Wednesday, October 31, 2018

America is Stoking Nuclear War

World War 3: US military stokes tensions with Global Thunder 2019 nuclear drills | World | News | Express.co.uk
Simon Osborne11:12, Tue, Oct 30, 2018
SIMMERING international tensions have been ramped up with the launch of the US military’s Global Thunder 2019 command and control exercise.
By
Operation Rising Thunder 2018: USA and Japan collaborate
The annual training drills are designed to assess all US Stategic Command mission areas with a specific focus on the West’s nuclear readiness to “curb, locate and, if necessary, avert strategic attacks on the US and its allies”.
Forces personnel from the UK, Australia, Canada, Denmark and South Korea are also taking part in this year’s war games.
US Strategic Command chief General John E. Hyten said: “For Global Thunder 2019, the headquarters staff, USSTRATCOM components and subordinate units are participating in this exercise to test readiness and ensure a safe, secure, ready and reliable strategic deterrent force.
The nuclear triad is the backbone of strategic deterrence."
Deterrence in the 21st century has to be a global approach and it must involve our allies and partners
General John E. Hyten
He continued: “Exercises like these integrate our unique capabilities across the joint force, in order to deter strategic threats and defend the nation.
“Our forces must be ready and prepared to execute orders globally wherever and whenever needed.”
Gen Hyten said personnel from allied forces integrate into senior leadership teams and work across a broad spectrum of areas, offering legal, public affairs and policy support as well as targeting and information operations insight.
He said: “Deterrence in the 21st century has to be a global approach and it must involve our allies and partners.

A US soldier taking part in nuclear readiness drills (Image: USSTRATCOM)

US warplanes on manoeuvres (Image: GETTY)
“This is why Global Thunder is a multinational exercise that operates on a global scale.
“Large-scale exercises like Global Thunder involve extensive planning and coordination to provide unique training for assigned units and our allies.”
US Strategic Command is responsible for strategic deterrence, nuclear operations, space operations, joint electromagnetic spectrum operations, global strike, missile defence and analysis and targeting.
Global Thunder 2019 are the first military manoeuvres since the US announced it was pulling out of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty with Russia – an agreement dating from the Cold War era.
The decision to withdraw from the treaty sparked fears of fresh conflict between the two old foes.
Andrei Belousov, deputy head of the Department of Nonproliferation and Arms Control at the Russian Foreign Ministry, declared Moscow would defend its territorial integrity and principles in response to US aggression.
He said: “Here recently at the meeting, the United States said that Russia is preparing for war. Yes, Russia is preparing for war, I have confirmed it.
“We are preparing to defend our homeland, our territorial integrity, our principles, our values, our people - we are preparing for such a war.”

The Peril of Nuclear Idiocy


Trump is pushing the world closer to nuclear peril
Katrina vanden Heuvel
I have called my daughter, Nika, a “perestroika baby.” She was conceived in Russia during that earthshaking period when, under the radical tenure of Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, the country began to open up and the Cold War began to thaw. Nika was born just a few years after Gorbachev and President Ronald Reagan signed the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, one of the world’s most important nuclear arms accords.
With the stroke of two pens, the agreement banned an entire class of nuclear weapons, led to the destruction of nearly 2,700 warheads and diminished the threat of nuclear war in Europe. At the time, Gorbachev said, “We can be proud to plant this sapling, which someday may grow to be a full tree of peace.”
Thirty-one years later, President Trump is taking an ax to that tree. This month, he announced that the United States will withdraw from the INF, all but inviting a new arms race: “We have more money than anybody else by far,” Trump said. “We’ll build it up until [China and Russia] come to their senses.”
Withdrawal from the INF will weaken global nonproliferation efforts and compromise all nations’ safety. The Union of Concerned Scientists said the move would “ultimately undermine the security of the United States and its allies.” The European Union’s foreign ministry declared, “The world doesn’t need a new arms race that would . . . bring even more instability.” At Brookings, Steven Pifer, an arms control expert who served in the Bill Clinton and George W. Bush administrations, called the withdrawal “a loser all around.”
Gorbachev himself weighed in in an op-ed for the New York Times last week: “I am convinced that those who hope to benefit from a global free-for-all are deeply mistaken. There will be no winner in a ‘war of all against all’ — particularly if it ends in a nuclear war. And that is a possibility that cannot be ruled out. An unrelenting arms race, international tensions, hostility and universal mistrust will only increase the risk.”
The risk, and the militarization of relations, have increased over past years and administrations. As Stephen Cohen, professor emeritus of Russian studies and politics at New York University and Princeton University (disclosure: he is also my spouse), recently pointed out for the Nation, Bill Clinton expanded NATO farther and farther east toward Russia’s borders, and Bush unilaterally withdrew from the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty.
In that way, Trump’s action is simply the latest in a line of American provocations that have led Russia to violate the treaty. However, these violations, disputed by Russians, alone “would not by itself be a compelling argument for withdrawal,” according to former defense official and INF critic Elbridge Colby.
Regardless, Trump’s raw aggression sets him apart from his predecessors. Last year, I argued that “Trump’s decision to decertify the Iran nuclear deal recklessly imperils the landmark agreement and our security.” Since then, it has only worsened as he pushes the world ever closer to nuclear peril. At least partly because of his policies, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists’ Doomsday Clock is now set to two minutes to midnight, tied for the highest threat of nuclear war ever recorded.
In a recent speech, Beatrice Fihn, executive director of the Nobel Peace Prize-winning International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), laid out a road map that citizens can follow to push back against Trump and forward toward a nuclear-free world. The first step, says Fihn, is to inform and be informed: “Learn how your community, the bank, the services you use are complicit in developing nuclear weapons. And share with others the reality of the threat, the great humanitarian harm that would follow any nuclear attack and will spread across borders. Don’t let people forget that these weapons exist until is too late.”
Members of Congress, too, must take action to reduce the risk of nuclear war. Several are. Back in January 2017, Sen. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) and Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) introduced a bill “that would prevent the president from launching a nuclear first strike without a congressional declaration of war . . . legislation meant to pry the nuclear football out of the president’s hands,” as Emily Tamkin put it in Foreign Policy.
Democratic policymakers have demanded answers about the INF decision. Reps. Adam Smith (D-Wash.) of the Armed Services Committee, and Eliot L. Engel (D-N.Y.) and Gregory W. Meeks (D-N.Y.) of the Foreign Affairs Committee, released a letter calling for a briefing on the decision and refusing to “support, [or] enable, a precipitous course of action that increases the risk of an unconstrained nuclear arms race.”
Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) made an even stronger statement. He tweeted that the withdrawal “plunges us back into a nuclear arms race and endangers our troops, allies, & the world, while wasting taxpayer dollars to prepare for a nuclear war that must never be fought . . . We cannot contribute to a ratcheting up of tensions that could put our nation and the globe at risk of catastrophic war.”
That kind of thinking and leadership is needed now, more than ever.
Common-sense legislation is also needed to deal with the approximately 900 missiles currently on “hair-trigger alert,” ready to launch in a matter of minutes. And in the American Conservative, Bruce Fein, who served as associate deputy attorney general during the Reagan administration, smartly suggested that Congress “approve legislation that prohibits the expenditure of any funds of the United States to deploy weapons or in any other respect contravene the INF treaty.”
In 2002, as editor of the Nation, I had the honor to be presented with the Global Green USA award by Gorbachev. In accepting, I said, “From the moment [Gorbachev] came to power, he insisted that there are always alternatives in history and politics . . . alternatives that are better than the status quo.” It is not too late to end this dangerous status quo. Let’s demand a better future, one that is free from nuclear weapons.

3 Boys From Gaza Are Buried Outside the Temple Walls (Revelation 11:2)


Relatives mourning over the bodies of three teenagers killed in an Israeli airstrike.Khalil Hamra/Associated Press
3 Boys From Gaza Are Buried After Israeli Strike
Oct. 29, 2018
JERUSALEM — Thousands of Gaza residents on Monday attended funerals of three Palestinian boys killed by an Israeli airstrike along the security fence with Israel the day before.
The Israeli military said three figures had been spotted trying to sabotage the security fence and had appeared to be laying an explosive device under the cover of darkness.
Gaza’s militant factions accused Israel of killing the boys “in cold blood” and said claims they had been planting a bomb were fabricated.
In the light of day Monday, there appeared to be no evidence of an explosive device in the area. But there were suggestions in Israel that the boys might have been sent by militants as scouts, to test whether the area was under military surveillance or to cut a hole in the fence for others to go through later.
It was just the latest deadly episode in the caldron of tensions that the border area has become.
The dead were identified as Khaled Abu Saeed, 14; Abdul Hamid Abu Dhaher, 13; and Muhammad al-Satari, 13.

