New York Quake Overdue (The Sixth Seal) (Revelation 6:12)

Won-Young Kim, who runs the seismographic network for the Northeast at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, said the city is well overdue for a big earthquake.

The last big quake to hit New York City was a 5.3-magnitude tremor in 1884 that happened at sea in between Brooklyn and Sandy Hook. While no one was killed, buildings were damaged.

Kim said the city is likely to experience a big earthquake every 100 years or so.

“It can happen anytime soon,” Kim said. “We can expect it any minute, we just don’t know when and where.”

New York has never experienced a magnitude 6 or 7 earthquake, which are the most dangerous. But magnitude 5 quakes could topple brick buildings and chimneys.

Seismologist John Armbruster said a magnitude 5 quake that happened now would be more devastating than the one that happened in 1884.

Iran Threatens World War 3


World war 3

President Rouhani said his response would be ‘crushing’ (Image: GETTY )

World War 3 panic: Iran threatens ‘CRUSHING response’ to US over Trump’s ‘stupid mistake’

IRAN’S supreme leader has threatened a “crushing response” to the US goes ahead with its bid to extend the UN Security Council arms embargo against Tehran.

Iran: Nuclear weapons ‘won’t be good for US’ says expert

Under Iran’s deal with world powers to accept limits to its nuclear programme in return for the lifting of sanctions, a UN weapons embargo is due to expire in October. The US, which exited the deal in 2018, has called for the embargo to be extended.

In a strongly-worded speech, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani responded to the US’ plot and repeated Iran’s longstanding criticism of Washington’s decision to exit the nuclear arms deal, which he called a “stupid mistake”.

He said: “If America wants to return to the deal, it should lift all the sanctions on Tehran and compensate for the reimposition of sanctions.”

“Iran will give a crushing response if the arms embargo on Tehran is extended.”

His warning comes after the US said it was “hopeful” the UN Security Council would extend the arms embargo on Iran before it expires in October.

President Donald Trump’s administration has been taking a harder line with the United Nations over its desire to extend and strengthen the embargo on Iran.

Washington has threatened to trigger a return of all UN sanctions against Iran as leverage to get backing from the 15-member Security Council on extending the UN arms embargo on Tehran.

world war 3

The US wants to extend the UN Security Council arms embargo against Tehran (Image: GETTY )RELATED ARTICLES

Iran has gradually rolled back its commitments under the accord in response to the US decision to quit, but says it wants the agreement to remain in place.

It has criticised European parties to the deal for failing to salvage the pact by shielding its economy from US sanctions.

He added: “Iran’s nuclear steps are reversible if other parties to the deal fulfil their obligations and preserve Tehran’s interests under the pact.”


World war 3

Donald Trump’s decision to exit the nuclear deal has been labelled stupid’ (Image: GETTY )

World war 3

The US has taken a hard stance on Iran (Image: GETTY )

President Rouhani’s warning comes just days after Ianian Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi threatened that its reaction would be “proportionate” and “firm” after the US moved to take a harder stance against the Islamic Republic.

He said: “Iran is not seeking to exit the 2015 nuclear deal with six powers. “America’s move is illegitimate and our reaction will be proportionate.”

“The United States is not a member of the nuclear deal anymore.

world war 3

Iran’s missile programme (Image: EXPRESS)

“Iran’s reaction to America’s illegal measures will be firm.”

Mr Trump withdrew his nation from the Iran nuclear deal in 2018 and reimposed sanctions on Tehran that have crippled its economy.

The US President has since imposed economic and trade sanctions on Iran, targeting its lucrative oil, financial and shipping sectors.

The measures are part of a wider effort from Mr Trump to curb Iran’s missile and nuclear programmes while destroying its influence in the Middle East, particularly its support for proxies in Syria, Yemen and Lebanon.

Under the deal, Iran agreed to halt its sensitive nuclear work in exchange for sanctions relief.

Iran, which denies its nuclear programme is aimed at building a bomb, has gradually rolled back its commitments under the accord since the US quit.

It argues that Washington’s actions justify such actions.

