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.

How bad would a South Korean Nuclear Horn be: Daniel 7

South Korean missiles on display at the Korean War Memorial. Credit: Daniel Foster. Accessed via Flickr. CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.

How bad would a nuclear-armed South Korea be? Let us count the ways.

By Lauren Sukin | October 21, 2021

Earlier this month, South Korea tested a ballistic missile from a submarine, making it the only country without nuclear weapons to do so. The test followed US-South Korea discussions about the possibility of collaboration on proposed nuclear-powered submarines—a move that could provide South Korea fissile fuel stockpiles not subject to inspections by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). South Korea’s interest in these dual-use military technologies suggests support for an independent nuclear arsenal is no longer only on the fringes. The South Korean public has, for years, largely supportedproliferation, in part out of concern about relying on the US nuclear security guarantee. Numerous South Korean political leaders, including the leading conservative party presidential candidate, Hong Joon-pyo, have been outspoken about South Korea’s need “to independently seek nuclear armament.” Even some US academics claim South Korean nuclear proliferation “might be the best course” for Seoul, arguing the United States should “render political support” if South Korea chose to proliferate.

These expressions of support notwithstanding, a South Korean effort to obtain nuclear weapons would be costly, and it would endanger South Korea’s geopolitical situation. Nuclear weapons would hardly improve South Korea’s ability to deter North Korea and China. And rather than support a nuclear South Korea, the United States would be better off investing in nonnuclear solutions to East Asian security challenges.

In the first place, South Korea’s existing efforts to manage relations with both the United States and China are working. South Korea has affirmed support for the ‘Quad’—a security partnership among Australia, India, Japan, and the United States—without officially joining. Under President Moon Jae-in’s “New Southern Policy,” South Korea has built much stronger economic and diplomatic ties in Southeast Asia and India. South Korea has expanded regional security cooperation as well, with improved coordination on issues like law enforcement and cybersecurity and with the implementation of joint military exercisesaimed at peacetime activities like search and rescue. This approach allows South Korea to balance against China without direct confrontation. South Korea and China cooperate on core issues like trade, North Korean denuclearization, and pandemic management.

South Korea’s relations with North Korea also show signs of warming. The cross-border “hotline” between North and South Korean leaders was recently reopened, with officials from both states holding their first phone call in several months. North Korea has also reached south to suggest its willingness to hold diplomatic talks. North Korea has been badly hit by the coronavirusnatural disasters, and ongoing sanctions, so the time may be right for a resumption of negotiations. The situation, though, remains delicate. Should South Korea take steps towards a nuclear weapons capability, diplomacy would be radically altered.

If South Korea nevertheless concludes it needs nuclear weapons, it will find them costly and dangerous. Unless South Korean withdrawal from the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) was seen as as occurring in “good faith,” the UN Security Council could levy punishment. China, at least, would push hard for this outcome. South Korea could also face blowback from the United States. Nuclear proliferation would violate the commitments to peaceful, civilian usage of nuclear infrastructure included in the US-South Korea nuclear cooperation agreement. Violations would give the United States the right to demand the return of any transferred nuclear technologies or materials. It could also enable sanctions. While the United States may face some political difficulties levying sanctions on a proliferating ally, it has happened before—for example, with Pakistan and South Africa.

