America Overdue For The Sixth Seal (Revelation 6:12)

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New Study: America Overdue For Major Earthquake … In States You Didn’t Suspect

Written by: Daniel Jennings Current Events

The survey’s new National Seismic Hazard Map show that the risk of earthquakes in parts of the country — such as the Midwest, Oregon and the Rocky Mountains — is far higher than previously thought. All total, Americans in one-third of the country saw their risk for an earthquake increase.

“I worry that we will wake up one morning and see earthquake damage in our country that is as bad as that has occurred in some developing nations that have experienced large earthquakes,” Carl Hedde, a risk management expert at insurer Munich Reinsurance America, said of the map in The Wall Street Journal. “Beyond building collapse, a large amount of our infrastructure could be immediately damaged. Our roads, bridges and energy transmission systems can be severely impacted.”

Among the findings:

  • The earthquake danger in parts of Missouri, Arkansas, Tennessee, Illinois and South Carolina is as high as that in Los Angeles.
  • 42 of the 50 states have a reasonable chance of experiencing a damaging earthquake in the next 50 years.
  • Parts of 16 states have the highest risk of a quake: Alaska, Hawaii, California, Oregon, Washington, Nevada, Utah, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Missouri, Arkansas, Tennessee, Illinois, Kentucky and South Carolina

“We know the hazard has increased for small and moderate size earthquakes,” USGS scientist William Ellsworth told The Journal. “We don’t know as well how much the hazard has increased for large earthquakes. Our suspicion is it has but we are working on understanding this.”

Frightening Results From New Study

The USGS used new computer modeling technology and data collected from recent quakes such as the one that struck Washington, D.C. in 2011 to produce the new maps. The maps show that many Americans who thought they were safe from earthquakes are not.

New Relocation Manual Helps Average Americans Get Out Of Harms Way Before The Coming Crisis

Some of the survey’s other disturbing findings include:

    • The earthquake danger in Oklahoma, Alabama, Colorado, Georgia, Indiana, Michigan, Virginia, New York and parts of New England is higher than previously thought.
    • Some major metropolitan areas, including Memphis, Salt Lake City, Seattle, St. Louis and Charleston, have a higher risk of earthquakes than previously thought. One of the nation’s most dangerous faults, the New Madrid fault, runs right through St. Louis and Missouri. It is the nation’s second most active fault. On Dec. 16, 1811, the New Madrid Fault was the site of the most powerful series of earthquakes in American history.

“Obviously the building codes throughout the central U.S. do not generally take earthquake risk or the risk of a large earthquake into account,” USGS Seismologist Elizabeth Cochran told The Journal. Her take: Earthquake damage in the central US could be far greater than in places like California, because structures in some locations are not built to withstand quakes.

Others agree.

“Earthquakes are quite rare in many places but when they happen they cause very intense damage because people have not prepared,” Mark Petersen, the project chief for the USGS’s National Seismic Hazard Map, told The Journal.

This new map should be a wakeup call for Americans.

Too Little Before the Sixth Seal (Revelation 6:12)

A task force will redo the faulty risk analysis of the Algonquin gas pipeline expanded near the Indian Point nuclear plant.
A task force will redo the faulty risk analysis of the Algonquin gas pipeline expanded near the Indian Point nuclear plant. (Entergy)
Feds Will Re-analyze Risk Of Pipeline Near Indian Point

“For a task force to be credible, I think it’s important that it be independent,” said Nuclear Regulatory Commissioner Jeff Baran.

By Lanning Taliaferro, Patch Staff 

CORTLANDT, NY — The Nuclear Regulatory Commission will create a task force to redo its faulty risk analysis of the Algonquin gas pipeline that was expanded near the Indian Point nuclear Plant.NRC Chairman Kristine Svinicki made the announcement Wednesday during an appearance before the U.S. Senate’s Environment and Public Works Committee.

She had been closely questioned by Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, who is a member of the committee.

“Those of us who raised concerns at the time were told that the NRC’s analysis was conservative and there was no need for any additional review,” Gillibrand said at the committee hearing.

“The NRC now has a real credibility problem with the community around Indian Point and this is an abject failure of your agency’s responsibility to ensure that proper analysis was done to evaluate the potential risk posed by the pipeline, regardless of whether there was a direct or immediate impact to plant safety or not.”

