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

The worst earthquake in Massachusetts history 260 years ago
It happened before, and it could happen again.
By Hilary Sargent @lilsarg Staff | 11.19.15 | 5:53 AM
On November 18, 1755, Massachusetts experienced its largest recorded earthquake.
The earthquake occurred in the waters off Cape Ann, and was felt within seconds in Boston, and as far away as Nova Scotia, the Chesapeake Bay, and upstate New York, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.
Seismologists have since estimated the quake to have been between 6.0 and 6.3 on the Richter scale, according to the Massachusetts Historical Society.
While there were no fatalities, the damage was extensive.
According to the USGS, approximately 100 chimneys and roofs collapsed, and over a thousand were damaged.
The worst damage occurred north of Boston, but the city was not unscathed.
A 1755 report in The Philadelphia Gazette described the quake’s impact on Boston:
“There was at first a rumbling noise like low thunder, which was immediately followed with such a violent shaking of the earth and buildings, as threw every into the greatest amazement, expecting every moment to be buried in the ruins of their houses. In a word, the instances of damage done to our houses and chimnies are so many, that it would be endless to recount them.”
The quake sent the grasshopper weathervane atop Faneuil Hall tumbling to the ground, according to the Massachusetts Historical Society.
An account of the earthquake, published in The Pennsylvania Gazette on December 4, 1755.
The earthquake struck at 4:30 in the morning, and the shaking lasted “near four minutes,” according to an entry John Adams, then 20, wrote in his diary that day.
The brief diary entry described the damage he witnessed.
“I was then at my Fathers in Braintree, and awoke out of my sleep in the midst of it,” he wrote. “The house seemed to rock and reel and crack as if it would fall in ruins about us. 7 Chimnies were shatter’d by it within one mile of my Fathers house.”
The shaking was so intense that the crew of one ship off the Boston coast became convinced the vessel had run aground, and did not learn about the earthquake until they reached land, according to the Massachusetts Historical Society.
In 1832, a writer for the Hampshire (Northampton) Gazette wrote about one woman’s memories from the quake upon her death.
“It was between 4 and 5 in the morning, and the moon shone brightly. She and the rest of the family were suddenly awaked from sleep by a noise like that of the trampling of many horses; the house trembled and the pewter rattled on the shelves. They all sprang out of bed, and the affrightted children clung to their parents. “I cannot help you dear children,” said the good mother, “we must look to God for help.”
The Cape Ann earthquake came just 17 days after an earthquake estimated to have been 8.5-9.0 on the Richter scale struck in Lisbon, Portugal, killing at least 60,000 and causing untold damage.
There was no shortage of people sure they knew the impretus for the Cape Ann earthquake.
According to many ministers in and around Boston, “God’s wrath had brought this earthquake upon Boston,” according to the Massachusetts Historical Society.
In “Verses Occasioned by the Earthquakes in the Month of November, 1755,” Jeremiah Newland, a Taunton resident who was active in religious activities in the Colony, wrote that the earthquake was a reminder of the importance of obedience to God.
“It is becaufe we broke thy Laws,
that thou didst shake the Earth.

O what a Day the Scriptures say,
the EARTHQUAKE doth foretell;
O turn to God; lest by his Rod,
he cast thee down to Hell.”
Boston Pastor Jonathan Mayhew warned in a sermon that the 1755 earthquakes in Massachusetts and Portugal were “judgments of heaven, at least as intimations of God’s righteous displeasure, and warnings from him.”
There were some, though, who attempted to put forth a scientific explanation for the earthquake.
Well, sort of.
In a lecture delivered just a week after the earthquake, Harvard mathematics professor John Winthrop said the quake was the result of a reaction between “vapors” and “the heat within the bowels of the earth.” But even Winthrop made sure to state that his scientific theory “does not in the least detract from the majesty … of God.”
It has been 260 years since the Cape Ann earthquake. Some experts, including Boston College seismologist John Ebel, think New England could be due for another significant quake.
In a recent Boston Globe report, Ebel said the New England region “can expect a 4 to 5 magnitude quake every decade, a 5 to 6 every century, and a magnitude 6 or above every thousand years.”
If the Cape Ann earthquake occurred today, “the City of Boston could sustain billions of dollars of earthquake damage, with many thousands injured or killed,” according to a 1997 study by the US Army Corps of Engineers.