Koreas Prepare for Nuclear War (Daniel 7)

U.S. to end large-scale military drills with South Korea

North Korea threatens to retaliate against South Korea for ‘reckless’ military drills

North Korea has threatened to retaliate against South Korea for “reckless” military drills near their disputed sea boundary, but Seoul denies any training in the immediate area, the scene of several bloody naval skirmishes in recent years.
No casualties were reported, but the incident was a reminder of persistent tensions on the peninsula.
In this May 3, 2020, file photo, a North Korean flag flutters in the wind at a military guard post in Paju, at the border with North Korea
In this May 3, 2020, file photo, a North Korean flag flutters in the wind at a military guard post in Paju, at the border with North Korea (AP)
North Korea’s Ministry of the People’s Armed Forces accused South Korea of mobilising fighter jets and warships on Wednesday for drills on their western sea boundary.
“Such reckless move of the military warmongers of the south side is the height of the military confrontation,” it said in a statement carried by North Korean state media.
“This is a grave provocation which can never be overlooked and this situation demands a necessary reaction from us.”
North Korea said the South’s drills violated 2018 agreements which required both countries to halt firing exercises along their land and sea borders to lower frontline tensions.
South Korea’s Defence Ministry said the drills didn’t break the agreements because they took place in its western waters about 300km from the sea boundary.
North Korea’s Ministry of the People’s Armed Forces accused South Korea of mobilising fighter jets and warships on Wednesday for drills on their western sea boundary (AP/AAP)
On Sunday, South Korea said several bullets fired from the North struck one of its frontline guard posts and its soldiers fired 20 warning shots in return (AP)
A ministry official, requesting anonymity because of department rules, said South Korea had been maintaining military readiness without violating the 2018 agreements.
On Sunday, South Korea said several bullets fired from the North struck one of its frontline guard posts and its soldiers fired 20 warning shots in return.
South Korea sent a message asking the North to explain the incident, but the North was yet to reply, the Defence Ministry said.
Relations between the two Koreas improved significantly in 2018 as their leaders held three rounds of talks. But much of the rapprochement stalled as broader diplomacy between North Korea and the United States came to a standstill because of disputes over the North’s nuclear disarmament.
North Korea has confirmed a successful third round of test-fires with new rocket launcher amid fragile relations with the United States.
Attacks blamed on North Korea in the area in 2010 killed 50 South Koreans – 46 on a warship and four on a border island (AP/AAP)
The Koreas have been divided along the world’s most-heavily fortified land border since the end of the 1950-53 War.
Their poorly marked western sea boundary witnessed naval clashes in 1999, 2002 and 2009.
© AAP 2020

China Will Build More Nuclear Weapons

China needs more nuclear warheads: Global Times editor

Thomson Reuters

Friday, May 08, 2020 7:06 a.m. EDT

By Yew Lun Tian

BEIJING (Reuters) – China should expand its stock of nuclear warheads to 1,000 soon, Global Times editor-in-chief Hu Xijin said on Friday, even as U.S. President Donald Trump repeats his call for China to join an arms control treaty.

The Global Times is published by the People’s Daily, the official newspaper of China’s ruling Communist Party. The party has been known to float ideas and guide public sentiments via the Global Times, which tends to take a nationalistic stance on issues involving other countries.

Tensions between United States and China, already high from an ongoing trade war, have increased in recent months amid a war of words over the origins of the coronavirus pandemic.

“We love peace and promise not to use nuclear weapons first, but we need a bigger nuclear arsenal to suppress U.S. strategic ambition and impulse against China,” Hu wrote in a Weibo post.

Hu added that this stockpile should include “at least 100 DF-41 strategic missiles”, a latest class of intercontinental missiles capable of striking continental United States, according to defense experts.

He wrote, “Don’t think that nuclear warheads are useless during peacetime. We are using them everyone, silently, to shape the attitudes of American elites towards us.”

Hu’s post on Weibo – a Twitter-like social media in China – came after White House said Trump called for “effective arms control” that includes China and Russia during a telephone call on Thursday with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin.

Trump has long sought for China to be included in a renewal of the New START nuclear arms treaty that expires in February 2021, but Beijing has steadfastly rejected such calls.

“Major powers have the foremost responsibility and obligation in the area of nuclear arms control. China has always adhered to the policy of not being the first country to use nuclear,” said China foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying on Friday.

An internal Chinese report warns that Beijing faces a rising wave of hostility in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak that could tip relations with the United States into armed confrontation in the worst-case scenario, according to a Reuters report this week.