North Korea restarted nuclear reactor for plutonium production, IAEA saysMoreover, China and North Korea would be loath to quietly accept a South Korean nuclear arsenal. China’s dismayed reaction to the deployment of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile defense system illustrates how seriously it takes threats to nuclear deterrence. Meanwhile, North Korea has consistently called out perceived challenges to its nuclear security, including South Korean missile developments and joint US-South Korean military exercises, and has repeatedly demonstrated willingness to escalate in response. Pyongyang would likely do whatever it could to undermine South Korean resolve if Seoul expressed serious interest in building nuclear weapons.RELATED: Nuclear Notebook: How many nuclear weapons does North Korea have in 2021?Neither would nuclear weapons necessarily be useful for deterring China and North Korea. Nuclear-armed adversaries are no less prone to wars and do engage in lower-level belligerence. For example, China has continuously engaged in territorial contests with India. Beijing’s ongoing nuclear buildup also suggests a shift in the military’s strategic thinking that may privilege nuclear weapons. Meanwhile, even the United States has had limited success leveraging nuclear assets to deter North Korea.South Korea should pursue a non-nuclear solution to its security problems. Ongoing efforts to develop an effective “conventional counterforce” strategy, which would leverage conventional military assets to deter nuclear threats, could be an important part of this equation. South Korea should also continue to pursue talks with North Korea, invest in regional initiatives (without explicitly counterbalancing China), and encourage the United States to engage China on arms control.Fortunately, the Biden administration can make this process easier. The White House has several openings to both reinvigorate nonproliferation and reduce the threats South Korea faces. The Nuclear Posture Review (NPR) offers an opportunity to reiterate alliance commitments and reduce the role of nuclear weapons. The upcoming NPT Review Conference represents a chance to reinvigorate nonproliferation norms and reopen conversations about arms control. This could set the stage for the White House to fulfill its promises to “pursue arms control to reduce the dangers from China’s modern and growing nuclear arsenal,” as well as to restart talks with North Korea. Continued diplomacy will also play a crucial role in navigating better ways to support South Korea. These efforts won’t be easy, although they would be helped by a fuller staff of qualified diplomats. But done effectively, they could help preserve nuclear nonproliferation and produce better strategic stability.Editor’s note: The first sentence of this article has been corrected to clarify that the ballistic missile test was from a submarine and that there was only one missile.

NATO tries to deter the growing Russian Nuclear Horn: Daniel 7

NATO to agree master plan to deter growing Russian threat

Contributor Oct 21, 2021 6:00AM EDT

By Robin Emmott

BRUSSELS, Oct 21 (Reuters) – NATO defence ministers are set to agree a new master plan on Thursday to defend against any potential Russian attack on multiple fronts, reaffirming the alliance’s core goal of deterring Moscow despite a growing focus on China.

The confidential strategy aims to prepare for any simultaneous attack in the Baltic and Black Sea regions that could include nuclear weapons, hacking of computer networks and assaults from space.

“It recognises a more 21st century threat and how to deal with it,” British defence minister Ben Wallace told reporters. 

Officials stress that they do not believe any Russian attack is imminent. Moscow denies any aggressive intentions and says it is NATO that risks destabilising Europe with such preparations.

But diplomats say the “Concept for Deterrence and Defence in the Euro-Atlantic Area” – and its strategic implementation plan – is needed as Russia develops advanced weapon systems and deploys troops and equipment closer to the allies’ borders.

“This is the way of deterrence,” German Defence Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer said of the plan. 

“And this is being adapted to the current behaviour of Russia – and we are seeing violations particularly of the air space over the Baltic states, but also increasing incursions over the Black Sea,” she told German radio Deutschlandfunk.

Approval will allow for more detailed regional plans by the end of 2022, a U.S. official said, allowing NATO to decide what additional weapons it needs and how to position its forces.

FLASHPOINTS

In May, Russia amassed some 100,000 troops on its border with Ukraine, the highest number since Moscow annexed Crimea in 2014, Western officials say. In September, Russia used new combat robots in large military drills with its ex-Soviet ally Belarus that have alarmed Baltic allies.

With Russia upgrading or replacing Soviet military space systems to potentially attack satellites in orbit, developing artificial intelligence-based technologies to disrupt allied command systems, Moscow is also developing “super weapons”.

Unveiled in 2018, they include nuclear-capable hypersonic cruise missiles that could evade early-warning systems.

Retired U.S. General Ben Hodges, who commanded U.S. army forces in Europe from 2014 until 2017, said he hoped the plan would foster greater coherence in NATO’s collective defence, meaning more resources for the Black Sea region.

“To me, this is the more likely flashpoint than the Baltics,” Hodges told Reuters, noting fewer big allies such as Britain and France have a strong presence in the Black Sea, and Turkey is more focused on conflict in Syria.

Jamie Shea, a former senior NATO official now at the Friends of Europe think-tank in Brussels, said the plan might also help to cement a focus on Russia at a time when major allies are seeking to boost their presence in the Indo-Pacific and counter China’s rising military power.

“The assumption up until now has been that Russia is a nuisance but not an imminent threat. But the Russians are doing some worrying things. They’re practising with robotics, and hypersonic cruise missiles could be very disruptive indeed,” Shea said.

