Saturday, November 22, 2014

Powerful Quake Hits Japan, Iranian Nuclear Negotiations On Verge Of Collapse

A strong earthquake struck central Japan on Saturday night, causing at least one building to collapse and injuring several people, according to Japanese media reports. No tsunami warning was issued.

The magnitude-6.8 earthquake hit parts of Nagano city and surrounding areas the hardest, the Japan Meteorological Agency said. The U.S. Geological Survey measured the quake's magnitude at 6.2.

The earthquake struck at 10:08 p.m. Japan time (1308 GMT) at a depth of 10 kilometers (6 miles), but since it occurred inland, there was no possibility of a tsunami. An apparent aftershock with a magnitude of 4.3 followed about 30 minutes later.

Japan's Kyodo news agency, citing fire officials, said several people reported injuries, and at least one building collapsed. It wasn't clear whether the injured were at the building.
National broadcaster NHK reported that a landslide blocked a road after the quake struck. NHK also said 200 homes were without power, and that Shinkansen bullet train service in the area was temporarily suspended.

A strong earthquake struck central Japan on Saturday night, but there were no immediate reports of injuries or damage, and no tsunami warning was issued.
The magnitude-6.8 earthquake hit parts of Nagano city and surrounding areas the hardest, the Japan Meteorological Agency said. The U.S. Geological Survey measured the quake’s magnitude at 6.2.
The earthquake struck at 10:08 p.m. Japan time (1308 GMT) at a depth of 10 kilometers (6 miles). An apparent aftershock with a magnitude of 4.3 followed about 30 minutes later.
Japanese broadcaster NHK reported that a landslide blocked a road after the quake struck. NHK also said 200 homes were without power, and that Shinkansen bullet train service in the area had been suspended.

With the November 24 extended deadline for the end of nuclear negotiations with Iran looming, talks in Vienna have apparently hit a rocky patch.
On Friday, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif revealed that he would be leaving Vienna to return to Iran for consultations ahead of the looming deadline. Secretary of State John Kerry, too, announced that he was leaving the Austrian capital to travel to Paris where he would confer with his “European counterparts.”
A State Department statement revealed that Kerry’s “future travel schedule is still being finalized, and we have not yet determined when he will return to Vienna.”
French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius and British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond are not far behind their Iranian and American counterparts. Both will reportedly leave the city on Friday, with just hours left before the nuclear talks are due to conclude.
Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reported on Friday that the sticking points which might have led to the collapse of talks have to do with Iranian uranium enrichment capabilities:

In months of negotiations since an interim deal was reached a year ago, Iran’s refusal to substantially cut the output of centrifuges that can enrich uranium levels high enough to be used for nuclear weapons has been a major sticking point.
Iran denies Western accusations that its nuclear program is secretly aimed at developing a nuclear weapons capability.
But an International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) report on November 7 said Iran was failing to address the accusations.
As part of its probe, the IAEA has for years sought access to Parchin — a sprawling military establishment southeast of Tehran.

Republicans in Congress have fretted that the White House is behaving as though a deal with Iran has not only been reached but ratified. The National Review reported:

On Tuesday, Republican senators sent the president a letter expressing alarm about the “weak and dangerous deal” they believe the administration is negotiating and said that the administration is disregarding “clear expressions from the Senate emphasizing the need for a multi-decade agreement” that would require Iran to stop enriching uranium and fully dismantle its nuclear infrastructure.

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Friday, November 21, 2014

Prophecy And China's Military Build-Up

Is China's Military Build-Up Prophetic?

The undisputed military and economic superpower in the world has been the sole position of the United States for several decades now. Since the fall of communism in Eastern Europe in the early 1990s, the US. has had no rival to challenge it. Circumstances are changing rapidly and these changes are evident in a resurgence of Russian power. As quick as Russia’s reemergence on the world stage has been in recent months, there is another nation who is literally changing and challenging the balance of power in the world at this very moment.

