1884 A Forewarning Of The Sixth Seal (Revelation 6:12)

January 20, 2010

New York City isn’t immune to earthquakes; a couple of small tremors measuring about 2.5 on the Richter scale even struck back in 2001 and 2002.

The quake was subsequently thought to have been centered off Far Rockaway or Coney Island.

Translation: We’re about 30 years overdue. Lucky for us the city adopted earthquake-resistant building codes in 1995.1884 A Forewarning Of The Sixth Seal (Revelation 6:12)

Saudis Hit the Iranian Nuclear Horn

Yemeni Civil War: Saudis hit Iranian troops at missile sites

Saudi Arabia and its coalitions fighting the Iranian-backed Houthi movement in neighboring Yemen announced that they conducted airstrikes targeting rebel missile sites and Iranian military personnel stationed at these sites.

On Monday, the Saudi-led coalition launched several of these airstrikes on Yemen’s capital, which is occupied by the Houthi rebels. This comes just two days after the rebels launched a drone-and-missile attack targeting the Saudi capital of Riyadh. They also launched several others in northwestern Amran province.

The Saudis hit a number of high-value targets including the presidential palace compound, a military school, as well as an airbase close to Sanaa airport. Local citizens reported to the media that loud explosions could be heard across the city.

Saudi officials stated that they conducted more than 12 airstrikes that hit Sanaa on Monday, including six strikes on a military academy north of the capital and four on a military airbase that is within the Sanaa International Airport.

The Saudi media reported that the head of the Saudi-led coalition, Saudi Colonel Turki al-Maliki, said that “legitimate military targets” of the Houthi movement, were struck in response to the Yemeni militias’ ballistic missile attack on Saturday on Riyadh and other areas of the kingdom.

Maliki added that the targets included sites used by the Houthis for storing and assembling various weapons such as missiles and drones, along with positions manned by Iran’s Quds Force. Both Riyadh and Washington have long accused Tehran of shipping advanced arms to the Houthis, a Zaidi Shiite Muslim group.

Around midnight on Saturday night, Saudi Arabia’s Air Defence Forces intercepted and destroyed a ballistic missile over the capital of Riyadh. Another missile was also intercepted and destroyed over the southern Saudi city of Jizan, which borders Yemen, according to state media.

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and other members of their coalition have waged a five-year campaign to oust the Houthi militia, which is supported by Iran, and return control of the country to the internationally recognized government.

The Saudis and Iranians have long held a contentious relationship as each strives for regional dominance. Their differences begin with religion: Iran is largely Shia Muslim, while Saudi Arabia sees itself as Islam’s leading Sunni power. After the U.S. invaded Iraq in 2003 and removed Sadam Hussein, a huge Sunni adversary of the Iranians, the Iranians sensed an opening and moved. Iran has been increasing its regional presence ever since.

Since 2011, Iran has benefitted from the civil war in Syria and has put proxy forces in the country to open up a land bridge from Tehran to Lebanon. It has stepped up attacks on shipping in the Gulf — something it continues to deny.

Iran and Saudi Arabia have had no diplomatic relations since an attack on the Saudi embassy in Tehran in January 2016 following the execution, by Saudi Arabia, of Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr, a Shia cleric.

However, the fighting in Yemen has been conducted, until now, strictly by proxies. But the Houthi missile attack on Riyadh has opened another door in the conflict. The Saudis attacked the Quds Forces that are operating with the Houthi rebels and have taken a page out of the Israeli handbook and have made it clear that any attack on Saudi Arabia by the Houthis is the same as an attack by Iran itself. Coincidentally, both Saudi Arabia and Israel were the two biggest critics of the Iran nuclear deal reached by the Obama administration arguing that it didn’t limit Iran sufficiently.

The fighting in Yemen continues despite repeated ceasefire attempts. This has left the country so ridden by disease and malnutrition that United Nations officials have described the war as the world’s worst humanitarian disaster. The most recent escalation in the Middle East’s poorest country has displaced more than 40,000 people since January.  And there are already about 3.6 million who have been forced to flee their homes since the war began five years ago.

Martin Griffiths, the UN Special Envoy for Yemen, said on Sunday that concerns about the escalation of fighting in Marib and rebel attacks on Saudi Arabia have put the civilians caught in the middle at greater risk.

