Near New York City, New York
1884 08 10 19:07 UTC
This severe earthquake affected an area roughly extending along the Atlantic Coast from southern Maine to central Virginia and westward to Cleveland, Ohio. Chimneys were knocked down and walls were cracked in several States, including Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania. Many towns from Hartford, Connecticut, to West Chester,Pennsylvania.
Property damage was severe at Amityville and Jamaica, New York, where several chimneys were “overturned” and large cracks formed in walls. Two chimneys were thrown down and bricks were shaken from other chimneys at Stratford (Fairfield County), Conn.; water in the Housatonic River was agitated violently. At Bloomfield, N.J., and Chester, Pa., several chimneys were downed and crockery was broken. Chimneys also were damaged at Mount Vernon, N.Y., and Allentown, Easton, and Philadelphia, Pa. Three shocks occurred, the second of which was most violent. This earthquake also was reported felt in Vermont, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. Several slight aftershocks were reported on August 11.
Military says there is no threat to Israeli communities near the Strip or special safety instructions to residents of the area
By Judah Ari Gross 19 Oct 2020, 11:50 am
The Israel Defense Forces put up a series of barricades on highways and roads near the southern Gaza Strip on Monday as it performed an unspecified “engineering operation” along the border.
Despite the precautionary move, the military said there was no immediate threat to Israeli communities near the border.
“At this time, an engineering operation is being conducted by IDF troops in Israeli territory near the security fence in the Gaza Strip. There are no special instructions for the home front, and there is no threat to the [nearby] communities,” the IDF said in a statement.
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The military refused to elaborate on the nature of the engineering operation near the border, but said it would provide additional information shortly.
In addition to setting up roadblocks along highways and access roads near the security fence on Monday morning, the military also barred some farmers from working in their fields near the Gaza border, according to the local Eshkol regional council.
On Monday night, the military announced that it was lightening the security measures along the border and would allow farmers back to their fields the following day, “except for specific regions.”
“We stress that the engineering operation is ongoing, that there is no threat to residents and there are no special instructions for the home front,” the military said late Monday.
The move came as tensions with the Strip have ramped up amid ongoing threats by the Palestinian Islamic Jihad and other terror groups in the Strip to exact revenge should a hunger-striking security prisoner held by Israel die. Maher al-Akhras, who has not eaten for 85 days, is suspected by Israel of being a PIJ operative.
Work on the near-completed Gaza border barrier was also halted, Hebrew media reported. This was not immediately confirmed by the military.
Large numbers of IDF troops were seen in the area.
On Monday morning, the official Palestinian news outlet SAFA reported that al-Akhras was in very serious condition from his hunger strike.
On Friday night, at least one rocket was fired at southern Israel from the Strip, striking an open field where it caused neither damage nor injury. The IDF did not immediately retaliate, but a defense official said the matter would not go unanswered.
It was the first rocket attack since October 5, when another single rocket was fired, without causing casualties or damage. In response, Israeli aircraft struck a Hamas military installation in the southern Gaza Strip in retaliation.
Prior to that, the last cross-border rocket attack — after which Israel retaliated with air raids — came on September 15 and coincided with the signing in Washington of normalization deals between Israel and the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain. During that barrage, 15 rockets were fired from the Gaza Strip at Israel, one of which struck the city of Ashdod, injuring two people, one of them seriously. Most of the rockets were intercepted by the Iron Dome system, the Israel Defense Forces said.
Last week, Channel 12 reported that Israel and Hamas had reached a truce agreement mediated by Qatar that will see quiet on the southern border for a period of six months. In return, Qatar will transfer $100 million to Hamas in a deal coordinated with Doha by Mossad head Yossi Cohen alongside the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), according to the report.
Mohammad al-Emadi, Qatar’s envoy to Gaza, has regularly visited Gaza in recent years with Israeli approval, bringing funds to the Strip for purchasing fuel, paying civil servants and helping Gaza’s poor. The most recent set of funding was set to run out within weeks, Channel 12 reported.
Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.
MELBOURNE, Australia — The air-launched ballistic missile that China has reportedly been developing appears to be a hypersonic warhead boosted by a conventional rocket.
A video that surfaced over the weekend online shows a Xian H-6N bomber of the People’s Liberation Army Air Force landing at an airfield carrying a payload on the bottom of its fuselage. The footage confirms earlier analysis that this latest variant of the bomber is capable of carrying a missile semi-recessed into its fuselage.
