USGS Evidence Shows Power of the Sixth Seal (Revelation 6:12)

New Evidence Shows Power of East Coast Earthquakes
Virginia Earthquake Triggered Landslides at Great Distances
Released: 11/6/2012 8:30:00 AM USGS.govEarthquake shaking in the eastern United States can travel much farther and cause damage over larger areas than previously thought.U.S. Geological Survey scientists found that last year’s magnitude 5.8 earthquake in Virginia triggered landslides at distances four times farther—and over an area 20 times larger—than previous research has shown.“We used landslides as an example and direct physical evidence to see how far-reaching shaking from east coast earthquakes could be,” said Randall Jibson, USGS scientist and lead author of this study. “Not every earthquake will trigger landslides, but we can use landslide distributions to estimate characteristics of earthquake energy and how far regional ground shaking could occur.”“Scientists are confirming with empirical data what more than 50 million people in the eastern U.S. experienced firsthand: this was one powerful earthquake,” said USGS Director Marcia McNutt. “Calibrating the distance over which landslides occur may also help us reach back into the geologic record to look for evidence of past history of major earthquakes from the Virginia seismic zone.”This study will help inform earthquake hazard and risk assessments as well as emergency preparedness, whether for landslides or other earthquake effects.This study also supports existing research showing that although earthquakes  are less frequent in the East, their damaging effects can extend over a much larger area as compared to the western United States.The research is being presented today at the Geological Society of America conference, and will be published in the December 2012 issue of the Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America.The USGS found that the farthest landslide from the 2011 Virginia earthquake was 245 km (150 miles) from the epicenter. This is by far the greatest landslide distance recorded from any other earthquake of similar magnitude.Previous studies of worldwide earthquakes indicated that landslides occurred no farther than 60 km (36 miles) from the epicenter of a magnitude 5.8 earthquake.“What makes this new study so unique is that it provides direct observational evidence from the largest earthquake to occur in more than 100 years in the eastern U.S,” said Jibson. “Now that we know more about the power of East Coast earthquakes, equations that predict ground shaking might need to be revised.”It is estimated that approximately one-third of the U.S. population could have felt last year’s earthquake in Virginia, more than any earthquake in U.S. history. About 148,000 people reported their ground-shaking experiences caused by the earthquake on the USGS “Did You Feel It?” website. Shaking reports came from southeastern Canada to Florida and as far west as Texas.In addition to the great landslide distances recorded, the landslides from the 2011 Virginia earthquake occurred in an area 20 times larger than expected from studies of worldwide earthquakes. Scientists plotted the landslide locations that were farthest out and then calculated the area enclosed by those landslides. The observed landslides from last year’s Virginia earthquake enclose an area of about 33,400 km2, while previous studies indicated an expected area of about 1,500 km2from an earthquake of similar magnitude.“The landslide distances from last year’s Virginia earthquake are remarkable compared to historical landslides across the world and represent the largest distance limit ever recorded,” said Edwin Harp, USGS scientist and co-author of this study. “There are limitations to our research, but the bottom line is that we now have a better understanding of the power of East Coast earthquakes and potential damage scenarios.”The difference between seismic shaking in the East versus the West is due in part to the geologic structure and rock properties that allow seismic waves to travel farther without weakening.Learn more about the 2011 central Virginia earthquake.

Babylon the Great Tries Futilely to Deter Iran

US flies two bombers to Middle East in another Iran deterrence mission

Thursday, January 7th 2021, 3:36 PM EST

By Barbara Starr and Jamie Crawford, CNN

The US military flew two B-52 bombers to the Middle East Thursday from their base in the United States — the fourth such deployment and show of force by the US Air Force aimed at sending a message to Iran in the past two months.

This latest mission was to “demonstrate the U.S. military’s continuing commitment to regional security and deterrence to aggression,” the Air Force said in a statement and comes amid concerns Iran may still seek to retaliate for the assassination of Tehran’s top military commander in a US drone strike just over a year ago.

The move suggests there will be no let-up in the US deterrence campaign as tensions remain high less than two weeks before President-elect Joe Biden takes office.

“The aircrews flew a 36-hour, non-stop mission from the 5th Bomb Wing’s home at Minot Air Force Base, N.D., to the Arabian Gulf and back to send a clear deterrent message by displaying the ability to deploy overwhelming combat power on short notice,” the statement said.

“We continue to see increasing levels of readiness across Iranian defensive systems, and continue to have indications of advanced planning for potential attacks in Iraq, though it is unclear if and when they may move forward with any attack,” a defense official said of movements in the region.