Palestinian protesters on Monday protecting their faces from tear gas fired by Israeli troops during a demonstration on the beach near the border with Israel.Mahmud Hams/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images
In the village where the boys lived, Wadi al-Salqa, in the southern Gaza Strip, there was talk that they might have been laying nets for hunting birds, though the security fence — a known danger zone, especially at night — is hardly an obvious place to catch wildlife.
The boys were neighbors and lived about a mile from the border. Their relatives said they did not know what they were doing by the fence at night.
The mourning tents were filled with visitors and decorated with the banners of Hamas and Islamic Jihad.
Israeli leaders have come under increasing political and public pressure either to reach a stable cease-fire arrangement with Hamas, the Islamic militant group that controls Gaza, or to go in and try to crush Hamas by force.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu signaled on Monday that he preferred to give more time to efforts by Egyptian and United Nations mediators to reach a truce agreement.
Israel’s hard-line defense minister, Avigdor Lieberman, said he saw no chance of a cease-fire with Hamas without “dealing the toughest blow that we can.” But he acknowledged that he was in a minority in the security cabinet, where decisions on broad military operations are made, and where, he said, most of the members “do not think like me.”
A Palestinian protester using a slingshot to hurl stones during a demonstration on the beach.Mahmud Hams/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images
Around the time of the airstrike that killed the boys Sunday night, residents of Israeli communities along the border blocked a main interchange in Tel Aviv.
Their protest came after an intensive flare-up of violence over the weekend, the fourth in recent months.
Gaza militants fired nearly 40 rockets into southern Israel between Friday night and Saturday morning, and the Israeli Air Force retaliated with strikes on more than 90 unmanned militant targets in Gaza.
Aside from sporadic rocket and mortar fire, incendiary balloons flown from Gaza have set hundreds of fires on the Israeli side of the border, charring forests and farmland.
Thousands of Palestinians continue to attend weekly Friday protests along the border that often include the hurling of grenades and firebombs and efforts to breach the fence, according to the military.
Called the “Great March of Return,” the protests are orchestrated by Hamas to pressure Israel into lifting its blockade on the coastal territory, imposed with Egypt’s help, and to press claims to lands in what is now Israel. Israel says it acts to prevent infiltrations and protect nearby civilian communities.
More than 200 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire since the protests began on March 30, according to Gaza officials. They said another man, 27, was shot dead during a protest on Monday in northern Gaza near the border with Israel.
Isabel Kershner reported from Jerusalem and Iyad Abuheweila from Wadi al-Saqa, Gaza Strip. Ibrahim El-Mughraby contributed reporting from Gaza City.

Tuesday, October 30, 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.
https://tpc.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-15/html/container.html
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

The Development of the Nuclear Horns (Revelation 15)

image-1313Nuclear Power and Nuclear Weapons
29th Oct '18
With the rising problem of climate change, countries are searching for non-carbon producing forms of power generation. Concurrently, global demand for electricity is increasing. In this context, Saudi Arabia is seeking to purchase nuclear power technology from the United States. Nuclear power technology, while a carbon neutral form of electricity generation, can easily be misused for nefarious purposes. In order to promote global nuclear nonproliferation, states need to restrict, rather than promote, nuclear power exports.
Signatory states to the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) can be divided into two categories – those that do, and those that do not have nuclear weapons. Part of the “grand bargain” of the NPT is that the nuclear have-nots, in exchange for never developing nuclear weapons, will be allowed nuclear technology for “peaceful purposes.” The clause in question comes from Article IV of the NPT: “nothing in this Treaty shall be interpreted as affecting the inalienable right of all the Parties to the Treaty to develop research, production and use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes without discrimination and in conformity with Articles I and II of this Treaty.”
Unfortunately, it is too easy for technology associated with nuclear power generation to be used for nefarious purposes. In order to fuel the most common reactor designs, uranium must be enriched to contain around 5% U-235 to U-238 (natural uranium contains only 0.7% U-235). While it takes a great deal of power and effort to get uranium enriched to 5%, once uranium is 20% enriched it becomes significantly easier to go to weapons-grade, or roughly 95% U-235.
Spent nuclear fuel can be reprocessed into usable nuclear fuel by removing the plutonium (Pu-239 and Pu-240) that has accumulated in the fuel as it is burnt in the reactor, and then re-milling the remaining uranium into fuel. But what happens to the plutonium? Plutonium-239 is really only useful for one thing: nuclear weapons. Despite asserting the contrary, it is very possible to use Pu-240 in nuclear weapons.
This is the reason why supporters of the 2009 123 Agreement with the UAE lauded the strict inspection requirements that the UAE agreed to in exchange for US assistance in developing the UAE’s nuclear power industry. This is also why many experts are critical of any effort to spread nuclear power, as the technology can be too easily misused. For example, Canada and the United States sold nuclear technology and materials to India on the basis that they be used for peaceful purposes. It was only through these contributions that India was able to develop its own nuclear weapons, which were first tested in 1974.
Unlike the UAE deal, the proposed deal with Saudi Arabia is believed to be more lax than the “gold standard” 123 Agreement with the UAE. Furthermore, before the JCPOA was signed, Saudi Arabia was reportedly in talks to buy nuclear warheads from Pakistan and missiles adequate enough to reach over the Persian Gulf into Iran. It cannot be guaranteed that Saudi Arabia will use nuclear technology for peaceful purposes only.
So what can be done? The Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) was established after the enactment of the NPT to control access to nuclear technology. The NSG sets strict requirements that must be met and verified before any member state can export technology or nuclear fuel. Additionally, many regions of the globe have created, by treaty, nuclear free zones or have regional anti-nuclear weapons agreements (such as the Treaty of Tlatelolco) that have their own inspection or verification requirements. The NSG and various treaties have shown effectiveness in stemming nuclear proliferation.
There are, however, some blind spots. Four nuclear powers, India, Pakistan, Israel, and now North Korea, currently remain outside both the NPT and the NSG. They are able to sell technology and nuclear materials at will. Indeed, Pakistan has, in the past, facilitated the sale of nuclear enrichment technologies through its principle nuclear scientist, A.Q. Khan, to Libya, Iran, and North Korea.
With regard to the Saudi Arabia deal, the United States must be able to guarantee that the Saudi government will not attempt to use its nuclear power generation technology for hostile intent. If not, then the United States cannot let the deal proceed.
Sadly, Saudi Arabia has not demonstrated that it is trustworthy enough for this deal. Their suspected involvement in the death of a Washington Post journalist, and the Crown Prince’s pledge to develop nuclear weapons if Iran does, show that the Saudi government cannot be trusted to not use nuclear technology for malicious purposes. The United States is left with only three responsible options: cancel the deal altogether; reconstruct the deal identically to the UAE deal; or insist Saudi Arabia join the NSG before the deal can go forward.  These options are the only way to guarantee that the nuclear materials and technology cannot be used to covertly create nuclear weapons. Nuclear technology is simply too dangerous to be left unsupervised.

