The History of Earthquakes In New YorkBy Meteorologist Michael Gouldrick New York State PUBLISHED 6:30 AM ET Sep. 09, 2020 PUBLISHED 6:30 AM EDT Sep. 09, 2020New York State has a long history of earthquakes. Since the early to mid 1700s there have been over 550 recorded earthquakes that have been centered within the state’s boundary. New York has also been shaken by strong earthquakes that occurred in southeast Canada and the Mid-Atlantic states.
Earthquakes in the northeast U.S. and southeast Canada are not as intense as those found in other parts of the world but can be felt over a much larger area. The reason for this is the makeup of the ground. In our part of the world, the ground is like a jigsaw puzzle that has been put together. If one piece shakes, the whole puzzle shakes.In the Western U.S., the ground is more like a puzzle that hasn’t been fully put together yet. One piece can shake violently, but only the the pieces next to it are affected while the rest of the puzzle doesn’t move.In Rochester, New York, the most recent earthquake was reported on March 29th, 2020. It was a 2.6 magnitude shake centered under Lake Ontario. While most did not feel it, there were 54 reports of the ground shaking.So next time you are wondering why the dishes rattled, or you thought you felt the ground move, it certainly could have been an earthquake in New York.Here is a website from the USGS (United Sates Geologic Society) of current earthquakes greater than 2.5 during the past day around the world. As you can see, the Earth is a geologically active planet!Another great website of earthquakes that have occurred locally can be found here.To learn more about the science behind earthquakes, check out this website from the USGS.
No damage or injuries have been reported from Monday’s earthquake.
Earthquakes that register 2.5 magnitude or less often go unnoticed and are only recorded by a seismograph, according to Michigan Technological University. Any quake less than 5.5 magnitude is not likely to cause significant damage, the school said.
Just one week earlier, a 1.5 magnitude earthquake was reported on Nov. 9 in the Lowcountry. Six of the previous quakes were reported by S.C. Department of Natural Resources in the Jenkinsville area in Fairfield County, from Oct. 25 through Nov. 1.
In a breaking news situation, facts can be unclear and the situation may still be developing. The State is trying to get important information to the public as quickly and accurately as possible. This story will be updated as more information becomes available, and some information in this story may change as the facts become clearer. Refresh this page later for more updated information.
This story was originally published December 20, 2021 12:03 PM.
More than seven years after it intervened militarily to push back Daesh and prop up its client state in Iraq, the United States officially announced this month that it has ended its combat mission in the country it tore apart with war and corruption.
While the Iraqi government has trumpeted this in a vain attempt to appear sovereign, the reality is that American troops remain in Iraq and will almost certainly be a flashpoint for tensions with Iran-backed militant groups, particularly as the nuclear negotiations with Tehran flounder and each side looks for leverage against the other.
As a result of these geopolitical considerations, as well as the US and Iran fostering militia rule, constant military and political interventions, and domestic politics in a state of perpetual chaos and flux, the formalities of US involvement may have changed, but it is likely that this is the end of one chapter of violent conflict in Iraq and the beginning of another.
A history of US interventionism
The end of this combat mission is the second such time in less than two decades that the United States has announced a military disengagement from Iraq. The first was, of course, the 2003 invasion orchestrated by former President George W Bush and his partner in crime, then-British Prime Minister Tony Blair.
Under the Barack Obama administration, the US formally ended (at least on paper) more than eight years of invasion and occupation in late 2011. However, this was not to last, as the sectarian system Washington intentionally left in its wake led to the increased despotism of men like Shia Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki, who Iraqi lawmakers directly linked to the rise of Daesh.
By June 2014, Obama deployed his military to conduct extensive airstrikes in Iraq against Daesh which had – alongside other Iraqi militants they later betrayed – conquered a third of the fragile country in a matter of months and were now threatening both the federal capital in Baghdad and the Kurdish regional government in Erbil.
The US intervention was coordinated with its regional nemesis Iran, which also had a vested interest in keeping the Iraqi state alive, if only on life support. The American “Great Satan” provided close air support to Iran’s sectarian militias of the “Great Imam” and eventually managed to defeat Daesh culminating in the recapture of Mosul in 2017. The irony almost writes itself.
