The Sixth Seal Is Long Overdue (Revelation 6:12)

By MARGO NASH

Published: March 25, 2001

Alexander Gates, a geology professor at Rutgers-Newark, is co-author of ”The Encyclopedia of Earthquakes and Volcanoes,” which will be published by Facts on File in July. He has been leading a four-year effort to remap an area known as the Sloatsburg Quadrangle, a 5-by-7-mile tract near Mahwah that crosses into New York State. The Ramapo Fault, which runs through it, was responsible for a big earthquake in 1884, and Dr. Gates warns that a recurrence is overdue. He recently talked about his findings.

Q. What have you found?

A. We’re basically looking at a lot more rock, and we’re looking at the fracturing and jointing in the bedrock and putting it on the maps. Any break in the rock is a fracture. If it has movement, then it’s a fault. There are a lot of faults that are offshoots of the Ramapo. Basically when there are faults, it means you had an earthquake that made it. So there was a lot of earthquake activity to produce these features. We are basically not in a period of earthquake activity along the Ramapo Fault now, but we can see that about six or seven times in history, about 250 million years ago, it had major earthquake activity. And because it’s such a fundamental zone of weakness, anytime anything happens, the Ramapo Fault goes.

Q. Where is the Ramapo Fault?

 A. The fault line is in western New Jersey and goes through a good chunk of the state, all the way down to Flemington. It goes right along where they put in the new 287. It continues northeast across the Hudson River right under the Indian Point power plant up into Westchester County. There are a lot of earthquakes rumbling around it every year, but not a big one for a while.

Q. Did you find anything that surprised you?

A. I found a lot of faults, splays that offshoot from the Ramapo that go 5 to 10 miles away from the fault. I have looked at the Ramapo Fault in other places too. I have seen splays 5 to 10 miles up into the Hudson Highlands. And you can see them right along the roadsides on 287. There’s been a lot of damage to those rocks, and obviously it was produced by fault activities. All of these faults have earthquake potential.

Q. Describe the 1884 earthquake.

A. It was in the northern part of the state near the Sloatsburg area. They didn’t have precise ways of describing the location then. There was lots of damage. Chimneys toppled over. But in 1884, it was a farming community, and there were not many people to be injured. Nobody appears to have written an account of the numbers who were injured.

Q. What lessons we can learn from previous earthquakes?

A. In 1960, the city of Agadir in Morocco had a 6.2 earthquake that killed 12,000 people, a third of the population, and injured a third more. I think it was because the city was unprepared.There had been an earthquake in the area 200 years before. But people discounted the possibility of a recurrence. Here in New Jersey, we should not make the same mistake. We should not forget that we had a 5.4 earthquake 117 years ago. The recurrence interval for an earthquake of that magnitude is every 50 years, and we are overdue. The Agadir was a 6.2, and a 5.4 to a 6.2 isn’t that big a jump.

Q. What are the dangers of a quake that size?

A. When you’re in a flat area in a wooden house it’s obviously not as dangerous, although it could cut off a gas line that could explode. There’s a real problem with infrastructure that is crumbling, like the bridges with crumbling cement.There’s a real danger we could wind up with our water supplies and electricity cut off if a sizable earthquake goes off. The best thing is to have regular upkeep and keep up new building codes. The new buildings will be O.K. But there is a sense of complacency.

MARGO NASH

The Nations are Becoming Restless

11 Iranian Military Boats Swarm U.S. Naval Ships; China Might Be Testing Nukes; Russia, North Korea Show Military Aggression, According To Various Reports

Ryan SaavedraApril 15th, 2020

America’s top four nation-state enemies in the world have all shown signs of increased military aggression against the United States over the last 24 hours.

Earlier today, 11 Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy (IRGCN) boats swarmed several U.S. naval ships that “were conducting joint integration operations with U.S. Army AH-64E Apache attack helicopters in the international waters of the North Arabian Gulf,” the U.S. Navy said in a statement.

The Navy said that the Iranian boats got within 10 yards of the U.S. vessels and did not respond to “five short blasts from the ships’ horns and long-range acoustic noise maker devices.”

