Tuesday, May 31, 2016

How Is The GOP Forgetting About The Clinton-Russian Nuclear Deal?

Clinton Collected Russian Cash Before Approving Russian Uranium Deal

April 23, 2015 By Sean Davis
Report: Clinton Collected Millions In Russian Cash Before Approving Russian Uranium Deal
Let them eat yellow cake.

A blockbuster report in the New York Times today details how Hillary Clinton’s non-profit organization raked in millions from the Russian nuclear industry while Hillary was negotiating a deal to allow the Russians to acquire Uranium One, one of the world’s largest uranium mining companies:
As the Russians gradually assumed control of Uranium One in three separate transactions from 2009 to 2013, Canadian records show, a flow of cash made its way to the Clinton Foundation. Uranium One’s chairman used his family foundation to make four donations totaling $2.35 million. Those contributions were not publicly disclosed by the Clintons, despite an agreement Mrs. Clinton had struck with the Obama White House to publicly identify all donors. Other people with ties to the company made donations as well.

And shortly after the Russians announced their intention to acquire a majority stake in Uranium One, Mr. Clinton received $500,000 for a Moscow speech from a Russian investment bank with links to the Kremlin that was promoting Uranium One stock.

At the time, both Rosatom and the United States government made promises intended to ease concerns about ceding control of the company’s assets to the Russians. Those promises have been repeatedly broken, records show.

In a pattern that is becoming all too familiar, Hillary Clinton never disclosed these contributions to the White House or State Department officials.

Because Uranium One owns uranium mills and tens of thousands of acres throughout several U.S. states, the Russian acquisition had to be approved by U.S. government officials. Before they could approve the deal, those U.S. officials–who reported to Hillary Clinton–had to certify that the deal would not jeopardize American national security by giving Russia an effective global monopoly on uranium supplies:

Still, the ultimate authority to approve or reject the Russian acquisition rested with the cabinet officials on the foreign investment committee, including Mrs. Clinton — whose husband was collecting millions of dollars in donations from people associated with Uranium One.

It appears, though, that millions in undisclosed payments to Hillary’s foundation weren’t enough for the 2016 Democratic presidential hopeful. As is often the case with the Clinton, a six-figure speech by Bill Clinton was also scheduled right after the Russians agreed to buy Uranium One:

Amid this influx of Uranium One-connected money, Mr. Clinton was invited to speak in Moscow in June 2010, the same month Rosatom struck its deal for a majority stake in Uranium One.

The $500,000 fee — among Mr. Clinton’s highest — was paid by Renaissance Capital, a Russian investment bank with ties to the Kremlin that has invited world leaders, including Tony Blair, the former British prime minister, to speak at its annual investor conference.

The blockbuster NYT report doesn’t just impact Hillary’s presidential hopes; it could also affect the ongoing nuclear talks between the U.S. and Iran since Russia is Iran’s primary supplier of enriched uranium. Iran’s sole operating nuclear power facility in Bushehr gets the bulk of its nuclear fuel from Russia. Rosatom, the Russian uranium supplier, also struck a deal with Iran late last year to build eight more nuclear reactors, all of which would be fueled exclusively from Rosatom enriched uranium supplies–supplies which may well have been obtained through Rosatom’s acquisition of Uranium One.

The former secretary of state has remained relatively silent on the proposed Iranian nuclear deal thus far, apparently for good reason. Her opposition could sink Rosatom’s 2014 deal to provide enriched uranium to eight Iranian nuclear reactors for their entire life cycles, potentially enraging the wealthy investors who funneled millions to her family’s foundation. And if she clearly endorses the deal and Iran ends up using the enriched uranium to make a nuclear weapon, opponents could blame Hillary for approving the deal that enabled Russia to provide all that uranium to the Iranians.

When asked whether the millions in payments funneled to Clinton, Inc. may have influenced Hillary’s decision to approve the Rosatom acquisition, a spokesman for Clinton’s campaign told the New York Times that no one “has ever produced a shred of evidence supporting the theory that Hillary Clinton ever took action as secretary of state to support the interests of donors to the Clinton Foundation.” The spokesman did not note that any such evidence, which is currently under subpoena, was likely intentionally hidden and then destroyed at Hillary’s direction once her secret e-mail scheme came to light.

Sean Davis is the co-founder of The Federalist.

Pakistan’s Woeful Battle Against Terrorism

Senior Shia leader: Nuclear Pakistan must crush handful of terrorists

AhlulBayt News Agency
May 30, 2016 – 9:42 AM

Pakistan’s Majlis Wahdat Muslimeen Secretary General Allama Nasir Abbas Jaffary on Saturday said that Pakistan was unable to crush a handful of terrorists and their facilitators, though being the only nuclear Islamic nation.

Talking to various delegations, which visited the hunger strike camp, set up outside the National Press Club here, to express their solidarity with the Majlis leader, he said that it was a matter of embarrassment in the comity of nations that so far we had not been able to eliminate the terrorists who were in a very small number and same was the case with their facilitators and supporters.

He emphasised that only with unity in the rank and file of the society, terrorism, the biggest challenge to Pakistan and its people, could be dealt with successfully.

Allama Nasir said that by creating and fanning apprehensions and doubts about Pakistan’s nuclear capability, conspiracies were underway by the imperialist forces. He regretted that rulers were not having enough courage even to express concern at diplomatic level and talk to the enemies in a tough tone.

However, referring to Youm-e-Takbeer, he maintained that 200 million Pakistanis would defend the motherland at any cost, saying it was mandatory on all Pakistanis to safeguard the motherland.

“People will have to come on roads peacefully to rid the state institutions of political influence and to purge Pakistan of terrorists and traitors,” he contended.

He lamented that Shia community was facing target killings with impunity and the government lacked the political will to take on the terrorists. Those, who called on him, included Allama Muhammad Najfi, Maulana Mirza Iftikhar, Haider Ali Shah, Zakir Riaz Husain Ratowal and Nadim Abbas.

Allama Nasir is on hunger strike for the last 17 days and is only taking medicines and liquid. He is diabetic and suffers from heart ailment as well. MWM is protesting the wave of killings of Shia teachers, doctors, professors, advocates and other professionals.

Saudi Arabia Threatens The Iranian Horn (Daniel 7)

Saudi: Iran armed units must leave Iraq

By Staff writer Al Arabiya EnglishSunday, 29 May 2016

Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Jubeir said on Sunday that sending Iranian Shiite armed units to Iraq to participate in military operations or undergo training is unacceptable.

“Iraq’s problem is religious conflicts caused by the Iranian interference,” Jubeir stressed, adding that Saudi Arabia insists on withdrawal of Iranian troops from Iraq, saying that one of the Iranian senior officers is leading operations in Iraq against Sunnites.

Earlier last week, Iraqi Defense Ministry published an official report which includes statements confirming that the Iraqi Hezbollah Brigades are involved in the battle of Fallujah.

A YouTube account linked to Kata’ib Hezbollah, a US-designated terrorist organization and Iranian proxy, has uploaded a video showing a large convoy of its rocket launcher systems being sent to the front lines near Iraqi city of Fallujah.

From its part, days ago, Harakat al Nujaba, or Movement of the Noble, an Iranian-supported Shiite militia which operates in both Iraq and Syria, has said it is clearing a road in eastern Anbar province in preparation for an upcoming offensive to retake Fallujah from the ISIS.

Also, Qassem Soleimani, the head of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps-Qods Force – the external operations wing of the Revolutionary Guards – was spotted in a picture said to be taken near Fallujah. A picture of Soleimani in the “Fallujah operations room” was posted to the Facebook account of Harakat al Nujaba.

Sending Iranian Shia armed units to Iraq or their training there is unacceptable both on invitation [of the Iraqi authorities] and without it,” Jubeir stated at a joint press conference with his UK counterpart Philip Hammond broadcast by Al Arabiya Channel.

al-Jubeir accused Iran of sowing “sedition” in Iraq urging Tehran to “stop intervening” in the affairs of its neighbors.

“Sedition and division in Iraq are the results of sectarian policies that developed out of Iran’s policies in Iraq,” said al-Jubeir.

