USGS Evidence Shows Power of the Sixth Seal (Revelation 6:12)

New Evidence Shows Power of East Coast Earthquakes
Virginia Earthquake Triggered Landslides at Great Distances

Released: 11/6/2012 8:30:00 AM USGS.gov

Earthquake shaking in the eastern United States can travel much farther and cause damage over larger areas than previously thought.

“We used landslides as an example and direct physical evidence to see how far-reaching shaking from east coast earthquakes could be,” said Randall Jibson, USGS scientist and lead author of this study. “Not every earthquake will trigger landslides, but we can use landslide distributions to estimate characteristics of earthquake energy and how far regional ground shaking could occur.”

“Scientists are confirming with empirical data what more than 50 million people in the eastern U.S. experienced firsthand: this was one powerful earthquake,” said USGS Director Marcia McNutt. “Calibrating the distance over which landslides occur may also help us reach back into the geologic record to look for evidence of past history of major earthquakes from the Virginia seismic zone.”

This study will help inform earthquake hazard and risk assessments as well as emergency preparedness, whether for landslides or other earthquake effects.

The research is being presented today at the Geological Society of America conference, and will be published in the December 2012 issue of the Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America.

The USGS found that the farthest landslide from the 2011 Virginia earthquake was 245 km (150 miles) from the epicenter. This is by far the greatest landslide distance recorded from any other earthquake of similar magnitude. Previous studies of worldwide earthquakes indicated that landslides occurred no farther than 60 km (36 miles) from the epicenter of a magnitude 5.8 earthquake.

“What makes this new study so unique is that it provides direct observational evidence from the largest earthquake to occur in more than 100 years in the eastern U.S,” said Jibson. “Now that we know more about the power of East Coast earthquakes, equations that predict ground shaking might need to be revised.”

It is estimated that approximately one-third of the U.S. population could have felt last year’s earthquake in Virginia, more than any earthquake in U.S. history. About 148,000 people reported their ground-shaking experiences caused by the earthquake on the USGS “Did You Feel It?” website. Shaking reports came from southeastern Canada to Florida and as far west as Texas.

In addition to the great landslide distances recorded, the landslides from the 2011 Virginia earthquake occurred in an area 20 times larger than expected from studies of worldwide earthquakes. Scientists plotted the landslide locations that were farthest out and then calculated the area enclosed by those landslides. The observed landslides from last year’s Virginia earthquake enclose an area of about 33,400 km2, while previous studies indicated an expected area of about 1,500 km2from an earthquake of similar magnitude.

“The landslide distances from last year’s Virginia earthquake are remarkable compared to historical landslides across the world and represent the largest distance limit ever recorded,” said Edwin Harp, USGS scientist and co-author of this study. “There are limitations to our research, but the bottom line is that we now have a better understanding of the power of East Coast earthquakes and potential damage scenarios.”

Learn more about the 2011 central Virginia earthquake.

Rocket Launched from Outside the Temple Walls (Revelation 11)

AP Photo/Khalil Hamra
Rockets are launched from the Gaza Strip towards Israel, Monday, Feb. 24, 2020.
Rockets are launched from the Gaza Strip towards Israel, Monday, Feb. 24, 2020.

Babylon vs Babylon the Great

Image result for iran nuclear deal

Experts: Ending nuclear deal leaves U.S., Iran in stand-off

The Trump Administration’s withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal in 2018and its imposition of “maximum” sanctions on Iran and any nation that trades with Iran have left the United States in a stand-off with Iran and distanced America from its traditional allies in Europe, two experts say.

Speaking at a symposium at Hiram’s Garfield Center for Public Leadership on Feb. 20 were retired Ambassador Laura Kennedy, a career diplomat, and Valerie Lincy, the executive director of the Wisconsin Project on Nuclear Arms Control, a nonprofit that researches weapons of mass destruction supply networks and whose findings are used to support sanctions and counterproliferation actions.

The two said that President Trump’s decision to unilaterally pull the United States out of the agreement has yielded these results:

Iran, in compliance until the U.S.A. pullout, is now enriching uranium in violation of the treaty.

China and Russia, reluctant signers of the agreement, are defying the U.S.A. and trading with Iran;

‒ Longstanding allies who signed the accord are looking for ways to circumvent theTrump sanctions;

‒ Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who takes a hardline toward Iran, which he terms “an existential threat”, is pleased;

Hardliners in Iran who want no accord with the U.S.A. are also pleased;

‒ American hardliners and some of Iran’s rivals in the Middle East are urging President Trump to do more, including, even, invading Iran to overturn its government.

Formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the more than 100-page document, which the Obama Administration took a leading role in negotiating, required Iran to eliminate its stockpile of medium-enriched uranium and reduce by two thirds, the number of its gas centrifuges. Iran also agreed not to build any new heavy water facilities during the life of the accord and limit uranium enrichment activities to a single facility. It also agreed to provide access to all its nuclear facilities to the International Atomic Energy Agency.

Citing an underground nuclear enrichment facility that Iran had attempted to hide, the U.S.A. and Israel said Iran is not to be trusted. Iran’s continued support of Hezbollah, a Shia splinter group that commits terrorists acts against Israel, was also cited by the Trump Administration when it withdrew from the nuclear accord.

Both Ambassador Kennedy and the Wisconsin Project’s Lincy while at Hiram College indicated they prefer less hardline posturing. America’s current position, they said, amounts to hoping the Iranian people overthrow their government.

“That is not going to happen,” Lincy said. She said that until the U.S.A. backed out of the nuclear accord, Iran was behaving in compliance and President Trump knows this.

Ambassador Kennedy said President Trump is not telling the whole story when he says the nuclear deal unfroze assets that Iran could use to sponsor terrorist activities. The assets unfrozen, she said, were those held by the United Nations. Assets held by the United States have not yet been released, she said.

Both said remaining in the accord would have kept the U.S.A. and Iran talking and appealed to those in Iran who want better relations with America.

Kennedy said that any American invasion of Iran to topple its clerical lead government, “would make America’s invasion of Iraq in 2003 seem like a cakewalk.” She cited as impediments: the size of Iran, its military, and its population of nearly 82 million people as opposed to its smaller neighbor, Iraq, whose population is approximately 39 million. She also noted that although Iran is a theocracy in which the government is elected within the parameters set by the Islamic clergy, “it is more of a democracy than some of our allies in the region,” she said, referring to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the military dictatorship that rules Egypt.

Memories of America’s 1953 coup that overturned Iran’s democratically elected government replacing it with the Shah, a pro-American dictator, continues to fuel anti-Americanism in Iran. Former President Obama’s overture to turn that page in America’s Iran relationship was branded a craven apology by President Trump and his supporters.

Even with the hostility that exists between the two nations, they did recently cooperate to defeat ISIS, the two speakers said. Years ago, they also cooperated in the Iran Contra affair in which the Reagan Administration sold arms to Iran for cash that went to the Israelis who then secretly funneled the money to those in Nicaragua who were battling the Soviet-leaning Sandinistas.

Opportunities for Iran and the U.S.A. to partner continue to exist, both said.

The Rising Power of the Antichrist (Revelation 13)

Iraq’s Moqtada Sadr: cleric and kingmaker – France 24

03/02/2020

Baghdad (AFP)

Whether in protests, elections, secret negotiations or government formations, one man always seems to have the last word in Iraq’s tumultuous political scene: sharp-tongued cleric Moqtada Sadr.

The onetime militiaman has earned himself a cult-like following in Iraq which he can mobilise with a single tweet to crown — or bring down — a government.

He appeared to do just that this week, endorsing ex-minister Mohammad Allawi to become Iraq’s new premier after four months of anti-government protests had brought political life to a standstill.

Sadr had backed the rallies early on, even though they called for the downfall of a cabinet and PM he had sponsored, and for early elections that may cost him seats in parliament, where he controls the largest bloc.

Mind-boggling politicking is par for the course when it comes to Sadr, said Renad Mansour of the London-based Chatham House think-tank.

“He’s a guy who has multiple sides: an anthropologist who goes with the street, making him inconsistent over the years,” said Mansour.

Sadr, 46, was born in the southern Iraqi town of Kufa to a family with deep political roots.

His father, Mohammad Sadeq al-Sadr, who was assassinated in 1999, was one of Iraq’s most respected Shiite clerics and a fierce opponent of Saddam Hussein’s regime.

Moqtada Sadr is also related to Mohammad Baqer al-Sadr, the prominent thinker who was executed by Saddam in 1980.

This legacy fuelled the younger Sadr‘s fire, and he saw his opportunity in Saddam’s 2003 ouster by a US-led invasion — which he also opposed with his Mahdi Army.

Sadr virtually disappeared in 2006, spending the next few years studying to become a cleric in Iran’s Qom before returning to Iraq’s holy city of Najaf in 2011.

