Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Antichrist Takes Over Parliament (Revelation 13:18)

Shia cleric Sadr urges reinforcing parliament’s legislative, supervisory role
by Mohammed Ebraheem Sep 24, 2018, 1:38 pm
Baghdad (IraqiNews.com) – Iraqi Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr has called for reinforcing the parliament’s supervisory and legislative role in a manner that helps improve the situation in Iraq.
Sadr made the remarks Monday during a meeting with parliament speaker Mohamed al-Halbousi and his two deputies Hassan Karim al-Kaabi and Beshir Khalil al-Hadded.
During the meeting, Sadr urged Halbousi and his two deputies to reinforce the parliament’s legislative and supervisory role and pass more laws in the near future to alleviate the suffering of the Iraqi people.
According to Sadr’s office, the meeting tackled as well the latest political developments in Iraq, particularly the formation of a new government to provide security and services for citizens and meet aspirations of the Iraqi people.
Al-Sadr’s Sairoon coalition won 54 parliamentary seats in the May 12 parliamentary polls, followed by an al-Hashd al-Shaabi-linked coalition (47 seats) and Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi’s Victory bloc (42 seats), according to the election commission.
The vote results, however, have aroused widespread fraud allegations.
Al-Sadr’s coalition did not win the majority needed to form a government alone but will play a primary role in selecting the next prime minister.
Al-Sadr said he hoped to establish a “technocrat” cabinet far removed from narrow sectarian biases.

Monday, September 24, 2018

Antichrist and His PM Prepare to Form New Iraqi Government


Kurdistan Region Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani meets with the Iraqi election winner and head of Sairoon Coalition, Muqtada al-Sadr, in Najaf, Sept. 23, 2018. (Photo: KRG)
PM Barzani, Sadr discuss Iraqi gov. formation in Najaf
Sangar Ali
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani on Sunday met with the Iraqi election winner, Muqtada al-Sadr, to discuss the political situation and the process of forming the new federal government.
Barzani’s visit to Najaf came a day after meeting different Iraqi political leaders in Baghdad.
The Kurdish leader, who is also the deputy head of the Kurdistan Region’s leading party – Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) – and Sadr underlined the need to expedite the formation of the government to carry out its tasks, Sadr’s press office said.
Sadr, an influential Shia cleric, stressed the need to form a parental and national government in Iraq. He said the government should not discriminate against the different components in the country, but instead focus on fulfilling the demands of the people by providing services and improve the living condition in general.
The Kurdistan Region Prime Minister highlighted the need for a representational, balanced government, which would operate on consensus and rely on cross-sectarian partnerships to govern Iraq, in a way that includes all of the country’s components, Barzani’s press office stated.
According to the traditional system of power-sharing in Iraq, the prime minister’s post is held by a member of the Shia community, a Sunni Iraqi is speaker of parliament, and a Kurd holds the presidency.
Despite the elections being held in May, a mired vote-counting process and complicated political landscape have pushed the formation of a new government down the line. Competing factions have failed to reach an agreement and resume work to address the country’s growing public service and unemployment crisis, notably in the southern Basra province.
Iraq’s new lawmakers have only recently been able to choose a parliamentary speaker and his deputies, triggering the countdown for the constitutionally-mandated deadline of appointing the country’s next president and prime minister.
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany

Indian Point nuclear reactor shuts down again before the sixth seal

Indian Point nuclear reactor shut down -- again
THOMAS C. ZAMBITO | ROCKLAND/WESTCHESTER JOURNAL NEWS | 2:58 pm EDT September 18, 2018
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
Federal safety regulators are monitoring repairs

What will happen to Indian Point spent nuclear fuel rods? Thomas Zambito for lohud reports.
RICKY FLORES/FRANK BECERRA JR./LOHUD
Indian Point’s Unit 3 reactor was shut down Tuesday morning after a steam leak was discovered on the non-nuclear side of the building where it’s housed, federal safety regulators say.
The shutdown was unrelated to a water leak in a backup cooling system that led to a nine-day shutdown, which ended Monday.
Work to replace the fuel rods at Indian Point 3 as well as the replacement, refurbishment and testing of equipment is underway as part of routine maintenance of the nuclear reactor in Buchanan on Mar. 20, 2017.
RICKY FLORES/THE JOURNAL NEWS
Operators shut down Unit 3 around 5:30 a.m. Tuesday for a steam leak in the plant’s turbine building that was traced to piping on a water heater, said Neil Sheehan, a spokesman for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
The NRC’s on-site inspectors are monitoring repairs.
“The plant responded as designed and our resident inspectors currently have no safety concerns with plant response or operator performance,” Sheehan said.
It’s unclear when the reactor will resume generating power.
The nine-day shutdown was prompted by the presence of boron – white powder residue formed when boric acid dries – in Unit 3’s safety injection system, which was evidence of a water leak. Boron is added to water to control reactivity in a nuclear reactor.
The safety injection system acts as a backup cooling system.
Unit 3 is slated to be shut down in 2021, one year after Indian Point’s other working reactor – Unit 2 – is powered down.
On Monday, the NRC said it had renewed licenses for both reactors.

Two Centuries Before The Sixth Seal (Revelation 6:12)

 
The worst earthquake in Massachusetts history 260 years ago
It happened before, and it could happen again.
By Hilary Sargent @lilsarg
Boston.com Staff | 11.19.15 | 5:53 AM
On November 18, 1755, Massachusetts experienced its largest recorded earthquake.
The earthquake occurred in the waters off Cape Ann, and was felt within seconds in Boston, and as far away as Nova Scotia, the Chesapeake Bay, and upstate New York, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.
Seismologists have since estimated the quake to have been between 6.0 and 6.3 on the Richter scale, according to the Massachusetts Historical Society.
While there were no fatalities, the damage was extensive.
According to the USGS, approximately 100 chimneys and roofs collapsed, and over a thousand were damaged.
The worst damage occurred north of Boston, but the city was not unscathed.
A 1755 report in The Philadelphia Gazette described the quake’s impact on Boston:
“There was at first a rumbling noise like low thunder, which was immediately followed with such a violent shaking of the earth and buildings, as threw every into the greatest amazement, expecting every moment to be buried in the ruins of their houses. In a word, the instances of damage done to our houses and chimnies are so many, that it would be endless to recount them.”
The quake sent the grasshopper weathervane atop Faneuil Hall tumbling to the ground, according to the Massachusetts Historical Society.
An account of the earthquake, published in The Pennsylvania Gazette on December 4, 1755.
The earthquake struck at 4:30 in the morning, and the shaking lasted “near four minutes,” according to an entry John Adams, then 20, wrote in his diary that day.
The brief diary entry described the damage he witnessed.
“I was then at my Fathers in Braintree, and awoke out of my sleep in the midst of it,” he wrote. “The house seemed to rock and reel and crack as if it would fall in ruins about us. 7 Chimnies were shatter’d by it within one mile of my Fathers house.”
The shaking was so intense that the crew of one ship off the Boston coast became convinced the vessel had run aground, and did not learn about the earthquake until they reached land, according to the Massachusetts Historical Society.
In 1832, a writer for the Hampshire (Northampton) Gazette wrote about one woman’s memories from the quake upon her death.
“It was between 4 and 5 in the morning, and the moon shone brightly. She and the rest of the family were suddenly awaked from sleep by a noise like that of the trampling of many horses; the house trembled and the pewter rattled on the shelves. They all sprang out of bed, and the affrightted children clung to their parents. “I cannot help you dear children,” said the good mother, “we must look to God for help.
The Cape Ann earthquake came just 17 days after an earthquake estimated to have been 8.5-9.0 on the Richter scale struck in Lisbon, Portugal, killing at least 60,000 and causing untold damage.
There was no shortage of people sure they knew the impretus for the Cape Ann earthquake.
According to many ministers in and around Boston, “God’s wrath had brought this earthquake upon Boston,” according to the Massachusetts Historical Society.
In “Verses Occasioned by the Earthquakes in the Month of November, 1755,” Jeremiah Newland, a Taunton resident who was active in religious activities in the Colony, wrote that the earthquake was a reminder of the importance of obedience to God.
“It is becaufe we broke thy Laws,
that thou didst shake the Earth.

O what a Day the Scriptures say,
the EARTHQUAKE doth foretell;
O turn to God; lest by his Rod,
he cast thee down to Hell.”
Boston Pastor Jonathan Mayhew warned in a sermon that the 1755 earthquakes in Massachusetts and Portugal were “judgments of heaven, at least as intimations of God’s righteous displeasure, and warnings from him.”
There were some, though, who attempted to put forth a scientific explanation for the earthquake.
Well, sort of.
In a lecture delivered just a week after the earthquake, Harvard mathematics professor John Winthrop said the quake was the result of a reaction between “vapors” and “the heat within the bowels of the earth.” But even Winthrop made sure to state that his scientific theory “does not in the least detract from the majesty … of God.”
It has been 260 years since the Cape Ann earthquake. Some experts, including Boston College seismologist John Ebel, think New England could be due for another significant quake.
In a recent Boston Globe report, Ebel said the New England region “can expect a 4 to 5 magnitude quake every decade, a 5 to 6 every century, and a magnitude 6 or above every thousand years.”
If the Cape Ann earthquake occurred today, “the City of Boston could sustain billions of dollars of earthquake damage, with many thousands injured or killed,” according to a 1997 study by the US Army Corps of Engineers.

