The Australian Nuclear Horn (Daniel 8)

Australian the Nuclear Horn

Australian the Nuclear Horn

Australia likely to start supplying uranium to India from this year

NEW DELHI: Australia, the world’s biggest uranium producer, is likely to start supplying the metal to India’s nuclear power plants this year after visiting Premier Malcolm Turnbull helps put in place the mechanism governing the trade.

The two countries had signed a civil nuclear deal in 2014 when former Prime Minister Tony Abbott visited India. Thereafter, Australia put in place a safeguards agreement and last December passed the legislation to start supplying uranium to India, a trade viewed as the cornerstone of a bilateral strategic partnership.

The hint of uranium sales to India came from none other than Turnbull, who would be in the country between April 9 and 12.

“My first visit to India as Prime Minister is a chance to further cooperate across a wide range of sectors, including energy, education and trade. But there are many more opportunities. India wants to provide energy security through a range of technologies, including nuclear, clean coal, natural gas and renewable energy. Australia is well placed to provide many of the raw materials, and some of the latest technology,” Turnbull said in a Sydney Institute speech on Thursday ahead of his trip to India.

Besides nuclear energy, defence ties will be high on the agenda of the talks Turnbull will hold with his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi next Monday: Australia is willing to rejoin the Indo-USJapan trilateral Malabar Naval exercise, eyeing to play role of a stabiliser in the Indian Ocean Region, according to people familiar with the developments.

The second Indo-Australian bilateral Navy exercises will occur either later this year or the next year, according to one of the people quoted above. “Security ties will be the key pillar of Indo-Australian strategic partnership, and this visit of Turnbull will be a key step in that direction. Defence and counter-terror partnership are key elements of security ties,” an official explained.

“India is one of Australia’s most important international priorities. Our relationship has expanded dramatically since we established a Strategic Partnership in 2009, followed by two-way Prime Ministerial visits in 2014,” according to Australian High Commissioner to India Harinder Sidhu.

Syrian Chemical Attack Not Due To Assad

Ex-UK Ambassador To Syria Questions Chemical Attack; “It Doesn’t Make Sense, Assad Is Not Mad”

Tyler Durden's picture

 

 The former UK ambassador to Syria, Peter Ford, has joined the chorus of folks implying that the chemical attack in Syria wreaks of a ‘false flag’ operation.  Speaking on BBC Radio earlier, Ford said there is no proof that the cause of the explosion was what they said it was” and that it simply wouldn’t make sense for Assad to launch such an attack as it would be totally self-defeating.”

There is no proof that the cause of the explosion was what they said it was.  Remember what happened in Iraq…I’ve seen testimony alleged from witnesses who said they saw chemical bombs dropping from the air.  Well, you can not see chemical weapons dropping from the air.  Such testimony is worthless.”

“But think about the consequences because this is not likely to be the end of it. It doesn’t make sense that Assad would do it.  Lets not leave our brains outside the door when we examine evidence.  It would be totally self-defeating as shown by the results…Assad is not mad.”

 

As we pointed out yesterday, Ford’s comments seemingly align with the opinion of former Representative Ron Paul who argued that there was a 0% chance that Assad deliberately launched a chemical weapons attack on Syrian citizens.

 “Who benefits?”

“It doesn’t make any sense for Assad under these conditions to all of a sudden use poison gases – I think there’s zero chance he would have done this deliberately,” said Paul.

Meanwhile, this CNN anchor was left speechless Wednesday during a televised interview when a congressman questioned the mainstream narrative that Bashar al-Assad attacked his own people with chemical weapons.

“It’s hard to know exactly what’s happening in Syria right now. I’d like to know specifically how that release of chemical gas, if it did occur — and it looks like it did — how that occurred,” Representative Thomas Massie told CNN’s Kate Bolduan. 

Because frankly, I don’t think Assad would have done that. It does not serve his interests. It would tend to draw us into that civil war even further.”

I don’t think it would’ve served Assad’s purposes to do a
chemical attack on his people…It’s hard for me to understand why he
would do that — if he did.”

 

Columbia University Warns Of Sixth Seal (Rev 6:12)

Earthquakes May Endanger New York More Than Thought, Says Study

Columbia University warns of the sixth seal.

Columbia University warns of the sixth seal.

A study by a group of prominent seismologists suggests that a pattern of subtle but active faults makes the risk of earthquakes to the New York City area substantially greater than formerly believed. Among other things, they say that the controversial Indian Point nuclear power plants, 24 miles north of the city, sit astride the previously unidentified intersection of two active seismic zones. The paper appears in the current issue of the Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America.

