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 Times article 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)
By Brendan Cole On 8/6/21 at 5:14 AM EDT
Tests of a hypersonic missile from a Russian submarine carrier are reportedly scheduled to take place at the end of August as Moscow proceeds apace with its plans to arm its underwater fleet with the deadly weapons.
In July, Russia’s defense ministry announced the successful launch from its Admiral Gorshkov warship of the missile which traveled at seven times the speed of sound and was fired from the White Sea to hit its target more than 200 miles away on the Barents Sea.
There has been speculation over when submarine tests would take place of the Tsirkon missile, which is developed by the rocket design bureau NPO Mashinostroyenia.
Reports in March suggested the tests might take place in June, but Tass, the Russian state news agency, reported on Friday that it will be tested from the Northern Fleet’s Yasen-class Severodvinsk nuclear-powered submarine by the end of this month.
“Flight design tests of the Tsirkon rocket from Severodvinsk will begin at the end of August. It is planned to complete several launches before the White Sea freezes over,” a source told the state-run news agency.
This timeline chimes with what a military source had told the agency in July on the sidelines of the MAKS-2021 international air show outside of Moscow.
Unlike fixed land-launched hypersonic missile sites, submarines at an undisclosed location make defending a hypersonic attack much more difficult, according to National Interest.
Russia has 64 submarines according to GlobalPower.com and many are renowned for their sophistication in air-independent propulsion and other undersea warfare technologies.
With Western experts analyzing the capability of Russia’s new generation of hypersonic weapons, the proposed testing of the Tsirkon in August shows a statement of intent from Moscow to equip its submarines and surface ships with the missile system by 2023.
In 2018, President Vladimir Putinboasted that Russia was developing a range of hypersonic weapons which he threatened to station on vessels near American territorial waters if the U.S. deployed intermediate-range nuclear weapons in Europe.
Tensions between Russia and the U.S. have ramped up in recent months, with Moscow unhappy at NATO-led exercises being conducted in the Black Sea and warning that a U.S. deployment of hypersonic missiles in Europe could escalate into hostilities.
After July’s Tsirkon test, PentagonPress Secretary John Kirby said Russia’s weapons were “potentially destabilizing and pose significant risks.”
However, his comments prompted the Russian Embassy in Washington, D.C. to say that any deployment of a U.S. hypersonic missile in Europe in turn, “would be extremely destabilizing.”
Newsweek has contacted NPO Mashinostroyenia and Russia’s defense ministry for comment.
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Iraq’s top Shia cleric, Moqtada al Sadr, called for a suspension of Friday prayer sermons to curb the spread of coronavirus infections across the country.
Friday sermons, including those in which Sadr himself addresses followers, can be attended by thousands of people, particularly Shia worshippers across the southern Iraqi provinces.
The decision was made “in accordance with the [health ministry] High Committee of Health and Safety,” Sadr’s office said.
The populist cleric, in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, downplayed the severity and danger of the coronavirus, despite the fact that the country’s health ministry was run by a minister affiliated with the Sadr movement.
Months later, Sadr published photos of himself getting the COVID-19 vaccine in a bid to spur his followers to get the vaccine as cases surged.
Iraq and its autonomous Kurdistan Region have recently seen another wave of COVID-19 cases, mainly driven by the spread of the Delta variant.
Iraq, since the beginning of the outbreak, has recorded over one million cases, of which 19,000 have been fatal.
Terror group says launches are in solidarity with Lebanon, hours after Hezbollah fired a rocket barrage at Israel and IDF retaliated with artillery fire
By Emanuel Fabian6 Aug 2021, 5:51 pm
At least four brush fires were ignited Friday in southern Israel by balloons carrying incendiary devices that were launched from the Hamas-run Gaza Strip.
Three of the fires ignited in the Kissufim forest, and another one in the Be’eri forest, two nature reserves located on the border of Israel and Gaza, a spokesperson for the Jewish National Fund said.