(Reporting by Yew Lun Tian; Editing by Frances Kerry

Report to Congress on Babylon the Great’s Nuclear Weapons

Report to Congress on Nonstrategic Nuclear Weapons

May 7, 2020 9:15 AM

The following is the May 4, 2020 Congressional Research Service report, Nonstrategic Nuclear Weapons.

From the report

Recent debates about U.S. nuclear weapons have questioned what role weapons with shorter ranges and lower yields can play in addressing emerging threats in Europe and Asia. These weapons, often referred to as nonstrategic nuclear weapons, have not been limited by past U.S.-Russian arms control agreements. Some analysts argue such limits would be of value, particularly in addressing Russia’s greater numbers of these types of weapons. Others have argued that the United States should expand its deployments of these weapons, in both Europe and Asia, to address new risks of war conducted under a nuclear shadow. The Trump Administration addressed these questions in the Nuclear Posture Review released in February 2018, and determined that the United States should acquire two new types of nuclear weapons: a new low-yield warhead for submarine-launched ballistic missiles and a new sea-launched cruise missile.

During the Cold War, the United States and Soviet Union both deployed nonstrategic nuclear weapons for use in the field during a conflict. While there are several ways to distinguish between strategic and nonstrategic nuclear weapons, most analysts consider nonstrategic weapons to be shorter-range delivery systems with lower-yield warheads that might attack troops or facilities on the battlefield. They have included nuclear mines; artillery; short-, medium-, and long-range ballistic missiles; cruise missiles; and gravity bombs. In contrast with the longer-range “strategic” nuclear weapons, these weapons had a lower profile in policy debates and arms control negotiations, possibly because they did not pose a direct threat to the continental United States. At the end of the 1980s, each nation still had thousands of these weapons deployed with their troops in the field, aboard naval vessels, and on aircraft.

In 1991, the United States and Soviet Union both withdrew from deployment most and eliminated from their arsenals many of their nonstrategic nuclear weapons. The United States now has approximately 500 nonstrategic nuclear weapons, with around 200 deployed with aircraft in Europe and the remaining stored in the United States. Estimates vary, but experts believe Russia still has between 1,000 and 6,000 warheads for nonstrategic nuclear weapons in its arsenal. The Bush Administration quietly redeployed some U.S. weapons deployed in Europe, while the Obama Administration retired older sea-launched cruise missiles. Russia, however seems to have increased its reliance on nuclear weapons in its national security concept.

Analysts have identified a number of issues with the continued deployment of U.S. and Russian nonstrategic nuclear weapons. In the past, these have included questions about the safety and security of Russia’s weapons and the possibility that some might be lost, stolen, or sold to another nation or group. These issues still include questions about the role of these weapons in U.S. and Russian security policy; questions about the role that these weapons play in NATO policy and whether there is a continuing need for the United States to deploy them at bases overseas; questions about the implications of the disparity in numbers between U.S. and Russian nonstrategic nuclear weapons; and questions about the relationship between nonstrategic nuclear weapons and U.S. nonproliferation policy.

Some argue that these weapons do not create any problems and the United States should not alter its policy. Others argue that the United States should expand its deployments of these weapons in response to challenges from Russia, China, and North Korea. Some believe the United States should reduce its reliance on these weapons and encourage Russia to do the same. Many have suggested that the United States and Russia expand efforts to cooperate on ensuring the safe and secure storage and elimination of these weapons; others have suggested that they negotiate an arms control treaty that would limit these weapons and allow for increased transparency in monitoring their deployment and elimination. The 116th Congress may review some of these proposals.

Plague Continues to Kill More Iranians

Iran: Coronavirus Fatalities in 314 Cities Exceeds 39,800

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

Over 39,800 dead of coronavirus (COVID-19) in Iran-Iran Coronavirus Death Toll per PMOI MEK sources

Regime Health Ministry: situation in Khuzestan fragile, volatile

Razi Hospital Chief in Ahvaz: The situation is so dire that one of every two patients must be hospitalized

Maryam Rajavi: The situation in Khuzestan is the by-product of Khamenei and Rouhani’s criminal policies. Again, the people, especially the selfless youths, must take it upon themselves to rush to help the ill and needy, while observing medical guidelines.