The Navy added, “The IRGCN’s dangerous and provocative actions increased the risk of miscalculation and collision, were not in accordance with the internationally recognized Convention on the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea (COLREGS) ‘rules of the road’ or internationally recognized maritime customs, and were not in accordance with the obligation under international law to act with due regard for the safety of other vessels in the area.”

The aggression from Iran comes after a bombshell report from The Wall Street Journal indicating that communist China might be conducting secret nuclear weapons tests in violation of international law.

The Wall Street Journal reported:

China might be secretly conducting nuclear tests with very low explosive power despite Beijing’s assertions that it is strictly adhering to an international accord banning all nuclear tests, according to a new arms-control report to be made public by the State Department.

The coming report doesn’t present proof that China is violating its promise to uphold the agreement, but it cites an array of activities that “raise concerns” that Beijing might not be complying with the “zero-yield” nuclear-weapons testing ban.

The concerns stem from the high tempo of activity at China’s Lop Nur test site, extensive excavations at the site, and Beijing’s purported use of special chambers to contain explosions.

Another factor feeding U.S. suspicions is the interruption in past years of data transmissions from monitoring stations on Chinese territory that are designed to detect radioactive emissions and seismic tremors.

The news concerning possible nuclear tests by communist China comes after the Russian military tested a “direct-ascent anti-satellite (DA-ASAT) missile” on Wednesday, which is designed to destroy “satellites in low Earth orbit (LEO),” according to the United States Space Command.

“Russia’s DA-ASAT test provides yet another example that the threats to U.S. and allied space systems are real, serious and growing,” said Gen. John W. “Jay” Raymond, USSPACECOM commander and U.S. Space Force Chief of Space Operations. “The United States is ready and committed to deterring aggression and defending the Nation, our allies and U.S. interests from hostile acts in space.”

“This test is further proof of Russia’s hypocritical advocacy of outer space arms control proposals designed to restrict the capabilities of the United States while clearly having no intention of halting their counterspace weapons programs,” Raymond said. “Space is critical to all nations and our way of life. The demands on space systems continue in this time of crisis where global logistics, transportation and communication are key to defeating the COVID-19 pandemic.

The U.S. Navy also reported on Wednesday that the Russian military buzzed a U.S. military aircraft that was flying in international airspace over the Mediterranean Sea.

“On April 15, 2020, a U.S. P-8A Poseidon aircraft flying in international airspace over the Mediterranean Sea was intercepted by a Russian SU-35,” the Navy said in a statement. “The interaction was determined to be unsafe due to the SU-35 conducting a high-speed, inverted maneuver, 25 ft. directly in front of the mission aircraft, which put our pilots and crew at risk. The crew of the P-8A reported wake turbulence following the interaction.”

On Tuesday, North Korea fired “multiple short-range anti-ship cruise missiles into the sea and Sukhoi jets fired air-to-surface missiles” as part of military exercises, Reuters reported.

The U.S. Military conducted an “elephant walk” at Andersen AFB, Guam, on Tuesday that showcased some of the most powerful bombers in the world that have the capability to deliver nuclear bombs anywhere in the world in a matter of hours.

Iran Taunts Babylon the Great

Iranian boats come ‘dangerously’ close to US navy warships | Iran | The Guardian

Julian Borger in Washington

Wed 15 Apr 2020 18.35 EDT

Iranian navy vessels came within 10 yards of American warships in the Persian Gulf in what the US navy described as a series of “dangerous and harassing approaches”.

The close encounters on Wednesday and the aggressive tactics pursued by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) navy, visible from photos and video released by the US Fifth Fleet, represent a blow to the Trump administration’s claims to have “restored deterrence” in its relations with Iran.

Coming on the same day that the US navy said that a Russian warplane performed an “unsafe” intercept of one of its surveillance planes over the Mediterranean, the incidents also served as a reminder that the coronavirus pandemic has not ended dangerous military rivalries around the world.

According the US Naval Forces Central Command, 11 small Iranian boats circled six US warships.

“The IRGCN vessels repeatedly crossed the bows and sterns of the US vessels at extremely close range and high speeds,” a statement said, adding that the Iranian vessels performed multiple crossings of two of the US ships, coming as close as 10 yards.