And There Were Rumors of War and Then the End Will Come: Matthew 23

In this image taken from UNTV video, United Nation Secretary-General Antonio Guterres addresses an emergency meeting of the U.N. Security Council on Ukraine to deplore Russia's actions toward the country and plead for diplomacy, Wednesday, Feb. 23, 2022, at U.N. headquarters.
In this image taken from UNTV video, United Nation Secretary-General Antonio Guterres addresses an emergency meeting of the U.N. Security Council on Ukraine to deplore Russia’s actions toward the country and plead for diplomacy, Wednesday, Feb. 23, 2022, at U.N. headquarters.AP

World is seeing the greatest number of conflicts since the end of WWII, U.N. says

By Ayana Archie (NPR)

March 31, 2022 11:34 a.m.

Two billion people, or a quarter of the world’s population, now lives in conflict-affected areas, according to the United Nations.

An estimated 84 million people were “forcibly displaced because of conflict, violence and human rights violations,” and an estimated 274 million people will need humanitarian assistance due to conflict, the U.N.’s Secretary-General António Guterres said on Wednesday. In remarks to the U.N.’s Peacebuilding Commission, Guterres said the world is experiencing the highest number of violent conflicts since 1945, as World War II drew to a close.

Guterres said the world is grappling with the most conflict since 1945, and proposed a plans to bring stability to places such as Yemen, Myanmar, Syria, Sudan and Ukraine.

Some of the calamities countries are facing include military-led coups, nuclear weapons and terrorist networks.

Guterres said his plan “places prevention and peace-building at the heart of our efforts.”

He cited the U.N.’s work in countries such as the Ivory Coast — where the organization encouraged platforms for women and young people to engage in political conversations — and Iraq, where it assisted with the country’s COVID-19 response.

Guterres additionally proposed the U.N. aim to get $100 million a year in donations for the agency’s Peacebuilding Fund, and said the U.N. should have formal commitments from member states after its April general assembly meeting.

“Second, to support these critical investments, I encourage Member States to come to April’s high-level meeting with concrete solutions,” he said.

He added: “When we consider the costs of war — to the global economy but most of all to humanity’s very soul — peace-building is a bargain and a prerequisite for development and a better future for all.”

Antichrist steps back, asks rivals to try form government

Lawmakers affiliated to Iraqi cleric Muqtada al-Sadr's parliamentary bloc prepare to attend a parliamentary session in Baghdad, Iraq, Wednesday, March 30, 2022. (AP Photo/Hadi Mizban)
Image IconThe Associated PressLawmakers affiliated to Iraqi cleric Muqtada al-Sadr’s parliamentary bloc prepare to atte…Read More

Iraqi cleric steps back, asks rivals to try form government

A powerful Iraqi cleric says he will step back for the next 40 days and give his Iran-backed rivals the chance to form the next government

By SAMYA KULLAB Associated Press

March 31, 2022, 2:13 PM

Al-Sadr’s offer came in a tweet, in which he also called on his followers not to interfere “neither positively not negatively” as his rivals form the Coordination Framework, a coalition of Iran-backed Shiite parties, try to cobble together a Cabinet.

This translates into a nod to al-Sadr’s rivals to pursue the cleric’s Kurdish and Sunni allies in possible negotiations. There was no immediate response from the Coordination Framework to al-Sadr’s offer.

The 40-day window offered by al-Sadr would start on the first day of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, expected to begin this weekend, depending on the sighting of the new moon. The Islamic calendar is a lunar one, meaning the timeframe offered by al-Sadr would stretch beyond Ramadan, when observant Muslims fast from dawn to dusk.

