1884 A Forewarning Of The Sixth Seal (Revelation 6:12)

January 20, 2010New York City isn’t immune to earthquakes; a couple of small tremors measuring about 2.5 on the Richter scale even struck back in 2001 and 2002.But on August 10, 1884, a more powerful earthquake hit. Estimated from 4.9 to 5.5 in magnitude, the tremor made houses shake, chimneys fall, and residents wonder what the heck was going on, according to a New York Timesarticle two days later.The quake was subsequently thought to have been centered off Far Rockaway or Coney Island.It wasn’t the first moderate quake, and it won’t be the last. In a 2008 Columbia University study, seismologists reported that the city is crisscrossed with several fault lines, one along 125th Street. With that in mind, New Yorkers should expect a 5.0 or higher earthquake centered here every 100 years, the seismologists say.

Translation: We’re about 30 years overdue. Lucky for us the city adopted earthquake-resistant building codes in 1995.1884 A Forewarning Of The Sixth Seal (Revelation 6:12) 1884 A Forewarning Of The Sixth Seal (Revelation 6:12)

The Cost of the Chinese Nuclear Horn : Daniel 7

Official estimates are unknown, but it seems likely that the radiation had a terrible impact on the surrounding population.

by Peter Suciu

On October 16, 1964, at the Lop Nur test site in a former salt lake in the desert of the country’s northwest, the People’s Republic of China detonated its first atomic bomb. Project 596, known as the code word “Chic-1” by the U.S. intelligence community (IC), was a uranium-235 implosion fission device made from weapons-grade uranium enriched in a gaseous diffusion plant in Lanzhou.

With that test, the first of forty-five successful subsequent nuclear tests conducted between 1964 and 1996, China became the fifth nuclear power in the world. All of the tests occurred at Lop Nur and a total of twenty-three were conducted in the atmosphere.

In June 1967, only thirty-two months after its first nuclear test, the PRC conducted its first thermonuclear test, and it produced a yield of 3.3 megatons—200 times greater than the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima. It was notable for multiple reasons. First, the thermonuclear weapon was designed as a bomb that could be delivered either by aircraft or ballistic missile.

Moreover, it highlighted the progress China’s nuclear program had made, and by comparison it took the United States eighty-six months conducting the first-ever nuclear test in July 1945 until the world’s first thermonuclear explosion in 1951. Though it is important to note that while China’s efforts to develop nuclear weapons actually dated back to the early 1950s, the Soviet Union assisted the Chinese nuclear weapons program significantly following agreements signed between Moscow and Beijing in 1951 and then in 1957.

However, with the cooling of Sino-Soviet relations in the latter part of the 1950s, Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev opted to refuse the provision of a prototype bomb to Beijing, and China was instead forced to develop its own nuclear testing project.

The last of China’s atmospheric tests, which was also the last atmospheric test in the world, took place at Area D at Lop Nur on October 16, 1980—sixteen years to the day from the first test. Since that time, all nuclear tests have been conducted underground. China’s nuclear testing officially ended in 1996, although it is believed that Beijing has continued to develop nuclear weapons technology—and this may follow U.S. strategy of conducting subcritical experiments.

In the spring of 2020, the U.S. State Department claimed that China may have conducted a low-yield underground nuclear test, which would have been in violation of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) concluded in 1996. However, neither Washington nor Beijing has ratified it, even though China has sworn to have adhered to the terms.

Lasting Impact

The effects of China’s nuclear testing, especially those nearly two dozen atmospheric tests, have not largely been studied due to a lack of official data. However, Xinjiang region is home to some twenty million people of different ethnic backgrounds—and it has remained unclear how radiation has affected the populace.

Reports have suggested that radioactive dust has spread across the region, and hundreds of thousands of people may have died already from the nearly four dozen total nuclear tests that were carried out between 1964 and 1969. A Japanese researcher, who studied the radiation levels, has suggested the peak radiation dose in Xinjiang exceeded that measured on the roof of the Chernobyl nuclear reactor following the 1986 meltdown.

Estimates suggested 194,000 people have died from acute radiation exposure, while around 1.2 million may have received doses high enough to induce leukemia, solid cancers and fetal damage. Those estimates are sadly likely to be on the conservative side.

Peter Suciu is a Michigan-based writer who has contributed to more than four dozen magazines, newspapers and websites. He regularly writes about military small arms, and is the author of several books on military headgear including A Gallery of Military Headdress, which is available on Amazon.com.