Fire services said they were working to extinguish the blazes and their investigators had determined that they were caused by four balloons carrying incendiary devices.
In Gaza, the so-called balloon unit, Ahfad an-Nassar, said it had launched balloon-borne incendiary devices toward Israel in solidarity with Lebanon.
“We will not be humiliated,” the group said in a brief statement on Friday.
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Earlier on Friday, Hezbollah fired 19 rockets into northern Israel from Lebanon, in the heaviest such barrage since the 2006 Second Lebanon War, sending residents in a number of towns in the Golan Heights and Galilee Panhandle scrambling to shelters.Advertisement
Israel responded with artillery strikes. Witnesses reported artillery fire by Israeli forces on the Lebanese side of Shebaa Farms and outside the town of Kfar Shouba.
For the past three years, Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, mostly linked to Hamas and other terror groups, have launched thousands of balloon-borne incendiary and explosive devices into southern Israel, causing widespread fires and significant damage to agricultural fields, nature reserves and private property.
There had been no incendiary balloon launches since late last month.
Hamas has used the launching of incendiary devices in order to keep pressure on Israel to move along with reconstruction efforts in the Strip.
Bennett, who replaced Benjamin Netanyahu on June 13, has long urged a tougher response to arson balloons, saying in previous years that they should be treated the same as rockets, and that attacks on southern Israel should receive the same response as attacks targeting central Israel.
In 2018, for instance, Bennett — then the education minister — called for the IDF to try to kill all those launching attack balloons from Gaza, a proposal that was opposed by then-IDF chief of staff Gadi Eisenkot.
Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.
It was the third day of attacks along the volatile border with Lebanon, a major Middle East flashpoint where tensions between Israel and Iran, which backs Hezbollah, occasionally play out. But comments by Israeli officials and Hezbollah’s actions suggested the two were seeking to avoid a major conflict at this time.
Israel said it fired back after 19 rockets were launched from Lebanon, and Prime Minister Naftali Bennett swiftly convened a meeting with the country’s top defense officials. No casualties were reported.
“We do not wish to escalate to a full war, yet of course we are very prepared for that,” said Lt. Col. Amnon Shefler, spokesman for the Israel Defense Forces.
Israel has long considered Hezbollah, which is based in Lebanon, its most serious and immediate military threat. Friday’s exchanges came a day after Israel’s defense minister warned that his country is prepared to strike Iran following a fatal drone strike on a oil tanker at sea that his country blamed on Tehran.
The tensions come at a politically sensitive time in Israel, where a new eight-party governing coalition is already trying to keep the peace on another border under a fragile cease-fire that ended an 11-day war with Hamas’ militant rulers in Gaza.
Sirens blared across the Golan Heights and Upper Galilee near the Lebanon border Friday morning. Hezbollah said in a statement that it hit “open fields” in the disputed Shebaa farms area.
The group said it fired 10 rockets, calling it retaliation for Israeli airstrikes the day before. Israel said those strikes were in response to rocket fire from southern Lebanon in recent days that was not claimed by any group.
Shebaa Farms is an enclave where the borders of Israel, Lebanon and Syria meet. Israel says it is part of the Golan Heights, which it captured from Syria in 1967. Lebanon and Syria say Shebaa Farms belong to Lebanon, while the United Nations says the area is part of Syria.
“This is a very serious situation and we urge all parties to cease fire,” the force known as UNIFIL said. Force commander, Gen. Stefano Del Col, said the force was coordinating with the Lebanese army to strengthen security measures in the area.
Hezbollah’s decision to strike open fields in a disputed area rather than Israel proper, appeared calibrated to limit any response.
Shefler, the Israeli military spokesman, told reporters Friday that three of the 19 rockets fired fell within Lebanese territory. Ten were intercepted by the defense system known as the Iron Dome.
