A Closer Look At The Sixth Seal (Revelation 6:12)

Monday, March 14, 2011

Attachment.pngThe Ramapo Fault is the longest fault in the Northeast that occasionally makes local headlines when minor tremors cause rock the Tri-State region. It begins in Pennsylvania, crosses the Delaware River and continues through Hunterdon, Somerset, Morris, Passaic and Bergen counties before crossing the Hudson River near Indian Point nuclear facility.

In the past, it has generated occasional activity that generated a 2.6 magnitude quake in New Jersey’s Peakpack/Gladstone area and 3.0 magnitude quake in Mendham.

„There is occasional seismic activity in New Jersey,“ said Robinson. „There have been a few quakes locally that have been felt and done a little bit of damage over the time since colonial settlement — some chimneys knocked down in Manhattan with a quake back in the 18th century, but nothing of a significant magnitude.“

Robinson said the Ramapo has on occasion registered a measurable quake but has not caused damage: „The Ramapo fault is associated with geological activities back 200 million years ago, but it’s still a little creaky now and again,“ he said.

„More recently, in the 1970s and early 1980s, earthquake risk along the Ramapo Fault received attention because of its proximity to Indian Point,“ according to the New Jersey Geological Survey website.

Historically, critics of the Indian Point Nuclear facility in Westchester County, New York, did cite its proximity to the Ramapo fault line as a significant risk.

„Subsequent investigations have shown the 1884 Earthquake epicenter was actually located in Brooklyn, New York, at least 25 miles from the Ramapo Fault,“ according to the New Jersey Geological Survey website.

Palestinians fire rocket from outside the Temple Walls (Revelation 11)

Palestinians fire rocket from Gaza at southern Israel for fourth day in a row

Projectile landed in open area of border community Nahal Oz with no damage or injuries reported

By JTAFebruary 3, 2020, 4:22 pm

At least one rocket was fired by Palestinians in Gaza at communities in southern Israel for the fourth day in a row.

The rocket landed in an open area in the Gaza border community of Nahal Oz on Saturday evening. No damage or injuries were reported.

Blue and White coalition head Benny Gantz, a former Israel Defence Forces chief of staff, was visiting Nahal Oz at the time of the attack. It is not known if the Palestinians who fired the rocket knew that Gantz and other members of his party were in the area.

Earlier in the day, at least four clusters of balloons carrying homemade explosives floated from Gaza and landed in southern Israeli communities, including Sderot. Police sappers were called to disarm the bombs and dispose of them.

In response, Israel’s Air Force late on Saturday night launched air strikes on what it called “a number of Hamas targets in Gaza.”

At least three rockets and several mortar shells were fired on Friday at southern Israeli communities. Two were intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defence system. Several homes were damaged by shrapnel from the interceptions, according to Hebrew media reports.

The uptick in rocket fire from Gaza began a day after the Trump administration’s Israeli-Palestinian peace plan was unveiled at the White House in Washington D.C.

Antichrist’s Men Open Fire on Protesters in Iraq

Sadr’s supporters open fire on protesters in Iraq

BAGHDAD

Iraqi Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr’s supporters, also known as blue hats, on Monday allegedly opened fire on people protesting against the appointment of Mohammed Tawfiq Allawi as the country’s prime minister.

This came after al-Sadr had asked his supporters to help security forces clear the blocked roads.

Eyewitnesses told Anadolu Agency that the blue hats opened fire on protesters in Al-Najaf province, southern Iraq. They said that blue hats forcibly dispersed the protesters and reopened the blocked roads.

In another southern province of Dhi Qar, according to local media, the blue hats dispersed the protesters from government buildings and schools in coordination with security forces.

Meanwhile, the blue hats clashed with protesters in the central Babil province as latter refused to end their sit-in.

On Saturday, Iraqi President Barham Salih appointed Allawi as country’s prime minister, assigning him to form a government within a month.

Iraq has been roiled by mass protests since early October over poor living conditions and corruption, forcing Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi to resign.

More than 500 people have been killed and 17,000 injured in the protests, according to an Iraqi human rights commission.

*Ahmed Asmar contributed to this report from Ankara

Anadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.

Antichrist Tells Followers to Clean Up the Sites After the PM is Appointed

Iraqi cleric Sadr tells followers to clean up the sites after the prime minister is appointed

February 2, 2020

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

Sadr, who had alternately sided with anti-government protesters and Iranian-backed political groups they refuse, called on his unarmed supporters known as “blue hats” to work with authorities to ensure schools and businesses can run smoothly again.

