A powerful and extremely deep earthquake struck a group of remote Japanese islands and shook Tokyo on Saturday, but officials said there was no danger of a tsunami, and no injuries or damage were immediately reported.
The offshore earthquake struck off the Ogasawara islands at 8:24 p.m. at a depth of 590 kilometers (370 miles), Japan’s Meteorological Agency said. The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake had a magnitude of 7.8 and a depth of 678 kilometers (421 miles).
But the temblor was powerful enough to rattle large parts of Japan’s main island of Honshu. Buildings swayed in Tokyo and stopped some train services in the city, and there were reports that parts of the capital were without power.
The meteorological agency did not issue a tsunami warning because the quake struck so far beneath the earth’s surface. Deep earthquakes usually cause less damage at the surface than shallow ones.
Yoshiyuki Sasamoto, who runs a traditional guest house on Chichijima, one of the closest inhabited places to the epicentre, told NHK the shaking had been violent.
“Initially a weaker quake hit and it stopped. Then the big one came. It was so strong that I couldn’t stand still and couldn’t walk,” he said.
There were no reported abnormalities at any of the region’s mothballed nuclear power plants.
The United States is preparing for a possible war against China and Russia aimed at preventing the collapse of the Western banking system, an American political commentator and activist says.
Michael Billington, Asia editor for the Executive Intelligence Review and author of Reflections of an American Political Prisoner: the Repression and Promise of the LaRouche Movement, made the remarks in a phone interview with Press TV on Thursday.
On Wednesday, US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter warned China to stop developing man-made islands in the South China Sea, vowing that the United States would not stop patrolling international waters and airspace in the Asia-Pacific region.
“There should be no mistake, the United States will fly, sail, and operate wherever international law allows, as we do all around the world,” Carter said at the US military’s joint base at Pearl Harbor.
Billington said China’s attempt to build islands in the South China Sea is “not that unusual” since the Philippines and Vietnam are also doing the same.
“The point that has to be made is that the Chinese, like the Russians, are very, very clear that the United States and their NATO allies are in a war mobilization, preparing for war on Russia, preparing for war on China,” Billington stated.
“There’s a general recognition growing that the driving force for this war is the utter collapse of the entire Western banking system,” he added.
“And the view from London and Washington and New York is we have to go to war, we cannot allow this BRICS alliance between Russia, China, India, South Africa and most of Latin America creating new financial institutions to take away our ability to loot the resources in the developing sector,” Billington noted.
“So they are going for war,” he stressed.
Washington accuses Beijing of undergoing a massive “land reclamation” program in the Spratly archipelago of the South China Sea, and says China’s territorial claims of the man-made islands could further militarize the region.
“China knows that every military offensive against them since the time of the British opium war came through the South China Sea,” Billington said. “So they are concerned.”
He said the Chinese have repeatedly offered to “the South-East Asian nations to work jointly on the development of the resources, which have been soundly rejected by the Filipinos, who are functioning as absolute puppets of Obama’s war plans, and in fact, turning their islands into a massive US military base.”
He went on to say that there is "no reason for this confrontation" between the United States and China “other than the fact that Obama wants a war, rather his controllers in London and in Wall Street want a war, and Obama will do it if he is not removed from office.”
“The US is already using the Philippines as a military base for war. This can be stopped, it must be stopped, but it’s going to have to be stopped here in the United States,” Billington emphasized.
A conservative media-watchdog on Friday blasted The New York Times for publishing an “offensive” Virgin Mary image, but refusing earlier this year to publish Charlie Hebdo’s controversial depiction of the Prophet Muhammad.
The image was published in Friday’s Arts section and shows artist Chris Ofili’s “The Holy Virgin Mary” painting. The artwork depicts the Virgin Mary covered in elephant feces against a pornographic background.
The Times had previously declined to publish the Charlie Hebdo magazine cover, contending the newspaper “normally” does not “publish images or other material deliberately intended to offend religious sensibilities.”
Calling the Virgin Mary painting “offensive,” the Media Research Center’s Newsbusters blog said the newspaper’s willingness to publish one image, but not the other was an example of “religious hypocrisy.”
“So why does Ofili’s dung-clotted Virgin Mary get a pass?” Newsbusters asked.
A representative for the Times did not immediately respond to a request for comment from TheBlaze Friday afternoon.
Russian Navy jets forced a US Navy ship into the eastern Black Sea after it was noticed heading into Russia's territorial waters.
Russian Navy Su-24 jets forced US Navy destroyer USS Ross to go into neutral waters in the Black Sea, a source in Crimea's security forces told RIA Novosti.
The US Navy ship was noticed heading directly toward Russian waters after leaving the Romanian port of Costanta. The incident comes on the same day as fugitive Georgian ex-leader Mikheil Saakashvili's appointment as governor of Ukraine's Black Sea-bordering Odessa region.
"The ship's crew acted provocatively and aggressively, which caused alarm among operators of monitoring stations and Black Sea Fleet ships carrying out assignments in the Black Sea. Scrambled Su-24 attack jets demonstrated a readiness to forcibly suppress border violations and defend the country's interest," the source said.
According to the source, Russian Black Sea Navy ships are constantly monitoring Russian territorial waters and are ready to suppress any violations.
NYT runs dung-caked Mary painting again, won’t run Muhammad cartoons The hypocrisy is stark and absolute: “Under Times standards, we do not normally publish images or other material deliberately intended to offend religious sensibilities” — unless it offends a group that is not committing mass murder and threatening more over such images. This is, as I wrote yesterday, still more mainstream media canonization of the assassin’ veto. The mainstream media is signaling that terrorism works: threaten to kill us, and we will do what you want. That will only bring more terrorism. “NYT’s Artistic Display of Religious Hypocrisy: Runs Offensive Virgin Mary Painting Once Again,” by Clay Waters, Newsbusters, May 29, 2015:
The New York Times’ hypocrisy regarding displays of “offensive” religious imagery runs unabated, as shown in a Scott Reyburn article in Friday’s Arts section on the sale of Chris Ofili’s controversial painting “The Holy Virgin Mary,” which shows the Virgin Mary clotted with elephant dung against a porn-collage background — and accompanied by a photograph of the offensive work.
Yet when the paper refused to reprint a cartoon of Muhammad that appeared in the Paris satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo that resulted in the January 2015 massacre of 12 magazine staffers, it offered this smug, cowardly justification:
Under Times standards, we do not normally publish images or other material deliberately intended to offend religious sensibilities. After careful consideration, Times editors decided that describing the cartoons in question would give readers sufficient information to understand today’s story. Not fear of violent reprisal, but fear of “causing offense.” So why does Ofili’s dung-clotted Virgin Mary get a pass?… Because no one will kill you over it. Also see: U.S. says China's island-building erodes security; Beijing angered | Reuters