Thursday, October 18, 2018

New York Subways at the Sixth Seal (Revelation 6)

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

War Outside the Temple Walls (Revelation 11:2)

Palestinian protesters carry tires as smoke billows during a protest along the Israel-Gaza border, October 12, 2018.AFP
Defense Chief: Israel Must Deal Hamas a Blow – Even if It Means War in Gaza
Almog Ben Zikri16.10.2018 | 11:37
Israel needs to decide if it is headed toward war in Gaza, Avigdor Lieberman says, and a military blow 'is the only way to lower the level of violence to zero or close to zero'
Defense Minister Avidgor Lieberman said on Tuesday that Israel must decide if it is headed toward another war with Hamas in Gaza.
According to Lieberman, the security cabinet should order a military blow against the Islamist group "even at a price of moving to a wide-scale confrontation."
Israel does not intend to continue responding to violent incidents along the border as it has in the past, the defense minister declared. "My opinion is very clear. We must land a strong blow against Hamas. That's the only way to lower the level of violence to zero or close to zero."
The security cabinet is expected to meet on Wednesday for a second time this week on the situation in Gaza.
In a visit to the Israeli army's division near the Gaza border, Lieberman said the violence on the border last Friday led him to understand that the situation there has changed, and that Israel must change its approach toward the incidents along the border fence.

Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman, on a visit to the IDF's Gaza Division, which serves near the Gaza Strip border, Oct. 16, 2018. Eliyahu Hershkovitz
"Since we've allowed the United Nations to bring fuel [into Gaza], we have only gotten high-profile violence," he said. "We've reached a red line and now is the time to make decisions."
The problem in Gaza is not Hamas' tactical activity, including the lauching of incendiary balloon and the burning of tires, but rather Hamas' decision to push for an end to the siege of Gaza, the defense minister said. Both Israel and Egypt have limited the flow of people and goods in and out of the Hamas-controlled enclave.
"The Jewish people's genetic defect is that we refuse to listen and make our own interpretation," he said. "We need to accept things as they are."
Israel has done everything that it could not to escalate the violence on the border, the defense minister said. "We have exhausted all of the options and all of the possibilities. Now is the time to make decisions."
Defense officials have expressed the belief that a wide-scale confrontation in Gaza is not necessary. One senior official said Monday that in light of Gaza residents' situation, it would be difficult for the Israeli army to conduct combat operations in the Strip without Israel coming in for international criticism.
The army is taking the position that efforts should be made to avoid a military confrontation with Hamas until the end of next year, when work on Israeli infrastructure along the Gaza border designed to prevent Hamas from building attack tunnels under the border will be complete.
While speaking to reporters on Tuesday, Lieberman commented on an interview with an Italian daily that Hamas' leader in Gaza, Yahya Sinwar, gave at the beginning of the month in which he said Hamas was not interested in war. Lieberman said the remarks should not be taken seriously.
"It doesn’t matter what Arab leaders say in Hebrew or English," the defense minister said. "What's important is what they say in Arabic."
Asked by Haaretz to comment on the disappearance of exiled Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi on a visit to the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Lieberman said Israel has many problems of its own. "Leave that to the international community," he concluded.
The continuing violence from Gaza, which has included mass demonstrations along the border fence and more recently the use of incendiary kites and balloons to set fires on the Israeli side of the border, have been ongoing since March. About 200 Palestinians have been killed in the clashes.
On Monday alone, 24 Palestinians were wounded by live Israeli military fire in clashes near the Gaza border, the Gaza Health Ministry said. According to the Israel Defense Forces, 2,000 Palestinians demonstrated for several hours near the border in northern Gaza.
Earlier Monday, the IDF Spokesperson's Unit said Israeli aircraft fired at a Hamas position in southern Gaza after two Palestinians placed an explosive charge near the border fence. There were no casualties in the incident. On Friday, seven Palestinians were reportedly killed by Israeli army fire as some 15,000 protesters demonstrated along the border.
In light of the continued violence over the weekend, Lieberman ordered a halt to deliveries of fuel and natural gas into the Strip despite opposition from senior defense officials to the step. The officials expressed the belief that a distinction should be made between fuel supplies sent in by Israel to avert a humanitarian crisis and other fuel that the Gulf state of Qatar is contributing. Israel delivers daily supplies of fuel and natural gas at levels that it says are the minimum required to prevent a collapse in Gaza.

Airstrikes Outside the Temple Walls (Revelation 11:2)

An Israeli warplane carried out an airstrike on Tuesday, targeting a group of Palestinians east of Beit Hanoun, in the southern Gaza Strip.
Airstrikes over Gaza Continue
October 16, 2018 8:08 PM IMEMC News & Agencies Gaza Strip, Israeli attacks, News Report
A Ma’an reporter said that an Israeli warplane fired one missile towards a group of Palestinian youth in northern Gaza; no injuries were reported.
The Israeli army said that a warplane targeted a group of Palestinians who were launching flaming kites into southern Israel.
Meanwhile, locals reported that Israeli military bulldozers entered dozens of meters into south of Gaza City, razing and leveling lands.
Four Israeli bulldozers reportedly entered near the return camps, while drones flew overhead.
Israeli military incursions inside the besieged Gaza Strip and near the “buffer zone,” which lies on both land and sea sides of Gaza, have long been a near-daily occurrence.
(archive photo image)

The Iranian Nuclear Threat (Daniel 8:4)

Why the Iranian Threat Goes Far Beyond Nuclear Weapons
Prior to the Islamic Revolution that swept Iran in 1979, the status of Shiite Muslims in the Arab world (about 20 percent of all Muslims) was that of inferiors. In many countries like Libya, Iraq and Saudi Arabia, they would be executed without trial. In other countries, Shiites were forbidden to build mosques because, in the eyes of Sunni Muslim majority, they were heretics.
The rise of Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khomeini was a watershed. He promised that the Shiites in the Arab world would no longer be oppressed. Indeed, since the revolution in Iran, the status of the Shiites in the Arab world has not only strengthened, in some places they have become the oppressors. Today, the Iranians and their proxies have full control over four Arab states: Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Yemen. And they threaten to seize even more countries.
In fact, Iranian efforts and attempts to undermine the stability of the Arab states have not ceased in recent years. Iran sees itself as a regional power and has adopted a strategy aimed at extending that power across the entirety of the Middle East. And it is succeeding. Two benefits of this extended power is the ability by Iran to protect the Shiite minority in Arab countries and to strike Israel indirectly. The Iranian octopus today operates both openly and covertly in any number of Arab countries as it exports the Shiite revolution to the rest of the Islamic world.
Thanks to Russian and Iranian involvement, Bashar Assad remained in power in Damascus. Iran wants to benefit from its investment in Syria. Today, it is setting up religious centers in Syria to persuade the Syrians to accept the Shiite religion, thereby bringing tens of thousands of Syrians into the Shiite fold, while will later enable Iran to establish even more Shiite militias to do its bidding.
In Iraq, the collapse of Saddam Hussein's regime and the withdrawal of American forces from the country gave Iran a rare opportunity to expand its influence there. Iranian involvement in this country is centered around financing, training, and arming the Shiite militias al-Hashad al-Shaabi (the Iraqi Hezbollah). This political, economic and religious involvement effectively makes Iraq an Iranian protectorate.
The Iranians support and assist the Houthis and through them control much of Yemen, from where they can bomb their arch-enemies, the Saudis. Shiite Iran and Sunni Saudi Arabia have a long-running rivalry centered on the age-old Muslim dispute regarding who was to succeed the Prophet Mohammed. It is from this dispute that the Shiite and Sunni streams of Islam evolved.
Iran established Hezbollah in Lebanon and equipped it through Syria with the most advanced weaponry. Some of the weapons were bombed by Israel in Syria even before their arrival in Lebanon. Iran has turned the Shiite community in Lebanon into a highly-organized fighting force that threatens the Lebanese army and the stability of Lebanon. Today, Iran is a major player in Lebanon.
Iranian is also very active in the Persian Gulf. The Islamic Republic has already occupied the islands of Greater Tunb and Lesser Tunb, as well as Abu Musa Island, all which the United Arab Emirates regarded as belonging to them. This takeover demonstrated to the Arab states and their leaders the danger posed by Iran. Despite the support of the Arab League, no solution to this ongoing Iranian occupation has yet been found.
Iran also operates in Bahrain and neighboring Oman, and is investing greatly in expanding its influence in both kingdoms. In fact, Iran often claims to "own" Bahrain, that it is a "province" of the Islamic Republic. The Shiite majority in the Kingdom of Bahrain gives Iran legitimacy to make such claims, while the government there accuses Iran of subversion.
Iran supports the establishment of a Palestinian state on the ruins of the State of Israel. The Iranians openly say that they want to destroy the State of Israel, and back up those words with material support for local terrorist groups like Hamas and Islamic Jihad. This also enables Iran to brainwash the local Sunni Palestinian Muslims with Shiite ideology, along with a healthy dose of hatred for Israel and the Jews.
Even without a nuclear bomb, Iran is busy destabilizing the rest of the Middle East, making itself no less an enemy of the Arabs than it is of Israel. For this reason it is incumbent upon the US and European Union to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons. Because if it is able to sow so much discord without the bomb, imagine what it can accomplish with nukes in hand?