Protests broke out immediately in Baghdad and some southern cities on Saturday night after President Barham Salih appointed Mohamed Tawfiq Allawi as Prime Minister in an effort to end political unrest.

On Sunday, thousands gathered in Baghdad’s Tahrir Square, the capital’s main protest camp, to oppose the move. They drum bands and cheered against Allawi and Sadr, saying “Allawi has been rejected and his parties”.

In a message released on Twitter, Sadr said “I advise the security forces to stop anyone from crossing the roads and the education ministry must punish those who obstruct regular working hours, whether they are students, teachers or others.”

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

Hours before Allawi’s appointment, blue hats, armed with sticks, attacked a skeleton building in Tahrir Square, known as the Turkish Restaurant, which demonstrators have occupied since October. The building was largely empty on Sunday and blue hats stood guard, occupying its gates and pedestrianizing outside.

“They attacked us by surprise and forced us out of the building shouting that we did nothing good to the country except destroying its economy,” said Rassoul, 20, a protestor who has been living in the Turkish Restaurant since October.

Anti-government protests continued nearby, with demonstrators marching towards Allawi. He was named on Saturday as part of an agreement between Sadr and Iranian-backed political groups that have been bickering since Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi’s November resignation.

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

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

US and EU Butterflies

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

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

A dozen young Iraqis stopped in a truck carrying mass speakers and cheered the crowd.

Moqtada al-Sadr sent opposite messages from the beginning, but in the end he clarified that he is against the protesters,” Jawad added.

Sadr supporters watched protesters from and around the Turkish Restaurant.

Sadr has led anti-government riots in recent years but has been unable to control this round of demonstrations and many protesters oppose him as much as the rest of the political class.

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

Many of Sadr’s supporters hail from the humidity of eastern Baghdad and share the same complaints as many Iraqis about lack of job opportunities, poor health care and education.

Riots have been the biggest crisis in Iraq for years. It has shattered the nearly two years of calm that prevailed after the defeat of the Sunni extremist Islamic State in 2017. (Reporting by Nadine Awadalla, John Davison and Aziz El Yaakoubi Editing by Helen Popper and Frances Kerry)

Antichrist Calls for Action Against Iraq Protests

Masked anti-government protester stand before flaming tyres at a make-shift roadblock in the central Iraqi holy shrine city of Najaf. AFP

Moqtada Al Sadr calls for action against Iraq protests

Pesha MagidFeb 2, 2020

Populist Iraqi cleric Moqtada Al Sadr on Sunday ordered his followers to help security troops clear roads blocked by protesters.

Mr Al Sadr withdrew support for months-long anti-government demonstrations after the appointment of a new prime minister.

He also urged his supporters to work with authorities to ensure schools and businesses could operate normally again.

“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,” Mr Al Sadr said on Twitter.

His supporters swarmed into the main protest site in Baghdad soon after President Barham Salih nominated the politician Mohammed Allawi as Prime Minister on Saturday evening

Hundreds of men in the blue caps worn to show allegiance to Mr Al Sadr entered Tahrir Square and the abandoned building on its edge known as the Turkish Restaurant.

The building had become a symbol of the popular uprising against Iraq’s political class since it began in early October.

The Sadrists took control of the building by force, using batons

Ali Al Mikdam, a protester in Baghdad

The protesters accuse the leaders of corruption and failing to deliver basic services, and are demanding elections under a new electoral law and an end to foreign influence in Iraqi politics, which is dominated by Iran-backed groups.

Protesters said the Sadrists’ seizure of the building was to prevent them from expressing their rejection of Mr Allawi, a former communications minister and two-time member of Parliament.

“The fact is that Mohammed Allawi is supported by Al Sadr and the rest of the parties,” said Ali Al Mikdam, 21, who has been taking part in the protests since they began.

“The Sadrists took control of the building by force, using batons. They also searched all of the protesters’ tents. In addition, they threatened everyone who opposes or disagrees with them.”

Protesters chant slogans while holding posters of newly appointed Prime Minister Mohammed Allawi with Arabic that reads, “Rejected by the people” during a demonstration in Tahrir Square, Baghdad. AP Photo

The protesters’ occupation of the Turkish Restaurant had a symbolic and strategic value as it looks over Tahrir Square and the Jumhuriya bridge, which leads into Baghdad’s high security Green Zone where government offices and embassies are located.

“They took it by force,” said “Abbas”, a protest organiser.

Abbas had helped to set up a library in the building and a photo gallery of some of the nearly 500 protesters killed in Baghdad and in southern cities such as Basra and Nasiriyah since October.