The Timeline of the Prophecy Remains Unchanged: Revelation 16

A ‘whistoric wake-up call’: After a brutal 2020, Doomsday Clock is still 100 seconds to midnight

The world is still 100 seconds to midnight after a punishing 2020 marred by mishandling of the COVID-19 pandemic and continued fears over nuclear risks and climate change, according to the annual Doomsday Clock announcement Wednesday.

This is the same time as last year. The clock remains closer to destruction than at any point since it was created in 1947.

“The lethal and fear-inspiring COVID-19 pandemic serves as a historic wake-up call, a vivid illustration that national governments and international organizations are unprepared to manage the truly civilization-ending threats of nuclear weapons and climate change,” said Rachel Bronson, president and CEO of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.

Each year, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, a nonprofit group that sets the clock, decides whether the events of the previous year pushed humanity closer to or further from destruction. The clock “conveys how close we are to destroying our civilization with dangerous technologies of our own making,” according to the group.

The closer to midnight we are, the more danger we’re in, according to the Bulletin.

The furthest the clock has been from midnight was 17 minutes in 1991, at the end of the Cold War.

Even though the Cold War ended three decades ago, nuclear risks remain a grave threat to humanity. “Despite nuclear abolition being the long-awaited wish of all A-Bomb survivors, there are still more than 13,000 nuclear weapons in the world, with nuclear states continuing to modernize their nuclear forces,”  said Hiroshima Gov. Hidehiko Yuzaki in a statement. “Moreover, nuclear disarmament continues to stagnate, further exacerbating global tensions.”

The Doomsday Clock authors wrote that “by our estimation, the potential for the world to stumble into nuclear war – an ever-present danger over the last 75 years – increased in 2020.”

Climate change, caused by the burning of fossil fuels such as oil, gas and coal, is also among the major threats cited by the Doomsday Clock authors. “A pandemic-related economic slowdown temporarily reduced the carbon dioxide emissions that cause global warming,” the authors said. “But over the coming decade fossil fuel use needs to decline precipitously if the worst effects of climate change are to be avoided.

“Instead, fossil fuel development and production are projected to increase. Atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations hit a record high in 2020, one of the two warmest years on record. The massive wildfires and catastrophic cyclones of 2020 are illustrations of the major devastation that will only increase if governments do not significantly and quickly amplify their efforts to bring greenhouse gas emissions essentially to zero.”

The clock has been maintained by the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists since 1947. The group was founded in 1945 by University of Chicago scientists who helped develop the first nuclear weapons in the Manhattan Project.

In December, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists marked its 75th anniversary.

The clock uses the imagery of apocalypse (midnight) and a nuclear explosion (countdown to zero) to convey threats to humanity and the Earth.

The decision was made by the board of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, along with input from a board of sponsors that includes 13 Nobel Laureates.

Renewed US-Russia nuke pact won’t stop the Bowls of Wrath: Revelation 16

Renewed US-Russia nuke pact won’t fix emerging arms threats

The Biden administration was quick to breathe new life into the last remaining treaty limiting U.S. and Russian nuclear weapons

Via AP news wire

The Biden administration was quick to breathe new life into the last remaining treaty limiting U.S. and Russian nuclear weapons The going will be slower when it turns to other arms control problems that are either festering or emerging as potential triggers of an international arms race.

China is modernizing its arsenal of nuclear weapons and has shown no interest in negotiating limits. North Korea is at or near the point of being able to threaten the U.S. homeland with a nuclear missile strike. Russia has begun deploying new, exotic weapons, including nuclear-capable devices designed to evade the best of American missile defenses. Iran is seen as the biggest missile threat in the Mideast.

Each of those problems is a priority for President Joe Biden but he acted on Russia first, reflecting the urgency of extending the treaty even as Biden seeks to take a tougher line with Russian President Vladimir Putin in response to issues like the arrest of opposition figure Alexei Navalny and Russia’s alleged involvement in a massive cyber espionage campaign against the U.S. government.

In announcing that Biden and Putin agreed in a phone call Tuesday that they would extend by five years the New START treaty — which would otherwise have expired next week — the White House alluded vaguely to broader challenges with Moscow. It said the leaders “also agreed to explore strategic stability discussions on a range of arms control and emerging security issues.”

New START, negotiated while Biden served as vice president, limits the United States and Russia to 1,550 deployed nuclear warheads on strategic weapons like submarines, bomber aircraft and land-based international ballistic missiles.

Both houses of the Russian parliament voted unanimously Wednesday for the treaty extension. Speaking to the World Economic Forum’s virtual meeting, Putin hailed the extension as “a step in the right direction,” but he also warned of rising global rivalries and threats of new conflicts.