Russia Prepares for Nuclear War

New satellite images suggest military buildup in Russia's strategic Baltic enclave
By Oren Liebermann, Frederik Pleitgen and Vasco Cotovio, CNN
Updated 6:24 PM EDT, Wed October 17, 2018)
Reykjavik, Iceland (CNN) New satellite imagery shared exclusively with CNN shows Russia appearing to upgrade four of its military installations in Kaliningrad, Russia's strategic outpost on NATO's doorstep.
Kaliningrad -- Russian territory that's sandwiched between Poland and the Baltics but disconnected from the rest of Russia, known as an exclave -- has been a focal point in tensions between Russia and the West.

Earlier this year, aerial images came to light that suggested the Russians had significantly modernized a nuclear weapons storage bunker in Kaliningrad. Now, satellite imagery and analysis from ImageSat International, a commercial satellite firm, appear to confirm that a major modernization is underway in at least four locations throughout the region.
Those upgrades include fresh work at what analysts have identified as the Kaliningrad nuclear weapons storage site. Images captured between July 19 and October 1 indicate work on an exposed bunker under renovation that appears to conceal activity underneath.

Another set of images shows 40 new bunkers under construction, increasing capacity at a military storage area near Primorsk, Russia's second-largest port on the Baltic Sea. The new bunkers surround older, smaller bunkers at the center of the site. Images from July 18 show the bunkers under construction; 10 weeks later, the bunkers appear complete.

A short distance north of Kaliningrad, images appear to show upgrades to the Chkalovsk air base, including a new railway and the installation of an instrument landing system that would allow aircraft to land in inclement weather.

A final set of images shows the upgrades in Chernyakhovsk, a base that houses the 152nd Missile Brigade of the Russian military. In February, the base received nuclear-capable Iskander missiles, prompting a US defense official to call it "the biggest move we've seen" in terms of Russian militarization of the Baltics.

The Russian military did not immediately respond to CNN's request for comment on new evidence of military modernization in Kaliningrad. But the Russian government has consistently defended its right to deploy weapons there.
'We're not going to be intimidated'
Kaliningrad matters because of its strategic location.
"It's very important for them [the Russians] because that is their port on the Baltic sea," said Adm. James G. Foggo III, the commander of US Naval Forces Europe-Africa and commander of the Allied Joint Force Command in Naples, Italy.
"They don't have a land bridge that extends to that area ... and so they've built it up over time."
Foggo, who did not comment directly on the new images, said Russia's presence in the exclave does not deter NATO from operating in the region.
"If they want to challenge us, we will challenge them," he said. "We're not going to be intimidated by those systems that are out there."
But US military officials say they are concerned by what they call Russia's ability to establish "anti-access/area denial" capabilities, or, weaponry that reduces NATO's potential freedom to maneuver in the region. Those include some of the modern weapons systems stationed in Kaliningrad, including anti-ship missiles, radar systems and surface-to-air missiles.
The ImageSat International report bolsters findings from a June 2018 Federation of American Scientists (FAS) conclusion that Russia may have significantly modernized the nuclear weapons storage site since 2016. The FAS report pointed to an underground bunker that was excavated and deepened before it was covered over again, "presumably to return (to) operational status soon."
The new ImageSat report points to upgrades at the same bunker. Hans M. Kristensen, the director of nuclear information at FAS, previously said it was unclear if nuclear weapons are or were stored at the site, but suggested the weapons could be moved there quickly in a crisis.
Tensions running high
Kaliningrad sits about 482 kilometers (300 miles) west of mainland Russia, and as tensions between NATO and Russia have escalated, Kaliningrad has become a major fault line in relations between Russia and the West. NATO has stepped up its military presence in the Baltic region; in addition, US President Donald Trump has demanded that fellow NATO members invest more in defense spending.
But Kaliningrad isn't Russia's only frontier with NATO. Russia also shares a small border with Norway, where US Marines will be training later this month as part of Trident Juncture, a major NATO military exercise involving 50,000 troops, 10,000 vehicles, 150 aircraft and 65 vessels.
Trident Juncture is meant to send a message. It is a so-called Article 5 exercise that tests the readiness of NATO allies to come in to restore the sovereignty of one of its members -- in this case, Norway -- after an act of aggression.
US Marines conduct military drills on Wednesday in Iceland, ahead of the Trident Juncture exercise in Norway, NATO's largest since the end of the Cold War.
Tensions between Russia and the West have been at highs not seen since the Cold War, amid the poisonings in England, allegations of Russian election meddling and Western sanctions on Moscow.
But Foggo, who is overseeing Trident Juncture, said the exercise wasn't a threat to Russia, noting that NATO and Russian troops would be more than 700 kilometers (approximately 435 miles) apart from each other during the maneuvers. NATO, he added, had invited Russian and Belarusian observers to monitor the exercise.
"I want them to be there because that conveys the strength of the alliance," Foggo said.
This story has been updated to correctly identify the instrument landing system in a satellite image provided by ImageSat International.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

2018: The Year of the Sixth Seal (Revelation 6:12)