“If Iran wants stability in Iraq, it has to stop intervening and withdraw,” he said after accusing Tehran of sending “Shiite militias” to the war-torn country.

Hammond said he was reassuring his Gulf counterparts that world powers are closely monitoring Iran in the wake of last year’s nuclear deal which paved the way for a partial lifting of sanctions.
“Just because we’ve made an agreement with Iran on its nuclear programme does not mean that we will turn a blind eye to Iran’s continuing attempts to destabilize the region or to its ballistic missiles programme which remains a serious threat to peace and which breaches UN resolutions,” Hammond said.

Jubeir, said “We supported that agreement so long as we were assured that Iran will not be able to acquire a nuclear capability. “They are, after all, a neighbor and we will have to live with them. But it’s difficult to live with a neighbour whose objective is to destroy you: that’s why the relation with Iran is not what it should be.”

Iran should respect the principle of good neighborly relations, to focus on its internal situation and not intervene in the affairs of other countries in the region, mainly Iraq,” he said.

He added that Iran should deal with its domestic matters instead of interfering in internal affairs of other states in the region.

New Jersey #1 Disaster State: The Sixth Seal (Rev 6:12)

States of danger

Kiplinger News
New York Quake
The Sixth Seal: New York Quake

Disasters can happen anywhere and at any time. But some places experience more than their fair share of floods, tornadoes, hurricanes, winter storms and severe weather — so much so that certain locales earn frightening nicknames, such as Tornado Alley. No matter where you live, make sure you have the right kinds and necessary amounts of insurance coverage to protect your finances.
  • Estimated property damage (2006-2013): $26.4 billion
  • Most frequent disasters: damaging wind, winter storms, floods and flash floods
  • Weather-related fatalities (2006-2013): 87
New Jersey earns the top spot on this list, in large part due to damage wrought by Sandy — which had weakened from a hurricane to a post-tropical cyclone by the time it the Jersey Shore — in October 2012. The state was among the hardest hit by Sandy, which was the second-costliest storm in U.S. history, after Hurricane Katrina. Many homes and businesses were destroyed along the Jersey Shore, and a portion of the Atlantic City Boardwalk washed away. Shortly after Sandy hit, another storm brought wet snow that caused more power outages and damage.

Homeowners who live along the coast or in areas where there are frequent storms should take steps before hurricane season begins to protect their homes and finances from damage.

Japan Prepares For Another North Korean Nuclear Launch

Japan puts military on alert for possible North Korea missile launch

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un visits the Kwisong Saltern to learn about the salt production from underground ultra-saline water by the KPA in this undated photo released by North Korea’s Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on May 24, 2016. REUTERS/KCNA

TOKYO/SEOUL (Reuters) – Japan put its military on alert on Monday for a possible North Korean ballistic missile firing, while South Korea also said it had detected evidence of launch preparations, officials from Japan and South Korea said.

Tension in the region has been high since North Korea conducted its fourth nuclear test in January and followed that with a satellite launch and test launches of various missiles.

Japan ordered naval destroyers and Patriot anti-ballistic missile batteries to be ready to shoot down any projectile heading for the country, state broadcaster NHK said.

A Japanese official, who declined to be identified as he is not authorized to speak to the media, confirmed the order. A spokesmen for Japan’s defense ministry declined to comment.

The missile tubes on a Patriot missile battery on the grounds of Japan’s Ministry of Defense were elevated to a firing position.

The South Korean defense official declined to comment on what type of missile might be launched, but South Korea’s Yonhap News Agency said officials believe it would be an intermediate-range Musudan missile.

“We’ve detected a sign and are tracking that. We are fully prepared,” said the South Korean official, who also declined to be identified.

A Pentagon spokesman, U.S. Navy Commander Gary Ross, said: “We are closely monitoring the situation on the Korean Peninsula in coordination with our regional allies. We urge North Korea to refrain from provocative actions that aggravate tensions and instead focus on fulfilling its international obligations and commitments.”

Ross said he would not discuss U.S. intelligence assessments. The White House declined to comment.

North Korea tried unsuccessfully to test launch the Musudan three times in April, according to U.S. and South Korean officials.

Japan has put its anti-ballistic missile forces on alert at least twice this year after detecting signs of launches by North Korea.

North Korea’s nuclear and missile tests this year triggered new U.N. sanctions. But it seems determined to press ahead with its weapons programs, despite the sanctions and the disapproval of its sole main ally, China.

Last Friday, leaders of the Group of Seven industrialized nations, including Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and U.S. President Barack Obama, met in Japan and demanded that North Korea comply with a U.N. Security Council resolution to stop all nuclear and missile tests and refrain from provocative action.

On the same day, North Korea threatened to retaliate against South Korea after it fired what it said were warning shots when boats from the North crossed the disputed sea border off the west coast of the Korean peninsula.

Japan has advanced Aegis vessels in the Sea of Japan that are able to track multiple targets and are armed with SM-3 missiles designed to destroy incoming warheads in space before they re-enter the atmosphere.

Patriot PAC-3 missile batteries, designed to hit warheads near the ground, are deployed around Tokyo and other sites as a second and final line of defense.

(Reporting by Tim Kelly and Nobuhiro Kubo in TOKYO and Ju-min Park in SEOUL; Additional reporting by Lisa Lambert and Jeff Mason in Washington; Editing by Robert Birsel and Dan Grebler)

Monday, May 30, 2016

The New Cold War Legacy of Obama


Dr. C. Paul Robinson, president emeritus and director of Sandia Laboratories, presents on a panel discussion presented by the National Atomic Testing Museum titled “21st Century Global Nuclear Challenges” at UNLV on Wednesday, May 25, 2016. (Jacob Kepler/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Twenty-five years after the unofficial end of the Cold War, experts say the mentality that pitted the United States against the Soviet Union is coming back.

U.S. weapons scientists and diplomats who are tasked with keeping nuclear materials out of the hands of terrorists and maintaining the nation’s shrinking arsenal of mushroom-cloud bombs say emerging threats have surfaced from a new wave of conventional and nuclear bomb technology.

They range from the vast availability of radioactive materials that could be dispersed through a “dirty bomb” to drone submarines packed with nuclear explosives and North Korea’s potential for producing a bomb that could wipe out a city.

That was the message Wednesday night from a panel of experts — former national weapons laboratories directors — each with more than four decades of experience and knowledge that has helped shape the nation’s nuclear security posture.

Siegfried Hecker, an expert on plutonium science, global threat reduction and nuclear security, said North Korea leader Kim Jong Un’s nuclear ambitions are cause for alarm.

“This is going to be near the top of the list of the next president,” said Hecker, who has traveled to North Korea seven times to assess its plutonium program.

After North Korea walked away from the nuclear nonproliferation treaty in 2003, evidence surfaced that the nation had been covertly building a capacity to enrich nuclear materials for bombs.

“They may have around 25 bombs by the end of this year. That changes the picture totally,” he said.

The country has conducted four nuclear tests including one in January that raised doubts among U.S. scientists that it was a hydrogen bomb test as claimed.

Former Ambassador C. Paul Robinson, chief negotiator for the Geneva nuclear testing talks during the Reagan administration, said a question “that’s been circling five or six years has been coming more and more to the front: Are we going back to the old Cold War behaviors?

“Yeah, it looks like we are,” he said.

The resurgence of Cold War mentality comes as the United States and the Russian federation descendants of the former Soviet Union have reduced the number of strategic nuclear weapons by 90 percent.

The total built on both sides had been 130,000 nuclear weapons. Under the newest Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty there is a limit of 1,550 warheads each on 800 launchers by the end of 2018.

“In a world of worry about nuclear war, that’s a remarkable development and gives us some history to be optimistic about the future,” Robinson said.

The “downside” is that the Russians refused to allow tactical nuclear weapons to be included in the counts, some of which he said have higher explosive-equivalent yields than some strategic bombs.

“We know the (Comprehensive Nuclear-Test Ban Treaty) as written right now is not verifiable. But the U.S. will abide by those limits. … I don’t see ever going back to full-scale nuclear testing and certainly not atmospheric testing,” he said.

