New York Subways at the Sixth Seal (Revelation 6)

How vulnerable are NYC’s underwater subway tunnels to flooding?Ashley Fetters
New York City is full of peculiar phenomena—rickety fire escapes; 100-year-old subway tunnelsair conditioners propped perilously into window frames—that can strike fear into the heart of even the toughest city denizen. But should they? Every month, writer Ashley Fetters will be exploring—and debunking—these New York-specific fears, letting you know what you should actually worry about, and what anxieties you can simply let slip away.
The 25-minute subway commute from Crown Heights to the Financial District on the 2/3 line is, in my experience, a surprisingly peaceful start to the workday—save for one 3,100-foot stretch between the Clark Street and Wall Street stations, where for three minutes I sit wondering what the probability is that I will soon die a torturous, claustrophobic drowning death right here in this subway car.
The Clark Street Tunnel, opened in 1916, is one of approximately a dozen tunnels that escort MTA passengers from one borough to the next underwater—and just about all of them, with the exception of the 1989 addition of the 63rd Street F train tunnel, were constructed between 1900 and 1936.
Each day, thousands of New Yorkers venture across the East River and back again through these tubes buried deep in the riverbed, some of which are nearing or even past their 100th birthdays. Are they wrong to ponder their own mortality while picturing one of these watery catacombs suddenly springing a leak?
Mostly yes, they are, says Michael Horodniceanu, the former president of MTA Capital Construction and current principal of Urban Advisory Group. First, it’s important to remember that the subway tunnel is built under the riverbed, not just in the river—so what immediately surrounds the tunnel isn’t water but some 25 feet of soil. “There’s a lot of dirt on top of it,” Horodniceanu says. “It’s well into the bed of the bottom of the channel.”
And second, as Angus Kress Gillespie, author of Crossing Under the Hudson: The Story of the Holland and Lincoln Tunnels, points out, New York’s underwater subway tunnels are designed to withstand some leaking. And withstand it they do: Pumps placed below the floor of the tunnel, he says, are always running, always diverting water seepage into the sewers. (Horodniceanu says the amount of water these pumps divert into the sewer system each day numbers in the thousands of gallons.)
Additionally, MTA crews routinely repair the grouting and caulking, and often inject a substance into the walls that creates a waterproof membrane outside the tunnel—which keeps water out of the tunnel and relieves any water pressure acting on its walls. New tunnels, Horodniceanu points out, are even built with an outside waterproofing membrane that works like an umbrella: Water goes around it, it falls to the sides, and then it gets channeled into a pumping station and pumped out.
Of course, the classic New York nightmare scenario isn’t just a cute little trickle finding its way in. The anxiety daydream usually involves something sinister, or seismic. The good news, however, is that while an earthquake or explosion would indeed be bad for many reasons, it likely wouldn’t result in the frantic flooding horror scene that plays out in some commuters’ imaginations.
The Montague Tube, which sustained severe damage during Hurricane Sandy.
MTA New York City Transit / Marc A. Hermann
Horodniceanu assures me that tunnels built more recently are “built to withstand a seismic event.” The older tunnels, however—like, um, the Clark Street Tunnel—“were not seismically retrofitted, let me put it that way,” Horodniceanu says. “But the way they were built is in such a way that I do not believe an earthquake would affect them.” They aren’t deep enough in the ground, anyway, he says, to be too intensely affected by a seismic event. (The MTA did not respond to a request for comment.)
One of the only real threats to tunnel infrastructure, Horodniceanu adds, is extreme weather. Hurricane Sandy, for example, caused flooding in the tunnels, which “created problems with the infrastructure.” He continues, “The tunnels have to be rebuilt as a result of saltwater corroding the infrastructure.”
Still, he points out, hurricanes don’t exactly happen with no warning. So while Hurricane Sandy did cause major trauma to the tunnels, train traffic could be stopped with ample time to keep passengers out of harm’s way. In 2012, Governor Andrew Cuomo directed all the MTA’s mass transit services to shut down at 7 p.m. the night before Hurricane Sandy was expected to hit New York City.
And Gillespie, for his part, doubts even an explosion would result in sudden, dangerous flooding. A subway tunnel is not a closed system, he points out; it’s like a pipe that’s open at both ends. “The force of a blast would go forwards and backwards out the exit,” he says.
So the subway-train version of that terrifying Holland Tunnel flood scene in Sylvester Stallone’s Daylight is … unrealistic, right?
“Yeah,” Gillespie laughs. “Yeah. It is.”
Got a weird New York anxiety that you want explored? E-mail tips@curbed.com, and we may include it in a future column.

