A Lack Of Vigilance Before The Sixth Seal (Revelation 6:12)

      

Faults Underlying Exercise Vigilant GuardStory by: (Author NameStaff Sgt. Raymond Drumsta – 138th Public Affairs Detachment
Dated: Thu, Nov 5, 2009
This map illustrates the earthquake fault lines in Western New York. An earthquake in the region is a likely event, says University of Buffalo Professor Dr. Robert Jacobi.
TONAWANDA, NY — An earthquake in western New York, the scenario that Exercise Vigilant Guard is built around, is not that far-fetched, according to University of Buffalo geology professor Dr. Robert Jacobi.
When asked about earthquakes in the area, Jacobi pulls out a computer-generated state map, cross-hatched with diagonal lines representing geological faults.
The faults show that past earthquakes in the state were not random, and could occur again on the same fault systems, he said.
“In western New York, 6.5 magnitude earthquakes are possible,” he said.
This possibility underlies Exercise Vigilant Guard, a joint training opportunity for National Guard and emergency response organizations to build relationships with local, state, regional and federal partners against a variety of different homeland security threats including natural disasters and potential terrorist attacks.
The exercise was based on an earthquake scenario, and a rubble pile at the Spaulding Fibre site here was used to simulate a collapsed building. The scenario was chosen as a result of extensive consultations with the earthquake experts at the University of Buffalo’s Multidisciplinary Center for Earthquake Engineering Research (MCEER), said Brig. Gen. Mike Swezey, commander of 53rd Troop Command, who visited the site on Monday.
Earthquakes of up to 7 magnitude have occurred in the Northeastern part of the continent, and this scenario was calibrated on the magnitude 5.9 earthquake which occurred in Saguenay, Quebec in 1988, said Jacobi and Professor Andre Filiatrault, MCEER director.
“A 5.9 magnitude earthquake in this area is not an unrealistic scenario,” said Filiatrault.
Closer to home, a 1.9 magnitude earthquake occurred about 2.5 miles from the Spaulding Fibre site within the last decade, Jacobi said. He and other earthquake experts impaneled by the Atomic Energy Control Board of Canada in 1997 found that there’s a 40 percent chance of 6.5 magnitude earthquake occurring along the Clareden-Linden fault system, which lies about halfway between Buffalo and Rochester, Jacobi added.
Jacobi and Filiatrault said the soft soil of western New York, especially in part of downtown Buffalo, would amplify tremors, causing more damage.
“It’s like jello in a bowl,” said Jacobi.
The area’s old infrastructure is vulnerable because it was built without reinforcing steel, said Filiatrault. Damage to industrial areas could release hazardous materials, he added.
“You’ll have significant damage,” Filiatrault said.
Exercise Vigilant Guard involved an earthquake’s aftermath, including infrastructure damage, injuries, deaths, displaced citizens and hazardous material incidents. All this week, more than 1,300 National Guard troops and hundreds of local and regional emergency response professionals have been training at several sites in western New York to respond these types of incidents.
Jacobi called Exercise Vigilant Guard “important and illuminating.”
“I’m proud of the National Guard for organizing and carrying out such an excellent exercise,” he said.
Training concluded Thursday.

Antichrist Orders MPs to Boycott Iraqi Presidential Election

Sadr Orders MPs to Boycott Iraqi Presidential Election

Baghdad – Asharq Al-Awsat

Sunday, 6 February, 2022 – 06:15 

Members of the Iraqi parliament gather before the vote on the new government at the parliament headquarters in Baghdad, May 7, 2020. (Iraqi Parliament Media Office/Handout via Reuters)

Head of Iraq’s Sadrist movement, cleric Moqtada al-Sadr announced on Friday the suspension of negotiations over the election of a new president.

Sadr had been negotiating with the rival Coordination Framework over the elections, which are set for Monday.

His announcement came a day after reports said his representative, as well as representatives of the Kurdistan Region and the parliament speaker, had attempted to meet with head of the Fatah alliance, Hadi al- Ameri.