Full-scale nuclear weapons tests were put on hold indefinitely in 1992 at the Nevada Test Site with U.S. scientists relying on science-based methods and experiments involving tiny amounts of plutonium to verify the safety and reliability of the nation’s nuclear weapons.

Robinson said his “best guess” for when the Cold War began is Aug. 29, 1949, when the Soviet Union detonated its first nuclear weapon at a test site in Kazakhstan.

Putting an end date is “a more difficult question,” he said, although sometime after the collapse of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s is a rough estimate.

“It’s harder to assess because there were no proclamations, no parades, no speeches and we don’t have a national holiday celebrating the end of the Cold War,” Robinson said.

Robinson and Hecker were joined on the panel by Robert Kuckuck, a former director and deputy director at the Los Alamos, New Mexico, and Livermore, California, national labs.

We’ve seen a whole different flavor of mixing conventional hostilities with nuclear,” Kuckuck said. “We’ve always had a very clear psychological barrier between conventional warfare and conflict and nuclear conflict and we’re seeing a blurring effect now.”

The panel discussion at the UNLV Science and Engineering auditorium was hosted by the National Atomic Testing Museum.

Contact Keith Rogers at krogers@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0308. Find him on Twitter: @KeithRogers2

Antichrist Has Turned Into a Real Power Center

Iraqi cleric Muqtada al-Sadr has turned into a real power center

By Manish Rai

Muqtada al-Sadr has long served as the spark in volatile Iraqi politics. When the Shiite cleric ordered his followers to fight US forces in 2004, it was the gravest challenge to the United States in Iraq since Saddam Hussein was toppled.

More than a decade later, the mercurial leader has taken on Iraq’s entire political establishment in a crisis that some fear could tip the country over the edge. Sadr’s power is undeniable, with his grass root party that expands working-class neighborhoods across Iraq’s Shia populated cities and its al-Salam Brigades paramilitary force present in every nook and corner.

He is the most powerful Shia leader so far in Iraq history. Although the core of Sadr’s support is made up of the poor and jobless, it also includes educated Iraqis who believe in his message of equality and social justice. There is significant popular support for changing Iraq’s stagnant and corrupt political status quo and al-Sadr knows it very well and he is riding this wave very well. Halgurd Nihad Nheli a political activist from Iraq said Sadr has consolidated his strength in around the capital and it won’t be an exaggeration to say that Sadr is currently the de facto ruler in Baghdad.

The current movement which has rocked Iraqi politics with the storming of the parliament by the protesters started with the simple demand of better water and power provisions. But it then changed into call for political reforms, a government reshuffling and an effective fight against corruption.

The movement was started by artists and then joined by activists. Now, it is being led by Muqtada al-Sadr. When the protests were in danger of fading, the influential Shiite cleric called in his supporters and took control of the movement.

Fueled by al-Sadr, the situation escalated dramatically at the end of April. Practically speaking, Iraq still has no effective government. At a time when the soul of the citizenry is boiling with anger over rampant corruption, the war on terror is robbing the country of its last resources. Oil prices are in free fall and seem to be dragging the economy into the abyss along with them. The time seems ripe for demagogues. And it appears that Iraq cannot survive under its present system of governance, which centralizes power in Baghdad. The Sadr-inspired siege shows that ultimate authority does not lie with Iraq’s elected officials but with Sadr or any other figure who can mobilize the masses.

In the current national scenario al-Sadr has emerged as the symbol of Iraqi nationalism and voice of the common man and not just as a firebrand Shia cleric. Al-Sadr worked very hard for this image makeover. He led several joint prayers for Shia and Sunnis to nip any sedition in the bud, disbanded the Mahdi Army after sectarian bloodletting nine years ago to distance himself from other Shia militias, and he ordered his political bloc in parliament to boycott parliamentary sessions unless they (the MPs) stuck to their promise of a new cabinet of independent ministers.

After US troops withdrew from Iraq in late 2011, Sadr went into a self-imposed seclusion, even as his supporters ran for parliament and controlled key ministries. Sadr was waiting for his opportunity to play the savior of Iraq’s Shi’ites. Sadr has developed a model of a cleric who does not hold political office, but influences government in the form of the clergy as loyal opposition. The rationale behind Sadr’s politics of protest is part of his decade-long search for a political model to elevate him among the fray of Iraq’s Shia politicians, partisans and militias. Sadr’s latest political maneuvering has demonstrated an increasingly hybrid model, that is not a solely religious network, political party, or militia, but a combination of these and more.

Al-Sadr today sits at the helm of the power by controlling one of the biggest political blocs in parliament and commanding a powerful militia. Sadr clearly has his own agenda advancing a populist, nationalist cause that benefits his movement and his status in the domestic political and social sphere. But for the moment, this entails bringing about positive outcomes for Iraq on the whole.

He knows only too well from his personal experience that his best option is to be part of a system in which he himself represents the change. At this point in time, Sadr has become a counter-balancing force to provide checks and balances against powerful elites, such as Maliki, who have been ruling undemocratically and unconstitutionally for many years. What matters most about al-Sadr’s enduring command over the loyalty of thousands of Iraqis is the bargaining power it grants him. But his sway over the tides of popular opinion makes him both an asset and a threat to foreign actors interested in maintaining their footholds in Iraq.

Manish Rai is a columnist for the Middle-East and Af-Pak region and Editor of geo-political news agency ViewsAround can be reached at manishraiva@gmail.com)

New York Quake Overdue (The Sixth Seal) (Rev 6:12)

New York City Is Overdue For Large Earthquake: Seismologist
New York Earthquake Overdue
New York Earthquake Overdue

New York City could start shaking any minute now.

Won-Young Kim, who runs the seismographic network for the Northeast at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, said the city is well overdue for a big earthquake.
From Metro New York:

The last big quake to hit New York City was a 5.3-magnitude tremor in 1884 that happened at sea in between Brooklyn and Sandy Hook. While no one was killed, buildings were damaged.
Kim said the city is likely to experience a big earthquake every 100 years or so.

“It can happen anytime soon,” Kim said. “We can expect it any minute, we just don’t know when and where.”

New York has never experienced a magnitude 6 or 7 earthquake, which are the most dangerous. But magnitude 5 quakes could topple brick buildings and chimneys.

Seismologist John Armbruster said a magnitude 5 quake that happened now would be more devastating than the one that happened in 1884.

“Today, with so many more buildings and people … we’d see billions in damage,” Armbruster said. “People would probably be killed.”

The Upcoming War with Iran (Daniel 8:8)

War with Iran


WARFARE EVOLUTION BLOG: Previously, we looked at the military capabilities of our primary conventional enemies: Russia, China, and North Korea. Now, let’s take a look at our final conventional enemy, Iran. Iran stands accused of being the state sponsor of terrorism in the Middle East, through their support of terrorist groups in Iraq (Taliban), Afghanistan (al Qaeda), Yemen (Houthis), Lebanon (Hezbollah), and the Palestinians (Hamas).

Iran is a country of about 75 to 80 million people, with more than half under the age of 35. Their population was growing by 30 percent in the 1990s, but birth rates and immigration have slowed considerably in the past decade. Life expectancy is 76.2 for females, 72.5 for males, and 74.3 overall. About 90-95 percent of Iranians are Shia, with 5-10 percent Sunni. The country is ruled by the cleric supreme leader, Ali Khamenei, the guy who proclaims “death to America” and the total destruction of Israel on a regular basis. Iran’s president, Hassan Rouhani, is the titular leader of the country.

Land area in Iran is 636,400 square miles, slightly smaller than Alaska. To the east, they are bordered by the overwhelmingly Sunni nations of Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Turkmenistan. To the west, they are bordered by 72 percent Sunni Turkey, and Iraq with 70 percent Shia. Iran has 1,520 miles of coastline, to the north on the Caspian Sea, and to the south on the Persian Gulf and Gulf of Oman. The outstanding feature on their southern coast is the two-mile-wide Strait of Hormuz, where 20 percent of the world’s oil shipments pass. Whenever things don’t go their way, Iran threatens to sink tankers in the strait with their submarines, and block the world’s oil supply. Every time they make that threat, you can walk across the Persian Gulf, by stepping on the numerous American nuclear submarines, smart torpedoes, sonobuoys, and armed unmanned underwater vehicles, without getting your feet wet.