There is a broad sense of concern that adversaries could take advantage of the domestic turmoil in the US but as of now there is no indication of any elevated threat tied to the riots that took place at the Capitol in Washington on Wednesday.

Earlier this week, President Donald Trump directed acting Secretary of Defense Christopher Miller to reverse course and order a US aircraft carrier to return to the Middle East following a White House meeting Sunday, according to a senior defense official.

This decision overturned Miller’s order last week to send the USS Nimitz out of the region and home, in part, to send a de-escalation signal to Iran amid rising tensions between Washington and Tehran.

Conflicting messages

Last week CNN reported there have been conflicting messages that reflect divisions within the Pentagon on the current threat level from Iran.

The B-52H “Stratofortress” is a long-range, heavy bomber that can perform a variety of missions. The bomber can fly at high subsonic speeds at altitudes reaching 50,000 feet. It has an unrefueled combat range in excess of 8,800 miles. The B-52H can carry precision guided ordnance with worldwide precision navigation.

The move comes days after the one-year anniversary of the assassination of Iranian Gen. Qasem Soleimani in a US drone strike, a day that some US officials had worried Iran would mark with retaliation but that passed without violence.

The US has scaled up its military presence in the Middle East in a show of deterrence that included sending nuclear-capable B-52 bombers to the region, publicizing the transit of nuclear submarines near the Persian Gulf and, on Sunday, Trump’s decision to extend the USS Nimitz’s stay in the area.

Last week, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif charged that the US was creating a pretext for war. But Soleimani’s successor marked his death by pledging that “those who took part in this assassination and crime will not be safe on earth. It’s definite.”

Speaking to a crowd gathered to observe the deadly anniversary, Gen. Esmail Ghaani called Trump a “foolish man” under the sway of Israel and Saudi Arabia, and warned that “it’s possible, even from inside your own house, there may emerge someone who will retaliate for your crime.”

But Iran appeared to opt for a carefully calibrated response instead, announcing that it had increased uranium enrichment to levels seen before the 2015 nuclear deal Trump abandoned and seizing a South Korean-flagged tanker in the Gulf. Meanwhile, Iran’s proxies signaled de-escalation.

The leader of the Iran-backed Iraqi Shiite militia group Kataib Hezbollah issued a statement saying the group would not try to “enter” the US Embassy in Baghdad, which was attacked in the wake of Soleimani’s 2019 killing, or seek to overthrow the current Iraqi government, even as crowds gathered in Baghdad’s Tahrir Square on Sunday to demand that US forces leave the country.

While there is still concern the US or Iran could miscalculate, there is a widespread assessment among diplomats who watch Iran that Tehran has every incentive to avoid provocation that could trigger conflict and undermine President-elect Joe Biden’s ability to follow through on plans to return to the nuclear deal and eventually ease sanctions that Trump used to hobble Iran’s economy.

“I think that Iran knows in a few days the game starts again and if they do something stupid now it doesn’t help their position,” one diplomat told CNN.

Copyright 2020 WENY News. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

The out of control line leading to the first nuclear war: Revelation 8

The out-of-control line between India and Pakistan

TANGHDAR, India: Shells and bullets are hurtling thicker and faster than ever between Indian and Pakistani forces across Kashmir´s ceasefire line, killing and maiming at a rate not seen in the entrenched conflict for two decades.

Zameer Ahmad was building a community bunker on the Indian side of the Himalayan region´s disputed frontier — officially known as the Line of Control (LoC) — when a sniper round fired from Pakistani struck the ground nearby.

Ahmad and co-worker Sadakat Hussain took cover behind a wall in the village of Simari. “We finally decided to try to run but we both got hit,” the 26-year-old told AFP. Ahmad took a bullet in the stomach and now has to wear a colostomy bag. Hussain, 23, walks with a limp because of his wounded foot. “It is scary, we just don´t know why the firing starts,” said Hussain, speaking during a visit to the frontier zone organised by the Indian military.

Similar stories are told on both sides of the 344-kilometre partition amid ever-tougher talk between the nuclear-armed neighbours, who have fought two wars over the region in the past seven decades. Scores of civilians have been killed this year, and a UN observer mission car was struck by a bullet in December. India says at least 10 of its forces have been killed by artillery shells or sniper fire from Pakistani Kashmir since the start of November.

It claims Pakistan violated a 2003 ceasefire accord more than 5,000 times last year — the highest since it started. About 20 civilians were killed over the year, and incidents included drones dropping grenades into Indian territory.

Pakistan, in turn, accuses India of more than 3,000 violations in 12 months, leaving 29 dead, 250 civilians wounded, and hundreds of buildings destroyed or damaged.