“I am gravely dismayed and disappointed by these actions at a time when the Yemeni public’s demands for peace are unanimous and louder than ever before,” he said.

Another NY Quake Before the Sixth Seal (Revelation 6:12)

Did you feel it? Small earthquake recorded under Lake Ontario

Viral pandemic. Severe thunderstorms. Earthquake.

Locusts next?

A small earthquake was recorded shortly after 1 p.m. Sunday under Lake Ontario about 40 miles west-northwest of the Charlotte Pier.

Several people in the Syracuse area were the first to report to the U.S. Geological Survey that they felt the small temblor. It occurred not long before a line of severe thunderstorms passed over the same area.

An earthquake of 2.6 magnitude generally can be felt by people nearby but would do little or no damage.

Motion captured by seisomograph at McQuaid Jesuit High School around 1:05 p.m. EDT Sunday.

McQuaid Jesuit High School

The nearest land was in the town of Lyndonville, Orleans County, about eight miles south of the epicenter. The quake was three miles below the surface.

Contact watchdog reporter Steve Orr at sorr@democratandchronicle.com or at (585) 258-2386. Follow him on Twitter at @SOrr1. This coverage is only possible with support from our readers. If you don’t already have a digital subscription, please sign up today.

The Threat of Nuclear Jihad in Central Asia and Russia

By Musa Khan Jalalzai

March 31, 2020

Citizens of five central states have joined the ISIS networks to take the war into the region and inflict fatalities on civilian population. Russia is a strong country in case of law enforcement and intelligence infrastructure, but newly established commando units of the ISIS have gained professional approach to traditional and guerrilla war. As far as foreign fighters and the ISIS are concerned, prior to the start of Syria’s civil war in 2011, Central Asia had periodically seen trickles of citizens leaving to fight in Syria and Iraq. In domestic stability, states of Central Asia are better than Pakistan, Afghanistan and some states of the Gulf region, but the fear of chemical and biological war has vanished their dream. The threat of returned fighters moving underground and engaging in terrorist attacks is greater if there is no process to reintegrate and absorb them into a reasonably open society.

It is known that Katibat-i-Imam Bukhari group (KIB) has established two branches. The group’s main fighting force of more than 500 militants, led by leader Abu Yusuf Muhojir. The chechen fighters are also looking for material of dirty bomb abd nuclear weapons to use it against Central Asian and Russian army, but didn’t retrieve so for. They are in contact with some states in South Asia and Middle East to receive fund from these regions, and purchase readymade dirty bomb. Afghan and foreign officials say as many as 7,000 Chechens and other foreign fighters could be operating in the country, loosely allied with the Taliban and other militant groups. According to recent reports, 6,000 militants from Central Asia and the Caucasus have already been enlisted in ISIS ranks. The largest radical group in Uzbekistan, Imam Bukhari Jamaat, has joined ISIS in Syria. Experts say there are over one thousand Uzbek and Tajik militants still fighting under the banner of ISIS.

There are speculations that some Russian technocrates and politicians are stressing the need for the establishing a jihadi group like the ISIS to further the interests of Russia in Central Asia and Middle East and fight against the NATO and American forces in Afghanistan. Russia is now third among top countries from which ISIS receives its recruits. The majority of them come from the North Caucasus, but also increasingly from Central Asia. The most prominent North Caucasians among the ISIS ranks have been the Chechens. Shortly before Russia’s Syria intervention, the Russian government claimed that between 2,000 and 5,000 militants had joined ISIS; weeks after the entry of Russia into the conflict, however, that figure jumped to 7,000 out of a total of approximately 30,000 foreign fighters active within the ranks of the Islamic State. 

If we look at the expertise of these groups, and their multifaceted military trainings, on their return to the region, they might possibly target biological and chemical laboratories and nuclear installations in Central Asia and Russia. There are states they will provide weapons and training to make the region a hell. Newsweek’s Daily Beast blog provided another version of an overspill, already apparently happening in 2010. They quoted a “Taliban sub-commander in the northern Afghan province of Kunduz”: … jihadist allies from Central Asia have started heading home … encouraged by relentless American drone attacks against the fighters’ back bases in Pakistan’s tribal areas … they’re expanding their range across the unguarded northern Afghan border into Tajikistan to create new Taliban sanctuaries there, assist Islamist rebels in the region, and potentially imperil the Americans’ northern supply lines … [beginning] in late winter 2009.… In Kunduz they joined up with fighters from the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU).

