History Expects the Sixth Seal in NYC (Revelation 6:12)

According to the New York Daily News, Lynn Skyes, lead author of a recent study by seismologists at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory adds that a magnitude-6 quake hits the area about every 670 years, and magnitude-7 every 3,400 years.

A 5.2-magnitude quake shook New York City in 1737 and another of the same severity hit in 1884.

Tremors were felt from Maine to Virginia.

There are several fault lines in the metro area, including one along Manhattan’s 125th St. – which may have generated two small tremors in 1981 and may have been the source of the major 1737 earthquake, says Armbruster.

“The problem here comes from many subtle faults,” explained Skyes after the study was published.

He adds: “We now see there is earthquake activity on them. Each one is small, but when you add them up, they are probably more dangerous than we thought.”

Armbruster says a 5.0-magnitude earthquake today likely would result in casualties and hundreds of millions of dollars in damage.

“I would expect some people to be killed,” he notes.

The scope and scale of damage would multiply exponentially with each additional tick on the Richter scale. (ANI)

Revealing of the French Nuclear Horn (Daniel 7)

French President Emmanuel Macron meets military officials at the Ecole Militaire, in Paris, France February 7, 2020. © Francois Mori/Pool via REUTERS

Macron unveils nuclear doctrine, warns EU ‘cannot remain spectators’ in arms race

07/02/2020 – 16:33

In a much anticipated speech to military officers graduating in Paris, Macron called on EU member states to play a more direct role in halting a new nuclear arms race, saying they “cannot remain spectators” against a threat to the continent’s collective security.

“In the absence of a legal framework, they could rapidly face a new race for conventional weapons, even nuclear weapons, on their own soil,” said Macron.

Setting out his country’s nuclear strategy in a bid to show leadership a week after nuclear-armed Britain officially exited the EU, Macron highlighted how France sees its nuclear weapons as a deterrent against attacks from belligerent foes.

Macron’s speech comes at a time when long-standing accords on limiting the growth of nuclear arsenals appear increasingly at risk.

The US and Russia have abandoned the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty, each blaming the other for breaching its limits, and Washington is threatening to quit the New START arms reduction treaty when it expires next year.

Add to that China’s bid for global sway, there is a strong need for Europe to ensure it does not find itself in the middle of a Cold War-style standoff “which could jeopardise the peace obtained after so many tragedies on our continent”, Macron said.

He warned of “the possibility of a pure and unrestrained military and nuclear competition, the likes of which we haven’t seen since the end of the 1960s”.

“The vital interests of France now have a European dimension,” said Macron, circling back to his central message of a need for a more coordinated European defence policy.

European nations should also insist on being signatories of any new deal to limit the development of new intermediate-range weapons, he noted. “Let us be clear: if negotiations and a more comprehensive treaty are possible… Europeans must be stakeholders and signatories, because it’s our territory” that is most at risk.

Waning US engagement and NATO ‘brain death’

Friday’s speech was part of Macron’s long-running push for a stronger European defence, as US President Donald Trump has pulled away from European allies and admonished other NATO members for not paying more for their own protection.

Macron himself ruffled feathers last year when he noted that the lack of US leadership is causing the “brain death” of the military alliance.

@Elysee

EN DIRECT | Discours du Président @EmmanuelMacron sur la stratégie de défense et de dissuasion depuis l’École militaire.

EN DIRECT | Discours du Président @EmmanuelMacron sur la stratégie de défense et de dissuasion depuis l’École militaire.

Reduced number of warheads and disarmament

France has already reduced the number of its warheads to under 300, Macron said, giving it “the legitimacy to demand concrete moves from other nuclear powers toward global disarmament that is gradual, credible and can be verified”.

But he stopped short of offering to share France’s nuclear deterrence capabilities, a pillar of its security strategy since implemented by Charles de Gaulle in the 1960s.

Germany in particular remains strongly opposed to atomic weapons, although a leader in Chancellor Angela Merkel’s party, Johann Wadephul, said this week that Paris should consider putting its arsenal under the auspices of the EU or NATO.