Despite the video’s low quality, a freeze-frame analysis by Defense Newssuggests the payload is a missile with a warhead and booster section that closely resembles the ground-launched DF-17 hypersonic missile, which is believed to use the booster section from a DF-16 medium-range ballistic missile combined with a DZ-ZF hypersonic glide vehicle as its warhead.
In 2018, the U.S. Department of Defense said in its annual report on China’s military power that the Asian country was developing a nuclear-capable, air-launched ballistic missile, or ALBM, giving it the designation CH-AS-X-13. However, it is unknown if the payload seen in the video is the ALBM.
It’s also unclear how far along China is in development of the hypersonic glide vehicle, though the video would suggest that it has at least reached the captive carry stage. This involves the aircraft platform carrying a mock-up of the payload to verify and gather data about how well the aircraft and payload can handle stress in various flight regimes.
The DoD claims China has performed extensive testing on hypersonic technology and hypersonic glide vehicles since 2014. A hypersonic glide vehicle differs from a conventional ballistic missile in that the former isn’t constrained by a relatively fixed, arcing trajectory during their terminal phase, and it can maneuver while approaching a target at a flatter trajectory at very high speeds.
This makes hypersonic weapons less predictable and complicates ballistic missile defense efforts, with U.S. defense officials previously saying that China’s hypersonic technology has demonstrated a high degree of accuracy along with the ability to perform “extreme maneuvers” and take evasion action in flight.
It is unclear where the video was shot, but Rod Lee of the China Aerospace Studies Institute at the Air University on Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama, has geolocated the video to possibly the Neixiang Ma’ao air base in Henan Province. The resident H-6 unit at the base is the 106th Air Brigade, which the Pentagon has identified as a nuclear-capable unit.
Neixiang Ma’ao has a single, 12,000-foot runway and 20 aircraft shelters each measuring at least 45 meters (about 148 feet) wide — more than enough to accommodate the H-6N’s wingspan. The base is also undergoing substantial upgrades to its infrastructure, with open-source satellite imagery dating from May 2020 showing ongoing construction of a new, underground facility carved into a nearby hillside that has at least three new entrances and exits; one can be clearly seen measuring approximately 70 meters (230 feet) across.
The H-6N is the latest variant of China’s H-6 family, which can trace its lineage back to the Soviet Tupolev Tu-16 bomber. However, China’s current fleet of H-6K bomber/cruise missile carriers have been thoroughly modernized and are fitted with newer, more powerful Russian engines and indigenous avionics. The H-6N adds an in-flight refueling capability in addition to the fuselage missile station, in lieu of a bomb bay.
WASHINGTON (SBG) —
With the expiration of a United Nations arms embargo against Iran, the country’s leaders will likely seek to purchase new military hardware from the Kremlin, analysts said Monday.
“I think Iran will prioritize the kinds of air and missile defense equipment that will enable them to defend their illegal nuclear weapons production facilities,” said Tim Morrison, a former arms control official at the White House National Security Council under President Trump.
“And there’s really only two countries that are going to be willing to sell them military equipment,” added Morrison, now a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute, a conservative think tank in Washington. “And that’s Russia and China. That’s not a great position to be in, if you’re Iran.”
Still, Iran celebrated the expiration of the embargo, enacted in 2010, with one senior official hailing it as “a momentous day for the international community.” “Today’s normalization of Iran’s defense cooperation with the world is a win for the cause of multilateralism and peace and security in our region,” Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif tweeted.
While America’s European allies resisted demands from the Trump administration over the last three months to re-impose the arms embargo on Iran, and also balked at instituting “snap-back” sanctions on the regime, as the U.S. has also urged, the governments in Britain, France, and Germany are seen as unlikely to sell arms directly to Iran, for fear of violating U.S. sanctions that could result in those countries being cut off from the American financial system.
“The president has always said he doesn’t want this to end in war,” State Department spokesperson Morgan Ortagus told Sinclair in an interview. “He wants this to end in peace. He wants this to end in negotiations for a new and better deal. And at some point, the regime, we think, is going to have to calculate that the price to pay of these sanctions is too high of a burden, and they’re going to reluctantly come to the table to negotiate.”
For the moment, however, with the U.S. presidential election two weeks away and President Donald Trump badly trailing his opponent, Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, in most public opinion polls, America’s adversaries on the world stage are unlikely to participate in meaningful negotiations with Washington, preferring instead to see the outcome of the race for the White House.
In May 2018, Trump withdrew the U.S. from the Obama-era Iran nuclear deal, calling the accord — finalized by seven countries, including the United States, Iran, Britain, France, Russia, China, and Germany — “a horrible, one-sided deal.” Since then, has periodically announced that it will enrich uranium to levels, and in volumes, prohibited by the accord, but has otherwise stayed in it, as have the other nations besides the U.S.