Russia Threatens the Other Nuclear Horns


Putin says Russia will target nations who host US nuclear weapons
'European countries... must understand that they are putting their own territory at risk of a possible counterstrike,' says Russian
Russia would immediately target any European nation that agreed to deploy US missiles on their soil, Vladimir Putin has said, following the announcement from Washington that it would withdraw from a landmark arms control treaty..
It would be “quick and effective.” Mr Putin said. The Russian president added that if the US "delivers" any new weapons to Europe after they pull out of the deal, Moscow would have no choice but to defend itself.
"European countries that agree to host them, if things go that far, must understand that they are putting their own territory at risk of a possible counterstrike,” he said.
The comments, delivered during a news conference following talks with Italian Prime Minster Conte, came a day after meeting US National Security Advisor John Bolton in Moscow.
That visit made it clear that the United States intended to issue formal notice on the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty, and brought forward the prospect of nuclear weapons returning to European soil.
Mr Putin said he understood there were “problems” with the treaty that began not “yesterday, or three days ago.” But he rejected American accusations that Russia had been in violation of the treaty.
Mr Putin instead claimed that the US MK41 “missile shield” systems and their use of drones represented a “direct violation” of the treaty.
The Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces treaty, which was signed in Washington in 1987 by Presidents Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev, committed the two Cold War superpowers to destroy short range and intermediate range missiles (500-5,000km), and not to develop them in the future.
Many expect the imminent US withdrawal from this treaty to be followed by the non-renewal of another major arms control deal the strategic arms reduction treaty, the New START, which runs out in 2021.
Mr Putin said that prospect “worried him.”
“It is a very dangerous situation, which leaves nothing else but an arms race,” he said

Death Toll Rises Outside the Temple Walls (Revelation 11:2)


AP Photo/Adel Hana
Death toll for Friday border clashes rises to 7 after Gazan succumbs to wounds
A Palestinian has died two days after suffering gunshot wounds in ongoing clashes on the Israel-Gaza border, the health ministry in the enclave said Sunday.
The death raises to the number of Palestinians killed as a result of Friday's to 7 where an estimated 10,000 protesters gathered at the border fence.
Israel Defense Force (IDF) troops responded to the hurling of grenades and flaming tires with "riots dispersal means," an army spokesman said in a statement.
Yahya al-Hassanat, 37, was shot in the head along the border near Al-Bureij in central Gaza, the ministry said.
Five other Palestinians were also shot dead during Friday's protests, the ministry said, while one died when a grenade he was carrying exploded accidentally, according to witnesses. Deaths included two men aged 22 and 27 years old.
Only hours before the protests erupted this week, reports emerged that Egyptian intelligence officials-- who have been engaging in months of shuttle diplomacy -- had successfully brokered an understanding between Israel and Hamas.
According to Al-Hayat news outlet, Hamas agreed to a cessation of border violence in exchange for Israel's easing of the blockade on the coastal enclave.
Following news of the deal, Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman said he was "hopeful" this Friday will pass more quietly." Liberman's hopes were quickly dashed.

MAHMUD HAMS (AFP)
At least 214 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire in months of protests and clashes along the Gaza border, 50 of which are said to be Hamas members. One Israeli soldier has been killed since the protests and clashes began on March 30.
Israel says its actions are necessary to defend the border and stop infiltrations and attacks, which it accuses Hamas of seeking to orchestrate. Palestinians and rights groups say protesters have been shot while posing little threat.
Israel and Palestinian militants in Gaza, run by Islamist movement Hamas, have fought three wars since 2008.
Later on Friday and into Saturday, Palestinian militants fired over 39 rockets into southern Israel in a period of less than 24 hours. In retaliation, IDF fighter jets struck 87 Hamas targets and 8 Islamic Jihad bases in three military compounds throughout the strip.
The violence came to an end after Islamic Jihad, the Palestinian militant group who eventually claimed responsibility for launching the rockets, said it had agreed to a new Egyptian-brokered truce.
There were no reported casualties or deaths from the rocket fire and air strikes which was viewed as the largest in months.
Several military flare-ups have occurred in the months since the protests began, prompting fears of a new war between the two sides.
AFP contributed to this report

Three Boys Killed Outside the Temple Walls (Revelation 11:2)

Gaza: three boys killed in Israeli airstrike, say Palestinian medics
Israeli army says aircraft hit three Palestinians who approached security fence
AP in Gaza CitySun 28 Oct 2018 16.51 EDT
Israeli army says aircraft hit three Palestinians who approached security fence
Palestinian medics say three boys aged 12 to 14 have been killed in an Israeli airstrike in the south-eastern Gaza Strip.
Ashraf al-Kidra of the health ministry said ambulance crews were bringing the children’s bodies to a hospital from the perimeter fence dividing Gaza and Israel.
The Israeli army said an aircraft hit three Palestinians who approached the security fence on Sunday “and were apparently involved in placing” an explosive device on to it.
The Gaza-Israel border area has been volatile for months as the enclave’s Hamas rulers organise weekly protests there against a decade-long Israeli-Egyptian blockade. Egyptian mediators relentlessly urge the two sides separately to restore calm and prevent wider conflict.
More than 160 Palestinians have been killed in the protests since March. One Israeli soldier was killed by a Palestinian sniper in July.

Monday, October 29, 2018

The “Zone” of the Sixth Seal (Revelation 6:12)


