upgrading his nuclear armoury, though this is not so much in the public domain.

What about India and Pakistan? Is the subcontinent close to a nuclear flashpoint?

I tell my colleagues in the West that we are not so crazy. India and Pakistan have had very hostile relations;Pakistan indulges in terrorist activities against us but wants to keep their level where they are. It does not want a nuclear conflict. A game of bluff is on. We two countries have 100 nuclear bombs each. In the Bulletin, members have always brought up the India and Pakistan conflict. Being the only Asian, I would tell them that the real situation is more complex. Today the situation is not just India versus Pakistan but India versus Pakistan and China. The danger is not of the kind that it will lead to nuclear exchange.

Countries have opted  to go nuclear because of “deterrence”. Do they feel vulnerable to attacks without them?

That is indeed the case. When Iraq was attacked, the Pakistanis used to say, thank god we have (nuclear)  weapons or we might have been attacked instead of them. Today, both the United States and Russia have turned hawkish. Dangers are now back to what they used to be some years ago.

Who is this new situation benefiting?

It is benefiting hawks on both sides. In both countries, weaponisation is a huge industry. Nobody is thinking of the long term.

Will this trend continue?

I don’t know—maybe it will change if the government changes in the United States. For now, the nuclear balance has been disturbed. Pakistan can opt to do the same and make smaller bombs. India can too. This trend is extremely irresponsible and dangerous.

The other problem of course is climate change?

Climate change is real, not something scientists or activists have thought up. Some aspects of it are being measured by scientists carefully year after year; for example carbon emissions released into the atmosphere are measured and it is steadily growing.

More carbon in the atmosphere has raised the levels of temperature. Mean temperatures are rising and for this too there is a scientific record. Melting glaciers are raising the ocean water levels, including in the Himalayas. Many parts of the world including the Maldives and the Sunderbans in Bangladesh will be inundated in the next 50 years or so. Actually, at the rate at which this is happening, it could happen in the next 20 to 30 years, though this [aspect] is speculation…

Melting glaciers means rivers will be inundated, causing floods; but once the water is gone, there will be no or very little water. These changes will affect all the world’s countries.

What do scientists say about reversing this process?

This is not in the hands of scientists. Politicians and industrialists need to act, but you have a president like Trump who says there is nothing like climate change. The Indian government is not in such denial, but the rate of intervention here is much too slow.

We are also witnessing extreme heat and cold weather events.

These are weather anomalies. Extreme heat in Delhi,  very cold weather somewhere else… It is not known whether this is due to climate change. Each case has to be analysed individually, by computers, for scientists do not have enough data. No doubt our entire coastal areas will go under due to rising sea levels. This will cause massive chaos where large numbers of the population will have to be evacuated. It will keep getting worse. Disasters such as these can cause wars. It is, overall, a very bad situation.

Babylon the Great Prepares for Nuclear War Against Iran

US deploys “usable” nuclear weapon amid continuing war threats against Iran

1 February 2020

The Pentagon deployed a new, smaller nuclear warhead aboard the ballistic missile submarine USS Tennessee as it sailed into the Atlantic last month in the midst of the spiraling crisis with Iran. The weapon, known as the W76-2 warhead, has an explosive yield of roughly five kilotons, a third of the destructive power of the “Little Boy” bomb that claimed the lives of some 140,000 people in Hiroshima in 1945.

The Federation of American Scientists (FAS) revealed the deployment this week, citing unnamed civilian and military figures. It stated that two of the 20 Trident submarine-launched ballistic missiles onboard the USS Tennessee and other subs will be armed with the W76-2 warheads. Each missile can be loaded with as many as eight such warheads, capable of striking multiple targets.

The new weapon has been rolled out with remarkable speed. The Trump administration’s 2018 Nuclear Posture Review called for the development of“a low-yield SLBM [submarine-launched ballistic missile] warhead to ensure a prompt response option that is able to penetrate adversary defenses”and close “an exploitable ‘gap’ in US regional deterrence capabilities.”

