No damage or injuries were reported after the earthquake, which was detected on Friday afternoon near Woodlawn, in Baltimore County, Md.
June 25, 2021
An earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 2.6 was detected in Baltimore County, Md., on Friday afternoon, the U.S. Geological Surveysaid, but there were no reports of injuries or damage.
“We received a few calls, I think it was four, from people reporting that they felt or heard something unusual,” said Elise Armacost, a spokeswoman for the county’s fire department.
Firefighters were sent to scan for damage, she said. As of 4:30 p.m., no damage was reported.
There was seemingly more commotion online than in Woodlawn, Md., an unincorporated area of Baltimore County near the center of the quake about 10 miles outside of Baltimore.
One person said on Twitter that it “sounded more like an explosion” when the earthquake rippled.
Paul Caruso, a geophysicist with the Geological Survey, said that earthquakes in the Maryland area occur infrequently but that they are not unheard-of. The earthquake on Friday happened along a “tiny” fault line, which is why it was not as strong, he said.
“It’s nothing like the San Andreas,” Mr. Caruso said, referring to the major fault line in California. “The largest earthquake that can occur on a fault is directly related to the size of the fault. That’s why the San Andreas is capable of such large magnitude earthquakes.”
There are small fault lines throughout the United States that have the potential to generate tiny earthquakes, Mr. Caruso said.
It was unclear whether there would be any aftershocks from Friday’s quake, but Mr. Caruso said that by definition any aftershock would be weaker than the original earthquake.
North Korea has indeed turned into the discussion of the world. The justification this is that the nation is continuing atomic weapons tasks. Regardless of assents on weapons of mass obliteration, north korea has been working enthusiastically to foster atomic weapons. The country’s fundamental atomic complex has begun to get back to work at the UN atomic guard dog office said. Specialists say Pyongyang is by implication notice them to lift sanctions on their country. What’s going on with North Korea? The international Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said in a report in august that it had noticed atomic movement at the Angbian Experimental Nuclear Power Plant, which is basic to North Korea’s atomic program. This spot is found 100 km north of the public capital Pyongyang. The IAEA has uncovered that atomic weapons programs have continued here after numerous years. The IAEA clarified that there were no signs that the 5MW reactor was in reactor activity from december 2018 to July 2021 … in any case, that a few signs, including the cooling water release from July 2021, were functional. It is accounted for that tasks occurred in the radiochemical research center from february to July. The reactor communicated worry that Angbion was creating plutonium. It is one of the two key materials used to make atomic weapons. The IAEA has remarked that the continuation of North Korea’s atomic exercises involves genuine concern. The IAEA reports that work is in progress in north korea to re-measure the fuel bars eliminated from the reactors into plutonium. Why Nuclear weapons during Corona ? As the crown blast, north korea shut every one of its lines. It has additionally disavowed adjoining China. The country’s economy has been hit hard by the suspension of exchange. The nation was hit by a food emergency with twisters and floods. With that, it was inescapable to confront the monetary emergency. Truth be told, recuperating from this is anything but a simple errand for North Korea. With that, it appears to be that President Kim Jong Un needs to restart the atomic program and carry the world to haggling. Specialists say they are doing this to support the country from the monetary emergency. How large is the thermal energy station in North Korea? The capital says it has everything from intercontinental long range rockets to atomic gadgets. Be that as it may, there is practically no lucidity about its armory. The Nuclear Threat Initiative says north korea is the solitary country that requirements to pull out of a consent to seek after an atomic program and secure further developed atomic weapons. What is the current status of atomic discussions and harmony talks? The U.S., UN, and different nations have forced various assents because of North Korea’s opening to atomic exercises. In any case, north korea is disregarding UN security runs as though nothing had occurred. north korea has not held its statement to the world in such manner. Joe Biden has as of now reported that he won’t give any global acknowledgment to North Korea. north korea is turning out to be more provocative in this unique circumstance.
A new Dosan Ahn Chang-ho submarine successfully carried out the underwater ejection tests last week, after similar tests were conducted from a submerged barge last month, Yonhap reported, citing unnamed military sources.