“US crews issued multiple warnings via bridge-to-bridge radio, five short blasts from the ships’ horns and long-range acoustic noise-maker devices, but received no response,” the Central Command statement said.

The Iranian sailors only responded to bridge-to-bridge radio contacts after an hour of manoeuvring, and then moved away.

“The IRGCN’s dangerous and provocative actions increased the risk of miscalculation and collision,” the US statement said, adding that the Iranian actions were in violation of maritime conventions and international law.

Pictures and video released by the US navy show multiple small boats, moving at speed and throwing up pronounced wakes behind them, performing sharp turns around the American vessels.

After the drone killing of the top IRGC general Qassem Suleimani in Baghdad in January, the Trump administration claimed it had “restored deterrence” against Iranian military ambitions in the region

However, there have been several rocket attacks on Iraqi bases housing US and allied troops since then, and Iran’s naval forces have been increasingly assertive. On Tuesday, they boarded a Hong Kong-flagged tanker and diverted it into Iranian waters before releasing it.

“As expected, Iran is continuing to flex muscle amid the global pandemic, because unlike what Iran hawks keep telling you, it’s neither deterred nor about to hit the pause button on tensions with the US to focus on public health,” Ariane Tabatabai, a Middle East fellow at the German Marshall Fund of the US, wrote on Twitter.

In the incident over the Mediterranean on Wednesday, a Russian Su-35 jet was said by the US navy to have performed a high-speed manoeuvre, flying upside-down just 25ft in front of a US P-8 surveillance plane.

North Korea fires barrage of missiles from ground and air

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — A barrage of North Korean missiles fired from both the ground and fighter jets splashed down on the waters off the country’s east coast on Tuesday, South Korea’s military said, a show of force on the eve of a key state anniversary in the North and parliamentary elections in the rival South.

The back-to-back launches were the latest in a series of weapons tests that North Korea has conducted in recent weeks amid stalled nuclear talks and outside worries about a possible coronavirus outbreak in the country.

North Korean troops based in the eastern coastal city of Munchon first launched several projectiles — presumed to be cruise missiles — on Tuesday morning, South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement.

FILE – In this Monday, March 2, 2020, file photo provided by the North Korean government, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un inspects a military drill at undisclosed location in North Korea. (Korean Central News Agency/Korea News Service via AP, File)

The weapons flew more than 150 kilometers (93 miles) at a low altitude off the North’s east coast, a South Korean defense official said. If confirmed, it would be the North’s first cruise missile launch in about three years, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, citing department rules.

Later Tuesday, North Korea launched several Sukhoi-class fighter jets that fired an unspecified number of air-to-surface missiles toward the North’s eastern waters, the defense official said.

The official said North Korea has recently appeared to be resuming its military drills that it had scaled back due to concerns about the cornovirus pandemic. He said other North Korean fighter jets also flew on patrol near the border with China on Tuesday.

A man wearing a face mask walks past a TV screen airing reports about North Korea’s firing of missiles at the Seoul Railway Station in Seoul, South Korea, Tuesday, April 14, 2020. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)

All the recently tested missiles were short-range and didn’t pose a direct threat to the U.S. mainland. A test of a missile capable of reaching the U.S. homeland would end North Korea’s self-imposed moratorium on major weapons tests and likely completely derail nuclear diplomacy with the United States.

Some experts say North Korea likely used the latest weapons launches to bolster its striking capability against South Korea, which has been introducing U.S.-made stealth F-35 jets and other sophisticated conventional weapons systems in recent years. Others say the latest weapons tests were also aimed at shoring up internal unity in the face of U.S.-led sanctions and the coronavirus pandemic.

Go Myong-Hyun, an analyst at the Seoul-based Asan Institute for Policy, said North Korea also wants to maintain tensions to secure leverage over the U.S. in future negotiations.

“North Korea wants to create and maintain tensions, but still aims to prevent those tensions from growing too much and pressuring the U.S. a lot,” Go said.

Nuclear diplomacy between Pyongyang and Washington has made little headway since the breakdown of a second summit between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and President Donald Trump in Vietnam in early 2019. That summit collapsed after Trump rejected Kim’s demands for broad sanctions relief in return for a limited denuclearization step.

