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

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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.

Indo-Pak war will trigger global nuclear Armageddon (Revelation 8 )

China -India or Indo-Pak war can trigger global nuclear Armageddon: AJK president

June 12, 2020

MIRPUR (AJK): Jun 12 (APP):Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) President Sardar Masood Khan Friday said China had given a clear message to India to stay away and renounce its revisionist and expansionist agenda.

“After China’s robust response on Doklam, Sikkim and Ladakh, India caved in because it does not want a repeat of the 1962 war, but its designs vis-a-vis China remain unchanged,” he said in an interview with an online news portal and a monthly magazine.

China, the president said, did not want India to imperil CPEC passing through Gilgit-Baltistan or attempt to alter the status of Azad Kashmir in any way.

About AJK’s position on the disputed Ladakh region boundary, he said words would be chosen carefully in deference to the Chinese sensitivities and our long-standing relationship, but China’s pressure on India was a decisive factor because it reined in India’s aggression in the Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IOJ&K) and against Pakistan.

He, however, said the standoff would not bridle India’s atrocities in IOJ&K or rush for colonisation in the territory. That could be stopped only through active resistance by Kashmiris and to a lesser extent by some decisive action by the international community.

When asked how did China India border standoff affect the morale of Kashmiri people, the AJK president said, “Hopes of Kashmiris have been raised. They think they are not alone and that China is too on their side.”

Ruling out an all-out war between China and India, the president said, despite their significant differences, both the countries were tamping down tensions. “China, Pakistan and India are all nuclear powers and an active war theatre between them could trigger a global nuclear Armageddon.”

When asked to comment on Indian Defence Minister Rajnath Singh’s remarks in which Singh warned that this was not the India of 1962, President Masood said Rajnath Singh’s bravado should not be taken seriously as he did not see any difference between today’s India and the India of 1962.

“Yes, it (India) has more arsenals and nuclear power today but has the same hegemonic mind-set with feet of clay,” he remarked.

He said the costs of a confrontation for India would be too high, and Modi did not want to be excoriated like Nehru for another discomfiture.

Replying a question about the possible threat of aggression from India against Pakistan, he said, “I believe that Pakistan is already under attack and in a state of war with India. An attack on the IOJ&K is an attack on Pakistan. This is not Indian territory.”

The Sino-Indian conflict leading to the first nuclear war (Revelation 8 )

The Sino-Indian conflict: Instability in South Asia

By Abbas Ali BughioJune 12, 2020

The Sino-Indian boundary originated in 1834, with the conquest of Ladakh by the armies of Raja Gulab Singh under the suzerainty of the Sikh Empire. Gulab Singh and the Tibetans signed a Treaty in 1842 agreeing to stick to the old established frontiers later, the British defeated to Sikhs in 1846resulted in the transfer of the Jammu and Kashmir. China claims the Doklam area based on the Anglo-Chinese Convention of 1890, negotiated between the British Empire in India and the Chinese royal mission. The territorial boundary between Sikkim and Tibet was delineated in the Article I of the treaty. By 1892, the British settled on the policy that their preferred boundary for Kashmir was the “Indus watershed”. Later, The British government proposed Macartney-MacDonald Line in 1899 with China. In 1960, China claimed that Bhutan, Sikkim and Ladakh were part of the great motherland of China. However, China’s construction of this road was one of the triggers ofthe Sino-Indian War between China and India that occurred in 1962 and more than 2,000 people were killed. Finally,China abandoned all attempts of peaceful resolution on 20 October 1962, invading disputed territory along the 3,225 kilometre- (2,000 mile) long Himalayan borders in Ladakh and across the McMahon Line. The war ended when China declared a ceasefire on 20 November 1962, and simultaneously announced its withdrawal to its claimed “Line of Actual Control”. Therefore, the aim of this policy was to create outposts behind advancing Chinese troops to interdict their supplies, forcing them north of the disputed line. Then, Indian government passed the “Defense of India Act in December 1962” permitting the apprehension and detention in custody of any person suspected of being of hostile origin. Later. Bhutan and China agreed on border negotiation with India’s participation in 1972. However, China sought the exclusion of India due to its effect on Bhutan. Having turned down China’s package deal, in 2000, Bhutanese government put forward its original claim line of 1989. The talks could make no progress afterwards. The government reported that, in 2004, China started building roads in the border areas, leading to repeated protests by the Bhutanese government based on the 1998 Peace and Tranquility Agreement. India took foreign policy and defense affairs of Bhutan after 1949 treaty. In 2007, that treaty was superseded by a “new friendship treaty” that made it mandatory on Bhutan to take India’s guidance on foreign policy but providing it broader sovereignty in other matters such as arms imports.