The defence ministry said it cannot confirm details of individual military unit capabilities due to security reasons.
The Agency for Defense Development had no comment and referred questions to the defence ministry.
SLBMs have been developed by seven other countries, including the United States, Russia, China, Britain, France, India, and North Korea. All of those countries also have arsenals of nuclear weapons, which have typically been used to arm SLBMs.
Yonhap said the conventionally armed South Korean missile has reportedly been codenamed the Hyunmoo 4-4 and is believed to be a variant of the country’s Hyunmoo-2B ballistic missile, with a flight range of around 500 kilometres (311 miles).
South Korea has developed increasingly powerful missiles designed to target heavily fortified bunkers and tunnels in North Korea, as well as a way to decrease its military dependence on the United States, which stations thousands of troops on the peninsula.
Both Koreas cite military developments in the other as reasons to boost their capabilities.
North Korea has unveiled a series of new SLBMs in recent years, and appears to be building an operational submarine designed to eventually carry them.
Reporting by Josh Smith. Additional reporting by Sangmi Cha; Editing by Michael Perry
BAGHDAD (AP) — With the help of the United Nations, authorities in Iraq are taking measures to prevent voter fraud in national elections next month, the U.N. envoy to Iraq said Tuesday.
However, Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert stressed that Iraqi political parties and candidates must abstain from intimidation, voter suppression and bribes to ensure the October federal elections are free and fair.
Speaking to reporters in Baghdad, Hennis-Plasschaert outlined efforts by Iraqi electoral authorities, with technical assistance from the U.N., to close loopholes from the past that have undermined public trust in Iraq’s electoral process.
The 2018 elections saw a record low turnout with just 44% of eligible voters casting ballots. The results were widely contested.
Iraq has requested U.N. monitoring on election day — Oct. 10 — and the U.N. is also helping Iraq’s High Electoral Commission, the official body that oversees polls.
Hennis Plasschaert underlined that the running of next month’s polls will be very different from 2018 due to new strict measures. An independent audit firm will keep tabs on how votes are counted, she said.
To prevent fraud, provisional results will be shown at polls throughout the country. In the past, these were announced once the ballots had been transported and counted at the commission’s headquarters.
There will also be 130 international experts monitoring the polls, along with 600 support staff. To prevent abuse of electronic voter cards, they will be disabled for 72 hours after a person votes to avoid double voting, she said.
Next month’s vote is being held a year in advance, in line with a promise made by Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi when he assumed office in 2020 to appease anti-government protesters.
Uncertainty emerged whether the polls would be held on time after influential Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr said he would contest them. But he has since reversed that decision.
The elections are also being held under a new, reformed electoral law that divides Iraq into 83 constituencies, instead of just 18.
“Voters will vote for individuals, not just parties,” Hennis-Plasschaert said. “There is no place for any impropriety and that includes pressuring individuals to vote for specific candidates.”
She offered examples of the pressuring — including the withholding of salaries, buying and selling votes and intimidation of voters through threats of violence and blackmail. In a first, mobile phones and cameras “will not be allowed inside voting booths,” she said.
She also urged Iraqis, especially the disillusioned youth who make up 60% of the population, to vote and warned against boycotting the election.
“Boycotting elections will not solve anything. On the contrary, if you don’t vote, you end up boosting those whose positions you may oppose,” she said.
Official website of Ali Khamenei / Wikimedia Commons
Many countries are keeping tabs on the ongoing nuclear activities of Iran especially through the nuclear deal that was established in 2015. A probe on the Islamic nation’s nuclear activities reveals that it has enough enriched uranium to develop a nuclear weapon in days.
A report is set to confirm that Iran has enriched enough uranium to develop a nuclear weapon of its own in a span of fewer than two weeks. Former deputy director-general of the International Atomic Energy Agency Oli Heinonen warned that it was time for a more robust approach to the nuclear threat that Iran now poses. Heinonen said that the findings mean that Iran no longer cares what western nations think of them as they push through with their nuclear program.
