Indian Point’s Final Days Before the Sixth Seal (Revelation 6:12)

Earth Matters: Indian Point’s Final Days – Nyack News and Views

by Barbara Puff

Indian Point has been the crown jewel of the nuclear industrialist complex and closing it is a big step to a sustainable energy future. — Susan Shapiro, environmental lawyer.

When scientists began exploring nuclear power in the 1950s, pollsters didn’t ask the public their opinion as support was almost unanimous. By the ’60s, there had been a few protests and opposition increased to 25%. So when Indian Point opened on September 16, 1962, it was greeted with enthusiasm, fanfare, and, in hindsight, naivete.

Within a few years, increased pollution, loss of wildlife, and accidents at the plant elicited concern. In response, Hudson River Sloop Clearwater and Riverkeeper were formed in 1966. After incidents at Three Mile Island in 1979 and Chernobyl in 1986, public opinion began to turn against the use of nuclear power.

In 1984, her first year as a legislator, Harriet Cornell formed the Citizens Commission to Close Indian Plant. A glance at her press releases over the years shows her convictions regarding closing the plant. In a recent speech she noted: “Were it not for the superhuman efforts of concerned individuals and dedicated scientific and environmental organizations focusing attention on the dangers posed by Indian Point, who knows what might have happened during the last 40+ years.”

Simultaneously Riverkeeper began documenting incidents, including:

1 An antiquated water-cooling system killed over a billion fish and fish larvae annually.

2 Pools holding spent nuclear fuel leaked toxic, radioactive water into the ground, soil, and Hudson River.

3 Recurring emergency shut-downs.

4 27% of the baffle bolts in Unit 2 and 31% in Unit 3, holding the reactor core together, were damaged.

5 The plant was vulnerable to terrorist attack.

6 Evacuation plans were implausible.

7 No solution for spent nuclear fuel, posing the risk of radioactive release and contamination of land.

8 The plant was near two seismic zones, suggesting an earthquake over 6.2 could devastate the area.

9 Asbestos exposure.

These and other issues led the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to rate Indian Point in 2000 as the most trouble-plagued plant in the country. Lamont-Doherty Observatory agreed, calling it the most dangerous plant in the nation.

As individuals realized the seriousness of the situation, urgency for a solution grew and Indian Point Safe Energy Coalition was formed in 2001. Comprised of public interest, health advocates, environmental and citizen groups, their goals were to educate the public, pass legislation, and form a grassroots campaign with hundreds of local, state, and federal officials.

Clearwater also began monitoring the plant around that time. Manna Jo Greene, Environmental Action Director, recalls, “We were concerned when one of the planes that struck the WTC flew over the plant, including several buildings that hold huge fuel pools, filled with spent fuel rods and radioactive waste.” Had anything happened, the nuclear power industry had provided protection for themselves while neglecting surrounding communities. Powerful lobbyists, backed by considerable financing, induced Congress to pass the Price-Anderson Act in 1957. This legislation protected nuclear power plant companies from full liability in the event of an accident, natural disaster or terrorist attack.

With such warnings, it’s hard to believe as late as 2010, The New York Times stated, “No one should be hoping for a too hasty shutdown.” Over time, the cost of litigation by New York State proved more fatal to the continuance of plant operations than protests, though they were a crucial factor and led to initial filings. Attorney General Schneiderman was very active in filing contentions, legal reasons the plant shouldn’t be relicensed, and won several important court cases on high-level radioactive storage.

In 2016, The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation denied Entergy a discharge permit for hot water into the Hudson River, part of their once-through cooling system. This permit was necessary for continued operation of the plant and a requirement for relicensing. The New York State Department of State, Bureau of Coastal Management, denied Entergy a water quality certificate the same year, which it also needed to relicense. After more than four decades of danger to the environment and residents, Governor Cuomo announced in January 2017 the plant would finally be closing. Unit 2 would cease production on April 30, 2020 and Unit 3 would end productivity on April 30, 2021.

Later that year, in March 2017, the Atomic Safety and Licensing Board allowed Entergy to renew the plant’s licenses until 2021, dismissing final points of contention between the company, New York State, and Riverkeeper. Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino attempted to sue the state and reopen the plant in April 2017 but failed.

