History Warns New York Is The Sixth Seal (Revelation 6:12)

New York Earthquake 1884

Friday, 18 March 2011 – 9:23pm IST | Place: NEW YORK | Agency: ANI

If the past is any indication, New York can be hit by an earthquake, claims John Armbruster, a seismologist at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory.

If the past is any indication, New York can be hit by an earthquake, claims John Armbruster, a seismologist at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory.Based on historical precedent, Armbruster says the New York City metro area is susceptible to an earthquake of at least a magnitude of 5.0 once a century.According to the New York Daily News, Lynn Skyes, lead author of a recent study by seismologists at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory adds that a magnitude-6 quake hits the area about every 670 years, and magnitude-7 every 3,400 years.A 5.2-magnitude quake shook New York City in 1737 and another of the same severity hit in 1884.Tremors were felt from Maine to Virginia.

There are several fault lines in the metro area, including one along Manhattan’s 125th St. – which may have generated two small tremors in 1981 and may have been the source of the major 1737 earthquake, says Armbruster.

There’s another fault line on Dyckman St and one in Dobbs Ferry in nearby Westchester County.

“The problem here comes from many subtle faults,” explained Skyes after the study was published.

He adds: “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.”

“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,” says the New York City Area Consortium for Earthquake Loss Mitigation on its website.

Armbruster says a 5.0-magnitude earthquake today likely would result in casualties and hundreds of millions of dollars in damage.

“I would expect some people to be killed,” he notes.

The scope and scale of damage would multiply exponentially with each additional tick on the Richter scale.

Who is the Antichrist? (Revelation 13)

Who is Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr?

By Joshua Berlinger, CNN

Updated 5:20 AM ET, Fri May 6, 2016

(CNN)Muqtada al-Sadr isn’t an ayatollah.

He’s not a general and he’s not a politician, at least in the conventional sense. But with a single speech he can spark a protest that ends up in with hundreds of Iraqi Shiites storming their parliament. He’s commanded a militia of thousands, some who fought and killed U.S. and Iraqi soldiers. And he’s been on TIME Magazine’s annual list of the 100 most influential people on the planet.

This is how he’s managed to gain such prominence — and retain it.

The Sadr family

Sadr was born in 1973 in the Shiite holy city of Najaf to a prominent family.

The city, which is about 100 miles south of Baghdad, is home to the Imam Ali shrine, where the eponymous cousin and son-in-law of the prophet Muhammad is buried. Shiites believe that Ali was the rightful successor to Muhammad.

Sadr’s father, Ayatollah Muhammad Sadiq al-Sadr, was an important Shiite figure in Iraq who openly spoke out against Saddam Hussein and his ruling Baath party.

The elder Sadr and two of his sons were assassinated in 1999 in Najaf, and many believe that he was killed either by the dictator’s forces or Sunnis loyal to him.

Despite the cult of personality Muqtada al-Sadr has developed in recent years, he is still a relatively private man. He does not appear in public often and his exact age was not known until recently.

Protesters in Kadhimiya, Iraq, hold up pictures of Ayatollah Muhammad Sadiq al-Sadr, Muqtada al-Sadr’s father.

The Mehdi Army

Sadr is best known to Western audiences for his role leading the Mehdi Army, which he formed in 2003 during the U.S. invasion of Iraq.

The militia is considered the armed wing of the Sadrist movement, which followed the teachings of Sadr’s father. Its power base was in Najaf and the massive Sadr City in eastern Baghdad, which is home to more than 2 million Shias.

Sadr himself opposed the presence of outside forces in Iraq — be they al Qaeda’s Sunni fighters or U.S. forces — and hoped to establish Islamic rule within the country, clashing with the Iraqi Army, U.S. forces and fellow Shias.

By 2004, forces loyal to Sadr battled the U.S. for control of Najaf. President George W. Bush labeled him an enemy and ordered the U.S. military to take him out.

“We can’t allow one man to change the course of the country,” he said, according to Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez.

Within a week, Bush changed course and decided not to go after him.

“That reversal was the turning point in al-Sadr’s rise to power,” Sanchez, who commanded U.S. forces in Iraq from 2003 to 2004, said. “It gave him legitimacy and enhanced his stature within the broader Iraqi community.”

Later that year, Sadr made peace with the most powerful Shia religious figure in Iraq, Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, who brokered a truce between U.S. forces and the Mehdi Army. The deal brought together the unquestioned spiritual leader of Iraq’s Shia population and the man who could mobilize the Shia “street.”

The Mehdi Army in Najaf in 2007.