“Moreover, in a couple of days, the new IAEA report will be an eye-opener. I predict it will show that stocks of 60 percent enriched uranium and 20 percent enriched uranium, when combined, are enough to produce one nuclear device in just a few weeks — less than two months,” said Heinonen. “This means Iran has already achieved a kind of immunity.”
Heinonen went on to accuse France, Germany, and the United Kingdom, as well as US President Joe Biden — who was the vice president when Barack Obama oversaw the nuclear deal — of living in the past. Heinonen said that it was time to move on from the nuclear agreement that was established years ago. With the US having withdrawn from the deal in 2018, it was up to the three other European nations to take action.
“But this is also an opportunity to find a different approach. Iran has no real interest in nuclear weapons, but it does want to end all sanctions,” added Heinonen.
This probe comes at the heels of the initially chaotic evacuation of US troops along with other allies and concerned Afghans from Afghanistan as the war-torn country has now fallen to the insurgent group Taliban. Thousands of Afghans who still fear the hardline regime of the Taliban have looked to flee the country, including fleeing to Iran, which has said it would provide shelter to Afghan refugees.
It should be noted that the Islamic beliefs of Iran and the Taliban have made the two rivals as Iranians despise the Sunni Muslim Taliban.
By Kit Klarenberg, an investigative journalist exploring the role of intelligence services in shaping politics and perceptions. Follow him on Twitter @KitKlarenberg
How much did the Central Intelligence Agency know about Pakistan’s concerted effort to build up its nuclear arsenal? Newly released files pose some interesting questions about the agency’s apparent role in the process.
Since returning to power in Afghanistan, the Taliban has amassed a vast trove of US-made weaponry. The total value and size of the haul, and the question of whether the group can even in fact use the more high-tech equipment, has been hotly disputed.
Nonetheless, numerous US and UK officials, including Colonel Richard Kemp, who commanded the British Army in Afghanistan, and notorious former American national security advisor John Bolton, have expressed scaremongering concerns about an even more troubling prospect – the Taliban getting its hands on nuclear material from neighboring Pakistan.
The story of how Islamabad acquired nuclear weapons is quite extraordinary – and declassified documents newly-published by the National Security Archive shed significant further light on the tale, in the process raising questions about the Central Intelligence Agency’s role.
Pakistan’s push for nuclear weapons began in 1967, in response to India’s nuclear program, and became turbocharged in the wake of the Bangladesh Liberation War, in which Islamabad was comprehensively crushed, losing 150,000 square kilometers of territory as well as over half its population to the newly-independent state.
However, despite numerous public statements unambiguously underlining the country’s ambitions, the files suggest that the State Department only became sure of its nuclear aims in March 1978, and only then due to intelligence passed on by a UK diplomat.
They revealed that two years earlier, Pakistan bought inverters from a UK company, which London suspected “were destined for use in a centrifuge enrichment plant.” A recent repeat order reinforced those suspicions, but the diplomat believed it possible that there was “time to stop it developing further.” What officials did with this information isn’t known, although it’s somewhat inconceivable it wasn’t shared with the CIA in some fashion.
It’s likely that a great many messages related to the covert and illegal nuclear weapons program were exchanged using these machines, given that the effort was highly international in nature. Central to this conspiracy was Abdul Qadeer Khan, a Belgian-educated metallurgist, who had stolen gas centrifuge technology while working in the Netherlands for Anglo-Dutch-German consortium URENCO. He then began using his overseas contacts to source sensitive machinery from all over Europe, which would allow Islamabad to develop nukes.
Khan’s activities in the Netherlands had attracted some attention, and authorities moved to arrest him in 1975. However, former Dutch Prime Minister Ruud Lubbers claims that the CIA specifically intervened to prevent his prosecution, on the basis the Agency wished to monitor him and his contacts, indicating Langley had been aware of Khan, and his mission, for years by February 1979, the first time he’s referenced in declassified State Department cables.