Iran has three major seaports on the Caspian Sea, four on the Persian Gulf, and one on the Gulf of Oman. Even with all these deep water ports, they have no blue water warships.

Iran has the second largest Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the Middle East, $395 billion, ranking just after Saudi Arabia at $750 billion. The U.S. and European Union (E.U.) sanctions reduced their GDP substantially over the past few years, down from over $500 billion. Iran’s main export is oil, and their primary trading partner was the E.U. before the sanctions. Today, they export oil to Turkey and China. With the sanctions lifted, it will be tough for their GDP to grow substantially due to the glut of oil on the market and the low prices.

More than 525,000 military personnel are on active duty in Iran’s military. About 350,000 are in their army, and 220,000 of those are poorly trained conscripts. Reserves number about 1.8 million, also poorly trained and ill-equipped. Their navy has 18,000 sailors, and their air force has about 37,000 personnel. The rest are border guards or elite military groups like the 15,000 well-trained soldiers in the special Quds force.

In spite of the sanctions, Iran is spending more than $10 billion on their defense budget per year, or 3 percent of their GDP according to the latest numbers. This includes weapons and supplies for terrorist organizations.

The Iranian navy consists of about 400 vessels. More than 250 are shallow water patrol boats, like the ones they used to capture the U.S. Navy Riverine boat in January 2016. And, they have 33 submarines, the fifth largest sub fleet in the world. Three of those are 4,000 ton Kilo-class diesel-electric subs made in Russia in the 1990s. The rest are small diesel subs, under 600 tons, used for coastal defense and laying mines to protect their coastline and harbors. The rumor is that their mini-subs were built by the North Koreans. None of their submarines have missile launch capabilities. While the mini-subs stay close to shore, two of their big Russian subs patrol the Strait of Hormuz, in deep water, while the third is held in reserve in port. Their navy’s mission is purely coastal defense, much like North Korea’s navy.

Iran’s air force has more than 300 planes. More than half of those are fighter jets, a mix of Russian SU-24, SU-25, and MIG-29s; French Dassault Mirage F-1s; Chinese Changdu F-7s; about 40 US-made F-14 Tomcats, 60 old F-4 Phantoms, and some F-5 Tigers left from the Shah’s time. Some of these aircraft were taken from Iraq during the war in the 1980’s. The rest are helicopters, transports, and trainers. Most of their planes are old and many are being cannibalized for spare parts. Today, Iran is trying to buy new Russian Su-30 advanced fighters, if they can sell enough oil to get the money.

The Iranian army has 1,500 to 1,600 tanks, older Russian-made T-54/55 and newer T-62/72 models, and a few Chinese-made T-59/69 versions. Additionally, they have some U.S.-made M-48 and M-60 tanks sold to them when the Shah ran the country. They are cannibalizing parts from the M-48/60s and T-62s to build a small number of their own tanks, the Zulfiqar. Iran also has 1,400 multiple-launch rocket systems and over 2,000 artillery cannons.

For air defense, they have 150 U.S.-made Hawk missile systems (again, left over from the Shah’s days), about 50 Russian SA-2 and Chinese HQ-2 batteries, 30 Rapier, and 15 Tigercat launchers (British-made), and a few newer SA-5 and SA-15 Russian SAMs. In April 2016, Iran showed-off their first S-300 advanced air defense missiles recently bought from Russia. They claim they are developing their own surface-to-air missiles systems now, the Bavar.

In late 2015, the U.S. and five other world powers signed the nuclear arms agreement with Iran. This agreement supposedly keeps Iran from developing nuclear weapons and changing the balance of power across the majority Sunni Middle East. In March of 2016, Iran test-launched two medium-range ballistic missiles, capable of carrying nuclear warheads. The missiles allegedly had “Israel Must Be Wiped Off The Earth” written on them in Hebrew. Iran claims that the missile launches do not violate the nuclear agreement or the United Nations (U.N) resolutions barring their development of ballistic missiles.

Iran has the eighth largest army in the world right now. Before the Gulf Wars, Iraq had the 4th largest army, and we saw what fifth-generation warfare (5GW) weapons and tactics did to them. Like Iraq, Iran is a third-generation warfare (3GW) enemy. They are equally untrained and ill-equipped with older weapons, as Iraq was in 1990, except for their newer SAM missiles. As you can see, Iran’s capabilities and weapons are defensive in nature, with the additional exception of their work on ballistic missiles and nuclear warheads. Iran’s involvement in Syria is to learn asymmetrical warfare tactics and strategies. The U.S. victory in Iraq taught them not to engage in a 3GW war against a 5GW enemy.

Could the U.S. defeat Iran as decisively as it did Iraq? Yes, but Iran’s relationship with Russia precludes any direct invasion by U.S. forces. Iraq didn’t have those close relations. Since Iran’s principal goal is the annihilation of Israel, we may not need to attack them. Remember “Operation Opera” in June 1981, when the Israeli air force destroyed the nuclear reactor in Iraq? And “Operation Orchard” in September 2007, when Israel destroyed the nuclear reactor in Syria? If Iran is violating the nuclear treaty and the U.S. does nothing, then Israel will act to eliminate a clear nuclear threat to their nation. That will provoke Russia against Israel, and in turn, involve the U.S. Even though Pakistan and Saudi Arabia count Iran as a primary enemy, Khamenei has not made outrageous threats against them like he has against Israel.

Therein lies the quandary with Iraq: if they develop nuclear warheads and perfect their medium-range missiles, the best outcome is another nuclear-armed rogue nation like North Korea. At the worst, Iran will attack Israel with those nuclear weapons. My bet is that Israel will be forced to attack Iran at some point, and then Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, a few other smaller Sunni nations, and maybe Turkey, will pile-on. That alliance would give the Russians second thoughts about coming to Iran’s aid. If it happens that way, the U.S. could provide intelligence, targeting data, coordination, and support to the Sunni alliance, rather than a direct combat role. My theory is based on missile and aircraft purchases, from the U.S. defense contractors, made by the nations in the hypothetical Sunni alliance. And, don’t forget that Turkey shot-down a Russian warplane in late 2015.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Authorities Expecting The Sixth Seal? (Rev 6:12)

US Raises Threat of Quake but Lowers Risk for Towers

New York Times

Here is another reason to buy a mega-million-dollar apartment in a Manhattan high-rise: Earthquake forecast maps for New York City that a federal agency issued on Thursday indicate “a slightly lower hazard for tall buildings than previously thought.”

The agency, the United States Geodetic Survey, tempered its latest quake prediction with a big caveat.

“The eastern U.S. has the potential for larger and more damaging earthquakes than considered in previous maps and assessments,” the agency said, citing the magnitude 5.8 quake that struck Virginia in 2011.

Federal seismologists based their projections of a lower hazard for tall buildings — “but still a hazard nonetheless,” they cautioned — on a lower likelihood of slow shaking from an earthquake occurring near the city, the type of shaking that typically causes more damage to taller structures.

“The tall buildings in Manhattan are not where you should be focusing,” said John Armbruster, a seismologist with the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University. “They resonate with long period waves. They are designed and engineered to ride out an earthquake. Where you should really be worried in New York City is the common brownstone and apartment building and buildings that are poorly maintained.”

Mr. Armbruster was not involved in the federal forecast, but was an author of an earlier study that suggested that “a pattern of subtle but active faults makes the risk of earthquakes to the New York City area substantially greater than formerly believed.”

He noted that barely a day goes by without a New York City building’s being declared unsafe, without an earthquake. “If you had 30, 40, 50 at one time, responders would be overloaded,” he said.
The city does have an earthquake building code that went into effect in 1996, and that applies primarily to new construction.

A well-maintained building would probably survive a magnitude 5 earthquake fairly well, he said. The last magnitude 5 earthquake in the city struck in 1884. Another is not necessarily inevitable; faults are more random and move more slowly than they do in, say, California. But he said the latest federal estimate was probably raised because of the magnitude of the Virginia quake.

“Could there be a magnitude 6 in New York?” Mr. Armbruster said. “In Virginia, in a 300 year history, 4.8 was the biggest, and then you have a 5.8. So in New York, I wouldn’t say a 6 is impossible.”