Israel estimates Hezbollah possesses over 130,000 rockets and missiles capable of striking anywhere in the country. In recent years, Israel also has expressed concerns that the group is trying to import or develop an arsenal of precision-guided missiles.
Israel has repeatedly threatened to attack Lebanese border villages where it accuses Hezbollah of hiding rockets. An Israeli security official said Friday the military was carrying out airstrikes unlike any in years and was planning for more options. The official spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss military policy.
The attack sparked tensions between locals and Hezbollah. Videos on social media after the rocket attack showed two vehicles, including a mobile rocket launcher, being stopped by residents of Shwaya village. The windshield of one vehicle was smashed.
Some of the villagers could be heard saying: “Hezbollah is firing rockets from between homes so that Israel hits us back.”
The Lebanese army said it arrested four people who were involved in the rocket-firing and confiscated the rocket launcher. It said Lebanese troops and U.N. peacekeepers are taking all the measures to restore calm.
Hezbollah issued a statement saying that the rockets were fired from remote areas, adding that the fighters were stopped in Shwaya on their way back.
“We lived a similar period in the 1970s, when Palestinian fighters were carrying out guerrilla attacks against Israel. We are now to the same status and this is causing tension,” said Ajaj Mousa, a resident of nearby Kfarchouba.
The escalation also comes at a sensitive time in Lebanon, which is mired in multiple crises including a devastating economic and financial meltdown and political deadlock that has left the country without a functional government for a full year.
The United States is banking on Islamabad to broker successful peace talks with the Taliban. That’s not likely to happen.
Michael HirshAugust 6, 2021, 12:16 PM
In a gamble pitting hope against history, U.S. President Joe Biden and his team are banking that the resurgent Taliban will agree to a negotiated peace deal in Afghanistan and the militant group’s longtime state sponsor, Pakistan, will press them to share power with the Afghan government.
But many experts say such hopes are delusional, and history will likely triumph in the end: Pakistan and the Taliban leadership—which is still headquartered in Pakistan—will continue to have each other’s backs on the battlefield as well as at the negotiating table. In short, Pakistan wants the Taliban to win—or at least is unwilling to do much to prevent this from happening.
“Pakistan is supporting the Taliban’s offensive. Without Pakistani logistical support, the Taliban could not undertake the massive nationwide attack it is pursuing,” said Bruce Riedel, who served as a senior advisor on South Asia and the Middle East to four U.S. presidents. “The ISI [Pakistan’s powerful intelligence service] is already pleased it has ejected all the foreign troops from Afghanistan. The goal now is to induce panic in the Afghan government and army.”
The Biden team’s argument is that, even with the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, neither the Taliban nor Islamabad desire a repeat of the bloody history that led up to 9/11: Taliban atrocities, sanctions, massive refugee flows, and international isolation for both countries. Taliban leaders and Pakistani officials have said so themselves recently, as has the United States’ lead negotiator, Zalmay Khalilzad.
“The Taliban said they do not want to be a pariah state,” Khalilzad said Tuesday at the Aspen Security Forum. “They want to be recognized. They want to receive assistance.”
But this rhetorical moderation doesn’t square with the facts on the ground. Despite presenting themselves as diplomats on the world stage since peace talks with the Americans began in 2020, the Taliban are resuming their brutal past practices as they move into major Afghan cities, such as Kandahar (Afghanistan’s second biggest city after Kabul), Lashkar Gah, and Herat. This week, even the U.S. government acknowledged that reality. “In Spin Boldak, Kandahar, the Taliban massacred dozens of civilians in revenge killings,” the U.S. Embassy in Kabul tweeted on Monday. “These murders could constitute war crimes; they must be investigated & those Taliban fighters or commanders responsible held accountable.”
