Don’t Forget About the Sixth Seal (Revelation 6:12)

Don’t forget about earthquakes, feds tell city

Although New York’s modern skyscrapers are less likely to be damaged in an earthquake than shorter structures, a new study suggests the East Coast is more vulnerable than previously thought. The new findings will help alter building codes.By Mark FaheyJuly 18, 2014 10:03 a.m.The U.S. Geological Survey had good and bad news for New Yorkers on Thursday. In releasing its latest set of seismic maps the agency said earthquakes are a slightly lower hazard for New York City’s skyscrapers than previously thought, but on the other hand noted that the East Coast may be able to produce larger, more dangerous earthquakes than previous assessments have indicated.The 2014 maps were created with input from hundreds of experts from across the country and are based on much stronger data than the 2008 maps, said Mark Petersen, chief of the USGS National Seismic Hazard Mapping Project. The bottom line for the nation’s largest city is that the area is at a slightly lower risk for the types of slow-shaking earthquakes that are especially damaging to tall spires of which New York has more than most places, but the city is still at high risk due to its population density and aging structures, said Mr. Petersen.“Many of the overall patterns are the same in this map as in previous maps,” said Mr. Petersen. “There are large uncertainties in seismic hazards in the eastern United States. [New York City] has a lot of exposure and some vulnerability, but people forget about earthquakes because you don’t see damage from ground shaking happening very often.”Just because they’re infrequent doesn’t mean that large and potentially disastrous earthquakes can’t occur in the area. The new maps put the largest expected magnitude at 8, significantly higher than the 2008 peak of 7.7 on a logarithmic scale.The scientific understanding of East Coast earthquakes has expanded in recent years thanks to a magnitude 5.8 earthquake in Virginia in 2011 that was felt by tens of millions of people across the eastern U.S. New data compiled by the nuclear power industry has also helped experts understand quakes.“The update shows New York at an intermediate level,” said Arthur Lerner-Lam, deputy director of Columbia’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. “You have to combine that with the exposure of buildings and people and the fragility of buildings and people. In terms of safety and economics, New York has a substantial risk.”Oddly enough, it’s not the modern tall towers that are most at risk. Those buildings become like inverted pendulums in the high frequency shakes that are more common on the East Coast than in the West. But the city’s old eight- and 10-story masonry structures could suffer in a large quake, said Mr. Lerner-Lam. Engineers use maps like those released on Thursday to evaluate the minimum structural requirements at building sites, he said. The risk of an earthquake has to be determined over the building’s life span, not year-to-year.“If a structure is going to exist for 100 years, frankly, it’s more than likely it’s going to see an earthquake over that time,” said Mr. Lerner-Lam. “You have to design for that event.”The new USGS maps will feed into the city’s building-code review process, said a spokesman for the New York City Department of Buildings. Design provisions based on the maps are incorporated into a standard by the American Society of Civil Engineers, which is then adopted by the International Building Code and local jurisdictions like New York City. New York’s current provisions are based on the 2010 standards, but a new edition based on the just-released 2014 maps is due around 2016, he said.“The standards for seismic safety in building codes are directly based upon USGS assessments of potential ground shaking from earthquakes, and have been for years,” said Jim Harris, a member and former chair of the Provisions Update Committee of the Building Seismic Safety Council, in a statement.The seismic hazard model also feeds into risk assessment and insurance policies, according to Nilesh Shome, senior director of Risk Management Solutions, the largest insurance modeler in the industry. The new maps will help the insurance industry as a whole price earthquake insurance and manage catastrophic risk, said Mr. Shome. The industry collects more than $2.5 billion in premiums for earthquake insurance each year and underwrites more than $10 trillion in building risk, he said.“People forget about history, that earthquakes have occurred in these regions in the past, and that they will occur in the future,” said Mr. Petersen. “They don’t occur very often, but the consequences and the costs can be high.”

Iran Vows to Strike back at Israel

Iran’s Khamenei calls for action against scientist’s killers

TEHRAN

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei has condemned the killing of the country’s top nuclear scientist and called for action against the perpetrators.

