East Coast Still Unprepared For The Sixth Seal in 2015 (Rev 6:12)

Posted: 08/25/2011 8:43 am EDT
The 5.8 magnitude quake felt from Georgia north to Canada prompted swift inspections of many structures Wednesday, including bridges and nuclear plants. An accurate damage estimate could take weeks, if not longer. And many people will not be covered by insurance.
In a small Virginia city near the epicenter, the entire downtown business district was closed. School was canceled for two weeks to give engineers time to check out cracks in several buildings.
At the 555-foot Washington Monument, inspectors found several cracks in the pyramidion – the section at the top of the obelisk where it begins narrowing to a point.
A 4-foot crack was discovered Tuesday during a visual inspection by helicopter. It cannot be seen from the ground. Late Wednesday, the National Park Service announced that structural engineers had found several additional cracks inside the top of the monument.
Carol Johnson, a park service spokeswoman, could not say how many cracks were found but said three or four of them were “significant.” Two structural engineering firms that specialize in assessing earthquake damage were being brought in to conduct a more thorough inspection on Thursday.
The monument, by far the tallest structure in the nation’s capital, was to remain closed indefinitely, and Johnson said the additional cracks mean repairs are likely to take longer. It has never been damaged by a natural disaster, including earthquakes in Virginia in 1897 and New York in 1944.
Tourists arrived at the monument Wednesday morning only to find out they couldn’t get near it. A temporary fence was erected in a wide circle about 120 feet from the flags that surround its base. Walkways were blocked by metal barriers manned by security guards.
“Is it really closed?” a man asked the clerk at the site’s bookstore.
“It’s really closed,” said the clerk, Erin Nolan. Advance tickets were available for purchase, but she cautioned against buying them because it’s not clear when the monument will open.
“This is pretty much all I’m going to be doing today,” Nolan said.
Tuesday’s quake was centered about 40 miles northwest of Richmond, 90 miles south of Washington and 3.7 miles underground. In the nearby town of Mineral, Va., Michael Leman knew his Main Street Plumbing & Electrical Supply business would need – at best – serious and expensive repairs.
At worst, it could be condemned. The facade had become detached from the rest of the building, and daylight was visible through a 4- to 6-inch gap that opened between the front wall and ceiling.
“We’re definitely going to open back up,” Leman said. “I’ve got people’s jobs to look out for.”
Leman said he is insured, but some property owners might not be so lucky.
The Insurance Information Institute said earthquakes are not covered under standard U.S. homeowners or business insurance policies, although supplemental coverage is usually available.
The institute says coverage for other damage that may result from earthquakes, such as fire and water damage from burst gas or water pipes, is provided by standard homeowners and business insurance policies in most states. Cars and other vehicles with comprehensive insurance would also be protected.
The U.S. Geological Survey classified the quake as Alert Level Orange, the second-most serious category on its four-level scale. Earthquakes in that range lead to estimated losses between $100 million and $1 billion.
In Culpeper, Va., about 35 miles from the epicenter, walls had buckled at the old sanctuary at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, which was constructed in 1821 and drew worshippers including Confederate Gens. Robert E. Lee and J.E.B. Stuart. Heavy stone ornaments atop a pillar at the gate were shaken to the ground. A chimney from the old Culpeper Baptist Church built in 1894 also tumbled down.
At the Washington National Cathedral, spokesman Richard Weinberg said the building’s overall structure remains sound and damage was limited to “decorative elements.”
Massive stones atop three of the four spires on the building’s central tower broke off, crashing onto the roof. At least one of the spires is teetering badly, and cracks have appeared in some flying buttresses.
Repairs were expected to cost millions of dollars – an expense not covered by insurance.
“Every single portion of the exterior is carved by hand, so everything broken off is a piece of art,” Weinberg said. “It’s not just the labor, but the artistry of replicating what was once there.”
The building will remain closed as a precaution. Services to dedicate the memorial honoring Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. were moved.
Other major cities along the East Coast that felt the shaking tried to gauge the risk from another quake.
A few hours after briefly evacuating New York City Hall, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said the city’s newer buildings could withstand a more serious earthquake. But, he added, questions remain about the older buildings that are common in a metropolis founded hundreds of years ago.
“We think that the design standards of today are sufficient against any eventuality,” he said. But “there are questions always about some very old buildings. … Fortunately those tend to be low buildings, so there’s not great danger.”
The city’s 49-page seismic code requires builders to prepare for significant shifting of the earth. High-rises must be built with certain kinds of bracing, and they must be able to safely sway at least somewhat to accommodate for wind and even shaking from the ground, Nadel said.
Buildings constructed in Boston in recent decades had to follow stringent codes comparable to anything in California, said Vernon Woodworth, an architect and faculty member at the Boston Architectural College. New construction on older structures also must meet tough standards to withstand severe tremors, he said.
The last time the Boston area saw a quake as powerful as the one that hit Virginia on Tuesday was in 1755, off Cape Ann, to the north. A repeat of that quake would likely cause deaths, Woodworth said. Still, the quakes are so infrequent that it’s difficult to weigh the risks versus the costs of enacting tougher building standards regionally, he said.
People in several of the affected states won’t have much time to reflect before confronting another potential emergency. Hurricane Irene is approaching the East Coast and could skirt the Mid-Atlantic region by the weekend and make landfall in New England after that.
In North Carolina, officials were inspecting an aging bridge that is a vital evacuation route for people escaping the coastal barrier islands as the storm approaches.
Speaking at an earthquake briefing Wednesday, Washington Mayor Vincent Gray inadvertently mixed up his disasters.
“Everyone knows, obviously, that we had a hurricane,” he said before realizing his mistake.
“Hurricane,” he repeated sheepishly as reporters and staffers burst into laughter. “I’m getting ahead of myself!”
Associated Press writers Sam Hananel in Washington; Alex Dominguez in Baltimore; Bob Lewis in Mineral, Va.; Samantha Gross in New York City; and Jay Lindsay in Boston contributed to this report.