Russia's Superior Nuclear Weapons (Daniel 7)

Russian submarine fleet capable of launching missiles armed with hypersonics and nukes will be ready for war by 2024
Amanda Macias | @amanda_m_macias
Published 1:38 PM ET Fri, 21 Sept 2018 Updated 3:26 PM ET Fri, 21 Sept 2018
CNBC.com
• A new Russian nuclear-powered submarine fleet, capable of launching ICBMs armed with hypersonic weapons, will be ready for war by 2024, according to a person with firsthand knowledge of a U.S. intelligence report.
• In order to finance eight of the submarines, Moscow cut funding for other military modernization programs, such as the nation's surface vessel fleet, according to the person, who spoke to CNBC on the condition of anonymity.
• The Borei II, also designated Borei-A, is a fourth-generation nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine that has the potential to launch 200 nuclear or hypersonic weapons at one time.

WASHINGTON — A new Russian nuclear-powered submarine fleet, capable of launching intercontinental ballistic missiles outfitted with hypersonic weapons, will be ready for war by 2024, according to a person with firsthand knowledge of a U.S. intelligence report.
In order to finance eight of the submarines, Moscow cut funding for other military modernization programs, such as the nation's surface vessel fleet, according to the person, who spoke to CNBC on the condition of anonymity.
The Borei II submarine, also designated Borei-A, is a fourth-generation nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine that is slated to join the Russian Navy's Northern and Pacific Fleets. The U.S. Navy, by comparison, boasts one of the largest submarine fleets in the world, with 14 Ohio-class vessels tasked with the nuclear deterrence mission.
The Borei II, which is the first class of submarines developed by Russia since the Cold War, can launch 20 Bulava intercontinental ballistic missiles. Each Bulava can carry a bomb yielding 100 to 150 kilotons, which is approximately 10 times more powerful than the Little Boy atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima.
What's more, unlike a traditional missile, which carries one warhead, the Bulava missile is capable of carrying up to 10 nuclear and hypersonic weapons on its tip. That means one Borei II submarine could potentially launch 200 hypersonic weapons, a threat the U.S. is currently unable to defend against.
A hypersonic weapon can travel at Mach 5 or higher, which is at least five times faster than the speed of sound. This means that a hypersonic threat can travel about one mile per second.
The latest revelations come a little more than six months after Russian President Vladimir Putin touted his nation's growing hypersonic arsenal as "invincible." Inevitably, Moscow's sprint to field this new breed of weapon has sparked fears over a budding arms race.
"I want to tell all those who have fueled the arms race over the last 15 years, sought to win unilateral advantages over Russia, introduced unlawful sanctions aimed to contain our country's development: You have failed to contain Russia," Putin said during his March national address.

Alexei Lipnitsky |TASS | via Getty
Russian Navy officers at the launching ceremony of the nuclear powered missile submarine Knyaz Vladimir of Project 955A at the Sevmash military shipyard.
Of the six weapons Putin debuted in March, CNBC has learned that two of them will be ready for war by 2020, according to sources with direct knowledge of U.S. intelligence reports.
At the moment, the U.S. must rely on deterrence against hypersonic weapons, according to the top nuclear commander in the American military.
"We don't have any defense that could deny the employment of such a weapon against us," Air Force Gen. John Hyten, commander of U.S. Strategic Command, told the Senate Armed Services Committee in March, following Putin's comments.

Iran Correctly Blames US for Deadly Attack

A soldier carries an injured child at the scene of the attackIran blames Gulf foes for deadly Ahvaz attack

  • 22 September 2018
 
Iranian leaders have accused US-backed Gulf states of being behind an attack on a military parade that killed 25 people, including a child.
Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said "puppets of the US" were trying to "create insecurity" in Iran.
Gunmen opened fire at Revolutionary Guard troops and officials in the south-western city of Ahvaz.
Earlier an anti-government Arab group, Ahvaz National Resistance, and Islamic State (IS) both claimed the attack.
However neither group provided evidence to show they were involved.
Earlier Foreign Minister Javad Zarif blamed "terrorists paid by a foreign regime", adding that "Iran holds regional terror sponsors and their US masters accountable".
Iran has summoned diplomats from the UK, the Netherlands, and Denmark, accusing their countries of harbouring Iranian opposition groups, state news agency Irna reports.
"It is not acceptable that these groups are not listed as terrorist organizations by the European Union as long as they have not carried out a terrorist attack in Europe," said foreign ministry spokesman Bahram Qasemi.
Reports say nearly half of those killed were members of the Revolutionary Guard, who are under Mr Khamenei's command.
Mr Khamenei did not name the "regional states" that he believed were behind the attack.
However Iran has previously accused its regional rival, Saudi Arabia, of supporting separatist activity amongst Iran's Arab minority.

What happened?

Fars news agency said the attack started at 09:00 local time (06:30 BST), lasted about 10 minutes, and appeared to involve four gunmen.
The attackers fired at civilians and attempted to attack military officials on the podium, Fars reports.
Civilians including women and children, who were watching the military parade, were among those killed, Irna news agency said.
The victims included a four-year-old girl and a military veteran in a wheelchair, a military spokesman said.
Local journalist Behrad Ghasemi told AFP that firing continued for between 10 and 15 minutes and said at least one of the attackers was wearing a Revolutionary Guards uniform.
"First we thought it's part of the parade, but after about 10 seconds we realised it was a terrorist attack as bodyguards [of officials] started shooting," he said.
"Everything went haywire and soldiers started running. I saw a four-year old child get shot, and also a lady," he added.
All four attackers were killed, state media said.
Iran is marking the anniversary of the beginning of the 1980-88 war with Iraq with several military parades across the nation.

Pakistan-India Talks Fail Before the First Nuclear War


PAKISTAN Prime Minister Imran Khan labelled India arrogant on Saturday for cancelling what would have been the countries' first high-level talks in years, decrying "small men occupying big offices" who opposed change.

India on Friday called off the meeting between the nuclear-armed neighbours' foreign ministers, planned for the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly this month.
The foreign ministry in New Delhi said its decision to scrap the meeting was to protest the killing of Indian security personnel in Kashmir and a Pakistani postage stamp it said was "glorifying" an anti-India separatist who Indian forces killed in the disputed Himalayan region last year.
Pakistan described India's reasons as excuses to enable it to avoid holding talks before national elections next year.
Mr Khan, a former national cricket captain, followed up on Twitter.
Mr Khan wrote on his official account: “Disappointed at the arrogant and negative response by India to my call for resumption of the peace dialogue.
"However, all my life I have come across small men occupying big offices who do not have the vision to see the larger picture."
Resumption of talks have been stalled for years over the issue of Kashmir, claimed by both countries and ruled in part by each of them. Pakistan and India have fought two of their three wars since independence from Britain in 1947 over the region.
The Indian government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi government has insisted that Pakistan act against Islamist militants Kashmir, saying Pakistan still aids the groups from the portion of Kashmir it rules.
 
Pakistan denies aiding any attacks there and says it is fighting militant groups for its own security.
The breakthrough appeared to been made after Mr Khan made an appeal to Indian premier Narendra Modi to end the fraught relations between the two nuclear powers.
Pakistan foreign minister Mehmood Qureshi said the decision to scrap talks was "unforunate".
He said: "We had already told India that if they take one step towards us, we will take two.
"However, it seems that they faltered after taking just one step."
The Indian foreign ministry announced the decision to cancel talks citing two reasons.
As well as the killing of an India soldier in Kashmir, officials raged at the release of 20 postage stamps containing the image of Burhan Wani, a militant killed by India in 2016.
The Indian ministry said: "Any conversation with Pakistan under such an environment would be meaningless."