The reports had also said that the Sadrists and the Coordination Framework were nearing an agreement over the election – through a mediation led by head of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) Masoud Barzani.

The meeting with Ameri ultimately fell through with Sadr declaring that his 75-member parliamentary bloc will not vote for KDP candidate Hoshyar Zebari “if he is implicated in corruption.”

“We are advocates of reform,” Sadr tweeted on Friday.

Sadr’s announcement has fueled debate in Iraq. The opponents of his alliance, which includes the KDP, Speaker Mohammed al-Halbousi and leading Sunni figure Khamis Khanjar, have alleged that Zebari, a former finance and foreign minister, was embroiled in corruption that led to his sacking as finance minister in 2016.

Political powers have a day to prove Zebari’s innocence from the allegations.

Zebari’s KDP had worked tirelessly on Friday and Saturday to ease the fallout over Sadr’s tweet.

Rallies had erupted against his nomination and hundreds of cultural and media figures have signed a petition against his run for president. A court has also summoned Zebari to answer to the claims against him, leaving incumbent Barham Salih likely to be elected for a second term.

Regardless of what happens, the elections still have another hurdle to overcome, the so-called “blocking third”. The Supreme Court had recently decreed that a president must be elected through a majority of two-thirds of MPs. As it stands, such a condition is unlikely to be met as both Zebari and Salih are backed by rival alliances.

With Monday’s elections cast in doubt, Iraq will probably be confronted with constitutional vacuum. Salih may remain in his post until his successor is elected, while Iraqis will now be concerned that the concept of the blocking third will become the norm in their country.

The blocking third had been adopted in Lebanon’s government to disastrous results in the past with presidential elections being obstructed for two years. The Iraqis will surely want to avoid such a scenario.

Iranian Horn Bombs US Military Again: Daniel 8

US military convoy hit by roadside bomb in Iraq's Diwaniyah

US military convoy hit by roadside bomb in Iraq’s Diwaniyah

TEHRAN, Feb. 06 (MNA) – Iraqi media sources reported Sunday that a third US Army logistics convoy was targeted on a single day in Al- Diwaniyah province.

TEHRAN, Feb. 06 (MNA) – Iraqi media sources reported Sunday that a third US Army logistics convoy was targeted on a single day in Al- Diwaniyah province. 

The local Iraqi media have reported that a logistics convoy belonging to the American occupying troops was targeted in Diwaniyah province.

The Sabereen News reported no group has claimed responsibility for the attack yet.

This was the third US military convoy targeted in Iraq on Sunday. Earlier today, a US military logistics convoy was targeted in the Samawah, the capital of the Al Muthanna province by roadside bombs. Minutes after, Sabereen news reported that a second US logistics convoy had been targeted on the road between Samawah and Diwaniyah.

Following the Iraqi parliament’s decision to expel foreign troops from the country and the government’s delay in complying with the legislation since 2020, US coalition logistics convoys have repeatedly been targeted by roadside bombs, something several times a week or in one single day.

MNA/FNA14001117000536

Rumbling before the sixth seal: Revelation 6

2.9 magnitude earthquake rumbles northern New Hampshire

By Matt Yan Globe Correspondent,Updated February 4, 2022, 2:07 p.m.

A 2.9 magnitude earthquake shook northern New Hampshire early Friday morning, the US Geological Survey National Earthquake Information Center said.

The center said that a 2.9 magnitude earthquake was reported in Gorham, N.H. at 12:39 a.m. Friday.

More than 100 people reported feeling the earthquake on the USGS website.


Matt Yan can be reached at matt.yan@globe.com.

Russia and China nuclear horns line up against U.S. Daniel

Russia and China line up against U.S. in "no limits" partnership

Russia and China line up against U.S. in “no limits” partnership

•   05/02/2022 – 11:55

Russia and China line up against U.S. in “no limits” partnership   –   Copyright  Thomson Reuters 2022

By Andrew Osborn and Mark Trevelyan

MOSCOW -China and Russia proclaimed a deep strategic partnership on Friday to balance what they portrayed as the malign global influence of the United States as China’s President Xi Jinping hosted Russia’s Vladimir Putin on the opening day of the Beijing Winter Olympics.