Macron invited European partners to engage in a “strategic dialogue” on the deterrent role of France’s nuclear capacity as the country embarks on a costly modernisation of its arsenal.

“Our independence in terms of decision-making is fully compatible with an unshakeable solidarity with our European partners,” Macron said.

Macron also warned of the need for “a greater capacity for autonomous action by Europeans”, who must step up their military spending.

“Why are they not ready to make defence a budget priority and make the necessary sacrifices, even as the risks are growing?” Macron asked.

‘Restore trust with Russia’

His speech came as a diplomatic freeze between the EU and Russia since Moscow’s annexation of Crimea from Ukraine has rekindled fears of fresh conflict along Europe’s eastern flank.

France has broken with some EU nations by recently reaching out to restore dialogue with President Vladimir Putin, who controls the world’s largest nuclear arsenal.

“There can be no defence and security project for European citizens without a political vision that seeks to progressively restore trust with Russia,” Macron said.

“We cannot accept the current situation, where the chasm deepens and talks diminish even as the security issues that need to be addressed with Moscow are multiplying.”

Macron did not specify whether Britain, Europe’s other nuclear power, should be part of the deeper EU cooperation now that is has quit the bloc.

But he noted that “since 1995, France and the United Kingdom have stated clearly there is no situation in which a threat to one’s vital interests would not also be a threat to the other’s.”

“Brexit doesn’t change this at all.”

(FRANCE 24 with AFP, AP and REUTERS)

Commander of Antichrist’s Militia Killed in Iraq Attack

Commander of Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr’s militia killed in Iraq attack

February 7, 2020

(G.N.S) DT. 07 Baghdad The commander of Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, Hazim al-Hilfi, has been killed in southern city of Basra in Iraq. Sources in the Iraqi Security Service gave this information on Thursday. At least five people were killed and 100 others were injured in violent clashes in Iraq’s southern city of Najaf on Wednesday evening between anti-government protesters and supporters of the Sadr movement’s Shiite cleric Muktada Sadr.

The Iranian Nuclear Horn (Daniel 8 )

Image result for iran nuclear

Iran – Foreign Policy

The Context

In 2015, the Obama administration signed a deal with Iran that lifted sanctions in exchange for significant limits on Iran’s nuclear program. Many Republicans fiercely objected to the deal, saying it was not tough enough, and in 2018, President Trump abandoned it and reinstated sanctions. But Iran kept up its end of the agreement until last month, when Mr. Trump ordered the killing of a top Iranian general, Qassim Suleimani. The killing of General Suleimani brought the United States to the brink of war with Iran, which retaliated by attacking two military bases that American forces were using in Iraq.

What would you do with the now-abandoned Iranian nuclear deal, as negotiated in 2015?

I would re-enter the deal with no new preconditions.

The recent killing of Quds Force commander Qassim Suleimani takes a dangerous actor off the board, but also raises the prospect of an ever-escalating cycle of violence in the region, and has prompted Tehran to jettison the nuclear limits established under the Iran deal. Tehran must return to strict compliance with the deal. But if they do so, I would rejoin the agreement and use our renewed commitment to diplomacy to work with our allies to strengthen and extend it, while more effectively pushing back against Iran’s other destabilizing activities.

Senator Klobuchar has made one of her major foreign policy priorities returning to the Iran nuclear agreement while working with the other parties, the U.N. and the I.A.E.A. to strengthen the terms and conditions. As an example, she would push to extend the sunset provisions for caps on Iran’s enrichment levels and capabilities.

I would seek a “grand bargain” to resolve nuclear, missile and counterterrorism disagreements.

Bernie would re-enter the deal with no new preconditions, provided Iran is also meeting its commitments. He would then pursue wider talks to resolve issues of ballistic missiles, support for terrorist groups, and human rights.

As of January 9, 2020, I would re-enter the deal with no preconditions. However, because this is a rapidly evolving situation, I would reconsider given geopolitical developments.

I would seek a “grand bargain” to resolve nuclear, missile and counterterrorism disagreements.

Do you believe President Trump acted within his legal authority in giving the order to kill Qassim Suleimani? Was the killing justifiable? Was it wise?