In a statement on Saturday, Khamenei said all relevant authorities in Iran must “seriously place two crucial matters on their agendas” in the wake of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh’s killing on Friday.

“First, investigating this crime and firmly prosecuting its perpetrators and its commanders,” he said. “Second, continuing the martyr’s scientific and technological efforts in all the sectors where he was active.”

Iran’s leader referred to Fakhrizadeh as one of “country’s eminent scientists in the nuclear and defense fields” and said he had been killed by “brutal mercenaries,” an oblique reference to Israel.

Fakhrizadeh was killed by unidentified gunmen on the outskirts of capital Tehran on Friday. The assailants first blew up a car ahead of him and then opened indiscriminate fire at his vehicle.

Iran’s Intelligence Ministry said on Saturday that the security and intelligence agencies have found clues that could lead to the perpetrators.

While the identity of the assailants is still shrouded in mystery, top military and political officials in Iran have pointed fingers directly at Israel.

Revenge’ awaits

Gen. Mohammad Baqeri, the chief of army staff, on Friday called the killing a “blow to Iran’s defense industry” and said “hard revenge” awaits the top scientist’s killers.

His words were echoed by many, including Gen. Hossein Dehghan, the top military adviser to the Supreme Leader, Gen. Hossein Salami, top commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, Intelligence Minister Mahmoud Alavi, judiciary chief Ebrahim Raeesi, and Parliament Speaker Mohammad Baqer Ghalibaf.

President Hassan Rouhani also issued a statement on Saturday, condemning the killing and blaming Israel.

He said the killing will not affect the country’s progress in the scientific arena, while stopping short of calling for retaliation.

Government spokesman Ali Rabie on Saturday said the “aggressor will definitely be punished but not on the playing field he defines,” indirectly suggesting that the government is not looking at military retaliation now.

On Friday evening, a group of protesters assembled in front of Rouhani’s office in Tehran calling for revenge.

Security analysts say the growing calls for revenge have put Rouhani’s government in a bind, as it had recently extended an olive branch to the new US administration.

Officials in Iran see the hand of both Israel and the US in the killing, coming just days after US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s visit to Tel Aviv.

Fakhrizadeh had for long been on the radar of Israel’s spy agency. In 2018, he had been mentioned by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a presentation about Iran’s nuclear program.

His killing is the latest in a series of assassinations of Iranian nuclear scientists over the years. Iran has always seen Israel’s hand in them.

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More nukes in Pakistan: Daniel 8

Google Earth reveals suspected nuclear weapons facility in Pakistan

Adam Vaughan

Technology 27 November 2020

This extension to a nuclear facility in Pakistan was spotted using Google Earth

Neil Hyatt et al.

Sleuthing with satellite images on Google Earth has revealed a substantial and undocumented expansion to a suspected nuclear processing plant in Pakistan. Researchers say it is a possible sign of the country boosting the capacity of its nuclear weapons programme.

Pakistan has possessed nuclear weapons since 1998, but isn’t a signatory to key international treaties on nuclear proliferation and tests. The country’s secretive nuclear weapons programme is closely watched due to tensions with neighbouring India, which also has a nuclear arsenal.

Israel assassinates another Iranian nuclear scientist

Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, Iran’s top nuclear scientist, assassinated near Tehran

Iran’s most senior nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh has been assassinated near the capital Tehran, the country’s defence ministry has confirmed.

Fakhrizadeh died in hospital after an attack in Absard, in Damavand county.

Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, has condemned the killing “as an act of state terror”.

Western intelligence agencies believe Fakhrizadeh was behind a covert Iranian nuclear weapons programme.

“If Iran ever chose to weaponise (enrichment), Fakhrizadeh would be known as the father of the Iranian bomb,” one Western diplomat told Reuters news agency in 2014.

Iran insists its nuclear programme is exclusively for peaceful purposes.

But news of the killing comes amid fresh concern about the increased amount of enriched uranium that the country is producing. Enriched uranium is a vital component for both civil nuclear power generation and military nuclear weapons.

A 2015 deal with six world powers had placed limits on its production, but since President Donald Trump abandoned the deal in 2018, Iran has been deliberately reneging on its agreements.

