Fault lines left over from the creation of the Appalachian Mountains can still lead to earthquakes locally, and many faults remain undetected. According to the USGS, few, if any, earthquakes in New England can be linked to named faults.
While earthquakes in New England are generally much weaker compared to those on defined fault lines, their reach is still impressive. Sunday’s 3.6 was felt in Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, and New Hampshire.
USGS Community Internet Intensity Map
While M 3.6 earthquakes rarely cause damage, some minor cracks were reported on social media from the shaking.
According to the USGS, moderately damaging earthquakes strike somewhere in the region every few decades, and smaller earthquakes are felt roughly twice a year.
The war in Ukraine has reasserted the relevance of nuclear weapons as a major deterrent in global conflicts. For the first time since the end of the Cold War, a great power has publicly threatened to deploy tactical nuclear weapons. And the threat worked: the West has been carefully calibrating its arms supply to Ukraine in order to avoid giving Russia reason to resort to nuclear escalation. Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine wouldn’t have happened had Ukraine not surrendered its nuclear arsenal under the 1994 Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances, which included American and Russian guarantees to respect and defend its territorial integrity.
BAGHDAD: Iraq’s firebrand Shiite cleric Moqtada Sadr made a high-stakes protest Thursday by calling on the 73 lawmakers loyal to him to ready resignation papers to end an eight-month parliamentary paralysis. Parliament in Baghdad has been in turmoil since October’s general election, and intense negotiations among political factions have failed to forge a majority in support of a new prime minister to succeed Mustafa Al-Kadhemi. The two Shiite groupings — a coalition led by Sadr, and its powerful rival, the Coordination Framework — each claim to hold a parliamentary majority, and with it the right to appoint the prime minister. Iraqi lawmakers have already hexceeded all deadlines for setting up a new government set down in the constitution, prolonging the war-scarred country’s political crisis. “If the survival of the Sadrist bloc is an obstacle to the formation of the government, then all representatives of the bloc are ready to resign from parliament,” Sadr said in a televised statement. Sadr called on his lawmakers to “write their resignation,” warning that “they won’t disobey me.” “Iraq needs a government backed by a majority that serves the people,” Sadr said. The 47-year-old cleric once led an anti-US militia following the 2003 invasion to topple Saddam Hussein, and he maintains a large and dedicated following. Sadr has said he wants all Shiite forces to be involved in a “consensus government.” While Sadr counts on the direct loyalty of 73 lawmakers, his wider bloc also includes Sunni lawmakers from the party of parliamentary speaker Mohammed Halbusi and the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP). But the grand total of Sadr’s bloc of 155 still falls short of the absolute majority needed in the 329-member parliament. Sadr’s move puts the onus for forming a government on the 83 lawmakers of the rival Coordination Framework, which draws lawmakers from former premier Nuri Al-Maliki’s party and the pro-Iran Fatah Alliance, the political arm of the Shiite-led former paramilitary group Hashed Al-Shaabi. Lawmakers have already failed three times to elect a new national president, the first key stage before naming a prime minister and the subsequent establishment of a government. If the parliamentary impasse cannot be broken, new elections could follow — but that would itself require lawmakers to agree on dissolving parliament.
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Iran plans to install two new cascades of advanced centrifuges that will allow Tehran to rapidly enrich more uranium, the UN’s nuclear watchdog said Thursday, the latest escalation in the standoff over the country’s atomic program.
The decision to add the two IR-6 centrifuges cascades at its underground Natanz nuclear facility comes as countries at an International Atomic Energy Agency meeting in Vienna voted Wednesday night to censure Iran. The rebuke deals with what the watchdog refers to as Iran’s failure to provide “credible information” over man-made nuclear material found at three undeclared sites in the country.
But even before the vote, Iran shut off two devices the IAEA uses to monitor enrichment at Natanz. Iranian officials also threatened to take more steps amid a years-long crisis.
The IAEA said Thursday that its Director-General Rafael Mariano Grossi told members that Iran informed the agency that it planned to install two new cascades of the IR-6 at Natanz. A cascade is a series of centrifuges hooked together to rapidly spin uranium gas to enrich it.
An IR-6 centrifuge spins uranium 10 times as fast as the first-generation centrifuges that Iran was once limited to under its 2015 nuclear deal with world powers. As of February, Iran already had been spinning a cascade of IR-6s at its underground facility at Fordo, according to the IAEA.
Iran and world powers agreed in 2015 to the nuclear deal, which saw Tehran drastically limit its enrichment of uranium in exchange for the lifting of economic sanctions. In 2018, then-US president Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew America from the accord, raising tensions across the wider Middle East and sparking a series of attacks and incidents.