The People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI / MEK) announced on May 7, 2020, that the Coronavirus death toll in 314 cities in Iran had exceeded 39,800. The number of victims in Tehran is 6,650, Qom 3,290, Gilan 2,690, West Azerbaijan 1,215, Sistan and Baluchestan 1,091, Lorestan 1,005, Hamedan 985, North Khorasan 433, and South Khorasan 135.

After people were forced to return to work, the situation in Khuzestan Province is getting worse every day. A spokesperson for the Health Ministry said today, “We are currently facing a fragile and volatile situation in Khuzestan Province.”

Today, the state control daily, Entekhab, quoting the head of Razi Hospital in Ahvaz, wrote, “Coronavirus is expanding extensively in Khuzestan; the situation is so bad that one out of two patients must be hospitalized. About 60 patients with respiratory distress are in the ICU, and the condition of these patients is extremely bad … This disease is horrific and savage … We did not have so many patients before, but over the past few days, we have had many patients. The situation in Khuzestan is becoming critical.”

The situation in other provinces is also dire. On May 6, 2020, the official news agency IRNA quoted the deputy governor in North Khorasan, as saying, “Our province is still in a red situation in terms of the spread of the Coronavirus.” Yesterday another state-run daily, Aftab News quoted the deputy director of the University of Medical Sciences, as saying, “The current situation of the Province in terms of the Coronavirus spread is six times worse than what it was on March 19, 2020, and most of the cases occurred in the last four days.”

Meanwhile, Hassan Rouhani turned to bold-faced lies about the stock market, another means to defraud the people, to cover up the crisis, and divert the public’s attention. Still, a new parliament deputy, Ahmad Naderi, was quoted today by the state-run daily Resalat, as saying, “The stock market bubble will burst, and I am worried about the social and security repercussions soon. Major riots, even greater than those in 2017 and 2019 and certainly bigger than the 1990s, are looming.”

The state-run Jahan Sanat newspaper warned today, “If the government does not reconsider its policies, people are going to erupt like volcanoes.” Another state-run daily, Arman Melli, wrote, “We all need to be vigilant not to be caught off guard the army of the hungry rebelling.”.”

Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, the President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), reacted to the consequences of compelling the helpless people back to work, and to the intensifying crisis in Khuzestan. She said the situation in the Province was the by-product of the criminal policies of Khamenei and Rouhani. They have refused to pay the salaries of the wage earners, even temporarily, from the nation’s wealth, which they and the IRGC control. Instead, they have sent the people to the altar of Coronavirus without providing them with medical support and necessities.

Mrs. Rajavi added: Again, the people, especially the selfless youths, must take it upon themselves to rush to help the ill and needy while observing medical guidelines.

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

Caution of the Chinese Nuclear Horn (Daniel 7)

Caution: China’s nuclear strategy may be ‘nuclear thoughtlessness’

By Paul Bracken, opinion contributor

May 07, 2020 – 04:00 PM EDT

The views expressed by contributors are their own and not the view of The Hill

China’s nuclear strategy is more complex than most public discussions or academic studies suggest. Most of these treat China as a growing “missile farm” with intercontinental ballistic missiles. This view is not irrelevant, but it misses the most important dangers of China in this second nuclear age.

A clear-eyed reassessment of China as a nuclear power is timely now because Beijing’s forces are expected to double in size over the next decade. China is shifting to a full-blown triad of ICBMs, submarine-launched ballistic missiles and bombers, much as the United States has had since the 1960s. This has many new implications — for example, command and control now must manage mobile weapons, something far removed from China’s “classic” minimum deterrent force of a few missiles.

There are three especially significant aspects to China’s nuclear buildup. First, the crisis management behavior of this force is likely something the Chinese themselves do not understand. Crises are defined more by uncontrollable factors than doctrine. The whole point of crisis management is to understand, as best we can, what these behaviors look like. For example, nuclear alerts now mean moving live weapons around at sea, on the ground and in the air — a juggling act that can lead to many surprises for which there is no doctrine.