The 17 Horns Want to Nuke Up: Daniel

Every country in the world will now want nuclear weapons because Putin has shown if you have a nuke, nobody will aid your enemies, former White House adviser claims

  • Ex-White House adviser has claimed that every country in the world will now want nuclear weapons 
  • Fiona Hill said Putin’s ‘nuclear blackmail’ was likely to increase the international demand for nuclear arms
  • Putin referred to nuclear deterrents when he warned the West against intervening after invading Ukraine
  • This week Putin  test-launched his fearsome ‘Satan II’ missile is capable of striking a target 11,200 miles away

By JACK WRIGHT FOR MAILONLINE

PUBLISHED: 04:48 EDT, 23 April 2022 | UPDATED: 11:19 EDT, 23 April 2022

Every country in the world will now want nuclear weapons because Putin has shown that if you have the bomb, nobody will aid your enemies, a former White House adviser has dramatically claimed.

Fiona Hill, a British-born Russia expert and former White House intelligence adviser who was former deputy assistant to the president when Donald Trump was in office, said Putin’s ‘nuclear blackmail’ was likely to increase the international demand for nuclear arms.

When the Russian tyrant invaded Ukraine in February, he made a reference to his nation’s nuclear deterrents, warning the West that any major intervention would ‘lead you to such consequences that you have never encountered in your history’.

And in a further ratcheting of tensions this week, Putin test-launched his fearsome ‘Satan II’ missile which is capable of striking a target 11,200 miles away and is said to be the world’s longest-range intercontinental ballistic missile. The test came as NATO powers including Britain pledged to provide further arms to help Ukraine repel Russian invaders.

Suggesting that the world now was more dangerous than during the Cold War, Miss Hill told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that countries such as Japan and South Korea will be ‘really rethinking your non-nuclear posture and your reliance on the United States’ – in what is likely to be a reference to North Korea and China.

‘The nuclear issue is something that everybody should be concerned about on a global basis because he [Putin] is basically telling every country: You need a nuclear weapon,’ she said.

‘So the whole idea of non-proliferation is basically out the window because it is basically very clear that the reason we are not going after Russia with everything that we’ve got is because they’ve got a nuclear weapon and he is saying he’s prepared to use one.

‘And everyone is looking at this now and thinking, ‘right, well if I want to have my way with my neighbour, I need a nuclear weapon’ – that’s basically what Putin is telling us. And conversely, everyone is thinking, ‘if I’m going to have a good defensive posture, I can’t rely on someone else coming to my assistance, I need a nuclear weapon’.

‘So we are in a whole new territory that we haven’t even been in during the Cold War, and so this requires really robust diplomacy.’

The World’s Next Nuclear Will Be South Korea: Daniel 7

Could The World’s Next Nuclear Power Be U.S. Ally South Korea?

By Tom O’Connor On 4/07/22 at 5:02 PM EDT

The United States has long sought to oppose efforts to expand the exclusive club of nuclear-armed nations, a small clique most recently joined 16 years year ago by North Korea. But as current members expand hone new capabilities and unrest plagues the international community, one or even two of Washington’s own allies may seek to build a bomb of their own.

For decades, South Korea and Japan have lived under the umbrella of the U.S. nuclear arsenal, the second largest in the world after that of Cold War-era rival Russia, once again a top-priority foe after last month’s incursion into Ukraine. Now, however, Seoul is revisiting its nuclear strategy in what would mark a massive shift in the security situation in Asia and the non-proliferation regime that has attempted to rein in such weapons of mass destruction across the globe.

Lami Kim, assistant professor at the U.S. Army War College’s Department of National Security and Strategy, told Newsweek that “there are important differences between Ukraine and South Korea,” as “Ukraine is not a U.S. ally, while South Korea has significant strategic importance for the U.S.”

“That said, there has been a constant fear of abandonment by the U.S. among South Koreans, and what’s happening in Ukraine has heightened this fear,” added Kim, who also serves as a U.S.-Korea NextGen Scholar at the Center for Strategic and International Studies and an adjunct fellow at the Pacific Forum. “I believe that’s strengthening their ambition for nuclear armament.”