China is the nation that has demanded the attention of the West. In this article we will look at two things. First we will look at china’s rapid rise to power and how that affects the stability of the region and the world. Second, we will view China’s rise to power through the lens of Bible prophecy. Ultimately this quest for power will drive China toward a pre-appointed showdown at Armageddon. Let’s look together and answer a very timely question: Is China’s current military buildup prophetic?
There is a massive shift in the geopolitical realm happening right now. Former foes are becoming allies, once cordial relationships are becoming strained, and new agreements are being drafted that have even the most seasoned military analysts shaking their heads in astonishment. This is important to understand because this generation unlike any previous one is witnessing key movements that I believe are laying the groundwork for the ultimate global conflict which is the Battle of Armageddon. The Bible describes a massive coalition moving in from the east toward the nation of Israel. We will look at the ultimate showdown that brings history to a close near the end of this article. First…let’s see why China has the attention of the world:

There is little doubt that China’s current growth both militarily and economically is more than just the natural progression of things. China has been very resolute about becoming the world’s economic powerhouse. As a matter of fact, on October 14th of this year…the IMF reported that China just surpassed the US. as the world’s largest economy. Why is this new designation so pivotal? It is because the continued growth of China’s economy fuels it’s massive military buildup.

There have been close calls and provocations by the Chinese. In recent weeks, a Chinese fighter jet passed at very high speed within a few meters of a US. military plane on a routine mission. The Pentagon labeled the incident provocative and reckless. We could go on and on about the blatantly aggressive behavior of the military toward it’s neighbors and the US. Here is the bottom line: In the days ahead and if trends continue… will be soon, there will be a miscalculation or a provocation that will set off a chain of events and the result could be a regional conflict or war. Whether the US. will defend it’s allies Japan, Taiwan, or the Philippines against a potential future attack by China is the subject of much speculation. 

China is forging greater military ties with Russia and other US. adversaries. China has engaged in cyber warfare against the US. in numerous ways in recent years. Most notably is the recent  “unveiling” of the new Chinese J-20 stealth fighter during the President’s visit to China this week. The unveiling was undoubtably timed during the administration’s visit and this simply serves as another reminder that the PLA  and Chinese government is no friend of the US or promoter of stability in the region. China obtained the technology for this stealth fighter by hacking into a defense contractor’s system and stealing the information to make it’s own aircraft.

One other note about the Chinese plans to trump the US. militarily, the communist nation is aggressively planning, producing, and deploying hypersonic weapons. These vehicles can fly at speeds approaching and even exceeding 7,000 mph. They are able to carry nuclear payloads/warheads to their target package at dramatically greater speeds. The end result is a US. missile defense system that isn’t capable of effectively stopping an attack and in all probability be overwhelmed. This puts US. aircraft carriers, land based targets, and our allies at much greater risk than ever before.

So you may ask…..What does a powerful Chinese military have to do with the end time scenario?

China is assuming it’s position as a key player in the culmination of history and the timing of it’s rise is no coincidence. Regardless of what the near future holds in store for the US, one thing is clear. The US. is (not) a key player at the close of the age. I mention this because it seems the US. may be part of a confederacy of nations originating and based in Europe. Perhaps America’s dominance will be reduced by terrorism, war, or a global economic crisis and it would be the natural flow of events to swap it’s sovereignty and belong to a coalition of nations. I believe this coalition of 10 regions (revived Roman Empire) will be the geographical power base of the antichrist.

Ultimately the Chinese….and perhaps other armies from Asia will constitute the kings of the east. The vast army from Asia will move westward, cross the Euphrates River, and move on toward Israel. The news of the advancing army will trouble the evil world leader. Here is the picture the Bible paints for us about the military campaign: The world dictator (antichrist) is in power and….he is speaking blasphemies against the Lord exalt himself above every god. He has dealt with other military challengers and now he hears disturbing news from the east.