Sunday, September 23, 2018

The Sixth Seal Will be in New York (Rev 6:12)


Earthquakes Can Happen in More Places Than You Think
By Simon Worrall
PUBLISHED AUGUST 26, 2017
Half a million earthquakes occur worldwide each year, according to an estimate by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). Most are too small to rattle your teacup. But some, like the 2011 quake off the coast of Japan or last year’s disaster in Italy, can level high-rise buildings, knock out power, water and communications, and leave a lifelong legacy of trauma for those unlucky enough to be caught in them.
In the U.S., the focus is on California’s San Andreas fault, which geologists suggest has a nearly one-in-five chance of causing a major earthquake in the next three decades. But it’s not just the faults we know about that should concern us, says Kathryn Miles, author of Quakeland: On the Road to America’s Next Devastating Earthquake. As she explained when National Geographic caught up with her at her home in Portland, Maine, there’s a much larger number of faults we don’t know about—and fracking is only adding to the risks.
When it comes to earthquakes, there is really only one question everyone wants to know: When will the big one hit California?
That’s the question seismologists wish they could answer, too! One of the most shocking and surprising things for me is just how little is actually known about this natural phenomenon. The geophysicists, seismologists, and emergency managers that I spoke with are the first to say, “We just don’t know!”
What we can say is that it is relatively certain that a major earthquake will happen in California in our lifetime. We don’t know where or when. An earthquake happening east of San Diego out in the desert is going to have hugely different effects than that same earthquake happening in, say, Los Angeles. They’re both possible, both likely, but we just don’t know.
One of the things that’s important to understand about San Andreas is that it’s a fault zone. As laypeople we tend to think about it as this single crack that runs through California and if it cracks enough it’s going to dump the state into the ocean. But that’s not what’s happening here. San Andreas is a huge fault zone, which goes through very different types of geological features. As a result, very different types of earthquakes can happen in different places.
There are other places around the country that are also well overdue for an earthquake. New York City has historically had a moderate earthquake approximately every 100 years. If that is to be trusted, any moment now there will be another one, which will be devastating for that city.
As Charles Richter, inventor of the Richter Scale, famously said, “Only fools, liars and charlatans predict earthquakes.” Why are earthquakes so hard to predict? After all, we have sent rockets into space and plumbed the depths of the ocean.
You’re right: We know far more about distant galaxies than we do about the inner workings of our planet. The problem is that seismologists can’t study an earthquake because they don’t know when or where it’s going to happen. It could happen six miles underground or six miles under the ocean, in which case they can’t even witness it. They can go back and do forensic, post-mortem work. But we still don’t know where most faults lie. We only know where a fault is after an earthquake has occurred. If you look at the last 100 years of major earthquakes in the U.S., they’ve all happened on faults we didn’t even know existed.
Earthquakes 101
Earthquakes are unpredictable and can strike with enough force to bring buildings down. Find out what causes earthquakes, why they’re so deadly, and what’s being done to help buildings sustain their hits.
Fracking is a relatively new industry. Many people believe that it can cause what are known as induced earthquakes. What’s the scientific consensus?
The scientific consensus is that a practice known as wastewater injection undeniably causes earthquakes when the geological features are conducive. In the fracking process, water and lubricants are injected into the earth to split open the rock, so oil and natural gas can be retrieved. As this happens, wastewater is also retrieved and brought back to the surface.
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Different states deal with this in different ways. Some states, like Pennsylvania, favor letting the wastewater settle in aboveground pools, which can cause run-off contamination of drinking supplies. Other states, like Oklahoma, have chosen to re-inject the water into the ground. And what we’re seeing in Oklahoma is that this injection is enough to shift the pressure inside the earth’s core, so that daily earthquakes are happening in communities like Stillwater. As our technology improves, and both our ability and need to extract more resources from the earth increases, our risk of causing earthquakes will also rise exponentially.
After Fukushima, the idea of storing nuclear waste underground cannot be guaranteed to be safe. Yet President Trump has recently green-lighted new funds for the Yucca Mountain site in Nevada. Is that wise?
The issue with Fukushima was not about underground nuclear storage but it is relevant. The Tohoku earthquake, off the coast of Japan, was a massive, 9.0 earthquake—so big that it shifted the axis of the earth and moved the entire island of Japan some eight centimeters! It also created a series of tsunamis, which swamped the Fukushima nuclear power plant to a degree the designers did not believe was possible.
Here in the U.S., we have nuclear plants that are also potentially vulnerable to earthquakes and tsunamis, above all on the East Coast, like Pilgrim Nuclear, south of Boston, or Indian Point, north of New York City. Both of these have been deemed by the USGS to have an unacceptable level of seismic risk. [Both are scheduled to close in the next few years.]
Yucca Mountain is meant to address our need to store the huge amounts of nuclear waste that have been accumulating for more than 40 years. Problem number one is getting it out of these plants. We are going to have to somehow truck or train these spent fuel rods from, say, Boston, to a place like Yucca Mountain, in Nevada. On the way it will have to go through multiple earthquake zones, including New Madrid, which is widely considered to be one of the country’s most dangerous earthquake zones.
Yucca Mountain itself has had seismic activity. Ultimately, there’s no great place to put nuclear waste—and there’s no guarantee that where we do put it is going to be safe.
The psychological and emotional effects of an earthquake are especially harrowing. Why is that?
This is a fascinating and newly emerging subfield within psychology, which looks at the effects of natural disasters on both our individual and collective psyches. Whenever you experience significant trauma, you’re going to see a huge increase in PTSD, anxiety, depression, suicide, and even violent behaviors.
What seems to make earthquakes particularly pernicious is the surprise factor. A tornado will usually give people a few minutes, if not longer, to prepare; same thing with hurricanes. But that doesn’t happen with an earthquake. There is nothing but profound surprise. And the idea that the bedrock we walk and sleep upon can somehow become liquid and mobile seems to be really difficult for us to get our heads around.
Psychologists think that there are two things happening. One is a PTSD-type loop where our brain replays the trauma again and again, manifesting itself in dreams or panic attacks during the day. But there also appears to be a physiological effect as well as a psychological one. If your readers have ever been at sea for some time and then get off the ship and try to walk on dry land, they know they will look like drunkards. [Laughs] The reason for this is that the inner ear has habituated itself to the motion of the ship. We think the inner ear does something similar in the case of earthquakes, in an attempt to make sense of this strange, jarring movement.
After the Abruzzo quake in Italy, seven seismologists were actually tried and sentenced to six years in jail for failing to predict the disaster. Wouldn’t a similar threat help improve the prediction skills of American seismologists?
[Laughs] The scientific community was uniform in denouncing that action by the Italian government because, right now, earthquakes are impossible to predict. But the question of culpability is an important one. To what degree do we want to hold anyone responsible? Do we want to hold the local meteorologist responsible if he gets the weather forecast wrong? [Laughs]
What scientists say—and I don’t think this is a dodge on their parts—is, “Predicting earthquakes is the Holy Grail; it’s not going to happen in our lifetime. It may never happen.” What we can do is work on early warning systems, where we can at least give people 30 or 90 seconds to make a few quick decisive moves that could well save your life. We have failed to do that. But Mexico has had one in place for years!
There is some evidence that animals can predict earthquakes. Is there any truth to these theories?
All we know right now is anecdotal information because this is so hard to test for. We don’t know where the next earthquake is going to be so we can’t necessarily set up cameras and observe the animals there. So we have to rely on these anecdotal reports, say, of reptiles coming out of the ground prior to a quake. The one thing that was recorded here in the U.S. recently was that in the seconds before an earthquake in Oklahoma huge flocks of birds took flight. Was that coincidence? Related? We can’t draw that correlation yet.
One of the fascinating new approaches to prediction is the MyQuake app. Tell us how it works—and why it could be an especially good solution for Third World countries.
The USGS desperately wants to have it funded. The reluctance appears to be from Congress. A consortium of universities, in conjunction with the USGS, has been working on some fascinating tools. One is a dense network of seismographs that feed into a mainframe computer, which can take all the information and within nanoseconds understand that an earthquake is starting.
MyQuake is an app where you can get up to date information on what’s happening around the world. What’s fascinating is that our phones can also serve as seismographs. The same technology that knows which way your phone is facing, and whether it should show us an image in portrait or landscape, registers other kinds of movement. Scientists at UC Berkeley are looking to see if they can crowd source that information so that in places where we don’t have a lot of seismographs or measuring instruments, like New York City or Chicago or developing countries like Nepal, we can use smart phones both to record quakes and to send out early warning notices to people.
You traveled all over the U.S. for your research. Did you return home feeling safer?
I do not feel safer in the sense that I had no idea just how much risk regions of this country face on a daily basis when it comes to seismic hazards. We tend to think of this as a West Coast problem but it’s not! It’s a New York, Memphis, Seattle, or Phoenix problem. Nearly every major urban center in this country is at risk of a measurable earthquake.
What I do feel safer about is knowing what I can do as an individual. I hope that is a major take-home message for people who read the book. There are so many things we should be doing as individuals, family members, or communities to minimize this risk: simple things from having a go-bag and an emergency plan amongst the family to larger things like building codes.
We know that a major earthquake is going to happen. It’s probably going to knock out our communications lines. Phones aren’t going to work, Wi-Fi is going to go down, first responders are not going to be able to get to people for quite some time. So it is beholden on all of us to make sure we can survive until help can get to us.
This interview was edited for length and clarity.