Second, there are foreign policy implications to the Chinese buildup. The role of nuclear weapons is not only to deter war, but to influence the behavior of other nations in peacetime. Japan, India, Australia and South Korea are not going to dismiss the Chinese buildup. Moreover, actions far short of war — threats, alerts, flyovers of nuclear-capable bombers — bolster national resolve. This is precisely how nuclear weapons were used in the Cold War. China’s nuclear buildup will shape the postures of the United States, Japan, India, Russia and others. “Rocking the boat” in Asia will look much different in a “heavy” nuclear world than it did when China was barely a nuclear weapon state.

Finally, China’s nuclear strategy doesn’t cover a wide range of possible scenarios beyond what it was built for. It may be very good (or not) in “standard” scenarios, such as deterrence involving Taiwan or anti-access conflicts aimed at keeping U.S. forces out of the western Pacific. But it may lead to a systems failure in non-standard wars. It is important for the United States to get a handle on these non-standard wars and what shape they may take. China’s leaders are likely subject to “nuclear thoughtlessness,” just as leaders in Washington and Moscow were during the Cold War.

An understanding of China’s nuclear strategy needs to appreciate the geopolitics of nuclear arms.  China was “born” into a threatening nuclear world that it didn’t control. Beijing had to play in the nuclear big leagues with two superpowers when China was neither nuclear nor a superpower. It had no technology to deal with its immediate enemy, the United States. Washington threatened China with a nuclear attack to end the Korean War, and Beijing could do nothing to counter this.

In the 1958 Taiwan crisis, China had to back down in the face of U.S. threats. Beijing thought it had nuclear protection from Moscow against Washington, but quickly learned otherwise. Moscow refused to extend its nuclear umbrella to protect China against an atomic enemy. Worse, China was left high and dry when Russia abruptly withdrew technical assistance to build a bomb. This experience was the stimulus for their own nuclear weapon. By the late 1960s, when China had its own bomb, these two “allies” almost came to blows. China even put its nascent 1969 force on nuclear alert, not against Washington but against Moscow.

Today the “Taiwan crisis” refers less to past events than to present-day historical feelings of humiliation, the dangers of dependence, and technological backwardness. The Taiwan crisis has become a metaphor, a story, about these sentiments. The power of historical metaphor is considerable. Think of the powerful grip that “Munich” had on U.S. policy in the Cold War. The Cuban Missile Crisis is still a controlling metaphor for U.S. nuclear operations. The politics and technology of that crisis are ancient, but the crisis remains a model of calculated risk management and de-escalation.

Another geopolitical reality that many analysts overlook is that China is the only major power surrounded by five nuclear weapon states. Three of these — Russia, North Korea and Pakistan — are its “allies,” but only in a technical sense. To suggest that Chinese relations with any of them are like the United States and its European allies is to misunderstand the danger that China faces. “Allies” such as these are more likely to bring catastrophe on China than the United States is. Every one of them has targets inside China for their nuclear weapons — just as China surely has targets in North Korea, Pakistan and elsewhere.

Having studied China’s military doctrine, I find no evidence of seriously thinking through the dynamics of such non-standard conflicts. It surely doesn’t show up in high-level speeches.  Major fault lines easily could develop in this alliance, not unlike the fault line between the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe.

Finally, technology is changing in ways that spill over into China’s nuclear strategy. Beijing has moved out smartly in building advanced technologies for reconnaissance, prompt strike and intelligence. The complexity of this system is extraordinary; it is one of the drivers behind China’s push into artificial intelligence. The complexity is so great, and the timing for tracking mobile targets so tight, that only an AI-driven system can absorb the voluminous data and direct the responses.

Advanced technology is spilling over into the nuclear arena. The most systemically important targets for China are other people’s nuclear weapons — the United States, obviously, but also India, Russia, North Korea and Pakistan. The interactions of this reconnaissance-nuclear system are tightening. That these couplings are overlooked doesn’t make them unimportant. It only means that technology — once again — is racing ahead of strategy.

A broader assessment of China’s nuclear strategy is needed. China no longer is a rising power with around 20 ICBMs, a minimum deterrent. The days of looking at it as a “simple” missile exchange are long gone. China’s nuclear strategy has more far-reaching effects on peace and war than the stick man theories that are usually offered to describe it. The chance that the strategy is itself dangerously mis-designed for the political and technological contours ahead must be taken seriously in any sober assessment of international security.

Paul Bracken is a professor of management and political science at Yale University.