In a joint statement, the two countries affirmed that their new relationship was superior to any political or military alliance of the Cold War era. 

“Friendship between the two States has no limits, there are no ‘forbidden’ areas of cooperation,” they declared, announcing plans to collaborate in a host of areas including space, climate change, artificial intelligence and control of the Internet.

The agreement marked the most detailed and assertive statement of Russian and Chinese resolve to work together – and against the United States – to build a new international order based on their own interpretations of human rights and democracy.

Steeped in ideological discourse, it was not clear whether it would immediately translate into an increase in tangible and practical cooperation despite Putin trumpeting a new gas deal with China on Friday, or was intended as more of a statement of general policy intent.

Jonathan Eyal of the London-based RUSI think tank said the declaration marked a “frontal rebuttal” of the U.S. and Western view of the world and a possible building block towards a military alliance between Russia and China.

“It’s the most explicit articulation of the ‘making the world safe for dictatorship’ strategy,” he said. “It is a historic point because they both feel cornered and they feel their moment has arrived to state their vision of the world and promote it aggressively.

The two countries have moved closer together as both have come under pressure from the West on a host of issues including their human rights records and Russia’s military build-up near Ukraine. The timing of their announcement was highly symbolic, at a China-hosted Olympics that the United States has subjected to a diplomatic boycott.

Each went significantly further than before, Eyal said, in explicitly backing the other over key bones of contention with the United States and its allies:

– Russia voiced its support for China’s stance that Taiwan is an inalienable part of China, and opposition to any form of independence for the island. Moscow and Beijing also voiced their opposition to the AUKUS alliance between Australia, Britain and the United States, saying it increased the danger of an arms race in the region.

– China joined Russia in calling for an end to NATO enlargement and supported its demand for security guarantees from the West – issues at the heart of Moscow’s confrontation with the United States and its allies over Ukraine.

The two countries expressed concern about “the advancement of U.S. plans to develop global missile defence and deploy its elements in various regions of the world, combined with capacity building of high-precision non-nuclear weapons for disarming strikes and other strategic objectives”.

Elsewhere, without naming Washington, they criticised attempts by “certain states” to establish global hegemony, fan confrontation and impose their own standards of democracy.

TECHANDENERGY

In the technology arena, Russia and China said they were ready to strengthen cooperation on artificial intelligence and information security.

They said they believed that “any attempts to limit their sovereign right to regulate national segments of the Internet and ensure their security are unacceptable”.

Meanwhile Russian state energy giants Gazprom and Rosneft on Friday agreed new gas and oil supply deals with Beijing worth tens of billions of dollars.

The deals capitalise on Putin’s drive to diversify Russian energy exports away from the West, which started shortly after he came to power in 1999. Since then Russia has become China’s top energy supplier and cut its reliance on the West for revenues.

The Kremlin said the presidents also discussed the need to broaden trade in national currencies because of unpredictability surrounding the use of the dollar.

U.S. President Joe Biden has said Russian companies could be cut off from the ability to trade in dollars as part of sanctions if Russia invades Ukraine. 

Moscow denies any such intention, but has used a build-up of more than 100,000 troops near Ukraine’s border to grab the attention of the West and press its demands for security guarantees.

The Chinese gas supplies are not directly linked with Russian gas exports to Europe, and more Russian gas for Beijing does not automatically mean less for Europe. However, they serve Putin as an addition revenue cushion amid the rising threat of U.S. and EU sanctions.

Pakistan to boost her Nuclear Horn: Daniel 7

Pakistan to boost air strike power with 50 enhanced fighter jets

Stealthier JF-17s built with China may dodge India’s S-400 air defenses

ISLAMABAD — The Pakistan Air Force expects next month to add 50 JF-17 fighter jets built jointly with China to replace old aircraft and upgrade capability against India’s missile defense system.

According to Pakistani defense sources, a rollout ceremony was held in December and the new JF-17 jets will fly at the national day military parade on March 23.