“If I went back to the restaurant they would kill me,” he told The National.

Mr Al Sadr, an influential cleric who has mobilised his own street protests in the past, changed his position on the anti-government uprising several times in the past week.

Some protesters chanted against him after he called for a million-man march against the US troop presence in Iraq on January 24.

He then withdrew his support from the protests, causing many Sadrists who had taken part in the sit-in to pack up their tents and leave Tahrir Square.

Their withdrawal was followed by a sharp rise in violence against the protesters. Mr Al Sadr then called for his supporters to return to the square on Friday.

“How can you trust someone who changes his mind all the time?” Mr Al Mikdam said.

Protesters said Mr Al Sadr’s latest statement had created a tense atmosphere in the square, but there was no noticeable drop in their numbers.

On Saturday night, Sadrists standing outside the Turkish Restaurant said they were occupying the building for the “safety” of protesters, claiming they had heard reports of alcohol, drugs and weapons inside the building.

“We’re here to ensure the protests remain peaceful. Nothing more or less,” Al Sadr supporter Rahman Mohamed told The National.

As he spoke, others began throwing protesters’ belongings from the upper floors.

“They might have knives or bombs,” Mr Mohamed said.

The Sadrists also removed protest banners and posters of slain protesters that had been hung outside the building.

Many of the men in blue caps held walkie-talkies and metal or wooden batons. When asked why he was carrying a metal rod, one said: “Just to scare them.”

We do not want Mohammed Allawi at all

Mohammed Ali, a protester in Baghdad

Despite the presence of the Sadrists, protesters made clear their opposition to Mr Allawi.

They scattered his posters on the ground, trampling on them and driving over them with tuk-tuks.

Young men gathered together to chant, “Allawi is refused, Allawi is refused” while holding posters with a red cross over his face.

“We do not want Mohammed Allawi at all,” said Mohammed Ali, 18, standing next to a friend who was burning a poster. “We do not want the corrupt. We want them to leave.”

Murtada Sabaa, another protester, said: “We want a prime minister but one that will make a good change and who understands the people.

“He is supported by the Iranians. We want a free country without Americans, without foreigners governing us.”

Demonstrators in Tahrir Square have said giving up control of the Turkish Restaurant would mean the end of the protests, but Mr Al Mikdam said he was not willing to stop.

“For four months in Tahrir I’ve only eaten beans,” he said. “The rain cleaned my clothes. I’ve lost a lot of friends. I’m not ready to lose what happened here.”

But as he watched another group of men in blue caps march into the square brandishing metal rods, he seemed less certain.

“The revolution is in Nasiriyah now,” he said. “There are too many militias here in Baghdad.”

Updated: February 3, 2020 09:48 AM

The Fighting Continues Outside the Temple Walls (Revelation 11)

IDF Apache helicopter

Air Force Attacks Hamas, Again, But Rockets Still Fly

Hana Levi Julian

7 Shevat 5780 – February 2, 2020

Photo Credit: Amos Ben Gershom / GPO

The Israeli Air Force took to the skies over Gaza shortly after midnight on Saturday night in response to the continuation of rocket and mortar fire and balloon bombings aimed at Jewish communities from the enclave this weekend.

Even as Israeli forces were attacking Hamas terrorist positions, however, terrorists launched two rockets from Gaza at southern Israel. Both launches failed to clear the border.

No End to Rocket, Mortar & Balloon Bomb Attacks on Southern Israel

Earlier in the evening, one rocket was launched from the enclave at around 9:10 pm. The rocket exploded in an open field in the Shaar HaNegev Regional Council district. No one was physically injured and no property damage was reported.

The Next and Final Nuclear Wars (Revelation 6 and 18)

Ambassador Abdul Basit is a retired Pakistani diplomat who served also as former high commissioner of Pakistan to India. He is the President, Pakistan Institute for Conflict and Security Studies (PICSS), Islamabad. PICSS is an Islamabad-based Think Tank. He can be reached at @abasitpak1

US-Iran Crisis and Pakistan

February 2, 2020

By Ambassador®Abdul Basit

Following the killing of Iranian commander Qassem Soleimani by the US on 3 January in Baghdad, a conflict between the two seemingly pathological antagonists seemed inevitable. The people of Iran were crying for a revenge. And on 8 January, Tehran fired missiles on the US military base in Baghdad causing some structural damages but no casualties. Immediately, Tehran announced that it had taken and “concluded proportionate measures in self-defense under Article 51 of UN Charter”.