Joe Biden has pledged to reengage with Iran when he becomes US president in January, despite longstanding opposition from Israel .

Reuters

Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, pictured in an undated photo, was head of the ministry of defence’s research and innovation organisation

Between 2010 and 2012, four Iranian nuclear scientists were assassinated and Iran has accused Israel of complicity in the killings.

Fakhrizadeh’s name was specifically mentioned in Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu’s presentation about Iran’s nuclear programme in April 2018.

There has been no comment from Israel on the news of the assassination. The Pentagon has also declined to comment, according to Reuters.

What happened to Mohsen Fakhrizadeh?

In a statement on Friday, Iran’s defence ministry said: “Armed terrorists targeted a vehicle carrying Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, head of the ministry’s research and innovation organisation.

“After a clash between the terrorists and his bodyguards, Mr Fakhrizadeh was severely injured and rushed to hospital.

“Unfortunately, the medical team’s efforts to save him were unsuccessful and minutes ago he passed away.”

Iranian media reports said the attackers opened fire on the scientist in his car.

Fars news agency earlier reported there was a car explosion in Absard town, with witnesses reporting that “three to four individuals, who are said to have been terrorists, were killed”.

Why was he targeted?

By Paul Adams, BBC Diplomatic Correspondent

As head of the ministry of defence’s research and innovation organisation, Fakhrizadeh was clearly still a key player. Hence Benjamin Netanyahu’s warning, two years ago, to “remember his name”.

Since Iran started breaching its commitments under the terms of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, the country has moved ahead rapidly, building stockpiles of low-enriched uranium and enriching to a purity above the level permitted under the deal.

Iranian officials have always said such moves are reversible, but developments in research and development are harder to eradicate.

“We cannot go backwards,” Iran’s former ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Ali Asghar Soltanieh, said recently.

If Mohsen Fakhrizadeh was the key player Israel alleges, then his death could represent someone’s effort to put the brakes on Iran’s forward momentum.

With the US president-elect, Joe Biden, talking about taking Washington back into the deal with Iran, the assassination could also be aimed at complicating any future negotiations.

What has the reaction been?

“Terrorists murdered an eminent Iranian scientist today,” Iran’s foreign minister said in a tweet.

This cowardice – with serious indications of Israeli role – shows desperate warmongering of perpetrators.”

Mr Zarif called on the international community to “condemn this act of state terror”.

EPA

The scene of the attack in Damavand, near Tehran

The commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) has said that Iran will avenge the killing of the scientist.

“Assassination of nuclear scientists is the most obvious violation of the global hegemony to prevent our access to modern sciences,” said Maj Gen Hossein Salami.

Former head of the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), John Brennan, said the killing of the scientist was a “criminal” and “highly reckless” act that risks inflaming conflict in the region.

In a series of tweets, he said the scientist’s death “risks lethal retaliation and a new round of regional conflict”.

Mr Brennan added that he did not know “whether a foreign government authorised or carried out the murder of Fakhrizadeh”.

Who was Mohsen Fakhrizadeh?

Fakhrizadeh was the most renowned Iranian nuclear scientist and a senior officer of the elite Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.

He has long been spoken about by Western security sources as extremely powerful and instrumental in Iran’s nuclear programme.

According to secret documents obtained by Israel in 2018, he led a programme to create nuclear weapons.

At the time, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he identified Fakhrizedeh as the head scientist in the programme, and urged people to “remember that name”.

In 2018, Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu unveiled what he claimed to be Iran’s secret atomic archive

In 2015, the New York Times compared him to J. Robert Oppenheimer, the physicist who directed the Manhattan Project that during World War Two produced the first atomic weapons.

A professor of physics, Fakhrizadeh is said to have led Project Amad, the alleged covert programme that was established in 1989 to research the potential for building a nuclear bomb. It was shut down in 2003, according to the IAEA, though Mr Netanyahu said the documents retrieved in 2018 showed Fakhrizadeh led a programme which secretly continued Project Amad’s work.