In his recent research paper, Leonid Gusev, an expert of Institute of International Studies, Moscow State Institute of International Relations of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation (MGIMO) has noted some consternating cooperative measures and plannings of the extremist groups of Central Asia:

“Central Asian countries experience diverse intersecting influences: they feel changes in the situation in the Caucasus, in the Xinjiang autonomous territory of China, in Afghanistan and the Middle East. Militants from various terrorist groups in the region cooperate, many of them fighting in Syria and Iraq. But the biggest threat to Central Asia’s security is the situation in Afghanistan, where the Taliban provide organisational and logistics support to the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU). Despite sustaining a significant blow, with its main groups squeezed out of the region, it still maintains a presence in the form of underground groups that could become active at any time, joining forces with the radical Tajik opposition and Uyghur separatists. Cells of the Islamic State (ISIS) (a terrorist organisation banned in Russia) also operate in the region……… Tajikistan is a tension hotspot in Central Asia in terms of religious extremism and terrorism. A particular source of danger is neighbouring Afghanistan, where about 60 per cent of the lands along the frontier are engulfed in clashes between government forces and the Taliban and other radical Islamist groups. At the same time, there is almost no security along the Afghan-Tajik border, including the issue of drug trafficking”.

Nuclear trafficking in South Asia was a key concern while the nuclear blacke marketing networks of Pakistani generals and some mafia scientists were uncovered in Libya to Syria, Malaysia and Afghanistan. Recent media reports identified Moldovan criminal groups that attempted to smuggle radioactive materials to Daesh (also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS) in 2015. Cases of nuclear smuggling in Central Asia were made recent cases. Muhammad Wajeeh, a Research Associate at Department of Development Studies, COMSATS Institute of Information Technology, Abbottabad Pakistan in his research paper (Nuclear Terrorism: A Potential Threat to World’s Peace and Security- JSSA Vol II, No. 2) has reviewed a consternating threat of nuclear terrorism in South and Central Asia:

“ISIS is believed to have about 90 pounds of low grade uranium (which was seized from Mosul University in Iraq aer the invasion of the city in 2014) that can be used in the Dirty Bomb’s to create serious panic among the public. In 2015 and 2016, ISIS became the leading high profile jihadist group in Iraq and Syria. Moreover, ISIS carried out attacks in Paris on November 13, 2015, killing 130 civilians and injuring more than 100 people. The ISIS carried out a series of three coordinated suicide. Bombings in Belgium: one at Maalbeek Metro Staon, Brussels and two at Brussels Airport in Zaventem, killing about 32 civilians and injuring 300 people. During the aacks, a G4S guard working on the Belgian nuclear research center was also murdered and it le the world believing that the ISIS has a potenal plot to aack the nuclear facility either to steal the radioacve material for dirty bomb or to release the radioactive material and waste into the atmosphere. These aacks also raised the issue of nuclear security aer a discovery made by the Belgian authorities that the ISIS has kept an eye on the local nuclear scientists and their families. Moreover, two Belgian nuclear power plant workers at Deol having knowledge of the nuclear sites joined ISIS and could provide assistance to exploit them for terrorist purposes. On March 30, al‐Furat, the media wing of ISIS, threatened attacks on Germany and Britain on the eve of Washington Nuclear Security Summit 2016”.

Nuclear terrorism remains a constant threat to global peace. Access of terrorist organizations to nuclear material is a bigger threat to civilian population. Terrorist groups can gain access to highly enriched uranium or plutonium, because they have the potential to create and detonate an improvised nuclear device. Since the ISIS has already retrieved nuclear materials from Mosul city of Iraq, we can assert that terrorist groups like ISIS and Katibat Imam Bukhari, and Chechen extremist groups can make access to biological and nuclear weapons with the help of local experts. Nuclear facilities also often store large amounts of radioactive material, spent fuel, and other nuclear waste products that terrorists could use in a dirty bomb. Without access to such fissile materials, extremist and radicalized groups can turn their attention toward building a simple radiological device. The most difficult part of making a nuclear bomb is acquiring the nuclear material, but some Muslim and non-Muslim state might facilitate the ISIS, Lashkar-e-Toiba, Chechen extremist groups and Afghanistan and Pakistan based groups to attack nuclear installations in Russia and Central Asia.