North Jersey region among ‘most active’ earthquake zones
Matt Fagan, Staff writer, @fagan_nj
Northern New Jersey, which straddles a significant ancient crack in the Earth’s crust known as the Ramapo Fault, recorded 16 earthquakes last year, an unusually high number for the area.
It had been relatively quiet this year, until geologists recorded a 1.3 magnitude quake last weekend in Morris Plains, and then a 1.0 magnitude quake Saturday in Morristown.
Last weekend’s tremor was reported by Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Observatory to the Morris Plains Police Department, which issued an advisory to residents on Monday morning.
Lamont-Doherty spokesman Kevin Krajick said the quake was pinpointed to a shallow depth of 6 kilometers just north of Grannis Avenue, between Mountain and Sun Valley ways, about 500 feet southeast of Mountain way School.
Rutgers Newark geology professor talks about earthquakes in northern New Jersey. Matt Fagan/NorthJersey.com
“It was a very small earthquake at a very shallow depth,” Krajick said. “Most people would not feel an earthquake that small unless they were absolutely right under it, if that.”
“To date (there) were no reported injuries or damage related to the earthquake and no Morris Plains residents reported any activity to this agency,” according to Morris Plains police Chief Jason Kohn
On the other hand, Butler Police Lt. Mike Moeller said his department received “a bunch of calls about it, between 9:30 and 10:30 p.m.”
Saturday’s earthquake was so minor that Morristown police said they received no calls from residents
Earthquakes are generally less frequent and less intense in the Northeast compared to the U.S. Pacific Coast, according to the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection. But due to geological differences between the regions, earthquakes of similar magnitude affect an area 10 times larger in the Northeast compared to the West Coast.
The 16 tremors recorded in 2016 were minor, generally 1 or 2 magnitude, often misinterpreted as explosions, said Alexander Gates, geology professor at Rutgers University Newark campus.
“A lot of people in Butler felt them over the course of the last year, but a lot of them didn’t know it was an earthquake,” Gates said.
Butler is the borough, but also the name of the fault that sits at the end of aseries of others belonging to the Ramapo Fault, Gates said.
The Ramapo fault, Gates said, is the longest in the Northeast and runs from Pennnsylvania through New Jersey, snaking northeast through Hunterdon, Somerset, Morris, Passaic, and Bergen counties before coming to an end in New York’s Westchester County, not far from the Indian Point Energy Center, a nuclear power plant.
The small area, Gates said, is considered the most seismically active region east of the Mississippi based on data gathered since 1974, when seismographs were installed.
“I’d be willing to bet that you’d have to go all the way to Canada and all the way to South Carolina before you’d get one that active,” Gates said of the area which runs from the New York state line in the Ringwood and Mahwah area down to Butler and central Passaic County, Gates said.
Of last year’s 16 earthquakes, 12 were directly associated with the faults around Butler, Gates said.
Butler Councilman Ray Verdonik said area residents are well aware of the frequency of earthquakes and agrees they are often difficult to discern.
During one earthquake, the councilman said he and his neighbors rushed from their homes.
“We thought it was from Picatinny Arsenal or a sonic boom.” he said.
Won-Young Kim, director of the  Lamont-Doherty Cooperative Seismographic Network, which  monitors earthquakes in the Northeast, said often very shallow, the low magnitude quakes’ waves cause much ground motion. He said even though the waves don’t travel very far, they can seem more intense than the magnitude suggests.
They may not topple chimneys, he said but can crack foundations and frighten residents.
To put earthquake magnitudes in perspective, experts said each year there are about 900,000 earthquakes of 2.5 magnitude or less recorded annually by seismograph. These mild tremors are usually not felt.
There are 30,000 that measure between 2.5 and 5.4, and these are often felt, but cause minor damage.
About 500 quakes worldwide are recorded between 5.5 and 6 magnitude per year and cause slight damage to buildings and structures.
The 100 that fall within 6.1 and 6.9 may cause lots of damage in populated areas.
The 20 or so which fall within the 7 and 7.9 magnitude per year are considered major and cause serious damage.
Those that measure at 8 or greater can totally destroy communities near the epicenter and average one every five to 10 years.
The earthquake recorded in Mexico last week measured 7.1 magnitude.
Gates said he has identified most of the region’s numerous faults, but has yet to name them all. Among the unnamed include the faults responsible for last year’s quakes in the region.
Earthquakes in this region are intraplate ones, Gates said, meaning they occur within the plates. Earthquakes of this type account for more than 90 percent of the total seismic energy released around the world.
Plates are the masses of the earth’s crust that slowly move, maybe as little as a few centimeters a year to as much 18 centimeters, around the globe. Faults such as the San Andreas are interplate and occur near where two plates meet.
The plate North America rides upon runs from the Mid Atlantic Ridge to the Pacific Coast. The theory is that as plates interact with one another, they create stress within the plate. Faults occur where the crust is weak, Gates said. Earthquakes relieve the built up pressure.
Boston College Geophysics Professor John Ebel said he and a Virginia Tech colleague, believe the seismically active areas in New York and South Carolina are where some 200 million years ago, the plates tried to break off but failed. This led to a weakening of the earth’s crust which makes them susceptible to quakes.
While not predictable, the data collected seem to suggest earthquakes occur somewhat periodically, 40 active years followed by 40 less active, Gates said.
“We are over due for a 3 or 4” magnitude, Gates said. “A 4 you’d feel. It would shake the area. Everybody would be upset.”
Ebel does not fully agree. He said saying “overdue” might be somewhat misleading.  Earthquakes happen through a slow process of rising stress, “like dropping individual grains of sand on the table.”
You never know which grain will cause the table to break, he said.
Still all three experts say statistically it is only a matter time before a magnitude 5 quake is recorded in the northern New Jersey area.
The scientists said quakes in the Northeastern part of the United States tend to come 100 years apart and the last one was recorded in 1884 believed to be centered south of Brooklyn. It toppled chimneys and moved houses from their foundations across the city and as far as Rahway.
Washington D.C. experienced a 5.8 magnitude quake in 2011, which was felt in the Northeast, Gates said. That quake cracked the Washington Monument.
A similar quake was recorded in 1737 in Weehawken, Gates noted.
“Imagine putting a 5.5 magnitude earthquake in Weehawken, New Jersey next to the Bridge, next to the tunnel,” Gates said. “Boy that would be a dangerous one.”
In 2008 Columbia University’s The Earth Institute posted an article titled: “Earthquakes May Endanger New York More Than Thought, Says Study.”
“Today, with so many more buildings and people, a magnitude 5 centered below the city would be extremely attention-getting,” the article’s co-author John Armbruster wrote. “We’d see billions in damage, with some brick buildings falling.”
The threat though, is not tangible to many, Armbruster wrote.
“There is no one now alive to remember that last one, so people tend to forget. And having only a partial 300-year history, we may not have seen everything we could see. There could be surprises — things bigger than we have ever seen,” Armbruster wrote.
The Earth Institute’s article did note New York City added earthquake-resistant building codes in 1995.
New Jersey also began to require earthquake-resistant standards in the 1990s. The state, following the 2011 Virginia quake, now requires lake communities to make dams able to withstand a magnitude 5 earthquake.
The issue, Gates said, is that many of the buildings were built before these codes went into effect. A “sizable” earthquake could cause much damage.
Then there’s the prediction that every 3,400 years this area can expect a quake at 7 magnitude.
According to the Earth Institute article, a  2001 analysis for Bergen County estimates a magnitude 7 quake would destroy 14,000 buildings and damage 180,000 in that area alone.  Likewise, in New York City the damage could easily hit hundreds of billions of dollars.
Ebel noted that depending on the depth and power of a severe quake, damage could be also be wide ranging. In 2011, Washington D.C., 90 miles away from the epicenter, which was located in central Virginia, suffered significant damage.  Cities like Philadelphia fall within that radius.
“The big one could happen tomorrow or 100 years from now. That’s the problem,” Gates said. It geological terms 100 years is just a spit in the ocean, he noted.
Then again North Jersey is more likely to be hit by hurricane in the next three years, Gates added.
Email: Fagan@NorthJersey.com
Staff Writer William Westhoven contributed to this report. 
New Jersey’s top earthquakes
• Dec. 19, 1737 — Weehawken, believed to be a 5-plus magnitude quake, could be very serious if occurred in same spot today.
• Nov. 29, 1783 — Western New Jersey. Geologists are not exactly sure where it happened because area was sparsely populated. Estimated magnitude varies from 4.8 to 5.3. Felt from Pennsylvania to New England.
• Aug. 10, 1884 — A 5.2 earthquake occurred somewhere near Jamaica Bay near Brooklyn. The quake toppled chimneys and moved houses off their foundations as far Rahway.
• The biggest earthquake in the last 45 years of data available form USGS was a 3.8 quake centered in Carneys Point in Salem County on the morning of Feb.28, 1973
• New Jersey has never recorded a fatality due to an earthquake, according to the DEP.
Read or Share this story: https://njersy.co/2xzIlpl

The Antichrist: Iraq’s premier political player

Iraqi Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr abandons an alliance in parliament with Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi in August 2018. File photo: Haidar Hamdani
Since the announcement of election results in May, Muqtada al-Sadr has emerged as the leading post-election player, taking over from Nuri al-Maliki who had always been at the head of post-election negotiations and political maneuvering.
Sadr declared his victory in a tweet on October 26. Muqtada al-Sadr stamped his authority over the process of negotiations from the start and sustained it throughout.  He started with holding talks with all the major political parties in June and July, and then formed a new coalition (al-Eslah and al-Emaar).  He lead the coalition from the outset despite the fact that it included some of the biggest names in Iraqi politics, including Ammar al-Hakim, Haider al-Abadi, Ayad Allawi, and Osama al-Nujaifi, among others.
Perhaps the press conference that was held in Babylon Hotel on September 23 by Sadr's young representative Ahmed al-Sadr who read a statement, with all the leading figures of the coalition standing behind him, was a clear illustration of Sadr's authority over the other big guns and coalition partners.
Thereafter he moved on to make sure he is the one who appoints the prime minister.  Al-Eslah squabbled openly and privately with al-Binaa bloc (led by Hadi al-Ameri) for several weeks over who is the largest bloc. Both tried to win the smaller political parties; however, the race ended once Sadr and Ameri agreed on nominating the same person as PM designate, namely Adil Abdul-Mahdi.
This agreement came about after the Basra unrest and burning of the Iranian consulate. The political parties felt the urgency and gravity of the situation, they sensed that matters such as the largest bloc are petty compared to the overall danger they are facing collectively, and realized that if matters get out of hand in Basra and other provinces, they would lose more than just naming the PM.
Additionally Sadr and Ameri aligned because of a desire to stop the Islamic Dawa Party holding the Premiership for another term, their tight grip on that post has gone on for too long and this was their golden opportunity.
Sadr declared his victory in a tweet on October 26. Observers agree he is a completely different political player than what he used to be; he has emerged as a force to be reckoned with and has many more tools at his disposal to stamp his authority.
As examples:
— He used his popularity at the grass root level to put pressure on political parties. They all agreed that they could not ignore Sadr or form a new government without his participation,
— He used savvy maneuvering to make sure he is in the heart of the government formation, his representative, Sheikh Waleed al-Kremawi, was the leading negotiator in AAM's team, calling most of the shots when it came to ministerial distribution.
— He used his parliamentary block inside the parliament to sway the voting and the proceedings during the voting session. They managed to effectively install Abdul-Mahdi as PM, and prevent opponents from taking their post in the interior minister. Sayirun first used the pretext of lack of information about candidates' background, yet they were fully involved in the shortlisting process through their candidate in Abdul-Mahdi’s team.  They stopped the proceedings and asked for a 30 minute recess, only to comeback and distribute 14 of 22 ministries. This can only be regarded as a master stroke of parliamentary manipulation.
— He used Twitter to its maximum effect, portraying himself as the person who is calling the shots, and got what he wanted most of the time.  To this end, he prevented any current members of parliament to take ministerial positions or any previous ministers to be re-appointed in Abdul-Mahdi’s cabinet
— He adopted a winning formula to form the new government, his party has no ministers in the cabinet, yet he is seen as the person behind the formation of this new government. If Abdul-Mahdi succeed in his mission, Sadr would take plenty of credit for it; however, if he runs into trouble, Sadr would walk away and become opposition.  Either way he can maneuver into a good position without losing political credit.