Jura, just four kilometres from the LoC in the Neelum Valley, has been worst hit on the Pakistani side, authorities say.

The shelling can last for hours or days, the town´s residents told AFP. Half the homes have blast damage and the farmland is pock-marked with craters. “Most of the time we are shut up in our house. It is a war on us,” Amna Bibi, 40, said while washing clothes outside her home.

In the nearby village of Chilyana, the 500 inhabitants also rarely stray outside. “When we leave in the morning to open our shop, we don´t know if we will return home,” Khawaja Zubair Ahmad said.

With each side blaming the other, the firing is at dangerous levels, according to observers.

Residents say tensions have risen since February 2019 when India staged an air attack on Pakistani territory after a suicide bomber killed 40 Indian troops in Kashmir.

India says Pakistan uses shelling to cover increased attempts to infiltrate militants across the line to fuel an insurgency.

Pakistan has been incensed by India´s revoking of Muslim-majority Kashmir´s semi-autonomous status in 2019 — “a move that Islamabad regarded as a particularly serious provocation”, said Michael Kugelman, a South Asia specialist at the Wilson Center think tank in Washington.

Residents on the Indian side say Pakistan deliberately cut off their water supply for farms. Pakistan bemoans the closure of a bridge that until last year was used to bring divided families together.

Khaleel ul Rahman, village head in Sudhpura on the Indian side, rushes to his cow shed and stays with the animals when a midnight barrage starts. Sudhpura suffers badly even by Kashmir´s violent standards. It is surrounded on three sides by Pakistan-Kashmir and a third of the village is on the Pakistan side. Shells also fall when markets are open and children are in school. “People just panic. It is like a stampede,” said local school principal Mansoor Ahmad.

Observers say though that neither India nor Pakistan is in a rush to find a solution. The Hindu nationalist government in New Delhi and Muslim administration in Islamabad are too entrenched. “The history of India-Pakistan relations has had many more lows than highs, and right now we´re experiencing a particularly ugly, prolonged low,” said Kugelman.

There is little incentive on either side to dial down tensions.”

Rival prime ministers Narendra Modi and Imran Khan both offered better relations on taking office — Modi even visited Pakistan — but their gestures were rejected by the other.

Modi boasted last year that Pakistan would “bite the dust” in seven to 10 days if it started a new war. Khan replied last month that India would get a “befitting” response if it tried anything.

Israel should prepare for a war outside the Temple Walls: Revelation 11

Implications for Israel of the Joint Terrorist Military Exercise in the Gaza Strip

Omer DostriJanuary 8, 2021

Palestinian Islamic Jihad militants operating in Gaza Strip, photo by Amir Farshad Ebrahami via Flickr CC

BESA Center Perspectives Paper No. 1,874, January 8, 2020

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: The first joint military exercise of the Gaza terrorist organizations was a milestone for Hamas, which wishes to unite these organizations in order to strengthen its control over the Strip as well as its “ambiguity strategy” vis-à-vis Israel. The exercise has implications for Israel at both the strategic and the operational levels as it prepares for a possible conflagration in Gaza.

The large military exercise held on December 29, 2020 in the Gaza Strip—the first to involve all the terrorist organizations operating in the Strip under the rubric of a “Joint Operations Headquarters”—was designed to achieve several goals:

• to convey a message to the Israeli and Gazan public that the terrorist organizations in the Gaza Strip are united in dealing with security threats, whether they be from Israel or from internal opposition to the Hamas regime

• to allow Hamas and the terrorist organizations to prepare for a military campaign against Israel, which will supposedly be led by the “Joint Operations Headquarters”

• to signal to Israel and the US the undesirability of striking Iranian targets before the end of President Trump’s term in office.

The message Hamas sought to convey regarding the unity of the terrorist organizations is highly important to the organization. Hamas needs to present a united front and the impression of consensus for the Gaza public—especially in light of the coronavirus pandemic, which is challenging Hamas on the public health and economic fronts. The military unity of the Hamas-led terrorist groups indicates that the organization enjoys broad popular support and the “street” should rule out the possibility of challenging the regime, as happened several times in recent years. At the same time, Hamas wants to make clear to Israel that it doesn’t have absolute control over the other terrorist groups in the Strip, notably rocket attacks by “recalcitrant organizations” that do not answer to Hamas.

The latter point is part of Hamas’s ambiguity strategy. The argument that some attacks against Israeli targets are carried out by non-Hamas organizations is meant to encourage Israel to reduce the number and severity of retaliatory attacks it conducts against Hamas targets in response to such strikes.