To decide the lawfulness of the strike would require a full legal analysis based on a coherent justification, which we have not seen thus far. The most important question is whether it was a wise policy decision. Based on the reasons articulated by the president and his administration for the strike, this was a reckless decision and has not made Americans safer or addressed the underlying security threats that persist.

Mr. Biden did not answer this question.

Was it legal? Yes. Was it justifiable? Yes, provided we had intelligence on an imminent threat to Americans. Suleimani oversaw the murder of hundreds of Americans, and tens of thousands of Iraqis and Syrians. Was it wise?That will depend on whether it ultimately furthers America’s three vital interests regarding Iran: stopping the country from obtaining nuclear weapons, preventing attacks on Americans and other destabilizing activities, and preventing a wider war. All that remains unclear.

Mr. Buttigieg’s campaign referred The Times to the statement he released after the killing of General Suleimani: The top priority of a commander in chief must be to protect Americans and our national security interests. There is no question that Qassim Suleimani was a threat to that safety and security, and that he masterminded threats and attacks on Americans and our allies, leading to hundreds of deaths. But there are serious questions about how this decision was made and whether we are prepared for the consequences.

The president does not have authorization to start a war with Iran. Qassim Suleimani was responsible for directing Iran’s destabilizing actions in Iraq, Syria and throughout the Middle East, including attacks against U.S. troops. However, the timing, provocative manner and consequences of the administration’s actions raise serious concerns about an escalating conflict.

Qassim Suleimani was a menace to the world and to peace-loving people everywhere. He was responsible for the deaths of thousands of innocent people, including Americans, and his death will not be mourned by me. At the same time, a difficult situation has become more dangerous because of the president’s actions.

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No. The U.S. is not at war with Iran, and Congress has not authorized any military action against Iran. Clearly there is evidence that Suleimani was involved in acts of terror. He also supported attacks on U.S. troops in Iraq. But the right question isn’t “was this a bad guy,” but rather “does assassinating him make Americans safer?” The answer is clearly no.

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Was it legal? Congress was not consulted about this action, and the American public does not want war with Iran. Was it justifiable? Despite what the Trump administration has suggested, they have not provided evidence that an Iranian attack was imminent, nor have they produced any compelling evidence that killing Suleimani would have prevented such an attack. Was it wise? Absolutely not. Donald Trump appears to have no foreign policy strategy or process. His withdrawal from the Obama-led Iranian nuclear agreement began a direct confrontation which has escalated to the killing of Gen. Qassim Suleimani. His reckless behavior overseas puts American lives in danger without the necessary support from our allies or any apparent strategy for long-term success.

No. The president’s reckless decision has brought us to the brink of another war in the Middle East. His administration has produced no evidence of imminent threat and made no meaningful attempt at a legal justification. There was no prior consultation with Congress, and no serious thought put into the potential consequences for our troops and our country — or even for the president’s own stated strategies in the region. President Trump’s dangerous escalation has made Americans less safe.

I believe that the assassination of Suleimani was a mistake. War with Iran is the last thing we need and is not the will of the American people. The Trump administration’s failed foreign policy has led to the unnecessary escalation of tensions in the Middle East. This started when Trump withdrew the U.S. from the Iran nuclear deal, and it continued with a misguided maximum pressure strategy that has led to where we are today.

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Regarding possible future military action against Iran, is there any type of response that is off the table for you?

No. All options must be considered.

Mr. Biden did not answer this question.

No option is off the table if core U.S. interests and the safety of Americans are at stake. Mike is resolute that the United States must address Iran’s destabilizing actions across the greater Middle East. The way to do this is not through bluster and vacillation, but through a patient and consistent policy that combines targeted sanctions, military deterrence and support for our regional allies. The U.S. should make clear that until Tehran ends its support for terrorist groups like Hezbollah and Hamas — both dedicated to Israel’s destruction — then Iran will not be able to join the community of nations.

Mr. Buttigieg did not answer this question.

As commander in chief, Senator Klobuchar will do what is necessary to protect the American people. She believes our focus should be on working with our allies to de-escalate the situation while ensuring the security of Americans in the region. She is also a cosponsor of Senator Kaine’s resolution that requires congressional authorization for any hostilities with Iran.

