More Fighting Outside the Temple (Revelation 11:2)

Gadi Golan, Daniel Siryoti and Lilach ShovalIsrael Hayom

A balloon carrying a firebomb launched from the Gaza Strip landed in the yard of a kindergarten in the southern Israeli town of Tkuma, while young children were playing there.

The bomb caused a small fire in the sandy yard, which was quickly contained

“We had just let the kids outside so they could go play,” kindergarten teacher Bat Sheva Bruchin said.

“Just as we were heading toward the grass, I looked up and saw smoke from above. I immediately realized it was a firebomb balloon. My biggest fear was that the balloon was carrying explosives or gas.

“I had no time to think and I began moving the kids to a protected area, just as we had practiced time and time again. I then called the rescue services and they quickly arrived.”

Earlier in the day, two incendiary balloons were found in a school in the area, but caused no injuries to the staff in the building.

An Israeli aircraft targeted a Palestinian cell in Gaza that had launched additional incendiary balloons across the border.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman arrived at the IDF Gaza Division headquarters to take part in a security assessment attended by IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gadi Eizenkot as well as Shin Bet security agency Director Nadav Argaman and other senior security officials.

“We are engaged in battle, and we are exchanging fire, but the IDF is prepared for any eventuality,” Netanyahu said at the meeting. “I was very impressed by what I saw and I know that every Israeli believes in the IDF and will lend it support in any future development.”

Lieberman, for his part, remarked that Israel’s security policies cannot be influenced by political pressures or media trends. “We are operating with strength and wisdom,” he stressed. “What we need now is composure and nerves of steel.”

“We can’t operate with a stopwatch in our hands or amid media hysteria,” he added. “We are doing what needs to be done, and the IDF is prepared for any scenario.”

The Nuclear Disaster Awaiting NY at the Sixth Seal

NYS Report: Significant Risks to AIM Pipeline

Written with assistance from Jhena Vigrass, New York Regional Team Program Assistant and Daniela Rico, NRDC Environmental Justice Intern

 Image of Indian Point nuclear plant Mike Segar

Last week, four New York State agencies released the executive summary of a safety assessment of the Algonquin Incremental Market (AIM) pipeline, a fracked gas pipeline that runs a quarter mile from the Indian Point Energy Center (IPEC), a nuclear power plant in Westchester County. The executive summary highlights several major areas of risk presented by AIM’s location adjacent to Indian Point.

In 2016, New York Governor Cuomo ordered a safety analysis on the pipeline after his administration greenlighted AIM by granting the pipeline a necessary certification under the Clean Water Act (a “401 water quality certification”).

The AIM pipeline system currently transports natural gas through Pennsylvania, Connecticut, New York, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts; traveling underneath the Hudson River in New York. When the AIM pipeline was approved by FERC in March 2015, the nearly billion-dollar plan added 11.1 miles of 42-inch wide pipeline and replaced 26.3 miles of existing pipeline along the route. Over the years, organizations throughout the region, including NRDC, have fought its expansion.

The report, produced by the New York Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services and the Departments of Public Service, Environmental Conservation, and Health, raises significant concerns regarding the many risks of having the pipeline so close to the Indian Point nuclear plant. In a separate letter sent to FERC, the agencies urge the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to take additional action to lessen all identified potential risks.

According to the report’s executive summary, the only portion of the report released to the public at this time, the analysis identifies 46 overall potential risks associated with the pipeline.  The executive summary explains the top nine risks, many of which involve potential impacts to the AIM pipeline as well as the two existing Algonquin Mainline pipeline segments.  These risks include damage from river traffic or dredging, third-party excavation, seismic activity, corrosion, and the release of hazardous waste materials due to a potential pipeline incident.

As a consequence of the report, New York State agencies sent a letter to FERC asking them to, among other things, not approve any additional capacity or increased pressure within the pipeline.

Indeed, the safety of these pipelines is concerning. Spectra Energy, the company responsible for original pipeline construction, has a poor safety record–Since 2007, state agencies have fined Spectra over $19 million in safety violations. In addition, advocates throughout the region have criticized FERC’s and Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s review of the AIM pipeline project for failing to model certain pipeline ruptures, and showing disregard for the public’s safety.