The Antichrist Consolidates His Power


Nouri al-Maliki (L) shakes hands with Haider al-Abadi in 2014. Photo: AP/file
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – Leaders of Iraq’s Dawa party met on Saturday in a bid to overcome internal strife and strengthen their position in the new government as it takes shape.
Dawa leaders meet in first step towards Maliki-Abadi reconciliation
The leadership gathered in light of “the importance of the current political situation in Iraq and the need to preserve current constitutional entitlements, including the formation of the biggest parliamentary bloc to appoint prime minister and formation of a government that will respond to the demands of the people like services, security, and fighting corruption,” read a party statement.
The gathering brought together rivals Nouri al-Maliki and Haider al-Abadi.
The two ran separate campaigns in the May 12 election, stating at the time that they would reunite when it came time to form the government. However, they joined opposing camps in the new parliament.
Meeting on Saturday, they agreed on the necessity of overcoming their differences “and activating the national role of the party,” read the statement.
Abadi’s Nasr alliance joined with Muqtada al-Sadr’s Sayirun coalition while Maliki’s State of Law has united with Hashd al-Shaabi-tied Fatih. Both claimed to have the largest bloc in the parliament.
Dawa leaders talked about the importance of uniting the two halves of their party “as a step to have a mutual objective and agenda.”
No final reconciliation agreement has been announced yet, however.
The statement said both sides would keep the door open for working with other parties to form the next government.
Under Iraq’s unofficial power-sharing agreement, the post of the prime minister goes to a Shiite. Once a president is elected by the legislature, their first task is to request the largest bloc in the parliament to form the government.
Rumours are circulating about who the Shiite powerhouse may favour for the post of prime minister. Abadi’s name has come up as has that of Tariq Najm who served as a senior advisor to Abadi and chief of staff to Maliki during his tenure as prime minister.

More Threats From Babylon the Great

Pompeo Threatens Iran of Responding Militarily over Attacks on US in Iraq
September 22, 2018
The second most powerful country in nuclear weapons after Russia, the United States has issued an explicit warning against Iran, prompting a war. The US has been raising different warnings since the Tehran-allied militias in Iraq attacked the American Embassy in Baghdad, earlier this month.
On Friday, the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo threatened Iran, saying that the Washington would take a direct action against Tehran for any attacks targeting the US interest, even if they are carried out by the Iran backed groups, which are active across the Middle East.
The relations between both the countries have been deteriorating since the US President Donald Trump pulled his nation out of the nuclear deal with Iran, this year.
CNN reported that Pompeo threatened Iran saying, “We have told the Islamic Republic of Iran that using a proxy force to attack an American interest will not prevent us from responding against the prime factor.”
“We will not let Iran get away with using a proxy force to attack an American interest. Iran will be held accountable for those incidents,” he added.
Pompeo was asked if this could mean a military response, to which he said, “They’re going to be held accountable.”
The statements from the top US diplomat came consecutive to the rocket attacks that took place on September 7, where three mortar explosives touched down the ultra-secure ‘Green Zone’, near the US embassy in Baghdad.
The White House blamed Iranian backed militia and issued a statement saying, “Iran did not act to stop these attacks by its proxies in Iraq which it has supported with funding, training and weapons.”
In response, the Foreign Minister of Iran in a statement called the US claims “astonishing, provocative, and irresponsible.”
Furthermore, Pompeo alleged Iran of backing terror groups across the Middle East. He argued that it has been “the world’s largest state sponsor of terror for quite some time.”
He said, “They have armed militias, the Lebanese Hezbollah, Makateeb Hezbollah, militias in Iraq; they’re arming the Houthis in Yemen, launching missiles in the Gulf states.”
Pompeo also added that if Iran is “responsible for the arming and training of these militias, we’re gonna go to the source.”
Is there any halt to the escalating issues between the United States and Iran, or the end to this will be a war?

Iran’s Mighty Military Hand (Daniel 8:4)


AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi
An S-300 air defense missile system on parade in Tehran in 2016.
Satellite images show a missile launcher following Iran’s Ayatollah Khamenei
September 20, 2018
Last month, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei went to the Sacred Shrine of Imam Ridha in Masshad, Iran, to attend the ritual cleaning of the Muslim saint’s tomb. But being the supreme leader of Iran is not all rites and photo opportunities: There’s also the Great Satan, fractious internal politics, and arch-nemesis Israel to worry about.
That may be why Khamenei was spotted apparently bringing a Russian-built missile launcher on a trip from Iran’s capital, Tehran, to Masshad, in the north-eastern corner of the country.
The maneuvers shine a light on the defensive mindset of the regime during a critical diplomatic effort this month: At the United Nations General Assembly in New York, Iran will be hunting for international support to relieve US sanctions scheduled to resume on Nov. 4, because president Donald Trump left a global agreement to restrict Iran’s nuclear weapons research.
“This weapon system is a pretty big deal,” says Daniel Byman, a security researcher at the Brookings Institute focused on the Middle East. It’s one of the few weapons capable of making the most powerful air forces, like those of the United States or Israel, think twice about direct attacks, Byman says, forcing them “to fly farther away and otherwise be less able to strike with precision."
The system accompanying Khamenei is known in the US as the S-300. It includes truck-mounted missile launchers and radar sensors to guide the missiles to their targets. It can shoot down drones, planes, and perhaps even other missiles.
Naturally, spies are very interested in watching weapons like these, since they are the first line of defense from outside attack. ”Everyone wants to keep track of where capable [surface to air missiles] are at, because, God forbid, if a country wanted to do regime change, the first course of action is suppression of enemy air defenses,” a former US intelligence analyst tells Quartz.
The same is true for independent security analysts using commercial satellite imagery, who discovered a telling pattern in how the missiles are deployed and shared them with Quartz.
Missile mover
Iran is believed to have four S-300 systems—two in Tehran, one in the city of Isfahan, and one in the city of Bushir, where there is a nuclear power plant. One day in 2018, however, one of the Tehran systems disappeared.
Analysts combing satellite imagery of Iran were able to figure out where it went: They found it an airport in Masshad.
There aren’t many of these systems floating around, and observers soon realized the decision to move the S-300 to Masshad coincided with a visit by Khamenei. Looking through historical imagery, analysts identified three occasions when Iran’s military flew the missile defense system to Iran’s second largest-city at the same time as Khamenei’s official visits. In July 2017, Khamenei went to Masshad, and so did the air defense system; as it did in March and August 2018.
A former US government intelligence analyst, who was granted anonymity because they are not authorized by their employers to discuss these movements, alerted Quartz to the pattern of behavior. Renny Barbiarz, an instructor at Johns Hopkins University and an analyst for AllSource Analysis, also said the imagery demonstrates a pattern of Iran deploying air defenses to protect their head of state.
“For the regime security apparatus, it makes sense that Khamenei is protected all the time, and this is them extending that to air defense,” Behnam Ben Taleblu, an Iran analyst at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, tells Quartz.
A key caveat is that, beyond the space surveillance and knowledge of Khamenei’s movements, the researchers don’t have additional evidence to corroborate the idea that the Ayatollah’s movements and the missile systems are connected.
“We are not in a position to discuss, confirm or deny the premise of your story,” a US Defense Intelligence Agency spokesperson told Quartz, a response known as a “Glomar.” The Iranian interests section at the Pakistani embassy in Washington did not respond to questions.
More than a missile
Iran’s S-300s were purchased from Russia in 2016. The deal came after international sanctions were lifted in a global pact to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.
The S-300’s radar is capable of tracking dozens of aerial targets at ranges of hundreds of miles, and is supposedly capable of destroying cruise and ballistic missiles—although the record of missile interceptors of this style is not good.
Israel, which views Iran as an existential threat, had pushed Russia not to sell Iran the S-300. The new defenses could limit Israel’s ability to strike inside Iran in operations similar to the one that destroyed a nuclear reactor in Osirak, Iraq in 1981. Iranian generals said the new missiles are deployed to protect its nuclear infrastructure, though that may be propaganda—a key advantage of these mobile launchers is the ability to hide them and surprise adversaries.
However, Iran moving a mobile missile launcher alongside its leader suggests that the country does not have sufficient defenses to cover its entire territory. That may suggest a lack of funds, or political difficulty obtaining enough equipment from its patron in Moscow.
Aerial anxieties
Governments of all kinds take precautions to protect the head of state from potential aerial attack; the airspace over Washington, DC, for example, is tightly controlled and patrolled. (Sometimes, not that tightly.) The re-positioning of the missiles may simply be a prudence by Iranian security forces as international tensions rise.
“The beginning of the Iraq war in 2003 was the leadership strike [when the US launched missiles at Saddam Hussein’s suspected residence],” Byman says. ”Israel of course has engaged in leadership targeting. I think the Iranians have understandable reason to be a little paranoid about this.”
Masshad is also near Iran’s border with Afghanistan, 50 miles from Kashmar, the city where Iran captured a US drone by hacking into its avionics system. The missile system may be designed to deter US drones from snooping near the border while the Ayatollah is there.
Another possible explanation for the maneuver is a fear of internal enemies. During a 2016 coup attempt in Turkey, rebel pilots attacked government installations. But Khaemenei’s religious credentials, as well as the existence of loyal security forces like Iranian Revolutionary Guards that parallel the military, make such an action much less likely.
Once US sanctions go into effect next month, Iran’s leaders will face a decision—to continue their diplomatic efforts and wait for political changes in Washington, DC; to escalate their conflict with the US in proxy battles across the Middle East; or perhaps to attempt a negotiated gambit akin to North Korea’s engagement with the Trump administration. But one thing is clear: As Iran and the West spiral towards conflict once again, it’s clear that Iran is worried about offensive action by its enemies.
“It’s less important what Western defense officials and Western analyst think,” Taleblu says. “If the regime is doing this, they think it is important and they think it might be a possibility.”

