The Sixth Seal: The Big Apple Shake (Revelation 6:12)

Image result for new york earthquake

Big Apple shake? Potential for earthquake in New York City exists

NEW YORK CITY (PIX11) – For the last 43 years John Armbruster has been a seismologist with Columbia University’s Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory.  A veteran of what he describes as “a couple of dozen” quakes, he is interested in the seismic activity throughout the Pacific region in recent weeks.

However, does the amount of plate movements around the world in recent weeks as well as years to translate to New York City being more vulnerable, “These earthquakes are not communicating with each other, they are too far apart,” said Armbruster in an interview with PIX 11 News on Wednesday.

What would a magnitude 6.0 earthquake inflict upon the city?

“We know that its unlikely because it hasn’t happened in the last 300 years but the earthquake that struck Fukushima Japan was the 1000 year earthquake and they weren’t ready for the that.

The War Outside the Temple Walls (Revelation 11)

Deputy DM Dichter to ‘Post’: We need war to wipe out Gaza terror


The only way to put an end to the repeated rounds of rocket fire and IDF retaliation is to go to war in Gaza, and that would be impossible with a government dependent on Arab MKs, Deputy Defense Minister Avi Dichter said on Thursday.

Dichter declared Operation Black Belt a success, but warned in an interview with The Jerusalem Post that there will likely be more terrorist attacks from Gaza in the near future.

Dichter said assassinations like the targeted killing of senior Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) commander Bahaa Abu al-Ata are a means, not an end, because there are thousands of terrorists in Gaza and possibly hundreds of officers.

“When you’re dealing with terrorism at such a large scope, you have to think what will bring quiet and what will bring more violence,” he explained.

To bring quiet, Dichter said, there is no realistic diplomatic solution on the horizon.

Ceasefire agreement reached between Israel, Islamic Jihad – report

“Israel’s political and military leadership need to decide at a certain point to launch a campaign that will destroy the terrorist infrastructure in Gaza,” he said. “That won’t take a week or a month. That will be a long time. We saw in Operation Defensive Shield” – which started in 2002 in response to the Second Intifada – “that it took three years. When it is the optimal time, we will embark on such a campaign that will be the First Gaza War – and the last one.”

The optimal time, according to Dichter, is when there is a stable government that can look ahead to the coming years.

“I hope there will be a unity government,” he said. “God forbid that we have a minority government leaning on the Arab List. Then we won’t be able to do almost anything.”

One of the options Blue and White leader Benny Gantz has in trying to form a governing coalition is a minority government, with outside support from the Joint List. Such a government would be hard-pressed to last past March, the last deadline to pass a budget, because it would not have a majority in the Knesset. There is strong opposition to a minority government within Blue and White, and the Joint List’s rhetoric against the IDF and Gantz, who supported Operation Black Belt, may have killed the option.

The operation had narrower aims than eradicating all terrorism from Gaza, Dichter explained.

“We judge an operation based on the goals at the start,” he said. “Ours were clear. The first was to kill al-Ata, an arch-terrorist. After that, we thought there would be an exchange of fire between Israel and Gaza – maybe not only Gaza – so we wanted to make it as short as possible and not let it develop into a campaign. And [the third goal was] to isolate Hamas, so that they will not enter the fray as well. These three were achieved.”

At the same time, Dichter said he realizes that for Israelis, especially residents of the South like himself, the two days of the operation were very difficult.

Al-Ata’s assassination was necessary in order to create a deterrent against PIJ attacking Israel, Dichter explained, because the deterrence had weakened. The PIJ commander had a “volatile policy” that neither Israel nor Hamas was able to understand, but Israel was the one paying the price in rocket attacks.

Al-Ata planned rocket attacks and all the attempts to prevent them didn’t succeed, so we had to take them out,” Dichter said. “We had to make sure PIJ would understand that they can’t shoot at Israel whenever they want.”

Israel shifted from its usual policy of holding Hamas responsible for any terrorist activity in Gaza because security officials determined that PIJ was not deterred by Israel attacking Hamas targets. That Hamas stayed out of the fighting this week shows that Israel has strongly deterred the terrorist organization controlling Gaza, he added.

Dichter contrasted Israel’s efforts to avoid civilian populations with PIJ, which specifically targets civilians.