– Ruling reformist –

As he returned to public life, Sadr began railing against corruption and its main symbol in Iraq: Baghdad’s once-exclusive “Green Zone” which hosts government offices and embassies.

In 2016, he held weekly Friday protests against graft in a country considered the 12th most corrupt in the world, according to watchdog group Transparency International.

Sadr regularly dispatched his critiques to his more than 900,000 followers on Twitter.

But after years as a self-styled opposition, his Saeroon bloc won the largest share of parliament’s 329 seats in the 2018 elections.

To form a majority, he allied with the next-biggest bloc, Fatah, the political arm of the Hashed al-Shaabi military network and his longtime rivals.

Sadr presents himself as an anti-establishment champion of reform and a populist voice of the millions who have been let down by the system,” said Fanar Haddad, an expert at Singapore University’s Middle East Institute.

“But the fact remains that the Sadrists have been an integral part of the political classes and have had no shortage of ministerial posts and high ranking public office,” he added.

That contradiction has been strained in recent months as Sadr issued a dizzying series of tweets backing, then abandoning, then re-endorsing anti-government rallies rocking Iraq since October.

He also organised his own anti-US rally that saw tens of thousands flood the streets of Baghdad to demand foreign forces leave Iraqi territory.

Sadr is torn between two competing trends — one to try to unify the political leadership, and two, to try to bring protesters closer to it,” Mansour added.

He has tried to walk the tightrope between them: asking his supporters to remain in protest camps but condemning student sit-ins and road closures — the two main tactics used by other demonstrators.

– ‘Winding trajectory’ –

But Sadr‘s instructions have all been issued on Twitter as he is thought to still be in the Iranian holy city of Qom.

He has complex ties with Iran, a country to which his family was long opposed but where he is now completing his religious studies.

Sadr shocked many when he travelled to Tehran in September, meeting both supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and Iranian general Qasem Soleimani, who was killed months later in a US drone strike on Baghdad.

It was another indication of Sadr‘s “winding trajectory,” said Karim Bitar, an international relations analyst at the Paris-based Institute for International and Strategic Affairs.

“A nationalist anti-American troublemaker during the Iraq war, who we then find allied to Saudi Arabia, before he makes another radical turn again to get closer to the Iranians,” Bitar said.

Now, Sadr once again finds himself the main sponsor of Iraq’s new prime minister but has insisted that he remains a rebel at heart.

At the bottom of a recent tweet urging a return to normal life, swiftly shared and reposted by thousands of his die-hard followers, Sadr signed off: “patron of the revolution.”

© 2020 AFP

Errors at Indian Point Before the Sixth Seal (Revelation 6:12)

Inspector General report: Impacts of Indian Point gas pipeline wasn’t properly examined

Posted: Feb 29, 2020 7:29 PM MST Updated: Feb 29, 2020 7:29 PM MST

The Office of the Inspector General says the safety impacts of a natural gas pipeline near Indian Point was not properly examined, causing some concerns in the Buchanan community.

Kelly Ingraham-Friedman is among the residents worried about living so close to the pipeline, which was built in 2015.

“It’s definitely, definitely concerning,” Ingraham-Friedman said. “We worry about our kids who are in the school district.”

The Inspector General report showed that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission failed to properly analyze safety concerns before the pipeline’s approval and installation. Many are calling on the commission to address the findings and to create a plan to keep residents safe.

According to Westchester County Executive George Latimer, the long-term environmental and health impacts are unknown.

“I think right now the burden is on the [Nuclear Regulatory Commission] to defend the decisions they made and how they implemented it and to do that in a public fashion,” Latimer said.

The Village of Buchanan Mayor Theresa Knickerbocker is also requesting that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission immediately hold a public meeting to address the findings.

World powers express ‘serious concerns’ about the Iranian Nuclear Horn (Daniel 8 )

World powers express ‘serious concerns’ about Iran’s nuclear program

Meeting of remaining signatories to 2015 nuke deal in Vienna looks to keep accord alive, despite US withdrawal, sanctions and Iranian violations

By Philipp Jenne and David Rising

26 Feb 2020, 10:20 pm

VIENNA (AP) — The world powers that remain party to the nuclear deal with Iran expressed “serious concerns” Wednesday about Tehran’s violations of the pact, while acknowledging that time was running out to find a way to salvage it.