For months in 2014 and 2015, Paul Blanch, an engineer who has been a consultant and a critic of the nuclear industry for many years, argued that the risk assessment used as the basis for approval of the AIM project must be negated because the Nuclear Regulatory Commission knowingly used erroneous information, not based on sound science, to improperlyevaluate the plant’s ability to achieve failsafe shutdown in the event of a pipeline rupture.

The nuclear commission’s safety review and energy commission conclusions were deeply flawed, with flawed engineering analysis based on incorrect data and a clear and consistent violation of the process for responding to challenges of the analysis and the data, according to the report. The nuclear commission then conducted a flawed check of its findings and lied to those who had challenged them, the report found.

Svinicki told Gillibrand and the committee that she had taken immediate action after receiving the Inspector General’s report.

“On behalf of the commission, I directed the agency’s Senior career civil servant, the executive director of operations to do two things immediately. The first was to assess whether or not the issues identified in the inspectors report should result in immediate regulatory reaction at Indian Point. That needed to be done very very promptly,” she said. “The second item directed at that time was that no longer than 45 days, the executive director of operations needed to task and have a team that looked at exactly the question you posed. What contributed to these gaps and deficiencies and agencies processes? What is the extent even beyond Indian Point? If the processes were flawed, are there other impacted safety issues that we need to re-look at? ”

The first assessment concluded there was no safety issue warranting immediate regulatory action. The executive director for operations’s goal is to get the second assessment done in 20 days, Svinicki said.

“I think I can confidently state today that the NRC expert team acknowledges that there will be reanalysis that will be required and they will also not be doing this — the folks involved in looking at this now did not participate in the agency work prior,” Svinicki said. “Their independence within the agency is very very important to the credibility question you asked and also they have been directed that they will reach outside for expertise, academic or otherwise, perhaps other government agencies that might know about the code and the modelling and its appropriate use.”

NRC Commissioner Jeff Baran was also at the hearing. He agreed with Gillibrand that many people have lost confidence after the NRC’s flawed analysis.

“For a task force to be credible, I think it’s important that it be independent, and that means having several task force members from outside the agency – from academia, from other federal agencies,” Baran said. “In my view, those outside experts should make up a majority of that task force. And I think we should consult with the state of New York and ask them who would they recommend for us to have on this panel?

“Because right now, we have a lot of stakeholders and we don’t have a lot of credibility on this. I think bringing in folks from outside the agency is really going to help with that. ”

Why South Korea Will Go Nuclear (Daniel 7)

Republic of Korea Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter jets. Photo credit: ROK Air Force

Republic of Korea Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter jets. Photo credit: ROK Air Force

How to keep South Korea from going nuclear

By Duyeon Kim, March 9, 2020

The South Korean public debate on the country’s future nuclear options has recently extended beyond the usual pro-nuclear, conservative fringe voices of the past.The threat from North Korea’s nuclear weapons capability has grown substantially, and more questions have been raised among South Koreans about the reliability of US security assurances to its key Asian ally, driven largely by what they see as US President Donald Trump’s leadership style. Still, South Korea’s opposition to nuclear weapons remains strong. But Seoul’s nuclear abstinence must not be taken for granted. American administrations can prevent Seoul from crossing the nuclear threshold by keeping North Korea at the top of their foreign policy priorities and taking steps to assure South Koreans that the United States will always come to its defense.

Why Australia Will Go Nuclear (Daniel 7)

Will Israel Try To Spread COVID Outside the Temple Walls? (Rev 11)

Israel’s Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) sent about 200 coronavirus testing kits to the Gaza Strip March 13. The kits crossed via the Erez passage under the orders of Defense Minister Naftali Bennett, who now seems to understand that Israel is responsible for Gaza, even if he prefers not to recognize that reality publicly. The office of COGAT head Maj. Gen. Kamil Abu Rokon announced, “Viruses and illnesses have no borders — therefore, it is in Israel’s best interests to prevent the spread of the coronavirus in the Gaza Strip and its outbreak in the territories of Judea and Samaria. This is in Israel’s interests because such an outbreak may well endanger the health of the residents of State of Israel as well.”