“We finished this round with zero killed and very few lightly injured…but when you look at the expectations of the other side, what PIJ wanted, they wanted blood and death here in Israel. They shot over 400 rockets to kill Israelis,” he said.

Unlike the IDF, PIJ did not have specific targets; they sought to strike cities and people randomly, Dichter explained, whereas the IDF and Shin Bet hit al-Ata “right in the head of the terrorist, with zero harm to anyone uninvolved.”

Confronted with al-Ata’s wife also being killed – something that Joint List MKs have brought up in their criticism of the operation – Dichter said the wife aided him in his terrorism, and the IDF and Shin Bet knew she would be there.

“We shoot very heavy artillery,” he said. “It is deadly, but accurate. Our pilots and others shoot only at terrorists. Those are their orders. No one thinks to give a pilot an order to bomb a city. There never was and never will be an order like this.”

Asked if there is any hope for the residents of Israel’s south, the Ashkelon resident said he would like them to be able to live with a sense of security, but people must also be realistic about the Middle East.

“Sometimes the threat is in the South, sometimes it is in Judea and Samaria, sometimes there are rockets, sometimes there are suicide bombers,” Dichter said. “We live in an area with a variety of threats in different places each time. We need a different strategy on every front…When we’re talking about Gaza, it requires us to create a deterrence against those who can shoot rockets and carry out other terrorist attacks on Israel and Israelis, and make them realize it doesn’t pay off,” he stated, saying the last phrase in English.

Still, Dichter said, “We can’t fool ourselves and say after a two-day round, that’s the end of it, Gaza will be peaceful for 40 years. We can’t say that to the residents.”

Added the deputy defense minister: “I tip my hat to the residents” who followed the Home Front Command’s instructions and stayed relatively safe.

Babylon the Great’s Cost For War

A crew chief overlooks the vast mountain ranges of Southeastern Afghanistan while a CH-47 Chinook assigned to the 1st Armored Division’s Combat Aviation Brigade is in flight during an advise and assistance mission Oct. 9, 2019. (Army photo by Master Sgt. Alejandro Licea)

Post-9/11 Wars Have Cost American Taxpayers $6.4 trillion, Study Finds

14 Nov 2019

Stars and Stripes | By Corey Dickstein

WASHINGTON — American taxpayers have spent $6.4 trillion in nearly two decades of post-9/11 wars, which have killed some 800,000 people worldwide, the Cost of Wars Project announced Wednesday.

The numbers reflect the toll of American combat and other military operations across 80 nations since al-Qaida operatives attacked the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon in Washington in 2001, launching the United States into its longest-ever wars aimed at stamping out terrorism worldwide.

The annual spending estimates released Wednesday show a general decline in war costs in 2019 as U.S. troops face less combat in major war zones such as Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria. Still, the estimated price tag for those wars increased by $500 billion since November 2018, and it has doubled since the Cost of Wars Project — a product of Brown University’s Watson Institute of International and Public Affairs and Boston University’s Frederick S. Pardee Center — first looked at cumulative wartime costs in 2011.

Sen. Jack Reed of Rhode Island, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Armed Services Committee, praised the workers involved in the project — 35 scholars, legal experts, human rights practitioners and physicians.

“The budget of the Pentagon is difficult to weed through is an understatement,” Reed said. “My hope is that this report will continue to inform, educate and serve as a resource as we consider these wars going forward … to give us a better sense of the costs of wars not in a snapshot, but the long-term costs. This should be for us [in Congress] a guide to our policies, our procedures and actions going forward.”

The actual monetary and human costs of these wars is difficult to discern, said Neta Crawford, the report’s author and a Boston University political science professor, who blasted the lack of budget transparency of federal institutions including the Pentagon and departments of Veterans Affairs and Homeland Security.

In recent years, Crawford asserted those institutions have made accessing information on how they spend taxpayer dollars more difficult, including where money is being spent overseas because items that were once reported are now “disappearing from the budget.”

She argued Wednesday that without proper accounting, the American public cannot shape informed opinions on the courses of these wars, which are generally viewed as “winding down” but continue to cost thousands of lives in 2019.

The Pentagon’s share of the spending includes the nearly $2 trillion since 2001 in overseas contingency operations funds, the wartime spending coffers used to fund most operations in places such as Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria. The Defense Department has added more than $900 billion to its base budgets since those operations began, which it likely would not have needed in peacetime, Crawford said.