Iraq Pushes Back Against the Larger Horn (Daniel 8)

14Iran_Iraq_unknownIraq’s push back on Iran: Will the effects last? | Sabahat Khan | AW
Recent months have shown important developments in Iraq’s political landscape, particularly with regards to Iran’s influence in Baghdad.
Some of Iraq’s most important political figures, such as Muqtada al-Sadr, Ammar al-Hakim and Ali al-Sistani, the country’s most senior cleric, have lent support to a fresh narrative and resurgence of Iraqi nationalism that aims for Baghdad to rebalance its regional and international ties.
At the heart of these moves have been interlinked efforts to end corruption, dismantle non-state paramilitary groups and keep Baghdad from permanently becoming a satellite state for Iran or any other country.
Al-Sadr’s narrative has proved both highly popular and divisive, as has often been the case with his political career. For many Iraqis, Iranian support over the years has helped the country overcome an array of threats and challenges. For others, Iran’s interest in Iraq vis-a-vis its regional strategy is too costly and a threat in its own right.
While Iraq remains without a government since parliamentary elections in May, a vote recount affirmed al-Sadr’s surprise electoral win. His Sairoon coalition campaigned on an anti-corruption platform and promised to rein in foreign meddling in Iraqi politics, including specifically Iran.
The Nasr coalition led by incumbent Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, who heads a fragile caretaker government, was third behind Hadi al-Amiri, leader of the pro-Iran Badr Organisation.
With the constitution requiring a speaker to be elected before a vote on the new government can be put before legislators, Iraq’s political impasse continues to hold.
Abadi’s Nasr and al-Sadr’s Sairoon coalitions said they had the support of 180 legislators, which would give their more than the 165 seats needed to form a majority. However, the pro-Iran bloc vying for government, led by former Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki and Amiri claimed legislators had defected from the Abadi-al-Sadr bloc to theirs and this gave them the largest bloc.
The post-election political deadlock and intense competition is not unusual for Iraq — in 2014, Maliki was reluctant to make way for Abadi even after losing the election. As the political deadlock persists, the possibility of violence breaking out on the streets is also not a new risk.
Closely watched for its Shia-Sunni sectarian problems since 2003, Iraq is entering its most intense period of intra-Shia strife. With religious traditionalists and Iraqi nationalists versus Iran-leaning Iraqi religious ideologues and their paramilitaries, an outbreak of violence would become difficult to curtail.
Tensions are high and the national political backdrop is telling. The Iranian Consulate in Basra was torched by Sunni and Shia protesters chanting “Iran out” — part of protests that began in June prompted by anger over electricity shortages and a lack of clean water.
The past few months have seen the powerful Popular Mobilisation Units (PMU) splintering and problems between its major factions escalated with the conflict over which bloc will form government. Some PMU factions have experienced major losses to their infrastructure due to suspicious attacks and fires, stoking speculation that Iran and its allies were involved.
With the stakes rising, Abadi dismissed Falih Alfayyadh, Iraq’s national security adviser, head of the national security apparatus and the man heading the PMU. Since then, prominent figures in Abadi’s coalition have announced support for Alfayyadh, who effectively still controls the PMU, as the new prime minister ahead of Abadi himself. It is a reminder that Iran’s influence runs deep across Iraq’s political landscape.
Another reminder came when 11 Shia factions in the PMU criticised Abadi’s alliance with al-Sadr’s coalition, which was announced in Najaf in June after they agreed to “supporting the army, placing all arms and weapons under the control of the state, developing a programme to reform the judiciary, activating the role of the general prosecutor to continue combating corruption and holding accountable those accused of corruption.”
Crucially, Abadi and al-Sadr stressed the need to ensure foreign players commit “to not interfere in Iraqi domestic affairs.”
Iran’s influence in Iraq has its limits and those limits are being openly tested like never before. Yet the Iraqi state remains inherently weak, struggling to provide basic services and rein in corruption, deliver a depoliticised bureaucracy and, perhaps most important, contend with regional actors whose geopolitics continue to regard Iraq as a legitimate battleground for regional manoeuvring.
Coalition politics and deal-making continue to be crucial for any national leadership to govern Iraq, with dozens of political groups, armed militias and paramilitary organisations scattered around the country. Many of those elements remain ideologically aligned with Iran.
Thus, any pushback on Iran from Iraq can come only from government rather than from Iraq’s state institutions.
Iran’s influence is undoubtedly entrenched; it can be managed but not uprooted. However Iraqi national politics is experiencing the emergence of forces that can exploit national sentiments and grievances together with regional geopolitics that should secure Baghdad the independence so many Iraqis today desire, as evidenced by this year’s electoral result.

Saturday, September 22, 2018

The Temple "Sacrifice" is Ready (Revelation 11:11)


First ‘red heifer’ born in Israel for 2000 years triggers armageddon fears
September 11, 201811:45am
The birth of a ‘red heiffer’ in israel allegedly corresponds to Judaeo-Christian prophecies of the Apocalypse. Picture: YouTubeSource
The Sun
News Corp Australia Network
A BIBLE prophecy predicting the End of Days is feared to come true after the first “red heifer in 2000 years” was born in Israel.
The Temple Institute in Jerusalem announced the calf’s birth on YouTube, saying it would undergo “extensive examination” to determine if it is red all over.
According to The Sun, if the female baby cow is found to be “blemish free”, the Institute will declare that the calf “brings the promise of reinstating Biblical purity to the world”.
In both Christianity and Judaism, the red heifer is central to the prediction about the “end of times”.
After sacrificing the red cow, construction can begin on the Third Temple in Jerusalem.
The Temple Institute and other groups worldwide were set up with the goal of building the Third Temple on Mount Moriah, or on the Temple Mount.
The red heifer (also known as the red cow) was a cow brought to priests for sacrifice in the Hebrew Bible. Jewish and Christian fundamentalists believe that once a red heifer is born they will be able to rebuild the Third Temple on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. But in order to do this, they would have to demolish what stands on the hill today — the Dome of the Rock, an Islamic holy temple.

The birth of a ‘perfectly red’ calf in Israel allegedly fulfils a 2,000-year-old Bible prophecy. Picture: YouTubeSource:Supplied
In mainstream Orthodox Judaism, once the Temple is rebuilt the world will welcome the coming of the Jewish Messiah. Humanity will then face the Last Judgment. Everyone who was moral and believed in God will have the privilege of having their name written in the Book of Life. Everyone whose name isn’t in there will be “cast into the lake of fire” (Revelation 21:8)
But some theologians say the building of the Third Temple is linked to ‘Judgement Day’ or the “end of times”.

The birth of a red cow in Israel evokes a Jewish and Christian prophecy of ‘End Times’. Picture: YouTubeSource:Supplied
This apocalyptic event will bring what Christians call “the rapture” — where all Christian believers (living and dead) will rise into the sky and join Christ.
The fate of nonbelievers isn’t quite so promising. For them the rapture means everlasting punishment of their souls in hell.
Rabbi Chain Richman, director of the Institute, believes the time is ripe to build the Third Temple, following the birth of the red heifer.
This story first appeared in The Sun and is republished with permission.

True Terror: Babylon the Great or Persia?