For Islamic Jihad, which is identified with Iran, it is important that Israel’s divide-and-rule strategy in the Gaza Strip be disrupted. This strategy was seen in action during the last two rounds of fighting in the Strip, in November 2019 and February 2020, when Israel focused on attacking Islamic Jihad targets and left Hamas targets alone. Hamas took the hint and did not intervene during these rounds of conflict. In taking this approach, Israel tried to undermine the unity of ranks in the Gaza Strip and cause a rift between Hamas and Islamic Jihad. For this reason, the recent joint military exercise was a significant and even vital step for Islamic Jihad.

The need to present a united front was reflected in Hamas’s feverish creation, dissemination, and marketing of media messages for public consumption in both Israel and the Gaza Strip before and during the exercise. The name given to the exercise, Ar-Rukn ash-Shadid (Strong Pillar), was meant to express unity among the ranks. Hamas circulated guidelines to journalists including a call for widespread dissemination of photos and videos of the exercise across all media platforms including social media, again as a means of pushing the message of organizational unity.

Even before the exercise, the “Joint Operations Headquarters” allowed photos and promotional videos to be taken and published showing the organizations, units, and weapons that were going to take part. This was remarkable, as Hamas rarely allows dozens of journalists, photographers, and media people to come to its areas and document what they see. At the beginning of the exercise, a spokesman for the Hamas military wing held a well-publicized press conference of which many photos and videos were circulated in the Arab media and on social media. At the end of the exercise, children and teenagers were brought to the training area to take selfies of themselves standing on the models of Israeli tanks that had been used as targets during the exercise.

Beyond the public relations dimension, the joint exercise had a practical purpose: to enable Hamas and the terrorist organizations in the Gaza Strip to prepare and train for a possible military campaign against Israel while improving positions and making adjustments at the inter-organizational level.

The exercise included launching rockets toward the sea to test launch continuity, as well as conducting attacks by landing on shore using motorboats and divers from the naval commando force. In addition, there were rehearsals of land maneuvers, ambushes of military vehicles, and abductions of Israeli soldiers. A mock Israeli invasion of Gaza was thwarted through a powerful artillery barrage accompanied by rapid deployment of ground forces, sniper fire, and attack by unmanned aerial vehicles. The exercise also included efforts by civil defense forces to rescue civilians from rubble, extinguish fires, stop leaks, and control the spread of hazardous materials. It is likely that Hamas also practiced fighting underground, though these operations were not filmed for security reasons.

Hamas did not display any new weapons or capabilities during the exercise. In the past, it has used naval commandos, drones, and special force raids to attack Israeli territory, including from underground tunnels, not to mention sustained long-range rocket/missile fire. Though new materiel was not put on display, Hamas and the other terrorist organizations in Gaza are constantly improving and refining their operational capabilities and weapons, including the ranges, accuracy, and firepower of their rockets.

While Hamas probably does wish to join forces with other terrorist organizations and prepare for a future military campaign against Israel, the idea for the joint exercise might not have originated in Gaza. It was reported by Palestinian sources in Gaza that it was Tehran that asked Hamas and Islamic Jihad to organize the exercise in order to send a message to Israel and the US that the Tehran-led “Axis of Resistance” is alive and well.

Evidence of Iranian involvement was seen in the displaying by Hamas of numerous posters of Qassem Soleimani, who was killed in a US air strike in January 2020, as well as of Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah. Nasrallah somewhat surprisingly alluded to the exercise a day before its occurrence as “an important step and a show of force that frightens the Israeli enemy.”

For Israel, the joint exercise poses a multidimensional threat. The IDF must prepare for a military campaign in which it will operate at high intensity across a variety of dimensions simultaneously: in the air, near the ground (with drones), on land, at sea, in cyberspace, and in underground tunnels. The IDF should also prepare for the possibility of wider combat cooperation among the Gaza terrorist organizations, which has so far been limited mainly to joint rocket launches. The joint exercise may herald joint operational combat in other areas and in multiple dimensions. The IDF will have to make adjustments at the strategic, operational, and tactical levels in terms of both its arms and its preparation for multi-dimensional combat and multi-arm maneuvering.

In addition, Israel must continue to send deterrent messages to Hamas and Islamic Jihad to keep the next campaign as far away as possible. This could include targeted killings of senior members of these organizations as well as indications of readiness to engage in land maneuvers deep inside the Gaza Strip. The IDF must convey that it has both the military capabilities and the resolve for a swift and decisive all-out confrontation that will comprehensively rout the terrorist groups in Gaza.

On the same day the joint terrorist exercise was held in Gaza, the IDF conducted its own military exercise in the southern region. And while the IDF claimed the exercise was simply part of its 2020 training program, one wonders at the coincidence of the two opposing exercises being conducted simultaneously.