(Reporting by Robin Emmott; Editing by Alison Williams and Gareth Jones)

((robin.emmott@thomsonreuters.com+32 2 287 6835; Reuters Messaging: robin.emmott.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

Antichrist’s victory will not ease Iraq’s malaise

Sadr’s victory will not ease Iraq’s malaise

Country’s democratic experiment fails to deliver 18 years after US-led invasion

When Iraqis braved violence to vote in their country’s first election two years after the 2003 US-led invasion toppled dictator Saddam Hussein, then President George W Bush stated that Iraqi “men and women have taken rightful control of their country’s destiny”. Yet 16 years and five parliamentary elections later, Iraqis are still waiting for Bush’s words to ring true. In this month’s election, just 41 per cent of registered voters bothered to cast ballots, the lowest turnout in the post-Saddam era. The apathy underscored the disillusionment Iraqis have for the democratic experiment ushered in by the Bush administration that promised so much but has, so far, delivered so little. At successive elections, Iraqis’ common refrain is that the same old factions are competing in a system rotten with corruption and patronage, a system that has squandered the oil-rich country’s wealth and failed to provide jobs and basic services. The latest election was won by a bloc led by Moqtada al-Sadr, a maverick cleric whose Mahdi Army spearheaded the Shia resistance against the US-led occupation and was a protagonist in the sectarian violence that pushed Iraq to the brink of civil war. In politics, he models himself as a champion of the Shia poor and a nationalist who will negate the competing — and destabilising — influences of the US and Iran. Hopes that he would not be a stooge of Tehran led US policymakers in recent times to believe a government with a strong Sadrist component may help counter the influence of more pro-Iranian factions and their militias. Fatah, an alliance of Iranian-backed groups affiliated to powerful militias, suffered at the polls as its number of seats plummeted from 48 to 20. In contrast, Sadr’s bloc won 73 of the assembly’s 329 seats. The nature of a fragmented political system, based on ethnic and sectarian quotas, means the Sadrists will have to trade with rivals to form a coalition. The pro-Iranian militants’ military strength ensures they will almost certainly have to be part of the equation. And it would be simplistic to assume that Sadr, who has had an ambiguous relationship with Tehran over the years, will be an anti-Iranian force. Sadr’s victory may increase the chances of prime minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi serving a second term. Kadhimi won plaudits in the west for signalling an intent to rein in the more militant Iranian-aligned militias, accused of targeting US troops and killing and intimidating opponents, including pro-democracy activists. But his tentative efforts have been met with aggressive counter-reactions that only reinforced the state’s weakness. Kadhimi has also become dependent on the support of the Sadrists, who face the same accusations of corruption as others. Sadr portrays himself as a reformist but he is a populist who is unlikely to pursue the economic and social reforms Iraq needs, and he is part of an establishment that has consistently put its own interests first. In a region where autocrats rule, Iraqis do at least have the option to vote — a right denied to so many of their neighbours. But Iraq offers a lesson that elections alone do not ensure the creation of a fully functioning democracy. The west’s failure, and the US’ in particular, has been to view Iraq through the prism of Iran and bet on leaders they believe best represent western interests. They would be far better to think beyond the short-term and support efforts that address the root causes of Iraq’s malaise, starting with accountability for rights abuses and corruption. Only then can Iraqis start truly believing in the democracy they were promised 18 years ago.

Nobody Will Stop the War Outside the Temple Walls: Revelation 11

Israeli and foreigner peace activists stage a protest against Israeli authorities' decision on evacuating Palestinian families who live in Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of Eastern Jerusalem on 25 January 2019. [Faiz Abu Rmeleh - Anadolu Agency]

Poll: Promoting peace between Israel and Palestine the lowest priority

Israeli and foreigner peace activists stage a protest against Israeli authorities’ decision on evacuating Palestinian families who live in Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of Eastern Jerusalem on 25 January 2019. [Faiz Abu Rmeleh – Anadolu Agency]October 20, 2021 at 1:38 pm 

A slim majority, 53 per cent of Israelis, believe that Israel should seek assistance from the countries it has normalised relations with to advance peace with the Palestinians, a new survey has found.

However, Mitvim – the Israeli Institute for Regional Foreign Policies survey conducted in September, also revealed that promoting peace with the Palestinians came in last place out of the priorities of issues listed, at 5.64 out of ten. This score has been on a steady decline since 2019.