Sloshing of Earth’s core may spike major earthquakes
By Paul VoosenOct. 30, 2017 , 1:45 PM
The number of major earthquakes, like the magnitude-7 one that devastated Haiti in 2010, seems to be correlated with minute fluctuations in day length.
SEATTLE—The world doesn’t stop spinning. But every so often, it slows down. For decades, scientists have charted tiny fluctuations in the length of Earth’s day: Gain a millisecond here, lose a millisecond there. Last week at the annual meeting of the Geological Society of America here, two geophysicists argued that these minute changes could be enough to influence the timing of major earthquakes—and potentially help forecast them.
During the past 100 years, Earth’s slowdowns have correlated surprisingly well with periods with a global increase in magnitude-7 and larger earthquakes, according to Roger Bilham of the University of Colorado (CU) in Boulder and Rebecca Bendick at the University of Montana in Missoula. Usefully, the spike, which adds two to five more quakes than typical, happens well after the slow-down begins. “The Earth offers us a 5-years heads up on future earthquakes, which is remarkable,” says Bilham, who presented the work.
Most seismologists agree that earthquake prediction is a minefield. And so far, Bilham and Bendick have only fuzzy, hard-to-test ideas about what might cause the pattern they found. But the finding is too provocative to ignore, other researchers say. “The correlation they’ve found is remarkable, and deserves investigation,” says Peter Molnar, a geologist also at CU.
The research started as a search for synchrony in earthquake timing. Individual oscillators, be they fireflies, heart muscles, or metronomes, can end up vibrating in synchrony as a result of some kind of cross-talk—or some common influence. To Bendick, it didn’t seem a far jump to consider the faults that cause earthquakes, with their cyclical buildup of strain and violent discharge, as “really noisy, really crummy oscillators,” she says. She and Bilham dove into the data, using the only complete earthquake catalog for the past 100 years: magnitude-7 and larger earthquakes.
In work published in August in Geophysical Research Letters they reported two patterns: First, major quakes appeared to cluster in time
—although not in space. And second, the number of large earthquakes seemed to peak at 32-year intervals. The earthquakes could be somehow talking to each other, or an external force could be nudging the earth into rupture.
Exploring such global forces, the researchers eventually discovered the match with the length of day. Although weather patterns such as El Nino can drive day length to vary back and forth by a millisecond over a year or more, a periodic, decades-long fluctuation of several milliseconds—in particular, its point of peak slow down about every three decades or so—lined up with the quake trend perfectly. “Of course that seems sort of crazy,” Bendick says. But maybe it isn’t. When day length changes over decades, Earth’s magnetic field also develops a temporary ripple. Researchers think slight changes in the flow of the molten iron of the outer core may be responsible for both effects. Just what happens is uncertain—perhaps a bit of the molten outer core sticks to the mantle above. That might change the flow of the liquid metal, altering the magnetic field, and transfer enough momentum between the mantle and the core to affect day length.
Seismologists aren’t used to thinking about the planet’s core, buried 2900 kilometers beneath the crust where quakes happen. But they should, Bilham said during his talk here. The core is “quite close to us. It’s closer than New York from here,” he said.
At the equator, Earth spins 460 meters per second. Given this high velocity, it’s not absurd to think that a slight mismatch in speed between the solid crust and mantle and the liquid core could translate into a force somehow nudging quakes into synchrony, Molnar says. Of course, he adds, “It might be nonsense.” But the evidence for some kind of link is compelling, says geophysicist Michael Manga of the University of California, Berkeley. “I’ve worked on earthquakes triggered by seasonal variation, melting snow. His correlation is much better than what I’m used to seeing.”
One way or another, says James Dolan, a geologist at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, “we’re going to know in 5 years.” That’s because Earth’s rotation began a periodic slow-down 4-plus years ago. Beginning next year, Earth should expect five more major earthquakes a year than average—between 17 to 20 quakes, compared with the anomalously low four so far this year. If the pattern holds, it will put a new spin on earthquake forecasting.

The Australian Nuclear Horn (Daniel 7:7)

Time for Australia to Build Nuclear Submarines?

by Peter Briggs
5-6 minutes
Australia’s rapidly deteriorating strategic circumstances have caused me to review my earlier stance on the navy’s  future submarine requirements  and the case for  nuclear propulsion .
As Hugh White  wrote in response to Paul Dibb and Richard Brabin-Smith’s  2017 paper  on strategic risk in a new era:
If we decide that Australia should be able independently to resist a direct attack from a major Asian power like China, then we need to start building the forces to do that right now, not wait for some further warning sign.
The time has come for early consideration of all aspects of a  transition to nuclear propulsion  for Australia’s submarines based on compelling strategic and submarine capability arguments.
While acknowledging the strategic and operational advantages that a nuclear-powered submarine force would provide, it must be recognized that there would be some formidable challenges to overcome to add such a force to the RAN.
Quite apart from the political sensitivity of such a decision, it would be a protracted process requiring a lead time of 15 to 20 years, driven largely by the technical, training and educational preparations and a very significant increase in qualified personnel required to operate and maintain the force.
The current program to acquire 12 conventional future submarines (FSMs) is an essential starting point for a successful transition which will take significant time and a national focus to achieve. The RAN must first achieve the critical mass of submarine personnel and be able to sustain the manpower required for this challenging transition.
Attempting a transition before the Australian submarine arm has achieved sufficient size in platforms and personnel risks a capability gap even if there are no delays during the transition.
In the face of a deteriorating strategic outlook, the consequent need to transition to nuclear submarines (SSNs) expeditiously and the reality that growth of the submarine arm via FSM is essential to starting that transition, that program must be accelerated, with a national priority allocated for funds, personnel and a fast track for facilities.
A force of modern SSNs offers significant sea denial and force projection capabilities, providing at least twice the number of more capable submarines deployed at long range compared with an equivalent number of conventional submarines, assuring the ability to sustain a high level of deterrence and operational capability. A fleet of 12 double-crewed SSNs would allow four submarines to be on task at long range and constitute a formidable deterrent force. Such a fleet would also facilitate a rolling construction program.
A force of at least 10 nuclear submarines with 10 crews is the minimum required to maintain a critical mass of trained personnel and to generate the experience needed to man the senior supervisory and policy staff needed for a globally credible nuclear safety organization.
A force of at least 12 conventional future submarines, each with a crew of at least 60 and a total submarine arm of at least 2,100, is judged to be a conservative, safe and viable starting point for a transition to a force of 10 SSNs.
The options for Australia to develop an SSN capability would be limited to building the boats offshore or to consolidating the vessels in Australia incorporating a reactor purchased offshore. Leasing SSNs is not a practical option.
A supporting nuclear power industry is desirable as it would provide Australia with a broader regulatory, technical and educational base. However, provided the costs of not having that support are clearly identified, the absence of an Australian nuclear power industry should not preclude a transition to nuclear propulsion for Australia’s submarines.
The timing of any transition should be one the study’s findings. Two timelines may serve to illustrate the long lead times required:
- The initiation of a training program to prepare the policymakers and senior technical management personnel will be necessary six to eight years prior to ordering the first SSN.
- Over 250 experienced RAN submariners (approximately 12% of the submarine arm operating 12 FSMs) would enter nuclear education and training pipelines approximately eight years prior to the commissioning of the first SSN.
Given the lead time, unfolding strategic situation and benefits of nuclear propulsion, an immediate decision is recommended to commit to a feasibility study into a transition to nuclear propulsion to be delivered by 2020. It’s time we understood the benefits, costs, risk and timescales of this option fully.
And finally, a reminder for cabinet’s national security committee. We need to accelerate the FSM project, with national priority for resources without reducing  the sovereignty of our new subs . It would also be a good idea to stock up on the high-tech/costly/long-lead-time weapons to go in those torpedo tubes.

Burning the Forests Outside the Temple Walls (Revelation 11:2)