Daniel 11:40   “At the time of the end, the king of the south shall attack him, but the king of the north shall rush upon him like a whirlwind, with chariots and horsemen, and with many ships. And he shall come into countries and shall overflow and pass through. He shall come into the glorious land. And tens of thousands shall fall, but these shall be delivered out of his hand: Edom and Moab and the main part of the Ammonites. He shall stretch out his hand against the countries, and the land of Egypt shall not escape. He shall become ruler of the treasures of gold and of silver, and all the precious things of Egypt, and the Libyans and the Cushites shall follow in his train. But news from the east and the north shall alarm him, and he shall go out with great fury to destroy and devote many to destruction.  And he shall pitch his palatial tents between the sea and the glorious holy mountain. Yet he shall come to his end, with none to help him.

In Revelation 16, John tells us that an angel pours out a bowl on the Euphrates River and it dries up. This will pave the way for the advancing armies from Asia.

Revelation 16:12    The sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great river Euphrates, and its water was dried up, to prepare the way for the kings from the east. And I saw, coming out of the mouth of the dragon and out of the mouth of the beast and out of the mouth of the false prophet, three unclean spirits like frogs. For they are demonic spirits, performing signs, who go abroad to the kings of the whole world, to assemble them for battle on the great day of God the Almighty. (“Behold, I am coming like a thief! Blessed is the one who stays awake, keeping his garments on, that he may not go about naked and be seen exposed!”) And they assembled them at the place that in Hebrew is called Armageddon.

Look at the ultimate destination for the armies from the east and the rest of the armies of the world, they will converge on tiny Israel. The nation of Israel is the geopolitical center of the world. In the end time scenario, we see demonic forces at work, we see the worlds armies gathering for the climax of history, and we see Jesus returning in victory to rule and reign as King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
How close are we to these events taking place?
Only the Lord knows the future and He knows exactly when these things will take place. When we take a realistic look at our world today, it’s not hard to imagine China and others having the ability to move against the armies of the world dictator sometime after he arrives on the scene. Just a few short decades ago….this didn’t seem possible because China was just another emerging if not struggling country stuck in the past. Now with it’s economic dominance, aggressive political posture, and military power…..China appears to be situated for it’s role in the final page of history. Armageddon seems less like a far away event and more like an event that could very well happen in the near future.

The Lord has given us discernment to know that things are not….business as usual. Seeing Asia arming to the teeth, watching the middle east descend into conflict after conflict, and being an eyewitness of our society becoming morally bankrupt should be a call to action. We see signs pointing to the Lord’s return and we must tell the people we come into contact with to get ready. Those of us who love His appearing know that we have little time left to warn others to repent because Jesus is coming back soon.

Keep your eyes on Asia and especially China because we see the players moving into place for an appointment at Armageddon.
* I want to express a note of solidarity and stand with the Jewish people and the nation of Israel in light of the evil act of terrorism in Jerusalem this week.

The head of the NSA issued a blunt warning Thursday to lawmakers: China can shut down the United States.
The grim forecast came from Admiral Michael Rogers, the director of the National Security Agency and commander of the U.S .Cyber Command.
Rogers said he believed China along with “one or two” other countries had the capability to successfully launch a cyber-attack that could shut down the electric grid in parts of the United States.
Rogers reiterated that if the U.S. remains on the defensive, it would be a “losing strategy.”
Speaking to the House Intelligence Committee, the NSA director said the cyber threat was “so real,” and that agreeing to an international code, a sort of “laws of law” in the cyber realm is urgent.
The possibility of such cyberattacks by U.S. adversaries has been widely known, but never confirmed publicly by the nation's top cyber official.
At a House hearing, Rogers says U.S. adversaries are performing electronic "reconnaissance," on a regular basis so that they can be in a position to attack the industrial control systems that run everything from chemical facilities to water treatment plants.
Outside experts say the U.S. Cyber Command also has that capability, which in theory should amount to mutual deterrence.