The ISIS magazine (Dabiq-May 2015) published article of British journalist John Cantlie, in which he warned that the ISIS terrorist group had gained capabilities to launch major terrorist attack: “Let me throw a hypothetical operation onto the table. The Islamic State has billions of dollars in the bank, so they call on their wilāyah in Pakistan to purchase a nuclear device through weapons dealers with links to corrupt officials in the region. The weapon is then transported overland until it makes it to Libya, where the mujāhidīn move it south to Nigeria. Drug shipments from Columbia bound for Europe pass through West Africa, so moving other types of contraband from East to West is just as possible. The nuke and accompanying mujāhidīn arrive on the shorelines of South America and are transported through the porous borders of Central America before arriving in Mexico and up to the border with the United States. From there it’s just a quick hop through a smuggling tunnel and hey presto, they’re mingling with another 12 million “illegal” aliens in America with a nuclear bomb in the trunk of their car”.

On 25 March 2016, Daily Telegraph reported militants plan to attack the Brussels nuclear plant: “In the wake of claims the Brussels attackers had planned to set off a radioactive ‘dirty bomb’, Yukiya Amano, the Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency said: “Terrorism is spreading and the possibility of using nuclear material cannot be excluded. The material can be found in small quantities in universities, hospitals and other facilities. “Dirty bombs will be enough to (drive) any big city in the world into panic. And the psychological, economic and political implications would be enormous,” said Mr Amano. One security expert suggested that the terrorists could have been plotting to kidnap the nuclear researcher they had been filming with a view to coercing the scientist into helping them make a ‘dirty bomb’. The Newspaper reported. State sponsorship of nuclear terrorism in Central Asia is matter of great concern as some states support terrorist groups such as the ISIS, Taliban, Katibat Imam Bukhari, Chechen groups, and Lashkar-e-Toiba, and provide dangerous weapons. These states can sponsor terrorist groups to launch nuclear attack inside Russia or Central Asia.

In yesteryears, President Vladimir Putin seemed to be after nuclear weapons for another reason—to show that Russia was still a great power to be reckoned with. As President Putin elaborated in an interview with Oliver Stone, whether America’s motives are truly just centered on corporate welfare or not, the position the U.S. was putting him in requires him to respond to the heightened threat. Soon thereafter he claimed in his annual address to the Duma an entire new generation of heavy MIRV (Multiple Independently Targetable Reentry Vehicle) missiles, one of which could kill every major city in Texas; nuclear-powered cruise missiles with essentially unlimited range for evading U.S. defenses; virtually undetectable nuclear torpedoes for destroying American coastal cities and major ports; and hypersonic delivery vehicles which completely skew the balance of Mutually Assured Destruction by reducing the amount of time that policy makers have to decide whether to go to nuclear war from 15 or 30 minutes to perhaps less than five.

Modern diplomacy (29 March 2020) in its short comment noted frustration of the US army and Pentagon vis-a-vis emerging security threats and modern technologies: “The technological superiority of the United States armed forces is being challenged by new and evolving threats constantly being developed by potential adversaries. To counteract these challenges, the country’s Department of Defense (DoD) is expected to spend an estimated $481 billion between 2018 and 2024 to identify and develop new technologies for advanced weapon systems, giving rise to numerous revenue opportunities in this space”. Before this, in February 2018, BBC reported Moscow’s condemnation of US military proposals to develop new, smaller atomic bombs mainly to deter any Russian use of nuclear weapons. Russia’s Foreign Minister called the move “confrontational”, and expressed “deep disappointment”. The proposals emerged from concerns that Russia might see current US nuclear weapons as too big to be used. The Russian Foreign Ministry accused the US of warmongering in its statement, issued less than 24 hours after the US proposals were published.