But the project’s cost estimates consider not only Pentagon wartime spending, but also about $1 trillion in spending on homeland anti-terrorism measures, $131 billion for State Department wartime spending, $437 billion for veterans care through fiscal 2020 and $925 billion of interest payments that the United States will pay on money borrowed to fund those operations. It also includes a projected price tag of more than $1 trillion in future spending on medical care through fiscal 2059 for the men and women who have fought these wars, which is anticipated to grow further, even if the wars were to end in the next year.

“That’s a very rough estimate,” Crawford said. “I think it’s low balling, honestly.”

The costs of America’s post-9/11 wars include not only money but the loss of lives, which the report estimated to have exceeded 800,000 people. That tally includes combatants and noncombatants in countries including Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Syria and Yemen.

The report outlines the toll on Americans. Since operations were launched in Afghanistan in the weeks after the 9/11 attacks, 7,014 U.S. service members have died in American wars, 22 Pentagon civilians have been killed, and 7,950 U.S. contractors have died.

Other deaths include more than 12,000 deaths among U.S. allied troops, 173,000 deaths in the ranks of national military and police forces, nearly 300,000 enemy fighters killed and more than 310,000 civilian deaths.

Those tallies remain largely incomplete, Crawford said, estimating civilian deaths in war zones where Americans have operated could be twice those reported, but were impossible to verify.

She urged better transparency from the Pentagon — and other federal institutions — on budget decisions and ongoing operations in the wars.

“There’s a lot of blood and treasure spent, but we’re not sure if [the wars] are successful,” Crawford said, highlighting recent Pentagon estimates of number of Taliban fighters in Afghanistan that show similar strength as it held in 2001 and estimates of Islamic State fighters in Iraq and Syria that show the group might still boast 35,000 to 100,000 fighters following its loss of territory earlier this year.

“So how successful is the strategy and how successful could it be?” she asked. “… We can’t assess in some instances what those answers are.”

The Antichrist calls for the resignation of government as pressure mounts on Baghdad

Iraqi Shiite clerics call for the resignation of government as pressure mounts on Baghdad

Mina Aldroubi


Abu Dhabi

Mina joined The National in June 2017 after six years of working for news outlets in London. From 2011 to 2016, she worked as a London reporter for Asharq Al Awsat. She has conducted several high-profile interviews, including with London Mayor Saddiq Khan. She graduated in International Politics from City University and received her master’s degree in Middle East Politics from the School of Oriental and African Studies, London. Mina was born in Baghdad, and raised in Amman and London.

South Asian region will trigger nuclear fury (Revelation 8 )

S Asian region can trigger nuclear fury if Kashmir dispute remains unresolved: Alvi

By ALI HUSSAIN on November 14, 2019

President Dr Arif Alvi on Wednesday cautioned the world community that South Asian region could trigger a nuclear fury if important issues such as Kashmir dispute remain unresolved.

Addressing the inaugural session of Margalla Dialogue, titled ‘Peace and Development in South Asia, Middle East, Central Asia (SAMECA), organised by Islamabad Policy Research Institute, the President, however, stated that Pakistan would continue to play its role for maintaining peace in the region despite challenges.

He said that Pakistan has a great and important role in establishing peace and stability in the region, adding that the opening of Kartarpur Corridor is a strong reflection of Pakistan’s desire for regional harmony.

The President, however, regretted that the same day, the unilateral decision of Indian Supreme Court in Babri Masque case gave rise to frustration among Muslims and other minorities in India.

On Kashmir, he said that there are several UN Security Council resolutions promising right of self-determination to the Kashmiri people, adding that Pakistan and the Kashmiri people have hopes from the United Nations that these will be implemented.

The President said that the nations should rise above their vested interests and work collectively for the humanity to cope with the challenges including that of the global warming.

He said that the dream of peace and security in the world could not be realized until the countries look beyond the lens of vested interests and resolved mutual conflicts on the principles of humanity.

“The world is letting the people of Kashmir suffer the humanitarian crisis while it protects its vested economic interests,” he said, adding that multinational companies have become powerful enough to hijack the opinion and policies of states to get across vested agendas of different lobbies.