The United States named Iran on Wednesday as the world’s leading sponsor of terrorism, name-dropping six countries where Iran is said to be fomenting violence.
The State Department made the accusation in its annual survey, which has previously named Iran as the world leader in terrorism. The six countries where Iranian meddling — overtly or through proxies — is said to be stirring up conflict and terrorism are: Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Bahrain and Afghanistan.
The year 2018 has seen enormous change in many parts of the Middle East, however. The Syrian war is dying down, and Iraq's elections saw the rise of a leader: Muqtada al-Sadr, a former anti-US fighter who was, prior to the elections, characterized by Western mainstream media as being likely to win on an anti-Iran ticket and after the elections said to be forming a pro-Iranian government.
Lebanon remains stable with a Hezbollah military presence larger than its army and members of Hezbollah in its government. Bahrain remains stable with its Shia majority and Sunni monarchy, with a little help from Saudi Arabia, and Afghanistan remains unstable, with the US government on track to have dropped more bombs than ever on the country since it started keeping track in 2009.
But in Yemen, the conflict is only getting worse, with more and more civilians killed by US-made bombs dropped primarily by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
If you read the Western press, it becomes difficult to sort out fact from fiction. Is al-Sadr pro- or anti-Iran? Is Iran really backing the Houthi government in Yemen? Is Hezbollah really a terrorist group, or is it an anti-terrorist group? Sputnik News spoke with Mohammad Marandi, an expert on American studies and postcolonial literature who teaches at the University of Tehran, about Iran's involvement in each country the US State Department said they're meddling with, in order to help make sense of the mess.
What follows is a lightly edited transcript of an interview Sputnik News conducted with Dr. Marandi on Thursday.
Lebanon
Ever since Hezbollah was created — and it was created as a result of the Israeli invasion of Lebanon [in 2006] — it was a national resistance organization, and it liberated the south of Lebanon and forced the Israelis to exit the country. So the creation of Hezbollah was a result of Israeli violence. Hezbollah has an armed wing that is in coordination with the Lebanese army and is accepted by the state. It is felt [by Lebanon] that it is necessary as a deterrence for further Israeli aggression.
Building bombed by Israeli forces in Ghaziyeh on the road out of Sidon, south Lebanon during 2006 war.
In fact, in the years since the rise of Western and Saudi-backed extremists in Syria and the takeover of territory in Lebanon by these extremist groups, including ISIS [Daesh] and al-Qaeda, it was Hezbollah along with the army that helped to defeat and expel these groups from the country so I think that one could say that it is with the help of Hezbollah that the country has remained independent and that both the Israeli occupation and the existence of [Daesh] and al-Qaeda, or the Nusra Front, on Lebanese territory has come to an end.
Syria
It's the same argument. I would just add that again, as in Lebanon, where foreign powers such as the United States and regional powers such as Saudi Arabia, which helped the extremists in Syria — the spillover in Lebanon was blocked by Hezbollah. And the same is for Syria where US-backed and Western-backed and Saudi-backed and Israeli-backed extremists such as al-Qaeda and [Daesh,] they use different extremists groups with each one supported by a different foreign power, sometimes simultaneously different powers at the same time. Iran, Hezbollah and the Russians, as well as Iraqi and Afghani volunteers, helped push them back. Otherwise, if it wasn't for their support, black flags would have been flying over Damascus, and the same is true for Iraq.
In reality, the countries that have promoted violence in these countries such as Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon are the countries that have been promoting Wahhabism. It's the same thing that happened in Afghanistan in the 1980's. The United States and Saudi Arabia in the 190's created extremists in Afghanistan and now they've repeated this only much more extensively in Syria. The US policy of supporting extremists is nothing new, we saw it in Afghanistan and also Central American with the right-wing groups and the contras in Nicaragua, so this is nothing new for the United States.
Fighters from Al-Qaeda's Syrian affiliate Al-Nusra Front drive in armed vehicles in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo as they head to a frontline. (File)
© AFP 2018 / Fadi al-Halabi / AMC
Look at the 2012 Defense Intelligence Agency document that was partially released. The United States knew that in Syria, from almost the very beginning, the extremist groups were the strongest force that was fighting against the government. Then, their regional client regimes like Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Turkey and others — they were supporting these groups and they were trying to help them establish a Salafist state in Syria and Iraq.
Of course the head of the Defense Intelligence Agency at that time, General Michael Flynn, he admitted that the United States took a willful decision to support its allies and client regimes in the region in their support for extremists. So, what went on in Syria, and the spillover in Iraq and in Lebanon, is what happened in Afghanistan in the 1980s, only it was a much larger catastrophe that was brought about by the western intelligence agencies cooperating with regional dictatorships by and large, especially Saudi Arabia
Iraq
The whole problem with the Western media and Western think tanks is that they try to present the situation in the region as they would like it to be. So, they said that opponents of Iran won the election. But we see that despite immense US pressure, the US candidate, who is the current Prime Minister of Iraq, doesn't seem to have any chance to remain as Prime Minister and that the groups that are closer to Iran are forming the government despite US threats, US pressure and contacts from senior officials — Secretary Pompeo made phone calls, the Special Envoy in Iraq [made calls] — they were cooperating with the Saudis and Emiratis to form a government that was close to the United States and hostile to Iran. But they failed.
Iraqi Shiite cleric and leader Moqtada al-Sadr (C-L) shows his ink-stained index finger and holds a national flag while surrounded by people outside a polling station in the central holy city of Najaf on May 12, 2018 as the country votes in the first parliamentary election since declaring victory over the Islamic State (IS) group
© AFP 2018 / Haidar HAMDANI
The narrative that they've built, which is more closely affiliated with wishful thinking than they would like to admit, is very different from the reality on the ground. Iraq had a democratic election and the United States should accept the results, but they don't want to accept the results because the results present a picture that is uncomfortable for the United States; like in Gaza, when Hamas won the elections, the United States wouldn't accept it because the United States basically supports dictatorships in this region. If there are elections, the outcome must be to the liking of the United States, otherwise they won't accept it.
Yemen
The Iranians don't even have a real presence there, because the Yemenis are — this is one of the extraordinary things about the world that we live in — and that is that the Yemenis are surrounded by the Americans and the Saudis. The Americans and the Saudis have done something unprecedented in contemporary human history and that is that they imposed mass starvation on the whole country in order to bring the people to their knees.
Smoke rises after Saudi-led airstrikes hit a food factory in Sanaa, Yemen. (File)
© AP Photo / Hani Mohammed
Hundreds of thousands of people have died so far because of starvation and preventable diseases.Tens of thousands of people have died as a result of war. The Saudis have bombed weddings; they've bombed schools; they've bombed funerals; they've bombed hospitals; they've bombed school buses with impunity. They've used American weapons. Americans have been refueling their air force [during air strike missions]. Together, they're imposing this siege to prevent food from getting into the country.
Under normal circumstances, you would call this a holocaust, a genocide. But the western media is silent about it because they basically follow the foreign policy agenda of the US government. The Saudis are so unpopular that despite the fact that people are surrounded — and the Saudis and Emiratis are spending huge amounts of money in this war — they've been unable to get anywhere near the capital. They've made very little headway in the country. And al-Qaeda — the head of al-Qaeda in Yemen — has admitted that they are cooperating with the Saudi-led coalition. Everywhere in this region where we see the Saudis involved, we see either [Daesh] or al-Qaeda cooperating with them and the Americans allow them to do that. Whether the Americans are directly involved or indirectly involved, they're cooperating with [Daesh] and al-Qaeda.
Yemen torture sites
In the past, they were allowing [Daesh] to thrive, and now they're allowing al-Qaeda to survive.
In Idlib, for example, we know that 70 percent of Idlib is controlled by al-Qaeda. The Americans have allowed that to happen. They've prevented the Syrian government from carrying out any attacks on al-Qaeda. This is the same group that carried out 9/11. This whole endless "War on Terror" that the United States has carried out, destroying country after country in this region from Afghanistan to Iraq to Libya to Syria to Yemen, it's all been carried out in the name of al-Qaeda. The United States is indirectly helping al-Qaeda. They are protecting al-Qaeda. Remember, [Daesh] was al-Qaeda before they split away.
Bahrain
Bahrain is very simple. The United States is supporting a dictatorship that has crushed the popular will. The Saudis, in order to prevent the fall of the regime and the family dictatorship; they occupy the country. Saudi troops are occupying Bahrain, so it's obvious who is carrying out terror, who is shooting people in the streets, who is killing protesters, who is murdering people under torture: the Bahraini regime with the Saudi regime and the United States backing them. The United States is trying to — whether it's in Yemen or Syria or Iraq or Lebanon or anywhere else — the United States is trying to create this false moral equivalency in order to make the atrocities carried out by their and by themselves look less evil.
A picture taken through a window shows a general view of Bahrain's captial Manama and nearby cities on October 22, 2010
© AFP 2018 / MARWAN NAAMANI
The reality is, then, the United States is saying the regime that has killed many protesters, arrested and tortured many protesters, that has a family that is ruling over the population… and then you have Saudi forces coming in and killing people and occupying the country to keep the ruling family safe. The United States says ‘these are the good guys.' Just like in Yemen. Iran is evil somehow, yet the country is surrounded by a Saudi-American blockade which prevents food and medicine from getting into the country.
Afghanistan
In the case of Afghanistan, it's even more ridiculous. The Taliban has a Wahhabi ideology like Saudi Arabia. The only two countries in the world that officially recognized the Taliban as the legitimate government of Afghanistan until 9/11 was Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates — both allies of the United States. If the United States had told them to cut diplomatic ties, they would have done it. What ideology does the Taliban have? It's Wahhabism. What ideology does [Daesh] have? It's Wahhabism. What ideology does al-Qaeda have? It's Wahhabism. What ideology does Boko Haram have? It's Wahhabism. All these groups get their ideology from one of the key allies of the United States in the region: Saudi Arabia.
Who is really the global leader in sponsorship of terrorism?
Sputnik News posed this question to Mirandi at the end of the interview. "In my opinion, the US government," Mirandi said.