Talks in Vienna over Iran’s tattered nuclear deal have been stalled since April. Since the deal’s collapse, Iran runs advanced centrifuges and has a rapidly growing stockpile of enriched uranium.
Nonproliferation experts warn Iran has enriched enough up to 60% purity — a short technical step from weapons-grade levels of 90% — to make one nuclear weapon should it decide to do so.
Iran insists its program is for peaceful purposes, though UN experts and Western intelligence agencies say Iran had an organized military nuclear program through 2003.
Building a nuclear bomb would still take Iran more time if it pursued a weapon, analysts say, though they warn Tehran’s advances make the program more dangerous. Israel has threatened in the past that it would carry out a preemptive strike to stop Iran — and already is suspected in a series of recent killings targeting Iranian officials.
Iran already has been holding footage from IAEA surveillance cameras since February 2021 as a pressure tactic to restore the atomic accord.
The censure resolution at the IAEA meeting in Vienna, sponsored by Germany, France, the UK and US, passed with the support of 30 of 35 governors. Russia and China voted against, Russian ambassador Mikhail Ulyanov wrote on Twitter. India, Libya and Pakistan abstained.
After the vote, a joint statement from France, Germany, and the UK and the US said the censure “sends an unambiguous message to Iran that it must meet its safeguards obligations and provide technically credible clarifications on outstanding safeguards issues.”
An Iranian official earlier warned IAEA officials that Tehran was now considering taking “other measures” as well.
“We hope that they come to their senses and respond to Iran’s cooperation with cooperation,” said Behrouz Kamalvandi, a spokesman for the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran. “It is not acceptable that they show inappropriate behavior while Iran continues to cooperate.”
Wednesday night, a drone exploded in the northern Iraqi city of Irbil in its Kurdish region, slightly wounding three people and damaging cars and a nearby restaurant, officials said. While no one immediately claimed the attack, Iran has targeted Irbil in the past amid the regional tensions
At least 70,000 Israeli from all over the country proudly participated in the Flag Parade celebrating Jerusalem’s Day on Sunday night, ignoring Hamas’ threat to attack Israel.
The Jerusalem Day celebrations, marking the victory during the 1967 Six-Day War and the reunification of Israel’s capital, include a parade in which tens of thousands of Israelis march with flags through the city’s center and then through the Old City while entering it through the Damascus Gate.
In one of the most joyful and memorable marches in recent years, families, schools, youth groups and public officials marched with tens of thousands of Israeli flags through Jerusalem’s streets, celebrating the 55th anniversary of Israel’s victory and the reunification of its capital.
The police deployed about 3,000 officers to secure the Jerusalem Day events and the traditional parade.
Police forces contended with a number of incidents of Arab rioting, stone-throwing incidents, and clashes in the Old City area. Vehicles were damaged and a number of police officers and civilians were lightly injured. The police arrested more than 60 suspects in connection with the various violent incidents. Five policemen were lightly injured in the disturbances.
Despite Muslim riots, Hamas threats, and the police’s challenge in accommodating the thousands of Jews who arrived, a new record was set for the highest number of visitors a day. Hundreds more were unable to enter the Temple Mount due to the police’s limitations.
The Jerusalem Day events were conducted as usual despite Hamas’ repeated threats to attack Israel, threats it failed to follow through with. After saying it would fire missiles at Israel, Hamas did not act in any way.
Hamas is apparently not ready for another military clash with Israel, as it is still licking its wounds from Operation Guardian of the Walls from a year ago, because it is interested in maintaining the civilian relief measures Israel has recently granted to the Gaza Strip, and because it is still in the process of preparing for the next attack on Israel.
In refraining from attacking Israel as it threatened to do, Hamas exposed its Achilles heel to Israel. However, Hamas received a “ringing slap in the face” that it will not forget, and as a popular movement that is anxious about its status on the Palestinian street, it is already planning its next move, and therefore, attacking Israel in the near future is not off the table, Israeli officials believe.
Israeli analyst Yoni Ben Menachem, of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, noted that the Jerusalem Day events ended with an Israeli victory in the battle of minds between Israel and Hamas over sovereignty in Jerusalem.
“Hamas maintained restraint despite its promises, the Palestinian street is disappointed but Hamas promises a response at the right time for it,” he said.
By Song Wei | China Daily | Updated: 2022-06-09 07:16
The United States, the United Kingdom and Australia inked a so-called trilateral partnership (AUKUS) in September 2021, according to which the US and the UK will help Australia develop and deploy at least eight nuclear-powered submarines, adding to the Western military presence in the Asia-Pacific region.
But since nuclear submarines take a long time to build, Australia will not have its own nuclear submarines until after 2040. It could “rent” one from the UK or the US for a short term, though.