One kit for every 10,000 residents seems a symbolic gesture. We can assume that it was intended to pressure Hamas to take action to prevent a catastrophe in the Strip, which is also in Israel’s interests. Should the virus explode in the Strip, it will certainly spread to Israel. The Gaza Strip is one of the most crowded and poverty-stricken places in the world and an outbreak there could be deadly. Its health system is already collapsing even without the coronavirus. In light of the living conditions in the Strip, which has been under a strict closure for 13 years, it is doubtful that quarantine measures could be imposed.

At this stage, not one instance of coronavirus has been found among Gaza’s residents, who say it’s is the first time that something good has come out of the closure that blocks the virus at Gaza’s gates.

But while it is true that no coronavirus cases have been found in Gaza yet, that absence means little as testing kits are so few and far between. According to various reports from the Strip, there are people who complain about symptoms that are typical of the virus but are not being tested. Hundreds of pilgrims have been returning from Mecca to the Strip, as well as thousands of laborers who worked in Israel until last week. It is very possible that some of them carry the virus and are now infecting others in the Strip. Prior to Israel’s Purim holiday on March 10, Defense Minister Naftali Bennett tightened the closure on the Gaza Strip in a security measure that was supposed to last three days, but the restrictions have not yet loosened.

Now for the first time, the Gaza blockade is functioning less to protect Israeli citizens from potential terror attacks than to protect the Palestinian workers. Their contact with Israelis, more than 300 of whom were diagnosed with the virus as of March 17, could bring the disease into the Strip. The closure on Gaza and the West Bank has caused great distress among Israeli farmers, who demanded that the defense minister exempt the agricultural sector and the workers it depends on. Bennett rejected the request out of hand.

The Israel defense system is very concerned about the spread of the coronavirus in the Strip. Should even one resident in Gaza be infected, the virus could spread rapidly throughout the population. Israel itself is now coping with a rising number of coronavirus patients and would probably not be able to help the Palestinians: not with testing, not with hospitalization in Israel, not with providing life-support ventilators or other medical equipment — not even humanitarian assistance.

To avert catastrophe, Bennett — who had long argued before he became defense minister that the Hamas regime should be brought down — is now permitting COGAT to visibly if indirectly coordinate with the Hamas administration.

Ynet reported March 15 that COGAT has allowed the Strip to import commercial quantities of cement, one of the raw materials not permitted to enter Gaza for fear it would be used to construct tunnels and bunkers. In January, the arrangement talks led to approval for cement to be brought in to the Strip to help jump-start employment in Gaza’s construction industry, but the changes were never implemented because of the security escalation with Hamas and Islamic Jihad.

But cement alone will not be enough to significantly alleviate Gaza’s economic distress. The closure has lasted for 13 years and only recently have Gaza residents begun to believe that an arrangement with Israel will give them some breathing space. Now the defense system faces both the epidemic and a worsening economic-humanitarian situation in Gaza, a truly thorny dilemma.

The Israeli economy is now approaching a state of emergency. Should Israel’s economy shut down almost completely, with its borders and international trade closed, Gaza and its residents will be directly affected.

According to an Israeli defense source who talked to Al-Monitor, Israel is making a tremendous effort to transfer goods to Gaza via Kerem Shalom including basic foodstuffs, basic hygiene materials and equipment for factories and small businesses. But it is not clear whether Israel will continue to allow imports into Gaza via the Kerem Shalom border crossing a few weeks from now. If the current crisis continues and worsens over the coming months, then Israel will certainly disallow imports into Gaza. How sad it is that when Israel finally opened the border crossings to laborers and merchants, along came an enemy of different stripes that returned Gaza to the harsh days of lockdown. True, the closure is for Gazans’ protection,but a closure is a closure.

 

If Trump Hates Obama’s Nuclear Deal, Why Is He Letting Up on Iran?

Iran is stockpiling enriched uranium and may soon receive advanced weapons from Russia. Trump has an easy way to tighten the screws.

Richard GoldbergMarch 18, 2020, 5:52 PM

U.S. President Donald Trump signs new sanctions on Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, at the White House in Washington, DC, on June 24, 2019. MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images

After nearly two years of stunning success imposing maximum pressure on Iran, U.S. President Donald Trump has been holding back on delivering a final blow and abolishing the ill-fated Iran nuclear deal. If he waits too long, he may inadvertently breathe new life into a deal he pledged to dismantle four years ago.