America reserves the right to protect our interests around the world. That right has to be bound by international norms, by law and by forethought. I would consider applying military force in self-defense, to preempt a genuine, imminent attack, or in retaliation for an attack against U.S. interests. Any U.S. military response against Iran or its proxies should be proportionate, appropriately limited, and the product of careful strategic deliberation.

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Bernie would work with our European allies to de-escalate tensions with Iran and engage in aggressive diplomacy that would safeguard the security of the U.S. and our partners while preventing a disastrous war with Iran.

The use of nuclear weapons is off the table.

I want to end America’s wars in the Middle East, not start a new one with Iran. The litmus test I will use for any military action against Iran is the same that I will use as I consider any military action anywhere in the world. I will not send our troops into harm’s way unless there is a vital national security interest at risk, a strategy with clear and achievable objectives, and an understanding and acceptance of the long-term costs. We will hold ourselves to this by recommitting to a simple idea: the constitutional requirement that Congress play a primary role in deciding to engage militarily.

All options are on the table to ensure American national security. However, the goal should be to immediately de-escalate diplomatically and engage regional partners to come to a serious and swift resolution.

What would your military strategy to deter Iran be? What would your diplomatic strategy be?

I disagreed with President Trump’s decision to abandon the deal on Iran’s nuclear program. It is my hope that, in the future, parties can reach an agreement on enduring restrictions on Iran’s ability to obtain a nuclear weapon. I have always had concerns about what the shape of Iran’s nuclear program could look like in 10 or 15 years, and I have long said that the United States must think about a post-J.C.P.O.A. world.

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What Iran is doing is dangerous, but still reversible. If Iran moves back into compliance with its nuclear obligations, a Biden administration would re-enter the J.C.P.O.A. as a starting point to work alongside our allies in Europe and other world powers to extend the deal’s nuclear constraints. Doing so would provide a critical down payment to re-establish U.S. credibility, signaling to the world that America’s word and international commitments once again mean something. My administration would also leverage renewed international consensus around America’s Iran policy — and a redoubled commitment to diplomacy — to more effectively push back against Tehran’s other malign behavior in the region.

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Mike believes that the U.S. needs a coherent strategy to counter Iran. That includes reviving and strengthening the U.S.-Iran nuclear agreement; maintaining current sanctions against Tehran until it changes its behavior; working within the U.N. Security Council to constrain Iran’s missile development; and reinforcing relations with our Arab partners to resist Iran’s hegemonic ambitions. Mike deplores the Iranian regime’s violent crackdown on unarmed protesters. Mike believes the Iranian regime needs to change its behavior, at home and abroad, but it’s up to the Iranian people, not the United States, to determine their country’s political future.

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Mr. Buttigieg’s campaign referred The Times to his response to a similar question in a Council on Foreign Relations survey: We should have no illusions about the reality that Iran poses challenges to U.S. interests beyond its nuclear program: its ballistic missile program, malign behavior in the region, threats to our ally Israel, and human rights abuses. But having the J.C.P.O.A. in place created a foundation from which we could begin addressing those concerns, all of which will be even more intractable if we lack a mechanism to verifiably and permanently prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon. If Iran resumes implementing its commitments, then I would rejoin. But I would take the agreement as a floor, not a ceiling.

Read full answer

Senator Klobuchar has made one of her major foreign policy priorities returning to the Iran nuclear agreement while working with the other parties, the U.N. and the I.A.E.A. to strengthen the terms and conditions. As an example, she would push to extend the sunset provisions for caps on Iran’s enrichment levels and capabilities.

The regime in control of Iran is a threat to the security of Israel, the region and beyond. Iran’s nuclear capability must be checked and can be contained without regime change. The right way to do so is as part of a coalition with our allies and others in the region and beyond. I remain convinced that there is a diplomatic solution to our disagreements with Iran. De-escalating the current crisis means bringing the Iranian regime back to the negotiating table and making real progress to address both the nuclear program and Iranian support for terrorist proxies in the region.