Ellen Jaffee, NYS Assemblywoman, stated, “After 46 years of operation, I am glad to finally see the closure of Indian Point. Since joining the Assembly, I have long fought for its closure. I would not have been able to pursue these efforts if not for the environmental advocates, like the Riverkeeper, who fought long and hard beside myself to close the plant. The plant’s closure must be conducted in a safe manner, where all radioactive materials will be properly disposed of, without inflicting further harm on our environment. The closure of Indian Point shows that we can reduce our impact on the environment.”

Harriet Cornell said, “We have waited years for this to happen and frankly, it can’t happen soon enough. The facts have long shown there is no future for this dangerous plant.”

“The closure of Indian Point marks the shutdown of dirty polluting energy,” noted Susan Shapiro.

Holtec, the company chosen to oversee decommissioning of the plant, has a horrific track record. New York State Attorney General Tish James released a statement in January expressing multiple grave concerns about them. According to Riverkeeper, they have a scandalous corporate past, little experience in decommissioning, dubious skills in spent fuel management, workplace safety infractions, and health violations. Another fear is the cost will exceed a decommissioning fund set aside by Entergy, Holtec will declare bankruptcy, and the public will absorb the difference.

“Entergy made huge profits from Indian Point,” said Manna Jo Greene. “They’ve hired Holtec, a company with a poor record of decommissioning, to complete the work. Entergy plans to declare bankruptcy, thereby having taxpayers foot the bill. We are not out of danger. It is a different danger.”

Richard Webster, Legal Program Director at Riverkeeper, adds, “Decommissioning must be done promptly, safely and reliably. Selling to Holtec is the worst possible option, because it has a dubious history of bribes, lies, and risk taking, very limited experience in decommissioning, is proposing to raid the decommissioning fund for its own benefit, and is proposing leaving contaminated groundwater to run into the Hudson River.”

State Senator David Carlucci warned, “The NRC Inspector General Report shows there is much to be done by the NRC to gain the confidence of myself and the public, as the commission is charged with overseeing the decommissioning of Indian Point and ensuring the health and safety of Hudson Valley Communities. We demand answers from NRC Chairman Kristine Svinicki. The Chairman needs to come to the Hudson Valley immediately and outline the steps being taken to address our safety and explain how the commission will properly inspect and guard the pipeline near Indian Point moving forward.”

One of the gravest dangers in decommissioning is the storage of spent fuel rods. A fuel rod is a long, zirconium tube containing pellets of uranium, a fissionable material which provides fuel for nuclear reactors. Fuel rods are assembled into bundles called fuel assemblies, which are loaded individually into a reactor core. Fuel rods last about six years. When they’re spent and removed they are placed in wet storage, or pools of water, which is circulated to reduce temperature and provide shielding from radiation. They remain in these pools for 10 years, as they are too hot to be placed in dry storage, or canisters. Even in dry storage, though, they remain extremely radioactive, with high levels of plutonium, which is toxic, and continue to generate heat for decades and remain radioactive for 10,000 years.

“Elected officials and government groups became involved once they understood the fatal environmental dangers nuclear energy creates for millenium,” said Susan Shapiro. “It is the only energy that produces waste so dangerous that governments must own and dispose of it.”

Robert Kennedy, Jr., of Waterkeeper, explained “If those spent fuel rods caught on fire, if the water dropped, the zirconium coatings of the spent fuel rods would combust. You would release 37 times the amount of radiation that was released at Chernobyl. Around Chernobyl there are 100 miles that are permanently uninhabitable. I would include the workplaces, homes of 20 million Americans, including the Financial District. There’s no evacuation plan. And it’s sitting on two of the biggest earthquake faults in the northeast.”

On April 24, 2020, Beyond Indian Point Campaign was launched to advocate for a safe transition during decommissioning. Sponsored by AGREE, Frack Action, Riverkeeper, NIRS and Food and Water Watch, they’re demanding Cuomo hire another company, opposing a license transfer before the State Public Service Commission and NRC and pushing state legislation to establish a board to supervise the decommissioning fund. When decommissioning is finished Beyond Indian Point hopes to further assist the community in the transition to renewable energy. These include wind, solar, geothermal, biomass and hydrothermal power. Sign an online petition on their website to support their work, future generations and earth at, Facebook, or Twitter.