The development is “a clear challenge and dare” directed at his rivals while also being a “test of partners,” tweeted Farhad Alaaldin, chairman of the Iraq Advisory Council, a policy research institute.

It was not immediately clear how sincere al-Sadr’s offer was. The cleric, with a strong grassroots base, won the largest number of seats in the election but not enough to declare a parliamentary majority.

Iran-aligned parties, including that belonging to former Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, have become his chief rivals. A parliament session last Saturday failed to reach the two-thirds quorum necessary to elect a president. It was largely boycotted by lawmakers associated with the Coordination Framework.

Al-Sadr’s move is a gamble: A failure by the Coordination Framework would give his party, Sairoon, significant leverage, but its success would relegate al-Sadr’s party to the role of the opposition.

The Australian Horn Consolidates for the End: Daniel 7

Australian uranium companies announce merger plans

31 March 2022

Australian uranium companies Deep Yellow and Vimy Resources have agreed to a merger by a Scheme of Arrangement, under which Deep Yellow will acquire 100% of Vimy’s shares. The merger will bring together the two companies’ complementary asset bases including the Mulga Rock uranium project in Western Australia and the Tumas project in Namibia.

Mulga Rock (Image: Vimy)

According to the two companies, the merger will create a new global uranium player with “significant scale” and with cash resources of AUD106 million (about USD80 million). Its combined uranium resource inventory – some 389 million pounds U3O8 (14,963 tU) – will be one of the biggest in the world and will include two “advanced, world class assets in Tier-1 uranium mining jurisdictions”.

Under the scheme, Deep Yellow will acquire 100% of the Vimy shares on issue, while Vimy shareholders will receive 0.294 Deep Yellow shares for every Vimy share held. Deep Yellow shareholders will hold 53% of the merged group, and Vimy shareholders 47%.

Deep Yellow has previously pursued a merger with Vimy: last November, it disclosed material details of a formal proposal it had made to the board of Vimy but which had then lapsed. Vimy subsequently announced the start of a strategic review process at Mulga Rock.

The merged group will leverage Deep Yellow’s development, construction and operational expertise to “unlock the development potential” of the Mulga Rock project, they said. Combined with the future development of Tumas, it is expected to “have the scale to rapidly advance its pipeline of organic growth opportunities” and be well positioned to pursue additional accretive growth.

Deep Yellow Managing Director and CEO John Borshoff said the merger has the potential to be a significant value-creating opportunity for the shareholders of both companies. “The merger combines two world class assets, both in Tier-1 mining jurisdictions, into a single group with scale and know-how,” he said. “The expanded strong technical team of Deep Yellow, together with Vimy personnel, positions us well to bring both projects online when uranium prices support the generation of long-term, sustainable positive cash flows.”

The merger de-risks and underpins the path to development at Mulga Rock, Vimy Managing Director and CEO Steven Michael said. “The combined financial, processing and operating strengths of both companies will enable greater optimisation and the delivery of Mulga Rock, as well as an established exploration team that can unlock considerable value at Alligator River,” he added, as well as “expected significant benefits of being part of a larger, geographically diverse merged group, with the expertise to develop the full portfolio of assets in the near term.”

Mulga Rock is 290km by road east-northeast of Kalgoorlie in the Great Victoria Desert of Western Australia. A Definitive Feasibility Study Refresh for the project released by Vimy in 2020 showed a strategic long-life uranium project with a contemplated production rate of 3.5 million pounds per year. The Government of Western Australia’s December 2016 approval of the project stipulated that Vimy must begin substantial commencement within five years, a condition which the company met when work on the excavation of a ramp at the Ambassador North pit began late last year.

A Definitive Feasibility Study for Tumas is on track for completion by end of 2022, and Deep Yellow said it will work with Vimy’s technical team on elements of process that may be incorporated from Mulga Rock.
The board of the merged group will be led by Borshoff and Deep Yellow’s Non-Executive Chairman Chris Salisbury. Michael will be an executive director. Subject to various court hearings and report preparations, the scheme of arrangement is expected to be implemented in July.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News

What’s Next for Iraq and the Antichrist?