A firefighter attempts to extinguish a fire burning scrubland in an area where Palestinians have been causing blazes by flying kites and balloons loaded with flammable materials, on the Israeli side of the border between Israel and the Gaza Strip, near kibbutz Nir Am, June 5, 2018. (photo credit:" AMIR COHEN/REUTERS)
Despite a late-summer lull in the number of incendiary devices launched, the amount sent into Israeli territory has steadily increased again in October.
Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman pushed for a military solution to the Gaza conflict on Tuesday, as a study shows that Palestinian-launched incendiary devices have burned half of the forested land near the southern border.
“Now is the time for decisions. My position is very clear: We must deal a heavy blow against Hamas. This is the only way to return the situation to its previous state, and to reduce the level of violence to nearly zero,” Liberman said.
He spoke during a visit to the Gaza periphery to meet with top military brass and in advance of a security cabinet meeting on Wednesday.
The defense minister has been among the most hawkish voices on the issue of the continued low-level Gaza violence that began on March 30. It has included Palestinian riots along the Gaza border, infiltrations into Israel and the launching of incendiary devices that have burned thousands of hectares on the Israeli side of the border.
The security cabinet, however, has not decided to launch a military operation.
Egypt this week is making another attempt to broker a cease-fire understanding between Israel and Hamas.
Liberman acknowledged that a Gaza military operation must come after “a decision of the entire cabinet. Everyone understands that the situation today cannot continue. We cannot accept violence week after week,” he said.
“The Defense Ministry has done everything possible to attempt to restore the situation in Gaza to what it was prior to March 30,” he said. “We have exhausted our options,” Liberman added.
He explained that he became convinced of the necessity of a military strike after Hamas responded with violence to Israel’s humanitarian gesture last week. To alleviate Gaza’s electricity crisis, Israel facilitated the transfer into the Strip of a large shipment of Qatari-funded fuel for Gaza’s only power plant.
“The change came last Friday. We allowed tanks of diesel to enter Gaza. In return, we faced the kind of violence that we have not seen in a long time,” Liberman said, adding that: “We also saw [Hamas leader Ismail] Haniyeh saying: ‘Diesel and salaries are not going to stop the violence until the blockade is lifted.’”
Liberman said he accepts Hamas at face value when it states that the violence will end when the Gaza borders are completely open.
The absence of any inspection mechanism at the Gaza border would allow Iran to strengthen its influence on the Strip, and facilitate a heavy influx of arms.
“This means Iranian weapons and Hezbollah fighters in Gaza,” he said.
Hamas’s cease-fire terms are unacceptable: it wants full benefits but does not want to demilitarize or to abandon its goal of destroying Israel, Liberman said.
“The only formula in my opinion is rebuilding in exchange for disarmament. At the moment, we need to make decisions, and I hope the cabinet will make decisions. The only way is a heavy blow that can, in my opinion, lead to five years of quiet,” Liberman said.
On Tuesday, the Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael-Jewish National Fund (KKL-JNF) published data that 1,100 fires have been set since April 10, the day KKL-JNF workers first reported Palestinian-launched arson devices.
The fires have burned nearly 1,200 hectares of land near the Gaza Strip, more than half of the 2,100 hectares of forested land in the region.
Early on Tuesday, an IAF aircraft struck a launching post for incendiary balloons that had been sent into Israel, one of five reported by local authorities for the day.
“This week we mark exactly half a year of the phenomenon of kite terrorism, which caused more than 1,000 fires that consumed 12,000 dunams of the forests of the western Negev,” Daniel Gigi, director of the KKL-JNF Southern Region, said in a statement.
“Although the fire continues today, thanks to joint work with the Israel Nature and National Parks Protection Authority, the residents of the communities, the volunteers and the IDF, we manage to take control of the fires quickly,” the statement continued. “In the past six months, all of the regional authorities have united, and together we have built a working model to fight the fires when they are still small.”
Since April, Palestinians have routinely sent incendiary devices – kites and balloons with Molotov cocktails or burning cloth attached – across the border fence, with the aim of setting Israeli territory ablaze. In recent weeks, a number have been found in Jerusalem as well, which have been dealt with by Israeli police.
Despite a late-summer lull in the number of such devices, the amount sent into Israeli territory has steadily increased again in October.
The left-wing organization B’Tselem on Tuesday said that since March 30, the IDF has killed at least 166 Palestinians along Israel’s southern border – 31 of them minors – and injured more than 5,300 with live gunfire.

Netenyahu Tramples Outside the Temple Walls (Revelation 11:2)

JERUSALEM, Israel – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu promised "painful blows" against Hamas if the terrorist organization controlling Gaza doesn't stop its violent protests. The threat comes after seven months of violent riots along Israel's southern border.
Netanyahu said Israel may choose a different way to confront Hamas's violence.
"We are close to a different kind of action. Action which will include very painful blows, if Hamas is smart, it will cease its fire and violent outbursts – now," Netanyahu said at the start of the weekly cabinet meeting.
Hamas-led riots began on March 30th.  IDF spokesman Jonathan Conricus told CBN News Hamas plans different events for different days. On Monday it's the beach.

IDF  Spokesman Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus, Photo, CBN News
"Mondays are always the naval riots when they embark from the Gaza harbor trying to reach into Israeli waters," Conricus said. "There are also riots along the beach and of course lots of media activity to try to join these two things together."
Friday is the weekly main event, "Where an average of about 18,000 rioters gather in six different locations trying to violently get across into Israel becoming more and more violent.  We see a clear escalation in violence in the weapons that they use," he said.
"Last Friday [in] the most violent attempt, IEDs [improvised explosive devices] were placed by Palestinians along the fence and that blew a hole in the fence through which 20 or so Palestinians got in and they tried to assault an IDF position. At that time Israeli soldiers fired in self-defense after they fired warning shots and made sure that those rioters were not able to get to their position," he explained.
"We see that Hamas is actively pushing Palestinians toward the fence, really escalating the level of violence and trying to get Palestinians killed on the fence," he added.
Michael Oren addressed the Gaza situation with Christian journalists from around the world.

Deputy Minister of Diplomacy MK Michael Oren, Photo, CBN News, Jonathan Goff
"The demonstrator is the new missile," Oren said. "In some cases, it's [a] better missile because it's multi-usage. And they get the picture. They get the picture of innocent kids killed by Israel, which causes the same type of damage. It erodes our national legitimacy."
Earlier CBN News got a firsthand look at what Israeli soldiers have faced for more than half a year.
"It's not legitimate and  [it's not]  civilian riots," an IDF commander, whose name is withheld for security reasons, explained.
"The leaders of the riots are  [members of]  Hamas, and they are trying to challenge us," he said.
Hamas has also flown hundreds of arson balloons into Israel that burned thousands of acres of Israeli farmland.

Incendiary balloons launched by Hamas destroyed set wheat fields on fire, Photo, CBN News, Jonathan Goff
The goal of Hamas is to infiltrate into Israeli border communities to attack Israeli civilians. Conricus says there's a limit to what Israel can tolerate.
"It should be very clear to our enemy that there is a limit to the amount of violence that can be tolerated, to the amount of terror that can be inflicted on Israeli civilians. And of course the IDF has the tools and the capabilities to defend against those," Cornricus said.

Antichrist calls on Kurds to abandon ‘quotas'

Leader of Iraq’s Sadrist Movement, Muqtada Al-Sadr [Twitter]
Iraq’s Sadr calls on Kurds to abandon ‘quotas’
October 16, 2018 at 11:21 am
The leader of Iraq’s Sadrist Movement Muqtada Al-Sadr yesterday called on Kurdish leaders to keep all “corrupt” people away from the state’s senior positions.
Since the overthrow of the former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein in 2003, Sunnis, Shias and Kurds have been sharing senior positions in the state under the so-called “quota” system.
“We want you to live with us without separation,” Al-Sadr wrote on Twitter, addressing Kurdish politicians. “This is the highest meaning of love to be together in a unified Iraq,” he added.
READ: Iraqi Kurds vote in parliamentary polls Sunday
“We know that among you are some who love moderation and do not differentiate between a Kurd or an Arab except with piety and patriotism,” he continued, calling on the Kurds to “save Iraq and leave the quota and all the corrupt, and renew the covenant for Iraq with new faces who would preserve the country’s prestige, raise its status and cherish its people.”
Al-Sadr’s message comes two days after his similar letter to Sunni Iraqis urging them “to provide public interests and to rely on the competent technocrats to lead the country in the next stage.” He also advised them to stay away from “treachery of treason and corruption deals”.
Iraq is among the world’s most corrupt countries, according to the Transparency International Index, over the past years.
Corruption is one of Iraq’s main challenges. According to the UK-based International Centre for Development Studies, $120 billion simply disappeared during the term of office of former Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

History of Earthquakes before the Sixth Seal (Revelation 6:12)