As part of the agreement, the Iraqi government agreed not to press charges after a judge issued an arrest warrant for Sadr in connection with the killing of another prominent Shia leader, Ayatollah Abdul Majid al-Khoei.

But the Mehdi Army became even more deadly as the war dragged on.

The militia was linked to much of the sectarian violence that reached fever pitch in Iraq in 2006 and 2007. It was accused of running death squads, killing Sunni Arabs and fighting with rival Shiite factions, though Sadr would denounce the violence from time to time.

After more than 200 people were killed in an attack on Sadr City in 2006 — one of the deadliest periods in the Iraq war — Shiite militants responded by burning people to death and attacking Sunni mosques.

By the end of the year, Pentagon leaders assessed that the Mehdi army had replaced al Qaeda as “the most dangerous accelerant” of sectarian violence in Iraq.

But the Mehdi Army also clashed with other Shiite militias. The group often clashed with Badr Brigades for control of parts of Iraq’s Shiite-dominate south. At one point the Badr Brigades partnered with Iraqi security forces to fight the Mehdi Army.

However, the Mehdi Army’s power and influence began to subside by the end of 2007, in part due to the U.S. troop surge.

Kingmaker

Sadr’s capacity to reinvent his role in Iraqi politics, and to tap into a strong vein of Shia protest, has helped him survive and outmaneuver many rivals over the past 13 years. His latest initiative reinforces his place as one of the most influential figures in Iraq.

He and the Iraqi government signed a ceasefire in 2008, and later that year he formally disbanded the Mehdi Army.

The organization is now called Saraya al-Salam, which means the Peace Brigades.

His plan was to transition it into a socio-political populist movement to help Iraq’s poor Shiites through a combination of political and grassroots activities — following a similar model to the structure of Hezbollah in Lebanon.

Sadr would move to Iran later that year for religious study. Some believed that he hoped to achieve a higher religious standing, like Hezbollah’s Hassan Nasrallah, in order to strengthen his leadership position.

Muqtada al-Sadr delivers a speech in Najaf in 2011.

He returned to Iraq permanently in 2011 — more than three years later — without a new title, but with ambitions to become an Iraqi nationalist leader who could make a difference by growing his movement and pushing his followers to the ballot box.

“We have not forgotten the occupier. We remain a resistance,” he said in one of his first speeches back. Sadr did strike a conciliatory tone with fellow Iraqis: “Whatever struggle happened between brothers, let us forget about it and turn the page forever and live united,” he said. “We do not kill an Iraqi.”

Though Sadr rarely makes public appearances, his plan seems to have worked so far.

During Iraq’s 2010 elections, his supporters were key to helping then-Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki secure a second term; today they make up the second-largest bloc in Iraq’s Parliament.

Muqtada al-Sadr and former Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki in 2006.

But Sadr and Maliki have since had a nasty falling out, and now are considered rivals in Baghdad.

After the 2010 election, Sadr referred to Maliki as a “dictator.”

He often called for the government to better include moderate Sunni elements, a faction that most say was marginalized by the Maliki government, which led to his ouster (and in part contributed to the rise of ISIS).

His support for Iraq’s current Prime Minster, Haider al-Abadi, is lukewarm at best.

Sadr is now focusing his efforts on reshaping Iraq’s government — he wants more technocrats appointed and to go after corrupt politicians.

Sadr’s supporters held massive protests earlier this year to push Abadi to form a new government and enact reforms. The demonstrations were called off after Abadi trimmed the size of his Cabinet and submitted a new list of nonpolitical ministers for approval by parliament.

And it was Sadr’s impassioned speech late April that spurred protesters to occupy the Iraqi Parliament and Baghdad’s Green Zone, a normally off-limits area housing government buildings and foreign embassies.

CNN’s Tim Lister, Hamdi Alkhshali, Mohammed Tawfeeq and Elise Labott contributed to this report

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

The worst earthquake in Massachusetts history 260 years ago

It happened before, and it could happen again.

By Hilary Sargent @lilsarg

Boston.com Staff | 11.19.15 | 5:53 AM

On November 18, 1755, Massachusetts experienced its largest recorded earthquake.

The earthquake occurred in the waters off Cape Ann, and was felt within seconds in Boston, and as far away as Nova Scotia, the Chesapeake Bay, and upstate New York, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

Seismologists have since estimated the quake to have been between 6.0 and 6.3 on the Richter scale, according to the Massachusetts Historical Society.

While there were no fatalities, the damage was extensive.

According to the USGS, approximately 100 chimneys and roofs collapsed, and over a thousand were damaged.

The worst damage occurred north of Boston, but the city was not unscathed.