Mr. Armbruster said the Geodetic Survey forecast would not affect his daily lifestyle. “I live in a wood-frame building with a brick chimney and I’m not alarmed sitting up at night worried about it,” he said. “But society’s leaders need to take some responsibility.”

The Australian Nuclear Horn (Daniel 7)

Australian Uranium Mining Around the World

Australia is the world’s third largest uranium producer, but Australian mining companies operate around the world as well. Here’s a look at some of those companies.

Australia, the world’s third largest producer of uranium, hosts the largest endowment of uranium resources in the world, making up approximately 31 percent of global totals.

The country has been mining uranium since 1954, with several currently operating and more on the way. However, Australia produces uranium in other countries as well.

Although the country currently doesn’t use nuclear power, Australia produced 6689 tonnes of uranium in 2015, putting it behind only Kazakhstan and Canada, according to the World Nuclear Association (WNA). Despite the uranium spot price having a difficult year, it is still in high demand.
Before we dig deep into the uranium Australia mines around the world, let’s take a quick look into some of its current operating mines within the country.

Australia’s uranium mines

Ranger Mine: this location is operated by Energy Resources of Australia (ASX:ERA), and opened in 1981. Last June, ERA announced that it will defer proceeding further development of the underground mine to access 27,650 tonnes of uranium after it spent $177 million on the project.
Olympic Dam: one of the biggest mining companies in the world, BHB Billiton (NYSE:BHP), operates the mine. Olympic Dam is Australia’s biggest underground mine, producing copper, gold, silver and, of course, uranium.
Beverley Mine: Heathgate Resources, formed in 1990, operates the Beverley mine, which officially opened in February 2001. . In December 2010 the company received government approval to mine the Beverley North deposits. Mining of Beverley ceased at the end of 2013, and of Beverley North early in 2014.
Four Mile: its leases are contiguous with the Beverley mine, and is operated by Alliance Resources (ASX:AGS), with its mining commencing in April of 2014. Total production of uranium from April 2014 to June 2015 was 2,441,092 pounds.
Junior Australian uranium companies
A-Cap Resources (ASX:ACB)
Big news is happening with A-Cap Resources: it’s set to build the first ever uranium mine in Botswana, with a capital expenditure of $351 million after passing an environmental assessment. A-Cap submitted the application for a mining license last August with plans to open a pit mine with a lifespan of more than 18 years.
Botswana is estimated to hold approximately 1.04 billion tonnes of uranium reserves. Over the last decade, no production has taken place because its government issued several prospecting licenses.
Toro Energy (ASX:TOE)
Toro currently holds exploration projects in Africa and investments in Strateco Resources in Quebec. In Namibia, Toro holds a joint venture partner with Deep Yellow (ASX:DYL), another Australian uranium exploration company and together have three exploration licenses located throughout Namibia.
Furthermore, the company has proclaimed they are working towards becoming Australia’s next uranium producer with the development of a mine in Wiluna.
Peninsula Energy (ASX:PEN)
Peninsula Energy commenced operations in December 2015 at its Lance Projects in Wyoming and is currently progressing its Karoo Uranium Projects in South Africa through feasibility.
In the company’s quarterly activity report released in April, minimum sodium bicarbonate levels were achieved in March at the Lance Uranium project, increasing the rate of uranium extraction.

Trying To Avoid The Inevitable (Revelation 15)

How to avoid nuclear annihilation

President Barack Obama’s visit to Hiroshima came almost 71 years after the conclusion of a world war that was fought and ended with tremendous sacrifice, huge casualties and immense devastation. Today, global nuclear arsenals are capable of destroying not only cities but also civilization itself. Albert Einstein’s prophesy bears repeating: “I do not know how the Third World War will be fought, but I can tell you what they will use in the Fourth – rocks!”

The United States and Russia deploy thousands of nuclear weapons ready to fire on a moment’s notice, risking a catastrophic accident or miscalculation based on a false warning. Cold War dangers compelled dialogue between Washington and Moscow on nuclear security and strategic stability. This dialogue is dangerously absent now, even as our planes and ships have close encounters in Europe and the Middle East.

Globally, enough highly enriched uranium and plutonium to buildtens of thousands of nuclear bombs is spread across 24 countries, down from 36 in 2009.

Since 2007, former secretaries of state George P. Shultz and Henry Kissinger, former defense secretary William Perry and I have worked together on the steps needed to reduce reliance on nuclear weapons, keep them out of dangerous hands and ultimately end them as a threat to the world. That work must be put back at the top of the global agenda. We cannot predict whether or when the goal of a world free of nuclear weapons might be reached, but a clear U.S. nuclear policy goal consistent with the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty is required to guide our diplomacy and defense.

Around the world, leaders must take practical steps to reduce nuclear risks now:

— First, the agreement to curb Iran’s nuclear program has significant regional and global implications for stopping the spread of nuclear weapons. All parties must live up to their commitments, assuring full implementation.
— Second, North Korea’s nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles threaten regional stability in Northeast Asia. We must work closely with our allies in South Korea and Japan to stop these programs and eliminate nuclear weapons from the Korean Peninsula. China must play a vital role in this joint venture.
— Third, we should build on the progress to secure nuclear materials that Obama and other leaders have made at the fourNuclear Security Summits. Leaders must sustain the momentum of the summits and develop a global nuclear security system that covers all weapons-usable nuclear materials, including those held for military purposes. We must also make an all-out global effort to secure dangerous radiological materials and prevent a terroristdirty bomb.”
— Fourth, the United States and Russia cannot afford to treat dialogue as a bargaining chip when our two countries hold more than 90 percentof the world’s nuclear weapons and weapons-usable nuclear materials. Most urgently, Washington and Moscow must rebuild a bridge of cooperation to ensure that neither the Islamic State nor any other violent extremist group acquires nuclear, radiological or other weapons of mass destruction.
— Fifth, nuclear weapon states should avoid reckless rhetoric that can lead to disastrous mistakes. Split-second decisions made by those directly responsible for nuclear weapons and warning systems can be affected by the surrounding atmosphere. A poisoned political climate can lead to miscalculation, turning a false warning caused by a software glitch or a cyberattack into a nuclear exchange.
— Sixth, in Washington, the question of “How much nuclear is enough?” must be asked and weighed against other urgent defense needs, with a focus on the need for stability among nuclear weapon states. Perry has called for a review of whether we should phase out our land-based missile force and for canceling plans to build a new air-launched nuclear cruise missile. Considering the growing terrorist threat, both the United States and Russia should reexamine the current practice of storing hundreds of short-range nuclear weapons in Europe. We must also bring the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty – a powerful nonproliferation tool – into force globally, including by securing U.S. Senate approval.
— Finally, it defies human nature to build trust when weapons remain postured for mutual assured destruction. Washington and Moscow together must carefully dismount the “nuclear tiger” by reducing first-strike capabilities and fears, increasing warning and decision time for leaders and improving the survivability of their nuclear forces. We must escape the trap of continu
Obama’s visit to Hiroshima should remind the world that we are in a race between cooperation and catastrophe. The day after a nuclear weapon explodes, God forbid, what would we wish we had done to prevent it? Why don’t we do it now?

Sam Nunn, a Democratic U.S. senator from Georgia from 1972 to 1997 and co-chairman and chief executive of the Nuclear Threat Initiative, wrote this for the Washington Post.

Iraqi Government Attacks Antichrist’s Men

Baghdad calm, day after forces use tear gas, rubber bullets aga

Iraqi riot police stand guard at a bridge in Baghdad. AFP file photo.

BAGHDAD – Security forces stood guard on Baghdad’s major streets and its fortified Green Zone on Saturday, returning calm to the Iraqi capital a day after a dozen protesters were injured by tear gas and rubber bullets.

The government of Prime Minister Haidar Abadi has remained virtually paralyzed following weekly protests since April 30, when thousands stormed the parliament building and forced the legislature to shut down.

Ahmed Haji Rashid, head of the Kurdistan Islamic League (KIL), told Rudaw that Abadi was scheduled to speak with Kurdish MPs on Sunday to discuss their return to their duties, after they left the capital for the autonomous Kurdistan Region following the attack on parliament.