He asserted the global resources are under threat due to irresponsibility of some stockholders and the world should come forward to reduce causes of conflict in the world, especially in South Asia.

President Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) Sardar Masood Khan, in his address, said that in the case of India and Pakistan, the bilateral regime-Simla Agreement, the Composite Dialogues – has broken and the nuclear deterrence acquired by the two nations has made the resolution of the Kashmir dispute intractable.

“This has left us to reach out to our own constituencies, the international community, global civil society, international political parties and parliaments”, he said.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2019

The Iranian Nuclear Horn Continues to Grow (Daniel 8)

Atomic watchdog: Iran’s stockpiles of uranium still growing

AssociatedPress2 days ago

VIENNA (AP) — The U.N. atomic watchdog says Iran’s stockpiles of low-enriched uranium are still growing in violation of the 2015 nuclear deal.

In a confidential quarterly report distributed to member states, the International Atomic Energy Agency said Iran’s stockpile of low-enriched uranium still exceeds the amount allowed by the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA. The report was seen Monday by The Associated Press.

It also said Iran continues to enrich uranium up to 4.5%, above the 3.67% allowed.

The agency says as of Nov. 3, Iran’s stockpile of low-enriched uranium was 372.3 kilograms (820.78 pounds) compared to 241.6 kilograms reported on Aug. 19, and past the 202.8 kilogram limit.

Since the U.S. pulled out of the Iran nuclear pact last year and imposed sanctions, Iran has been slowly violating its provisions to pressure other nations to provide more incentives.

War Continues Outside the Temple Walls (Revelation 11)

Palestinians gathered on Wednesday around the remains of a house destroyed by an Israeli airstrike.


Ibraheem Abu Mustafa/Reuters

Exchanges of Fire Continue Across Israel-Gaza Border

A clash set off by Israel’s killing of an Islamic Jihad commander teetered between containment and escalation into a broader conflict.

By Isabel Kershner and Iyad Abuheweila

Nov. 13, 2019
Updated 6:25 p.m. ET

JERUSALEM — Gaza militants continued to bombard southern Israel with rockets on Wednesday and Israeli forces struck back against targets in the Palestinian coastal enclave in a clash set off by Israel’s assassination of a senior Islamic Jihad commander on Tuesday.

Though the death toll rose in Gaza and much of southern Israel was paralyzed by air-raid warnings, both sides appeared to be carefully measuring their actions.

After a quiet night and a resumption of hostilities early Wednesday, Israel and Gaza teetered between a quick resolution to this round of violence and a possible escalation — either intentional or through a misstep — that could lead to a much broader conflict.

In a speech on Wednesday night, Ziad al-Nakhala, the secretary-general of Islamic Jihad, said that Israel was seeking a cease-fire and he laid out his group’s conditions for one, including an end to Israel’s targeted killings and a commitment to previous understandings on easing the blockade on Gaza.

By midnight, the death toll in Gaza over the two days of violence had risen to at least 26, according to Palestinian health officials, including several civilians. Palestinian officials said more than 80 people had been wounded. The Israeli military put the number of militants killed at about 20.

Iron Dome missiles intercepted a rocket on Wednesday above Sderot, Israel.


Menahem Kahana/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

No deaths have been reported in Israel as a result of the rocket fire, which triggered multiple sirens on Wednesday and sent residents running for bomb shelters. But the Magen David Adom emergency medical service said it had treated dozens of people as a result of the rocket fire that began on Tuesday. A few were lightly injured by shrapnel; the rest were wounded while running for cover or showed stress symptoms.

The fight remained between Israel and Islamic Jihad, with Hamas, the larger militant group that governs Gaza, having stayed out of the fray so far. If Hamas were to start firing, the conflict would likely spiral down sharply, with Israeli officials warning of harsh consequences.

Hamas sent mixed messages, issuing statements in solidarity with Islamic Jihad and the “resistance” in the name of the Joint Operation Chamber, a committee of all the militant factions in Gaza that at least nominally is managing the battle.

Analysts put Hamas’s continued restraint down to its probable desire for a quick return to its understandings with Israel that have led to relative calm along the border in recent months, as well as injections of Qatari cash for the organization.

