said Randall Jibson, USGS scientist and lead author of this study. “Not every earthquake will trigger landslides, but we can use landslide distributions to estimate characteristics of earthquake energy and how far regional ground shaking could occur.”
“Scientists are confirming with empirical data what more than 50 million people in the eastern U.S. experienced firsthand: this was one powerful earthquake,” said USGS Director Marcia McNutt. “Calibrating the distance over which landslides occur may also help us reach back into the geologic record to look for evidence of past history of major earthquakes from the Virginia seismic zone.”
This study will help inform earthquake hazard and risk assessments as well as emergency preparedness, whether for landslides or other earthquake effects.
“What makes this new study so unique is that it provides direct observational evidence from the largest earthquake to occur in more than 100 years in the eastern U.S,” said Jibson. “Now that we know more about the power of East Coast earthquakes, equations that predict ground shaking might need to be revised.”
It is estimated that approximately one-third of the U.S. population could have felt last year’s earthquake in Virginia, more than any earthquake in U.S. history.
About 148,000 people reported their ground-shaking experiences caused by the earthquake on the USGS “Did You Feel It?” website. Shaking reports came from southeastern Canada to Florida and as far west as Texas.
In addition to the great landslide distances recorded, the landslides from the 2011 Virginia earthquake occurred in an area 20 times larger than expected from studies of worldwide earthquakes. Scientists plotted the landslide locations that were farthest out and then calculated the area enclosed by those landslides. The observed landslides from last year’s Virginia earthquake enclose an area of about 33,400 km2
, while previous studies indicated an expected area of about 1,500 km2
from an earthquake of similar magnitude.
“The landslide distances from last year’s Virginia earthquake are remarkable compared to historical landslides across the world and represent the largest distance limit ever recorded,” said Edwin Harp, USGS scientist and co-author of this study. “There are limitations to our research, but the bottom line is that we now have a better understanding of the power of East Coast earthquakes and potential damage scenarios.”
Asked whether the threat of a nuclear conflict had eased, Medvedev responded: “No, it hasn’t decreased, it has grown. Every day when they provide Ukraine with foreign weapons brings the nuclear apocalypse closer.”
In Thursday’s comments, the 57-year-old Medvedev denounced the International Criminal Court’s decision to issue an arrest warrant for Putin on charges of alleged involvement in abductions of thousands of children from Ukraine as legally null and void.
He noted that the move added to a “colossal negative potential” in the already bitterly strained ties between Russia and the West.
A group of Ukrainian children have finally returned home after being held in Russian camps for months. Vladimir Putin’s soldiers took the 17 children from their homes to occupied Crimea, telling the children that their families had ab
He added: “Our relations with the West are already worse than they have ever been in history.”
Medvedev specifically blasted German Justice Minister Marco Buschmann, who said last week that Putin would be arrested on the ICC’s warrant if he visits Germany.
Medvedev said: “Let’s imagine … the leader of a nuclear power visits the territory of Germany and is arrested,”
He said it would amount to a declaration of war against Russia, adding: “In this case, our assets will fly to hit the Bundestag, the chancellor’s office and so on.”
“But due to geopolitical reasons and the course of history we had tolerated that we were living in separate quarters and had been forced to acknowledge those invented borders for a long time.”
Observers have interpreted Medvedev’s rhetoric as an apparent attempt to curry favour with Putin.
Medvedev launched more anti-Western diatribes Thursday, declaring that “it’s useless to have talks” with the West and speaking with contempt about Western politicians, alleging a “catastrophic drop in competence and elementary literacy of European Union leaders.”
He said: “I have no illusions that we could communicate with them again any time soon,
“It makes no sense to negotiate with certain countries and blocs – they only understand the language of force.”
“North Korea is advancing its nuclear weapons day by day and conducting missile provocations with unprecedented intensity,” said Yoon.
He made the comments at the Daejeon national cemetery to commemorate the anniversary of West Sea Defense Day — a holiday in honor of servicemen who lost their lives defending the maritime border with North Korea.
South Korea’s new President Yoon Suk Yeol waves from a car after the Presidential Inauguration outside the National Assembly in Seoul, South Korea. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)
He continued, “The South Korean government and military will drastically strengthen our three-axis system in the face of North Korea’s nuclear and missile advancements and provocations, and will further solidify security cooperation with the United States and also trilaterally with the United States and Japan.”