The IAEA has long wanted to speak to him as part of its investigations into Iran’s nuclear programme.

Suspicions that Iran was using the programme as a cover to develop a nuclear bomb prompted the EU, US and UN to impose crippling sanctions in 2010.

The 2015 deal that Iran reached with the US, UK, France, China, Russia and Germany saw it limit its nuclear activities in return for sanctions relief.

Since President Donald Trump abandoned the deal, it has floundered. Earlier this month, the IAEA said Iran had more than 12 times the amount of enriched uranium than permitted under the deal.

Meanwhile, tensions between the US and Iran have escalated, peaking in January with America’s assassination of Gen Qasem Soleimani, commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards’ Quds force.

Israel strikes back outside the Temple Walls: Revelation 11

Israel strikes back at Hamas.

November 27, 20202 Min Read

A rocket was fired towards Israel this Saturday by the Palestinian militants of Hamas in Gaza Strip,the Israel military announced.

The air raid sirens were set of and the Israeli police said that a structure had been damaged in the Ashkelon which is roughly six miles or 10 kilo meters north of Gaza.There was just a damage to the structure and zero casualties Israeli media reports said the rocket landed in an open area

IIsrael holds Gaza’s Hamas rulers responsible for rocket fires so far out of the territory

What is Hamas?

Hamas is an Islamic militant group that aims to destroy Israel. Israel and Hamas have been bitter enemies for several years and have fought three wars and several unpremeditated attacks and clashes since 2007 which when it seized power in Gaza. is a Palestinian Sunni-Islamic fundamentalist but pragmatic, militant, and nationalist organization. It has a social service wing, Dawah, and a military wing, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades.

It won the 2006 Palestinian legislative election and became the de facto governing authority of the Gaza Strip following the 2007 Battle of Gaza. Israel and Hamas have since engaged in several wars of varying intensity. Canada, the European Union, Israel, Japan and the United States classify them as a terrorist organization. It is not considered a terrorist organization by Brazil, China, Egypt, Iran, Norway, Qatar, Russia, Syria and Turkey. Australia, New Zealand, Paraguay and the United Kingdom classify only its military wing as a terrorist organization. In December 2018, the United Nations General Assembly rejected a U.S. resolution condemning it as a terrorist organization

In response to the rocket fired,Israel sent aircraft that struck multiple sites in the Gaza strip responses a rocket fired.

In a statement, the Israeli military said that the attack helicopter and fighter jets had hit two rocket and ammunition manufacturing sites and their naval forces training grounds.

Though several militant groups operate out of the Palestinian hood,Israel holds Hamas rulers responsible for all rockets fired out of its territory

Three killed in clashes in Iraq after Antichrist’s followers storm protest camp

Three killed in clashes in Iraq after cleric’s followers storm protest camp

NASIRIYA, Iraq (Reuters) – Supporters of Shi’ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr stormed an anti-government protest camp in the southern Iraqi city of Nasiriya on Friday, and at least three people were killed and dozens wounded in the clashes, a Reuters witness and a medical source said.

Followers of Sadr carrying pictures of the cleric marched to the central al-Haboubi square, where anti-government protesters have held a sit-in since 2019, after Friday prayers.

They fired gunshots and threw petrol bombs at the protesters’ tents, leading the protesters to fight back, the Reuters witness said.

A hospital source said the protesters died from bullet wounds. The clashes were still going on on Friday evening.

Haboubi square, where one of the worst killings of demonstrators took place last year and the last major protest site, had been cleared on Friday night by Sadr supporters, Reuters witness said, another major blow to anti-government protests that have largely lost steam in recent months.

“Another massacre took place today… against the peaceful protesters using live ammunition. We ask the Sadrist movement and Sayyed Moqtada (al-Sadr) to stop this strife and stop their assaults against peaceful protesters,” anti-government protester Mohannad al-Mansour said.

Last month Iraqi security forces cleared out sit-in tents in Baghdad’s Tahrir square, which became a symbol of anti-government protests during months-long mass unrest last year.