“Bravo to everyone involved in making this historic day come to pass,” said Susan Shapiro.

Raised in the Midwest, Barbara Puff is a writer who lives in Nyack, NY.

Precursor to the Sixth Seal: Revelation 6:12

What’s the Most Powerful Earthquake to Ever Strike New York State?

What’s the Most Powerful Earthquake to Ever Strike New York State?

Published: February 2, 2022

When you think of natural disasters striking New York state, you may think of only blizzards, floods, or hurricanes. However, while the West Coast gets all the attention when it comes to powerful earthquakes, they do occur in New York as well. Most here are small and have little damaging effect on any surrounding areas. But every now and then the Earth will surprise us. According to the NESEC, around 551 earthquakes were recorded in New York state from 1737-2016.

The first earthquake to hit the state of New York in 2022 was a 2.3 magnitude tremor in Boonville on January 10. Most earthquakes that happen within the state are either far north towards Quebec, in western New York around Lake Ontario, or closer to the New York City area. The most well known fault line near our area is the Ramapo fault line. The 185 mile system of faults runs through parts of New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, and has been known to spawn smaller earthquakes.

But could something as strong as a magnitude 7.0 ever occur on this fault?

Some say this fault system is much more complex and extensive than originally thought. A 2008 study proposed that there may be an additional fault zone extending from the Ramapo Fault into southwestern Connecticut. There are also many smaller faults that criss-cross across New York City, and the city could be long overdue for a significant earthquake.

There is also the Western Quebec Seismic Zone, which can produce larger quakes that can be felt up and down the eastern coast of the United States, particularly for their neighbors directly south in the Empire State. This is where the strongest quakes happen near us.

New York state’s all-time most powerful earthquake?

According to the NESEC, the largest earthquake centered in New York state happened on September 5, 1944. The magnitude 5.9 quake, with an epicenter beneath the New York-Canada border, did major damage in the towns of Massena, NY, and Cornwall, Ontario. Heavy damage was recorded in the town of Massena (St. Lawrence County), with a number of chimneys, windows, housing foundations, and a high school gymnasium reported destroyed.

New York City has suffered two damaging quakes of note. The first was December 18, 1737, when a 5.2 struck in the Greater New York City area. However, since it was so long ago, little is known about the epicenter or the extent of the damage. Another 5.2 quake struck on August 10, 1884, in Brooklyn, which cracked houses, tossed objects off shelves and shook towns in New York and New Jersey.

An interesting note

When earthquakes hit states like California, they typically are felt across a smaller area. But when the slightly weaker quakes occasionally strike the eastern U.S. or Canada, they can be felt over a much wider area, extending hundreds of miles. Why is this? According to CBS, the Earth’s crust over this region is much older, colder, and more healed versus out west which is far more seismically active. But when a quake does occur here, the harder, smoother ground is more effective at conducting seismic waves. One Columbia University professor compares it to striking a bell. So, a strong quake in the middle of Quebec, or even New Jersey, can be felt across many portions of New York.

Who remembers August 23, 2011, when a 5.9 quake centered in Mineral, Virginia was felt up and down the entire East Coast, including New York? On October 19, 1985, a 4.0 magnitude quake struck the town of Ardsley in Westchester County.

Stacker ranked the most expensive climate disasters by the billions since 1980 by the total cost of all damages, adjusted for inflation, based on 2021 data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The list starts with Hurricane Sally, which caused $7.3 billion in damages in 2020, and ends with a devastating 2005 hurricane that caused $170 billion in damage and killed at least 1,833 people. Keep reading to discover the 50 of the most expensive climate disasters in recent decades in the U.S.

Iran confirms they are Nuking Up: Daniel 8

Iran confirms centrifuge workshop moved to underground site

TEHRAN: Iran has confirmed it relocated a centrifuge facility to its underground Natanz nuclear site, state media reported, days after the UN atomic watchdog said it installed surveillance cameras to monitor the new workshop at Tehran’s request.

The late Saturday report by the official IRNA news agency comes as diplomatic efforts to restore Iran’s tattered nuclear deal appear stalled.

The news agency quoted the spokesman for Iran’s atomic energy organisation, Behrouz Kamalvandi, as saying authorities had moved the operation to a safer place.