Read full answer

Bernie would work with our European allies to de-escalate tensions with Iran and engage in aggressive diplomacy that would safeguard the security of the U.S. and our partners while preventing a disastrous war with Iran.

Mr. Trump has blundered his way into a potentially long-lasting conflict with Iran. Since he announced the United States’ withdrawal from the J.C.P.O.A., Iran has grown bolder. I recognize the seriousness of Iran as an adversary and the need to work with our allies to bring Iran back to the table and away from the brink of war. While the J.C.P.O.A. did not solve all problems with the Iranian regime, it did reduce the threat of a nuclear Iran. A more long-term and responsible approach to Iran would be the diplomatic route taken by the Obama administration, including re-entering the J.C.P.O.A.

The first thing we need to do is de-escalate and reopen channels of communication with Iran, using the P5+1 and other interlocutors. The best way to do that is to start by negotiating the re-entry of the United States and Iran into the J.C.P.O.A. if that is still possible. If the crisis and conflict President Trump has chosen to create make re-entry into the J.C.P.O.A. impossible, we can still lead with diplomacy and pursue interim confidence-building agreements that focus on our most pressing strategic priority in the region: constraining Iran’s nuclear program.

The approach is to de-escalate and engage with Iran diplomatically, whether bilaterally or multilaterally with regional partners.

Iran Pushes For Jihad Outside the Temple Walls (Revelation 11)

Right from Wrong: Iran’s panicky push for Palestinian jihad

By RUTHIE BLUM

Whenever Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei launches into a rant against the United States and Israel you know his regime is in a panic. His angry oration on Wednesday was no exception.

Nor was the timing of his diatribe coincidental. Not only did it take place as the mullahs and their puppets marked the 41st anniversary of the Islamic Revolution that ousted the Shah of Iran and ushered in the reign of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, but it came a day after US President Donald Trump delivered his third State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress.

The contrast between the two speeches could not have been greater. While Trump’s was uplifting and cheerful – conveying an optimistic message to the American people about successfully striving for and achieving success – Khamenei’s was vitriolic and aimed at encouraging Palestinians to escalate their efforts to eradicate Israel.

“You saw that the US bullies and hooligans unveiled the so-called ‘Deal of the Century,’” he bellowed, referring to Trump’s announcement the previous week of his much-touted, long-awaited “Peace to Prosperity” plan. “They have wishfully chosen a big name for it so that it may be realized, but [it] is stupid, a sign of viciousness and has been detrimental to them since day one.”

Khamenei went on: “The American plot of the ‘Deal of the Century’ will die before Trump dies… [It] is foolish, because it will definitely not have any result. It is foolish to come and sit, spend money, invite, create uproar and unveil a plan that is doomed to failure.

Moreover, this plan is indicative of the US’s viciousness and manipulation. They [the Americans] have come to negotiate with the Zionists over what belongs to the Palestinians! Palestine belongs to the Palestinians… The arrogant powers have tried to make Palestine forgotten. But their efforts [yielded] the opposite results… Now the world is talking about Palestine and the rights of its oppressed people.”

He warned his audience – described by the Islamic Ideology Dissemination Organization-owned Mehrs New Agency as “people from all walks of life” – not to be fooled by the “few traitorous Arab heads of state” who expressed support for the plan. “They are incompetent and have no respect among their own nation,” he said.

Asserting the Americans “will try to further their plot with bribes, weapons and enticements,” Khamenei offered a remedy: “bold resistance by the Palestinian nation and groups to force out the Zionist enemy and the US through jihad, [which] all Muslim nations and the world of Islam must support.”

Iran, he concluded, “considers it its duty to support Palestinian groups and will help them in any way it can.”

KHAMENEI’S TYPICAL battle cry against the “Great Satan,” America, and the “Small Satan,” Israel, may be reverberating among Iran’s terrorist proxies in Judea, Samaria, Gaza, Lebanon and Syria, which receive funding, training and weapons from Tehran. But it’s a sign that the aging ayatollah is either out of touch with, or purposely ignoring, the focus of his people’s mass protests.