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un attends the 7th enlarged plenary meeting of the 8th Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea (WPK) in Pyongyang, North Korea in this photo released by North Korea’s Korean Central News Agency (KCNA). (KCNA via REUTERS)
“I will make sure North Korea pays the price for its reckless provocations,” Yoon threatened.
In this photo provided by the North Korean government, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, with his daughter, inspects what it says is an artillery drill at an undisclosed location in North Korea ((Korean Central News Agency/Korea News Service via AP))
As a result, every single person living in the United States since 1951 has been exposed to at least some radioactive fallout, a study from the National Cancer Institute and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found.
Scientists believe that the health risks for most people remain small, however, one study estimated that fallout may have caused up to 11,000 cancer deaths.
4. Food is a common culprit of radioactive fallout exposure
Radioactive fallout raining down onto your skin is one route of exposure, but oftentimes exposure occurs in a less dramatic fashion, like when fallout enters the food chain.
Just 15% of the nuclear weapon’s energy comes from nuclear radiation — and a large part of that comes in the first minute of the blast. This is not to say that radioactive fallout isn’t dangerous or scary, but the most damage by far is from the detonation.
It is less an arms-control agreement than cover for American inaction.By Reuel Marc Gerecht
Editor’s Note: This article is part of a debate about whether to stay in the Iran deal. Read the other entries here.
It was surely Barack Obama’s profound aversion to the use of American military power that so enfeebled his nuclear diplomacy and made his atomic accord with Iran the worst arms-control agreement since the Washington Naval Treaty of 1922. I do not know whether a more forceful president and secretary of state—say a Democratic version of Ronald Reagan and George Schultz—could have gotten a “good deal” with Tehran; it just boggles the mind to believe that a better deal wasn’t possible. A stronger president and secretary of state certainly would have been willing to walk away. Neither captured by Iranian demands nor the mirage of “moderate” mullahs and engagement, more astute, less fearful men would have been more patient, and more willing to let sanctions bite deeper into the economy and political culture of the Islamic Republic.
Obama was, to borrow from TheNew York Times’s Roger Cohen, America’s first “post-Western” president, a man deeply uncomfortable with American hegemony and the essential marriage of diplomacy and force. By 2013, when Hassan Rouhani won Iran’s presidential election, Obama made it increasingly clear that he was unwilling to fight over the clerical regime’s nuclear-weapons ambitions. He was also unwilling to do anything to brake the Islamic Republic’s rising Shiite imperialism, which in Syria led to the massive slaughter and flight of Syrian Sunnis who’d rebelled against Bashar al-Assad’s tyranny. And what happened in 2012-2013 in Syria and Iraq—with the absence of America—triggered the rise of the Islamic State and has now set the stage for a regional conflict that we haven’t seen since Saddam Hussein was running amok.
With Iran, Obama certainly appeared to have a cause, something beyond just avoiding a fight. The Islamic Republic for Obama, and Secretary of State John Kerry, too, appeared to be a left-wing “realist” dream, offering a progressive version of Richard Nixon’s opening to Communist China. The many debilitating weaknesses of the JCPOA—for one thing, the strategic and moral absurdity of paying, via sanctions relief, for Iranian imperialism in the Middle East so we can have a short surcease to the mullahs’ quest for the bomb—stem directly from Obama’s paralyzing fear of war, as well as his aspiration for a Middle Eastern détente.
The suggestion that going to war with the clerical regime is too high a price to pay to stop the mullahs from acquiring nuclear weapons (which is what’s implied by defending the limited, temporary utility of the JCPOA) is downright odd. Obama was, in theory, willing to do just that in the nuclear negotiations. In theory, when he uttered the mantra that “all options are on the table,” Obama was—to borrow from La Rochefoucauld—giving the homage that hypocrisy pays to virtue. The nuclear deal wasn’t just “far from ideal”: It is the hinge of America’s downsizing in the region, the guarantor of a decent interval before nuclear proliferation comes to the Middle East.