A year after the Abraham Accords were signed, out of the representative sample of 700 Israeli adults polled for the survey, 34 per cent think the agreements are a turning point for Israel’s acceptance in the Middle East, while 31 per cent think Israel’s status has not changed significantly.

The United Arab Emirates and Morocco are the Arab countries that Israelis are most interested in visiting, at 10 per cent each, followed by Lebanon at 7 per cent, Egypt at 6 per cent while Saudi Arabia and Jordan are both only of interest to 3 per cent.

About half – 48 per cent – of Israelis do not want to visit any Arab country, up from 42 per cent last year.

Moreover, about half of Israelis think that meetings between Israeli ministers and their Palestinian counterparts are not a positive development; 30 per cent think it is merely symbolic and 17 per cent think it is negative and harms Israeli interests. Only 32 per cent think the meetings are positive and will improve relations between Israel and the Palestinians.

When it comes to the Palestinian Authority’s (PA) economic and political crisis, 38 per cent of Israelis think Israel should not be involved, 28 per cent believe Israel should act to strengthen the PA and 13 per cent think Israel should weaken the PA.

Additionally, only 9 percent of Israelis think the government is handling Gaza well; 31 per cent think Israel should try to bring the PA back in control of the Gaza Strip while 22 per cent think the international community should be enlisted for Gaza’s economic rehabilitation and 13% favoured negotiations with Hamas for a long-term settlement.

The survey also found that almost half of Israelis, 47 per cent, view the EU as adversarial to Israel, which will improve its economic situation if they exclude the settlements. Meanwhile, 35 per cent believe the country should join the EU programmes.

The United States (US) is the most important country for the public in Israel. Russia ranked second, followed by Germany, Britain, China, Egypt, France and Jordan. The public gives US-Israel relations a score of 6.46 out of 10, with only 35 per cent rating the state of relations with the US as good—the lowest score since 2016 before Trump took office, and a steep decline from last year’s rating of 8.05 out of 10 and 67 per cent rating the relationship as good.

Dr Ilai Saltzman, a Mitvim board member, said that it is not surprising that the Israelis surveyed believe that US President, Joe Biden, is less beneficial for Israel than the former US President, Donald Trump, citing his association with the Obama administration, which was considered by many Israelis as hostile to the Jewish state.

Also, Trump was perceived as being very favourable to Israel and the Democratic Party is seen as the ideological opposite of many right-leaning Israelis.

However, Saltzman added that Biden has not been in office for a full year and should be examined “based on his commitment to Israel’s security, his contribution to resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, advancement of the regional peace agreements, a solution to the conflict with Iran, and Israel’s renewed positioning as the subject of bipartisan American support.”

The poll was conducted by the Rafi Smith Institute, in collaboration with the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung Foundation.

IAEA chief warns Iran Nuclear Horn is not being monitored

IAEA chief warns Iran nuclear surveillance is no longer ‘intact’

Rafael Grossi seeks urgent meeting with Tehran’s foreign minister as part of effort to resurrect global pact

An Iranian flag at the country’s Bushehr nuclear power plant. President Ebrahim Raisi said on state TV on Monday that his government was ‘serious’ about pursuing nuclear negotiations © AFP via Getty Images

The head of the UN’s atomic watchdog has warned that stop-gap measures to monitor Iran’s nuclear activities are no longer “intact” amid concerns that talks to resurrect a global agreement to curb Tehran’s atomic work have stalled. 

Rafael Grossi, director-general of the IAEA, told the Financial Times in an interview he urgently needed to meet Tehran’s foreign minister to discuss proposals to reinvigorate the fragile surveillance programme.

“I haven’t been able to talk to [Iran’s new] foreign minister,” Grossi told the FT during a visit to Washington. “I need to have this contact at the political level. This is indispensable. Without it, we cannot understand each other.”

The continued surveillance of Tehran’s nuclear activity through cameras and other devices has sustained hope that a global deal to curb Tehran’s nuclear activity and lift sanctions can be resurrected. In 2018, Donald Trump withdrew from the 2015 multi-party nuclear pact with Iran and imposed hefty new sanctions. Tehran has since rejected key monitoring efforts while increasing the volume and purity of its fissile material. The country has always denied it is trying to build a nuclear weapon.