Omer Dostri is an Israeli journalist and foreign policy specialist. He has interned at the Center for Middle East Studies at Ariel University, the Institute for National Security Studies, and the Yuval Ne’eman Workshop for Science, Technology and Security at Tel Aviv University. He is a Ph.D. candidate at Bar-Ilan University.

YES Iran is now a nuclear horn: Daniel 8

Iran threatens to start enriching uranium to 90 percent: report

“If enrichment above 20 percent is required in some areas, the AEOI can do this,” spokesman cited as saying

Iran warned Thursday that the country could up its uranium enrichment to 90 percent — just around the weapon grade level.

China’s Xinhua News Service cited the spokesman of the country’s nuclear agency as saying that the country’s “achievements” were “so great” that Iran could “easily” start enriching the nuclear fuel up to the 90 percent mark.

“If enrichment over 20 percent is required in some areas, the AEOI can do so,” he claimed.

The statement comes after Iran confirmed that it has started enriching uranium to 20 percent after warning the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) of the intention to do so.

The move was widely condemned, including by European countries that were part of the nuclear deal with the Islamic Republic in 2015.

In a statement published Wednesday, the foreign ministers of the three nations expressed their “deep concern” about the move and called on Iran to go back on it.

“This action, which has no credible civil justification and carries very significant proliferation-related risks, is clearly in violation of Iran’s commitments under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPoA) and further hollows out the agreement,” the statement added.

A monster called Babylon the Great: Revelation 18

Analysis: This was no ‘third world country’ crisis. This was a uniquely American monster

Sure there are superficial similarities in the videos of rioters storming the US Capitol and, say, the moment that Shiite protesters stormed Iraq’s parliament back in 2016. In Iraq then, the protesters were up in arms over parliament’s deadlock over the formation of a government and were demanding a reshuffle of a proposed cabinet. They were largely supporters of radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr — egged on and incited to protest by him.

There has been a brief glimpse of the fear and violence that grip other countries’ populations who are fighting and dying in the name of democracy and freedom. A glimpse of how quickly what one takes for granted can be destroyed, how frail the fabric of society really is, of how a fringe and violent minority can overtake the narrative.

America used to have a moral standing, or at least the facade of one. It’s one that has been eroded over the years, even before the Trump era, with its more recent history of the invasion of Iraq under fabricated pretenses, the locking-up of alleged terrorists in Guantanamo Bay without due process, the continued support of dictators, monarchies, and autocrats when it’s in America’s interests.

The Trump era ripped back the veil, to reveal the ugliness within the US itself, one that America can no longer ignore, but has always existed. The truth is embodied in the killings of black Americans, in police brutality and the systemic racism; it’s shown in the reaction to the Black Lives Matter movement, MeToo, the rise of white supremacy. And those who oppose that ugliness are fighting for what they believe is the very soul of their nation.

The concepts on which we have built our societies are fragile, more so than many of us want to accept.

Let’s not look down any longer on nations whose people are fighting and striving for democracy with a moral superiority, but instead with understanding and empathy.

Antichrist Restores “Peace” in Iraq: Revelation 13

Islamic leader in Iraq launches initiative to restore Christians’ property

A leading Islamic cleric and politician in Iraq has begun a movement that might lead to the repatriation of property that was taken from Christian citizens in recent years.

Shiite leader Muqtada al Sadr, head of the Sadrist political group, has ordered the creation of a committee in charge of collecting and verifying complaints of illegal expropriations from Christian property owners in Iraq. 

Many Christians lost property when they were forced to leave their homes in Mosul and the Nineveh Plain as Islamic State forces invaded and established their “caliphate.”

A statement published earlier this month listed members of  the committee that Christians will be able to contact, sending them proof of ownership of houses and land that had been taken from them.

“The intention of the operation launched by the Shiite leader is to restore justice and end violations of the property rights of the ‘Christian brothers,’ including those for which members of the Shiite movement led by al Sadr were responsible,” reported Fides, the information service of the Pontifical Mission Societies:

The request to report cases of illegal expropriations suffered is also addressed to families of Christians who have left the country in recent years. Complaints about abuse against Christian property owners can be sent to the committee by the end of next Ramadan.

This year, Ramadan, the Muslim month of fasting, ends on May 11.

Fides said that on January 3, al Sadr sent a delegation to present Chaldean Patriarch Louis Raphael Sako with a copy of the document with which the Shiite politician set up the committee. The Patriarch thanked al Sadr for the initiative, Fides said.

Pope Francis is due to visit Iraq in March.