Wang Qun, Chinese ambassador to the United Nations in Vienna, told reporters after talks in Vienna between the parties to the deal, including Iran, that they are “racing against time to work out a specific solution so as to safeguard” the 2015 agreement.

The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, as the deal is known, promises Iran economic incentives in return for curbs on its nuclear program, with the goal of preventing Iran from developing a bomb — something the country’s leaders insist they do not want to do, but which a UN watchdog and many Western governments have warned Iran had worked towards in the past.

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Since US President Donald Trump’s decision to pull the US unilaterally out of the deal in 2018 and reimpose American sanctions, Iran’s economy has been struggling. Tehran has gradually been violating the deal’s restrictions to pressure the remaining parties to the agreement — China, Russia, Germany, France and Britain — to provide new incentives to offset the American sanctions.

In response, the Europeans in January invoked a dispute resolution mechanism, designed to resolve issues with the deal or refer them to the UN Security Council, which is empowered to level new sanctions against Tehran.

Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi told reporters that Iran still remains “open to any initiative which can ensure Iran’s dividends of the JCPOA.”

“We are fully prepared to reverse the steps we have taken so far in return for the fulfillment of the other side’s commitments in the JCPOA,” he said.

In a statement following the meeting, the EU’s top official for foreign affairs, Josep Borrell, said “serious concerns were expressed regarding the implementation of Iran’s nuclear commitments under the agreement.”

Borrell, who chairs the joint commission of the JCPOA, was represented at the meeting by EU official Helga Schmid.

He said that “participants also acknowledged that the re-imposition of US sanctions did not allow Iran to reap the full benefits arising from sanctions-lifting.”

He also said that “all participants reaffirmed the importance of preserving the agreement recalling that it is a key element of the global nuclear non-proliferation architecture.”

Britain, France and Germany have developed a system known as INSTEX designed to facilitate trade with Iran while protecting companies from sanctions, but so far it has found little success.

Borrell said that everyone at the meeting acknowledged the importance of further strengthening INSTEX, and Iran seemed somewhat optimistic after the talks.

“We discussed different ways to strengthen this mechanism, how to provide it with more liquidity and funding, how to make sure that this mechanism can work, and I think the willingness is strong,” Iran’s Araghchi said. “Also the methods we discussed today can be utilized to expand trade between Iran and the EU.”

The threat of a nuclear war between the US and Russia is now at its greatest (Revelation 16)

The threat of a nuclear war between the US and Russia is now at its greatest since 1983

Scott Ritter is a former US Marine Corps intelligence officer. He served in the Soviet Union as an inspector implementing the INF Treaty, in General Schwarzkopf’s staff during the Gulf War, and from 1991-1998 as a UN weapons inspector. Follow him on Twitter @RealScottRitter

29 Feb, 2020 07:38

© RomoloTavani, iStock / Getty Images Plus

When the Commander of NATO says he is a fan of flexible first strike at the same time that NATO is flexing its military muscle on Russia’s border, the risk of inadvertent nuclear war is real.

US Air Force Gen. Tod D Wolters told the Senate this week he “is a fan of flexible first strike” regarding NATO’s nuclear weapons, thereby exposing the fatal fallacy of the alliance’s embrace of American nuclear deterrence policy.

It was one of the most remarkable yet underreported exchanges in recent Senate history. Earlier this week, during the testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee of General Tod Wolters, the commander of US European Command and, concurrently, as the Supreme Allied Commander in Europe (SACEUR) also the military head of all NATO armed forces, General Wolters engaged in a short yet informative exchange with Senator Deb Fischer, a Republican from the state of Nebraska.

Following some initial questions and answers focused on the alignment of NATO’s military strategy with the 2018 National Defense Strategy of the US, which codified what Wolters called “the malign influence on behalf of Russia” toward European security, Senator Fischer asked about the growing recognition on the part of NATO of the important role of US nuclear deterrence in keeping the peace. “We all understand that our deterrent, the TRIAD, is the bedrock of the security of this country,” Fischer noted. “Can you tell us about what you are hearing…from our NATO partners about this deterrent?”

Wolters responded by linking the deterrence provided to Europe by the US nuclear TRIAD with the peace enjoyed on the European continent over the past seven decades. Fischer asked if the US nuclear umbrella was “vital in the freedom of NATO members”; Wolters agreed. Remarkably, Wolters linked the role of nuclear deterrence with the NATO missions in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere outside the European continent. NATO’s mission, he said, was to “proliferate deterrence to the max extent practical to achieve greater peace.”