Unlike previous border incidents in 2013 or 2014 China is simultaneously putting pressure on the LAC in multiple areas in the western sector. Border conflicts between China and India escalated in 2017, when Indian troops and the PLA staged their most serious confrontation, over China’s construction of a road in Doklam near a Donglang Caochang in Chinese territory. However, India does not have a claim on Doklam but it supports Bhutan’s claim on the territory on which India’s highly strategic Siliguri corridor. In June 2017 China attempted to extend a road on the Doklam plateau southwards near the Doka La pass and Indian troops moved in to prevent the Chinese.On June 29, 2017, Bhutan protested the Chinese construction of a road in the disputed territory. On the same day, China released a map depicting Doklam as part of China by the 1890 Britain-China Treaty. China claimed on 5 July 2017 that there was a “basic consensus” between China and Bhutan that Doklam belonged to China. The Bhutanese government in August 2017 denied that it had relinquished its claim to Doklam. On 28 August 2017, it was announced that India and China had mutually agreed to a speedy disengagement on the Doklam plateau bringing an end to the military face-off that lasted for close to three months. In the past decade, India has worked hard to strengthen its position on the border and its presence along the LAC to complete “DS-DBO road” in 2019, this greatly facilitates the lateral movement of Indian forces along this part of the western sector, reducing travel time by 40 percent the goal of this road construction, is to help India’s efforts to dominate the Line of Actual Control. India expects to complete a network of feeder roads to the LAC By 2022.

America to Withdraw From the Iraqi Horn

Credit: REUTERS/HANDOUT

Iraq, U.S. affirm commitment to U.S. troop withdrawal – state media

Publisher Jun 11, 2020 10:54PM EDT

Adds joint statement and background

CAIRO, June 12 (Reuters) – Iraq and the United States have affirmed their commitment to the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq without giving a timeline, state news agency INA said on Friday, citing Iraq’s Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi.

Iraq’s parliament had voted earlier this year for the departure of foreign troops from Iraq, and U.S. and other coalition troops have been leaving as part of a drawdown.

Al-Kadhimi said the U.S.-Iraq Strategic Dialogue recognised the Iraqi parliament’s decision on the U.S. withdrawal, INA reported with no further details.

It was unclear whether that would include military trainers which most parties, including some backed by regional heavyweight Iran, have said would be acceptable to remain in Iraq.

In a joint statement on the U.S.-Iraq Strategic Dialogue, Washington said it would continue reducing forces and discuss with the Iraqi government the status of the remaining forces, stressing it does not seek permanent bases or a permanent military presence in Iraq.

The United States also discussed providing economic advisors to work directly with the Iraqi government to help advance international support for Iraq’s reform efforts, in light of the consequences of coronavirus pandemic and the decline in oil prices, the joint statement added.

(Reporting by Samar Hassan and John Davison; Editing by Christian Schmollinger and Lincoln Feast.)

((Samar.Hassan@thomsonreuters.com;))

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

Balloon units threaten outside the Temple Walls (Revelation 11)

Balloon units threaten to turn Gaza envelope into ‘hell’

The balloon units in the Gaza Strip have made similar threats in recent weeks, but only a few balloon launches were announced afterwards

The Descendants of Nasser (Ahfad Al-Nasser) balloon unit in the Gaza Strip threatened Israel with renewed incendiary and explosive balloon launches on Thursday, warning that the coming days would be the “beginning of hell” for Israelis who live near the Strip.

The balloon unit published videos and images of a number of balloon launches on Thursday and promised they would be launching 1,300 balloons on Friday.

The videos on Thursday warned that they would not stop the launches until they achieved their “goals” and received rights, adding that the unit has “surprises” that Israel “wouldn’t imagine.”

Earlier on Thursday, the unit stated that they were awaiting a response to their demands “in the coming hours.” The unit did not specify what demands they were referring to.

The unit also shared a photo of a makeshift aircraft carried by a bundle of balloons with a caption reading “soon.”

The balloon units in the Gaza Strip have made similar threats in recent weeks, but only a few balloon launches were announced as a result.

In May, a number of groups of incendiary and explosive balloons were launched as the Ahfad Al-Nasser balloon unit warned that Israel had 72 hours to send medical supplies for the coronavirus outbreak into Gaza. The group warned that they would make the Gaza envelope “hell” at the time, as well.