A 1755 report in The Philadelphia Gazette described the quake’s impact on Boston:

“There was at first a rumbling noise like low thunder, which was immediately followed with such a violent shaking of the earth and buildings, as threw every into the greatest amazement, expecting every moment to be buried in the ruins of their houses. In a word, the instances of damage done to our houses and chimnies are so many, that it would be endless to recount them.”

The quake sent the grasshopper weathervane atop Faneuil Hall tumbling to the ground, according to the Massachusetts Historical Society.

An account of the earthquake, published in The Pennsylvania Gazette on December 4, 1755.

The earthquake struck at 4:30 in the morning, and the shaking lasted “near four minutes,” according to an entry John Adams, then 20, wrote in his diary that day.

The brief diary entry described the damage he witnessed.

“I was then at my Fathers in Braintree, and awoke out of my sleep in the midst of it,” he wrote. “The house seemed to rock and reel and crack as if it would fall in ruins about us. 7 Chimnies were shatter’d by it within one mile of my Fathers house.”

The shaking was so intense that the crew of one ship off the Boston coast became convinced the vessel had run aground, and did not learn about the earthquake until they reached land, according to the Massachusetts Historical Society.

In 1832, a writer for the Hampshire (Northampton) Gazette wrote about one woman’s memories from the quake upon her death.

“It was between 4 and 5 in the morning, and the moon shone brightly. She and the rest of the family were suddenly awaked from sleep by a noise like that of the trampling of many horses; the house trembled and the pewter rattled on the shelves. They all sprang out of bed, and the affrightted children clung to their parents. “I cannot help you dear children,” said the good mother, “we must look to God for help.

The Cape Ann earthquake came just 17 days after an earthquake estimated to have been 8.5-9.0 on the Richter scale struck in Lisbon, Portugal, killing at least 60,000 and causing untold damage.

There was no shortage of people sure they knew the impretus for the Cape Ann earthquake.

According to many ministers in and around Boston, “God’s wrath had brought this earthquake upon Boston,” according to the Massachusetts Historical Society.

In “Verses Occasioned by the Earthquakes in the Month of November, 1755,” Jeremiah Newland, a Taunton resident who was active in religious activities in the Colony, wrote that the earthquake was a reminder of the importance of obedience to God.

“It is becaufe we broke thy Laws,

that thou didst shake the Earth.

O what a Day the Scriptures say,

the EARTHQUAKE doth foretell;

O turn to God; lest by his Rod,

he cast thee down to Hell.”

Boston Pastor Jonathan Mayhew warned in a sermon that the 1755 earthquakes in Massachusetts and Portugal were “judgments of heaven, at least as intimations of God’s righteous displeasure, and warnings from him.”

There were some, though, who attempted to put forth a scientific explanation for the earthquake.

Well, sort of.

In a lecture delivered just a week after the earthquake, Harvard mathematics professor John Winthrop said the quake was the result of a reaction between “vapors” and “the heat within the bowels of the earth.” But even Winthrop made sure to state that his scientific theory “does not in the least detract from the majesty … of God.”

It has been 260 years since the Cape Ann earthquake. Some experts, including Boston College seismologist John Ebel, think New England could be due for another significant quake.

In a recent Boston Globe report, Ebel said the New England region “can expect a 4 to 5 magnitude quake every decade, a 5 to 6 every century, and a magnitude 6 or above every thousand years.”

If the Cape Ann earthquake occurred today, “the City of Boston could sustain billions of dollars of earthquake damage, with many thousands injured or killed,” according to a 1997 study by the US Army Corps of Engineers

Jihadist Surge in Pakistan’s Government

Paula Bronstein/Getty Images

Pakistan: Political Leaders Facing Terror Threat as Jihadi Surge Enters Elections

4 Jul 2018

Political leaders in nuclear-armed Pakistan, often considered to be allied with the powerful military establishment, are beginning to feel the ramifications of the jihadi candidate surge that entered the general elections, increasingly facing terrorist threats ahead of the contesting, Dawn reports Tuesday.

“The political leadership of the country is facing terrorism threats ahead of general elections, an official from the National Counter Terrorism Authority (Nacta) told the Senate Standing Committee on Interior on Tuesday. There were reports of 12 threats, six of which were posed towards certain personalities, the official informed the committee,” Dawn notes.

The military establishment’s efforts to prevent the “political mainstreaming” of more than 265 candidates linked to Islamic terrorist groups, including prominent jihadi organizations like the U.S.-designated terrorist groups Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and Lashkar-i -Hangvi (LJ), have proven to be futile.

Pakistan’s 2018 elections are blossoming into a springboard for Islamist radicals and alleged military establishment-linked criminals accused of murder and rape.