China’s nuclear forces are expanding and details about the nation’s strategic weapons programs remain hidden by Beijing’s secrecy, according to the annual report of the congressional U.S. China Economic and Security Review Commission.
New missiles, missile submarines and multiple-warhead systems will be deployed in the coming years, the report said.
“Despite the uncertainty surrounding China’s stockpiles of nuclear missiles and nuclear warheads, it is clear China’s nuclear forces over the next three to five years will expand considerably and become more lethal and survivable with the fielding of additional road-mobile nuclear missiles; as many as five JIN SSBNs, each of which can carry 12 JL–2 submarine-launched ballistic missiles; and intercontinental ballistic missiles armed with multiple independently targetable reentry vehicles (MIRVs),” the report said.
China’s military also is expected to modernize its silo-based missile forces while hardening its nuclear storage facilities, launch sites and transportation networks against attack.

Additionally, the Chinese are also expanding the “already extensive network of underground facilities,” the report said.
China has a large underground nuclear system of tunnels for storage and production of nuclear weapons and missiles that is estimated to be 3,000 miles in length. It has been referred to as the “Great Underground Wall.”
China also is adding newer road-mobile missiles, including a DF-31B first disclosed by the Free Beacon.
“Unlike the rest of the Second Artillery’s
Intercontinental ballistic missile force, the DF–31 and DF–31A are road mobile, allowing for faster launch times and making them much more difficult for an adversary to locate and attack,” the report said.
“Furthermore, the new missiles use solid fuel instead of liquid fuel, increasing portability and service life while reducing maintenance costs.”
The DF-31A, with a range of nearly 7,000 miles, can hit most of the United States.

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Jerusalem Intifada Is Underway

The Jerusalem Intifada Is Underway, And It's Going To Get Worse

At the entrance, a little beyond the Border Police checkpoint, it’s hard to tell which is more overpowering – the tear gas that hits you at the first turn in the road or the smell of burnt trash that follows you across the camp. In almost every corner there are piles of garbage, some of them burnt, some not.

The UNRWA workers look busy trying to clear at least some of the garbage from the streets, without any notable success. A few dozen meters away, above the main street, a huge sign hangs, impossible to miss. The visage of Ibrahim al-Akary, the terrorist who fatally ran over two Israelis on November 5, flutters over the passersby. The text beside him praises the “brave martyr who carried out the ramming attack,” signed, the Hamas military wing, Izz al-Din al-Qassam.

Movement by car is almost impossible. The roads are damaged and crowded. Local youths are trying to direct the cars, and yell at drivers if they hold up the traffic. Next to the Ramoni mini-market, next to the school, traffic is at a standstill. The smell of garbage is especially strong here. Even in the refugee camps of the West Bank, it is hard to match the hardship that hits you in the eye, and nose, here in Shuafat.

This refugee camp is different from the other neighborhoods and villages in East Jerusalem. Especially poor and underdeveloped, it is surrounded by gray walls and, outside them, two Jewish neighborhoods, French Hill and Pisgat Ze’ev. A visit makes it clear, at least here, that the “al-Quds intifada,” the Jerusalem intifada, has already begun, and isn’t waiting for commentators to give the official word. For the youths in the camps, the clashes in recent weeks are a matter of daily routine. Despair is seen here in all its glory, and so is the hatred for Israel and Jews. No one here sheds a tear for the five Israelis butchered the day before at the synagogue in Har Nof.

The First Intifada in December 1987 was triggered by a car accident in the Jabaliya refugee camp in Gaza between an Israeli truck driver and a car carrying Palestinian workers. Four Palestinians were killed. Immediately after the accident, a false rumor spread that the killing was intentional and that the Israeli driver wanted to avenge the death of a relative killed in a terror attack.
Palestinian media (which then operated under Israeli supervision, not under Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian Authority) kindled the flames and turned the rumor into fact. A huge wave of protests began, and along with it the six-year “intifada of stones.”
On Monday morning, the body of a Palestinian bus driver, Yussef al-Ramouni, was found hanging in his bus in the Har Hotzvim parking lot in northern Jerusalem. Jerusalem District Police insisted it was a suicide and that there was no suspicion of foul play.
According to Israeli doctors, the autopsy finished with the unequivocal conclusion that Ramouni committed suicide.