That ambition has roots that precede the Ukraine war. It was reflected in a poll published by the Chicago Council on February 21, three days before Putin’s invasion, which showed up to 71% of South Koreans would support developing nuclear capabilities. Only just over half, around 56%, would seek U.S. nuclear weapons on their country’s soil, and, if forced to choose, just 9% would accept U.S. nuclear weapons as opposed to 67% who backed an independent arsenal.

Kim helped author the survey, but she issued a caution about interpreting the results of the study, saying “we need to distinguish between popular sentiment and what the government will likely decide to do.”

But if Seoul, emboldened by the election of new conservative leader Yoon Seok-yeol, did decide to embark on the path of developing nuclear arms, she said the consequences would be seismic.

“If the U.S. fails to prevent South Korea from acquiring nuclear weapons, that would ring a death knell to the international nonproliferation efforts,” Kim said. “It is possible that Japan would follow suit and develop its own nuclear weapons.”

Tokyo has been far more reluctant to embrace a nuclear future, particularly because it is the only country in the world that has ever been targeted by such weapons, and not just once, but twice — Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945.

But even in Japan, there is a growing push to review the three non-nuclear principles adopted half a century ago, as former Prime Minister Abe Shinzo called on lawmakers last month to consider hosting U.S. nuclear weapons.

“And if the U.S. accepts, or even promotes its allies’ nuclear armament,” Kim said, “its argument that other countries like Iran and North Korea shouldn’t have nuclear weapons wouldn’t carry any weight.”South Korean submarine ROKS Dosan Ahn Changho conducts the country’s first submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) test on September 15, 2021, a major step for a country that has long relied on U.S. security as rival North Korea hones its own nuclear-capable missile prowess.Republic of Korea Defense Ministry

How the conflict raging in Europe influences these nuclear debates in South Korea and Japan “depends on the outcome of the war in Ukraine,” according to Steve Fetter, an associate provost and dean at the University of Maryland’s Graduate School, who is also a former member of the Director of National Intelligence’s Science Board and Energy Department’s Nuclear Energy Advisory Committee.

“If Russia does not achieve its objectives and is deterred from further armed conflict, and if the NATO alliance is strengthened, that should increase the confidence of Japan and South Korea in U.S. security guarantees and in our collective ability to resist coercion, deter armed conflict and decrease support for an independent nuclear capability,” Fetter told Newsweek.

Both Japan and South Korea “have highly advanced scientific and technological capabilities, including extensive civilian nuclear industries,” he said, and “either country could obtain nuclear weapons, if it chose to do so.”

“Fortunately, both countries have demonstrated a strong commitment to nonproliferation and to remaining non-nuclear-weapon states,” Fetter added. “U.S. security guarantees are an important foundation for this commitment.”

But if NATO’s success in backing Ukraine against Russia may assuage fears that help fuel a desire for an independent nuclear option, then the alliance’s failure to do so may only exacerbate the concerns that are driving these trends. Moreover, developments even closer to home appear to be having a potentially even more potent effect, especially in South Korea.

“I believe that the war in Ukraine, along with North Korea’s recent ICBM [intercontinental ballistic missile] testing, has had an indirect influence in reinforcing South Korea’s belief that it needs to improve its strategic deterrence, namely through nuclear means,” William Kim, a researcher at the Stimson Center’s 38 North program with previous experience at the House Armed Services Committee, told Newsweek.

He said the popular support for a nuclear option in South Korea has “been reinforced” by “the heightened calls for South Korea’s nuclear armament in response to the invasion,” as well as last month’s election of conservative leader Yoon, “who has advocated for the redeployment of U.S. tactical nuclear weapons to South Korea.”

Read more

Yoon’s razor-thin victory, with a margin of less than 1%, has raised concerns of even more serious tensions returning to the Korean Peninsula. It could mark the end of an era of President Moon Jae-in’s urgent attempts to make peace between two rival neighbors still technically at war since 1950.

But even under Moon’s administration South Korea has expanded its military capabilities, forging a new deal with President Joe Bidenlast May that would lift long-standing limits on Seoul’s ballistic missile development. In September, South Korea tested its first submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM), becoming the first non-nuclear power to do so.

The test came just hours after North Korea (officially the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea – DPRK) fired two short-range ballistic missiles believed to have been launch from a railway-based platform, part of a series of tests showcasing various capabilities, including last month’s ICBM test, the first of its kind since 2017.