Ever since last summer, when Iran first exceeded the nuclear limits established by the 2015 agreement, Trump supporters in Congress have urged the president to exercise the United States’ right to respond to Iran’s transgression by restoring all United Nations restrictions on its nuclear, missile, and conventional arms programs. This right to fully restore sanctions, known as “snapback,” was marketed by former President Barack Obama at the time as an accountability fail-safe to ensure that the United States could always deny Iran the strategic benefits of the nuclear deal should the regime breach its own commitments.

By late fall, with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) reporting that Iran was not cooperating with an investigation into possible undeclared nuclear material and activities inside the country, the furor on Capitol Hill grew more intense. Republican Sen. Ted Cruz held up Stephen Biegun’s nomination for deputy secretary of state until the State Department confirmed in writing what legal experts had already opined: The United States can use its right to snapback at any time.The Trump administration’s hesitation to unilaterally snap back sanctions allowed Iran to have its cake and eat it, too.

Despite this acknowledgement, the Trump administration opted for a surprising strategy: not making use of the snapback prerogative. Instead, the focus shifted to fixing another piece of the Iran deal: the scheduled end of the United Nations arms embargo.

The IAEA’s report this month that Iran has tripled its stockpile of enriched uranium since November demonstrated that the Trump administration’s hesitation to unilaterally snap back sanctions allowed Iran to have its cake and eat it, too—that is, to fully breach the agreement while remaining on track to reap strategic benefits far beyond the end of the arms embargo.

If Trump was waiting for more justification to snap back sanctions and permanently end Obama’s nuclear deal, he received it when the IAEA reported that Iran had also denied inspectors access to multiple sites connected to undeclared nuclear material and activities. That put Iran not only in breach of the agreement but in breach of its most basic safeguard obligations under the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, to which it is a signatory.

But instead of leveraging the IAEA reports to press for snapback, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and his special envoy for Iran, Brian Hook, remained focused on trans-Atlantic coalition politics—building support for a new United Nations Security Council resolution to extend the arms embargo on Iran this summer.

Though well-intentioned, the strategy won’t work. Russia has already declared its intent to veto any new Security Council resolution to extend the embargo. Pompeo recently testified before Congress that Russia is preparing to sell advanced arms to Iran the minute the embargo expires.The snapback mechanism was designed to protect the rights of the United States and its European allies from attempts by Iran, Russia, or China to block sanctions.

Even if Pompeo could persuade Russia to support a temporary extension of the arms embargo, that alone would not be worth allowing the rest of the Obama nuclear deal to survive—because the deal gives Iran potential pathways to nuclear weapons as key restrictions expire.

On the other hand, if America snaps back sanctions at the Security Council, all restrictions on Iran return indefinitely: the arms embargo, missiles, nuclear restrictions, and the demand that Iran halt all enrichment activities on its own soil. Another bonus: Russia would have no veto power over snapback since the mechanism was designed to protect the rights of the United States and its European allies from attempts by Iran, Russia, or China to block the reimposition of sanctions.

Pompeo, for his part, may be concerned by reports that Russia would challenge America’s right to snapback, reinterpreting the plain language of the existing Security Council resolution to claim the United States forfeited its rights when it withdrew from the agreement. This concern echoes warnings issued by the Iran deal’s opponents in 2015 that any future fight over snapback would be a political struggle, not a legal one. What, after all, is the practical effect of a snapback that is not recognized as legitimate by the rest of the Security Council?

Iran May Be Eyeing the United States’ Soft Underbelly

The Trump administration’s strategy then might be to avoid a showdown inside a divided Security Council and, instead, do all it can to pressure European allies to take the final step. In that context, the administration’s focus on the arms embargo might make sense. The logic: get Europe to agree that extending the arms embargo is a trans-Atlantic security priority and, following an inevitable Russian veto, make the case that snapback is the only remaining option.

If one of the European countries that are party to the deal with Iran triggers the snapback, most of the Security Council and, more importantly, the U.N. Secretariat may be more likely to recognize its legitimacy in the face of Russian and Chinese objections. If the Secretariat affirms that snapback occurred, it will have to resuscitate prior resolutions and sanctions committees governing Iran—changes that will be posted on the U.N. website for all nations to observe. Russia and China might still reject snapback, but Washington’s response to Moscow’s and Beijing’s actions would be anchored in binding Security Council resolutions.