The pact’s extension doesn’t require approval by the U.S. Congress. It is expected to be validated by an exchange of diplomatic notes. Then the question will be: How does international arms control proceed, given the tense state of U.S.-Russia relations, the rise of China and the other sources of uncertainty?

Although Russia is America’s most willing partner, arms control may no longer be addressed solely by Moscow and Washington, whose nuclear arsenals were largely the only ones that counted during the Cold War. In that period, U.S. war planners viewed China’s relatively small nuclear force as a subset of Russia’s rather than as a major threat in its own right. Space and cyber weapons were distant problems but are now in the forefront.

“The big-picture question is whether what we’re seeing with the extension of New START is a last breath put into the dying body of arms control, or whether this is genuinely the start of a re-invigoration of arms control efforts,” says Mark Bell, an assistant professor at the University of Minnesota who specializes in nuclear weapons issues. “The landscape for arms control is not a particularly optimistic one moving forward.”

The hope among arms control advocates is that Biden’s decision to accept Russia’s offer of a five-year extension of New START will set the stage for broader talks on steps to lessen the risk of war between the world’s two biggest nuclear powers.

Biden knew that extending New START would be welcomed by America’s NATO partners, who had opposed the Trump administration’s withdrawal from other arms control deals.

“I don’t see the treaty’s extension as the end, but the beginning of an effort to further strengthen international nuclear arms control,” NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said last week. “So agreements that cover more weapons and also include more nations like China should be on the agenda in the future.”

But China has been unwilling, and there is little evidence that Moscow is ready to address what some consider the most worrisome numerical imbalance in U.S.-Russian nuclear forces — Moscow’s non-strategic nuclear weapons, such as sea- and air-launched nuclear cruise missiles. These are not limited by New START.

The Russians see a different problem — unconstrained American missile defenses and other U.S. systems they view as dangerous and destabilizing.

Robert Soofer, who was the top nuclear policy official at the Pentagon during the Trump administration, says Biden squandered negotiating leverage when he agreed to a five-year extension of New START without pressing Moscow for commitments on related issues.

“There’s no reason for them to negotiate because they’re good for five years,” Soofer said. “They got what they want.”

From the Russian point of view, adding five years to the life of New START offers time to deal with what its ambassador to Washington, Anatoly Antonov, has described as a “serious crisis” in arms control.

In a Jan. 12 statement, Antonov laid out Moscow’s arms control priorities, starting with U.S. missile defenses, which the Russians see as an attempt to undermine the strategic value of their nuclear arsenal. They say it is a reason they developed a hypersonic glide vehicle, known as the Avangard, that can be carried aboard the Sarmat intercontinental ballistic missile and maneuver to evade defenses.

Some critics of U.S. reliance on nuclear weapons say missile defense must be open to negotiation.

“The unconstrained pursuit of missile defense has encouraged Russia to develop multiple new types of nuclear options to attack the United States and pushed China to expand and improve its nuclear arsenal,” says Laura Grego, co-director of the global security program at the Union of Concerned Scientists. “This dynamic must change because it is a roadblock to achieving meaningful nuclear arms reductions.” 

The U.S. has refused to agree to any limits on its missile defenses, which it says are meant to protect the United States from long-range missile attacks by North Korea — not as a defense against Russia.

Soofer says he sees little prospect of movement soon on that and other U.S.-Russian arms disputes.

“This is going to be the beginning of a very long, drawn out negotiation,” he said.

A Different and Disastrous Approach to U.S.-Iran Relations

Q&A: A New Administration, a Different Approach to U.S.-Iran Relations

Withdrawing from the JCPOA and essentially breaking all diplomatic ties to Iran has been an overall disaster for all involved. With the United States unwilling to have a greater military role in the region, and Iran so emboldened, none of the U.S. goals were achieved—Iran is in a better position to develop nuclear weapons now than under the JCPOA, and it has only become more involved in regional conflicts. Just as importantly, when former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo suggested that he would close the U.S. embassy in Iraq in response to Iranian activism in the country, it could hardly be seen as a greater success for Iran, which wants nothing more than the removal of U.S. troops from the region, but especially from Iraq. The pandemic has hit Iran very hard, but in combination with a new U.S. administration, it may just lead to an opportunity for such a negotiation. Removing sanctions and even providing medical aid may help bring Iran to the table. To be sure, no significant group in Iran is enthusiastic about potential U.S. aid, and distrust of the United States is indeed high, which means that the United States needs to be very clear about its priorities, and realistic about what it can achieve with Iran. A clear U.S. policy in the region—which has been lacking for decades—and a plan to pursue that policy are necessary steps that may help correct some of the mistakes of the past. Iran has elections in June 2021 and, depending how the situation with its domestic economy and pandemic response evolves in the next few months, it may also provide yet another opportunity for opening negotiations.