In response to this most recent DPRK test, South Korea (officially the Republic of Korea -ROK) immediately ordered missile drills including land, air and sea platforms, suggesting a more assertive tone from Seoul even before Yoon entered the Blue House.

However, South Korea’s hardline tactics are likely to be met in kind by North Korea. Just days after South Korean Defense Minister Suh Wook discussed the possibility of carrying out preemptive strikes against its foe, the DPRK’s ruling Korean Workers’ Party Central Committee Vice Department Director Kim Yo Jong, sister of Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un, issued two statements in which she warned Seoul should “discipline itself if it wants to stave off disaster,” and threatened “a miserable fate little short of total destruction and ruin” if the situation escalated.

And in a rare move, she explicitly pointed out the “obvious contrast” between the countries, with North Korea, unlike South Korea, being “a nuclear weapons state,” even though she insisted her words were rooted in “the fact that the north and the south of Korea are of the same nation who should not fight against each other.”

Yoon’s spokesperson, Kim Eun-hye, answered by defending Suh’s comments, telling a press briefing Tuesday that “we will respond without the slightest error to North Korea’s provocations and security threats.”

With the new leader set to be sworn in next month, William Kim told Newsweek that “only time will tell whether President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol’s comments in favor of nuclear armament of South Korea were an idea with real policy intent or just lip service to secure conservative voters in favor of nuclear options.”

“However,” he added, “it is more likely than not that the current security context of the world will reinforce his belief in strengthening the ROK’s defense capabilities, either through conventional or nuclear means.”

Should Seoul choose to do so, though, he said he was confident that it would not risk triggering the international isolation that has befallen Pyongyang.

“South Korea is too intertwined and embedded into the global economy — as a leader in critical industries like semiconductors and EV [electric vehicle] batteries — that even if it does pursue nuclear armament of any kind,” William Kim argued, “it will try to do so within acceptable boundaries that do not invite sanctions or other aggressive responses from the rest of the world.”

Jeong-Ho Roh, director of Columbia University’s Center for Korean Studies, agreed with that assessment.

“One of the most important things we have to understand is nuclear weapons or nuclear programs, it’s a legal issue, it’s a matter of law,” he said. “It’s not a question of politics or others.”South Korean President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol (C) signs a guest book, as he is accompanied by General Paul J. LaCamera (L), who serves as head of the United Nations Command, Combined Forces Command and U.S. Forces Korea, and Combined Forces Command Deputy chief Kim Seung-kyum (R) at Camp Humphreys on April 7 in Pyeongtaek, South Korea. Yoon vowed to strengthen deterrence against North Korea’s nuclear and missile threats during a visit to a U.S. military base, according to his spokesperson.Staff Sergeant Kris Bonet/U.S. Army/Getty Images

Three decades ago, the two Koreas agreed on the denuclearization of their shared peninsula in a joint declaration as the U.S. withdrew the nuclear weapons it had deployed on its ally’s territory since the late 1950s. At that time, Pyongyang and Seoul were both parties to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), a 1968 agreement that sought to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons, but the DPRK withdrew from the treaty in 2003, three years before it conducted its first nuclear test.

Roh argued that North Korea’s decision to pursue nuclear weapons has made their 1992 joint declaration “no longer valid legally.” And even with the NPT in place, the International Court of Justice’s advisory opinion on nuclear weapons published in 1996 ruled that there is no source of law, customary or treaty, that explicitly prohibits the possession or even use of nuclear weapons.

While the status quo has prevailed for some time given U.S. security commitments, a solidifying Chinese and Russian acceptance of North Korea’s nuclear-capable moves, indicated by their lack of condemnation of the recent ICBM test, as well as growing uncertainties regarding the U.S. commitment to taking on nuclear powers directly, as evidenced by the war in Ukraine, has fostered what Roh identified as “the necessity for [South] Korea to be more self-sufficient.”

“What happened this year is a direct reflection of this polarizing world,” Roh said. “The legal institutions that were formed post-1945 and the U.N. that created our legal order has essentially been weakened.”

Read more

Still, Roh felt that South Korea pursuing its own nuclear option was far less likely than reintroducing U.S. nuclear weapons to the country as part of a sharing agreement. The U.S. has similar agreements with non-nuclear NATO allies such as Belgium, Italy, Germany, the Netherlands and Turkey — yet another legal nuclear gray zone.