Musa Khan Jalalzai is a writer, journalist and, a research contributor in Research Institute for European and American Studies (RIEAS) Greece, and London. He has been contributing articles and research papers in Global Security Review USA, Journal of European and American Intelligence Studies, Daily Times, The Nation, Telegraph, Times of London, Daily Outlook Afghanistan, The New Nation Bangladesh, New Yorker, and Journal (Fautline) of the Institute for Conflict Management Delhi India since 1994. His intellectual experience is up to 30 years extensive research in political analysis, Pakistan, Afghanistan, terrorism, Taliban, the ISIS, nuclear and biological terrorism, and intelligence analysis. His skills cover counterterrorism, the EU and UK law enforcement analysis, and intelligence and security crisis in Asia and Europe. From 1992-1994, he worked as a research scholar in Pakistan’s Institute of National Affairs (PINA), and authored two book on the war in Persian Gulf in 1993. He has been helping the UK law firms, and courts in demonstrating fear of persecution of asylum seeker by expert opinion reports since 2009. He completed MA in English Literatures, Diploma in Geospatial Intelligence, University of Maryland Washington DC. He can speak, and write English, Pashto, Persian, Urdu, Hindi, Punjabi, Dari, and Saraiki languages. His all books are available at amazon.com, amazon.co.uk, and Google.

Israel pummels outside the Temple Walls as it struggles to battle pandemic

Israel pummels Gaza Strip as it struggles to battle pandemic

Israeli armed forces claimed that the aerial assault was a response for missiles being fired into the south of the country

Steve SweeneySunday, March 29, 2020

ISRAEL pummelled the besieged Gaza Strip on Saturday, its bombs targeting a number of locations in the Palestinian territory, which is struggling to deal with a deadly outbreak of coronavirus.

Warplanes fired missiles which struck areas north-west of Gaza City and east of the town of Jabalya.

Artillery shells also hit a spot east of the city, causing damage to infrastructure. No injuries were reported.

The Israeli armed forces claimed that the aerial assault was a response for missiles being fired into the south of the country, the stock response used to justify such an attack.

None of the Palestinian resistance factions claimed responsibility for the alleged rocket attack on Israel.

In a further operation, the Israeli navy opened fire on a Palestinian fisherman off the coast of Gaza City.

The Palestinian fishing industry has suffered huge losses as fishermen are frequently targeted by Israeli gunboats and are denied access to the sea.

Gaza has been subjected to a cruel 12-year blockade by Israel. Half of the Palestinian territory’s population of two million — confined to a space of just 365 square kilometres — live in poverty, 97 per cent of water is undrinkable and its health system is in crisis.

Medics have warned of an impending catastrophe after Covid-19 was reported in the Gaza Strip last week.

And rights group B’Tselem has warned of “a massive disaster, resulting entirely” from conditions created by the Israeli blockade.

Palestinian Authority spokesman Hussein Sheikh said that a campaign was under way for the urgent dispatch of testing kits amid a shortage in the occupied territories.

Palestine Liberation Organisation spokeswoman Hanan Ashwari thanked China and Cuba for their support and role in leading the global efforts against the Covid-19 outbreak.

“From Palestine, from our little corner of the world, we reach out to the rest of the world in solidarity, in friendship and compassion and human empathy.

“We know what all these things meant to us in times of adversity in an ongoing tragedy, and we know that this is the only way we can all join together in order to defeat this horrible affliction, the coronavirus pandemic, that has caught us all unaware,” she said.

She “reached out” to health workers who have put their lives at risk to help others and thanked those countries, including China and Cuba, that have helped other countries less fortunate.

“We know that so long as we maintain this sense of empathy and compassion that humanity will prevail, no matter how difficult the times are right now. We will prevail if we stay human and we will stay safe. Thank you,” she said.

The Iranian Nuclear Horn Continues to Grow


April 2020

By Julia Masterson

Iran has accumulated approximately 1,021 kilograms of low-enriched uranium (LEU), the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) detailed in a report released March 3. The report notes that Iran is continuing to expand its uranium-enrichment program and is now accumulating enriched material from all 1,044 first-generation IR-1 centrifuge machines at its Fordow facility and from 5,060 IR-1s and a limited number of advanced model machines at its Natanz facility.