Iran’s centrifuge facility in Karaj found itself targeted in what Iran described as a sabotage attack in June. Natanz itself has twice been targeted in sabotage attacks amid uncertainty over the nuclear deal, assaults that Iran has blamed on Israel.

“Unfortunately because of a terrorist operation that took place against Karaj, we were obliged to intensify security measures under which we moved an important part of the machines and transferred the rest to Natanz and Isfahan,” said Kamalvandi. Isfahan is the location of another Iranian nuclear facility.

On Thursday, The Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency said it installed cameras and removed seals from machines at the new workshop in Natanz two days earlier. Those machines will be used to make centrifuge rotor tubes and bellows, crucial parts for the devices that spin at very high speeds to enrich uranium gas.

Talks between Iran and world powers in Vienna to revive the 2015 nuclear deal have stalled. There is concern that Iran could be closer to being able to construct an atomic weapon if it chose to pursue one.

The nuclear deal collapsed four years ago when former President Donald Trump withdrew the United States and imposed crushing sanctions on Iran. In the meantime, Iran has vastly expanded its nuclear work.

Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Tuesday insisted negotiations over the deal “are going ahead properly”, even after repeated comments by American officials that an agreement to restore the accord may not happen.

The nuclear deal saw Iran put advanced centrifuges into storage under the watch of the IAEA, while keeping its enrichment at 3.67% purity and its stockpile at only 300 kg (661 pounds) of uranium.

As of Feb 19, the IAEA says Iran’s stockpile of all enriched uranium was nearly 3,200 kg (7,055 pounds). Some has been enriched up to 60% purity – a short technical step from weapons-grade levels of 90%. Meanwhile, Iran has stopped the IAEA from accessing its surveillance camera footage.

Kamalvandi reiterated Iran’s stance that Tehran will not provide data from the cameras to the UN nuclear agency if a deal is not concluded.

Iran long has insisted its nuclear programme is for peaceful purposes. However, US intelligence agencies and the IAEA believe Iran had an organised military nuclear programme up until 2003.

Antichrist committed to forming the Iraqi Horn: Daniel 8

An Iraqi child walks past a poster of Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr in Sadr City in Baghdad on Oct. 17, 2021.

Sadr committed to forming Iraq’s first majority government

The Coordination Framework, comprised of several Shiite parties is seeking a national unity coalition modeled on previous governments, while Sadr whose bloc won the majority of seats seeks majority government.

AHMAD AL-RUBAYE/AFP via Getty Images

February 1, 2022

The days ahead will tell us if Iraq’s difficult political process is to chart a new path by allowing the formation of a majority government, as promised by the electoral winners of the October parliamentary election, or continues its 17-year tradition of “national unity” governments that have proven ineffective, unmanageable and unpopular with the people.

The Sadrists, with 73 seats, scored a major victory in the Iraqi parliament’s opening session on Jan. 9. Their quiet, behind-the-scenes work to form an ethno-sectarian alliance with Kurdish and Sunni parties bore fruit when the alliance easily elected its Sunni choice for the speakership of the parliament, Mohammed al-Halbusi.  

A potentially second major victory was scored during the same session by registering the Sadrists as the biggest bloc with 90 seats after they drew to their bloc an additional 17 members of parliament. This effectively means that once the president of the republic is elected, most likely during parliament’s second session on Feb. 7, he will have 15 days to charge Sadrists with the task of forming the new government, giving them 30 days to achieve this task.

But because of its highly fractious politics, all is not certain in Iraq.

Still, Sadrists have the best chance to maintain their position as the biggest bloc again if a new parliamentary session is needed to settle the issue.

The Coordination Framework (CF), a loose Shiite alliance, is calling for a national unity government and a delay in the formation of the majority government in the hope of pressuring Sadrists into accepting a deal allowing the CF’s various blocs to join the government. The CF has been using these time-gaining tactics in various contexts since the initial results of the election were released in mid-October. The tactics failed to change Sadrists’ insistence on a majority government. Now with the Sadrists in a better-placed position after forming their grand ethno-sectarian alliance and electing the parliamentary speaker and his two deputies, it is highly unlikely they will accommodate the CF.