Copy of Iraq_Politics_16602.jpg-5896f-1648735108311
Lawmakers affiliated to Iraqi cleric Moqtada Sadr’s parliamentary bloc prepare to attend a parliamentary session in Baghdad, Iraq, Wednesday, March 30, 2022. (AP Photo/Hadi Mizban)Image Credit: AP

What next for Iraq amid deep political schism?

Sadr has chosen to ally with Sunni and Kurdish parties instead of Shiite ones

Published:  March 31, 2022 17:58AFP

Baghdad: Six months after Iraq’s parliamentary vote, the war-scarred country is no closer to electing a president amid a bitter political stalemate that has thrown institutions into limbo.

Wrangling between rival Muslim Shiite blocs in the assembly on Wednesday scuppered the legislature’s third attempt to elect a head of state.

Though a largely ceremonial role, the president determines the country’s next prime minister who will in turn form a cabinet to be voted in by an absolute majority of lawmakers.

What is the hold-up?

A schism running through the so-called “Shiite house” of Iraqi politics lies at the heart of the impasse.

Firebrand Shiite cleric Moqtada Sadr has long claimed the largest bloc in parliament, with 73 seats out of the 329-member legislature.

But his bloc does not have enough members to establish a clear majority – forcing him to reach out to form an untraditional alliance.

Eschewing the more predictable grouping with other Shiite factions, Sadr has chosen to ally with the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and Sunni parties to form a coalition dubbed “Saving the Homeland”, with 155 seats.

The coalition backs KDP candidate Rebar Ahmed for the presidency – a post reserved for Kurds, while the post of prime minister by convention goes to a Shiite.

Shirking the tradition of forming a “consensus government” between Shiite parties, Sadr hopes to put forth a “majority government” led by his cousin, Iraq’s ambassador to Britain Jaafar Al Sadr.

This has placed his coalition at loggerheads with the Coordination Framework – a powerful force that includes former premier Nuri Al Maliki’s party and the Iran-backed Fatah Alliance, the political arm of the Shiite-led former paramilitary group Hashed Al Shaabi.

The Coalition Framework has 130 MPs, which boycotted all three sessions to elect a president, preventing the assembly from reaching the required two thirds quorum.

How to resolve the crisis?

After the third vote failed on Wednesday, Sadr again rejected the idea of a consensus government, saying this would amount to the “death” of Iraq.

A date for a new vote has yet to be set, and Iraqi political analyst Ihsan Al Shammari believes this “indicated that there is no prospect for the resolution of the crisis”.

“There is no rapprochement between (Sadr’s) alliance and the Coordination Framework,” he said.

This risks dragging the crisis out for months, while keeping the incumbent president and prime minister in their seats.

“Unless there is an outside threat, such as the organisation of Islamic State in 2014 which pushes political leaders to come together and quickly reach agreement, they will continue for as long as it takes to reach what they want. Even if that means surpassing the limits set out in the constitution,” said political expert Hamzeh Haddad.

What does the constitution say?

Under the Iraqi constitution the president should be elected within 30 days of the first meeting of the new parliament, which in this case was on January 9. This deadline has largely expired and we “have broken the constitution,” said legal expert Ahmed Al Sufi.

The country’s highest legal body, the federal court, afterwards extended the deadline to elect a president to April 6. But the judges can only give an opinion and not seize the political initiative.

The court “has no authority, other than to rule whether the constitution has been violated or not,” said Sufi.

Parliament could dissolve itself and call new elections. But to do that, at least a third of the MPs must meet and present the proposal which must then be approved by a majority plus one.