Farhad Alaaldin is an advisor to the Iraqi president.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the position of Rudaw.

Trump's Trigger Happy Nuclear Finger

World War 3: Risk of nuclear war with ’Trump’s finger on trigger,’ warns expert
DONALD Trump’s decision to pull the US out of a landmark nuclear arms limitation treaty has “definitely” made the world less safe, with diplomats increasingly concerned about his “finger being on the nuclear trigger”, a US-based foreign policy expert has said.
Ciaran McGrath
PUBLISHED: 07:30, Sat, Oct 27, 2018
By
DONALD Trump’s decision to pull the US out of a landmark nuclear arms limitation treaty has “definitely” made the world less safe, with diplomats increasingly concerned about his “finger being on the nuclear trigger”, a US-based foreign policy expert has said.
Mr Trump is pulling the US out of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF), a pact signed by then-leaders Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev in 1987, citing breaches by Vladimir Putin’s regime.
But Mark Fitzpatrick, executive director of the Americas branch of the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), an influential think-tank, which has its headquarters in London, said the decision was fraught with risk.
He told Express.co.uk: “There is no mechanism for negotiating a new treaty.
“Parties would have to start over.
“If they did, this time they would surely need to include China, which shows no interest.
“Trump often talks blithely about nuclear weapons.
“I do not think his bluster signals any real intent to use nuclear weapons.

Donald Trump has pulled the US out of the INF treaty with Vladimir Putin's Russia (Image: GETTY)
His thin skin, disinterest in facts and ego-driven decision-making makes everyone worried about his finger being on the nuclear trigger
Mark Fitzpatrick
“But his thin skin, disinterest in facts and ego-driven decision-making makes everyone worried about his finger being on the nuclear trigger.”
Mr Fitzpatrick said the INF treaty was of “tremendous importance”, because it stopped a missiles arms race in Europe and removed several classes of missiles for the arsenals of the two arsenals: those with ranges between 500km and 5,500km.
He added: "There is no doubt that Russia was violating the INF, by deploying nuclear-armed cruise missile that exceeded the INF limits.
“But this is not the main reason that Trump is pulling out.
“The reason is because the INF does not restrict China’s growing missile development.

The INF treaty was signed by Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev in 1987 (Image: GETTY)
If the US goes ahead with the threat to pull out, it will give carte blanche to Russia to deploy more nuclear-armed missiles aimed at Europe.
“So it will definitely make the world less safe.”
Earlier this week, Mr Fitzpatrick also warned of a possible new Cold War with China, after two warships sailed through the narrow strait which separates the mainland from the disputed island of Taiwan.
He explained: “US-China relations are certainly frosty, with the high-stakes tariff tit for tat and mutual flexing of muscles at sea.

Mr Trump has accused Russia of violating the treaty with cruise missile deployments (Image: GETTY)
"It would be an exaggeration to call it a cold war, though relations are heading in that direction.”
Mr Trump has referred to the use of nuclear weapons on a number of occasions since becoming President in 2016, and on Monday said the US would build up its nuclear arsenal “until people come to their senses”.
Meanwhile Mr Putin, speaking to an audience of international experts in Sochi earlier this week, vowed to destroy anyone who used nuclear weapons on Russia first.
He said: "We have no concept of a preemptive strike.
Clinton warns of danger giving Trump nuclear weapons
"In such a situation, we expect to be struck by nuclear weapons, but we will not use them.
"The aggressor will have to understand that retaliation is inevitable, that it will be destroyed and that we, as victims of aggression, as martyrs, will go to heaven.
"They will simply die because they won't even have time to repent.”

Khamenei Lies About Iranian Hegemony (Daniel 8:4)

Khamenei says Iran did not encourage fighters to go to Syria, Iraq
Al-Monitor Staff October 26, 2018
Millions of Shiite Muslims make a pilgrimage every year to the Hussein ibn Ali shrine in Karbala, Iraq, to commemorate the battle in which the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad was killed. Under Saddam Hussein's rule, Arbaeen — meaning the “40th” day — commemorations were subdued. With the fall of Saddam and closer Iran-Iraq relations, Arbaeen pilgrimages have become important not only for millions of Iranian pilgrims but also for Iranian leaders who see the rise of the significance of the event with their own geopolitical rise.
At a meeting with the families of those who lost their lives fighting in Iraq and Syria — fighters whom Iran refers to as “defenders of the shrines” — Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei stressed the importance of this group for the significance of Arbaeen today. Khamenei recounted the actions of the early believers who protected Ali's tomb and likened them to today’s defenders of the shrines.
Khamenei said that if it were not for the early believers who would not allow the desecration of Ali's tomb, there would not be 20 million Arbaeen pilgrims today. He continued, “It is the same for your children. If not for your children — your dear martyrs — if these people had not gone, the enemy would have been very close to the sacred tombs.” Khamenei’s reference to the enemy is the Islamic State (IS), which took over large parts of Iraq in June 2014. He said that IS was so close to the shrines — particularly the Al-Kadhimiya shrine, which contains the tomb of the seventh Shiite imam, Musa al-Kazim, and the ninth imam, Mohammad al-Jawad — they could have shelled and destroyed the shrines.
An interesting point Khamenei also claimed was that — unlike the Iran-Iraq War in which Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini encouraged Iranians to go to the front lines and defend the country against invading Iraqi troops in the 1980s, no one was encouraged to go to Syria or Iraq in a similar fashion. “The great task that your youth accomplished — this was for God,” Khamenei said. “We did not encourage anyone to go.”
Khamenei is right in that there was not a large push by the state to recruit Iranians to fight in Iraq and Syria. However, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) certainly was active in recruiting young Shiites in these campaigns. This is one reason perhaps why Saudi Arabia, Iran’s regional rival, and Bahrain chose to include the IRGC on their list of terrorist organizations. The list also included IRGC Quds Force commander Qasem Soleimani as well as Quds Force members Hamed Abdollahi and Abdul Reza Shahlai.
In response to the designations, Mohammad Saleh Jokar, IRGC deputy for parliamentary affairs, said that the listing of Soleimani and the IRGC as terrorists was a tactic by Saudi Arabia to “distract public opinion” from the Jamal Khashoggi murder. Former Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Amir Abdollahian tweeted, “The Saudi and Bahrain regimes which govern their own people through terror and fear are in no place to name IRGC and Soleimani terrorists.”