Over the past decade or so, Pakistan supported the Taliban even in the face of a U.S.-led, 46-nation coalition backing up the elected Afghan government in Kabul. That policy is less likely to change now, with the U.S. military and NATO leaving and the Afghan government under assault and losing credibility fast. And faced with a hostile, aggressive India under its nationalist prime minister, Narendra Modi, Pakistan is more motivated than ever to support Islamist insurgents in Afghanistan seeking to counterbalance New Delhi’s influence in the region. Islamabad fears a strong Afghan government aligned with India and the West could spell the encirclement of Pakistan.
Peace talks, meanwhile, appear to be going nowhere, since neither the Taliban nor Afghan President Ashraf Ghani are willing to negotiate with each other, with each side claiming legitimacy as rightful rulers. In the middle of it all sits Pakistan, which still has significant—if waning—influence with the Taliban, since it harbors many of the group’s leaders and their families. In a series of talks in Washington this week, Pakistani National Security Advisor Moeed Yusuf said he reached a “meeting of minds” with his U.S. counterpart, Jake Sullivan, on the need for a political settlement. “We will not accept a forceful takeover” of Afghanistan, Yusuf asserted.
Yet that is what the Taliban intend, some longtime observers say, and Islamabad is not likely to stand in their way. “It’s frankly idiotic to think that this is somehow a softer, gentler Taliban than the one of 2001. If anything this is a harder, harsher Taliban,” said former U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan Ryan Crocker. “After 20 years in the wilderness, the Taliban are finally getting their game back. They’re not interested in talking to anybody unless it’s about terms of surrender for the Afghan government.”
The Biden administration appears to believe it can avoid this outcome through negotiation. Sullivan tweeted after his July 29 meeting with Yusuf that the two “discussed the urgent need for a reduction in violence in Afghanistan and a negotiated political settlement to the conflict.” Little else has been said by the Biden administration about its discussions with Islamabad. But U.S. officials did not deny Yusuf’s contention, made in a meeting with reporters on Wednesday, that all Sullivan asked for was Pakistan help “get all these actors in one room to have a sincere conversation,” as Yusuf put it.
“The Biden administration seems to have reached the conclusion that Pakistan will not, or cannot, pressure the Taliban,” said Husain Haqqani of the Hudson Institute, a former Pakistani ambassador to Washington. Biden has not even bothered to call Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan on the phone.
And the evidence is Pakistan continues to engage in the double game it has long played: pleading for an international settlement while quietly backing the Taliban on the ground. “Pakistan is not going to turn its back on the Taliban. Why would it do so now that the Taliban have ‘won’ thanks to Pakistan’s own unrelenting efforts?” said Christine Fair, a political scientist at Georgetown University. “What is the U.S. willing to do now that it wasn’t willing to do when Pakistan’s proxies were murdering our soldiers and civilians and those of our partners in Afghanistan?”
Some experts believe Islamabad genuinely would prefer an outcome where the Taliban agree to become part of a coalition government. In the past, the Pakistanis have worked to get the Taliban to the peace table, said James Dobbins, who served as special U.S. representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan. Pakistani civilian officials are also increasingly concerned the Taliban, having been legitimized by U.S. negotiators, are no longer controllable and may even inspire anti-Islamabad militants across the border.
“I think there’s no real reason to doubt that their preferred solution is a government that includes the Taliban and so is pro-Pakistan but is sufficiently balanced that it enjoys international legitimacy,” Dobbins said. “But they’re not prepared to strong-arm the Taliban to get this.”
Pakistan’s reasons for supporting the Taliban are clear and strategic, dating back to the end of the Cold War, Crocker said. Pakistan and the United States were allied against the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan and helped train the Afghan resistance, which largely consisted of Islamist militants. After the Soviets withdrew in 1989, the United States left as well, leaving the Pakistanis with a civil war on their border. Pakistan felt it had no choice but to support the then-dominant Taliban, which Islamabad eventually came to view as a valued Islamist offset to Indian influence.