European leaders, however, have done all they can to wait out the Trump administration in the hopes a new president will arrive in 2021 and return to the original deal. On the heels of a surprise coronavirus travel ban aimed at Europe, these leaders aren’t looking to do Trump any favors. Waiting until mid-summer to call a vote on an arms embargo resolution only to see the Europeans balk on snapback leaves little time for the administration to respond before the November election.

The snapback process takes 30 days to complete—a period that will be filled with loud threats from an Iranian regime desperate to undermine Trump’s chances of reelection.The period will be filled with loud threats from an Iranian regime desperate to undermine Trump’s chances of reelection. Does anyone believe the president’s political advisers will favor a snapback that close to Election Day?

The outcome, then, may be not only the expiration of the arms embargo, but the survival of the nuclear deal with all its flaws—a result that would greatly undermine the past two years of maximum pressure and decrease the incentive for Iran to negotiate a new deal.

If Pompeo believes that Europe, for its own internal politics, must see a vote to extend the arms embargo fail before agreeing to snapback, then he should schedule that vote and proceed to snapback without delay. The United Kingdom, having just lost a British soldier to an Iranian proxy attack in Iraq, may be willing to act sooner than later. We must not waste another moment to save the United States—and the world—from what Trump rightly calls the worst deal ever made.

Richard Goldberg, a senior advisor at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, was the U.S. National Security Council’s Director for Countering Iranian Weapons of Mass Destruction from 2019 to 2020. Twitter: @rich_goldberg

Antichrist Does Not Support New Iraqi Prime Minister-Designate

Bumpy Road for New Iraqi Prime Minister-Designate

CAIRO – Iraqi President Barham Salih’s choice of former Najaf Governor Adnan Zurfi to form a new government is meeting opposition from the country’s divided Shiite political camp, along with the country’s main power broker, Iran.

Zurfi, who has 30 days to put together a Cabinet, is facing what some analysts see as insurmountable odds.

Despite opposition to Zurfi’s nomination by several key Shiite political parties, Iraqi TV reported that U.N. special envoy Jeanine Hennin-Plasschaert welcomed his selection, noting Iraq needs “strong and effective leadership.”

Kurdish President Barham Salih, whom the Iraqi constitution allows to select the new prime minister-designate, made his choice after the previous nominee, Mohammed Towfiq Allawi, failed to form a government.  

Salih told Iraqi TV Zurfi must tackle major issues facing Iraq.

The chief duty of the new government, he said, will be to organize free and fair parliamentary elections that allow Iraqis to determine their own future. The country, he added, faces serious threats, including the coronavirus and financial havoc.

Pro-Iranian cleric Moqtada al-Sadr’s “Sairoun” coalition says it opposes Zurfi’s nomination,as do several other key Shiite political players, including Fatih-bloc leader Hadi al-Ameri. Zurfi is a political ally and leads the parliamentary bloc of former Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi.

Shiite parties that oppose Zurfi are waging a campaign on TV and social media criticizing him for alleged corruption during his tenure as governor of Najaf. He also faces a smear campaign for alleged ties to the U.S. Zurfi lived in the U.S. state of Michigan before returning to Iraq after the U.S. invasion of the country in 2003. 

Khattar Abou Diab, who teaches political science at the University of Paris, told VOA that Zurfi is “undoubtedly not the U.S. first choice for prime minister,” and that he is close to former prime minister Abadi and Iraqi intelligence chief Mustapha Kazemi, so “not a favorite of Iran, either.”

He says that Zurfi does not have the approval of Muqtada al-Sadr or the majority of the Shi’ite political class in Iraq, in addition to facing Iranian opposition, so he thinks it is unlikely that he will be able to form a government, and that his selection is just a tactical move by President Salih.

Abou Diab adds that Iraq’s Kurdish factions are in a state of confusion. Sunni parties, he says, have no political clout, while Shiite factions are increasingly divided. The killing of Iranian Brigadier General Qassem Soleimani by a U.S. drone in January, he says, appears to have wrested Iraq from Iran’s grip, and his successor, Ismail Qa’ani, and Iran’s National Security Adviser, Ali Shamkhani, quarreling over who will take his place as Iran’s top man in Iraq.

Iraqi analyst Bashir Hajaimi told al-Hurra TV that the country’s post-October street protest movement is not pleased with the choice of Zurfi, either, and that the demonstrators want to know “where he stands on compensation for victims of protests, corruption, and recent threats to Iraq’s sovereignty.”