Neither has Iranian intervention on behalf of the CF changed Muqtada al-Sadr’s determination to go it alone in government formation without other Shiite partners if necessary. The sticking point seems to be the Sadrists’ unwavering rejection to include in the next government the CF’s biggest bloc, former Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s State of Law Coalition, with 33 seats. The several visits to Najaf and Baghdad by Iran’s commander of the Quds Force Ismael Qani could neither broker a deal to bring all Shiite Islamist parties together in a grand alliance nor convince Maliki to go into the opposition.

The new fact is that the CF is still holding together after initial indications that some of its blocs, particularly Hadi al-Amiri’s Fatah Alliance with 17 seats, might join the majority government, basically breaking the CF whose main bargaining chip is to stick together to be able to pressure the Sadrists. In his latest TV appearance, Sadr said that Amiri stepped back from an earlier promise to join the government. With the CF still holding together, the goal seems to protect Maliki from future prosecution if he goes to the opposition. A source told Al-Monitor that the CF, with Iran’s help, has been trying, unsuccessfully so far, to obtain guarantees from Sadr that Maliki and other CF members would not be pursued for past alleged misdeeds. 

Sadr’s ethno-sectarian alliance, on the other hand, projects confidence. Prior to a three-way meeting in Najaf with Sadr, the Kurdistan Regional Government’s President Nechirvan Barazani and parliament speaker Halbusi, the latter tweeted that “the time of outside intervention is over,” taking a jab at Iran’s influencing effort. It is unusual for a high-level Sunni official such as Halbusi to criticize Iran in such a thinly veiled manner. Sadr’s tweet following the meeting was even more straightforward in setting “the demarcation line” between his alliance and the CF, stating, “We are still pursuing a national majority government and welcome a dialogue with the national opposition.” By calling for a dialogue with “the opposition,” Sadr seems to have closed the door on further negotiations with the CF about government formation, basically forcing it into parliamentary opposition. Seeing their hopes of being represented in the government dashed, some CF members may jump ship and join the Sadrist-dominated government. A source told Al-Monitor that 25 parliament members from Maliki’s bloc expressed their desire to leave the bloc and join the government.

Barring the unexpected, the path seems clear to a majority government. A possible challenge the CF can throw in the way is to break the quorum for the Feb. 7 parliamentary session to elect the president of the republic. The Iraqi Constitution requires the presence of at least two-thirds of all parliament members to conduct the first round of this election. The CF does not have the needed quorum-breaking third (109 parliament members), but if it draws enough parliament members from independents and smaller blocs, it may be able to pull it off. This is unlikely because many of the independents and small blocs hail from or support the October 2019 protest movement, which greatly distrusts the CF and accuses its armed wing of targeting protesters.

The Pakistani Nuclear Horn is No Longer Safe: Revelation 8

Pakistan’s nukes ‘not safe’? What all happened since Imran’s ouster

World / Updated: Apr 16, 2022, 19:55 IST

NEW DELHI: The dust has not settled in Pakistan politics with Imran Khan‘s ouster as PM, or with Shehbaz Sharif replacing him on April 11.
The new prime minister is yet to put together a cabinet. More details have emerged about the Army and former PM Khan being on different pages on several matters. We do a recap of the major developments in the days since Shehbaz Sharif assumed office.
Sharif takes oath
Shehbaz Sharif took oath as the 23rd Prime Minister of Pakistan on Monday evening, hours after being elected by the National Assembly.
Prime Minister-elect Shehbaz Sharif was administered the oath by the Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani after President Arif Alvi fell ill.
PM Narendra Modi was one of the first to congratulate Shehbaz Sharif on assuming the Pakistan PM’s office. Taking to Twitter, he wrote ” India desires peace and stability in a region free of terror, so that we can focus on our development challenges and ensure the well-being and prosperity of our people.”