“After 9/11, we came back, and the Pakistanis said, ‘We’re glad you’re back and money is flowing back in, and we’re happy to work with you against al Qaeda. But if you think we’re going to turn on the Taliban and make them our mortal enemy, you’re crazy,’” Crocker said. “‘At the end of the day, you Americans are going home, and we’re still going to be here. That’s what you guys always do. So you can bet we’re hedging our bets.’”
Still, some Pakistani civilian officials fear they may have helped create a monster in the Taliban that will no longer answer to Islamabad and is spreading its extremist ideology back across the border. Perhaps inspired by Taliban gains, attacks inside Pakistan by the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan, an Islamist terrorist group, have increased in recent weeks. The Pakistani military and Inter-Services Intelligence agency have long harbored such hostile Islamist militants in their tribal regions, including the Pakistani Taliban, with which Islamabad maintains a tenuous and sometimes mistrustful relationship, fearing terror acts against Pakistan itself.
Mosharraf Zaidi, a Pakistani columnist, said many Pakistani officials have begun to express such fears publicly, and although Pakistan is hardly innocent, Americans tend to overstate the degree of control exercised by the Pakistani military and intelligence service. “Pakistan can’t control its own capital city much less Afghanistan,” he said.
Many experts expect a bloody civil war where Afghan moderates, deemed U.S. puppets, are slaughtered wholesale and women and girls are denied the rights they were granted under the U.S. occupation. Already, there is a mass exodus of interpreters and other U.S-allied Afghans seeking special immigrant visas. Beyond that, the Taliban have never really severed their relationship with al Qaeda despite promising to do so, and the terrorist group is likely to find a new harbor in Taliban-controlled parts of Afghanistan.
Khan, the prime minister, certainly doesn’t want the bad publicity associated with such an outcome, but he himself has said curtailing India’s threat is paramount in Pakistan’s strategic considerations.
Washington has long known of Pakistan’s two-faced behavior, but U.S. reluctance to push Pakistan too hard is rooted in a singular fear: Pakistan is a nuclear-armed state. To isolate Pakistan and identify it as a supporter of terrorism could easily create a nightmare much worse than what happened in the late 1990s, when a Pakistani smuggling network enabled Libya to obtain nuclear weapon designs. Even more frightening to Washington is the prospect that an unstable, isolated Pakistan could fracture, and extremists might get hold of the country’s nuclear weapons.
And even U.S. leverage, when used, has proven limited—and is even less effective now that a rising China has increased aid and investment in the face of U.S. hostility toward Beijing; for China, the “economic corridor” with Pakistan is one of the biggest pieces of its massive Belt and Road Initiative. Overall, U.S. military aid to Pakistan decreased by 60 percent between 2010 and August 2017 “without a significant impact on Pakistan’s behavior,” a 2018 Brookings Institution study reported.
As a result, both Washington and Islamabad appear to be playing a game of diplomatic pretense. “In a dream world,” Crocker said, “a negotiated settlement would be great, but that isn’t going to happen, so the Pakistanis are safe in saying that’s what they’re pushing for.”
WW3 fears Russia is planning a final test of supersonic nuclear weapons, warning NATO is “causing a conflict” with the Black Sea wargame
Three fears have been fueled as World War III Russia accused NATO of “causing conflict” with the Black Sea war game.
The Moscow warning is in the midst of planning a final test of Vladimir Putin’s feared hypersonic nuclear weapon (a deadly weapon at 15,880 mph).RS-28 Sarmat-also known as Satan-2 in the WestCredit: East2West
Moscow is proud that its new weapons can evade the US defense shield and destroy areas as large as England and Wales, or Texas.
Russia today confirmed that a new deadly hypersonic 208-ton “Satan-2” intercontinental ballistic missile flight test is about to begin.
The surprise announcement came a few days after more than 2,000 troops and 30 ships, including the United Kingdom, participated in the NATO exercise Breeze 2021 in the Black Sea.
The first test of a 5th generation silo-based liquid propellant intercontinental ballistic missile (called RS-28 Sarmat, but Satan-2 in the west) will be “Autumn”.