The launches of incendiary balloons have become more sporadic in recent months. The last time balloon launches were announced by the balloon units was in late April and, before that, in February. While they had threatened launches before the Knesset elections in March, none were actually announced.

Countless incendiary and explosive balloons have been launched by Gaza’s terrorists in recent years. They sometimes have books or toys attached to lure children, and some have sparked large wildfires in the past, mainly damaging crops. Israel has, in the past, launched strikes against the Strip in response to continued use of the balloons.

Iran Breaches Nuclear Deal

A worker rides a bike in front of the reactor building of the Bushehr nuclear power plant, outside Bushehr, Iran. (AP Photo)

Extent of Iran’s nuclear progress laid bare

DR. MAJID RAFIZADEH

June 11, 2020 19:52

Iran is now breaching all the restrictions of the 159-page 2015 nuclear deal known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), according to the latest report by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

Iran’s total stockpile of low-enriched uranium has increased from 1.1 tons to 1.73 tons, as of May 20. This is nearly seven times more than the regime was allowed to maintain under the nuclear deal. Furthermore, under the JCPOA, Iran was only allowed to enrich uranium up to 3.67 percent purity, but it is now up to 4.5 percent. And Iran also now possesses more heavy water than it was permitted under the nuclear agreement.

The IAEA report appears to contradict some of the statements made by the Iranian authorities, which claimed they had enriched uranium to a higher level than the agency described. The head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, Ali Akbar Salehi, declared last November that Iran had a supply of 20 percent-enriched uranium. “Right now we have enough… but we can produce it if needed,” he claimed. Salehi added that Iran is resuming uranium enrichment at a far higher level at the Fordow nuclear site — an underground facility reportedly located on an Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) base.

In addition, although Tehran is a party to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, it has frequently refused to allow the IAEA to fully inspect the sites where nuclear activities are most likely being carried out. This is due to one of the concessions the Obama administration granted the Iranian government, which means that military sites are out of the IAEA’s reach. Because of this concession, the regime is free to engage in nuclear activities without the risk of inspection at various high-profile sites, such as the Parchin military complex southeast of Tehran.

The Iranian opposition group, the National Council for Resistance of Iran (NCRI) — which was the first to reveal Iran’s clandestine nuclear activities at two major sites, Natanz and Arak, in 2000 — released critical information in 2017 showing that Iran’s nuclear activities had continued at Parchin. This points to the fact that the IAEA has failed, on several occasions, to fully detect the scope of Iran’s nuclear activities.

How close is the Iranian regime to developing a nuclear bomb, if it intends to accomplish this objective? Considering all these violations, Tehran has significantly reduced its nuclear breakout time (the amount of time required to produce enough weapons-grade uranium for a single nuclear weapon). Iran’s breakout time when the nuclear deal was reached was estimated to be about a year. In March this year, it was reported that the Iranian regime had enough enriched uranium to build a nuclear bomb.

The Iranian leaders blame the US for their increased nuclear activities and violations of the restrictions imposed by the nuclear deal. The White House pulled out of the JCPOA in May 2018 and reimposed sanctions on the Iranian regime.

But Iran’s nuclear file reveals that Tehran has a history of concealing its nuclear activities and even violating the JCPOA before the US withdrew from the deal. “The agency identified a number of questions related to possible undeclared nuclear material and nuclear-related activities at three locations in Iran,” the IAEA reported in March.

Tehran has a history of concealing its nuclear activities and even violating the JCPOA before the US withdrew.

Dr. Majid Rafizadeh

The three undeclared nuclear locations to which the IAEA referred are in addition to a fourth clandestine nuclear site that was first revealed by Israel. In a November 2018 speech to the UN General Assembly, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated that Iran had a “secret atomic warehouse for storing massive amounts of equipment and material from Iran’s secret nuclear weapons program.” Although the Iranian leaders claimed that the nuclear warehouse was a carpet cleaning facility, traces of radioactive uranium were detected at the site.

As Iran is now violating all the restrictions of the JCPOA, the world is in a dangerous phase, with the regime having considerably reduced its nuclear breakout time.

• Dr. Majid Rafizadeh is a Harvard-educated Iranian-American political scientist. Twitter: @Dr_Rafizadeh

Palestinians turn up the heat outside the Temple Walls (Revelation 11)

Palestinian PM Mohammad Shtayyeh at the Foreign Press Association in the West Bank city of Ramallah, Tuesday, June 9, 2020. (AP Photo)

Palestinians turn up the heat on Israel with plan for statehood

RAY HANANIA

June 11, 2020 19:41

After months of denouncing US President Donald Trump’s peace deal and refusing to participate in last summer’s summit on investing in Palestine, the Palestinian leadership this week surprisingly offered a counterproposal.