Spectra Energy

The AIM pipeline safety assessment summary demonstrates the many risks of building fracked gas pipelines in areas with high population densities and sensitive ecosystems. These risks are further exacerbated by AIM’s proximity to Indian Point, an ageing nuclear power plant with a mixed safety record that is set for closure by 2021. AIM’s construction was a bad idea from the beginning, and we now look to state and federal regulatory agencies to do everything in their power to mitigate any and all risks presented by the location of this fracked gas pipeline.

Antichrist Cleans Up House in Parliament

img_2671Iraqi president retires sitting members of parliament

Under terms of Iraq’s constitution, current assembly’s mandate expired on June 30

By Ibrahim Saleh


Iraqi President Fuad Masum on Wednesday issued a decree sending all 328 members of the country’s parliament into early retirement.

According to the presidential decree, the move is to be implemented by the current parliament speaker and minister of finance.

Under the terms of Iraq’s constitution, the current parliament’s mandate expired on June 30.

The assembly failed to extend its current term by modifying Iraq’s electoral laws to allow MPs to remain in place until a manual recount of parliamentary poll results — now underway — is completed.

Results of the hard-fought May 12 election remain the subject of bitter dispute amid widespread allegations of voter fraud.

Once the recount is completed and Iraq’s Federal Court approves the new results, incoming members of parliament will hold a first session to elect a new assembly speaker and two deputies.

Within 30 days of the first parliamentary session, the assembly will elect — by a two-thirds majority — the country’s next president.

The new president will then task the largest bloc in parliament with drawing up a new government to be referred back to parliament for approval within 30 days.

Earlier this month, Iraq’s official electoral commission began recounting the May 12 poll results amid widespread allegations of vote-rigging.

According to those initial results, Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr’s Sairoon coalition won 54 parliamentary seats, followed by a Hashd al-Shaabi-led coalition (47 seats) and Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi’s Victory Bloc (42 seats).

The Nuclear Terrorist Threat From Pakistan (Daniel 8:8) failed Pakistan in the fight against terrorism?

Imran Khushal

On July 13, around 132 people were killed and 180 injured in two separate terrorist attacks during election-related activities in Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

A suicide attack on an election gathering in the Mastung area, some 60km south-west of Quetta, killed 128 people including Nawabzada Siraj Raisani, Balochistan Awami Party (BAP) candidate for a provincial assembly seat, and injured more than 150 people.

A bomb blast in Bannu killed at least four and injured 32 people in a convoy of former Khyber Pakhtunkhwa chief minister Akram Khan Durrani who is contesting the election on NA-35 (Bannu) against Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan on a Mutahhida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA) ticket.

Three days back, a suicide attack in Peshawar killed 20 people including Awami National Party’s (ANP) leader and slain Bashir Bilour’s son, Haroon Bilour.

These terrorist attacks tell two things. One, the war is not over. Two, Pakistan has gained only limited success (if any) in eliminating the menace of terrorism. So, the question arises: what failed the country in its war against terrorists?

Two things. Firstly, its militarised counter-terrorism strategy and secondly, its failure in building a counter-terrorism narrative.

Though Pakistan’s ad hoc and militarised counter-terrorism strategy gained some success following an attack on an army-run school in Peshawar in 2014, it largely remained ineffective till the attack. Even after the Army Public School attack, when a National Action Plan (NAP) was introduced, the strategy lacked clarity and hence failed in completely eliminating the terrorist networks from the country.

This is because the strategy was entirely militarised, and it pushed every civilian institute into the background. For instance, the military courts replaced the regular judiciary of the country depriving it from building its capacity by ruling over cases including the cases related to violence and terrorism, gaining confidence by providing open and fair trails to everyone including terrorists and, therefore, emerging as a professional institution — which could have stopped it from nonprofessional adventurism; “building damns.”

The police that was never built or trained to fight against terrorists remained ineffective in maintaining law and order, and wherever an attack happened, the situation was handed over to the armed forces. Too much dependency over its armed forces played a part in destroying the country’s police which, if enabled and appropriately equipped, could have played a very vital role in the fight against terrorism. This militarised counter-terrorism policy also pushed the National Counter Terrorism Authority (NACTA) into the background, and the irony is the institute from its birth to this day remained completely dysfunctional.