Since then, the US maintained its troops on a combat footing using the justification that Daesh still needed to be fought. The American military presence in Iraq, in conjunction with the rise of former President Donald Trump and regional geopolitical disputes relating to Iran’s nuclear programme, caused Iraq to serve as a flashpoint between Washington and Tehran.
To pressure the Trump administration into returning to the nuclear deal it abandoned in 2018, Iran used its Iraqi Shia proxies to attack US interests. This escalation led to the storming of the US embassy as 2019 closed out, an action that enraged Trump to such a degree that he ordered the unprecedented measure of assassinating Major General Qasem Soleimani by drone strike.
Soleimani was not only the head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ (IRGC) Quds Force, but also Iran’s point man for its regional ambitions for decades. His death sent shockwaves not only through Iran, but also through the patronage networks of Shia militias and politicians he had cultivated in the post-Saddam era.
While Soleimani’s death represented a grievous blow to Iran, this did not stop Shia militant attacks against American targets even after incumbent President Joe Biden took office with the promise of returning to the nuclear accords. Shia militants have demanded US troops evacuate Iraq by the end of the year or else face war.
It was in light of this ultimatum, combined with increasing American isolationism and recalibration towards China and the Pacific that the joint US-Iraqi strategic dialogue took place earlier this year, and set yet another “final” timetable for an end to US operations by December 31, 2021.
However, while formal combat operations have ended, America’s military presence in Iraq has merely shifted posture from kinetic operations to one of “advising, assisting and enabling” the Iraqi military, as recently confirmed by Biden’s Middle East and North Africa Coordinator, Brett McGurk.
Clearly, this falls short of what was expected by Iran and its militias and, if the “empty shell”nuclear deal currently being renegotiated falls through, there is a high possibility that Tehran will resume its proxy attacks against Washington’s interests, including the troops that remain in Iraq.
US military adventurism a curse on Iraq
While the geopolitical effects of American interventionism in the Middle East are clear to see, it is the domestic effects that often go underreported. This is particularly the case when state-society relations are examined, relations that have remained strained and fraught for two decades.
Domestically, Iraq has had a fragile political system ever since the 2003 invasion. While the dictatorship of Saddam Hussein’s Baath Party was oppressive, it still commanded a certain level of respect as it was viewed as indigenous.
In contemporary Iraq, however, democracy has become a byword for corruption, mismanagement, and subservience to foreign powers and their whims. Iraq has consistently ranked among the most corrupt countries in the world. This corruption has led to violence, entire ministries being pumped for money by patronage networks, and incessant problems with water and power supplies.
Baghdad is also powerless to prevent foreign powers from using it as a plaything, and does nothing apart from issuing occasional statements of discontent. This inability to monopolise and control violence within its own borders – one of the fundamental definitions of a state – has led to Iraqis losing faith in their government. A lack of faith in the capabilities of government due to corruption and lack of sovereignty also inevitably leads to a lack of faith in the process by which these governments come to power.
While much was promised to Iraqis in terms of democracy finally granting them freedom from oppression, their lived reality since 2003 has been one of spiralling violence, insecurity, a lack of prosperity, and the perception that foreign powers decide who sits in the driving seat, irrespective of what they vote for. The last election itself is being placed in doubt by the losing parties seeking to declare the vote fraudulent.
Similar to Afghanistan, another US experiment, Iraq is on a cliff edge and the slightest instability could send it hurtling into the abyss from a dysfunctional democracy into a full-blown civil war. If Washington fully disengages, and if the US decides to confront Iran militarily, then the two main pillars supporting this vacuous enterprise will disintegrate and will come crashing down in an orgy of violence. Once again, it will be regular Iraqis who pay the price for a tragedy they had nothing to do with.
Disclaimer: The viewpoints expressed by the authors do not necessarily reflect the opinions, viewpoints and editorial policies of TRT World.
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Tallha Abdulrazaq is an award-winning academic and writer, with a specialism in Middle Eastern strategic and security affairs.