Such a move, he argued, would also be more tolerable or even beneficial to Japan, which would otherwise find a “nuclear South Korea” to be “not acceptable,” even if Seoul took the semi-internationally endorsed “responsible” route like India as opposed to North Korea’s “rogue” path.

Though both U.S. allies, Japan and South Korea have a difficult history with deep-seated conflicting narratives rooted in the former’s occupation of the Korean Peninsula in the first half of the 20th century. Their inability to reconcile this past has led to high-profile diplomatic and political disputes, some ongoing to this day.

As such, Roh notes that “one of the other problems, of course, is: can Korea and Japan really cooperate with each other based on our unfortunate history?”

Another important aspect of the situation in the Asia-Pacific is what Roh calls “three hotspots” in the region, including the Korean Peninsula, the self-ruling island of Taiwan sought by an increasingly assertive China, and the lesser publicized territorial dispute between Japan and Russia over an island chain largely controlled by the latter but claimed in full by the former.

This feud has also left Moscow and Tokyo without a peace treaty since World War II, when fears of a Soviet invasion deeper into Japan played into the U.S. calculus to expedite victory through atomic warfare in the first place, thus avoiding the kind of division that took place in the Korean Peninsula, or even Germany.

Even as Russia deploys new weapons to these islands and Japan broadens its own conventional arsenal, however, Nakano Koichi, a professor at Sophia University in Tokyo, said that Japan’s place in the “Far East” still made the conflict in Ukraine feel distant for most in the country.

“There certainly are plenty of conservative political, security, business, and media elites here that want to utilize the war in Ukraine to bury Japanese postwar pacifism once and for all,” Nakano told Newsweek. “But the popular opinion remains divided at best, and in my view, still predominantly strongly antiwar.”U.S. ambassador to Japan Rahm Emanuel (L), accompanied by Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, lays a wreath at the Cenotaph for atomic bomb victims at the Peace Memorial Park in Hiroshima on March 26. The U.S. atomic bombings of August 6 and 9, 1945 killed estimates of more than 200,000 people, most of them civilians.Jiji Press/AFP/Getty Images

Among the U.N’s 193 member states, only nine are known to have nuclear weapons. These include Russia and the U.S., which hold up to 90% of the world’s arsenal, NATO members France and the United Kingdom, a rapidly developing China, neighboring rivals India and Pakistan, North Korea and Israel, which neither confirms nor denies its possession of such weapons.

Others to have explored nuclear capabilities include apartheid-era South Africa, Iraq under Saddam Hussein, who was toppled by the U.S. over ultimately false claims that he was in possession of weapons of mass destruction, and Libya under Muammar el-Qaddafi, who was overthrown in a NATO-backed rebellion years after securing a deal to shutter his program for better ties with the West.

Another country at the center of the nuclear debate is Iran, which has an advanced nuclear program that officials have repeatedly denied was intended to produce a weapon. Still, the Islamic Republic’s efforts have resulted in intensive negotiations, as the Biden administration attempted to reenter a 2015 deal abandoned by then-President Donald Trump in 2018.

Now, as the war in Ukraine continues, even Russian ally Belarus has amended its law to potentially host Russian nuclear weapons as Minsk draws Western condemnation for its role in the conflict.

Ukraine also once possessed a massive nuclear stockpile during its time as part of the Soviet Union. When the USSR collapsed, the weapons were returned to Russia in exchange for economic and security assurances as part of a 1996 agreement. Though Kyiv never controlled the weapons, many today cite this as yet another example of how giving up nuclear weapons resulted in little benefit.

Sung-Yoon Lee, who serves as the Kim Koo-Korea Foundation Professor of Korean Studies and Assistant Professor at The Fletcher School at Tufts University, told Newsweek that the reality of recent international events meant we are living in “a very different world” than the one that previously restrained such nuclear steps.

“Today, we are past the prelude in this portentous five-act drama,” he argued, one in which “it increasingly appears that there are few reasonable options for Seoul other than arming itself with nukes.”

“While wiser folks may reverse this trajectory, I think we are nearing the end of Act 1,” Lee said. “Act 5 will close the day with the opening of Japan’s own nuclearization play, and the NPT by then will ring hollow. Can South Korea and Japan become ‘responsible’ nuclear powers, say, like the UK and France? Perhaps.”