Most of the weapons North Korea had tested recently were ballistic missiles or artillery shells with a ballistic trajectory. The North’s last known cruise missile test occurred in June 2017, when it said it had test-launched a new type of cruise missile capable of striking U.S. and South Korean warships “at will.”

People watch a TV screen showing a news program reporting about North Korea’s missiles with a file image at the Seoul Railway Station in Seoul, South Korea, Tuesday, April 14, 2020. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)

Cruise missiles fly at a lower altitude and slower speed than ballistic missiles, making them easier to intercept, but they are still considered more accurate. U.N. Security Council resolutions ban North Korea from engaging in any ballistic activities, but not cruise missile tests.

If the cruise missiles tested on Tuesday were newly developed weapons, they would still present a challenge to the South Korean and U.S. militaries, Go said. South Korea’s military said it was analyzing details of the launches.

The launches came a day before North Korea marks the 108th birthday of the country’s late founder, Kim Il Sung, the grandfather of Kim Jong Un. They also came a day ahead of South Korean parliamentary elections.

In the South Korean elections, President Moon Jae-in’s liberal ruling party, which espouses greater reconciliation with North Korea, is expected to defeat the main conservative opposition amid a slowdown in the number of new coronavirus infections in South Korea, according to pre-election surveys.

North Korea has repeatedly said there has been no coronavirus outbreak on its soil. But many foreign experts are skeptical of that claim and have warned that an outbreak in the North could become a humanitarian disaster because of the country’s chronic lack of medical supplies and fragile health care infrastructure.

The Raging China Nuclear Horn (Daniel 7)

China may have conducted low-level nuclear test blasts, U.S. says | Article [AMP] | Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – China may have secretly set off low-level underground nuclear test explosions despite claiming to observe an international pact banning such blasts, the U.S. State Department said in a report on Wednesday that could fuel U.S.-Chinese tensions.

The finding, first reported by the Wall Street Journal, may worsen ties already strained by U.S. charges that the global COVID-19 pandemic resulted from Beijing’s mishandling of a 2019 outbreak of the coronavirus in the city of Wuhan.

U.S. concerns about Beijing’s possible breaches of a “zero yield” standard for test blasts have been prompted by activities at China’s Lop Nur nuclear test site throughout 2019, the State Department report said.

Zero yield refers to a nuclear test in which there is no explosive chain reaction of the type ignited by the detonation of a nuclear warhead.

“China’s possible preparation to operate its Lop Nur test site year-round, its use of explosive containment chambers, extensive excavation activities at Lop Nur and a lack of transparency on its nuclear testing activities … raise concerns regarding its adherence to the zero yield standard,” the report said, without providing evidence of a low-yield test.

Beijing’s lack of transparency included blocking data transmissions from sensors linked to a monitoring center operated by the international agency that verifies compliance with a treaty banning nuclear test explosions.

The 1996 Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) allows activities designed to ensure the safety of nuclear weapons.

A spokeswoman for the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Organization, which verifies compliance with the pact, told the Wall Street Journal there had been no interruptions in data transmissions from China’s five sensor stations since the end of August 2019 following an interruption that began in 2018.

The Chinese embassy in Washington did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

A senior U.S. official said the concerns about China’s testing activities buttressed President Donald Trump’s case for getting China to join the United States and Russia in talks on an arms control accord to replace the 2010 New START treaty between Washington and Moscow that expires in February.

New START restricted the United States and Russia to deploying no more than 1,550 nuclear warheads, the lowest level in decades, and limited the land- and submarine-based missiles and bombers that deliver them.

“The pace and manner by which the Chinese government is modernizing its stockpile is worrying, destabilizing, and illustrates why China should be brought into the global arms control framework,” said the senior U.S. official on condition of anonymity.

China, estimated to have about 300 nuclear weapons, has repeatedly rejected Trump’s proposal, arguing its nuclear force is defensive and poses no threat.

Russia, France and Britain – three of the world’s five internationally recognized nuclear powers – signed and ratified the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, which still requires ratification by 44 countries to become international law.