Many faults and a few mostly modest quakes have long been known around New York City, but the research casts them in a new light. The scientists say the insight comes from sophisticated analysis of past quakes, plus 34 years of new data on tremors, most of them perceptible only by modern seismic instruments. The evidence charts unseen but potentially powerful structures whose layout and dynamics are only now coming clearer, say the scientists. All are based at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, which runs the network of seismometers that monitors most of the northeastern United States.

Lead author Lynn R. Sykes said the data show that large quakes are infrequent around New York compared to more active areas like California and Japan, but that the risk is high, because of the overwhelming concentration of people and infrastructure. “The research raises the perception both of how common these events are, and, specifically, where they may occur,” he said. “It’s an extremely populated area with very large assets.” Sykes, who has studied the region for four decades, is known for his early role in establishing the global theory of plate tectonics.

The authors compiled a catalog of all 383 known earthquakes from 1677 to 2007 in a 15,000-square-mile area around New York City. Coauthor John Armbruster estimated sizes and locations of dozens of events before 1930 by combing newspaper accounts and other records. The researchers say magnitude 5 quakes—strong enough to cause damage–occurred in 1737, 1783 and 1884. There was little settlement around to be hurt by the first two quakes, whose locations are vague due to a lack of good accounts; but the last, thought to be centered under the seabed somewhere between Brooklyn and Sandy Hook, toppled chimneys across the city and New Jersey, and panicked bathers at Coney Island. Based on this, the researchers say such quakes should be routinely expected, on average, about every 100 years. “Today, with so many more buildings and people, a magnitude 5 centered below the city would be extremely attention-getting,” said Armbruster. “We’d see billions in damage, with some brick buildings falling. People would probably be killed.”

Starting in the early 1970s Lamont began collecting data on quakes from dozens of newly deployed seismometers; these have revealed further potential, including distinct zones where earthquakes concentrate, and where larger ones could come. The Lamont network, now led by coauthor Won-Young Kim, has located hundreds of small events, including a magnitude 3 every few years, which can be felt by people at the surface, but is unlikely to cause damage. These small quakes tend to cluster along a series of small, old faults in harder rocks across the region. Many of the faults were discovered decades ago when subways, water tunnels and other excavations intersected them, but conventional wisdom said they were inactive remnants of continental collisions and rifting hundreds of millions of years ago. The results clearly show that they are active, and quite capable of generating damaging quakes, said Sykes.

One major previously known feature, the Ramapo Seismic Zone, runs from eastern Pennsylvania to the mid-Hudson Valley, passing within a mile or two northwest of Indian Point. The researchers found that this system is not so much a single fracture as a braid of smaller ones, where quakes emanate from a set of still ill-defined faults. East and south of the Ramapo zone—and possibly more significant in terms of hazard–is a set of nearly parallel northwest-southeast faults. These include Manhattan’s 125th Street fault, which seems to have generated two small 1981 quakes, and could have been the source of the big 1737 quake; the Dyckman Street fault, which carried a magnitude 2 in 1989; the Mosholu Parkway fault; and the Dobbs Ferry fault in suburban Westchester, which generated the largest recent shock, a surprising magnitude 4.1, in 1985. Fortunately, it did no damage. Given the pattern, Sykes says the big 1884 quake may have hit on a yet-undetected member of this parallel family further south.

The researchers say that frequent small quakes occur in predictable ratios to larger ones, and so can be used to project a rough time scale for damaging events. Based on the lengths of the faults, the detected tremors, and calculations of how stresses build in the crust, the researchers say that magnitude 6 quakes, or even 7—respectively 10 and 100 times bigger than magnitude 5–are quite possible on the active faults they describe. They calculate that magnitude 6 quakes take place in the area about every 670 years, and sevens, every 3,400 years. The corresponding probabilities of occurrence in any 50-year period would be 7% and 1.5%. After less specific hints of these possibilities appeared in previous research, a 2003 analysis by The New York City Area Consortium for Earthquake Loss Mitigation put the cost of quakes this size in the metro New York area at $39 billion to $197 billion. A separate 2001 analysis for northern New Jersey’s Bergen County estimates that a magnitude 7 would destroy 14,000 buildings and damage 180,000 in that area alone. The researchers point out that no one knows when the last such events occurred, and say no one can predict when they next might come.