“But, while one has a fairly good idea of how Rambo 5 or Pyongyang’s next post-provocation peace ploy may end,” he added, “this, the South Korean nuclear drama, is a novel story whose ending is unknown.”

Water Wars: Australian Horn Goes Hypersonic

Water Wars: AUKUS Goes Hypersonic

, Erick Nielson Javier argues that the Philippines should move toward a more active deterrence posture against China. The article notes that “[t]he prerequisite metrics and theories that would make Philippine deterrence credible” are “absent from the discussion.” Defense officials, including then-Chief of Staff Gen. Cirilito Sobejana have attempted to change the Philippines’ approach to deterrence from a reactive approach––facing aggressors once hostile acts are already underway––to a proactive approach of dissuading aggression. This approach leads the Philippines to lean on allies instead of building indigenous capabilities, an approach that Philippine Secretary of Foreign Affairs Teodoro Locsin seems to recognize is flawed. Overreliance on U.S. power may contribute to a perceived inequality from the Philippine perspective, and liability from the U.S. perspective. Importantly, the article argues, Manila must develop a “theory of victory” to guide its use of its defense resources, such as preserving Philippine holdings in disputed waters. Developing such a theory could also help support the Philippine’s naval modernization efforts by interrogating the logic of procuring systems such as submarines. an article by Nozomu Yoshitomi describing the current U.S. and Japanese security posture within the first island chain and described ways in which the two nations could fortify this posture in order to deter a Chinese invasion of Taiwan. It begins with the premise that Beijing would require access further into the Pacific Ocean, and the most direct passages are through the southwest Japanese islands north of Taiwan or through the Luzon Strait between Taiwan and the Philippines. The author predicts that in the event of conflict, these two routes would be exposed to “fierce [People’s Liberation Army] attack to secure air and naval passages.” The U.S. Marine Corps recently announced a plan to develop three Marine Littoral Regiments (MLR) in the Indo-Pacific region in order to further the concept of expeditionary advanced base operations. The primary focus of the MLR is to support sea control by the U.S. Navy and act as a countermeasure against China’s anti-access/area denial capability. Each Marine Littoral Combat Team within the MLR will consist of three infantry companies and an anti-ship missile battery. As the passages north and south of Taiwan are suitable for advanced base operations, but three MLRs will not be sufficient to close all sea-denial gaps, the author recommends that Japan also focus on developing a robust expeditionary advanced base capability similar to the MLR.

Russian Horn Warns It Will Nuke the UK

Russia warns it will deploy ‘Satan 2’ nuclear missiles ‘capable of hitting UK’ by the autumn

The missile is capable of carrying 10 or more nuclear warheads and decoys, Russia claims

Russia has announced it will deploy its recently tested “Satan II” missile by the autumn, as tensions between Moscow and the west mount amid the Ukraine war.

The Kremlin announced the first test launch of its new, nuclear-capable Sarmat intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) system on Wednesday, with experts warning the warhead could target the UK as well as Europeand the US.

The Sarmat is capable of carrying 10 or more nuclear warheads and decoys, and of striking targets thousands of miles away in the United States or Europe.

This week’s test, after years of delays due to funding and technical issues, marks a show of strength by Russia at a time when the war in Ukraine has sent tensions with the United States and its allies soaring to their highest levels since the 1962 Cuban missile crisis.

The target stated by Dmitry Rogozin, head of the Roscosmos space agency, is an ambitious one as Russia reported its first test-launch only on Wednesday and Western military experts say more will be needed before the missile can be deployed.

Rogozin said in an interview with Russian state TV that the missiles would be deployed with a unit in the Krasnoyarsk region of Siberia, about 3,000 km (1,860 miles) east of Moscow.

He said they would be placed at the same sites and in the same silos as the Soviet-era Voyevoda missiles they are replacing, something that would save “colossal resources and time”.

The launch of the “super-weapon” was a historic event that would guarantee the security of Russia’s children and grandchildren for the next 30-40 years, Rogozin added.

The Kremlin said countries will “think twice” before threatening Russia when its new missile is deployed 

Mr Putin claimed the missile, which hit its targets after traveling roughly 6,000km (3,700 miles), is virtually impossible to defend against with current technology.

“The new complex has the highest tactical and technical characteristics and is capable of overcoming all modern means of anti-missile defence. It has no analogues in the world and won’t have for a long time to come,” he said during a video briefing with defence officials.