IAEA Director-General Rafael Grossi speaks to the media on March 9. He told the agency’s Board of Governors the same day that Iran has continued to allow the IAEA to conduct its activities defined by the 2015 nuclear deal. (Photo: Dean Calma/IAEA)

Under the 2015 nuclear deal, known formally as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), Iran’s LEU stockpile is capped at 300 kilograms of uranium hexafluoride gas enriched to 3.67 percent uranium-235 and is limited to output from 5,060 IR-1 centrifuges at Natanz. Three hundred kilograms of uranium hexafluoride gas equates to about 202 kilograms of uranium by weight.

Iran’s enriched uranium stockpile is now about five times larger than the JCPOA limit. The stockpile’s size shortens Iran’s breakout time, the time it would take to produce enough nuclear material for one weapon, if Tehran were to choose to pursue nuclear weapons development. How quickly Iran could produce enough fissile material for a weapon depends on several factors, including the number and type of operating centrifuges. When the JCPOA was fully implemented, Iran’s breakout time was estimated to be 12 months.

Iran’s growing uranium stockpile should not necessarily be perceived as a sprint to the bomb. Iran continues to comply with the IAEA on-site verification and monitoring activities that are designed specifically to detect higher levels of enrichment and a diversion of materials for weapons purposes, said IAEA Director-General Rafael Grossi at his agency’s Board of Governors meeting on March 9.

In addition to its comprehensive safeguards agreement with the IAEA, required of all non-nuclear-weapon states party to the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, Iran is obligated under the JCPOA to adhere to an additional protocol to its safeguards agreement that allows inspectors increased access and tools to verify the peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear program. The JCPOA grants the IAEA a long-term presence in Iran and allows the agency to continuously monitor Iran’s uranium enrichment, among other things.

“The agency continues to verify the nondiversion of nuclear materials declared by Iran under its safeguards agreement,” Grossi said, adding that the agency is undertaking investigations into Iran’s undeclared nuclear activities.

Grossi also said that despite Iran’s Jan. 5 announcement that it would no longer be bound by the deal’s operational restrictions, “to date, the agency has not observed any changes to Iran’s implementation of its nuclear-related commitments under the JCPOA.”

Iran continues to comply fully with its JCPOA-related safeguards and monitoring commitments and to adhere to the deal’s prohibition on plutonium reprocessing, according to the March 3 report. Iran also has not installed any additional IR-1 centrifuges at the Natanz facility and has not taken steps to pursue construction of the Arak heavy-water reactor under its original design, in keeping with the deal’s requirements that Iran install no more than 5,060 IR-1 centrifuges at Natanz and convert the Arak reactor to produce less plutonium.

Tehran’s Jan. 5 announcement marked its fifth breach of the nuclear deal since it first began reducing its compliance with the agreement in May 2019. Nevertheless, Iran’s violations likely are not indicative of imminent nuclear weapons development but are rather an attempt by Tehran to pressure the remaining parties to the JCPOA to offer sanctions relief promised under the deal.

In response to Iran’s escalatory measures, the European members of the nuclear deal (France, Germany, and the United Kingdom) triggered the deal’s dispute resolution mechanism Jan. 14 in an effort to facilitate dialogue necessary to address Iran’s noncompliance and salvage the agreement. The dispute resolution mechanism, laid out in the text of the JCPOA, provides for a 15-day period of discussions within the governing Joint Commission, which comprises the deal’s remaining members. The time-bound period for discussions within the Joint Commission can be extended by consensus vote.

EU foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell, who chairs the Joint Commission, announced on Jan. 24 that “there is agreement that more time is needed due to the complexity of the issues involved. The timeline is therefore extended.”

The members of the Joint Commission met for the first time Feb. 26 in Vienna. The meeting was attended by representatives from China, France, Germany, Iran, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the European Union.

In his statement following that session, Borrell said that “serious concerns were expressed regarding the implementation of Iran’s nuclear commitments under the agreement,” but added that “participants also acknowledged that the reimposition of U.S. sanctions did not allow Iran to reap the full benefits arising from sanctions lifting.”

Borrell remarked that a series of expert-level discussions had taken place in recent weeks regarding Iran’s violations of the JCPOA and Washington’s reimposition of sanctions following the U.S. withdrawal from the deal in May 2018. Although he did not clarify whether the Joint Commission period of the dispute resolution mechanism would be further extended, Borrell noted that expert-level discussions would continue to move forward.