“We need to step backward from the simple old model, where you worry about one large, obvious fault, like they do in California,” said coauthor Leonardo Seeber. “The problem here comes from many subtle faults. We now see there is earthquake activity on them. Each one is small, but when you add them up, they are probably more dangerous than we thought. We need to take a very close look.” Seeber says that because the faults are mostly invisible at the surface and move infrequently, a big quake could easily hit one not yet identified. “The probability is not zero, and the damage could be great,” he said. “It could be like something out of a Greek myth.”

The researchers found concrete evidence for one significant previously unknown structure: an active seismic zone running at least 25 miles from Stamford, Conn., to the Hudson Valley town of Peekskill, N.Y., where it passes less than a mile north of the Indian Point nuclear power plant. The Stamford-Peekskill line stands out sharply on the researchers’ earthquake map, with small events clustered along its length, and to its immediate southwest. Just to the north, there are no quakes, indicating that it represents some kind of underground boundary. It is parallel to the other faults beginning at 125th Street, so the researchers believe it is a fault in the same family. Like the others, they say it is probably capable of producing at least a magnitude 6 quake. Furthermore, a mile or so on, it intersects the Ramapo seismic zone.

Sykes said the existence of the Stamford-Peekskill line had been suggested before, because the Hudson takes a sudden unexplained bend just ot the north of Indian Point, and definite traces of an old fault can be along the north side of the bend. The seismic evidence confirms it, he said. “Indian Point is situated at the intersection of the two most striking linear features marking the seismicity and also in the midst of a large population that is at risk in case of an accident,” says the paper. “This is clearly one of the least favorable sites in our study area from an earthquake hazard and risk perspective.”

The findings comes at a time when Entergy, the owner of Indian Point, is trying to relicense the two operating plants for an additional 20 years—a move being fought by surrounding communities and the New York State Attorney General. Last fall the attorney general, alerted to the then-unpublished Lamont data, told a Nuclear Regulatory Commission panel in a filing: “New data developed in the last 20 years disclose a substantially higher likelihood of significant earthquake activity in the vicinity of [Indian Point] that could exceed the earthquake design for the facility.” The state alleges that Entergy has not presented new data on earthquakes past 1979. However, in a little-noticed decision this July 31, the panel rejected the argument on procedural grounds. A source at the attorney general’s office said the state is considering its options.

The characteristics of New York’s geology and human footprint may increase the problem. Unlike in California, many New York quakes occur near the surface—in the upper mile or so—and they occur not in the broken-up, more malleable formations common where quakes are frequent, but rather in the extremely hard, rigid rocks underlying Manhattan and much of the lower Hudson Valley. Such rocks can build large stresses, then suddenly and efficiently transmit energy over long distances. “It’s like putting a hard rock in a vise,” said Seeber. “Nothing happens for a while. Then it goes with a bang.” Earthquake-resistant building codes were not introduced to New York City until 1995, and are not in effect at all in many other communities. Sinuous skyscrapers and bridges might get by with minimal damage, said Sykes, but many older, unreinforced three- to six-story brick buildings could crumble.

Art Lerner-Lam, associate director of Lamont for seismology, geology and tectonophysics, pointed out that the region’s major highways including the New York State Thruway, commuter and long-distance rail lines, and the main gas, oil and power transmission lines all cross the parallel active faults, making them particularly vulnerable to being cut. Lerner-Lam, who was not involved in the research, said that the identification of the seismic line near Indian Point “is a major substantiation of a feature that bears on the long-term earthquake risk of the northeastern United States.” He called for policymakers to develop more information on the region’s vulnerability, to take a closer look at land use and development, and to make investments to strengthen critical infrastructure.

“This is a landmark study in many ways,” said Lerner-Lam. “It gives us the best possible evidence that we have an earthquake hazard here that should be a factor in any planning decision. It crystallizes the argument that this hazard is not random. There is a structure to the location and timing of the earthquakes. This enables us to contemplate risk in an entirely different way. And since we are able to do that, we should be required to do that.”

New York Earthquake Briefs and Quotes:

Existing U.S. Geological Survey seismic hazard maps show New York City as facing more hazard than many other eastern U.S. areas. Three areas are somewhat more active—northernmost New York State, New Hampshire and South Carolina—but they have much lower populations and fewer structures. The wider forces at work include pressure exerted from continuing expansion of the mid-Atlantic Ridge thousands of miles to the east; slow westward migration of the North American continent; and the area’s intricate labyrinth of old faults, sutures and zones of weakness caused by past collisions and rifting.