Kashmir- an obsession with Pakistan’s polity
Sharif in his inaugural speech as Pakistan prime minister raised the issue of abrogation of Article 370 in Kashmir. He even alleged that the people in the Valley were “bleeding,” and Pakistan will provide them with “diplomatic and moral support” besides raising the matter at every international fora.
Despite his overtures about improving relations with India, Sharif mentioned that a solution to the Kashmir ‘problem’ was vital for a lasting peace in the region.
National assembly elects new speaker, Suri resigns
Raja Pervaiz Ashraf, a former Pakistan premier, was on Saturday appointed the 22nd speaker of the country’s National Assembly after he was elected unopposed.
Ashraf, 71, from the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) was administered the oath of office by PML-N’s Ayaz Sadiq, who was initially chairing the session.
Qasim Khan Suri resigned as deputy speaker of Pakistan’s National Assembly on Saturday, less than an hour before a session of the House where voting on a no-trust motion against him was to take place for favouring the previous government led by Khan.
Suri from Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party had been functioning as the acting speaker following the resignation of Speaker Asad Qaiser.
Imran doubts safety of Pakistan’s nukes
During a roadshow in Peshawar, Imran Khan questioned whether Pakistan’s nuclear weapons were safe in the hands of what he called “robbers” and “thieves”, referring to the newly elected Shehbaz Sharif regime.
“The conspiracy under which these people were brought to power, I ask my institutions, is our nuclear program which is in their hands, can they protect it?” Khan said.
Pakistan Army rubbished Khan’s allegations.
“There is no such threat to our nuclear program and we should not bring it up in our political discussions,” DG-ISPR, Gen Babar Iftikhar said.
“Our program is at such a place that our command and control mechanism, asset security is one of the best in international evaluation,” he added.
Army contradicts Imran on ‘conspiracy’ statement
The Pakistan army’s public relations wing (ISPR) said that the word “conspiracy” was not used in the statement issued after a meeting of the National Security Committee last month, apparently contradicting ousted PM Imran Khan who has accused America of hatching a conspiracy to topple his government.
About the threatening “letter” and the protest launched later on, he said the protest can be launched for various reasons. “This demarche was issued because there was a statement about interference and undiplomatic language.”
DG-ISPR also said that the pakistan Army has “nothing to do with politics” and will remain “apolitical.”

PTI members resign from National Assembly
Majority of the lawmakers from Imran Khan’s PTI submitted their resignations from the
National Assembly, following a decision in the party’s parliamentary committee meeting.
However PML-N alleged that Khan was forcing the resignations of his party lawmakers.
The Deputy Speaker of National Assembly on Thursday accepted the resignations of 123 PTI MNAs on Thursday. PTI had 155 members in the 342-member house- of them, 20 are dissidents who have been served notices by the party. The decision of the remaining 12 lawmakers is still unclear.
No Cabinet yet
Shehbaz Sharif has not announced his cabinet, even 5 days after he became the prime minister. Initial reports said that despite several overtures, PPP has remained cold to joining the Sharif government, and is only ready to gove outside support. However more recent reports suggest the party might after all be part of the Sharif government.
MQM-P too has so far talked of lending external support.
A PML-N lamaker said the new cabinet would be formed in the next couple of days with a consensus.
China-Pak tango to continue
China said that it will always put its “all-weather ally” Pakistan as a priority in its neighbourhood diplomacy.
“China and Pakistan are all-weather strategic cooperation partners and iron-clad brothers. We will as always put Pakistan as a priority of our neighbourhood diplomacy and to support its efforts to realise revitalisation,” a Chinese foreign ministry spekesperson said.
Shehbaz Sharif, in his first speech as PM, had said that regardless of the government in Islamabad, Pakistan-China relation will continue to flourish.
US ‘looking forward’ to working with new govt
Imran Khan waited over a year for a phone call from US President Biden. But the call never came.
For Shehbaz- although not a phone call- the recognition from White House did not take long.
“We’ve congratulated Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on his election by the Pakistani parliament, and we look forward to working with him and his government,” State Department Spokesperson Ned Price said on Friday.
Imran accused of selling, pocketing state gifts
Shehbaz Sharif has accused ousted premier Imran Khan of selling valuable Toshakhana gifts, including diamond jewellery, worth Rs 140 million in Dubai, inflicting a loss to the national exchequer.
As per the country’s law, any gift received from dignitaries of a foreign state must be put in the state depository or the Toshakhana.
A journalist tweeted that Imran and his third wife Bushra Bibi “retained seven Rolex watches, multiple necklaces, bracelets, rings, multiple diamond chains, gold pens, and even dinner sets by paying little amounts of money.”