The plan put forward by Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh was submitted to the Middle East Quartet, which is made up of the UN, US, Russia and the EU. It proposes creating an independent but demilitarized Palestinian state with “minor” border adjustments.

The plan also embraces the concept of equal or “like-for-like” land swaps, according to reports of Shtayyeh’s press conference on Tuesday.

The move is a surprise and a change from the rigidness that has consumed the Palestinian leadership for years. It was fueled by an American shift that has seen it become more pro-Israel than in the past.

It is just too bad that the Palestinians did not make this counterproposal when Trump unveiled his plan back in January, or even sooner, at the “Peace to Prosperity” conference hosted by Trump’s son-in-law and Middle East adviser Jared Kushner in Bahrain last June.

Doing so then, in anticipation of the Trump plan, which clearly favors Israel at the expense of fairness and justice, would have cast Israel as the rejectionist and anti-peace party in this 72-year-long conflict.

But such a strategy is something the Palestinians have consistently lacked. You can’t put all the blame on Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas for not acting. Abbas is the figurehead of a revolution that died with the passing of Yasser Arafat in 2004.

Abbas has never had the chance to fill Arafat’s shoes as a true leader. Although Arafat held an iron grip on the Palestinian movement, he was still impacted by the growing influence of Hamas.

Arafat might have overcome the fight Hamas waged to block the peace process had it not been for the 1995 killing of his peace partner, Yitzhak Rabin, by an Israeli extremist and follower of Benjamin Netanyahu.

Rabin’s death and the freezing of the Oslo Accords by Ariel Sharon and Netanyahu weakened Arafat and fueled Hamas’ popularity among the Palestinians, whose suffering only worsened.

Abbas was left to play an empty role, standing up to the combined force of Israel and the US as Hamas’ violence weakened support for Palestinian rights around the world.

But what Abbas needs to do is be a leader. That means to make decisions that are right, just and fair. And, more importantly, it means to advance ideas that are feasible, rather than empty dreams that feed the growing anger of the population.

Leadership is not a popularity contest. It is about courage and doing the right thing for the long-term benefit of the people, rather for the short-term benefit of selfish politicians. The violence of Hamas and other radical groups has only satiated Palestinian anger and emotions at the expense of undermining any peaceful solution that could lead to statehood, independence and eventual freedom from Israel’s brutal yoke.

Shtayyeh told the media in Ramallah this week that: “What we want is that Israel should feel the heat.”

Exactly. But why has it taken so long for a Palestinian leader to say that publicly?

The prime minister said Israel should not be allowed to continue to escape global judgment for its policies of murder, land theft and population expulsions.

But that is exactly what happens when Palestinians stand back and angrily denounce everything that is proposed, without pushing back with proposals of their own. The Palestinians are made to look like they reject peace while Israel falsely portrays itself as a peacemaker.

The Palestinians have considered re-declaring statehood, as Arafat did in 1988 — a diplomatic move that forced Israel to come to the negotiating table on fairer terms, at least until Rabin’s murder.

Now, with Israel preparing to take unilateral actions that undermine peace, including annexing large areas of the West Bank, the Palestinian counterproposal could force Israel to hit the brakes or face the possibility that public attitudes will shift, with Israel’s image going from that of peacemaker to peace-blocker.

Peace is not about justice, what is right or the rule of law; it is about who plays the diplomatic game better. Until now, Israel has been the master of this game when it matters, leaving the Palestinians with the scraps.

The counterproposal could force Israel to hit the brakes or face the possibility that public attitudes will shift.

Ray Hanania

But the challenge is, of course, far more difficult for the Palestinians, who remain both divided and under an oppressive and brutal occupation. Israel has freedom, unlike the Palestinians.

Shtayyeh could symbolize a new leadership that is smarter, understands the power of communications, and is free from the emotional shackles of a dream that is impossible in the short run.

Palestinians cannot turn the clock back to 1947 and start over. But what they can do, through strategic leadership and clever diplomacy, is stop Israel’s unilateral, illegal expansions, the expulsions of non-Jewish people, and maybe undermine Israel’s edge enough to achieve a just and fair peace.

• Ray Hanania is an award-winning former Chicago City Hall political reporter and columnist. He can be reached on his personal website at http://www.Hanania.com. Twitter: @RayHanania