The Clueless Clowns in the White House

Image result for trump bolton nuclearWhat Trump and John Bolton Don’t Understand About Nuclear War
Jon Schwarz
October 27 2018, 7:00 a.m.
President Donald Trump’s announcement on October 20 that he intends to pull the United States out of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty was, if nothing else, appropriately timed. On that date exactly 56 years before, President John F. Kennedy abruptly cut short a midterm campaign trip to Illinois because, the White House said, he had a cold. In fact, Kennedy was returning to Washington to address the Cuban missile crisis — the closest humanity has ever come to obliterating itself with a nuclear war.
The INF treaty was signed in 1987 by President Ronald Reagan and Soviet General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev. It required both countries to forgo any land-based missiles, nuclear or otherwise, with ranges between 500 and 5,500 kilometers.
In concrete terms, the treaty was a huge success. The U.S. destroyed almost 1,000 of its own missiles, and the Soviets destroyed almost 2,000 of theirs.
But arms control treaties are never about weapons and numbers alone. They can help enemy nations create virtuous circles, both between them and within themselves. Verification requires constant communication and the establishment of trust; it creates constituencies for peace inside governments and in the general public; this reduces on both sides the power of the paranoid, reactionary wing that exists in every country; this creates space for further progress; and so on.
The long negotiation of the INF treaty, and the post-signing environment it helped create, was part of an extraordinary collapse of tensions between the U.S. and the Soviet Union during the 1980s. When Reagan took office, the Soviets genuinely believed that the U.S. might engage in a nuclear first strike against them. This, in turn, led to two separate moments in 1983 in which the two countries came terrifyingly close to accidental nuclear war — closer than at any time since the Cuban missile crisis.
Instead, the INF treaty was part of an era of good feelings that contributed to one of the most remarkable events of the past 100 years: the largely peaceful implosion of the Soviet Empire. Empires generally do not go quietly, and the dynamics of imperial collapse often contribute to huge conflagrations. Think of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the Ottoman Empire, and World War I; or the British Empire and World War II. The Soviet fall was an incredible piece of good fortune for the world; if it had happened in the early 1980s, instead of a few years later, it plausibly would have been catastrophic.
It is almost certainly these more diffuse effects that concern the smarter members of the Trump administration, such as national security adviser John Bolton, who’s yearned for decades to decommission the treaty. Russians may be cheating on the treaty in a modest way, while China is not bound by it at all and is developing intermediate-range missiles. But it’s hard to see how this will affect legitimate U.S. security interests.
On the other hand, exiting the treaty will do more than just lead to an arms race in which all three countries throw themselves into building new weapons. It will also create an atmosphere in which any rational modus vivendi between the U.S. and Russia, or the U.S. and China, will be far more difficult. This is the prize for Bolton and his allies, who can imagine only one world order: One in which they give orders, and everyone else submits.
Bolton has the standard self-perception of his genre of human: In his memoir, “Surrender Is Not an Option,” he explains that he cares about “hard reality,” in contrast to the “dreamy and academic” fools who support arms control.
But in fact, it is Bolton who is living inside of a dream. The hard reality is that our species almost committed suicide on October 27, the most dangerous moment of the Cuban missile crisis, later dubbed Black Saturday by the Kennedy administration. Even with comparative doves in charge of the U.S. and the Soviet Union, we came close to ending human civilization, thanks to mutual incomprehension. And we avoided it, as then-Defense Secretary Robert McNamara later said, not by talent or wisdom, but pure luck. Then, we created a false history of what happened, one which allows terrifying fantasists like Bolton to reach, and thrive within, the highest levels of power.

President John F. Kennedy meets with U.S. Army officials during the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962.
Photo: Corbis via Getty Images
There is a standard story about the Cuban Missile Crisis, at least for those who remember it at all:
The perfidious Soviet communists, bent on intimidating the U.S. into submission via the superior power they wielded as a result of the missile gap, sent nuclear weapons to Cuba, from where they could strike the U.S. in minutes. But John F. Kennedy stood tall, refusing to make any concessions to the Russian bullies. JFK went toe to toe with the Soviets, and demonstrated he was tough enough to risk nuclear war. Finally, the other side blinked first and surrendered, taking the missiles out of Cuba. America won!
The hard reality, however, is that everything about this is false, both in its specifics and implications. It is, as James Blight and janet Lang, two of the top academic specialists on the crisis, have put it, “bullshit.” The even harder reality is that October 27 was a far more petrifying moment than U.S. and Soviet participants understood at the time — and they were terrified. Blight and Lang estimate that if the crisis were run under the same conditions 100 times, it would end in nuclear war 95 times. We are living in one of the five alternate universes in which humanity survived.
The roots of the Cuban missile crisis can be found in three main factors: America’s overwhelming nuclear superiority; the Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba in 1961; and the stationing of U.S. intermediate nuclear missiles in Italy and Turkey early on during the Kennedy administration.
During the 1960 presidential election, Kennedy attacked the Eisenhower administration for allowing the development of a “missile gap” between the U.S. and the Soviet Union. There was indeed an enormous gap in the number of intercontinental ballistic missiles possessed by each country — but in favor of the U.S. As of 1962, the Soviets only had 20, and they were of such poor quality that they might not have managed to accurately reach the U.S. The U.S. had hundreds. This made the Soviets believe a nuclear first strike by the U.S. — something genuinely supported by factions of the U.S. military and hard right — could leave them unable to retaliate. The Soviets did have missiles, however, that could reach the U.S. mainland from Cuba.
The Soviets were also motivated to send the missiles to Cuba because they believed they would deter another invasion attempt.
Finally, the Soviets reasonably saw it as leveling the playing field. The American nuclear missiles in Turkey could hit Moscow in 10 minutes. Now, the Soviet missiles in Cuba could do the same to Washington, D.C.
The U.S. did not perceive it this way when American reconnaissance discovered the Cuban missiles on October 14. The Joint Chiefs of Staff recommended an immediate invasion of Cuba. Kennedy instead chose to blockade the island. But by October 26, he had come to believe that only an invasion could remove the missiles. The administration began planning for a replacement government in Cuba. All the while the U.S. was acting in the dark, with the CIA concluding that Soviet nuclear warheads had not yet arrived in Cuba to arm the missiles. They had.
Shortly after midnight, in the early morning of Black Saturday, the U.S. informed NATO that it “may find it necessary within a very short time” to attack Cuba. At noon, a U-2 flight over Cuba was shot down, killing the pilot. On all sides, war — potentially nuclear war — seemed likely, if not inevitable.
But that night, Kennedy made the most important presidential decision in history: He accepted an offer from Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev to remove the U.S. missiles in Italy and Turkey in return for the removal of the Soviet missiles in Cuba. But the U.S. part of the bargain was kept secret from Americans. The administration maintained that Kennedy had forced the Soviets to give in, giving them nothing.
That was, of course, more than frightening enough. But here’s the rest of the story.

Sunday, October 28, 2018

The Sixth Seal: A Stack of Cards (Revelation 6:12)


Experts Warn NYC Could Fall Like ‘House of Cards’ With 5.0 Earthquake
A 3-D rendering of a destroyed NYC. (Pavel Chagochkin/Dreamstime.com)
By Mike Dorstewitz    |   Wednesday, 04 April 2018 06:30 PM
A magnitude-5.0 earthquake in New York City would cause an estimated $39 billion in damage after buildings topple like a “house of cards,” according to the Daily Mail.
And the city is overdue for a quake of that size, seismologists say. The last one was in 1884 and they occur about every 100 years.
An estimated 30 million tons of debris would litter the streets after a 5.0 earthquake in NYC , and anything bigger than that would almost certainly collapse buildings and cause loss of life to the city’s 8.5 million residents.
“The problem here comes from many subtle faults,” said Lynn Skyes, lead author of a study by seismologists at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, the New York Daily News reported. “We now see there is earthquake activity on them. Each one is small, but when you add them up, they are probably more dangerous than we thought.”
New York City is riddled with fault lines. The largest runs down 125th Street, extending from New Jersey to the East River. The Dyckman Street Fault runs from Inwood to Morris Heights in the Bronx. The Mosholu Parkway Fault line runs a bit farther north. The East River Fault is an especially long one, running south, skirting Central Park’s west side then heading to the East River when it hits 32nd Street.
New York’s main problem isn’t the magnitude of earthquakes, it’s how the city is built.
“Considering population density and the condition of the region’s infrastructure and building stock, it is clear that even a moderate earthquake would have considerable consequences in terms of public safety and economic impact,” New York City Area Consortium for Earthquake Loss Mitigation wrote on its website.