Obama’s Policy Will Make Saudi Arabia A Nuclear Horn (Daniel 7)

John Kerry warns Saudi Arabia of consequences if they get nuclear weapons

Top Pakistani leaders have in recent weeks warned Iran of serious consequences if it attacked Saudi Arabia, which many analysts see a nuclear threat from Islamabad to Tehran.
“Sure we’ve heard those things. But you can’t just buy a bomb and transfer (a nuclear bomb),” Kerry told CNN.
“There’s all kinds of NPT consequences. I mean, there are huge implications of that,” Kerry said, referring to the strong nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
Pakistan is already under the radar of the international community for its previous nuclear proliferation activities and leaking the nuclear weapons technology to countries like Iran, Libya and North Korea.
“Saudi Arabia knows, I believe, that that is not going to make them safer, nor is it going to be easy because the very things that Iran went through, they would then be subject to with respect to inspection, NPT and so forth,” Kerry said.

The Iranian Horn Will Continue To Grow (Daniel 8:3)

GATES: Don’t expect the nuclear agreement to lead to a more moderate Iran

Robert Gates
Reuters US Defense Secretary Robert Gates in 2011.
In an interview with Business Insider, Gates, who spent nearly 27 years in the CIA and was the only cabinet secretary to have served under Barack Obama and George W. Bush, said that he didn’t believe the nuclear deal would have a moderating impact on Iranian behavior or lead Tehran to become a more responsible international actor.
“The notion that betting that this regime is going to temper its behavior in the region because of this nuclear deal I think is mistaken,” Gates told Business Insider. “I think that will not happen.”
In the six months since the nuclear deal was reached, Iran has tested two nuclear-capable ballistic missiles in violation of UN Security Council resolutions, fired live missiles within 1,500 yards of a US aircraft carrier, and continued its support for the Assad regime in Syria and for Shiite militia groups in Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon.
Iran also quickly freed 10 US sailors detained in Iranian waters in the Persian Gulf on January 12 — although not before propaganda images of the captive troops were broadcast on Iranian state media.
Overall, Gates doesn’t think that Iran’s long-term behavior will change that much after the nuclear deal, or that the deal can overcome the now 36-year-old regime’s religiously motivated ideology or temper its regional ambitions.
“This is a country that has a long history under the revolutionary government,” says Gates.
He recalled his involvement in the “very first official US meeting” with members of the Islamic Republic of Iran’s government, when Zbigniew Brzezinski, then the US national-security adviser, met with high-ranking regime officials in Algiers, Algeria, just three days before the 1979 US embassy seizure.
“As I like to tell people, that began my now more than three-decades-long quest for the elusive Iranian moderate,” says Gates.
Gates also doesn’t expect Iran’s geopolitical objectives to change as the result of the nuclear deal. He told Business Insider that he believes Iran will still harbor ambitions of building a nuclear weapon even as the deal is implemented.
“My view is that the belief that Iran over time is going to evolve into a regular nation state and abandon its theological revolutionary underpinnings, its aspirations in the region, or even its aspirations for nuclear weapons is unrealistic,” Gates said.
Under the nuclear agreement, Iran agreed to never “seek, develop, or acquire any nuclear weapons.” On one of the agreement’s most important points, Gates isn’t quite willing to take Tehran as its word.
Gates actually urged members of Congress to vote to implement the deal during the runup to the September 2015 deadline for congressional review of the agreement, arguing that the consequences of canceling the accord after its completion outweighed the risks of implementing it.
But he still criticized the deal’s provisions, stating that the US had gotten “out-negotiated” and calling the deal “flawed.”
In an interview with Business Insider, Gates raised the possibility that US negotiators did not secure as strong a deal as possible.