History of earthquakes in Lower Hudson Valley
Swapna Venugopal Ramaswamy
9:05 a.m. ET Feb. 7, 2018
At around 6:14 a.m. this morning, a 2.2-magnitude earthquake was reported about three miles northwest of Mohegan Lake in Yorktown, according to the United States Geological Survey. The epicenter of the quake was in Putnam Valley.
Social media was rife with posts on the quake with people from Chappaqua, Cortlandt, Lewisboro, Mahopac and Putnam Valley chiming in with their rattling experiences, though it wasn’t nearly as strong as the 5.0 earthquake our forefathers experienced here in 1783.
Lower Hudson Valley earthquakes through the years:
1783 — The epicenter of a magnitude 5.0 earthquake may have been the Westchester-Putnam county line and was felt as far south as Philadelphia.
1884 — A magnitude 5.2 earthquake was centered off Rockaway, Queens, causing property damage but no injuries to people. A dead dog was reported.
1970 to 1987 — Between these years, instruments at the Lamont-Doherty Observatory in Rockland County recorded 21 quakes in Westchester and two in Manhattan.
October 1985 — A magnitude 4.0 earthquake was centered in an unincorporated part of Greenburgh between Ardsley and Yonkers. Tremors shook the metropolitan area and were felt in Philadelphia, southern Canada and Long Island.
November 1988 — A quake 90 miles north of Quebec City in eastern Canada registered magnitude 6.0 with tremors felt in the Lower Hudson Valley and New York City.
June 1991 — A 4.4-magnitude quake struck west of Albany, rattling homes.
April 1991 — A quake registering between magnitude 2.0 and 2.6 struck Westchester and Fairfield, Conn. It lasted just five seconds and caused no damage.
January 2003 — Two small earthquakes struck the area surrounding Hastings-on-Hudson. One was a magnitude of 1.2, the other 1.4.
March 2006 — Two earthquakes struck Rockland. The first, at 1.1 magnitude, hit 3.3 miles southwest of Pearl River; the second, 1.3 magnitude, was centered in the West Nyack-Blauvelt-Pearl River area.
July 2014 — “Micro earthquake” struck, 3.1 miles beneath the Appalachian Trail in a heavily wooded area of Garrison.
January 2016 —  A 2.1 magnitude earthquake occurred at 12:58 a.m. northwest of Ringwood, N.J., and the earthquake was felt in the western parts of Ramapo, including the Hillburn and Sloatsburg areas.
April 2017 —  A 1.3 magnitude quake rumbled in Pawling on April 10. Putnam County residents in Brewster, Carmel, Patterson and Putnam Valley, as well as Dutchess County residents in Wingdale felt the earthquake.
Twitter: @SwapnaVenugopal

More Wounded Outside the Temple Walls (Revelation 11:2)

Palestinian protesters gather during a demonstration on the beach near the maritime border with Israel in the northern Gaza Strip, October 15, 2018.AFP
24 Palestinians Said Wounded by Live Israeli Fire During Gaza Border Clashes
Yaniv Kubovich15.10.2018 | 19:07
According to the Israeli military, 2,000 Palestinians have been demonstrating for several hours in northern Gaza near the border
Twenty-four Palestinians were wounded by live Israeli military fire on Monday during clashes near the Gaza border, the Gaza Health Ministry said. The wounded were taken to nearby hospitals, and dozens suffering from teargas inhalation were treated at the scene.
According to the Israel Defense Forces, 2,000 Palestinians have been demonstrating for several hours near the border in northern Gaza.
Earlier Monday, the IDF Spokesperson's Unit said Israeli aircraft fired at a Hamas position in southern Gaza after two Palestinians placed an explosive charge near the border fence. There were no casualties in the incident.
The Israeli military confirmed on Sunday its aircraft struck a group of Palestinians in northern Gaza throwing firebombs toward Israeli territory. There's no word on casualties from the strike.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned Hamas earlier in the day, saying that if the attacks from Gaza against Israel won't stop, Israel will launch a "different" kind of response.
"Hamas apparently didn't get the message," Netanyahu said during Sunday's weekly cabinet meeting. "If they don't stop the attacks against us, they will be stopped in a different way and it will be painful – very painful. We are very close to a different kind of activity, an activity that will include very powerful blows. If it has sense, Hamas will stop firing and stop these violent disturbances, now."
On Friday, seven Palestinians were reportedly killed by Israeli army fire as some 15,000 protesters demonstrated along the border.
Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman said before Israel opts to go to war, it needs to exhaust all of the other options. "In recent months, I think we have made every effort, turned over every stone," he said, speaking to the Ynet news website.
"Hamas has turned violence on the [border] fence into a strategic weapon, through which they are hoping to erode our resilience. They are hoping to erode our deterrence," the defense minister added.

Antichrist Calls for Unity (Revelation 13)

Cleric Sadr directs message to Kurds, calls for unity to 'save Iraq'
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The leader of Iraq’s national election winner al-Sairoon, Muqtada al-Sadr, directed a message on Monday to the people of the Kurdistan Region urging cooperation to “save Iraq” and turn Kirkuk into a “model of peaceful coexistence.”
The renowned Shia cleric’s words came in a Twitter post a day after a delegation, of which his parliamentary coalition is a part, of the Alliance of Reform and Reconstruction, visited Erbil and met with the head of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), Masoud Barzani, and other senior officials.
“We want you to be united, strong… and not be oppressed or oppressors, and we will share our nourishment between us with justice and equity,” Sadr said in his message to the Kurdish people and politicians.
“We will not allow assaults on you, and we know that there are among you who are fond of moderation, and do not differentiate between the Kurdish or the Arab, except in piety and patriotism.”
The Kurdistan Regional Government’s (KRG) relations with the central government continue to improve after ties deteriorated following Baghdad’s 2017 military takeover of disputed territories, notably, Kirkuk province, in response to the Kurds’ independence referendum in September.
“Let us all save Iraq and leave the quota [system] and oust all the corrupt and renew the Covenant to Iraq with new faces that will preserve your prestige and raise your status,” Sadr said, pointing at the Kurds.
Major political figures continuously call for the abolition of Iraq’s “quota system,” an unofficial power-sharing tradition maintaining that the prime minister must be Shia, the president a Kurd, while the speaker must be Sunni.
“Unite your old generation with the new generation” so that all of the country’s citizens are the pillars supporting Iraq, the cleric continued, and Kirkuk can become “a model of peaceful coexistence for all religious sects and races.”
On Saturday, Sadr directed another message to Iraq’s Sunni people and politicians, calling for the abandonment of partisan ambitions in favor of public interests, and for independent technocrats to steer clear from the “dagger of betrayal and corrupt deals.”
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany

Israel Prepares to Intensify the Trampling (Revelation 11:2)

Palestinian protesters rest behind concrete blocks as others hurl stones at Israeli soldiers during a protest at the entrance of Erez border crossing in the northern Gaza Strip, Sept. 26, 2018. AP Photo/Khalil Hamra
Gaza Tensions: Israeli Army Prepares to Intensify Response, but Warns Against Broad Confrontation
Defense source says humanitarian situation in Gaza means fighting would be accompanied by international criticism that would limit the military's freedom of action
Yaniv Kubovich
15.10.2018 | 19:44
Defense officials on Sunday told the security cabinet that it does not believe a large-scale conflict in the Gaza Strip is necessary, following assertions by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman that Israel is preparing to step up action against Hamas.
Nevertheless, the IDF understands that there is pressure from politicians to do something and that events at the border fence are escalating, which is why there will be a situation assessment before Friday, when thousands of demonstrators are once again expected at the border. The Southern Command is preparing for soldiers to respond more forcefully at the border and will set clearer boundaries for those who approach the fence. It’s possible that the no-entry area near the border will be enlarged or that more care will be taken to prevent breaches of the type that occurred this past Friday.
Earlier I reported a Palestinian attempting to light an #IDF post on fire at the border. He succeeded but it quickly died out. #Gaza #Israel
— Joe (@Jtruzmah) October 8, 2018
The IDF has not altered its decision to try to avoid being dragged into a military confrontation before the end of 2019, when the fence and underground barrier that will neutralize the attack tunnels is completed.
A senior defense official addressed the possibility that the politicians would order a military confrontation in Gaza, and argued that the conditions in Gaza would make it difficult for Israel to fight without being barraged by international criticism.
The official added that even during military operations, the IDF makes sure that the Gazan population has basic items and that the aid organizations and health system can absorb the wounded and those forced to flee the battle zones. Now, the official said, the Gaza health system is on the verge of collapse and aid groups can barely help those in need, which means that fighting now in Gaza would lead to a serious humanitarian crisis there, limiting Israel’s room to maneuver vis a vis the international community.
Chief of General Staff Gadi Eisenkot left for a conference of military commanders in the United States, where he is expected to attend working meetings mainly on the situation in Syria, which in Eisenkot’s view is still the most important arena and should receive the military’s main attention, even at the expense of specific events in Gaza. As far as Eisenkot is concerned, the north must be the focus in terms of training, resources and alertness.
In Gaza, intelligence officials say they’ve identified a different trend from that presented by the politicians and some of the media. The intelligence assessment is that Gaza residents are actually resentful of Hamas’ conduct and the fact that until now it hasn’t managed to realize any achievements from the weekly demonstrations. The assessment is that Hamas understands the situation, which is why the process of trying to seek an arrangement should be pursued to bring calm to the area.
Defense sources, meanwhile, expressed surprise at Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman’s conditioning the resumption of fuel deliveries on total quiet. These sources say that his remark puts both Israel and Hamas in a position from which it will be difficult to actually achieve an agreement. Defense officials say fuel deliveries will have to resume in a few days in any case to allow Gazans basic living conditions, which is why a compromise will be sought through mediators that won’t make either side look as if it had caved in.
In any case, the IDF understands that there is pressure from the politicians to do something and that events at the border fence are escalating, which is why there will be a situation assessment before Friday, when thousands of demonstrators are once again expected at the border. The Southern Command is preparing for soldiers to respond more forcefully at the border and will set clearer boundaries for those who approach the fence. It’s possible that the no-entry area near the border will be enlarged or that more care will be taken to prevent breaches of the type that occurred this past Friday.
On Sunday the air force attacked a group of Palestinians who were launching booby-trapped balloons. One of them was lightly wounded.