Five Palestinians Killed Outside the Temple Walls (Revelation 11:2)

GAZA CITY, Palestinian Territories — Five Palestinians were killed Friday as fresh clashes broke out with Israeli troops on Gaza's border with the Jewish state, despite Egyptian-brokered truce efforts, the health ministry in the Hamas-run enclave said.
The five men, aged between 22 and 27, died in separate incidents along the border fence, the ministry said.
The violence came despite talk of progress towards an Egyptian-brokered deal to end the months of often violent protests along the border.
Israeli helicopters and planes later struck three bases of Hamas in northern Gaza without causing injuries, the army said and witnesses said.
The army did not comment on the deaths but said around 16,000 "rioters and demonstrators" had gathered along the border, with some setting tires alight and hurling rocks, firebombs and grenades towards soldiers. Troops responded with "riot dispersal means", a spokesman added.
Three of the men were shot dead east of Khan Yunis in southern Gaza, while one was killed east of Jabalia in the north of the coastal territory, the Health Ministry said. A fifth man died east of Bureij in central Gaza when a hand grenade he was holding exploded accidentally, witnesses said.
Palestinians have gathered for protests along the Gaza Strip's border at least weekly since March 30. At least 212 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire in Gaza since the protests began, according to figures collated by AFP.
The majority have died during protests, while smaller numbers have been killed by airstrikes and tank fire. One Israeli soldier was shot dead by a Palestinian sniper along the border in the same period.
The protesters are calling to be allowed to return to lands their families fled or were expelled from in a 1948 war surrounding the creation of Israel and which are now inside the Jewish state. They are also protesting over Israel's crippling blockade of Gaza.
Israel accuses Hamas of orchestrating the often violent demonstrations. Israel and Hamas have fought three wars since 2008.
The fresh violence could also scupper hopes of a deal to end the months of protests. Egypt and the United Nations have been brokering indirect negotiations between Hamas and Israel with the aim of calming the situation amid fears of another war.
Last week, a rocket fired from Gaza hit an Israeli home, narrowly avoiding killing a family. In response the Israeli army carried out air strikes on around 20 Hamas targets in Gaza.
The London-based Arabic newspaper Al-Hayat reported Friday that a deal had been reached that would see the protests end in exchange for an easing of Israel's blockade.
Hamas officials denied a deal had been struck but confirmed to AFP that progress was being made. "We expect to reach an agreement very soon," a senior Hamas official said earlier Friday on condition of anonymity.
Israel also fully reopened its border crossings with the Gaza Strip this week following a week of relative calm. It allowed dozens of trucks of fuel paid for by Qatar into the strip, having previously banned their entry in response to the border violence.
Israel says the decade-long blockade is necessary to isolate Hamas, while critics say it amounts to collective punishment of Gaza's two million residents. — AFP

Unlivable Outside the Temple Walls (Revelation 11:2)

UN Special Rapporteur: Gaza Has Become ‘Unliveable’

Friday, 26 October, 2018 - 09:00
 
New York - Ali Barada
The Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the occupied Palestinian territories, Michael Lynk, has lamented that the economy of the Gaza Strip is in free fall, saying the enclave has become “unliveable” amid a 70 percent youth unemployment, widely contaminated drinking water and a collapsed health care system.
Lynk told the Third Committee (Social, Humanitarian and Cultural) of the UN General Assembly this week that Israel continued to block his visits to the occupied territories.
He painted a pessimistic state of affairs, noting that 200 Palestinians have been killed by Israel’s security forces — 40 of them children — during peaceful protests each Friday along the Gaza frontier for the past seven months.
Lynk also said it was high time the international community takes firm action to stop Israel’s annexation of large parts of the West Bank through settlement expansion and legislative initiatives, warning that failure to do so will likely prompt Israel to formalize annexation into domestic law.
“During five decades of the occupation, Israel has steadily entrenched its sovereign footprint throughout the West Bank,” the Special Rapporteur said in his report to the UN General Assembly. He highlighted settlement construction and expansion, as well as recent legislative measures he said amounted to illegal de facto annexation.
“The Israeli Knesset has adopted a number of laws in the past year that have become a flashing green light for more formal annexation steps,” he said, noting recent measures that sought to apply Israeli law to the West Bank, as well as the 2017 settlement regularization law.
“The strict prohibition against annexation in international law applies not only to a formal declaration, but also to those acts of territorial appropriation by Israel that have been a cumulative part of its efforts to stake a future claim of formal sovereignty over the occupied Palestinian territory.”
The Rapporteur urged the international community to act. “Lacking in repeated condemnations of Israel’s annexationist actions have been any meaningful steps by the international community to insist upon accountability. Despite Israel’s record of non-compliance with the directions of the international community, it has rarely paid a meaningful price for its defiance, and its appetite for entrenching its annexationist ambitions has gone largely unchecked,” Lynk said.
He describing the human rights situation in Gaza as dire.
“The United Nations stated in 2012 that Gaza may well be unliveable by 2020. When electricity has been cut to five hours a day, when safe drinking water has almost disappeared, and when its economy is cratering before our eyes, then the state of unliveability is upon us, and the international community must insist that all parties, and particularly Israel, the occupying power, bring an immediate end to this disaster,” he said.

Indian Point Tests Sirens Before the Sixth Seal (Revelation 6:12)


Indian Point Photo Credit: File
Indian Point Will Test Sirens On Halloween
Fear not, it's just a test, not a Halloween scare.
There will be a test of the Indian Point Energy Center sirens in Westchester, Rockland, Putnam and Orange counties during a regular test of the system. At approximately 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 31, officials will conduct the test, which will involve sounding the sirens at full-volume in the area.
Officials noted that, because this is a test, the public is not required to respond when they hear the siren.
“Please note that sirens are not a signal to evacuate,” Entergy stated. “In an actual emergency, the sirens would sound to alert the public to tune in to a local EAS radio or television station for important information and direction.”
According to the Stony Point Police Department, "this is only a test. If there was an emergency at the nuclear power plants, the sirens would be sounded continuously at full volume for 4 minutes, followed by an activation of the Emergency Alert System (EAS) on radio and television stations to broadcast important information and instructions. The sirens are not a signal to evacuate, rather they are intended to alert the public to tune to this or another EAS radio or TV station for important information. This siren sounding is only a test. No action by the public is necessary.

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Quakeland: New York and the Sixth Seal (Revelation 6:12)