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


A Closer Look At The Sixth Seal (Rev 6:12)
A Look at the Tri-State’s Active Fault Line
Monday, March 14, 2011
By Bob Hennelly
The Ramapo Fault is the longest fault in the Northeast that occasionally makes local headlines when minor tremors cause rock the Tri-State region. It begins in Pennsylvania, crosses the Delaware River and continues through Hunterdon, Somerset, Morris, Passaic and Bergen counties before crossing the Hudson River near Indian Point nuclear facility.
In the past, it has generated occasional activity that generated a 2.6 magnitude quake in New Jersey’s Peakpack/Gladstone area and 3.0 magnitude quake in Mendham.
But the New Jersey-New York region is relatively seismically stable according to Dr. Dave Robinson, Professor of Geography at Rutgers. Although it does have activity.
“There is occasional seismic activity in New Jersey,” said Robinson. “There have been a few quakes locally that have been felt and done a little bit of damage over the time since colonial settlement — some chimneys knocked down in Manhattan with a quake back in the 18th century, but nothing of a significant magnitude.”
Robinson said the Ramapo has on occasion registered a measurable quake but has not caused damage: “The Ramapo fault is associated with geological activities back 200 million years ago, but it’s still a little creaky now and again,” he said.
“More recently, in the 1970s and early 1980s, earthquake risk along the Ramapo Fault received attention because of its proximity to Indian Point,” according to the New Jersey Geological Survey website.
Historically, critics of the Indian Point Nuclear facility in Westchester County, New York, did cite its proximity to the Ramapo fault line as a significant risk.
In 1884, according to the New Jersey Geological Survey website, the  Rampao Fault was blamed for a 5.5 quake that toppled chimneys in New York City and New Jersey that was felt from Maine to Virginia.
“Subsequent investigations have shown the 1884 Earthquake epicenter was actually located in Brooklyn, New York, at least 25 miles from the Ramapo Fault,” according to the New Jersey Geological Survey website.

The Treasonous Rotting of Babylon the Great


Two weeks into his job as deputy attorney general, Rod J. Rosenstein was confronted with a crisis: the president’s firing of James B. Comey as F.B.I. director.T.J. Kirkpatrick for The New York Times
Rosenstein Suggested Secretly Recording Trump and Discussed 25th Amendment
Sept. 21, 2018
WASHINGTON — The deputy attorney general, Rod J. Rosenstein, suggested last year that he secretly record President Trump in the White House to expose the chaos consuming the administration, and he discussed recruiting cabinet members to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove Mr. Trump from office for being unfit.
Mr. Rosenstein made these suggestions in the spring of 2017 when Mr. Trump’s firing of James B. Comey as F.B.I. director plunged the White House into turmoil. Over the ensuing days, the president divulged classified intelligence to Russians in the Oval Office, and revelations emerged that Mr. Trump had asked Mr. Comey to pledge loyalty and end an investigation into a senior aide.
Mr. Rosenstein was just two weeks into his job. He had begun overseeing the Russia investigation and played a key role in the president’s dismissal of Mr. Comey by writing a memo critical of his handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation. But Mr. Rosenstein was caught off guard when Mr. Trump cited the memo in the firing, and he began telling people that he feared he had been used.
Mr. Rosenstein made the remarks about secretly recording Mr. Trump and about the 25th Amendment in meetings and conversations with other Justice Department and F.B.I. officials. Several people described the episodes, insisting on anonymity to discuss internal deliberations. The people were briefed either on the events themselves or on memos written by F.B.I. officials, including Andrew G. McCabe, then the acting bureau director, that documented Mr. Rosenstein’s actions and comments.

Babylon the Great Beats the War Drums Again (Revelation 14)

Image result for pompeo iranUS Official’s Warmongering Iran Speech Interrupted: “How Did the War With Iraq Turn Out?”
Jake Johnson22 hours ago
After senior State Department official and head of the Trump administration’s so-called “Iran Action Group” Brian Hook delivered a hawkish speech on Wednesday trashing the Iran nuclear accord and praising the White House’s deeply harmful sanctions, CodePink co-founder Medea Benjamin interrupted the event and condemned Hook for “making the case for war with Iran.”
“That is the most ridiculous thing I have seen. The world community wants to keep the Iran nuclear deal,” Benjamin declared as she walked on stage at the small gathering, which was hosted by the right-wing Hudson Institute.
Responding to Hook’s remark that Iran must begin acting like a “normal” country, Benjamin said: “Let’s talk about ‘normal countries.’ Let’s talk about Saudi Arabia. Is that who our allies are?”
“Do you think the sanctions are hurting the regime or are they hurting the Iranian people? They are hurting the Iranian people,” Benjamin added. “You are making a case for war with Iran. How did the war with Iraq turn out? You’re doing exactly the same thing we did in the case of Iraq. We don’t want another war in the Middle East.”
Following remarks by @StateDept's Brian Hook, @Codepink's @medeabenjamin takes the stage in protest.
While Benjamin’s protest garnered zero attention from the corporate media, it was noticed by Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, who tweeted the video along with a short message: “Apparently, [the] U.S. only mocks calls for peace.”

Javad Zarif
US calls JCPOA "a personal agreement between two governments", claiming it “seeks a treaty”. Wrong. It’s an int'l accord enshrined in a UN SC res. Plus, US has violated its treaty obligations too & faces 2 suits at ICJ. Apparently, US only mocks calls for peace.
“Are we going to allow another administration to take us into another war in the Middle East? Have we learned nothing?” Benjamin wrote on Twitter following her protest. “We need to interrupt the warhawks like Trump’s Brian Hook, head of Iran Action Group, who wants to take us to war with Iran.”
Via Common Dreams

Friday, September 21, 2018

USA’s Fukushima At The Sixth Seal (Revelation 6)


Recent series of Indian Point shutdowns worst in years
Ernie Garcia, elgarcia@lohud.com
BUCHANAN — Four unplanned reactor shutdowns over a two-month period at Indian Point are the most setbacks the nuclear power plant has experienced in years.
A review of unplanned shutdowns from January 2012 to the present showed this year’s events happened within a short time frame, between May 7 and July 8, in contrast with events from other years that were more spread out, according to data released by Indian Point.
So many mishaps at the Entergy-owned plant haven’t occurred since 2009, when one of two units at the Buchanan site experienced a similar series, said plant spokesman Jerry Nappi.
Besides a May 9 transformer failure that spilled some 3,000 gallons of oil into the Hudson River, this year’s shutdowns were prompted by a May 7 steam leak, a July 8 pump motor failure and a June 15 switch yard breaker failure offsite in a Consolidated Edison substation.
If a nuclear plant has more than three unplanned shutdowns in a nine-month period, its performance indicator could be changed by the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission, which results in additional oversight. That’s what happened with Entergy’s Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station in Plymouth, Mass., after four unplanned shutdowns in 2013.
So far, Entergy said there doesn’t appear to be a pattern to the Indian Point shutdowns.
“You do want to look at these events holistically to see if there is something in common, but you also look individually to see what the causes were,” Nappi said. “A plant shutdown in and of itself is not a safety issue.”
One of the four recent Buchanan shutdowns triggered a special inspection by the NRC and calls to close the nuclear plant by environmental groups and elected officials. Gov. Andrew Cuomo has said in the past Indian Point should close, but his office did not respond to a request for comment about whether the recent shutdowns have prompted any state scrutiny.
The NRC is expected to release a quarterly report on Indian Point this month that will address the transformer failure and, by year’s end, is planning an inspection of the transformer and an analysis of transformer issues since 2007.
Besides its transformer-related inquiries, the other three shutdowns have not raised “any immediate safety concerns or crossed any thresholds that would result in additional NRC oversight,” agency spokesman Neil Sheehan wrote in an email.
The unplanned shutdowns at Indian Point and Pilgrim in Massachusetts were mostly preventable, said Paul Blanch, a former Indian Point employee with 45 years of nuclear power experience.
“For this to happen this frequently indicates a deeper problem,” he said. “I believe it’s management oversight in the maintenance of these plants.”
Nappi said the transformer that failed May 9 and caused a fire and oil spill into the Hudson was regularly monitored. Investigators determined the failure was due to faulty insulation.
“The transformer inspection and reviews were in accordance with our standards and industry expectations, yet there was no indication the transformer was going to fail,” Nappi said.
The NRC conducted a separate, but related special inspection into the May 9 incident that focused on a half-inch of water that collected in an electrical switchgear room floor. Inspectors determined a fire suppression system’s valve failed to close properly.
Inspectors noted in their report that Entergy knew about that problem since April 2011 and replaced the valve but didn’t discover the actual cause — a dysfunctional switch — until after the fire.
Indian Point’s Unit 3 was down 19 days May through July, with the transformer failure accounting for 16 days. The shutdowns didn’t cause the public any supply problems because New York’s grid can import electricity from other states and New York has an energy plan to maintain reliability, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
The nuclear energy industry judges a power plant on how continuously it produces energy, which is called a capacity factor.
There were 100 nuclear plants in the United States in 2014, a record year in terms of efficiency. In January, the Nuclear Energy Institute announced the U.S. average capacity factor was 91.9 percent.
Indian Point has an above-average efficiency rate. The plant’s Unit 2 and 3 reactors were each online more than 99 percent of the time during their most recent two-year operating cycles. They are currently in the middle of other cycles