“The administration told us through April of last year that they had to have anywhere, anytime inspections,” said Gates, in reference to the possible degree of access international inspectors would have to sensitive Iranian nuclear sites over the life of the agreement. “That was given up in the deal, so I worry about verification.”
“I’m not sure we couldn’t have gotten a better deal if we hadn’t been eager,” Gates added.
Gates’ suspicion of Iran’s long-term intentions stems in part from his experience overseeing the US campaign in Iraq as Pentagon chief. As secretary of defense, Gates was involved in a US war effort in which Iranian-backed militia groups were a consistent US military adversary.
If this is the case, Gates’ concerns might have been vindicated by last week’s kidnapping of three American contractors in Baghdad at the hands of an Iranian-linked Shiite militia group.
He also witnessed Iran’s attempts to meddle in Iraq’s internal politics during the closing years of the Iraq War, after the US troop “surge” and the “Sunni awakening” succeeded in defeating Al Qaeda in Iraq and pacifying much of the country.
In his interview with Business Insider, Gates identified the strong-arm sectarian policies of former Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki as one of the contributing factors to the rise of ISIS.
Maliki was closely identified with Tehran and was reelected as prime minister in 2010 as the result of Iranian political maneuvering. Gates might have difficulty investing too much confidence in a regime whose strategies he experienced first-hand during his years at the Pentagon.
“It seems to me that agreement needs to be paralleled by a very aggressive American strategy of working with our allies, both Arab and Israeli in the region to counter Iranian meddling, support of terrorism, and other activities,” Gates said.
He continued: “We need the same kind of strong-minded strategy in dealing with Iran in its behavior in the region that other countries are looking for, and there’s no reason for that to be contradictory to the” nuclear agreement.
Pamela Engel contributed to this report.

Saudi Arabia Will Soon Be The Tenth Nuclear Horn (Daniel 7:7)

Saudi Official Won’t Rule Out Seeking Nuclear Bomb to Meet Iranian Threat

Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir speaks in Riyadh, Jan. 19, 2016.
Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir speaks in Riyadh, Jan. 19, 2016.
VOA News
In an interview Tuesday, Reuters news agency asked Adel al-Jubeir whether Saudi Arabia would try to get a nuclear bomb if Iran obtained one, despite its agreement with six world powers. He responded that his country would do “whatever we need to do in order to protect our people.”
Jubeir said the end of Western sanctions on Iran as part of the nuclear agreement would be welcome if Iran uses unfrozen funds to improve the living standards of its people.
The Saudis, Israelis, and some American lawmakers opposed to the nuclear deal say they fear Iran may use the billions of dollars in unfrozen assets to fund terrorist groups and militias.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry brushed off concerns the Saudis may try to get their hands on a nuclear weapon to counter a perceived Iranian threat.
“You just can’t buy a bomb and transfer it,” Kerry told CNN television this week, noting that the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and international inspections would make such a thing very difficult.
He also said possessing a nuclear bomb would not make Saudi Arabia safer.

Pakistan Test Nuclear Cruise Missile (Daniel 8)

Agencies January 20, 2016
The flight test of the cruise missile, which is also known as Hatf VIII, was the seventh since it was first tested in 2007.
The Inter-Services Public Relations said Ra’ad, with a range of 350km, “enables Pakistan to achieve air delivered strategic standoff capability on land and at sea.” The missile is approximately five metres long and could weigh up to 1,000kg.
Special “terrain hugging low level flight manoeuvres enable it to avoid detection and engagement by contemporary air defence systems,” the statement added. The president and the prime minister congratulated the scientists and engineers behind the development for their outstanding achievement on the successful flight test of Ra’ad.
Strategic Plans Division Director General Lt Gen Mazhar Jamil termed the success a major step towards complementing Pakistan’s deterrence capability.