Obama’s “wishful thinking” about the region was never more fully on display than when he speculated that his nuclear agreement with Tehran ought to allow the Iranians and the Saudis time to learn “to share” the region; it has, of course, done the opposite. The agreement—and the Iranian perception of that accord as a Western green light for its continuing aggression—has thrown jet fuel on the sectarian strife that Iran’s clerical regime has so malevolently encouraged. The Syrian war went from bad to catastrophic while Obama was engaged in his secret and then open diplomacy with Tehran. Saudi Arabia, the Emirates, and most probably Turkey, too—the only Muslim power in the Middle East that has the industrial capacity to check Iran’s clerical regime—will probably soon start down the nuclear path because of Obama’s accord.
Obama provided the agreement that Ali Akbar Salehi was searching for. Salehi, the MIT-educated nuclear guru and negotiator who would be better described as Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei’s bomb maker, sought the time and money to perfect the development of high-velocity centrifuges which, once deployed in small, easily concealed cascades, will guarantee the Islamic Republic an unstoppable means to produce weapons-grade uranium. I was recently listening to John Kerry in a small gathering. To hear him tell it, the JCPOA has “permanently shut down all pathways” to an Iranian bomb. The Obamaians like Phil Gordon, who were willing to admit the deal’s significant flaws, were in a small minority.
Former Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes and so many others were just disingenuous in how they marketed the nuclear diplomacy and the final deal. An honest approach would have been to straightforwardly enumerate the agreements many flaws and then say what we all knew to be true: This administration is unwilling to use military force to stop the mullahs’ quest for the bomb. We are unwilling to contain Iranian aggression in the Middle East. This is the best that we can do under those circumstances.
But if one were serious about non-proliferation, if one fully comprehended the consummate mendacity of the regime (as if we needed to see the nuclear archive that Mossad just snatched), why in the world would anyone agree to an accord that allows the clerical regime to develop advanced centrifuges? Why in the world would anyone agree not to put severe restrictions on ballistic-missile development in the JCPOA? Or allow the Iranians to soften the language in United Nations Security Council Resolution 2231, so that there is no longer a blanket prohibition against the development of long-range ballistic missiles? In one of my favorite moments in the Washington debate about Obama’s diplomacy, I asked the undersecretary of state for political affairs, Wendy Sherman, why, for Allah’s sake, were we exempting missiles from the JCPOA’s purview. There wasn’t a soul in the Pentagon or the Central Intelligence Agency (with the possible exception of John Brennan) who believed the clerical regime wasn’t developing ever-longer range ballistic missiles to carry nuclear warheads. Her response: We decided to put the emphasis on preventing Tehran from developing warheads.
To translate for those unfamiliar with such intelligence details: The United States was going to ignore that which is easy to detect—the design and testing of missiles—and focus on what is impossible to detect unless you get really lucky with human-intelligence penetrations or walk-ins—the development of warheads. And where have the mullahs probably put warhead design? On Revolutionary Guard Corps bases like Parchin. When we get a chance to review the Iranian archive snatched by Mossad (and I certainly hope the Israelis release all of the material), I suspect we will see in detail what we have long known: Nuclear-weapons research and the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps are inseparable.
In other words, the organization that is responsible for internal oppression, foreign wars, overseas terrorism, and an expeditionary army of non-Iranian Shiites is the overlord of the nuclear-weapons program. Which brings up the most comedic moment in Obama’s nuclear adventure: the remote-controlled soil sampling of earth at Parchin, where International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors were not permitted to enter. According to Obama, Kerry, Sherman, and so many others, the JCPOA granted the International Atomic Energy Agency access to Iranian military bases for inspections. But “access” here doesn’t meet the standard, say, of the Oxford English Dictionary, where it means: “Admittance (to the presence or use of a thing or person); the action or process of obtaining stored documents, data, etc.” Not only did Obama debase American diplomacy, but his mania for a deal debased the International Atomic Energy Agency, too.
It is striking that Kerry throughout the talks was so cavalier about the clerical regime’s past “possible-military-dimension” nuclear research. If America had insisted on standard IAEA procedures (they turn over all of their paperwork and have their nuclear scientists and engineers sit down for thorough discussions with IAEA inspectors), we would have, of course, discovered the vast range of their mendacity, as well as the intimate details of the global dual-use import network that the regime has used to build clandestinely their nuclear-weapons program. Such routine discussions and verification would have exposed Salehi, Khamenei, Rouhani, Foreign Minister Mohammad-Javad Zarif, and so many others, as just stellar liars. I really don’t recall Rhodes and Kerry before the JCPOA was concluded harping on the consummate dishonesty of these people.