Indeed, Iranians of “all walks of life” have been putting their lives in danger to demonstrate against a repressive regime whose coffers – ever-shrinking as a result of increased Trump-imposed sanctions – are spent on lining leaders’ pockets and paying terrorists around the globe to commit mass murder. One can only imagine how Khamenei’s vow to aid and abet the Palestinians while obfuscating his own people’s oppression and misery was received at home.

This is not to say that the aging ayatollah is stupid or crazy. On the contrary, there is method to his madness; certainly to his propaganda. Take, for example, a news feature on the Iranian Jewish community broadcast on Wednesday by the pan-Arab, pro-Hezbollah media network, Al Mayadeen. According to the report, Jews in the Islamic Republic not only enjoy complete religious freedom but hate Israel with a passion.

The item shows a congregation at one of Tehran’s 13 synagogues reading from a Torah scroll, while the reporter/narrator states that their first loyalty is to their homeland in the Islamic Republic. He also avers that all Iranian Jews view Israel as an enemy that needs defeating – one that cloaks itself in religion for the sake of occupying lands and killing another people.

To back up this claim, the reporter uses an interview with Iranian-Jewish community head Homayoun Abadi, who praises the Islamic Republic and denounces Israel as a “political Zionist regime that true Jews do not recognize.”

Obviously, Abadi was reading from the script expected of him. Like a hostage telling the world how well-treated he is by his captors, he spewed the text out of self-preservation. It is clear that this is the case, since nobody in Iran is the least bit free. All live in fear of the concrete possibility of arrest, imprisonment, torture and death for real or perceived regime-determined infringements, large and small. Just ask the protesters who are so fed up that they have been braving Basij bullets to march around the country calling for “death to the dictator” and refraining from stomping on American and Israeli flags.

THE PALESTINIANS, too, live in a repressive society, shackled and brainwashed by the honchos in Ramallah and Gaza. They also spout slogans against the US and Israel. However, like the members of the Iranian regime, Fatah and Hamas leaders did not need Trump’s election or the “Deal of the Century” to terrorize their underlings and incite them to engage in jihad. Trump merely gave them the latest excuse to launch rocket, car-ramming, rock-throwing, Molotov cocktail-hurling and stabbing attacks – which they have been doing with enhanced vengeance, of course, since the US president stood next to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the White House on January 28 and revealed the outline of his plan for Palestinian self-determination: a demilitarized statelet that would be granted multi-billions of dollars for economic and societal advancement. If it would only agree to live alongside the Jewish state in peace, that is. Oh, and when it stops trying to eliminate Israel by any means at its disposal.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s ballistic reaction was anticipated. After all, he rejected Trump’s deal well before knowing what it contained, because he figured – based on White House moves up until then – that it was going to deprive him of the ability to annihilate the Jewish state and expose his pretense of merely seeking Palestinian independence.

Not that anyone except for fellow jihadists and their left-wing apologists in academia and the UN has been buying his lies of late. Repeated failed peace processes that included Israeli territorial withdrawals and gallons of spilled Jewish blood will do that. So will constant calls for “martyrdom in the name of Allah” emanating from PA minarets and in the PA-controlled press.

As Palestinian Media Watch reported on Sunday, Fatah’s official Facebook page promoted the following message on January 30, accompanied by a photo of the Dome of the Rock on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem: “#Down with the deal of the century. Palestine is not a homeland that is sold and purchased, but rather a piece of the Koran that we will defend with [our] blood and souls.”

To illustrate that they mean business, Palestinians in Judea, Samaria and Gaza have been making Khamenei proud to be using them in his grander scheme of global Shi’ite Islamist hegemony. For days on end, balloon bouquets laden with explosives have been flying over and landing near kindergartens in southern Israel, begging to be picked up by children enticed by their bright colors. IDF vehicles and soldiers have been set on fire. And a group of Golani soldiers touring Jerusalem before a ceremony at the Kotel on Wednesday night were brutally run down by a terrorist whose weapon of choice was a white Kia.

What Abbas didn’t bother to tell the driver of the South Korean sedan – or Khamenei, for that matter – is that his grandiose threats to sever all ties with America and Israel, and reconcile with his Hamas rivals, were uttered for propaganda purposes at home and abroad. Indeed, as Khaled Abu Toameh reported in these pages on Tuesday, it’s business as usual where security cooperation between the PA and Israel is concerned.