Sulking PTI unleashes social media campaign
The “tabdeeli warriors” of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) have started a social media campaign, rallying for “independence from US interference.”
PTI’s official account-led ‘imported hukumat’ hashtag has been trending on the national and global trends panel for days, with an unprecedented volume of 17 million tweets, including retweets.
The Federal Investigation Agency’s counter-terrorism wing has launched a crackdown on social media activists that it believes have been involved in a smear campaign against institutions, especially the army.
(With inputs from agencies)

Palestinians and Israeli police clash outside the Temple Walls: Revelation 11

Palestinians and Israeli police clash at major holy site

Clashes at the site last year helped spark an 11-day war with Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip.

Palestinians clash with Israeli security forces at the Al Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem's Old City Friday, April 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Mahmoud Illean)

Palestinians clash with Israeli security forces at the Al Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem’s Old City Friday, April 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Mahmoud Illean)

April 15, 2022

JERUSALEM (AP) — Palestinians and Israeli police clashed at the Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem on Friday as thousands gathered for prayers during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan. Medics said more than 150 Palestinians were wounded — Palestinians threw rocks and Israeli police fired stun grenades in what was the most serious violence at the site in nearly a year.

The holy site, which is sacred to Jews and Muslims, has often been the epicenter of Israeli-Palestinian unrest, and tensions were already heightened amid a recent wave of violence. Clashes at the site last year helped spark an 11-day war with Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip.

The clashes come at a particularly sensitive time. Ramadan this year coincides with Passover, a major weeklong Jewish holiday beginning Friday at sundown, and Christian holy week, which culminates on Easter Sunday. The holidays are expected to bring tens of thousands of faithful into Jerusalem’s Old City, home to major sites sacred to all three religions.

Hours after the clashes began, the police said they had put an end to the violence and arrested “hundreds” of suspects. The mosque was re-opened, and some 60,000 people attended the main Friday prayers midday, according to the Waqf, the Islamic endowment that administers the site.

After prayers, thousands of Palestinians marched around the esplanade, chanting “with our souls, with our blood, we sacrifice for you, Al-Aqsa,” in addition to slogans in support of Hamas, the Islamic militant group that rules Gaza.

Less than a kilometer (mile) away, thousands of Christians marched in a procession retracing the traditional journey of Jesus to the cross in honor of Good Friday. The Church of the Holy Sepulchre was open to visitors, who are returning to the Holy Land in large numbers for the first time since before the pandemic. The violence was confined to the mosque compound.

Israeli authorities said that before the unrest broke out they had negotiated with Muslim leaders to try to ensure calm. But the police say Palestinians stockpiled rocks and other objects inside the compound and hurled stones at the Mughrabi Gate, which leads to the Western Wall — a major Jewish holy site — triggering the violence.

Palestinian witnesses, who spoke on condition of anonymity out of security concerns, said a small group of Palestinians threw rocks at police, who then entered the compound in force, setting off a wider conflagration. Palestinians view any large deployment of police at Al-Aqsa as a provocation.

Palestinians threw rocks and fireworks, and police fired tear gas and stun grenades on the sprawling esplanade surrounding the mosque. Dozens of Palestinians barricaded themselves inside the mosque as they fought Israeli security forces.

Israeli police later entered the mosque and arrested people inside. The police rarely enter the building, which is seen by Palestinians as an escalation.

The Palestinian Red Crescent emergency service said it treated 152 people, many of them wounded by rubber-coated bullets or stun grenades.

Video footage showed police beating a photographer for the Waqf with batons before knocking him to ground and kicking him. The Waqf said the photographer, Rami Khatib, suffered a broken hand. There was no immediate comment from police.

The Israeli police said three officers were wounded from “massive stone-throwing,” with two evacuated from the scene for treatment.

Neighboring Jordan, which has custodianship over the holy site, and the Palestinian Authority issued a joint statement accusing Israel of “a dangerous and condemnable escalation that threatens to explode the situation.” Egypt also condemned the “Israeli raid.”

Israel’s public security minister, Omer Barlev, who oversees the police force, said Israel had “no interest” in violence at the holy site but that police were forced to confront “violent elements” who attacked them with stones and metal bars. He said Israel was committed to freedom of worship for Jews and Muslims alike.

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said authorities “are working to calm things on the Temple Mount and throughout Israel. At the same time, we are prepared for any scenario.”