Foreign Minister Javad Zarif emphasized that “We do not seek escalation or war, but will defend ourselves against any aggression.”

Meanwhile, the focus also shifted to the Ukrainian airliner that, according to the Iranian authorities was shot down by their defense forces as a result of human error. Out of 176 killed, over 80 passengers were Iranian. This led to several protests in Iran even demanding that the Supreme Leader must step down.

It was on the same day i.e. after the Iranian attack on the US military base that Prime Minister Imran Khan in a tweet conveyed that he had asked Foreign Minister Qureshi to visit Iran, Saudi Arabia, and the US to meet with his counterparts, and Army Chief General Qamar Bajwa to contact relevant military leaders to convey a clear message. He added, “Pakistan is ready to play its role for peace but it can never again be part of any war.”

It was only on 13 January that Foreign Minister Qureshi could begin his trip starting with Tehran. Besides Riyadh, New York and Washington DC, he also visited Muscat and Doha and returned to Pakistan on 19 January.

Many analysts in Pakistan raised questions about Prime Minister’s initiative. Fundamentally, three points were underlined. First, there was no immediate threat of escalation since the Iranian action did not result in US casualties and that Iran had categorically announced that it had “concluded proportionate measures in defense.” US State Secretary Mike Pompeo had also announced that the US was not seeking escalation. Given this backdrop, it was argued that as the two hostile parties had themselves ratcheted down the situation, what role was then left for Pakistan to play.

Second, Pakistan though a big country with nuclear weapons had no significant leverage to mediate either between Iran and US on the Iranian nuclear deal or between Saudi Arabia and Iran on their deep animosity. In fact, Pakistan’s economic situation and its dependency on Saudi Arabia and UAE could not allow it to be neutral. Dependency ineluctably weakens state’s credentials and its clout in international relations.

Third, Pakistan should have been more concerned about Kashmir and the obtaining tense situation with India rather than shifting its diplomatic focus and energy to the theatre in which it could barely pitch in. It was in any case bad diplomacy to try punching above one’s weight.

It was also additionally argued that the whole exercise was undertaken for the domestic political consumption. As Imran Khan’s government did not have much to celebrate on the economic front and that its Kashmir diplomacy had already lost much of its steam, it made political sense to demonstrate how worried Pakistan was and hence could not stay nonchalant.

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No wonder, Foreign Minister Qureshi thus ended up spending most of his trip in New York and Washington focusing more on Kashmir, Indo-Pak relations, Afghanistan and Pak-US relations. In New York he met the UN Secretary General, talking mostly about Kashmir and India. His meetings in Washington with Secretary Mike Pompeo and National Security Advisor Robert O’Brian were in large part were about bilateral relations, FATF and India-Pakistan relations.

The Foreign Minister, however, did counsel restraint to the US lest escalation with Iran, amongst other things, also adversely affect the reconciliation process in Afghanistan. He also, according to some sources, advised the US to leave the door ajar for the 2015 Iran nuclear deal as it appeared well-nigh impossible for Tehran to revisit the agreement without an adequate face-saving formula. Qureshi also cautioned against invoking the dispute settlement mechanism and taking the matter to the UN Security Council.

It remains to be seen what would the Trump administration likely do in the months ahead? As things stand, it seems highly unlikely President Trump would be inclined to soften his policy vis-à-vis Iran especially when it is also an election year in the US.

All said and done, Pakistan realizes that another conflict in the region will be too catastrophic not only for Pakistan but also for the region as a whole, including for the tenuous peace process in Afghanistan.

Pakistan realizes that another conflict in the region will be too catastrophic not only for Pakistan but also for the region as a whole

The country struggling so hard economically can ill-afford to yet again put strains on its relations with Saudi Arabia and the UAE by staying neutral. Prime Minister Imran Khan would definitely not want to be finding himself in such a cleft stick.

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Disclaimer:

Writer of this article Ambassador Abdul Basit is a retired Pakistani diplomat who served also as former high commissioner of Pakistan to India. He is the President of  Pakistan Institute for Conflict and Security Studies (PICSS), Islamabad. PICSS is an Islamabad-based Think Tank.

Ambassador Abdul Basit also has been hosting Current Affairs shows on televisions and writes regularly for international and national media outlets. He is considered as one of the most respected Diplomats in international as well as national Diplomatic Circles.  The views and opinions expressed in this article/Opinion/Comment are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Dispatch News Desk (DND). Assumptions made within the analysis are not reflective of the position of Dispatch News Desk.