The Kurdish MPs have so far refused to return, despite a visit to Kurdistan by Abadi for discussions.

On Friday in Baghdad, security forces opened fire with rubber bullets and tear gas on supporters of the Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr. Sources said two protesters were wounded by the rubber bullets and at least 10 suffered injuries from tear gas.

Protesters have twice breached the Green Zone and briefly taken over parliamentary buildings since April 30.

Last Friday, three protesters and one journalist were killed, and at least 570 people were treated at Baghdad hospitals when security forces used live ammunition against protesters.

Sadr has been demanding that Abadi throw out corrupt ministers and name a government of technocrats, following reports and allegations of massive official corruption.

US officials have expressed concern that the protests and government paralysis is turning focus away from the war with ISIS, at a time when the Iraqi Army is fighting to liberate the city of Fallujah from the militants and plans have been discussed for an offensive on Mosul, the ISIS stronghold in Iraq.

Antichrist’s Men Continue Protests In Baghdad

Iraq forces fire tear gas as thousands protest in Baghdad

By Afp 17:42 27 May 2016, updated 17:42 27 May 2016

Security forces fired tear gas as thousands of protesters gathered in central Baghdad on Friday and attempted to head to the Green Zone, a fortified area they have breached twice.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi had called on the demonstrators, most of them supporters of cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, to stay home and security forces deployed to block their way to the Green Zone, but the protesters were undeterred.

Demonstrators pushed past security forces at Tahrir Square, breached a barbed wire barrier and attempted to pull down slabs of heavy concrete blast wall blocking Jumhuriyah Bridge, which leads toward the Green Zone, where Iraq’s main government institutions are located.

An Iraqi protester attends a demonstration at Tahrir square in Baghdad on May 27, 2016, defying a call by Iraqi prime minister to halt protests while security forces are battling the Islamic State group in Fallujah ©Jean Marc Mojon (AFP)

Some protesters, who are calling for a new government, gave olive branches and flowers to security personnel at Tahrir, but events quickly escalated, and the forces fired tear gas in an attempt to disperse the demonstration.

Many of the protesters, most of them supporters of powerful Najaf-based cleric Sadr, had come equipped with gas masks or surgical masks.

“Those with masks, go this way to pick up the injured,” one protester instructed his comrades after the first canisters were fired at the crowd.

Demonstrators forced open a gate to the Green Zone and stormed the premier’s office last Friday before being driven away by security forces.

They used tear gas, water cannons, sound bombs and a barrage of bullets largely fired into the air to disperse the protesters and harry them away from the Green Zone, killing at least two people and injuring dozens.

Abadi had sought to head off a repeat this week, calling on Thursday for protesters to postpone their demonstration, as security forces are busy fighting to retake the city of Fallujah from the Islamic State group.

Saif, a 23-year-old protester who was recovering from the effects of tear gas, said he had two brothers who were killed fighting IS.

“I hope our forces finish the job in Fallujah; I wish them well, of course,” Saif said.

“But if those corrupt people in the Green Zone weren’t there in the first place, there would be no Daesh and no war against Daesh,” he said, using an Arabic acronym for IS.

The protest eventually wrapped up with only minor injuries reported, mostly cases of suffocation.

Demonstrators faced little resistance when they entered the Green Zone and overran parliament in late April, but the period of tolerance of such actions has ended.

Protests have been held almost every Friday for weeks by people demanding the current government be replaced with technocrats.

Abadi proposed that measure in February, but has faced opposition from powerful parties that rely on control of ministries for patronage and funds.

Sadr, a Najaf-based cleric who led an insurgency against US-led forces, has also demanded a technocratic government, encouraging his supporters to call for the change.

An Incomplete List Of All The Nuclear Horns (Daniel)

9 countries that still have nuclear weapons

Barack Obama has called for a “world without nuclear weapons” during a historic speech in Hiroshima, Japan.

There are around 15,850 nuclear warheads spread between nine nations, according to a report from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).

As the chart by Statista shows, Russia and the US share 93 percent of the world’s nuclear warheads.
Speaking in Hiroshima, President Obama told a crowd that included the Japanese Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, and survivors of the atomic bombing.“We may not be able to eliminate man’s capacity to do evil, so nations and the alliances we have formed must possess the means to defend ourselves.
“But among those nations like my own that hold nuclear stockpiles, we must have the courage to escape the logic of fear and pursue a world without them.

“We may not realise this goal in my lifetime but the persistent effort can roll back the possibility of catastrophe.”

While nine nations to control nuclear weapons, five other countries also host them as part of Nato’s nuclear deterrence policy.

Legally recognised nuclear states

The total number of nuclear warheads in the world is declining, the SIPRI report notes, as Russia and the USA continue to reduce their nuclear arsenals.

However, the other legally recognised nuclear states– China, France, Russia and the UK– are “either developing or deploying new weapon systems or have announced their intention to do so”.

“All five legally recognised nuclear weapon states appear determined to retain their nuclear arsenals indefinitely,” the report concludes.

Nato-member states Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Turkey all host nuclear weapons for the alliance.

North Korea

The isolated communist state is believed to have between six and eight nuclear warheads and has carried out a series of nuclear tests over the last year.

The United Nations imposed sanctions against North Korea as a result of its fourth nuclear test in January this year.

Kim Jong-un has ordered the country’s military to prepare to carry out a pre-emptive strike due to its poor relations with other states.

Both the US and South Korea believe Pyongyang is attempting to develop an intercontinental missile system which could put the US in the range of a nuclear strike.


India is expanding its nuclear weapon stockpiles as well as missile delivery capabilities.

Earlier this year India conducted the final trials of its first nuclear-armed submarine, the INS Arihant, making it the sixth country in the world to possess a vessel capable of launching nuclear warheads from under water.

Once deployed, the submarine will complete India’s nuclear triad, allowing it to launch atomic weapons from land, sea and air.

Work has already begun on two more Arihant-class submarines. India intends to have a total of four by 2020.


Pakistan’s nuclear weapons programme began in the 1970s in response to India’s development and testing of its nuclear weapons. It conducted nuclear tests on May 28, 1998.


Israel is believed to have the only nuclear weapons arsenal in the Middle East.

In February, Israeli defence minister warned of a coming nuclear arms race in the Middle East in response to Iran’s nuclear deal with the US and other Western countries. This saw the lifting of economic sanctions against Tehran in exchange for limitations on its nuclear programme, which it insists is for purely civilian purposes.

Although Israel neither officially confirms or denies it possesses nuclear weapons, it is estimated to have an inventory of around 80 warheads.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Americas Pending Nuclear Disaster (Revelation 6:12)

Nuclear America: RT special report on state of US nuclear facilities

Over the past 18 months, a number of nuclear facilities across the country have experienced problems. From the Hanford Site in Washington state to Indian Point in New York, RT America takes a close look at the disastrous conditions at US nuclear sites.

Taking a look at the past, present and future of nuclear facilities in the US, Friday’s special report seeks to fill in the gap about America’s crumbling radioactive infrastructure that the mainstream media has ignored.

Harnessing nuclear energy ‒ both civilian and military ‒ has both helped the world… and put it at risk. RT America’s Alexey Yaroshevsky and Simone Del Rosario explore how nuclear power feeds cities with energy ‒ and how leaks from those same plants can destroy the lives of those nearby.

The US ushered in the nuclear age in August 1945, when it dropped a uranium bomb on Hiroshima and a plutonium version on Nagasaki in Japan. While no other country has used a nuclear weapon, that doesn’t mean that radioactive material hasn’t come close to destroying the world in the decades since.

RT’s Manuel Rapalo looks at the biggest technological disasters in the 71 years since the end of World War II, including the most famous of all: the 1986 explosion at Chernobyl, located in the Soviet republic of Ukraine. Rapalo also looks at one of the most recent disasters, at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in Japan, which was struck by a tsunami in 2011. The two meltdowns are the only two to receive the Level 7 classification ‒ the highest score on the International Nuclear Events Scale.