“All participants [in the Feb. 26 meeting] reaffirmed the importance of preserving the agreement, recalling that it is a key element of the global nuclear nonproliferation architecture,” Borrell said.

Antichrist slammed for claiming same-sex marriage caused coronavirus

Iraqi cleric slammed for claiming same-sex marriage caused coronavirus

Iraqi Shia political leader Muqtada al-Sadr has been widely criticised online for claiming that the coronavirus pandemic was caused by same-sex marriage.

Writing on Twitter on Saturday (March 28), al-Sadr – who is the leader of the Sadrist Movement and the Saraya al-Salam militia, said: “One of the most appalling things that have caused this epidemic is the legalisation of same-sex marriage.”

He called on “all governments” to repeal their laws on same-sex marriage “immediately and without hesitation,” apparently believing that doing so would somehow reverse the pandemic.

His comments have been widely condemned by LGBT+ activists as well as Twitter users, many of whom took the time to reply to al-Sadr’s tweet.

Iraqi LGBT+ rights group accused Muqtada al-Sadr of ‘weaponising’ people’s coronavirus fears to stoke hate.

Iraqi LGBT+ rights group IraQueer yesterday accused him of “weaponising” fears and anxieties of the Iraqi people as the coronavirus pandemic continues to worsen.

“Making such ignorant statements will not only endanger LGBT+ people’s lives, but will also put the lives of all Iraqis at risk,” IraQueer said in a statement seen by Middle East Eye.

“The coronavirus is a pandemic that must be dealt with seriously and medically, and Muqtada al-Sadr’s tweet will only distract us from what is really important, which is to save Iraqi lives.”

Making such ignorant statements will not only endanger LGBT+ people’s lives, but will also put the lives of all Iraqis at risk.

Iraqi Twitter users also widely condemned al-Sadr for his offensive comments. While his tweet was liked more than 10,000 times, it also received more than 6,000 mostly angry replies.

Twitter users widely condemned the political leader.

One Twitter user replied: “I am an Iraqi as well and I have the right to life and marriage like everyone else”.

Activist Abbas al-Wadi wrote: “Someone take the phone from his hands.”

Aya Mansour, editor of Iraq Media Network, insisted that coronavirus is “not as dangerous as your statements.”

Meanwhile, actor and researcher with the Albasheer Show replied: “One of the most dangerous things that will cause this epidemic to spread is your tweets and your herd,” referencing his followers’ decision to continue congregating despite social distancing guidelines.

A number of Twitter users also pointed out that some of the countries that have been worst hit by the coronavirus pandemic have not actually legalised same-sex marriage, such as China, Italy and Iran.

Homosexuality is not illegal in Iraq but discrimination is widespread and LGBT+ people are frequently victims of vigilante justice and honour killings.

Living With The Pakistani Bomb (Daniel 8 )

Living With The Bomb: Pak Media

The 22 years since India’s nuclear explosions in May 1998 have been marked by several stand-offs between Pakistan and India, where nuclear sabre-rattling was not uncommon in either Islamabad or Delhi.

Kargil happened within a year of the tests, followed by an attack on the Indian parliament in 2001 and mayhem in Mumbai in 2008, to name a few instances. It is a timely decision by Brig (Retd) Naeem Salik to assess what India has learned as a declared nuclear weapons state.

With the inclusion of Indian authors in the book he has edited — India’s Habituation with the Bomb: Nuclear Learning in South Asia — Salik can rightly claim that it is more than just what Pakistani analysts associated with the Armed Forces think of what India has learned.

Of the six chapters in the slim volume, four are contributed by Indians. That Indians chose to contribute to a book that is the brainchild of a former member of Pakistan’s armed forces is a sign that the defence elite of the two countries are allowed to interact with each other in a manner that their academic counterparts in other disciplines cannot imagine.

The likelihood of a Pakistani anthropologist studying the tribals of India, wanting to work with Indian anthropologists and coming up with an edited volume appears a distant possibility, if not a preposterous thought.

Salik’s overview of India’s nuclear programme provides context for the subsequent chapters, and helps those not familiar with India’s nuclear history by recapping milestones in its nuclear trajectory.