War in Ukraine: The nuclear horns Daniel

War in Ukraine: The nuclear dimension

April 1, 2022

[ Suresh Chandra Mohanty ]

Nuclear weapons have never been used since World War II, apparently because deterrence worked during the Cold War and thereafter. The parties to a conflict were conscious of mutual vulnerabilities, wary of unintended consequences and convinced that a nuclear war should never be fought as it can’t be won. The war in Ukraine is being fought between two unequal neighbours, both in the conventional and the nuclear dimensions, yet, with a nuclear overhang to deter the NATO countries, including the US, from any interference. With the launch of the special military operations in Ukraine, as Russia termed it, on 24 February, President Putin ordered Russian nuclear forces to move to a higher state of alert. Three days later, the nuclear forces were supposedly put on a special regime of combat duty. Over the past 36 days of the conflict, the threat has been sporadically reiterated in suspicion of active Western support. The deputy chairman of the Security Council of Russia, Dmitry Medvedev on 26 March this year reiterated Russia’s intention to use nuclear weapons if the country faced an existential threat, though intelligence reports do not indicate credible mobilisation of nuclear forces that would constitute an intention for weapon use.

Ukraine surrendered its third largest stockpile of nuclear weapons in 1994 in exchange for security guarantees by Russia, the UK and the US. Currently it neither has the weapon nor the technological expertise, financial might or capability to develop nuclear weapons. Given the conventional and nuclear asymmetry, the existential threat to Russia most certainly cannot come from Ukraine. What could then be the possible circumstances that could constitute an existential threat to Russia, forcing it to use nuclear weapons? One: if Russia faces an imminent humiliating defeat and is unable to achieve all or a substantial combination of its politico-military objectives (to include formal integration of Crimea, and independence of Donbas region and its subsequent integration with Russia), neutrality of Ukraine and demilitarisation of its armed forces. As it stands, on the 36th day of the conflict, Russia seems to have substantially achieved its perceived objectives, except probably demilitarisation against steadfast resistance by Ukranian forces in the major cities, which is a work in progress.

Two, if the NATO, including the USA, joins the battle either in the garb of or in response to Russia using chemical/biological weapons or tactical nuclear weapon (limited in terms of range and effect) as a desperate measure to capture major population centres where it seems to have suffered a setback.

Three: experts also feel that Russia may ‘escalate to deescalate’, not necessarily a Russian concept of warfare. With multiple rounds of talks not yielding the desired result against heavy bombardment of multiple cities with relentless rockets, missiles and artillery attacks to force Ukraine to its terms of ceasefire, while at the same time, Russian troops and equipment suffering significant damage, might instigate the weapon of last resort as part of escalatory continuum to compel complete subjugation. In the beginning of the campaign, Russia did not use a bulk of its vastly superior air power to shape the battle space for a ground offensive, assuming quick capitulation. Towards mid-March, it progressively embarked on massive escalation in bombardment of cities, including use of Kinzhal hypersonic missiles, apparently to force a ceasefire on its terms, which is still elusive.

Nuclear brinkmanship could also be designed to restrain the NATO forces from providing lethal offensive weapons and joining the war surreptitiously, which would prevent Russia from achieving its geopolitical aims. This deterrence strategy seems to have succeeded. First, the US dithered in providing Polish MIG 29 fighter aircraft to Ukraine through the NATO airbase in Germany despite desperate pleas by President Zelenskyy. Second, persistent refusal to establish a no-fly zone over Ukraine and in the fear of a direct confrontation with Russia, and third: emboldened by such a stance and undeterred by sanctions, Russia continues to devastate Ukraine by relentless bombing of both military and non-military targets, including extending the envelope to the western Ukraine city of Lviv, close to the Polish border, with utter disregard for Joe Biden’s presence in Warsaw.