Western concern at the risk of nuclear war has increased since Russian president Vladimir Putin launched his invasion of Ukraine on 24 February with a speech in which he pointedly referred to Moscow’s nuclear forces and warned that any attempt to get in Russia’s way “will lead you to such consequences that you have never encountered in your history.”

“The prospect of nuclear conflict, once unthinkable, is now back within the realm of possibility,” United Nations secretary-general Antonio Guterres said last month.

The Sarmat, nicknamed Satan II by some Nato leaders, replaces the Soviet-era Voyevoda system, and has been in development for years. Mr Putin announced development of the ICBM in 2018.

The launch is the latest public invocation of Russia’s nuclear programme, in the context of the country’s invasion of Ukraine.

Israeli FM accuses Hamas of orchestrating violence outside the Temple Walls: Revelation 11

Israeli FM accuses Hamas of orchestrating Jerusalem violence

Israel’s foreign minister has accused the Hamas militant group of orchestrating recent unrest at Jerusalem’s most sensitive holy site

ByILAN BEN ZION Associated Press

April 24, 2022, 11:31 AM ET

Israelis and Palestinians on edge after wave of attacks, renewed clashesABC News’ Erielle Reshef reports on renewed clashes in Israel and gets an exclusive look at how the Israeli Defense Forces say they are working to prevent attacks while avoiding a larger conflict.The Associated Press

JERUSALEM — Israel’s foreign minister on Sunday accused the Hamas militant group of orchestrating recent unrest at Jerusalem’s most sensitive holy site, responding to criticism that Israeli police used heavy-handed tactics to quell the violence.

Yair Lapid made the comments following days of clashes between Israeli police and Palestinians at the contested holy site, which is revered by Jews and Muslims. The confrontations have come at a time of heightened tensions following a string of deadly attacks inside Israel, arrest raids in the occupied West Bank and rocket attacks into Israel launched from the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip. It is the worst violence to shake the region since an 11-day war last year.

Speaking to foreign reporters, Lapid accused Hamas of “hijacking” the activities at the Al-Aqsa Mosque during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan and encouraging young Palestinian men to throw stones and fireworks at Israeli security forces.

“They have done this to create the provocation to force the Israeli police to enter the mosque” and set off a regionwide conflict, he said.

The Al-Aqsa Mosque is the third-holiest site in Islam and an emotional symbol for the Palestinians. It sits on a sprawling esplanade that also is the holiest site for Jews, who call it to the Temple Mount because it was the location of the biblical Jewish Temples. The competing claims to the site lie at the heart of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and have sparked numerous rounds of violence in the past.

The Palestinians have accused Israel of provoking the latest violence by allowing large numbers of Jewish pilgrims to visit the site. Last week, Jews celebrated the festival of Passover, a time when tens of thousands of people visit Jerusalem.

Under longstanding agreements, Jews are permitted to visit the compound, but they are barred from praying. But in recent years, an increasing number of religious extremists have begun to quietly pray in violation of the rules, sometimes with Israeli police watching on. The Palestinians fear that such actions are part of an Israeli plot to take over or divide the site.

Lapid rejected such accusations, saying that Israel is committed to maintaining the “status quo” at the site.

“There is no change. There will be no change. We have no plans to divide the Temple Mount between religions,” he said. He called on Israel’s allies in the Muslim world to “act against these fake news” and to help calm the situation.

Lapid also rejected suggestions that Israeli police have used excessive force to disperse the demonstrations at the Al-Aqsa site.

On Friday, Israeli riot police stormed the compound after Palestinian youths hurled stones at them. Palestinian social media have been filled with videos showing Israeli police hitting people with clubs and firing tear gas and stun grenades. Israeli police, meanwhile, have released their own videos showing Palestinians inside the mosque hurling stones and explosives.

After midday prayers on Friday, a small group of Palestinians waving Hamas flags marched in protest and tried to break into an empty police post inside the compound. Israeli police used a drone to drop tear gas on them, sending crowds of people scattering across the esplanade.

“During Ramadan, Israel ensured that hundreds of thousands of Muslims could go to the Temple Mount and pray at Al-Aqsa,” Lapid said. “Despite provocations by terrorist organizations, despite attempts to stoke violence: We have done, and continue to do everything to enable peaceful prayer.”