Former Vice President Biden claims credit for helping to secure the cooperation of the other nations that were party to the nuclear deal. On the campaign trail earlier this year, Mr. Biden signaled that his approach to the containment of Iran’s nuclear ambitions, and its conventional military buildup, would be to reassemble the international coalition that negotiated the nuclear deal and revive the accord.
“It was working,” Mr. Biden said of the nuclear deal during a debate against his rivals for the Democratic nomination in January. “It was being held tightly. There was no movement on the part of the Iranian government to get closer to a nuclear weapon….We’re now isolated….The next president has to be able to pull those folks back together, re-establish our alliances, and insist that Iran go back into the agreement, which I believe with the pressure applied as we put on before we can get done.”
Whoever wins the U.S. presidential election, the next commander-in-chief will confront an Iran that — while badly weakened by stiffened U.S. sanctions under the Trump administration — is armed with the largest inventory of ballistic missiles in the Middle East, opportunities to acquire new military systems, and undiminished hostility to the U.S. and Israel.
Morrison said the next administration, whoever runs it, will benefit from the foundation laid by Trump: “I think you’ve already seen a fairly significant effort by Iran to attempt to create a new sort of deterrence in the region. And ultimately, I think the Trump administration has been successful in defeating that, and imposing its own sort of deterrence.”
By Travis Fedschun | Fox News
An area of disturbed weather out over the Atlantic Ocean strengthened into the latest tropical storm on Monday, and forecasters said it is expected to be a hurricane as it approaches Bermuda.
The National Hurricane Center (NHC) in Miami said Monday that an area of showers and thunderstorms have “increased in organization” and strengthened into Tropical Storm Epsilon, which is located about 730 miles southeast of Bermuda.
The system has been moving out over the Atlantic for several days but has recently been getting better organized.
As of 11 a.m. EDT, the NHC said the tropical storm has maximum sustained winds of 40 mph and is stationary over the ocean.
Tropical Storm Epsilon formed over the Atlantic Ocean on Monday, Oct. 19, 2020. (NOAA/GOES-East)
Little overall motion is expected through Monday night, while the system is expected to slowly move to the northwest on Tuesday and continue through midweek.
The storm system is expected to grow stronger while over the open waters of the Atlantic.
“Gradual strengthening is forecast during the next 72 hours, and Epsilon is forecast to be at or near hurricane strength by early Thursday,” the NHC said.
The storm has the name “Epsilon” from the Greek alphabet and is the 26th named storm of the season, which breaks yet another record during this hurricane season.
The previous record for the earliest 26th named storm formation is Nov. 22, 2005, according to Colorado State University hurricane researcher Phil Klotzbach.
While currently there are no coastal watches or warnings in effect, Bermuda needs to monitor this system as it could impact the island on Friday.
The system may bring impacts to Bermuda by the end of the week. (Fox News)
Tropical storm-force winds extend outward up to 140 miles, primarily to the northeast and east of the center of the storm.
Forecasters are also monitoring the southwestern Caribbean Sea, where a broad area of low pressure is expected to form over the next couple of days.
“Some gradual development of this system is possible late this week while it moves slowly northwestward or north-northwestward over the western Caribbean Sea,” the NHC said.
Forecasters give this system a 20% chance of development over the next five days.
There is just over one month left in the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season, which ends Nov. 30, but this season has broken numerous records as forecasters in September ran out of traditional names and went to the Greek alphabet for storms Alpha and Beta. Delta became a Category 4 storm before weakening and swiping Mexico, then took aim and roared into Louisiana as a Category 2 hurricane.
NOAA forecasters had called for up to 25 named storms this season with winds of 39 mph or higher; of those, seven to 10 could become hurricanes. Among those hurricanes, three to six will be major, classified as Category 3, 4 and 5 with winds of 111 mph or higher.
That’s far above an average year. Based on 1981-to-2010 data, that is 12 named storms, six hurricanes, and three major hurricanes.
So far this year, there have been 26 named storms, including nine hurricanes and of those, three major hurricanes.
The last time the Greek alphabet was used in the Atlantic was in 2005, the year of Hurricane Katrina. With a total of 27 storms that year, the first six letters of the Greek alphabet were used: Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta, Epsilon and Zeta.
With weeks to go until the season officially ends, the 2020 season could set the record for most named storms.
Fox News’ Janice Dean, Adam Klotz, and Brandon Noriega contributed to this report.
The social pressure on the outlawed militias within the PMU has been extensive since the eruption of the protests in Iraq in October 2019. The militias have since formed pressure groups to silence any critical voices against them.