Nuclear deterrence has played a defining role in geopolitics, substantiating the ‘stability- instability paradox’. While nuclear weapons promote strategic stability and prevent large-scale wars due to their devastating and irreversible impact, they allow window for low intensity conflicts. When one state has nuclear weapons and the opponent doesn’t, there is a greater chance of conflict (as in the case of Russia-Ukraine). Pakistan, till of late, played its nuclear card well to continue its proxy war against India and deter a large-scale conventional retribution which could have been disadvantageous to her, given the conventional asymmetry enjoyed by India. Though Lt Gen Khalid Kidwai, the former spearhead of the strategic plans division, articulated Pakistan’s nuclear threshold as loss of large tracts of territory, significant destruction of war waging potential and economic strangulation, successive articulation by both political and military leaders indicated a much lower threshold in response to India’s cold start and proactive doctrine. Indeed, it is apparently Pakistan’s successful nuclear rhetoric that deterred Indian conventional response to Pakistan’s involvement in the Parliament attack in 2001 despite massive mobilisation (Operation Parakram) and confining Indian attacks to its own side of the line of control despite preventive casualties during Operation Vijay in 1999. Further, India also toyed with the idea of a shallow theatre offensive in 2001 to create space for conventional conflict below nuclear threshold. All this till Pakistan’s nuclear bluff was called out by Indian surgical offensive across the LAC in 2016 and the Balakot strike in 2019.

Compare the US strategy against Iraq vis-à-vis North Korea. The US seems to have been convinced that Iraq didn’t possess nuclear weapons when it invaded, though the justification could have been intentionally obfuscated. North Korea has continued to aggressively display its nuclear prowess against a hamstrung US response. Ironically, nuclear armed states can only bully non-nuclear states.

To give credence to Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov in his response to clarify comments from Dmitry Medvedev, “existence of the state and special military operations in Ukraine have nothing to do with each other.” Unless the NATO engages itself directly in the conflict, Russia is unlikely to use nuclear weapons since it is capable of achieving its stated objectives without its use. However, nuclear deterrence will continue to be the edifice of diplomatic statecraft in the evolving renaissance in the world order, realignments, military technology and deft strategic thinking. (Maj Gen Suresh Chandra Mohanty is security adviser to GoAP.)

Russian Horn Ready with Nukes in Sweden: Daniel 7

A Swedish Air Force handout image shows Russian jets violating Swedish airspace on 2 March (Photo: Getty)
A Swedish Air Force handout image shows Russian jets violating Swedish airspace on 2 March (Photo: Getty)

Russian planes in Swedish airspace were equipped with nuclear weapons, according to report

Sweden is not a member of Nato but has been drawn closer to the bloc by the Ukraine war

By Karl McDonald

Deputy national editor

March 30, 2022 4:54 pm(Updated 11:17 pm)

Two Russian planes that flew through Swedish airspace at the beginning of the month were equipped with nuclear weapons, a Swedish television network has reported.

On 2 March, in the wake of Vladimir Putin ordering his forces to adopt a position of increased nuclear readiness, four planes flew into Swedish airspace near the island of Gotland in the Baltic.

According to TV4, two of the planes, Sukhoi 24s, were armed with nuclear weapons. These planes were escorted by Sukhoi 27 fighters.

Sweden is not a member of Nato but has been drawn closer to the bloc by the Ukraine war, attending meetings alongside other western leaders.

The Swedish air force, which was already operating at a heightened level of awareness due to the invasion, met the Russian planes and took reconnaissance photographs.

The incursion lasted around a minute.

Russian planes on manoeuvres have periodically been escorted by Royal Air Force planes in recent years, while as recently as February, they “buzzed” three US navy planes in the Mediterranean.

But as the war in Ukraine erupted, the gravity of such incidents has increased, with Putin ally and former Russian president Dmitry Medvedev saying nuclear “readiness” remains a priority.

The possibility of nuclear warfare is understood to be deterring western powers from responding more directly to the invasion of Ukraine.

In a bizarre speech after Russian troops crossed into their neighbour’s sovereign territory on 24 February, Russian President Vladimir Putin warned those who would oppose him: “People should know Russia’s response will be immediate and lead you to consequences you have never encountered in your history.”

Three days later, on 27 February, he set his nuclear forces to “special alert” status.

Submarines capable of carrying ballistic missiles were also deployed to the north Atlantic.

Russia has a large stockpile of nuclear warheads, though many are older models.