JF-17 production began in the late 1980s in a $500 million China-Pakistan joint venture. More than 100 of the aircraft have been commissioned into the PAF since 2007, of which 26 were added in 2020 as part of a so-called second block. The latest 50 are the third block.

The airframes, front fuselage, wings and vertical stabilizer were built by state-owned Pakistan Aeronautical Complex. Other components were supplied by China’s Chengdu Aircraft Corporation, a subsidiary of the state-owned Aviation Industry Corporation of China. All assembly takes place in Pakistan.

The latest jets have improved “high off-boresight” capability, which means they do not have to be pointing in any specific direction to target an adversary. The aircraft can fire from whatever position, and its missiles will adjust thrust, speed and trajectory to hit targets. This greatly enhances PAF operability.

Light composite materials enable the jets to carry five beyond-visual-range missiles, a significant improvement on earlier aircraft. Data fusion technology has also been incorporated to improve communications and decision-making times.

Taimur Fahad Khan, a research associate with the Center for Strategic Perspectives at the Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad, said the multirole fighters will improve PAF capability against India’s new S-400 air defense system.

“S-400 has been found to be largely ineffective against some of the advanced, multirole fighter jets with near stealth features,” Khan told Nikkei Asia. “These jets possess capabilities that make them the best option to counter S-400.”

“JF-17 block three fighters are near stealth with advanced software and radar capabilities that can be used to deceive the tracking system of S-400 missiles, among other systems,” he said.

According to Khan, the new fighters can detect enemy jets at long distances and launch attacks preemptively. The liquid-cooled airborne fire control radar system improves detection of adversaries by 65%, and can target an enemy aircraft from 170 kilometers.

Many observers believe the new jets demonstrate Pakistan’s growing self-reliance in weaponry.

“Pakistan Armed Forces have reasonable capability against any aggression,” Tanveer Sultan Awan, chairman of Hajvairy Technologies, an aviation company, told Nikkei. “The Pakistan Air Force, in particular, is working in the direction of self-reliance, and production of the JF-17 is a demonstration of this policy,” Awan said.

Apart from bolstering the PAF, the JF-17 project has export potential. “It has helped Pakistan build its own capacity for defense production and create a military-industrial complex — something its archrival India still lacks despite large military resources,” said Khan.

Chinese assistance has also enabled Pakistan to export military hardware to other countries. Myanmar and Nigeria have already procured JF-17s, and Argentina has recently expressed interest in the new generation. Argentina’s ambassador to China visited China National Aero-Technology Import & Export Corporation in Beijing in January, and reportedly discussed a possible order.

“Chinese military hardware is now in the league of hi-tech Western equipment,” said Awan, himself a former officer in the PAF. “In years to come, the dependence of Pakistan on Chinese military hardware will be significantly more than on Western equipment.”

Despite the benefits of Chinese assistance, Pakistan remains concerned about the range of weapon procurement options available to India.

Michael Kugelman, deputy director of the Asia program at Wilson Center, says that Islamabad will continue to look at India’s acquisitions with concern — not just because of French Dassault Rafale jets.

“India has the luxury of a diversified group of arms suppliers from Russia and Israel to the U.S. This is why Pakistan won’t be prepared to rest easy anytime soon,” he told Nikkei.

Kugelman said that while the jets are important, and serve a major need for Pakistan, Islamabad is still not at the point where it views China as a replacement to the U.S. as a security provider.

“It would be wrong to assume that Pakistan is prepared to shut the door on the U.S. simply because it is getting these jets and other important defense products from China,” he said. “If Pakistan were presented with an opportunity to acquire U.S. arms, it certainly wouldn’t dismiss it.”

Russia Sends Nukes Towards Europe

A pair of Tu-22M3 bombers of the Russian air force taxi before takeoff at an air base in Russia.(AP)
A pair of Tu-22M3 bombers of the Russian air force taxi before takeoff at an air base in Russia.(AP)

Russia sends nuclear-capable bombers over Belarus amid Ukraine tensions

The flight followed several similar patrols over Belarus, which borders Ukraine to the north.

The flight followed several similar patrols over Belarus, which borders Ukraine to the north.