As my colleague, the former No. 2 at the IAEA, Olli Heinonen has pointed out, the clerical regime could have a lot of components for the clandestine production of high-velocity centrifuges, but we can’t verify their stockpiles and compliance because we can’t answer the big questions about Iran’s development of nuclear weapons. At this moment, the clerical regime could have a clandestine centrifuge site in Mashhad in northeastern Iran. And we would not know it. I worked on Iranian operations for nearly a decade in the Central Intelligence Agency. I have a decent idea of what the National Security Agency can and cannot intercept. There is nothing in the JCPOA that would aid us in discovering this or any other possible secret facility.
The JCPOA, then, isn’t really an arms-control agreement; it’s just cover for American inaction, and for President Obama’s acute desire to leave the Middle East. So, let us go post-JCPOA. The deal’s defenders have understandably and quite correctly expressed dismay that the Trump administration doesn’t appear to have done much preparation for the day after. That is undoubtedly true: Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster, and Secretary of Defense James Mattis obviously didn’t want to withdraw from the nuclear agreement. When you don’t want to do something, it’s human nature not to prepare. The easier route is always to maintain the status quo. The democratic way is to punt problems down the road, to hope that the unpleasantness goes away. Then add on the Trump factor, which is discombobulating. But also let us be historically fair: Even the best of planning isn’t necessarily worth much when things get messy, as they often do in foreign affairs, which is defined by the unexpected. And withdrawing from the JCPOA is going to be messy.
So far Trump’s Iran policy doesn’t make a lot of sense. On one hand, his rhetoric is commendably harsh. His selection of John Bolton and Mike Pompeo has certainly gotten Tehran’s attention. It is always good to see a Revolutionary Guard Corps website announce about Bolton that “Trump’s Raging Bull has arrived.” As I and Ray Takeyh mentioned in our Washington Post op-ed, American resolve always convulses and paralyzes the clerical regime. It was no accident, as Rouhani himself explained, that Iran froze its just-revealed clandestine nuclear program in late 2002 because of fear of George W. Bush. And yet Trump’s commendable personnel choices and rhetoric are betrayed by his actions in Syria and Iraq, where he is, more or less, continuing Obama’s policy.
So the pro-deal argument is that if President Trump’s is going to continue his predecessor’s disastrous policies in Syria and Iraq, he should logically continue Mr. Obama’s pivotal accomplishment—the nuclear deal. They work together. We could have an even more calamitous situation develop: Trump pulls America out of Syria, Iraq, and the atomic deal. After withdrawing from the JCPOA, Trump could then do nothing to check the clerical regime as it tests whether Washington is serious economically and militarily. It is bizarre but conceivable that Trump could exempt the Europeans from the extraterritorial reach of snapped-back American sanctions against Iran. We know that French President Emanuel Macron made this pitch on his recent visit to Washington. And Trump doesn’t appear to understand how U.S. sanctions work. He suggested once on Fox News that he would allow the Europeans to continue to invest in the Islamic Republic’s heavy industries after he pulled out of the JCPOA. Needless to say, this would be nuts—Iran would still get many of the economic benefits of the deal without having to abide by its restrictions.
And yet it isn’t that hard to devise a credible post-JCPOA approach to the clerical regime. We can use America’s approach to the Soviet Union as a model: Contain, roll back, and squeeze. The Islamic Republic now resembles the Soviet Union of 1979: a police state, incapable of reforming itself while drowning in corruption and economic ineptitude, expands abroad to protect the nation and its “faith.” Now, unlike the U.S.S.R., which in the end just had Marx’s and Lenin’s desiccated orthodoxy to sustain an empire, the Islamic Republic has a still vibrant Shiite identity. It is the only idea, mixed with revolutionary intent, that the mullahs can lock on to that can motivate the faithful and undermine critics who stopped believing in the cleric-constructed Islamic state. But as we have seen repeatedly, Iranians have been willing in significant numbers to express their disgust for this tyranny. In the nation-wide demonstrations that started last December, even those that the regime thought were loyal to the theocracy—the provincials—shouted their opposition to imperial adventures.