Further, the strategy has impacted the military itself very negatively. The increased burden forced the military to ask for more funds, and when the government failed to meet the demands, a clash erupted, resulting in a very bleak situation in the country that could lead to chaos. The situation divided the nation into pro-civilian and pro-military groups, which can be disastrous for any future government as well as for armed forces.

Pakistan is a nuclear power; it doesn’t need a second layer of security. It doesn’t need irregulars anymore, even if it did in the past

The other half of the answer lies in the country’s failure in building a counter-terrorism narrative. If terrorism is an ideology, Pakistan needs a counter-terrorism ideology. If it’s a narrative, the country needs a counter-terrorism narrative. If it’s a thesis of hate, violence, and anarchy, then Pakistan needs an antithesis of love, peace, and order.

But unfortunately, the country failed in introducing and incorporating a counter-terrorism narrative that would have deconstructed radical thoughts and curbed the support for extremism. Such a narrative would have established state’s legitimacy and exclusivity on power. It would also have addressed public anger and agitation if authorities had stayed by it and declared that whoever kills innocent people (citizen) is a terrorist — regardless of its historical role and present affiliations — and the state will seek revenge of these killings.

However, experts believe that Pakistan will never go for a comprehensive, all-encompassing counter-terrorism strategy coupled with a grand counter-terrorism narrative because it fears that such an advancement could weaken its external security. It is said that an effective counter-terrorism narrative, in long-run, can de-radicalise the Pakistani society, ending the possibility of re-emergence of such groups which the country/state perceives as a second layer of security.

In such a scenario it is very likely that the country will keep its ad hoc and inconsistent counter-terrorism policy without introducing a counter-terrorism narrative, which may look successful, but it will not be. As long as Pakistan fails in countering terrorism on ideological fronts — bringing reforms in the syllabus and religious seminaries — it will fail to combat terrorists militarily. Because it’s not about eliminating the terrorists but eliminating the cause that produces such an effect.

The way forward is clear. Pakistan is a nuclear power; it doesn’t need a second layer of security. It doesn’t need irregulars anymore, even if it did in the past. And as far as bringing India to the negotiating table is concerned, it needs out of the box solutions. After all, the two countries have China — the country which is going to be the world superpower — willing to mediate their differences ranging from water issues to the Kashmir dispute. And both are a member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), which many speculate is going to become the new United Nations.

The writer is a freelance journalist and PhD Scholar at National University of Modern Languages Islamabad. He is the co-founderof and can be reached at

Published in Daily Times, July 18th 2018.

Iran continues its threats against Israel

Office of the Iranian Supreme Leader via AP

Iran’s Khamenei Celebrates Birthday By Calling for Destruction of Israel

17 Jul 2018

His Twitter feed on Monday was overlaid with a festive display of multicolored balloons, somewhat incongruous with the deluge of hate messages underneath.


“Everyone should know that the satanic and vicious plot that the U.S. has for #Palestine — calling it the Deal of Century — will never happen,” he tweeted.

“The turbulent dream that Al-Quds [Jerusalem] would be given to the Zionists will never come true.”

He continued: “The Palestinian nation will stand against it and Muslim nations will back the Palestinian nation, never letting that happen.”

“By God’s grace, the Palestinian nation will certainly gain victory over the enemies and will witness the day when the fabricated Zionist regime will be eradicated,” he vowed.

Much of what he tweeted was paraphrased from a speech delivered at a meeting of Iran’s Hajj organization on Monday. Khamenei took the opportunity to blast Saudi Arabia, home to Mecca where the faithful make the Muslim pilgrimage.

“Regrettably, some Muslim governments, due to their lack of faith in the principle of Islam, never mind the Palestinian cause, have chosen to sacrifice themselves for the US,” the state-affiliated Mehr media outlet quoted him as saying. He continued by predicting that “this too will come to nothing and they will see the day when the roots of the fabricated Zionist regime will dry up.”

He added that Mecca’s holy sites “belong to all Muslims, not to the rulers of Saudi Arabia.”

“Today, the Muslim World needs unanimity. Division is forbidden, because the enemy is focused on the Islamic World,” Khamenei emphasized.

He said that in order to conduct a “true” hajj, Muslims must commit to a complete “disavowal of the infidels.”

Khamenei also called for a fresh investigation into a 2015 crush during the hajj that killed hundreds of pilgrims, blaming the tragedy on the Saudi authorities’ alleged indifference to the safety of the participants