Iraq’s biggest anti-government protests in decades broke out in October 2019 and continued for several months, with hundreds of thousands of Iraqis demanding jobs, services and the removal of the ruling elite, which they said was corrupt. Nearly 500 people were killed. The protests caused the resignation of Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi.

Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi, who took office in May, has pledged to hold a parliamentary election, in line with a demand of many pro-democracy activists.

Earlier on Friday, thousands of Sadrists gathered in Tahrir Square in Baghdad and in other southern provinces to show support for the influential cleric ahead of the election scheduled for June next year.

Sadr, who leads the largest bloc in Iraq’s parliament, said he expects his movement to win a majority of seats.

Sadr, a long-time adversary of the United States, also opposes Iranian influence in Iraq.

Reporting by Reuters Baghdad newsroom; writing by Amina Ismail; Editing by Angus MacSwan, William Maclean

Tens of thousands of Antichrist supporters rally in Iraq

Tens of thousands of Sadr supporters rally in Iraq

Clashes between supporters of the Shia leader and anti-government protesters erupt in the southern city of Nasiriya.

Supporters of Iraq’s Shia leader Moqtada al-Sadr demonstrate in Tahrir Square in Baghdad [Ahmad al-Rubaye/AFP]

Four people were shot dead and dozens wounded in Iraq’s south, medics said, in clashes between anti-government protesters and supporters of Shia Muslim leader Muqtada al-Sadr.

The violence erupted as tens of thousands of Sadr supporters hit the streets of Baghdad and the southern city of Nasiriya on Friday in a show of force rivalling the waning youth-dominated protest movement that erupted in October 2019, as preparations ramp up for June parliamentary elections.

One of the leading anti-government protesters in Nasiriya, Mohammad al-Khayyat, accused Sadrists of setting fire to tents put up by his fellow demonstrators and shooting at them.

Sadrists armed with guns and pistols came to try to clear our tents. We fear that more violence could take place,” Khayyat told AFP.

Medical sources told AFP that the violence had left four people dead and wounded 51 others, nine of them by gunfire.

Al-Sadr’s supporters also gathered in Baghdad’s Tahrir Square – once the epicentre of mass anti-government protests – to show their support for the Shia leader whose bloc holds a considerable majority in parliament.

Iraq is facing its most dire fiscal crisis in decades following a collapse in oil prices earlier this year and the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, with the government unable to pay public sector salaries on time.

The Sadrist movement had called for protests to back the reform of what it says is a corrupt state, but its populist chief has also been making moves ahead of next year’s federal election in June.

In a tweet this week, al-Sadr said he expected big wins for his party and would push for the next prime minister to be a member of the Sadrist movement for the first time.

His followers called for a demonstration in support of the leader’s call for mass participation in the vote.

Most supporters stood unmasked in the square, chanting: “Yes, yes for our leader,” in support of the firebrand leader as Iraq remains a high-risk country for coronavirus infection. The crowd then stood side-by-side for Friday prayers at noon.

Moqtada al-Sadr said he expected big wins for his party and would push for the next prime minister to be a member of the Sadrist movement for the first time [Ahmad al-Rubaye/AFP]

Al Jazeera’s Simona Foltyn, reporting from Baghdad, said the mass rally shows the political muscle and organisational capabilities that al-Sadr’s supporters are able to muster.

“And this stands in stark contrast to the anti-government protest movement that has been demonstrating here in Tahrir Square until just a few weeks ago,” said Foltyn, reporting from Tahrir Square.

“They have claimed that they have been infiltrated by parties like the Sadrist movement and that their movement has essentially been hijacked,” she said.

“This gathering here leaves little doubt as to who has emerged as the victor after months of anti-government protests,” she added.

Observers consider the protest as a show of mettle by al-Sadr meant to send a message to other political blocs that, on Iraq’s streets, the Muslim leader still has clout.

Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi called for elections to take place next June, a year earlier than expected.

That was a key demand of anti-government protesters who paralysed Iraq’s streets when tens of thousands demonstrated last October.

The elections will take place under a new law approved by legislators this year that will theoretically enable more independent candidates to run.

Iraq’s electoral commission has said it is prepared to hold early elections if the government allocates a budget for the vote.