The US is the world’s largest producer of nuclear power, with 99 working reactors, generating nearly 100,000 megawatts of energy ‒ or nearly a quarter of the country’s needs. The oldest nuclear plant, New Jersey’s Oyster Creek, has been running since 1969. Much like America’s infrastructure in general, however, there are severe cracks in the foundations.

One of those places where the cracks are most evident is at the Hanford Site in Richland, Washington, where nuclear waste has been stored for decades in tanks never designed to last for more than 40 years. Recently, the site has released several “burps” of radiation into the atmosphere.

“We know ‒ the data shows ‒ that six of those oldest tanks have been leaking for the last several years, even while the [US] Energy Department denies it,” state Representative Gerry Pollet told RT. “The Energy Department won’t even put in monitoring outside the tank to see if radiation levels are going up in the soil around it.”

When Heart of America North West, a Hanford watchdog where Pollet is the executive director, objected and asked for public meetings, “the Energy Department and state say, ‘No, we don’t need any public meetings about the budget request’,” he said.

“They’re worried about the fact that, if people raise heck about not cleaning up and emptying these dangerous tanks, Congress might respond and take money away from building this massive vitrification plant ‒ which may never work anyway,” Pollet said.

The plant is scheduled to be built by 2036, although it was originally supposed to be operational nine years ago.

Capitol Hill does have its eye on Hanford. Senator Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) has traveled to the site recently.

“The DOE has been mismanaging the cleanup at Hanford for three decades,” he told RT in a statement. “I am outraged that the Department claims it doesn’t have enough money to clean up Hanford yet allows such an egregious waste of taxpayer dollars.”

On top of that, there have been leaks of toxic odors into the atmosphere around the tank farms. More than 50 workers have received medical treatment for exposure to chemical vapors since mid-April. Yaroshevsky spoke with several former Hanford workers who are all now suffering from severe health issues.

Officials at Hanford declined to take part in the Nuclear America special.

At Indian Point Nuclear Station just outside New York City, the facility is currently running on an expired license thanks to legislative leeway. In the last 11 years, the plant has had nine incidents, including transformer fires and leaks in spent fuel pools. At one point, its reactor shut down because a bird was defecating on power lines. Despite these mishaps, though, the company that runs the site says it “is safe, and it is operating safely,” Entergy Corporation spokeswoman Patricia Kakridis told Yaroshevsky earlier this year. She then blamed opposition groups for delaying the plant’s license renewal.

The facility is currently operating under a temporary license, but there has been damage discovered in at least one, if not two, of the site’s nuclear reactors, Paul Derienzo, an investigative journalist who has been covering Indian Point for decades, told RT.

“Recently, it was discovered that there was quite a lot of damage inside of Unit 2, and there’s some fear of damage inside of Unit 3, which might extend and it’s definitely led to a situation where there is now a lawsuit to prevent the restarting of Unit 2 and to shut down Unit 3 for an earlier inspection based on these problems and damages that were discovered in the last few weeks,” Derienzo said.
Just south of Miami, Florida, the Turkey Point Nuclear Generating Station has been described by a former employee as the next reactor to undergo a full-scale meltdown. If that happens, it could make large swaths of the Sunshine State uninhabitable overnight. In March, a study showed that the water next to the plant contains alarming levels of radiation that has leaked from the facility’s cooling canals into Biscayne Bay. RT’s Marina Portnaya reports on why the report’s findings are so dangerous.

Despite the risks posed by America’s crumbling nuclear infrastructure, the so-called clean energy fuel doesn’t appear to be going anywhere.

“The future of nuclear energy is to continue safely and reliably running the current nuclear fleet in the United States while supporting advanced reactor development and construction of those advanced reactors to ensure that we have nuclear energy available to meet our emission and economic goals as a country,” Victoria Anderson, project manager for the Nuclear Energy Institute, told Del Rosario and Yaroshevsky.

Paul Gunther, director of the Reactor Oversight Project for Beyond Nuclear, disagreed, however.
“I think if you look at the trends, particularly the market trends right now, nuclear energy is getting increasingly more and more expensive, and renewable energy like solar and wind are getting less and less, so nuclear is no longer able to compete in the electric marketplace,” he said. “And the industry is responding by closing plants.”

But as Hanford has taught us, closing nuclear plants may not prevent deadly mishaps from occurring.

Just Minutes To The Bowls Of Wrath (Revelation 15)

Ticking Closer to Nuclear Midnight

Exclusive: President Obama embraced Japanese survivors of the Hiroshima bomb, but his policies, such as heightening tensions with Russia, have raised the potential for a far worse nuclear catastrophe, explains Jonathan Marshall.

By Jonathan Marshall

Even if you’ve never won an office raffle, a sports pool or a lottery, consider yourself supremely lucky. Unlike the atomic bomb victims who were recognized by President Barack Obama’s visit to Hiroshima, you’ve never experienced the horrors of nuclear war.

That’s nothing any of us should take for granted, says former Defense Secretary William Perry. On at least three occasions, he noted recently, the U.S. military received false alarms of a Soviet nuclear attack. At least twice the Soviet military went on high alert from similar alarms. And anyone who lived through the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962 survived “as much by good luck as by good management,” he added.
The consequences of an accidental nuclear war would be staggering. Thousands of U.S. and Russian warheads, some of them orders of magnitude larger than the one that wiped out Hiroshima, are primed for launch on warning. Besides wiping out tens or hundreds of millions of people in urban centers, they would put a large fraction of the world’s population at risk from starvation.

A 2013 report by Physicians for Social Responsibility concluded that even a limited regional nuclear exchange — say between India and Pakistan — could “cause significant climate disruption worldwide” and jeopardize food supplies to as many as two billion people.

Many authorities believe the threat of accidental war is even greater today than during most of the Cold War. Last year, the Science and Security Board of the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists moved its famous Doomsday Clock forward to three minutes to midnight, its “direst setting” since the nuke-rattling days of the early Reagan era.

The group cited continued bluster and brinkmanship between NATO and Russia, including the shooting down of a Russian warplane by Turkey, as indicators of today’s risky nuclear environment.

Getting Lucky

National security experts and reporters such as Eric Schlosser, author of Command and Control (2014), have compiled long lists of nuclear accidents and near-misses, some of which might have cost millions of lives but for a few quick-thinking heroes. Here’s a small sample:

–In 1958, a B-47 dropped a 30 kiloton Mark 6 atomic bomb into a family’s backyard in Mars Bluff, South Carolina. Its high-explosive trigger blasted the home and left a 35-foot crater. A few months later, another B-47 dropped a Mark 39 hydrogen bomb near Abilene, again setting off its high explosives but not a nuclear blast.
–In 1961, a B-52 exploded over North Carolina, dropping two Mark 39 hydrogen bombs. One of them nearly detonated after five of its six safety devices failed. The Air Force never did recover the uranium trigger.
–In October 1962, at the height of the Cuban Missile Crisis, a Soviet submarine thought it was under attack from U.S. warships, which were practicing dropping depth charges in the Sargasso Sea. The submarine commander ordered a launch of nuclear missiles, but was persuaded to stop by his second-in-command.
President John F. Kennedy addressing the nation regarding the October 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis.
President John F. Kennedy addressing the nation regarding the October 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis.
Other near misses during that mother of all nuclear crises in 1962 included a reckless U.S. spy plane over-flight of Siberia, the explosion of a Soviet satellite that U.S. authorities interpreted as the start of a Soviet missile attack, American test launches of two nuclear-capable ICBMs, and a screw-up at a Minuteman site that allowed a single operator to launch a fully armed missile.
–In 1966, a B-52 bomber collided with a refueling tanker over Palomares, Spain and broke apart, dropping its four hydrogen bombs. Two of them partially detonated, contaminating a wide region with radiation.
–Two years later, a B-52 crashed in Greenland, losing three hydrogen bombs and contaminating nearly a quarter million cubic feet of ice and snow.
–In 1979, a technician mistakenly confused NORAD’s computers with a war games simulation, triggering signals of a Soviet nuclear launch. The Strategic Air Command scrambled its bombers before learning of the false alarm.
–A year later, a defective computer chip prompted the Pentagon to waken President Jimmy Carter’s national security adviser with reports of a massive launch of Soviet missiles from submarines and land-based silos.
–In 1985, a glint of sunlight confused a Soviet early-warning satellite, which reported that the United States had launched five intercontinental ballistic missiles. Fortunately, the watch commander risked his career by not reporting the alarm, saving the day.
–In 1995, Russia’s early-warning system confused a small Norwegian weather rocket with an incoming U.S. Trident missile. The Russian military went on high alert, notifying President Boris Yeltsin and preparing a possible counter-attack before recognizing the mistake.