The pretext for the warhead’s deployment was the unsubstantiated claim that Russia is developing similar weapons and has adopted a doctrine of “escalate to de-escalate” or “escalate to win” by utilizing low-yield nuclear weapons, with the expectation that Washington would not retaliate with strategic warheads for fear of initiating an all out thermonuclear war. The Pentagon’s argument has been that a low-yield and rapid reaction ballistic missile is needed to “restore deterrence.”

The report by the FAS strongly suggests, however, that this alleged Russian doctrine is a pretext and that “it is much more likely that the new low-yield weapon is intended to facilitate first-use of nuclear weapons against North Korea or Iran.”

It points out that both the US National Security Strategy and the Nuclear Posture Review (NPR) envision the use of nuclear weapons in response to “non-nuclear attacks, and large-scale conventional aggression,” and that the NPR explicitly stated that the W76-2 warhead was designed to “expand the range of credible US options for responding to nuclear or non-nuclear strategic attack.” Washington does not rule out a nuclear strike, including against non-nuclear armed countries like Iran.

The deployment of the USS Tennessee with its new “usable” nuclear warheads came at roughly the same time as President Donald Trump huddled with his top aides on December 29 at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, ordering the criminal drone missile assassination of Gen. Qassem Suleimani, one of Iran’s top officials. The drone killing was carried out at Baghdad’s international airport five days later.

In a report Thursday, NBC News, citing unnamed senior US officials, established that at the same meeting in Florida, “Trump also authorized the bombing of Iranian ships, missile launchers and air defense systems… Technically, the military can now hit those targets without further presidential authorization, though in practice, it would consult with the White House before any such action.”

The report warned that “the two sides remain in a dangerous boxer’s clench, in which the smallest miscalculation, some officials believe, could lead to disaster.”

In other words, for all the talk of war having been averted following the act of war and war crime carried out by Washington in the murder of Suleimani, the reality is that the world remains on the knife’s edge of a catastrophic military confrontation, which could rapidly escalate into the first use of nuclear weapons in three-quarters of a century.

The threat against Iran is part of far broader buildup to global war through which US imperialism is seeking to offset the erosion of its previously hegemonic domination of the global economy by resorting to the criminal use of overwhelming military force.

After securing a $738 billion military budget for 2020 with the support of an overwhelming majority—Democratic and Republican alike—in the US Congress, the Trump administration is now preparing to push through a 20 percent increase in the budget for the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), the agency overseeing the buildup of the US nuclear arsenal. This $20 billion budget proposal, made public this week, represents only a fraction of the more than $1 trillion the US is projected to spend on “modernizing” the arsenal over the next three decades—plans that were set into motion under the Democratic administration of Barack Obama, before Trump took office.

Trump is a war criminal. His threats to carry out the “obliteration” of Iran and to rain “fire and fury” upon North Korea are not merely hyperbole. The “usable” nuclear weapons to commit such atrocities have already been placed in his hands.

As the Senate impeachment trial of the US president limps to an ignominious close, it is striking that Trump’s greatest crimes, including acts of war and his threat to drag the world into a nuclear war, feature in no way in the charges against him. On the contrary, the articles of impeachment center on allegations that he withheld lethal military aid to Ukraine and has been insufficiently aggressive in confronting Russia.

This charge is made, as Newsweek pointed out this week, after the Pentagon staged an unprecedented 93 separate military exercises between May and the end of September of last year,all of them simulating or preparing for war against Russia. This includes practice bombing runs less than 500 miles from the Russian border and the steady build-up of ground forces in the three Baltic states and Poland, together with escalating US air deployments described as “bomber assurance” and “theater security” programs.

The drive to war has its source not in the diseased mind of Donald Trump, but rather in the insoluble crisis of global capitalism. There exists no antiwar faction within the US ruling class, including its Democratic representatives, only tactical differences over how US imperialist interests should best be pursued on the global arena.

The struggle against a new imperialist world war and the threat it poses to the survival of humanity can be based only upon the struggles of the working class, which is engaged in a wave of strikes and social upheavals across the planet. These emerging mass struggles must be armed with a socialist and internationalist program to unify workers in the common fight to put an end to the source of war and social inequality, the capitalist system.

Bill Van Auken