Following the protests, the militias have started several groups on social networks such as Telegram and WhatsApp, recruiting supporters and promoting their agendas against the United States and its allies in Iraq, and also against the current government headed by Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi, as the militias view him as an American and his government as a pro-US agent.
Following the attack on the KDP headquarters, the Iraqi security forces arrested some of the attackers. However, Rab Allah has threatened Kadhimi with the burning of the headquarters of the Iraqi Intelligence Service in Baghdad’s Mansour area if their people are not released. The intelligence service is headed by the prime minister directly.
Kadhimi is expected to release those arrested under the militias pressure, as happened following the counterterrorism raid on the Kataib Hezbollah base in southern Baghdad in June.
However, the Iraqi political forces and international community have voiced serious criticism. The Iraqi president, prime minister, parliament speaker, Sadrist leader Muqtada al-Sadr, Iraqioun Movement leader Ammar al-Hakim and the Kurdistan Regional Government, among many other Shiite, Sunni and Kurdish groups and leaders, condemned the incident and called upon the government to take action against the militias and affiliated groups.
The United States and the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq condemned the incident in separate statements, too.
Following the assassination in January of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps Quds Force Commander Qasem Soleimani and his right-hand man in Iraq Abu Mahdi Muhandis, who had an extensive influence among the militias, the militias’ network in Iraq has been affected badly.
In order to repair the damage, it seems that Kataib Hezbollah is taking the lead among the militias, reorganizing them by forming several new groups and connecting them through a number of social networking platforms.
The new militias formed after the killing of Soleimani — such as Ashab al-Kahf and Osba al-Thaerin — are affiliated with Kataib Hezbollah, and could even be new names for the exact same group.
In addition, the social pressure groups affiliated with the militias all appear connected to Kataib Hezbollah.
At the same time as these latest developments, the assassinations and abductions of activists, journalists and others opposing the militias are continuing. Most recently, on Oct. 17, eight members of a Sunni family near Balad, in Salahuddin province to the north of Baghdad, were killed.
A high-ranking official in the province told Al-Monitor that Asaib Ahl al-Haq was responsible for the murders. “These people were abducted by Asaib Ahl al-Haq members in the early morning and their bodies were found in the area a few hours later,” the official told Al-Monitor on condition of anonymity. A day prior, a shooting had taken place in the area aimed at an Asaib Ahl al-Haq patrol. So, it seems that the massacre is a retaliatory reaction.
A day after the killings, on Oct. 18, Kadhimi visited the area promising to bring justice to the victims.
With the US elections approaching, it seems that the militias’ activities are increasing. Chaos in Iraq could provide a useful pressure tactic that Iran could use in any upcoming negotiations with the United States, which would certainly include Iran’s activities in the region and in Iraq in particular.
The National Council of Resistance of Iran says the ayatollahs’ regime had “engaged in the secret and illicit purchase of military-grade sensitive seismometers from Russia.”
An exiled Iran opposition group said Friday that it had uncovered a secret new military site run by a shadowy defense ministry research unit which they fear is being used for testing in the Iranian nuclear program.
The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) said that work on the site in Sorkheh-Hessar, east of Tehran, is used by sections of the secretive Organization of Defensive Innovation and Research, overseen by the country’s defense ministry.
A section devoted to geophysics known as the Chamran Group is at the site and, according to the NCRI, “Works on projects related to underground nuclear tests.”
Their focus has included tests “for preliminary explosions to build nuclear weapons and record results by seismometers.” Previous tests had taken place at a site south of Semnan, the group said.
It alleged that Iran had “engaged in the secret and illicit purchase of military-grade sensitive seismometers from Russia” to carry out the work.
The NCRI argued its findings showed again that Iran was breaching the terms of the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action nuclear deal signed with world powers.
The United States walked out of the deal under President Donald Trump in 2018, but European signatories have sought to keep it alive.
“Our revelation today once again proves the fact that the JCPOA did not prevent the mullahs’ activities to acquire nuclear weapons and even the regime has reneged on its commitments stipulated in the JCPOA,” the NCRI said.
Iran denies seeking a nuclear weapon, insisting that its atomic program is aimed at producing energy. But Western powers have long suspected that the drive seeks to make nuclear weapons.
The NCRI is the political wing of the People’s Mojahedin (MEK), a group that initially backed the 1979 Islamic Revolution that ousted the shah but rapidly fell out with the new authorities.
Its fighters took the side of Saddam Hussein in the Iraq-Iran war, and the group is now based in exile.
i24NEWS contributed to this report.