Tensions Reduce the Odds

As MIT nuclear expert Theodore Postol noted last year, “Had the false alert of 1995 occurred instead during a political crisis, Russian nuclear forces might have been launched. American early warning systems would have immediately detected the launch, and this might then have led to the immediate launch of US forces in response to the Russian launch.”

Recent years have brought us accounts of missing nuclear missiles, drug use by Minuteman missile crews, shocking security breaches, crew commanders falling asleep, computer failures, a silo fire that went undetected by smoke alarms, and much more.

And just this week we were reminded by the Government Accountability Office that the Pentagon’s “Strategic Automated Command and Control System” uses 8-inch floppy disks and 1970s-vintage computers.

The Pentagon insisted in 2014 that the system “is extremely safe and extremely secure” — after all, how many hackers know how to operate such ancient technology? — but Princeton University’s Bruce Blair, a former Air Force ICBM launch-control officer, said this week, “The floppy disks are associated with a nuclear-communications system that was unreliable even when the system was upgraded in the 1970s.”

No doubt the odds of any one of these accidents triggering a war or mass catastrophe were low. But odds increase with the number of incidents. If the probability of a disaster from one incident is only one in 100, the odds of ruin from 20 such incidents rise to nearly one in five. Those are not comforting numbers.

That’s why it’s critical that the United States and Russia get serious about promoting world security by eliminating first-use and “launch on warning” policies that heighten the risk of accidental wars. They must also sharply reduce the size of nuclear arsenals that are difficult to track, safeguard and maintain.

Instead, President Obama has embarked on a trillion dollar program of nuclear modernization and a dangerous policy of confrontation with Russia in Eastern Europe. (Russia is not blameless in these matters, of course.) Such policies are, in turn, prompting China’s military to pursue a nuclear expansion program of its own — including a dangerous shift to hair-trigger alerts and a launch-on-warning policy.

Former Defense Secretary Perry warns that all of this is putting the world “on the brink of a new nuclear arms race.” That’s not what we expected from the President who was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize in part for his call to reduce the threat of nuclear weapons. Let’s hope Obama’s visit to Hiroshima rekindles his commitment to helping create a safer world.

ISIS Attacks the Antichrist’s Men

Al Monitor

NAJAF, Iraq — Sadr City in eastern Baghdad has been one of the main areas targeted by the Islamic State (IS) in the Iraqi capital. It is home to a Shiite majority loyal to Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, who has been leading an opposition movement against the Iraqi government since last year. That said, evidence shows that IS has been seeking to provoke Shiite infighting in a bid to delay the liberation of the remaining areas under its control.

Sadr City has been the stage for a spate of attacks this month. Baghdad was hit by three explosions May 11, the bloodiest of which took place in Sadr City, leaving 64 dead and 87 injured. On May 17, Sadr City was again rocked by a bomb attack that hit a crowded market and caused dozens of casualties. This series of bombings coincided with a political clash pitting Sadr, who enjoys large popularity in Sadr City, against the Iraqi government. The tension between these two led Sadr’s supporters, who came mostly from Sadr City, to storm the heavily fortified Green Zone on April 30 and May 1.

This confrontation, coupled by the explosions targeting Sadr City, are not new to the Iraqi scene. After Sadr said Feb. 13 that he would seek to withdraw trust from the Cabinet if it fails to implement reforms, twin explosions rocked a crowded market Feb. 28, killing at least 70 and wounding 100. IS claimed responsibility for all the attacks in February and May.

Tension among Shiite political parties reached new heights following the Sadr City bombings, stirring a political spat with each party blaming the other for what is happening. The February explosions followed a Sadrist escalation as Sadr called for his supporters to stage a sit-in outside the walls of the Green Zone.

On the same day as the May 11 bombings, Sadr released a searing statement holding Iraqi Interior Minister Mohammed Salem al-Ghabban fully responsible for the suicide attack, calling on Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi to “dismiss Ghabban immediately or else the people will find a way to deal with him on their own.”

On May 20, scores of protesters, most of whom came from Sadr City, stormed the Green Zone for the second time and broke into the Cabinet building in protest against the deteriorating security situation and government mismanagement. Security forces cracked down on protesters, firing rubber and live bullets and tear gas, leaving 108 wounded. Following this incident, Sadr released another statement, saying, “Terrorism and state violence conspired against Iraqis and unarmed protesters. While the first bombs them, the other targets them with live bullets and tear gas.”

Therefore, Sadr has put the Iraqi government and IS on the same side against his followers, who first fell victim to terrorist attacks in their hometown followed by the security forces’ crackdown in the Green Zone.

In response, Abadi strongly condemned the protests, making the accusation, in a televised statement May 21, that “Baathist infiltrators allied with IS” were behind the Green Zone incident.

Abadi held that recent events were aimed at dragging the country into chaos and stirring up strife between the people and the government “in an attempt to save IS fighters who are being chased down everywhere.”

A security source who spoke to Al-Monitor on condition of anonymity said that operations to liberate Fallujah were delayed several times in May due to the escalation of protests that led to the invasion of the Green Zone and riots. The military operation in Fallujah was eventually launched May 23 following a relative calm in protests.

Terrorist groups now seek to target Shiites in particular to achieve two goals: to weaken the Shiite political presence and to galvanize Shiites against Sunnis in a bid to reinflame the sectarian conflict between the two.

Such groups benefit from sectarian violence, especially in terms of its larger effect on Sunnis and dragging them into an open war against Shiites. A voice recording released in February 2014 of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the founding father of IS, said, “If we succeed in dragging the [Shiites] into a sectarian war, it will be possible to mobilize all Sunnis, who would then feel threatened by an imminent genocide at the hands of Shiites.”

Any terrorist attack targeting an area with a Shiite majority loyal to the anti-government Sadr likely will spark further demonstrations and plunge both parties into violence.

From the IS perspective, the infighting would distract Shiites from focusing all their efforts on defeating IS in its remaining areas of control, especially Fallujah and Mosul.

That said, both parties — the government and the protesters — must practice the highest level of self-control, and refrain from being dragged into internal fighting that will only benefit IS and help it resist and live to see another day.

Too Late To Prevent The Spill: The Sixth Seal


The beginning of the end of NY’s nuclear power?’

Has the endgame begun for Indian Point? Sure looks that way.

Riverkeeper is fighting on every legal front to stop this dangerous, aging plant from operating, and there’s no doubt we are closing in.

Riverkeeper has raised awareness about the hazards posed by this plant – including the 2,000 tons of toxic nuclear waste that are stored onsite, on the banks of the Hudson River, with no solution in sight. Our commissioning of reports by Synapse Energy Economics helped document the availability of replacement power once the facility is decommissioned. And our attorneys wrapped up arguments that will deny Entergy, the plant’s owner, a means to renew the licenses it needs to continue operating.

Even Entergy seems to have gotten the memo. The plant’s owners are saying openly that it’s time to reach a deal with New York State about the the plant’s closure: An industry publication quotes CEO Leo Denault that Entergy “would be willing to strike a ‘constructive’ agreement with New York officials on early closure of the controversial Indian Point nuclear plant, provided that Entergy received ‘certainty’ and proper compensation for near-term operation … to meet grid reliability and environmental needs while the state pursues a major revamp of its electricity system.”

The state has already signaled its confidence that New York can do without Indian Point’s power. The state Public Service Commission ruled in November 2013 that New York can count on other sources of safe, reliable, affordable energy.

The transformation is already happening, with energy supplies and transmission lines that are in some cases built, in other cases breaking ground. The future is arriving sooner, perhaps, than Entergy thought it would.

– See more at: http://www.riverkeeper.org/blog/watchdog/watch-the-beginning-of-the-end-of-nys-nuclear-power/#sthash.fJtko3g0.dpuf