Due to New York’s past history, population density and fragile, interdependent infrastructure, a 2001 analysis by the Federal Emergency Management Agency ranks it the 11th most at-risk U.S. city for earthquake damage. Among those ahead: Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle and Portland. Behind: Salt Lake City, Sacramento, Anchorage.

New York’s first seismic station was set up at Fordham University in the 1920s. Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, in Palisades, N.Y., has operated stations since 1949, and now coordinates a network of about 40.

Dozens of small quakes have been felt in the New York area. A Jan. 17, 2001 magnitude 2.4, centered in the Upper East Side—the first ever detected in Manhattan itself–may have originated on the 125th Street fault. Some people thought it was an explosion, but no one was harmed.

The most recent felt quake, a magnitude 2.1 on July 28, 2008, was centered near Milford, N.J. Houses shook and a woman at St. Edward’s Church said she felt the building rise up under her feet—but no damage was done.

Questions about the seismic safety of the Indian Point nuclear power plant, which lies amid a metropolitan area of more than 20 million people, were raised in previous scientific papers in 1978 and 1985.

Because the hard rocks under much of New York can build up a lot strain before breaking, researchers believe that modest faults as short as 1 to 10 kilometers can cause magnitude 5 or 6 quakes.

In general, magnitude 3 quakes occur about 10 times more often than magnitude fours; 100 times more than magnitude fives; and so on. This principle is called the Gutenberg-Richter relationship.

Americans Try to Sue the Antichrist

IMG_8828.JPGIraqi Cleric Faces Novel Suit on Hostage-Taking

WASHINGTON (CN) – Three Americans who were taken hostage and tortured in Iraq claim in a federal complaint that Iran and prominent Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr gave material support to their abductors.

Russell Frost, Waiel el-Maadawy and Amr Mohamed brought their complaint Tuesday just over a year after their abduction. The Americans say they had been working in Iraq on a government contract to train Iraqi special forces when they were grabbed on Jan. 15, 2016, outside a translator’s apartment in Dora, a neighborhood of southeastern Baghdad.

The men initially thought they had been taken be Sunnis aligned with the Islamic State group, but el-Maadawy noticed an image of al-Sadr on one of his captor’s cellphones.

Al-Sadr led the Shiite Mahdi Army after the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, which has been closely linked to the sectarian violence that plagued the country in its wake.

Since the U.S. has sided with al-Sadr-aligned militia groups in the fight against the Islamic State, this gave the men confidence that they might survive the ordeal.

Frost, el-Maadawy and Mohamed eventually learned that they had been abducted by Saraya al-Salam, a militia they say al-Sadr founded and Iran funds.

Lawsuits against Iran for providing material support to terror groups are fairly common, but the men’s filing in Washington marks perhaps the first time anyone has sued al-Sadr.

“We felt like he should be responsible for organizing and instructing the groups that took these guys captive just as much as Iran is,” Kevin Hoffman, an attorney for the former captives, said in an interview.

Hoffman’s clients say they were held incommunicado for 31 days, blindfolded at a compound in Sadr City, in violation of numerous international laws.

“The hostage takers kicked the legs out from underneath their hostages, forcing them to kneel before the mural of Muqtada al-Sadr, taped dirty rags over their eyes, bound their hands and feet, and taped rags over their mouths so tightly that the men could barely breathe,” the complaint states.

“Every day for the next three weeks, they underwent psychological and physical torture,” the lawsuit continues.

The three Americans said they slept in freezing cold, asbestos-laden cells and “learned to urinate in empty water bottles in order to avoid the beating they would receive whenever they asked to use a bathroom.”

“Furthermore, the men discovered evidence of brain matter, body tissue, and other human remains throughout the area where they were being kept,” the complaint continues.

Hoffman, an attorney with the firm Singer Davis in Virginia Beach, noted that two of his clients were able to listen to and converse with their captors because they speak Arabic fluently.

“The guards bragged to Waiel and Amr about their Iranian military training and the time they had spent with Hezbollah in Lebanon,” the complaint states. “They also told Waiel about how their financial resources, weapons, and equipment came directly from Iran.”

Hoffman could not say for sure if his client spoke the Iraqi dialect of Arabic.

“Their job was to train Iraqi special forces while they were over there, and so I would imagine they spoke the dialect on a regular basis,” he said.

According to the complaint, the State Department became aware as early as 2013 that Iran had plans to use “an obscure Islamist group and its regional proxies” to increase kidnapping operations against Americans.