Russia on Saturday sent a pair of long-range nuclear-capable bombers on patrol over its ally Belarus amid spiralling tensions over Ukraine.

The Russian Defense Ministry said the two Tu-22M3 bombers practiced interacting with the Belarusian air force and air defense during a four-hour mission.

The flight followed several similar patrols over Belarus, which borders Ukraine to the north.

The mission came as the Kremlin has moved troops from Siberia and the Far East to Belarus for sweeping joint drills. The deployment added to the Russian military buildup near Ukraine, fuelling Western fears of a possible invasion.

Russia has denied any plans of attacking Ukraine, but urged the US and its allies to provide a binding pledge that they won’t accept Ukraine into NATO, won’t deploy offensive weapons, and will roll back NATO deployments to Eastern Europe. Washington and NATO have rejected the demands.

The West has called on Russia to pull back an estimated 100,000 troops from areas near Ukraine, but the Kremlin has responded by saying it will station troops wherever it needs to on Russian territory.

As the tensions over Ukraine soared, the Russian military has launched a series of war games spreading from the Arctic to the Black Sea.

The Russian troop deployment to Belarus raised concerns in the West that Moscow could stage an attack on Ukraine from the north.

The Ukrainian capital of Kyiv is just 75 kilometers (50 miles) from the border with Belarus.

In recent months, Russia has conducted a series of joint drills with Belarus and repeatedly sent its nuclear-capable long-range bombers to patrol the skies over Belarus, which borders NATO members Poland, Lithuania and Latvia.

White House warns Russia attack on Ukraine possible any day

Russia could invade Ukraine within days or weeks but could still opt for a diplomatic path, White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan said. This report produced by Chris Dignam.

Belarus’ authoritarian leader Alexander Lukashenko, who has increasingly relied on the Kremlin’s political and financial support amid bruising Western sanctions triggered by his crackdown on domestic protests, has called for closer defense ties with Moscow and recently offered to host Russian nuclear weapons.

On Saturday, the German newspaper Bild published a report alleging that Russia is poised to attack Ukraine from several directions, capture major cities and install a puppet government. Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova angrily dismissed the allegations.

As war fears mounted, Ukrainian authorities launched a series of drills for civilians to prepare for a possible Russian invasion.

“I am here to learn how to defend myself, defend my relatives and also understand how to act in the situation,” Kyiv resident Ilya Goncharov said after taking part in drills on the outskirts of the Ukrainian capital.

“I am happy that I came here to learn the basics of self defense and first aid.”

Amid the standoff over Ukraine, U.S. President Joe Biden has ordered 2,000 US-based troops to Poland and Germany and shifted 1,000 more from Germany to Romania in a show of the US commitment to NATO’s eastern flank.

Earlier this week, Russian President Vladimir Putin has signalled Moscow’s readiness for more talks with Washington and its NATO allies.

As part of high-level diplomacy to ease the tensions, French President Emmanuel Macron is set to head to Moscow and Kyiv on Monday and Tuesday, while German Chancellor Olaf Scholz will travel to Kyiv and Moscow on Feb. 14-15.

On Saturday, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson had a call with Macron and “they agreed that finding a diplomatic solution to the current tensions must remain the overriding priority.”

Johnson’s office said he and the French president “also stressed that NATO must be united in the face of Russian aggression” and “agreed to continue to work together to develop a package of sanctions which would come into force immediately should Russia further invade Ukraine.”

In 2014, Russia annexed Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula after the ouster of its Moscow-friendly leader and threw its weight behind a separatist insurgency in eastern Ukraine, where over 14,000 have been killed in fighting.

Amid the tensions with the West, Putin on Friday attended the opening of the Winter Olympics in Beijing and met with China’s leader Xi Jinping to strengthen the two countries’ alliance.

In a joint statement, Putin and Xi declared their opposition to any expansion of NATO while affirming that the island of Taiwan is a part of China.

Putin and Xi announced that the relations between Moscow and Beijing are “superior to political and military alliances of the Cold War era” and their friendship “has no limits.”