Surprisingly, the idea of jointly building nuclear submarines was first proposed by Australia, obviously keeping China in mind. But before that, in 2016, Australia and France brokered a deal worth tens of billions of dollars, under which France was to deliver conventional diesel-powered submarines to Australia. The French leadership had then hailed the deal as 50 years of friendship.
However, Australia had another option at the time, that is, to buy conventional submarines from Japan which would have been more cost-effective. But it chose not to do so, because China would have vehemently opposed such a deal.
Despite that, the already tense Sino-Australian relations have deteriorated further due to AUKUS. And the issue is likely to be discussed at the Shangri-La Dialogue to be held in Singapore from Friday to Sunday, because it is a “track one” intergovernmental forum, held every year and attended by the defense ministers, permanent heads of militaries and military chiefs of Asia-Pacific states.
Similarly, the inking of the AUKUS deal also means strained Sino-British relations in the short term. The UK was already a member of the “Five Power Defence Arrangements” which also includes Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia and Singapore, and a member of the Five Eyes (along with the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand). But while these mechanisms are not directly targeted at China, AUKUS and the nuclear submarine agreement clearly are.
Unfortunately, France became a victim of the AUKUS deal, with the US, the UK and Australia robbing it of the submarine order.
Amid all this, the US has continued to push for military cooperation among France, India and Australia as a trilateral mechanism of its Indo-Pacific alliance system. In fact, France also considers itself an Indo-Pacific player as it has dominions and exclusive economic zones in the South Pacific.
AUKUS has caused serious political damage to France, forcing it to take some emergency measures to prevent being marginalized in the region. For example, last month, France, together with the US, Japan and Australia, held joint military exercises to ensure it continues to play a role in regional security cooperation. But that has made the security situation in the Asia-Pacific even more complex and confrontational.
Also, AUKUS has increased international security tensions. Australia is a member of the Treaty of Rarotonga, and the acquisition of nuclear submarines, which poses a major threat to peace and security in the South Pacific, violates that treaty.
Although AUKUS claims the submarines to be co-developed will not carry any nuclear weapons, the nuclear-powered vessels will have a major impact on the regional naval power landscape, and could trigger a new round of arms race in the Asia-Pacific. And given the fact that the nuclear-powered submarines are likely to be deployed in the South China Sea, the Taiwan Straits, even the East China Sea, they will greatly expand the cruising area of the Australian Navy, aggravating tensions.
Besides, despite AUKUS claiming the nuclear-powered submarines will only carry conventional weapons and thus won’t violate the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, the practice of taking advantage of the treaty’s gray areas will affect global nuclear non-proliferation and the nuclear disarmament process.
Nuclear-powered submarines use highly enriched uranium, which can be used to make nuclear weapons. What makes matters worse is that the International Atomic Energy Agency cannot conduct timely and effective supervision of nuclear submarines. As a party to the nonproliferation treaty, Australia has adhered to the principle of denuclearization. But by breaking the agreement with France in order to co-develop nuclear-powered submarines with the US and the UK, it might have prompted other countries that have long wanted to develop nuclear-powered submarine, to follow suit.
Therefore, AUKUS has added to the challenges facing the nuclear nonproliferation mechanism and its damaging effects should be discussed at the Shangri-La Dialogue.
The views don’t necessarily represent those of China Daily.
The author is a researcher at the National Academy of Development and Strategy and a professor at the School of International Studies, Renmin University of China.
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The explosive drone detonated on Pirmam road in Erbil’s outskirts at 9:35 p.m. Iraq time, the statement said.
Two security sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the drone was shot down.
A security source said earlier that a drone attack targeted the U.S. consulate but did not give further details.
Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi told Kurdish Prime Minister Masoud Barzani in a phone call that Baghdad will cooperate with Erbil to hold the perpetrators accountable, according to a statement.
“Bomb-laden drone hit Erbil-Pirmam road, causing civilian injuries and damage,” the U.N. Assistance Mission for Iraq said on Twitter. “Iraq does not need self-proclaimed armed arbiters. Asserting State authority is essential. If the perpetrators are known, call them out and hold them to account.”
Last month, Iran Revolutionary Guards artillery fire hit an area north of Erbil, targeting what Iranian state television described as terrorist bases.
Also, in March the Guards attacked the capital of the Kurdish region with a dozen ballistic missiles in an unprecedented assault on the capital of the autonomous Iraqi Kurdish region that appeared to target the United States and its allies read more
At least three other attacks have targeted oil refineries in Erbil since the March attack, but no group has claimed responsibility for them.
Reporting by Ali Sultan; Writing by Amina Ismail; Editing by Lisa Shumaker and Grant McCool