The men claim that an anonymous State Department official had knowledge that the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad had received intelligence the week before their kidnapping that “an Iranian-backed Shia militia group wanted to seize American personnel.”

That threat was allegedly never communicated, however, to the trio.

The agency is not a defendant to the complaint, but the men say this same  State Department official failed to warn the men because he had been optimistic that negotiations surrounding the Iranian nuclear deal would persuade Iran to restrain the militia.

Hoffman offered no comment on whether he has plans to take legal action against the U.S. government, saying only that he is investigating every possible avenue on behalf of his clients.

Upon their release, the three Americans were forced to thank al-Sadr in a video filmed in front of a large portrait of him.

“The men were also told to warn the United States that the Shia militias were prepared to resist if America tried to invade Iraq again,” the complaint states.

On July 17 – one day after the men’s release – al-Sadr said on his website that his militias would target U.S. individuals.

“This stance was re-affirmed in a televised interview with Muqtada al-Sadr’s official spokesman who stated ‘(w)e are thirst [sic] for Americans’ blood,’” the complaint says.

Hoffman said his clients are doing well as they recover from the experience.

“All three of them are exceedingly resilient guys,” Hoffman said. “They have a long history of public service and they’re not really dissuaded from that.”

Still, the men suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder and are undergoing medical treatment for lingering injuries.

“For instance the way they were bound for extended periods of time caused nerve damage in some of their limbs,” Hoffman said.

“They are doing their best to move on and they are recovering but there’s no doubt that they’re going to be affected by this physically and emotionally and mentally for a long time,” he added.

Neither the Iraqi embassy or the Iranian interest section of the Pakistani embassy in Washington responded to an emailed request for comment about the lawsuit.

Frost, el-Maadawy and Mohamed are seeking punitive damages for their confinement, and pain and suffering – including torture. The men had been working in Iraq for Blue Light LLC, a subcontractor of General Dynamics.

The War of Iranian Hegemony (Daniel 8:4)

Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad (Reuters, RTX34BQA)

Of course I loathe Assad. And of course I despise the Obamans for that phony red line and the subsequent retreat-and-bogus-Russian-deal. But just carrying out vengeance against Assad isn’t good enough. It fails to address the central problem of our time: the global anti-American alliance.

There is no Syria any more, and the enemy forces on the Middle Eastern battlefield come from various jihadi groups, and three regimes: Moscow, Tehran, and Damascus. We have to defeat them all, and other members of the enemy alliance, including Cuba and North Korea. Nikki Haley has it right: “The truth is that Assad, Russia and Iran have no interest in peace.”

Indeed, they are waging war, and the principal force driving that war is not Assad, but Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. Khamenei’s killers have been alongside Assad’s from the very beginning, as the survival of the Syrian dictator is crucial to Iranian ambitions and quite likely also the survival of the Islamic Republic itself. Listen to Defense Secretary James Mattis a few days ago (from Reuters):

Asked about comments Mattis made in 2012 that the three primary threats the United States faced were “Iran, Iran, Iran,” Mattis told reporters that Iran’s behavior had not changed in the years since.

“At the time when I spoke about Iran I was a commander of US central command and that (Iran) was the primary exporter of terrorism, frankly, it was the primary state sponsor of terrorism and it continues that kind of behavior today,” Mattis said.

True, and Mattis’ characteristically strong language points the way to the best American action in the region, namely bringing down the Tehran regime. Lashing out at Assad isn’t nearly good enough. After all, what strategic objective would we accomplish by smashing, even removing, Assad? The Iranian and Russian fighters would still be there, as would the Islamist forces. The demands on our military would dramatically expand. We do not want to occupy a significant land mass in what used to be called Syria, nor do we seem to have sorted out what we want to do with the Turks and the Kurds.

Punishing Assad would be satisfying, but we’ve got a big war to win. It’s smarter and more effective to go after the regime in Tehran. Not militarily, but rather supporting the tens of millions of Iranians who detest the Khamenei regime. Call it political warfare, or subversion, or democratic revolution. It worked against the Soviet Empire, and there are good reasons to believe it would work in Iran as well. Most Iranians, suffering under the failed regime, want a freely chosen government that will address their problems instead of dispatching their husbands and sons sent to the battlefield.

Regime change in Iran would be devastating to Assad and Putin, and its positive effects would be felt in North Africa and our own hemisphere, striking at the Revolutionary Guards and Hezbollah in Latin America. And it would remind the tyrants that America’s greatest weapon is political. We are the most revolutionary country in the world, and we should act like it.