Hamas security forces hold a police academy graduation ceremony in Gaza City. (Atia Mohammed/Flash90)YERUSHALAYIM –
The semantical debate over whether Israel has been experiencing a significant new wave of terrorism or just a spate of unconnected lone-wolf attacks was put to rest on Sunday after Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) reached an agreement to step up terror attacks against the country, especially in Yerushalayim and Yehuda and Shomron, according to a report in The Jerusalem Post on Sunday.
Analysts were quoted as saying that the terrorist groups are aiming not only to sow terror among Israelis but at the same time to weaken Mahmoud Abbas’ Palestinian Authority in order to extend their control over the Palestinian territories.
“Hamas and Islamic Jihad are hoping to kill two birds with one stone,” said a Ramallah-based analyst. “They know that the attacks make Abbas appear as if he’s losing control of the situation.”
A Ramallah official said that the PA security forces have received “solid instructions” from the PA leadership to prevent anarchy and lawlessness. “We will not allow any individual or group to instigate unrest and instability,” the official cautioned. “Hamas and Islamic Jihad are acting against the interests of our people.”
According to Palestinian sources, dozens of Hamas and PIJ members and supporters have been arrested or summoned for interrogation by PA security forces in the past few weeks.
Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan has said that if India invades, it will respond in kind.
Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan has said that if India launches an air strike against Pakistan, it will react in kind. If the Indian government does, then I fear the two nuclear powers will clash, he said.
Imran Khan has said that an attack by the BJP on the Indian government could have serious consequences. He described the people of India as “understandable”, but described the government as “extremist”.
Image Quote, Getty Images
Speaking in Indian-administered Kashmir, he said the situation was like a prison. Eight million Kashmiris have been forced to live in open prisons for fear of the military.
“We have raised the issue of Kashmir with the UN Security Council, but every Islamic country has a special relationship with India, so we can not expect much from them,” Prime Minister Imran Khan said in an interview. “But Pakistan has a duty. We will continue to raise our voice in Kashmir.” He added that he would raise the issue of Kashmir everywhere.
“I do not understand what the United States wants to achieve in Afghanistan, it has been in the country for 20 years,” he said. “They have the name of the so-called war on terror,” Imran Khan said.
Pakistan has more atomic bombs than India.
Image Quote, Getty Images
The number of atomic bombs in India and Pakistan has increased in the last decade as Pakistan has produced more atomic bombs in recent years than India.
Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, a Swedish think tank that analyzes global weapons and global security, was quoted as saying in a 2019 report.
Shannon Kyle, the institute’s director of arms control and anti-nuclear program, told the BBC that total nuclear weapons production had fallen but was rising in South Asia. “We told him that India had 60 to 70 atomic bombs. At that time, Pakistan had about 60 atomic bombs, but in the last ten years, the two countries have doubled the number of atomic bombs.” Shannen Kyle says Pakistan now has more atomic bombs than India. “Based on data from various sources, we can say that India currently has 130 to 140 atomic bombs, while Pakistan has 150 to 160 atomic bombs,” he added.
Neighboring countries Pakistan and India, which have weapons of mass destruction, have been in conflict for some time, and officials from the two countries have exchanged harsh words with each other since India in 2019. Airstrikes on rebel bases in Pakistan, weeks after a suicide bombing in disputed Kashmir have fueled fears of fighting in the southern Asian continent.