China and the United States are among eight signatories that have not ratified it. But China has declared its adherence to its terms, while the United States has observed a unilateral testing moratorium since 1992.

(Reporting by Jonathan Landay; Editing by Arshad Mohammed, Jonathan Oatis and Richard Chang)

Iranians Continue to Die From Pestilence

Iran: Coronavirus Death Toll Exceeds 28,200 in 273 Cities

Secretariat of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI)

14th April 2020

Iran: Coronavirus outbreak, April 2020

IRGC’s exercise, publicity stunt on Khamenei-controlled cartels offering aid designed to confront public’s anger and hatred.

Regime fraudulently understates the death toll and the number of those infected.

Maryam Rajavi: The Iranian people are not asking the mullahs for charity. Their wealth, stolen by the IRGC, foundations controlled by Khamenei and the Astan-e Quds Razavi endowment must be put in the service of the people of Iran.

The weight of the people of Iranian people and Resistance pressure and its impact within the regime regarding foundations controlled by Khamenei have reached a point where today, in a coordinated tailor-made chorus, the Health Ministry Spokesman joined the Judiciary, the IRGC, and the media in saying, “The Mostazafan Foundation, Astan-e Quds Razavi, and especially Execution of Imam Khomeini’s Order (EIKO) have provided extensive support to the Coronavirus Combat Taskforce. Actions taken by EIKO was remarkable in terms of speed, quality, and quantity!”

The People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI / MEK) announced today that the Coronavirus death toll had exceeded 28,200 in 273 cities across the country. The number of victims in Tehran Province is 4,550, Qom 2700, Khorasan Razavi 2,400, Gilan 2,310, Isfahan 2,030, Alborz 1060, Golestan 970, Kermanshah 770, Fars 690, Semnan 460, Chahar Mahal and Bakhtiari 260, Ilam 230, Bushehr 150, and Hormozgan 65.

While the regime tries to understate the figures of the dead and infected by providing false statistics, even below what it had announced in previous days and forcing the people back to work to pretend as though it is controlling the spread of the Coronavirus,  its Health Minister said today, “The future comportment of the virus is not predictable, and it is possible to face heavy waves of the pandemic in fall or winter… Hospital beds ratio to the population is 1.6 beds for every 1,000 persons, less than any European country, of which for example, France has a ratio of 6.6 beds for every 1,000 persons… Coronavirus is new, and we still do not know whether warmer weather would contribute to its containment. We are hoping to contain the first wave around the end of May or the beginning of June, but we should not think that by so doing, the untamable virus would leave us alone… we should prepare for much harder days.”

Alireza Zali, head of Tehran’s Coronavirus Combat Taskforce, was quoted by the state-run TV 5 network as saying: “We have witnessed a three percent rise in the occupancy of ICU units of hospitals covered by Tehran’s universities… The overall number of people using public transport in Tehran has multiplied by at least three to four-fold. This is worrisome..”

According to the Setareh Sobh website on April 14, the High Council of Medical Organization and Board of Directors of its General Assembly announced, “The multiplicity of decision-making centers in dealing with the Coronavirus crisis has harmed the effectiveness of the measures.  The Ministry of Health’s statistical method also has a significant gap with the reality on the ground and has undermined public confidence on the figures.”

On the other hand, under increasing pressure to compel economic cartels controlled by Khamenei and the Revolutionary Guards to pay for the living expenses of workers, toilers and the deprived for several months so that they would not have to go to work, the clerical regime has engaged in a series of public relations stunts. For instance, Rouhani announced today that the 60-dollar loan with 12 percent interest, offered to those who receive subsidies, will be turned into “an interest-free loan and the government will pay the interest.”

The weight of the Iranian people and Resistance pressure and its impact within the regime regarding foundations controlled by Khamenei have reached a point where today, in a coordinated tailor-made chorus, the Health Ministry Spokesman joined the Judiciary, the IRGC, and the media in saying, “The Mostazafan Foundation, Astan-e Quds Razavi, and especially The Headquarter for Execution of Imam Khomeini’s Order (EIKO) have provided extensive support to the Coronavirus Combat Taskforce. Actions taken by EIKO were remarkable in terms of speed, quality, and quantity.”