Dangers of the Iranian Nuclear Horn: Daniel 8

The Dangers of Iran’s Increased Uranium Enrichment

Peter Brookes

Report

January 26, 2021

Summary

In late December 2020, Iran announced an increase in its enrichment of uranium to 20 percent concentration. Iran’s violations of the 2015 Iran deal raise questions about its nonproliferation commitments and intentions. The increase in uranium enrichment reduces the nuclear “breakout time.” A nuclear weapon in the hands of this dangerous regime will only magnify the threat that Iran poses—and increasing uranium enrichment puts Tehran closer to that possibility.

Key Takeaways

In December, Iran announced that, without sanctions relief, it would enrich uranium to 20 percent concentration, and began doing so in January at its Fordo plant.

This latest move violates the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) reached among Iran, the U.S., the United Kingdom, France, Germany, China, and Russia.

This action shows that the JCPOA was deeply flawed, and that returning to it would empower the regime by lifting sanctions and squandering U.S. bargaining leverage.

THE ISSUE

To international alarm, in late December 2020, Iran announced an increase in the enrichment of uranium-235 (U-235) in its nuclear program to 20 percent concentration at the Fordo Fuel Enrichment Plant (FEP), putting the repressive regime a big step closer to enriching uranium to weapons-grade (90 percent) concentration.

According to Iran’s foreign minister, it began doing so in early January 2021.

Iran’s latest move violates the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) reached among Iran, the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, China, and Russia. The JCPOA capped Iranian uranium enrichment at 3.67 percent.

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This provocative action marks the most worrisome escalation of Iranian nuclear defiance since it began ignoring key nuclear deal restrictions in 2019, after the U.S. withdrew from the agreement in 2018.

WHY THE CONCERN?

Iran’s Increase in Uranium Enrichment Is Another Violation of the JCPOA. Indeed, according to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which monitors the JCPOA in Iran, press reports, and other analyses, Iran is already violating the Obama-era nuclear deal by:

• Increasing U-235 enrichment in 2019 to 4.5 percent, exceeding the JCPOA-allowed level; Exceeding restrictions on its low-enriched-uranium stockpile about 12-fold, accumulating about 2,400 kilograms;

• Starting to deploy advanced uranium-enriching centrifuges at the plant at Natanz, bolstering the efficiency of its uranium-enrichment operations;

• Exceeding the total number of allowed centrifuges in operation, permitting the production of greater amounts of enriched uranium;

• Expanding the locations for uranium-enrichment operations to the Fordow FEP, a facility limited to research purposes only under the JCPOA; and

• Failing to meet transparency requirements, including not declaring all its pre-2003 nuclear weapons efforts as evidenced from an undisclosed Iranian nuclear archive, exposed by Israel in 2018.

The Increase in Uranium Enrichment Reduces the Nuclear “Breakout Time.” The “breakout time” is the period it takes to produce enough fissile material for a bomb starting from right now. The JCPOA envisioned that Iran’s breakout time would initially be one year, although that would rapidly shrink as enrichment restrictions began to expire in 2025.

Technically, enriching uranium to 20 percent represents approximately 90 percent of the effort to produce weapons-grade fissile material required for a nuclear weapon. Iran’s decision to increase enrichment means Tehran’s breakout time has been shortened.

Iran’s Missile Programs Continue to Develop. Iran has the biggest missile program in the Middle East. It is likely its missile arsenal is not only to advance Iran’s goals of deterrence and regional hegemony, but it is also closely linked to Tehran’s nuclear weapon aspirations.

Iran’s increasingly capable ballistic and cruise missiles could one day carry a nuclear warhead, threatening not only regional allies and partners, but if developed to greater distances, all of Europe and the American homeland.

The JCPOA Is Flawed. Even putting aside Iran’s JCPOA violations, the nuclear deal is rife with pitfalls. For instance, key JCPOA restrictions on uranium enrichment gradually “sunset” in just four short years, allowing Tehran to expand uranium enrichment and paving the way for a possible sprint to a nuclear weapon.

In addition, the deal also failed to address Iran’s missile program and contained inadequate verification provisions that allowed Iran to block U.N. inspectors at undeclared nuclear sites, including military facilities.