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Deputy Secretary General of the European External Action Service (EEAS) Enrique Mora and Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator Ali Bagheri Kani and delegations wait for the start of a meeting of the JCPOA Joint Commission in Vienna, Austria on 17 December 2021. EU Delegation in Vienna/EEAS/Handout via REUTERS
‘This is the last chance for Iran to engage in negotiations seriously”, said Liz Truss, the new British Foreign Secretary last Sunday, as the first part of the seventh round of negotiations to revive the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) ended. She’s probably right, as patience among the six world powers who signed the original plan in 2015 is wearing thin. Having taken years to agree, the JCPOA set limits on Iran’s nuclear programme in exchange for the lifting of a large number of international sanctions. All was going well and Iran was sticking to its side of the bargain, according to the international inspectors monitoring the deal, until Donald Trump decided to unilaterally rat on the agreement. Arguing that it wasn’t extensive enough and should have covered all of Iran’s “mal-activities” in the Middle East, Trump in 2018 withdrew America from the JCPOA, much to the dismay of his co-signatories. His action led to a blistering attack on the US by Iran’s ambassador to the UN: “For the first time in the history of the United Nations, the United States, a permanent member of the Security Council with a veto power, is engaging in penalising nations across the entire world; not for violating a Security Council resolution, rather for abiding by it.” The White House declined to challenge this claim. The result of Trump’s action has been predictably disastrous. The JCPOA allowed Iran to enrich uranium to 3.67% purity. Earlier this year, now released from its obligations, Iran reached the 60% level, just short of the purity required to produce a nuclear bomb. And it’s not just the purity which is alarming Iran’s neighbours, chiefly Israel. It’s also the quantity. A nuclear bomb requires about 25 kg of weapons-grade uranium and Iran currently has 17.7 kg, according to the UN International Atomic Energy Agency. Two weeks ago, the agency reported that Iran had begun to install advanced centrifuges, the kind required to rapidly purify uranium, in a fortified site in the mountains around Fordow, close to its holy city of Qom. Iran is well aware that its uranium sites are prone to Israeli attacks, which is why they have been widely dispersed throughout the country, many deep inside mountains. Embedded in Teheran’s memory is the 1981 Israeli Operation Opera, which destroyed an unfinished Iraqi nuclear reactor located 17 km outside Baghdad. Later, on 6 September 2007 Israeli forces carried out another airstrike, Operation Orchard, against Syria’s suspected nuclear reactor in the Deir ez-Zor region. If there is any doubt in the Mullahs’ minds about Israel’s determination to remove any threat to its very existence, it was revealed this week that the Israeli air strikes on 8 June, when it fired missiles at three military targets near the Syrian cities of Damascus and Homs, were part of a campaign to stop what Israeli officials believe was an emerging attempt by Syria to restart its production of deadly nerve agents. The attacks reflected grave concerns that arose within Israeli intelligence agencies after Syria’s military successfully imported a key chemical that can be used to make the deadly sarin gas, regarded as a direct threat to Israel’s security. At the time of the outbreak of Syria’s civil war in 2011, Damascus controlled one of the world’s largest and most advanced stockpiles of chemical weapons, including hundreds of tons of binary sarin and VX, two of the deadliest chemical warfare agents ever made. Syria perceives Israel as its long-term adversary and Jerusalem has made it perfectly clear that it will not tolerate any attempt by Syria to manufacture new chemical weapons. In the same vein, Israel will not tolerate any nuclear threat from Iran. “Iran has publicly stated that it wants to wipe us out”, said Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid in October during a visit to Washington. “We have no intention of letting this happen.” US Secretary of State Antony Blinken was much more circumspect, saying merely that Iran wasn’t negotiating seriously and that Washington is “prepared to turn to other options”. But the chances of the US attacking Iran to stop it from becoming a nuclear power are practically zero. It would mean going to war against a country of 85 million, whose Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps wields an arsenal of advanced missiles and drones, together with terrorist proxies capable of inflicting widespread damage on US interests. The job of stopping an Iranian nuclear bomb would therefore fall to Israel, the only other country that combines the will and military capacity needed to effectively paralyse Iran’s nuclear infrastructure for any length of time. There is every indication that preparations are being made for such an event, according to Israel’s Defence Minister, Benny Gantz, who said last week while having meetings in Washington that he had instructed the Israeli Defence Forces to prepare for a strike against Iran. Gantz told reporters that the US and European countries “are losing patience” and that Iran is trying to drag out the negotiations in Vienna aimed at reviving the JCPOA. He said that while Israel hopes the US will deter Iran, Israel will act if Washington fails to do