The rumor that another Palestinian (after the murder of teenager Muhammad Abu Khdeir by Jewish extremists, following the killings of three Jewish teens by a Hamas-linked cell in the summer) had been murdered at the hands of Jews spread like wildfire. It is hard to remember such a consensus among Palestinians, religious and secular, young and old, rich and refugees, like the one that now holds that Jewish settlers had strangled Ramouni. The neighborhoods in East Jerusalem were on fire once again.

But in the al-Quds intifada, unlike the popular uprising in 1987, Palestinians aren’t satisfied with just riots. On Tuesday morning, cousins Ghassan and Uday Abu Jamal left their home in Jabel Mukaber in southeast Jerusalem and headed to the Har Nof neighborhood on the opposite edge of the city. They apparently knew the targeted synagogue, and went inside and murdered four innocent worshipers and a Druze traffic cop who tried to stop them.
When I tried to ask East Jerusalem youths how they explain the murderers’ savagery, they said again and again that it was a natural reaction to the murder (that never happened) of the bus driver.

On Thursday, there were heavy clashes here between local youths and the police, and they will doubtless start against Friday afternoon.

“This attack is a source of pride for every one of the villagers. We praised it, and we are certain that even harsher ones will come. All the villages in East Jerusalem are proud of us now, and we will someday be proud of their sons when they carry out attacks like this. Every youth who becomes a martyr brings honor for us.”

“The end will be by force. What was taken by force will be freed by force. The Zionists have to give up al-Aqsa and stop the arrests, the violation of women in al-Aqsa. Otherwise, if these things continue, there will be more attacks, and inshallah, they will be bigger.”

While Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri told Reuters that he did not have any specific information on the case, he stressed that “leaders of the Occupation (Israel) who are responsible for the killing of children and women and for defiling the sacred sites are legitimate targets for the resistance.”

On Thursday the Shin Bet security service said Israeli forces foiled a Palestinian plan to kill Liberman during the summer war with Gaza.

A group of Hamas members from near Bethlehem in the West Bank planned to purchase a rocket-propelled grenade, which would be shot at Liberman, who lives in an Israeli settlement in the area, the Shin Bet said.

The head of the Hamas cell was identified as Ibrahim Salim Mahmoud Zir, 37, a former convict who served time in Israeli prison for terror-related activities. Zir is a resident of the village of Harmala, which sits several kilometers from the settlement of Nokdim, where Liberman lives.

The group gathered intelligence on Liberman’s convoy to carry out the attack, according to the Shin Bet, and turned to Hamas officials in the area for help in acquiring the RPG.
Indictments were recently served against those involved in the plan, according to the statement.
Israeli officials said they also uncovered during the interrogations Hamas plans to fire weapons and carry out hit-and-run attacks against settlers and Israeli troops in the area.

Israeli police seized a massive shipment of firecrackers, swords, tasers and other weapons at Ashdod port Thursday - a potentially deadly arsenal which was set to be delivered to Arab neighborhoods in Jerusalem.
Two containers intercepted by authorities at the southern port were packed with 18,000 fireworks, 5,200 commando knives, 5,500 tasers, 4,300 tasers concealed in flashlights, 1,000 swords and several thousand other "cold" weapons.
The lethal cargo was hidden under a layer of Christmas decorations, and had been shipped in all the way from China.
The weapons were in all likelihood destined to be used against police and Jewish residents of Jerusalem by Arab extremists, who have been rioting and carrying out a series of deadly attacks since the summer. Fireworks in particular have become a weapon of choice among Arab rioters, prompting a controversial decision to temporarily ban the importation of certain types of fireworks.
Several suspects, including a number of residents of northern Israel, have been arrested in connection with the shipment.
Police say it is the largest such seizure of weaponry in recent memory.