Khan returned to Pakistan three years earlier, and former CIA director George Tenet has boasted, “we were inside his residence, inside his facilities, inside his rooms.” Yet, this supremely intimate insight somehow didn’t result in Langley torpedoing Pakistan’s nuclear ambitions, despite President Carter’s administration being so desperate in that regard, it was internally proposedto “buy the Pakistanis off [with] a combination of aid, debt rescheduling and arms,” a strategy it was acknowledged would set the “worst possible precedent in any future cases.”
The CIA also apparently didn’t detect Khan’s creation of a “nuclear supermarket” under its nose, through which he sold the foundational components of nuclear weapons to a variety of foreign governments, including Saudi Arabia, let alone subvert its operation. This is widely portrayed as a mere, if major, intelligence failure on the CIA’s part. An alternative explanation, never seemingly hitherto entertained, is that the Agency approved of Khan’s activities, wanted him to proceed, and actively shielded him from other prying eyes in Washington.Also on rt.com As Afghan war ends, House approves $24bn bump for Pentagon budget
His supermarket remained in operation for many years – in the meantime, he began serving as an official adviser to the Pakistani government on science and technology, and became a much-loved public figure in the country. In 1998, he became celebrated as ‘Mohsin e-Pakistan’ (Saviour of Pakistan), after the country detonated six nuclear bombs at a test site.
Five years later though, the George Bush administration turned over evidence of Khan’s involvement in a global proliferation network to Islamabad, and the next year he was dismissed from his post. He also confessed to his role in the ring. Despite claiming to have acted alone, Sweden’s Weapons of Mass Destruction Commission, headed by Hans Blix, contends Khan couldn’t have operated “without the awareness of the Pakistan government,” a position shared by US officials and the International Atomic Energy Agency, which has repeatedly called for Khan to be interrogated on the question.
These demands have consistently been dismissed by Islamabad, although he has fallen out of favor with authorities in recent years, spending an extended period under house arrest after publicly accusing a number of high-ranking Pakistani officials of sanctioning and directing his proliferation work. In 2020, he alleged security forces personnel installed in the house next door to his own blocked him from meeting relatives, friends and lawyers.
In August this year, Khan contractedCovid-19, and was moved to hospital after his health rapidly deteriorated. A great many, both in Islamabad and Washington, are surely hoping he takes certain secrets to the grave. After all, if the Taliban does acquire nuclear technology, it might represent the gravest example of CIA ‘blowback’yet identified.
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The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.
The Palestinian resistance movement Hamas has called on all Palestinians to hold “days of anger” protests if Israeli settlers continue their acts of aggression against the holy al-Aqsa Mosque during their Jewish holidays.
In a statement on Sunday, Hamas spokesman Mohammed Hamadeh urged all Palestinian masses in the occupied al-Quds City and those in those territories occupied by the Tel Aviv regime in 1948 to intensify their presence at al-Aqsa Mosque.
He noted that the measure is intended to demonstrate to the occupying regime that their holy site is not alone and has devoted people protecting it, the Palestinian Information Center reported.
The Hamas official stressed that the daily settler break-ins at the al-Aqsa Mosque are orchestrated and protected by the security and military institutions of the Israeli regime.
He also stressed that the Palestinian resistance would not be tolerant toward any flagrant aggression against al-Quds and the al-Aqsa Mosque and would remain prepared to safeguard the sanctity of the holy site and defend its people in the occupied city.
The al-Aqsa Mosque compound sits just above the Western Wall plaza and houses both the Dome of the Rock and the al-Aqsa Mosque.
The Jewish visitation of al-Aqsa is permitted, but according to an agreement signed between Israel and Jordan — which is the custodian of the holy sites at the compound — after Israel’s occupation of East al-Quds in 1967, non-Muslim worship at the compound is strictly prohibited.
Visits accompanied by worship thus anger the Palestinians, who have repeatedly warned of Israeli attempts to change the status quo of the al-Aqsa compound, the third holiest site in Islam.
Furthermore, the number of Israeli lawmakers who enter the sacred compound has increased since former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu decided in July 2018 to allow such visits once every three months.
Last month, Palestinians marked the 52nd anniversary of the arson attack on the al-Aqsa Mosque.