Yes, Abbas is behaving in character: putting his people in harm’s way while donning fancy suits to attend meetings, preferably in Europe, with sympathetic Western diplomats. In Khamenei fashion, though the public he supposedly serves is welcome to become cannon fodder, he himself intends to die of old age in bed between satin sheets.

More Palestinians Killed Outside the Temple Walls (Revelation 11)

Palestinian Killed in Clashes as Tensions Rise Over US Plan

By The Associated PressFeb. 5, 2020

JERUSALEM — Israeli forces shot and killed a 17-year-old Palestinian during clashes with demonstrators in the West Bank on Wednesday, the first death since tensions rose following the release of President Donald Trump’s Mideast plan, according to Palestinian officials.

The shooting came hours after Israel struck Hamas militant targets in Gaza in response to rocket fire toward Israeli communities overnight.

The teenager was killed in Hebron, where a few hundred hard-line Jewish settlers live in a heavily guarded enclave in the heart of a Palestinian city. Relatively small protests have broken out across the occupied West Bank since the Trump plan was unveiled last week, with demonstrators often throwing stones and firebombs at Israeli forces.

The Palestinian health ministry said Mohammed al-Haddad was shot in the chest and succumbed to his wounds after being taken to a hospital.

The Israeli military said troops fired at a Palestinian who had thrown a firebomb at them. It said dozens of Palestinians have taken part in “violent riots” in Hebron in recent days.

The Palestinians have roundly rejected Trump’s Mideast proposal, which offers them limited self-rule in scattered chunks of territory with a capital on the outskirts of Jerusalem while allowing Israel to annex large parts of the West Bank. Protesters have burned U.S. and Israeli flags as well as posters of Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The Israeli military has said a soldier was lightly wounded by a firebomb at one protest. It says it has instructed troops to “contain” the protests and not respond forcefully, concerned that Palestinian casualties would set off further violence.

In Gaza, the military said it targeted a Hamas weapons manufacturing site. There were no reports of casualties. The exchange comes amid an uptick in cross-border rocket and “explosive balloon” launches from the Hamas-controlled territory.

The Gaza Strip has been relatively calm in recent months as part of an informal truce between its Hamas rulers and Israel, but tension has increased since President Donald Trump unveiled his plan, which heavily favors Israel, last week.

Under the plan, Israel would be allowed to annex all Jewish settlements in the West Bank, as well as the strategic Jordan Valley. The Palestinians were offered limited self-rule in Gaza, parts of the West Bank and some sparsely populated areas of Israel in return for meeting a long list of conditions. The Palestinians, as well as much of the international community, view the settlements in the West Bank and annexed east Jerusalem — territories seized by Israel in the 1967 war — as illegal and a major obstacle to peace.

Hamas had recently curbed rocket fire from Gaza and rolled back weekly protests along the frontier that had often turned violent. In return, Israel eased the blockade it imposed with Egypt on Gaza after the Islamic militant group seized power from forces loyal to the Palestinian Authority in 2007.

Hamas rejected the Trump plan and vowed that “all options are open” in responding to the proposal, but the group is not believed to be seeking another war with Israel.

Following the latest rocket fire, the military said it viewed the incident with “great severity and is prepared for various scenarios.” It said the zone available for fishing off the coast of the Palestinian territory would be tightened from 15 nautical miles to 10 in response to the rocket fire and explosive balloons.

Meanwhile, the Western-backed Palestinian Authority based in the West Bank announced it has stopped importing Israeli vegetables, fruits, beverages and mineral water. That’s the latest step in a brewing trade war with Israel that began in September, when the Palestinians decided to stop importing beef from Israel.

The P.A. claimed most of the 120,000 head of cattle the Palestinians import monthly from Israel was itself imported and that they therefore prefer to import directly from abroad. The move appeared aimed at reducing the Palestinians’ economic dependence on Israel.