Joe Biden’s administration is seeking to re-enter the deal but six rounds of indirect talks have stalled since the election of President Ebrahim Raisi, a hardline cleric, in June. Grossi said Iran was “within a few months” of having enough material for a nuclear weapon, although he said he did not think it was pursuing one.

The so-called breakout time was “continuously lessening” as Iran enriched more uranium, with more efficient centrifuges, he added. “It is becoming shorter and shorter,” Grossi added, saying he needed working cameras reinstalled at Tesa Karaj — a manufacturing complex west of Tehran that fabricates parts for centrifuges — “yesterday”.

Grossi negotiated a last-minute compromisein February to keep cameras recording — temporarily forgoing examination of footage — at key sites in Iran after Tehran’s parliament voted to end snap inspections by the IAEA.

But late last month Grossi reported Iran had broken an agreement by refusing to grant surveillance access to Tesa Karaj, a “very important” facility that produces parts for centrifuges and whose data Grossi said were essential to “reconstruct” the record of Iran’s nuclear activities.

Iran has defended its decision not to allow cameras to be installed. It said Israel sabotaged its facilities in Tesa Karaj in a June attack it said had “severely damaged” the site, including cameras. Iran wants the international community and the IAEA to condemn the attack. 

Grossi said: “There is this issue with Karaj, and I’m working on it . . . Our stop-gap has been seriously affected so it’s not intact. But it’s not valueless either.” 

Western officials hope negotiations will pick up next month, ahead of the next quarterly meeting of the IAEA board of governors, where any prospect of western powers pushing to censure Iran formally would embarrass Tehran. 
 
Ali Vaez, Iran director at the International Crisis Group, said Iran wanted to avoid such a resolution but it did not want to yield unilaterally to inspections pressure while it was under such harsh sanctions.

Grossi spoke to the FT after meeting US secretary of state Antony Blinken earlier on Monday. “We both want this to work and at the moment it’s not sure, it’s not certain that it will work,” he said of his talks with America’s top diplomat. Grossi said Tehran had told him he could meet foreign minister Hossein Amirabdollahian “but they are taking their time”.

The US Department of State said on Monday it wanted talks to resume in Vienna “as soon as possible” but that Biden had “made clear that if diplomacy fails we are prepared to turn to other options” he had yet to spell out. Israel is pushing for an aggressive “Plan B”.

Raisi said on state TV on Monday night that his government was “serious” about chasing nuclear negotiations. “[Talks] . . . must bear results for the Islamic republic. The readiness of the other parties for lifting of sanctions can be regarded as a sign of their seriousness.”

In a sign Iran remains politically divisive for the Biden administration, a Democratic aide said multiple members in Congress believed the US “should do more to impose real consequences on Iran for its stonewalling of IAEA investigations”. 

Additional reporting by Monavar Khalaj in Tehran

The Russian and American Nuclear Horns Collide

Pictures claiming to show two US nuke bombers being escorted away from Russian territory
Pictures claiming to show two US nuke bombers being escorted away from Russian territory

Dramatic moment ‘Russian fighter jets intercept two US supersonic nuke bombers over the Black Sea’

  • Will Stewart

RUSSIAN jets were deployed to escort two US supersonic nuke bombers away from the country’s Black Sea border, Moscow claimed today.

Two Su-30 planes reportedly forced the American pilots to dramatically alter course as tensions between the two nuclear powers continue to rage.

A Russian Su-35 fighter (stock image)
A Russian Su-35 fighter (stock image)

The Russian defence ministry said: “To identify the air targets and prevent a breach of the state border of the Russian Federation, two Su-30 fighters from the Black Sea Fleet’s naval aviation and air defence forces were scrambled.

“Crews of the Russian fighters identified the air targets as two B-1B hypersonic strategic bombers of the US air force.”

Moscow released footage of the incident, which was filmed from one of the Russian fighters.

The two US B-1 bombers flew from RAF Fairford in Gloucestershire to conduct training exercised in the Black Sea region.

They were accompanied by two KC-135 tanker planes before the Russian military “escorted them over the Black Sea”, said the statement.

”After the foreign military aircraft turned away from the state border of the Russian Federation, the Russian fighters returned safely to its home base,” the ministry said.

A similar incident occurred on Sunday over the Sea of Japan, just days after a Russian confrontation with a US naval destroyer, also on Russia’s Pacific coast.