Despite the Israeli pledges to protect freedom of worship, it has maintained restrictions that bar entry to the mosque for hundreds of thousands of Muslim Palestinians from the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip. Israel says such restrictions are a security measure.

In Gaza, Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum blamed Israel for the violence.

“The one who bears full responsibility for detonating the situation in Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa Mosque is the occupation government, which brutally attacks defenseless worshippers on a daily basis, prevents them from reaching Al-Aqsa and tries to impose the project of Judaization,” he said.

The string of events in recent weeks has raised fears of a repeat of last year, when protests and violence in Jerusalem eventually boiled over, helping to ignite an 11-day war between Israel and Hamas and communal violence in mixed Jewish-Arab cities inside Israel.

The rocket fire out of Gaza in recent days has been the heaviest since last year’s war. None of the rockets have caused any damage or injuries inside Israel, but they have set off sirens in parts of southern Israel and angered residents there. A misfired rocket also landed inside Gaza on Friday, exploding near a home and U.N. school and lightly wounding two people, according to local officials.

On Sunday, Israel closed its crossing with Gaza, barring some 12,000 Palestinians from going to work in Israel. The job permits have been an economic lifeline for thousands of Gazan families and were considered to be a key factor in maintaining stability before the latest fighting broke out.

The Gaza workers’ union accused Israel of imposing “collective punishment” on people who were not involved in the fighting. Israel has not said when it will reopen the crossing.

———

Associated Press writer Wafaa Shurafa in Gaza City, Gaza Strip contributed reporting.

Russia Increases Her Nuclear Horns: Daniel 7

The Sarmat intercontinental ballistic missile
The Sarmat can carry up to 15 nuclear warheads, each with its own limited manoeuvrability [Russian Defence Ministry/Handout via Reuters]

Russia to deploy new intercontinental nuclear missiles by autumn

The Sarmat missile can carry up to 15 nuclear warheads and has a range of 35,000km (22,000 miles).

Russia plans to deploy its newly tested Sarmat intercontinental ballistic missile, which is capable of mounting nuclear strikes on the United States, by the autumn.

Dmitry Rogozin, head of the Roscosmos space agency, said on Saturday that the target deployment date for the new missile was an ambitious one.

“We plan to do it no later than autumn,” he told the Rossiya 24 TV channel.

Russia reported its first test launch of the Sarmat on Wednesday. Western military experts say more time is needed before the missile can be deployed.

Rogozin said the launch of the Russian “super weapon” was an historic event that would guarantee the security of Russia’s children and grandchildren for the next 30-40 years.

The missiles will be deployed in the Krasnoyarsk region of Siberia, about 3,000km (1,860 miles) east of Moscow, and placed at the same sites and in the same silos as the Soviet-era Voyevoda missiles they are replacing, something that would save “colossal resources and time”,  Rogozin said.

This week’s test of the new intercontinental ballistic missile marks a show of strength by Russia at a time of increased tensions with the US and its allies over the continuing war in Ukraine.

The Sarmat’s range, which according to some experts is as much as 35,000km (22,000 miles), allows it to fly the long way around to its intended target, bypassing likely radar and missile defence systems, and striking from an unexpected direction.

A Sarmat missile can carry up to 15 nuclear warheads.

Photo of a missile test
The Sarmat intercontinental ballistic missile is test launched by the Russian military at the Plesetsk cosmodrome in Arkhangelsk region, Russia [File: Russian Defence Ministry/Handout via Reuters]

Russia has also developed hypersonic missilessuch as the Kinzhal (Dagger), and is the first country to use them in combat in the continuing Ukraine war.

Increasing risk

The risk of nuclear war has increased since Russian President Vladimir Putin launched his invasion of Ukraine on February 24, leading Western nations to impose severe economic sanctions on Russia.

After Wednesday’s test launch, Putin said the Sarmat could overcome any missile defence system and would make those who threaten Russia “think twice” about doing so.

Dmitry Medvedev, deputy chairman of Russia’s security council, warned earlier this month that if Sweden and Finland joined NATO, Russia would deploy nuclear weapons and hypersonic missiles in its Kaliningrad exclave, which is sandwiched between Poland and Lithuania.

The Pentagon described the Sarmat test as “routine” and said it was not considered a threat to US security.

In March, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned that the prospect of nuclear conflict “once unthinkable, is now back within the realm of possibility”.