Shortly after the September announcement, Israeli cattle ranchers saw a drop in their market and pressured Israeli authorities to take action. Defense Minister Naftali Bennett retaliated with a ban on Palestinian beef and other products, triggering the Palestinians to expand their boycott.

The Palestinian minister of economy, Khaled al-Osaily, said the latest decision was meant to pressure Israel into revoking its ban on importing vegetables. He said the P.A. annually imports from Israel some $300 million worth of fruits and vegetables while exporting only $55 million.

“We told them this decision has come as a response to the Israeli decision and will be revoked the moment they back off,” al-Osaily said. “We have chosen these products since we have an alternative or we can live without them.”

___

Associated Press writer Mohammed Daraghmeh in Ramallah, West Bank, contributed.

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A Third of the Creatures in the Sea Died (Revelation 8:8)

Nuclear war would devastate our planet’s oceans, study suggests | CTV News

Graham Slaughter

TORONTO — Nuclear war anywhere on Earth could irrevocably harm the planet’s oceans and worsen the already bleak outlook for coral reefs, according to a new study.

The report, published last month in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, looked at how the oceans would respond if nuclear bombs exploded and sent huge amounts of black carbon into the atmosphere.

“A lot of things would change in the oceans once you dim the lights,” Nicole Lovenduski, the study’s lead author and an associate professor in the Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences at the University of Colorado at Boulder, said in a statement.

Using complex computer simulations, researchers examined the impact of hypothetical nuclear wars, including a conflict between India and Pakistan. The first effect, researchers say, would be a dip in the acidity of the world’s oceans within a year.

That impact could be significant. Ocean acidity has steadily risen since the start of the industrial revolution and reduced the ocean’s ability to absorb carbon dioxide, thereby weakening its ability to moderate climate change.

Researchers say the slight drop in ocean acidity would be followed by a major shift in the ocean’s chemistry. About three to five years after the bombs exploded, the planet’s oceans would begin sucking up more carbon dioxide from the air.

The influx of CO2 into the water would then reduce aquatic supplies of carbonate – an important building block for oceanic structures such as coral, sea shells, oysters, clams and sea urchins.

“It makes me question whether organisms could adapt to such a change,” Lovenduski said. “We’re already questioning whether they can adapt to the relatively slower process of man-made ocean acidification, and this would happen much more abruptly.”

‘THE IMPACTS ARE HUGE’

Coral reefs cover less than one per cent of the world’s ocean floors but support about 30 per cent of marine life. Global warming and ocean acidification have already taken a toll on the world’s reefs. Last summer, Australia downgraded its outlook for the Great Barrier Reef from “poor” to “very poor.”

According to a 2018 report by the United Nations intergovernmental panel on climate change, 70 to 90 per cent of the world’s coral reefs could vanish if global warming increases 1.5 C.

Nuclear war – no matter what size — would only make the current outlook more bleak, researchers say.

“The impacts are huge,” Lovenduski said. “I hope this study helps us to gain perspective on the fact that even a small-scale nuclear war could have global ramifications.”

The consequences of nuclear war on land are well studied. Researchers have suggested that the smoke from a nuclear war would trigger a “nuclear winter” capable of decimating agriculture, and the World Health Organization has studied the effects of nuclear war on health since 1981.

Researchers say their new study is the first of its kind to consider the impact on the oceans.

DOOMSDAY CLOCK TICKS FORWARD

Last month, the Doomsday Clock – a measure of how close human civilization is to total collapse – was moved up to 100 second before midnight, with midnight representing the end of the world.

The measure was created in 1947 by the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists in response to the threat of nuclear war between the U.S. and Soviet Union.

“We now face a true emergency — an absolutely unacceptable state of world affairs that has eliminated any margin for error or further delay,” the Bulletin’s President Rachel Bronson said in a statement.

In December, Russian President Vladimir Putin boasted that his country is the first to develop hypersonic weapons capable of carrying nuclear warheads and travelling 10 times faster than the speed of sound.

In the same month, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said that his country would soon unveil a new strategic weapon.

The United States and Russia have 90 per cent of the world’s nearly 14,000 nuclear warheads, followed by France, China, the United Kingdom, Pakistan, India, Israel and North Korea.