And by the end of this year, the second test will start.
The missile’s new promotional video shows a poster from the West boasting that Salmat “doesn’t need a visa.”
Weapons at 15,880 mph will be the largest modernized nuclear weapon in Vladimirputin after a state trial.
If successful, the Salmat missile will help strengthen Russia’s defenses soon next year.
Nuclear weapon “moldable”
Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu said: [will begin] This year, it is scheduled to be completed in 2022.
“In 2022, the first batch should be commissioned with the Strategic Rocket Force.”
According to the Russians, the weapon can deliver multiple independently targetable reentry vehicle (MIRV) warheads (weighing up to 10 tonnes) anywhere in the world, flying both the North Pole and the South Pole. increase.
Izvestia reported that it has the ability to use orbits and unpredictable routes that “substantially prevent their destruction even by advanced missile defense systems.”
According to the designer, it is possible to bypass the missile defense system and fly on an “unpredictable route”.
Sarmat can also fly over the North and South Pole and “approach the target from directions where interception is not expected.”
Shoygu made a test announcement while visiting Krasmash, which is based in Krasnoyarsk. Class Mash plans to mass produce a new Salmat strategic missile system.
He was accompanied by Dmitry Rogozin, head of the Russian space agency Roscosmos.
Putin’s close ally, Shoygu, said, “We have seen Krasmash ready to fulfill the long-term contract for the Salmat missile, one of the most formidable weapons we should have.” rice field.
The Black Sea is strategically important to NATO.
Nato spokesman Piers Casalet
The launch is expected to take place from an underground silo at the Plesetsk Space Center in northwestern Russia, meeting Kamchatka’s goal on the country’s Pacific coast.
One test can be done over a maximum range of 11,200 miles.
In previous footage, “invincible” hypersonic weapons emerged from silos, paused as if they were floating on the ground, and speeding up toward the target in a cloud of white smoke.
Today’s announcement is in the midst of heightened tensions between Russia and the West.
Putin was angry after Bulgaria led a large-scale maritime exercise that ended on July 19.
14 NATO allies and partners from Albania, Belgium, Bulgaria, Georgia, Greece, Italy, Latvia, Poland, Romania, Spain, Turkey, Ukraine, the United Kingdom and the United States were involved in the Black Sea mission.
“The Black Sea is strategically important to NATO.
“The alliance continues to focus on the security of the Black Sea,” said Deputy Spokesman Pierce Casalet.
World War II horror
NATO has increased its presence in the Black Sea since Russia annexed Crimea illegally and illegally.
Nato vessels operate routinely in the Black Sea in accordance with international law and typically patrol the waters for about two-thirds of the year.
However, Yuri Piripson, the fourth European director of the Moscow Ministry, told Leah Novosti on Thursday:
“It is very clear that this kind of’training’does rather than prevents conflict situations. “
“We have repeatedly warned that the spread of military and political conflicts at the border entails conflicting responsibilities.”
His warning is issued after a Russian hypersonic nuclear submarine has submerged more than 500 meters in the Atlantic Ocean after performing an ominous “deep penetration” mission.
And on August 2, Sun Online reported that Moscow had accused the United States of “extremely dangerous” threats of using force against Putin’s fighters over the Black Sea.
Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko counterattacked after the top US Admiral appeared to be “seducing us to shoot us first” in the turmoil of Moscow’s NATO ships by low-flying Air Force fighters.
There is a continuing verbal war between Russia and the West, and there is fear that future major conflicts may be resolved in space.
The video shows a mysterious “blast” that “six people died” at a secret Russian weapons factory after suffering from “horrible burns”
WW3 fears Russia is planning a final test of supersonic nuclear weapons, warning NATO is “causing a conflict” with the Black Sea wargame
Source link WW3 fears Russia is planning a final test of supersonic nuclear weapons, warning NATO is “causing a conflict” with the Black Sea wargame