With campaigns already underway, the July 25 general elections are already marred by sharp ideological differences, seemingly pitting hundreds of pro-military establishment candidates accused of heinous crimes against contenders affiliated with jihadi organizations seeking to ensure sharia law is strictly carried to the detriment of non-Muslim religious minorities like Christians.

To circumvent the authority of Pakistan’s Election Commission, jihadi political parties are fielding candidates under obscure political groups that have already been approved by the body.

Having lost the support of the military establishment, it appears the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) party is turning a blind eye to jihadis flooding the ballots.

Last week, Islamabad reportedly removed Muhammad Ahmed Ludhianvi, the leader of one of the nation’s most prominent jihadi groups from its terrorist, a move that may allow his LJ-linked group to join other Islamist radical organizations in fielding candidates in the upcoming election.

It appears the military establishment, long considered to run the country, is prepared to fight to keep its power.

The New York Times (NYT)reported on June 6:

Just a month and a half away from national elections, Pakistan’s powerful military establishment has mounted a fearsome campaign against its critics in the news media, on social networks, and in mainstream political movements.

It is all adding up: journalists abducted or threatened, major news outlets blocked, sympathetic views toward the civilian governing party, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, censored or punished.

“They want to control the narrative. … And to a large extent, they are succeeding,” Zaffar Abbas, the editor of Pakistan’s Dawn newspaper, told NYT without saying who “they” were.

Pakistan’s military establishment is reportedly mulling backing the PTI party leader, cricket star-turned-politician Imran Khan as the country’s next prime minister, abandoning ousted Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s ruling PML-N party.

This year, Pakistanis will have to choose mainly between jihadi-linked candidates or military establishment contenders, including 2,720 candidates charged with crimes ranging from corruption and rape to human smuggling and murder.

The Iran Deal Unravels

Federica Mogherini (2nd L), Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif (3rd L), and Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (R front) attend a ministerial meeting on Iran’s nuclear programme in Vienna.

Josie Ensor

6 JULY 2018 • 4:15 PM

Iran nuclear deal in doubt as world powers fall short on Tehran’s demands

The Iran nuclear deal looked in doubt on Friday as European powers failed to convince Tehran that they would be able to fully compensate for economic losses caused by the US’s exit.

The signatories to the landmark accord met for the first time since Donald Trump, the US president, withdrew in May to discuss how they could salvage the deal in the face of a reimposition of US sanctions.

The 2015 deal saw the lifting of sanctions on the Islamic Republic in return for curbs on its nuclear programme verified by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

Washington has since told allies they must stop buying the OPEC producer’s oil from November 4 or face financial consequences.

The other signatories — Britain, France, Germany, China and Russia — have vowed to stay in the accord but appear powerless to stop their companies pulling out of Iran for fear of US penalties.

Protesters in the Iranian capital swarmed its historic Grand Bazaar on Monday, news agencies reported, and forced shopkeepers to close their stalls in apparent anger over the Islamic Republic’s troubled economy CREDIT: AP

Since Mr Trump’s announcement, Iran’s currency has plummeted and prices have risen dramatically, sending thousands out on the street in protest.

Germany’s foreign minister said that world powers would not be able to make up for companies leaving Iran, but warned Tehran that abandoning its nuclear deal would cause more harm to its already ailing economy.

“We will not be able to compensate for everything that arises from companies pulling out of Iran,” Heiko Maas said.

The pillars of the European Union’s strategy are European Investment Bank lending – a special measure to shield EU companies from US secondary sanctions – and a Commission proposal that EU governments make direct money transfers to Iran’s central bank to avoid US penalties

President Hassan Rouhani addresses the nation in a televised speech in Tehran, Iran CREDIT: AP

Hassan Rouhani, Iran’s president, told French President Emmanuel Macron in a phone call before the summit that the package fell short of their demands.

Tehran has already warned it is ready to resume uranium enrichment to 20 percent – above the level permitted in the deal – “within days” if the agreement falls apart.

The country’s all-powerful Revolutionary Guards meanwhile has also said that they may block oil shipments through the Strait of Hormuz in response to US calls to ban all Iranian oil exports.

European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs Federica Mogherini leaves after a Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) ministerial meeting on the Iran nuclear deal on July 6, 2018 in Vienna, Austria CREDIT: AFP

Federica Mogherini, the EU foreign policy chief who is chairing the summit, said the signatories had agreed to continue talking, including on economic measures.

European diplomats, however, privately questioned whether they could do enough to keep Tehran onboard.

“We’ve made some progress, including on safeguarding some crude (oil) sales, but it’s unlikely to meet Iranian expectations,” said one senior official.