Quakeland: On the Road to America’s Next Devastating Earthquake
Roger Bilham
Given recent seismic activity — political as well as geological — it’s perhaps unsurprising that two books on earthquakes have arrived this season. One is as elegant as the score of a Beethoven symphony; the other resembles a diary of conversations overheard during a rock concert. Both are interesting, and both relate recent history to a shaky future.
Journalist Kathryn Miles’s Quakeland is a litany of bad things that happen when you provoke Earth to release its invisible but ubiquitous store of seismic-strain energy, either by removing fluids (oil, water, gas) or by adding them in copious quantities (when extracting shale gas in hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking, or when injecting contaminated water or building reservoirs). To complete the picture, she describes at length the bad things that happen during unprovoked natural earthquakes. As its subtitle hints, the book takes the form of a road trip to visit seismic disasters both past and potential, and seismologists and earthquake engineers who have first-hand knowledge of them. Their colourful personalities, opinions and prejudices tell a story of scientific discovery and engineering remedy.
Miles poses some important societal questions. Aside from human intervention potentially triggering a really damaging earthquake, what is it actually like to live in neighbourhoods jolted daily by magnitude 1–3 earthquakes, or the occasional magnitude 5? Are these bumps in the night acceptable? And how can industries that perturb the highly stressed rocks beneath our feet deny obvious cause and effect? In 2015, the Oklahoma Geological Survey conceded that a quadrupling of the rate of magnitude-3 or more earthquakes in recent years, coinciding with a rise in fracking, was unlikely to represent a natural process. Miles does not take sides, but it’s difficult for the reader not to.
She visits New York City, marvelling at subway tunnels and unreinforced masonry almost certainly scheduled for destruction by the next moderate earthquake in the vicinity. She considers the perils of nuclear-waste storage in Nevada and Texas, and ponders the risks to Idaho miners of rock bursts — spontaneous fracture of the working face when the restraints of many million years of confinement are mined away. She contemplates the ups and downs of the Yellowstone Caldera — North America’s very own mid-continent supervolcano — and its magnificently uncertain future. Miles also touches on geothermal power plants in southern California’s Salton Sea and elsewhere; the vast US network of crumbling bridges, dams and oil-storage farms; and the magnitude 7–9 earthquakes that could hit California and the Cascadia coastline of Oregon and Washington state this century. Amid all this doom, a new elementary school on the coast near Westport, Washington, vulnerable to inbound tsunamis, is offered as a note of optimism. With foresight and much persuasion from its head teacher, it was engineered to become an elevated safe haven.
Miles briefly discusses earthquake prediction and the perils of getting it wrong (embarrassment in New Madrid, Missouri, where a quake was predicted but never materialized; prison in L’Aquila, Italy, where scientists failed to foresee a devastating seismic event) and the successes of early-warning systems, with which electronic alerts can be issued ahead of damaging seismic waves. Yes, it’s a lot to digest, but most of the book obeys the laws of physics, and it is a engaging read. One just can’t help wishing that Miles’s road trips had taken her somewhere that wasn’t a disaster waiting to happen.
Catastrophic damage in Anchorage, Alaska, in 1964, caused by the second-largest earthquake in the global instrumental record.
In The Great Quake, journalist Henry Fountain provides us with a forthright and timely reminder of the startling historical consequences of North America’s largest known earthquake, which more than half a century ago devastated southern Alaska. With its epicentre in Prince William Sound, the 1964 quake reached magnitude 9.2, the second largest in the global instrumental record. It released more energy than either the 2004 Sumatra–Andaman earthquake or the 2011 Tohoku earthquake off Japan; and it generated almost as many pages of scientific commentary and description as aftershocks. Yet it has been forgotten by many.
The quake was scientifically important because it occurred at a time when plate tectonics was in transition from hypothesis to theory. Fountain expertly traces the theory’s historical development, and how the Alaska earthquake was pivotal in nailing down one of the most important predictions. The earthquake caused a fjordland region larger than England to subside, and a similarly huge region of islands offshore to rise by many metres; but its scientific implications were not obvious at the time. Eminent seismologists thought that a vertical fault had slipped, drowning forests and coastlines to its north and raising beaches and islands to its south. But this kind of fault should have reached the surface, and extended deep into Earth’s mantle. There was no geological evidence of a monster surface fault separating these two regions, nor any evidence for excessively deep aftershocks. The landslides and liquefied soils that collapsed houses, and the tsunami that severely damaged ports and infrastructure, offered no clues to the cause.
“Previous earthquakes provide clear guidance about present-day vulnerability.” The hero of The Great Quake is the geologist George Plafker, who painstakingly mapped the height reached by barnacles lifted out of the intertidal zone along shorelines raised by the earthquake, and documented the depths of drowned forests. He deduced that the region of subsidence was the surface manifestation of previously compressed rocks springing apart, driving parts of Alaska up and southwards over the Pacific Plate. His finding confirmed a prediction of plate tectonics, that the leading edge of the Pacific Plate plunged beneath the southern edge of Alaska along a gently dipping thrust fault. That observation, once fully appreciated, was applauded by the geophysics community.
Fountain tells this story through the testimony of survivors, engineers and scientists, interweaving it with the fascinating history of Alaska, from early discovery by Europeans to purchase from Russia by the United States in 1867, and its recent development. Were the quake to occur now, it is not difficult to envisage that with increased infrastructure and larger populations, the death toll and price tag would be two orders of magnitude larger than the 139 fatalities and US$300-million economic cost recorded in 1964.
What is clear from these two books is that seismicity on the North American continent is guaranteed to deliver surprises, along with unprecedented economic and human losses. Previous earthquakes provide clear guidance about the present-day vulnerability of US infrastructure and populations. Engineers and seismologists know how to mitigate the effects of future earthquakes (and, in mid-continent, would advise against the reckless injection of waste fluids known to trigger earthquakes). It is merely a matter of persuading city planners and politicians that if they are tempted to ignore the certainty of the continent’s seismic past, they should err on the side of caution when considering its seismic future.

Five Palestinians Killed Outside the Temple Walls (Revelation 11:2)

GAZA CITY, Palestinian Territories — Five Palestinians were killed Friday as fresh clashes broke out with Israeli troops on Gaza's border with the Jewish state, despite Egyptian-brokered truce efforts, the health ministry in the Hamas-run enclave said.
The five men, aged between 22 and 27, died in separate incidents along the border fence, the ministry said.
The violence came despite talk of progress towards an Egyptian-brokered deal to end the months of often violent protests along the border.
Israeli helicopters and planes later struck three bases of Hamas in northern Gaza without causing injuries, the army said and witnesses said.
The army did not comment on the deaths but said around 16,000 "rioters and demonstrators" had gathered along the border, with some setting tires alight and hurling rocks, firebombs and grenades towards soldiers. Troops responded with "riot dispersal means", a spokesman added.
Three of the men were shot dead east of Khan Yunis in southern Gaza, while one was killed east of Jabalia in the north of the coastal territory, the Health Ministry said. A fifth man died east of Bureij in central Gaza when a hand grenade he was holding exploded accidentally, witnesses said.
Palestinians have gathered for protests along the Gaza Strip's border at least weekly since March 30. At least 212 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire in Gaza since the protests began, according to figures collated by AFP.
The majority have died during protests, while smaller numbers have been killed by airstrikes and tank fire. One Israeli soldier was shot dead by a Palestinian sniper along the border in the same period.
The protesters are calling to be allowed to return to lands their families fled or were expelled from in a 1948 war surrounding the creation of Israel and which are now inside the Jewish state. They are also protesting over Israel's crippling blockade of Gaza.
Israel accuses Hamas of orchestrating the often violent demonstrations. Israel and Hamas have fought three wars since 2008.
The fresh violence could also scupper hopes of a deal to end the months of protests. Egypt and the United Nations have been brokering indirect negotiations between Hamas and Israel with the aim of calming the situation amid fears of another war.
Last week, a rocket fired from Gaza hit an Israeli home, narrowly avoiding killing a family. In response the Israeli army carried out air strikes on around 20 Hamas targets in Gaza.
The London-based Arabic newspaper Al-Hayat reported Friday that a deal had been reached that would see the protests end in exchange for an easing of Israel's blockade.
Hamas officials denied a deal had been struck but confirmed to AFP that progress was being made. "We expect to reach an agreement very soon," a senior Hamas official said earlier Friday on condition of anonymity.
Israel also fully reopened its border crossings with the Gaza Strip this week following a week of relative calm. It allowed dozens of trucks of fuel paid for by Qatar into the strip, having previously banned their entry in response to the border violence.
Israel says the decade-long blockade is necessary to isolate Hamas, while critics say it amounts to collective punishment of Gaza's two million residents. — AFP

Trump Risks World War 3


Mr Gorbachev, the last Soviet leader, has denounced the US decision to leave an arms control treaty that helped end the Cold War.
US President Donald Trump, last week, said Washington plans to quit the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty.
Mr Gorbachev and then-US President Ronald Reagan signed the pact, to eliminate all short and intermediate-range land-based nuclear and conventional missiles held by both countries in Europe, in 1987.
But Mr Trump’s announcement to scrap the treaty has been branded a “dire threat to peace” by Mr Gorbachev.

Writing in a column for the New York Times, Mr Gorbachev wrote: "I am being asked whether I feel bitter watching the demise of what I worked so hard to achieve.
“But this is not a personal matter. Much more is at stake.
“A new arms race has been announced."
The US stationed land-based nuclear missiles in western Europe in the 1980s - triggering mass protests.
Now some US allies fear Washington might deploy a new generation of missiles in Europe, with Russia doing the same in its exclave of Kaliningrad, once again turning the continent into a potential nuclear battlefield.
Washington has blamed Russia’s alleged violation of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces treaty (Image: GETTY)
There will be no winner in a 'war of all against all' - particularly if it ends in a nuclear war
If the US made good on its pledge to leave the treaty, Mr Gorbachev said he hoped US allies would refuse to be launchpads for American missiles which Mr Trump has spoken of developing.
Russian President said Russia would be forced to target any European countries that agreed to host US missiles.
Mr Gorbachev, 87, said that any disputes about compliance could be solved if there were sufficient political will.
It was clear, however, that Mr Trump's aim was to release the US from global constraints, he said, accusing Washington of destroying the "system of international treaties and accords" that underpinned peace and security after World War Two.
Mr Gorbachev wrote: "Yet I am convinced that those who hope to benefit from a global free-for-all are deeply mistaken.
“There will be no winner in a 'war of all against all' - particularly if it ends in a nuclear war.
And that is a possibility that cannot be ruled out. An unrelenting arms race, international tensions, hostility and universal mistrust will only increase the risk."
Washington has blamed Russia’s alleged violation of the pact as a reason to leave the treaty - an allegation denies.
Moscow has now accused the US of breaking the pact.