Monday, October 15, 2018

A Closer Look At the Sixth Seal (Revelation 6:12)

By Spectrum News NY1 | April 2, 2018 @4:32 PM
Not every New Yorker felt when the ground shook on August 23, 2011.
When a magnitude 5.8 earthquake cracked the soil near Mineral, Virginia that day, the energy traveled through the Northeast.
Some New Yorkers watched their homes tremor, while others felt nothing.
Researchers say New York City is due for a significant earthquake originating near the five boroughs, based on previous smaller earthquakes in and around the city. While New York is at moderate risk for earthquakes, its high population and infrastructure could lead to significant damage when a magnitude 5 quake or stronger hits the area.
Unbeknownst to many, there are numerous fault lines in the city, but a few stand out for their size and prominence: the 125th Street Fault, the Dyckman Street Fault, the Mosholu Parkway Fault, and the East River Fault.
The 125th Street Fault is the largest, running along the street, extending from New Jersey to the East River. Part of it runs to the northern tip of Central Park, while a portion extends into Roosevelt Island.
The Dyckman Street Fault is located in Inwood, crossing the Harlem River and into Morris Heights, while the Mosholu Parkway Fault is north of the Dyckman Street and 125th Street Faults.
The East River Fault looks a bit like an obtuse angle, with its top portion running parallel, to the west of Central Park, before taking a horizontal turn near 32nd St. and extending into the East River and stopping short of Brooklyn.
Just outside of the city is the Dobbs Ferry Fault, located in suburban Westchester; and the Ramapo Fault, running from eastern Pennsylvania to the mid-Hudson Valley, passing within a few miles northwest of the Indian Point Nuclear Plant, less than 40 miles north of the city and astride the intersection of two active seismic zones.
The locations of faults and the prevalence of earthquakes is generally not a concern for most New Yorkers. One reason might be that perceptions of weaker earthquakes vary widely.
On Nov. 30, a magnitude 4.1 earthquake, centered near Dover, Delaware, could be felt in nearby states. Less than 200 miles away in New York City, some people reported on social media that they felt their houses and apartments shaking. At the same time, some New Yorkers, again, did not feel anything:
Won-Young Kim is a senior research scientist at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, which monitors and records data on earthquakes that occur in the northeast. Kim says it’s not clear who feels smaller earthquakes, as evident by a magnitude 0.8 quake in the city in December of 2004.
“Hundreds of people called local police, and police called us. Our system was unable to detect that tiny earthquake automatically,” Kim said. “We looked at it, and, indeed, there was a small signal.”
Kim says some parts of the city will feel magnitude 1 or 2 earthquakes even if the seismic activity does not result in any damage.
You have to go back to before the 20th Century, however, to find the last significant earthquake that hit the city. According to Lamont-Doherty researchers, magnitude 5.2 earthquakes occurred in 1737 and 1884. In newspaper accounts, New Yorkers described chimneys falling down and feeling the ground shake underneath them.
“1737 — that was located close to Manhattan,” Kim said. “It was very close to New York City.”
According to Kim, the 1884 quake was felt in areas in or close to the city, such as the Rockaways and Sandy Hook, New Jersey. But it was felt even as far away as Virginia and Maine.
From 1677 to 2007, there were 383 known earthquakes in a 15,000-square-mile area around New York City, researchers at Lamont-Doherty said in a 2008 study.
A 4.9 located in North Central New Jersey was felt in the city in 1783; a 4 hit Ardsley in 1985; and in 2001, magnitude 2.4 and 2.6 quakes were detected in Manhattan itself for the first time.
But the 1737 and 1884 quakes remain the only known ones of at least magnitude 5 to hit the city.
Smaller earthquakes are not to be ignored. Lamont-Doherty researchers say frequent small quakes occur in predictable ratios to larger ones and thus can be used — along with the fault lengths, detected tremors and calculations of how stress builds in the crust — to create a rough time scale.
The takeaway? New York City is due for a significant earthquake.
Researchers say New York City is susceptible to at least a magnitude 5 earthquake once every 100 years, a 6 about every 670 years, and 7 about every 3,400 years.
It’s been 134 years since New York was last hit by at least a magnitude 5. When it happens next, researchers say it won’t be much like 1884.
The city’s earthquake hazard is moderate, according to the New York City Area Consortium for Earthquake Loss Mitigation (NYCEM), but experts agree that, due to its higher population and infrastructure, the damage would be significant.
Before 1995, earthquake risks were not taken into consideration for the city’s building code. Thus, Lamont-Doherty says many older buildings, such as unenforced three- to six-story buildings, could suffer major damage or crumble.
The damage an earthquake causes is also dependent on what’s in the ground. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, bedrock is more resistant to earthquakes than sediment.
The upper third of Manhattan has harder soil that is more resistant to shaking. Parts of Midtown are more susceptible, while Downtown Manhattan’s soil is even softer, according to the NYCEM.
Exceptions to Upper Manhattan’s strength? Portions of Harlem and Inwood — both areas consist of a large amount of soft soil. Central Park has the strongest soil in Manhattan, outside of a small segment of Inwood..
Not all boroughs are created equal. While the Bronx is also made of solid bedrock, the ground in Queens and Brooklyn is softer.
“If you go to Queens and Brooklyn, you have sediment, so there would be more shaking relative to Manhattan,” Kim said. “So, it’s not easy to say the damage would be the same.”
Analysis pins the damage from a magnitude 5 earthquake hitting New York City in the billions, according to Lamont-Doherty.
New York City is not a hotbed for seismic activity; it is not close to a tectonic plate, and it is not clear if one of the faults would be the source of a strong quake. But the predicted damage to the city has concerned many experts.
Until that day, earthquakes are isolated events for New Yorkers. Some have felt the ground move, while others have only felt shaking when subway cars travel underground.
But researchers agree: One day, the ground will wake up in the city that never sleeps, and all New Yorkers will understand what Mineral, Virginia felt when their homes rattled with the earth.

Antichrist Warns Against Sectarianism

Muqtada al-Sadr to Iraq’s Sunnis: Stay away from dagger of treason

Sadr called on Sunnis to provide independent qualified technocrats “to live together safely away from the treasonous dagger and corruption.” (AFP)
In a statement directed at the Iraqi Sunnis and Sunni politicians, Sadrist movement leader Muqtada al-Sadr said that public interests should precede party interests, and that quotas should be avoided while forming the next government headed by newly elected Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi.
On his official Twitter account, Sadr called on Sunnis to provide independent qualified technocrats “to live together safely away from the treasonous dagger and corruption.”
Iraqi media had reported that Sunni parties have identified the ministries that they wanted to control with Abdul-Mahdi, which included the ministries of justice, higher education and labor.
Meanwhile, the number of nominees for the position of minister have reached 15,184 according to the prime minister’s office.
According to a source, many nominees were eliminated, as they did not meet the legal and technical conditions, and that after preliminary assessments, only 600 candidates were selected after a thorough study of their applications.
The source added that the next step is for these candidates to be called in for interviews to discuss their qualifications further, and the top choices will then meet with Prime Minister-designate Abdul-Mahdi.