The Risk of Pakistani Nuclear Terrorism (Daniel 8:8)

Not India, terrorism a bigger threat, say young Pakistani Army officers
ZeeNews
Pakistani Army is witnessing a generational shift in the anti-India stance that has long been ingrained in the minds of the military in Pakistan. For the young Pakistani Army officers, the growing internal security threats from a plethora of extremist groups in Pakistan are a bigger worry for the country instead of any military threat posed by India.
The finding is part of The Quetta Experience, written by retired US Army colonel David O Smith, who was an alumnus of the Command and Staff College in Quetta.
"Junior and mid-grade Army officers, particularly those who had served in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), tended to view terrorism as a much more immediate threat to Pakistan than India. These officers had spent the bulk of their military careers fighting this new threat, had seen their brother officers and soldiers killed and wounded by the groups, and watched their friends and their families’ lives shattered forever," the report states.
The study examines the experiences of US Army Foreign Area Officers who have attended the Pakistan Army Command and Staff College in Quetta, the capital of Baluchistan province. These are the only US personnel ever to have had sustained interactions over an extended period of time with three distinct groups of Pakistan Army officers: senior officers (brigadier and major general), senior mid-level (lieutenant colonel and colonel), and junior midlevel (captain and major).
The study was aimed at examining the attitudes and values of the Pakistan Army officer corps over a 37-year period from 1977 to 2014 to determine if it had changed over time.
The report also states that the fear of 'Islamisation' within the officer corps or its susceptibility to radical religious influence is exaggerated. "Many students joked among themselves about the need to be seen going to the mosque on Fridays, but no one seemed to think the country needed or wanted more Islam than more democracy."
"Nearly all the Pakistani students, including those with more conservative religious views, expressed the attitude that religion is a personal matter that does not influence the performance of military duties. They also see little value in Islamic governance, preferring democracy and civilian governance in overwhelming numbers. There also was no evidence of any friction between Sunni and Shia officers," the report states.
The report also states that the implications of strategic or tactical uses of nuclear weapons are not well understood, and no doctrine for nuclear warfighting is taught at the Staff College.
"Certain aspects of nuclear usage might have been discussed in a Pakistani students-only exercise that has been conducted annually for several years to rehearse plans to deal with an Indian Cold Start (now called proactive operations) attack, but even this is apparently limited to a short briefing by the Strategic Plans Division with no questions or discussion by students being allowed," the study states.
"No doubt because of the absence of any opportunity to discuss nuclear issues, the Students noted a complete lack of awareness about the connection between the tactical use of nuclear weapons, the potential strategic impact of their use given the relatively short distances involved in the India-Pakistan case, and the likely Indian reaction to Pakistani “first use” of any nuclear weapon in a future war," the study adds.
The report also finds that the young Pakistani officers perceived that for the first time in history, the United States had become a serious military threat to them.
"The reasoning was highly emotional: the United States uses Pakistan and then discards her; the United States doesn’t respect Pakistani values; the United States is fighting people that Pakistani people support, such as the Palestinians; the United States is leading a “crusade” against Islam; the United States “screwed up Iraq” and “blundered into Afghanistan and made things worse (for Pakistan)," the report adds.

Trump Will Start the Last Nuclear War (Revelation 15)


Former launch officer warns Trump strategy fuels nuclear arms race
Washington (CNN)A former nuclear launch officer is warning that President Donald Trump's nuclear weapons strategy is encouraging an arms race that could increase the chances of a catastrophic nuclear war.
He argues that the Pentagon should instead adopt a "deterrence-only" approach that phases out land-based missile systems that have served as one leg of the nuclear triad for decades.
In a new report released on Tuesday, Global Zero's Dr. Bruce Blair, a former Air Force launch control officer who's a nuclear security expert at Princeton University, argues that the United States' nuclear stance is a "vestige of the Cold War" that creates instability with an unnecessarily hefty price tag.
His proposal is intended to reshape the Pentagon's thinking on nuclear weapons by promoting a "deterrence-only" strategy that supplements sweeping cuts to the US nuclear force with additional options involving conventional weapons that he says are better suited to hit specific targets.
"This alternate nuclear posture review is the first and only analysis in the public domain that uses credible estimates of existing US war plan target requirements and goes on to define the forces needed to meet them, and thus it challenges the Pentagon on its own terms," Blair told CNN.
"It starts from the same place as Pentagon officials and nuclear war planners, offering a different perspective -- one that questions the foundation of nuclear planning. The US shouldn't base decisions on a strategy of nuclear war fighting, it should make decisions based on a deterrence-only role for the nuclear arsenal," he said.
The report also dissects what Blair characterizes as the US nuclear posture's "Achilles' heel" -- the system's communication network.
"Having the ability to absorb an attack and retaliate is the essence of deterrence, and yet the United States has failed to ensure presidential survival and robust communications—both vital to executing a retaliatory attack," the report said.
The Pentagon's Nuclear Posture Review released in February focuses primarily on countering threats posed by Russia, and military officials are adamant their plan walks the line between maintaining a nuclear deterrence and encouraging controls on nuclear weapons.
"It reaffirms that the fundamental role of US nuclear policy is deterrence and continues our clear commitment to nonproliferation and arms control," said Deputy Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan.
However, Blair argues that the Trump administration's nuclear posture "promotes a nuclear arms race."
"The Trump administration's nuclear posture goes beyond legitimate goals of credible national security, and actually promotes a nuclear arms race and nuclear war fighting," he added.
Blair said some of the Pentagon's nuclear strategies are "dangerous" and contain unnecessary redundancies that may increase the chances of a full-scale nuclear conflict.
"Nuclear war fighting is destabilizing. ... Once it starts, escalation is likely," he told CNN, adding that he would argue against the Pentagon's current war fighting target set and recommend scaling down to a deterrence-only strategy that threatens key targets.
According to Blair, his report lays "out the steps needed to significantly reduce the risk of the use of nuclear weapons by design or accident and the risk of escalation to full-scale nuclear war if conflict happens."
One such recommendation is for the Trump administration to phase out its arsenal of silo-based intercontinental ballistic missiles over the next 10 years and adopt a deterrence-only model by dramatically cutting its arsenal of nuclear weapons and bomber force.
Silo-based ICBMs are one leg of the US nuclear triad, which also consists of bombers and nuclear-armed submarines.
According to Blair's report, five US Columbia-class submarines, backed by a reserve force of 40 nuclear-capable bombers, would be capable of retaliating with enough force if necessary, also rendering the third arm of the triad "redundant and dispensable."
The Pentagon's current Nuclear Posture Review calls for at least 12 new Columbia-class submarines and 175 bombers.
"The almost exclusive mission of these missiles is to engage Russia, or Russia and China simultaneously, in large-scale nuclear conflict," the report said. "Such wartime scenarios have become unthinkable. Waging war against both countries simultaneously is a contingency so improbable that US planners can safely ignore it."
Blair also noted that silo locations are "fixed and known," creating vulnerabilities for the weapons.
However, Defense Secretary James Mattis has reiterated the administration's support for the nuclear triad. In September 2017, Mattis argued it is a crucial form of deterrence.
"I questioned the triad, and I cannot solve the deterrent problem reducing it from a triad," Mattis said, according to a report by Military Times. "If I want to send the most compelling message, I have been persuaded that the triad and its framework is the right way to go."
Mattis has stressed the importance of including more conventional options as part of nuclear war planning and has worked toward overhauling US nuclear communications, a priority listed in Blair's report.
For decades, the military plan for nuclear war has been known as the Single Integrated Operational Plan -- focusing entirely on a nuclear campaign. US Strategic Command, which oversees nuclear defense, is continuing the effort begun by the Obama administration to provide military plans that combine nuclear and conventional options, in order to be able to de-escalate a crisis, defense officials familiar with the effort told CNN in July.
The move to include conventional options as part of planning for nuclear war took on additional importance as tensions rose with North Korea, and the Pentagon leadership was looking for a wide range of military options to offer Trump, officials said.
Correction: This story has been updated to correctly attribute a quote to Bruce Blair rather than Vipin Narang of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.