Then came the piece de resistance of the hearing. “What are your views, Sir,” Senator Fischer asked, “of adopting a so-called no-first-use policy. Do you believe that that would strengthen deterrence?”

General Wolters’ response was straight to the point. “Senator, I’m a fan of flexible first use policy.”

Under any circumstance, the public embrace of a “flexible first strike” policy regarding nuclear weapons employment by the Supreme Allied Commander in Europe should generate widespread attention. When seen in the context of the recent deployment by the US of a low-yield nuclear warhead on submarine-launched ballistic missiles carried onboard a Trident submarine, however, Wolters’ statement is downright explosive. Add to the mix the fact the US recently carried out a wargame where the US Secretary of Defense practiced the procedures for launching this very same “low yield” weapon against a Russian target during simulated combat between Russia and NATO in Europe, and the reaction should be off the charts. And yet there has been deafening silence from both the European and US press on this topic.

There is, however, one party that paid attention to what General Wolters had to say–Russia. In a statement to the press on February 25–the same date as General Wolters’ testimony, Sergey Lavrov, the Russian Foreign Minister stated that “We note with concern that Washington’s new doctrinal guidelines considerably lower the threshold of nuclear weapons use.” Lavrov added that this doctrine had to be viewed in the light “of the persistent deployment of US nuclear weapons on the territory of some NATO allies and the continued practice of the so-called joint nuclear missions.”

Rather than embracing a policy of “flexible first strike”, Lavrov suggested that the US work with Russia to re-confirm “the Gorbachev-Reagan formula, which says that there can be no winners in a nuclear war and it should never be unleashed.” This proposal was made 18 months ago, Lavrov noted, and yet the US has failed to respond.

Complicating matters further are the ‘Defender 2020’ NATO military exercises underway in Europe, involving tens of thousands of US troops in one of the largest training operations since the end of the Cold War. The fact that these exercises are taking place at a time when the issue of US nuclear weapons and NATO’s doctrine regarding their employment against Russia is being actively tracked by senior Russian authorities only highlights the danger posed.

Also on rt.com NATO’s Defender Europe 2020 is war against Russia role-play, no matter what they tell you

On February 6, General Valery Gerasimov, the Russian Chief of Staff, met with General Wolters to discuss ‘Defender 2020’ and concurrent Russian military exercises to be held nearby to deconflict their respective operations and avoid any unforeseen incidents. This meeting, however, was held prior to the reports about a US/NATO nuclear wargame targeting Russian forces going public, and prior to General Wolters’ statement about “flexible first use” of NATO nuclear weapons.

In light of these events, General Gerasimov met with French General Fançois Lecointre, the Chief of the Defense Staff, to express Russia’s concerns over NATO’s military moves near the Russian border, especially the Defender 2020 exercise which was, General Gerasimov noted, “held on the basis of anti-Russian scenarios and envisage training for offensive operations.”

General Gerasimov’s concerns cannot be viewed in isolation, but rather must be considered in the overall historical context of NATO-Russian relations. Back in 1983, the then-Soviet Union was extremely concerned about a series of realistic NATO exercises, known as ‘Able Archer ‘83,’ which in many ways mimicked the modern-day Defender 2020 in both scope and scale. Like Defender 2020, Able Archer ‘83 saw the deployment of tens of thousands of US forces into Europe, where they assumed an offensive posture, before transitioning into a command post exercise involving the employment of NATO nuclear weapons against a Soviet target.

Also on rt.com Dangerous games: US NUKES Russia in ‘mini exercise’ attended by Pentagon chief

So concerned was Moscow about these exercises, and the possibility that NATO might use them as a cover for an attack against Soviet forces in East Germany, that the Soviet nuclear forces were placed on high alert. Historians have since observed that the threat of nuclear war between the US and the USSR was at that time the highest it had been since the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962.

US and NATO officials would do well to recall the danger to European and world security posed by the “Able Archer ‘83” exercise and the potential for Soviet miscalculations when assessing the concerns expressed by General Gerasimov today. The unprecedented concentration of offensive NATO military power on Russia’s border, coupled with the cavalier public embrace by General Wolters of a “flexible first strike” nuclear posture by NATO, has more than replicated the threat model presented by Able Archer ’83. In this context, it would not be a stretch to conclude that the threat of nuclear war between the US and Russia is the highest it has been since Able Archer ’83.

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The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.