Pakistani Nuclear Horn Threatens India

In the latest war of words between the two estranged nuclear-armed neighbours, Pakistan on Saturday warned India of 10 surgical strikes in response to a single such attack.
Major General Asif Ghafoor, the spokesperson of the military’s Inter-Services Public Relations, categorically stated that the surgical strike is a myth and India was running lies to discredit Pakistan. “We have the power to retaliate with 10 surgical strikes if a single adventure is carried out by our eastern neighbour. There should be no doubt about that,” he added.
Speaking to media in London, Major General Asif Ghafoor also asserted that the freedom movement of Kashmiris is indigenous and does not have external support. “Independence of Kashmir is in the DNA of Kashmiris, the movement for freedom is completely independent, India knows it well that there is no interference from Pakistan,” he added.
He said, “Kashmiris are fighting for the war of their survival and India knows Kashmiris are right and they will win and the struggle of Kashmiris will be won by Kahsmiris. They are freedom fighters and not terrorists, India has used every kind of power to suppress Kashmiris but failed.”
The military’s Inter-Services Public Relations spokesperson further noted that the Pakistan Army was the custodian of the USD 50 billion China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and that the mega project will strengthen the economy of the country.

An Escalation Outside the Temple Walls (Revelation 11:2)

Israel hoped that the entry of fuel into the Gaza Strip would succeed in bringing about calm. It worked, and for 48 hours there was relative calm in the scale of border fence disturbances, as well as in the launching of incendiary balloons. But then came Friday’s border riots, which made it clear that the attempt had failed.
On Friday at 6 PM Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman ordered to halt the flow of fuel into the coastal enclave.
This declaration, which was justified in light of the circumstances, could push Hamas into a corner and eventually turn out to be a declaration of war. It is Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas who is pleased with the move, hoping that efforts to implement an arrangement would fail.
Friday's demonstration was attended by 15,000 Gazans. Seven of them were killed, and more than 100 wounded. The most significant incident was the placing of an explosive device on the fence near the center of the Gaza Strip, which exploded partially and tore a hole in the fence.
 (Photo: AFP)(Photo: AFP)
Through this hole, 20 terrorists entered Israel. They were immediately identified by the IDF that fired warning shots. Most of the terrorists were pushed back into the strip. However, three of them continued approaching a military post and were shot dead. The IDF praised the actions of the soldiers who prevented the infiltration of the terrorists.
Gazans attempt to pry open security fenceGazans attempt to pry open security fence
The infiltration attempts, which have become more significant this week, indicate a step up. The infiltration of 20 terrorists sets a dangerous precedent and indicates an increase in the Palestinians' daring to detonate an explosive charge on the fence and infiltrate in large numbers. The IDF was prepared for this event with observations posts, the 101st battalion which was properly deployed and an elite unit that was sent as reinforcements to Gaza especially for Friday’s riots. But still, most of the time the IDF is not deployed in such an extensive manner. This incident could have ended in the abduction of a soldier or a terrorist infiltration into a town close to the fence, which would have forced the IDF and the State of Israel to embark on a broad campaign that was neither planned nor wanted. Therefore, the policy on the fence must change. Cabinet Minister Yoav Galant said Saturday that “the orders given to the IDF are clear: Ensure that no one crosses the fence, but use the minimal amount of force.” This directive, to use minimal force, could end in disaster.

Babylon the Great Threatens the Russian Nuclear Horn

US threatens to 'take out' Russian missiles if Moscow keeps violating nuclear treaty
By Ryan Browne and Frederik Pleitgen, CNN
Updated 3:31 PM EDT, Tue October 02, 2018
(CNN) The United States Permanent Representative to NATO, Amb. Kay Bailey Hutchison, warned Tuesday that the US could "take out" Russian missiles that are perceived to be in violation of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty should Moscow continue to violate the agreement.
"We have been trying to send a message to Russia for several years that we know they are violating the treaty. We have shown Russia the evidence that we have, that they are violating the treaty," Hutchison said, according to a US NATO mission transcript of a press conference on the sidelines of the NATO Defense Ministerial meeting in Brussels.
"They are building a medium-range ballistic missile in violation of the INF. That is a fact which we have proven," she added.
Asked what type of countermeasures the US and NATO would pursue in the face of the Russian violation, Hutchison said "the countermeasures would be to take out the missiles that are in development by Russia in violation of the treaty."
"Getting them to withdraw would be our choice, of course. But I think the question was what would you do if this continues to a point where we know that they are capable of delivering. And at that point we would then be looking at a capability to take out a missile that could hit any of our countries in Europe and hit America in Alaska," she added.
Later on Tuesday Hutchinson said she "was not talking about preemptively striking Russia" when she said the US would have to "take out" the Russian missiles.
"I was not talking about preemptively striking Russia. My point: (Russia) needs to return to INF Treaty compliance or we will need to match its capabilities to protect US & NATO interests. The current situation, with (Russia) in blatant violation, is untenable," Hutchinson wrote on Twitter.

U.S. would destroy banned Russian warheads if necessary: NATO envoy
Russia must halt its covert development of a banned cruise missile system or the United States will seek to destroy it before it becomes operational, Washington's envoy to NATO said on Tuesday.
Prior to Hutchison's tweet Russia's Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova responded forcefully, saying Hutchison behaved "aggressively and destructively" by making the comments.
"It seems as if people who make such statements do not realize the level of their responsibility and the danger of such aggressive rhetoric," Zakharova told CNN.
"Who authorized this lady to make such statements? The American people? Do the ordinary people in the USA know what the so-called diplomats, who are getting paid with the money from [ordinary people's] pockets, behave themselves so aggressively and destructively?" Zakharova added.
"It is very easy to break and crush everything. It is hard to repair and restore. US diplomacy will have to do a lot in order to fix the aftermath of their mistakes. As for the essence of the matter, our military experts will give an expanded response," she added.
Earlier on Tuesday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told CNN the Kremlin "prefers not to pay extra attention to statements by ambassadors while we have too many uncertainties with the messages on the higher level."
The 1987 treaty limits the types of missiles that the US and Russia can deploy.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg told reporters Tuesday that NATO remained "concerned about Russia's lack of respect for its international commitments, including the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty."
"After years of denials, Russia recently acknowledged the existence of a new missile system, called 9M729. Russia has not provided any credible answers on this new missile. All Allies agree that the most plausible assessment would be that Russia is in violation of the Treaty," he added

Israel Prepares to Strike Outside the Temple Walls (Revelation 11:2)

Palestinian carry the body of Mohammed Abbas, 21, who was killed by Israeli troops during Fridays protest at the Gaza Strips border with Israel, into the family home during his funeral in Gaza City, Saturday, Oct. 13, 2018. (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)