IRGC’s Commander-in-Chief also announced the formation of the so-called Imam Hassan Mojtaba Garrison, comprised of the Mostazafan Foundation, EIKO, Khomeini’s Assistance Committee, Organization of the Bassij of the Mostazafin and Astan-e Qods Razavi, which provide aid packages to about 3.5 million families. But members of the Bassij are responsible for identifying the needy.   In other words, the IRGC is transferring money from one pocket to the other and is trying to portray it as helping the people.

At the same time, state-run media outlets continue to voice alarm over the prospects of popular uprisings. Jahan San’at daily wrote on April 13, “The Government has turned Coronavirus into a security problem. With such a security view toward society and Coronavirus, the lack of a production system, the existence of a multitude of petty and service jobs, and the concentration of the poor, migrants and slum dwellers across the country are all like a social bomb that might explode at any moment and lead to social unrest.”

Etemad daily wrote the same day, “Delay in finding a solution may lead to rebellion among the destitute and cause other forms of insecurity or aggravate social problems.” Another state-run daily, Mostaghel, wrote today, “Foreign sanctions also pressure the people… We can see the result of this pressure in unequal distribution, and in the unsettling cite of skyscrapers in city centers, especially in provincial capitals and the capital itself. The gap between the rich and the poor is shockingly wide. Most certainly, this gap will cause a crisis that will destroy us all..”

Reacting to Khamenei’s and Rouhani’s reluctant decision on not charging interest on a one-million-toman loan to people out of their fear of an uprising, Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, the President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), said: the people of Iran are not begging the mullahs for charity. The Iranian people’s wealth, which is stolen by the IRGC, foundations controlled by Khamenei and the Astan-e Quds Razavi endowment, must be wrested out of the mullahs’ control and put in the service of health, treatment, and needs of the people of Iran, especially the deprived and the hungry.

The First Nuclear War Will Lead To A Global Food Crisis (Revelation 8)

“A Nuclear War Between India and Pakistan Can Lead To Worst Global Food Crisis”, Say Researchers

NewsGram Desk

A war between India and Pakistan using less than one per cent of nuclear weapons available in the world could lead to the worst global food crisis in modern history, say researchers.

The study, published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, said that sudden global cooling from a limited nuclear war along with less precipitation and sunlight could disrupt food production and trade worldwide for about a decade — more than the impact from anthropogenic climate change by late (21st) century.

While the impacts of global warming on agricultural productivity have been studied extensively, the implications of sudden cooling for global crop growth are little understood, according to the researchers. “Our results add to the reasons that nuclear weapons must be eliminated because if they exist, they can be used with tragic consequences for the world,” said study co-author Alan Robock, Professor at Rutgers University in the US.

Robock co-authored a recent study in the journal Science Advances estimating more than 100 million people could die immediately if India and Pakistan wage a nuclear war, followed by global mass starvation.

For the new study, the research team used a scenario of five million tons of black smoke (soot) from massive fires injected into the upper atmosphere that could result from using only 100 nuclear weapons.

That would cool the Earth by 1.8 degrees Celsius (3.2 degrees Fahrenheit) and lead to eight per cent lower precipitation and less sunlight for at least five years.

The researchers included those climate changes in computer simulations by six different crop models for four major crops that account for 90 per cent of global cereal production in terms of calories.

They found that corn calorie production would fall by 13 per cent, wheat by 11 per cent, rice by three per cent and soybeans by 17 per cent over five years. Total first-year losses of 12 per cent would be four times larger than any food shortage in history, such as those caused by historic droughts and volcanic eruptions, the study said.

Analyses of food trade networks show that domestic reserves and global trade can largely buffer the loss of food production in the first year. But multiyear losses would reduce domestic food availability, especially in food-insecure countries.

By year five, corn and wheat availability would decrease by 13 per cent globally and by more than 20 per cent in 71 countries with a total of 1.3 billion people. Corn production in the US and Canada — representing more than 40 per cent of global production — would drop by 17.5 per cent.

According to the researchers, 16 million tons of smoke could arise from a nuclear war between India and Pakistan since they now have more and bigger weapons and their potential targets are larger. (IANS)