Hamas’s reticence perhaps also attested to frustrations with Islamic Jihad. Israeli officials said the smaller group had repeatedly tried to disrupt the cease-fire with sporadic, rogue rocket fire over the last year and had specifically accused Baha Abu al-Ata, the commander who was killed along with his wife in a missile strike as they slept in their apartment before dawn on Tuesday, of directing the attacks.

But standing by could also have consequences. One Israeli minister, Yuval Steinitz, warned that Israel would broaden its assault if Hamas did not act to rein in Islamic Jihad.

A funeral for an Islamic Jihad militant in Beit Hanun, Gaza, on Wednesday.


Mahmud Hams/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Issuing a stern warning to Islamic Jihad, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel was not looking for an escalation but would respond harshly to each rocket attack.

“Islamic Jihad would do well to understand this right now, instead of when it will be too late,” Mr. Netanyahu said at the start of a special cabinet meeting. “I believe that Islamic Jihad is starting to internalize this message. They understand that we will continue to strike them without mercy. They understand that Israel is very strong and that our will is very great.”

The United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East peace process, Nickolay Mladenov, said his organization was working “to urgently de-escalate the situation.”

“The indiscriminate launching of rockets and mortars against population centers is absolutely unacceptable and must stop immediately,” Mr. Mladenov said in a statement.

Burnt cars in Sderot.


Ariel Schalit/Associated Press

Islamic Jihad’s military wing took responsibility for all the rocket fire in a statement on Wednesday.

But Islamic Jihad appeared to have scaled back the range of its rocket fire, if not the intensity of its barrages, in response to the killing of Mr. Abu al-Ata. Most rockets and mortar shells appeared aimed at Israeli cities and communities within a few miles of the Gaza border, with the militants refraining from firing at the populous Tel Aviv area to the north, as they did initially on Tuesday.

In addition to the attack that killed Mr. Abu al-Ata, the group also blamed Israel for the attempted assassination of Akram al-Ajouri, an Islamic Jihad leader whose home in Damascus, Syria was also hit by an airstrike before dawn on Tuesday. The group said its “account with the Zionist enemy is still open,” adding, “our jihad is ongoing and our operations are continuing.”

Israel has remained silent about the attack on Mr. al-Ajouri, which killed his son and another man, neither taking nor denying responsibility.

The Israeli military said on Wednesday that it was limiting its airstrikes to Islamic Jihad targets in Gaza, including infrastructure, weapons manufacturing facilities and rocket-launching crews. The military said it also struck one squad that was preparing to fire anti-tank missiles.

Still, the situation remained highly volatile. Islamic Jihad made it clear on Tuesday that its real revenge for the killing was yet to come, suggesting that the rocket fire was just a prelude. And the more the death toll rose in Gaza, the more likely that Hamas would come under pressure to get involved.

In Gaza, schools and most businesses remained closed and people mostly kept indoors, wary of Israeli strikes and the danger of misfired rockets falling short of the border.

Three civilians, Rafat Ayyad and his two sons, Islam and Amir, one of them a young child, were killed in an airstrike as they rode on a motorcycle in a residential district of Gaza City on Wednesday morning, according to relatives.

Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus, a spokesman for the Israeli military, said he did not have details of what happened in that case. But he added that the military was taking “extensive measures, both intelligence-wise and operationally, and in the choice of munitions we use, to minimize to the greatest extent possible any harm to noncombatants.”

Many Gazans said they wanted to see the militant groups respond harshly to deter Israel from carrying out further assassinations after the killing of Mr. Abu al-Ata.

“This was a cowardly act,” said Ismail Al-Khour, 30, a mechanic in Gaza City. “The resistance must bomb them and the occupied lands.”

Israeli schools within a 25-mile radius of the Gaza border were closed for a second day on Wednesday. After dusk, the authorities instructed the residents of communities close to the Gaza border to stay near their safe rooms and bomb shelters amid almost constant rocket fire.

Israel’s Iron Dome air defense system intercepted most of the rockets headed toward population centers, but one house in the coastal city of Ashkelon suffered a direct hit and a woman was moderately injured.

Israel’s newly appointed defense minister, Naftali Bennett, issued his own warning to enemies on all fronts on his first day in the post, saying, “Whoever plans to harm us by day will never be sure that they will make it though the night.”

Isabel Kershner reported from Jerusalem, and Iyad Abuheweila from Gaza City. Ibrahim El-Mughraby contributed reporting from Gaza City.