Israel warns Hamas of 'painful' strikes if protests go on

The Associated Press
Palestinian carry the body of Mohammed Abbas, 21, who was killed by Israeli troops during Friday's protest at the Gaza Strip's border with Israel, into the family home during his funeral in Gaza City, Saturday, Oct. 13, 2018. (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday threatened "very painful blows" against Gaza's Hamas rulers if they don't halt protests along the perimeter fence that have led to clashes with Israeli troops.
Netanyahu said Israel is very close to waging a "different kind of activity" against the Islamic militants. He said "if it has any sense, Hamas will cease its fire and violent outbursts — now."
Hamas has orchestrated near-weekly protests along the Israel-Gaza boundary since March, pressing for an end to a decade-long Israel-Egyptian blockade of the isolated territory.
The protests have intensified in recent weeks as attempts to reach a truce with Israel, including an easing of the blockade, have faltered.
The Israeli military said 14,000 Palestinians thronged the border fence areas on Friday, burning tires and throwing rocks, firebombs and grenades at soldiers stationed atop earth mounds on the other side of the barrier.
Some 20 Palestinians breached the border during Friday's protest. Seven Palestinians were killed, including four who the military said were shot while approaching a military position in Israeli territory.
Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman announced that following Friday's demonstrations Israel would halt all fuel shipments to the Gaza Strip until further notice.
Gaza, which already suffers from chronic power outages, relies on fuel shipments from Israel to power its electricity-generating plant. Israel last week reached a deal to provide Qatari-funded fuel to Gaza to increase electricity supplies.
"The State of Israel was prepared to improve the civilian reality in the Gaza Strip, but the decision of the Hamas leadership to use serious violence — especially on the same day in which tankers of diesel fuel were brought into the Gaza Strip — is what brought about the decision to cut off the supply of fuels," Lieberman said in a statement.
Israel transferred four tankers of Qatari-donated diesel to the beleaguered Gaza Strip on Friday.
Since protests began in March, at least 150 Palestinians have been killed while participating in or attending the Hamas-organized demonstrations. An Israeli soldier was also killed by a Gaza sniper in the same period.
The protests are aimed, in part, at lifting the crippling Israeli-Egyptian blockade of the Gaza Strip, which was put in place after Hamas took power in a 2007 coup. The blockade has plagued most of Gaza's 2 million residents. Electricity is supplied for roughly four hours a day, unemployment stands at more than 50 percent and tap water is unpotable.
Israel and Hamas have fought three wars over the past decade and have recently engaged in several flare-ups of fighting.
Hamas seeks a cease-fire with Israel to secure an easing of the blockade but accuses its West Bank rivals, Fatah, of thwarting the effort. Hamas has escalated the border protests in recent weeks in response to stalled negotiations with Israel moderated by Egypt and the United Nations.

Sunday, October 14, 2018

The Sixth Seal: More Than Just Manhattan (Revelation 6:12)
New York, NY – In a Quake, Brooklyn Would Shake More Than Manhattan
By Brooklyn Eagle
And Brooklyn, resting on sediment, would shake more than Manhattan, built on solid rock. “There would be more shaking and more damage,” Dr. Kim told the Brooklyn Eagle on Wednesday.
If an earthquake of a similar magnitude were to happen today near Brooklyn, “Many chimneys would topple. Poorly maintained buildings would fall down – some buildings are falling down now even without any shaking. People would not be hit by collapsing buildings, but they would be hit by falling debris. We need to get some of these buildings fixed,” he said.
But a 5.2 is “not comparable to Haiti,” he said. “That was huge.” Haiti’s devastating earthquake measured 7.0.
Brooklyn has a different environment than Haiti, and that makes all the difference, he said. Haiti is situated near tectonic plate.
“The Caribbean plate is moving to the east, while the North American plate is moving towards the west. They move about 20 mm – slightly less than an inch – every year.” The plates are sliding past each other, and the movement is not smooth, leading to jolts, he said.
While we don’t have the opportunity for a large jolt in Brooklyn, we do have small, frequent quakes of a magnitude of 2 or 3 on the Richter Scale. In 2001 alone the city experienced two quakes: one in January, measuring 2.4, and one in October, measuring 2.6. The October quake, occurring soon after Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, “caused a lot of panic,” Dr. Kim said.
“People ask me, ‘Should I get earthquake insurance?’ I tell them no, earthquake insurance is expensive. Instead, use that money to fix chimneys and other things. Rather than panicky preparations, use common sense to make things better.”
Secure bookcases to the wall and make sure hanging furniture does not fall down, Dr. Kim said. “If you have antique porcelains or dishes, make sure they’re safely stored. In California, everything is anchored to the ground.”
While a small earthquake in Brooklyn may cause panic, “In California, a quake of magnitude 2 is called a micro-quake,” he added.

Antichrist Demands Political Reforms (Revelation 13)

Beyond the top ministerial posts, it will be key to observe who obtains deputy roles and other posts in the bureaucracy.
Sunday 14/10/2018
Challenges ahead. Iraq’s newly elected President Barham Salih (L) stands next to parliamentary Speaker Mohammed al-Halbousi (C) and Prime Minister-designate Adel Abdul-Mahdi in Baghdad, on October 2.
LONDON - The Shia Dawa Party has been the dominating force in Iraqi politics since the toppling of Saddam Hussein. Parliamentary elections in May, however, reversed the party’s fortunes.
After the appointment of Adel Abdul-Mahdi as prime minister-designate, for the first time since 2005 the Dawa Party is set to lose the most important political post in the country.
The elections May 12, which delivered a blow to outgoing Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, were followed by months of political manoeuvring. “Iraqi politics is usually governed by backroom deals,” said Renad Mansour, a research fellow at the Chatham House think-tank.
From mid-September on, the new leadership took shape, starting with the election of Mohammed al-Halbousi, the governor of Anbar province, as speaker of parliament. On October 2, parliament chose veteran Kurdish politician Barham Salih as president. Within two hours, Salih named Abdul-Mahdi prime minister-designate.
Adhering to the power-sharing formula that has dominated Iraqi politics since the US-led invasion in 2003, Halbousi is of Sunni origin, Salih is Kurdish and Abdul-Mahdi Shia.
In debates among the largest political parties about the next prime minister, Abdul-Mahdi emerged as “the least offensive candidate”, Mansour said. The Sadrists first pushed for Abdul-Mahdi but, given his reputation and religious credentials, “no one had anything against him.” Abdul-Mahdi is no stranger to Iraqi politics, previously having served as vice-president and oil minister.
Similar to previous elections, foreign powers such as Iran and the United States tried to influence the selection process for top political posts. In this context some saw the election of Halbousi as a victory for Iran. The situation, however, is more complicated, said Kirk H. Sowell, publisher of the Inside Iraqi Politics newsletter.
Halbousi was elected through a deal with the pro-Iranian camp but he is not in any way ideologically pro-Iranian,” Sowell said. Observers see Salih and Abdul-Mahdi as respected by Iran and the United States.
Abdul-Mahdi is trying to form a governing coalition before a constitutional November 1 deadline. In an unprecedented move, he started a website through which candidates could apply for a ministerial role online. As part of the application, candidates must provide a statement on their vision for the chosen department and detail “practical solutions.”
Offline, Abdul-Mahdi will have to balance the various demands of the powerful political players who put him in power. Muqtada al-Sadr, whose electoral list won the most seats in parliament, has demanded that key security portfolios should be given to independent candidates. This could provoke a clash with other political parties’ traditional efforts to secure key governmental posts to wield influence and distribute resources.
“Abdul-Mahdi’s position is not yet secure and it must be remembered that he lacks a political base and does not yet head a solid parliamentary alliance,” said Fanar Haddad, a senior research fellow at the Middle East Institute of the National University of Singapore. “In other words, there is a real risk of Abdul-Mahdi being an unusually weak prime minister.”
For Salih and Abdul-Mahdi it will be “a question of capability, not desire” whether they can implement meaningful reforms, Mansour said, adding that the political parties, not the voters, put Salih and Abdul-Mahdi in their positions, meaning they will be answerable to those powers.
Amid strong demands for change by large parts of the population, the new government will face many challenges.
A series of bombings in Baghdad showed how vulnerable the security situation remains after the official defeat of the Islamic State was claimed in December.
In the economic realm, a water shortage forced the Agriculture Ministry to announce plans to reduce the areas in which 2018-19 winter crops will be planted by 55%. An overall failure to tackle unemployment could lead to further mass protests.
Protesters’ demands have included an end to the ethno-sectarian quota system that has been the foundation of Iraqi politics since 2003. Mansour said there has been progress in the sense that all sides agree on the need for “major change” and political leaders are also no longer able to simply rely on identity-based politics. However, he added that “no one doing serious research in Iraq is saying the muhassasah [ethno-sectarian quota] system is over.”
Haddad said structural change in Iraq needed time. “For now, the political system is likely to survive and recreate itself in the form of another government divided among the main political forces,” he said. Beyond the top ministerial posts, it will be key to observe who obtains deputy roles and other posts in the bureaucracy, he said.
Haddad said he expected “some limited progress here and there but the reform agenda is likely to dominate political rhetoric more than political action.”