As long as Trump is willing to use military force against the regime’s nuclear sites, and we don’t know whether he is, then time is on our side, not theirs. America is the stronger party, by far. Let us try to crack the regime. The contradictions that gnaw at the mind, heart, and muscles of the clerical regime are as great as those that debilitated the Soviet Union. As you know, most Democrats and some Republicans went soft by the end of the Cold War. They wanted détente and cohabitation. But the hawks like Reagan and Henry “Scoop” Jackson won that struggle, not Henry Kissinger and the Carterites. I do not know whether Trump is capable of pulling this off. Odds are he is not. But we don’t get the president that we want; we get the president that the American people choose.
Reuel Marc Gerecht is a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. He has served as a Iranian-targets officer in the CIA, and is the author of Know Thine Enemy: A Spy’s Journey into Revolutionary Iran.
Amir Abu Khadijeh, 25, was shot in the head in the city of Tulkarem, says the Palestinian health ministry.
Published On 23 Mar 202323 Mar 2023
Israeli forces have killed a Palestinian man during a raid in the occupied West Bank, Palestinian officials and the Israeli police said, as Israeli incursions into the territory show no signs of letting up during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
The Palestinian health ministry said 25-year-old Amir Abu Khadijeh was shot in the head in the city of Tulkarem on Thursday. Large crowds took to the streets to protest Abu Khadijeh’s killing when his body reached hospital, Palestinian media outlets reported.
A statement from the Israeli border police said its undercover unit was involved in a raid in the early hours of Thursday to arrest a Palestinian man it suspected of involvement in several shooting attacks. The forces surrounded the house he was in and fired at the man after he aimed a weapon at them, the border police claimed.
The Tulkarem Brigade, one of several new armed groups to emerge in the West Bank over the past year, said Abu Khadijeh was one of its founders and described the killing as an “assassination”.
An activist from the Palestinian Fatah movement, Murad Droubi, told local media that Israeli forces stormed Shufa, an area in Tulkarem, and closed off its main entrance to vehicles and residents, before surrounding the house where Abu Khadija was hiding.
Israeli forces also arrested the owner of the flat where Abu Khadijeh was killed, according to Palestinian media.
Thursday marked the first day of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan in the Palestinian territories.
In previous years, Ramadan has seen Israeli police attack Palestinians gathered around Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, Islam’s third holiest site. Ramadan coincides this year with Judaism’s Passover and Christian Easter.
Raids on Al-Aqsa Mosque by Israeli security forces during Ramadan heightened tensions further and, four days later, an 11-day Israeli assault on Gaza began, ostensibly in response to rockets fired by Hamas towards Israel.
Over the past year, Israeli forces have killed more than 250 Palestinians in the West Bank, including fighters and civilians. More than 40 Israelis and three Ukrainians have died in Palestinian attacks in the same period.
(Bloomberg) — China lambasted the latest steps taken by the UK and US to supply conventionally-armed but nuclear-powered submarines to Australia, in a diplomatic broadside circulated overnight among international atomic envoys.
Beijing’s ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency, Li Song, said the Aukus agreement will undercut global efforts to stop the spread of weapons-grade nuclear fuel and open new proliferation pathways for other countries. Iran and South Korea are among nations that have also explored obtaining nuclear-powered submarines, and Brazil has already committed to building a fleet.
“If the Aukus partners insist on taking their own course, it is inevitable that some other countries will follow suit, which may eventually lead to the collapse of the international nuclear non-proliferation regime,” China wrote in the statement circulated in Vienna late Tuesday.
China published its criticism during President Xi Jinping’s three-day visit to Moscow, where his meeting with Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin ended in a series of nuclear agreements. Earlier this month, the leaders of the US, the UK and Australia unveiled their ambitious multibillion-dollar plan for their fleet of nuclear-powered submarines that will ply the Pacific in an effort to blunt China’s growing assertiveness.
The diplomatic note accused the Aukus partners of “coercing” the IAEA into signing off on the deal. A legal loophole in international non-proliferation agreements lets the IAEA exempt inspections of weapons-grade uranium used to power vessels while at sea, provided the material can later be accounted for.
“This process involves serious legal and complex technical matters,” IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi said earlier this month. “Ultimately, the agency must ensure that no proliferation risks will emanate from this project.