so and if there is no diplomatic solution to the Iranian problem. But how serious is this threat? After all, Israel’s entire territory, population and national infrastructure would be vulnerable to Iran’s inevitable retaliatory strike, including up to 150,000 lethal projectiles in the hands of Hezbollah, Iran’s proxy, stationed directly on Israel’s northern border. These missiles are capable of striking Israel’s most critical targets with warheads as large as 1,000 pounds, which would result in Israel suffering destruction on a scale unprecedented in the country’s history. While Israel’s counter-proliferation efforts have severely limited Iran’s ability to transfer precision-guided munitions along various routes to Hezbollah, some Israeli officials privately suggest that the terrorist group could already have several hundred in its arsenal. Once it acquires 1,000, it could fire 10 precision strikes at each of Israel’s most critical pieces of national infrastructure, overwhelming the country’s Iron Dome missile defence system and paralysing Israel’s civic society. Nevertheless, Israel appears determined to use military force against Iran if the nuclear threat continues. It has long opposed the JCPOA, insisting that it did not go far enough to halt Iran’s nuclear programme and, echoing Trump’s position, does not address what it sees as hostile Iranian military activity across the region. While some prominent voices in Israel are now calling the US withdrawal from the JCPOA a blunder, as there was no contingency plan for Iran’s continuously developing nuclear plan, Israel’s new government has maintained a similar position to that of former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, rejecting a return to the original deal and calling for diplomacy to be accompanied by military pressure on Iran. Israel’s spy chief, David Barnea, even told the country’s Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper last week that Israel will not be bound to any nuclear deal and will keep up efforts to “quell Iran’s nuclear activity”. In recent years, both Israel and the US are widely believed to have carried out secret assassinations and cyber-attacks against Iranian nuclear personnel and infrastructure, in a bid to sabotage the programme. For its part, Iran maintains that before the JCPOA can be resuscitated, all sanctions imposed since 2018 must be lifted, including those recently added by the Biden administration. Iran also insists on a guarantee from the US that it will not again unilaterally withdraw from a new deal, should one be agreed. As if to show that it is preparing for war, Iran last week tested a surface-to-air missile defence system near its Natanz nuclear facility. Pessimism and anxiety pervade the talks in Vienna. Negotiators largely blame Iran for the lack of progress, saying that Iran has “fast-forwarded its nuclear programme and backtracked on diplomatic progress”. In the meantime, Israel has been preparing military strikes in the expectation that the talks will fail, leaving the Iranian nuclear programme unconstrained, a position completely unacceptable to Jerusalem. Not only would a war between Israel and Iran be a disaster for the Middle East, costing many lives and destroying vast amounts of infrastructure, it would also endanger a third of the world’s oil supply. With Russia’s activities in Ukraine also threatening Europe’s gas supplies, sending prices through the roof, the combination would result in the world economy plummeting in a matter of weeks. Unless there is an unexpected breakthrough in Vienna, the day when Israel decides to act might be much closer than many people think. A resurgent Covid-19 in 2022 could be the least of the world’s problems.
Dec. 19 (UPI) — Two Katyusha rockets were fired near the U.S. Embassy in the Green Zone in Baghdad, according to the Iraq Security Media Cell on Sunday.
The Iraq military said the American embassy’s C-RAM defense system was able to intercept and destroy one of the rockets in the air Saturday. However, a second landed in a nearby square damaging two civilian cars.
The U.S. government has not yet publicly addressed the rocket strike, and it was not immediately clear what group was behind the attack.
The Green Zone is often a target for rockets and drone strikes because it also houses other foreign diplomatic missions including the British, Australian and Egyptian embassies along with other government buildings.
Earlier this month, the Defense Department announced that the U.S. military had ended its combat mission in Iraq. However, the military said about 2,500 troops would remain to serve in advisory and support roles.
“Many brave men and women gave their lives to ensure Daeshnever returns, and as we complete our combat role, we will remain here to advise, assist, and enable the ISF, at the invitation of Republic of Iraq,” Maj. Gen. John W. Brennan, Jr. said in a statement. “We are confident that the fruits of our strong partnership will ensure Daesh will not reconstitute and threaten the Iraqi people.”
That announcement came after Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin met with Iraqi Defense Minister Sadun al-Jaburi last month to ensure that U.S. forces would remain “at the invitation of the Iraqi government to support the Iraqi Security Forces.”
The United States had agreed that there would be no American soldiers serving in a combat role in Iraq during the July 2021 U.S.-Iraq Strategic Dialogue.
According to the Jerusalem Post, Iran-backed militias in Iraq have threatened to attack U.S. troops if they remain in Iraq after Dec. 31.