Returning to the JCPOA would empower the regime by lifting sanctions and squander the bargaining leverage that the Trump Administration amassed, reducing the chances of negotiating an acceptable follow-on agreement to fill the JCPOA’s dangerous gaps.

The Threat from Iran Is Real. Iran is a malign actor with an ambitious agenda that includes regional dominance, conflicting with the national interests of the United States and its regional allies and partners.

From Iran’s aggressive activities in Iraq, Syria, and Yemen to its support of international terrorism and violent attacks around the Persian Gulf, Iran has been—and still is—a global threat to peace, security, and stability.

Iran’s violations of the JCPOA raise questions about its nonproliferation commitments and intentions. A nuclear weapon in the hands of this aggressive, belligerent regime will only magnify the threat that Iran poses—and increasing uranium enrichment puts Tehran closer to that possibility.

Outside the Temple Walls Is Almost Unlivable After 15 Years Of Blockade: Revelation 11

New Report: Gaza Is Almost Unlivable After 15 Years Of Blockade

Tuesday, 26 January 2021, 6:49 pm

Press Release: Euro-Med Monitor

Geneva – The Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor called for putting an end to the 15-year-old tragedy of the Gaza blockade; stressing that the current arrangements for holding general Palestinian elections require serious international guarantees that the blockade will end without conditions related to the election results.

In its annual report on the repercussions of the Gaza blockade, entitled “suffocation and isolation”, Euro-Med Monitor examined the Israeli blockade effects on the lives of Gazans. The report compares Gazans’ living conditions before the blockade on one hand, and the current situation (15 years after) on the other.

The report confirms that during the past decade, the per capita economic losses in Gaza has reached about $9,000 due to the long-term closure and the military operations to which the Gaza Strip is subjected too. A United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) report issued on November 25, 2020, concluded that the economic cost of the Israeli occupation on the Gaza Strip during the past decade is estimated at %16.7 billion.

Noura Erakat, Euro-Med Monitor’s member of Board of Trustees, said “We are now entering 2021, the fifteenth year of Israel’s naval blockade and land siege, and the global community seems unfazed by the unlivable conditions in the tiny coastal enclave or the fact that an entire generation has grown up isolated from the world – save for its contact with advanced weapons technologies raining down on them from Gaza’s skies.

“These conditions are unconscionable and have no moral, legal, or policy justification. The siege must end without preconditions and condemned to the history of atrocities never to be repeated again”.

The report indicated that unemployment rate in the Gaza Strip is still among the highest in the world. After it reached 23.6% in 2005, in 2020, it reached 49%, while the per capita share of the GDP shrank by 27%.

Poverty rates also jumped from 40% in 2005 to 56% in 2020. Poverty gap increased as well from 14% to 20%, and the cost of lifting the Gaza population out of poverty quadrupled, from $209 million to $838 million.

The report stated that in 2020 the monthly rate of goods trucks entering the Gaza was about 7,000. This number is not enough for half of Gaza’s needs, taking into account the population increase since 2005 and the number of trucks entering in that year.

Before the blockade was imposed on the Gaza Strip, the monthly rate of Palestinians traveling via Erez crossing, run by Israel, was about 30,000 travelers. In 2019, the number was about 14,960 travelers, while in 2020, it dropped to 4,600 cases – a decrease of about 85% from the rate before the blockade in 2006.

As for the Rafah crossing bordering Egypt, in 2019, the monthly rate of travelers via the crossing was about 12,172 cases, while in 2020, the monthly average was only 4,245 cases.

The report confirmed that the crossing work was mainly affected by the outbreak of the Coronavirus. It was closed for extended days, while hundreds of thousands of patients, students and businesspeople remained waiting for the opening of the crossing.

As for the health sector, it remains the most affected, showing a clear indication of the deteriorating humanitarian conditions. In addition to the acute shortage of medicines and medical equipment, hospitals and primary care centers are still operating at low levels of capacity. The situation further exacerbated after the outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19).

The ongoing arrangements for holding the general Palestinian elections require local, regional and international mobility to end the blockade and provide guarantees that it will not be repeated in the future if it was lifted.

The right approach to ensure the upcoming elections success is the issuance of a binding international resolution to end the blockade, which international legal references agree to constitute as war crimes. Guarantees should be provided that the blockade will not be repeated (if it was ended), the will of the Palestinian voters will be respected, and a peaceful and democratic circulation is ensured in a way that achieves stability and prosperity for the Palestinians.

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