The mosque is the third holiest site in Islam. It is built on a hilltop in Jerusalem’s Old City that is the most sacred site for Jews, who refer to it as the Temple Mount because it was the site of the Jewish temples in antiquity. It has been a major flashpoint for Israeli-Palestinian violence for decades and was the epicenter of the 2000-2005 Palestinian intifada, or uprising.

Israel captured east Jerusalem, including the Old City, in the 1967 war and annexed it in a move not recognized internationally. Palestinians want the eastern part of the city to be the capital of a future state including the West Bank and Gaza, which Israel also captured during the war nearly 55 years ago.

Tensions have soared in recent weeks following a series of attacks by Palestinians that killed 14 people inside Israel. Israeli troops have carried out a wave of arrests and military operations across the occupied West Bank, setting off clashes with Palestinians.

At least 25 Palestinians have been killed, according to an Associated Press count. Many had carried out attacks or were involved in the clashes, but an unarmed woman and a lawyer who appears to have been a bystander were also among those killed.

Weeks of protests and clashes in and around Al-Aqsa during Ramadan last year helped ignite a fourth Gaza war between Israel and Hamas. This year, Israel has lifted restrictions and taken other steps to try and calm tensions, but the attacks and the military raids are fueling another cycle of unrest.

Hamas condemned what it said were “brutal attacks” on worshippers at Al-Aqsa, saying Israel would bear “all the consequences.”

Earlier this week, Hamas and other militant groups in Gaza had called on Palestinians to camp out at the Al-Aqsa mosque over the weekend. Palestinians have long feared that Israel plans to take over the site or partition it.

Israeli authorities say they are committed to maintaining the status quo, but in recent years large groups of nationalist and religious Jews have regularly visited the site with police escorts.

A radical Jewish group recently called on people to bring animals to the site in order to sacrifice them for Passover, offering cash rewards for those who succeeded or even tried. Israeli police work to prevent such activities, but the call was widely circulated by Palestinians on social media, along with calls for Muslims to prevent any sacrifices from taking place.

Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz, the rabbi of the Western Wall, issued a statement calling on Muslim leaders to act to stop the violence. He also noted that “bringing a sacrifice to the Temple Mount today is in opposition to the decision of the Chief Rabbinate of Israel.”


Associated Press reporter Wafaa Shurafa in Gaza City, Gaza Strip contributed to this report.

Zelensky says world should prepare for nuclear war: Revelation 16

Zelensky says world should prepare for Russia to use nuclear weapons

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Friday warned that the world should take seriously and prepare for the possibility that Russia could use nuclear weapons in its attack on Ukraine. 

“Not only me — I think all of the world, all the countries, have to be worried, because it can be not real information, but it can be truth,” Zelensky told CNN’s Jake Tapper when asked if he was worried Russian President Vladimir Putin might use a tactical nuclear weapon on Ukraine.

Zelensky also said Moscow could easily use either nuclear or chemical weapons, as Putindoes not value the lives of Ukrainian citizens.  

“They could do it, for them the life of the people [means] nothing,” Zelensky said. “We should think, not be afraid, be ready. But that is not a question … only for Ukraine but for all the world, I think so.” 

Zelensky’s message is a stark shift from comments he made last month, when he said Putin’s threat to use nuclear force should the West get involved in the war was a “bluff.”

At the time, Putin had recently ordered that his nuclear forces be put on higher alert after Zelensky repeatedly called for NATO to impose a no-fly zone over the Ukraine.

“I think that the threat of nuclear war is a bluff. It’s one thing to be a murderer. It’s another to commit suicide. Every use of nuclear weapons means the end for all sides, not just for the person using them,” Zelensky said in early March.  

Zelensky’s new comments also follow those made by CIA Director William Burns on Thursday, when he said that the U.S. cannot “take lightly” the chance that Russia could use nuclear weapons as it grows more desperate in its invasion, now in its 51st day. 

“Given the potential desperation of President Putin and the Russian leadership, given the setbacks that they’ve faced so far militarily, none of us can take lightly the threat posed by a potential resort to tactical nuclear weapons or low-yield nuclear weapons,” Burns said Thursday following a speech at Georgia Tech.   

The world now watches and waits as Kremlin forces — who retreated from much of northern Ukraine after failing to take the capital of Kyiv — are regrouping for a renewed offensive in the Donbas region in the east.