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Entire world is worried’ after rancorous Asia-Pacific trade summit

John Bacon, USA TODAY Published 10:38 a.m. ET Nov. 18, 2018 | Updated 5:55 p.m. ET Nov. 18, 2018

The U.S. and China offered rival visions for the Asia-Pacific at a summit Thursday. Vice President Mike Pence saying there was no room for “empire or aggression” in the region. (Nov. 15) AP

World leaders meeting for Asia-Pacific trade talks in Papua New Guinea wrapped up a divisive, two-day summit Sunday after failing to agree on a group statement amid a widening rift in U.S.-China relations.

Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Peter O’Neill said he will release a “chairman’s statement” in the next few days on behalf of the 21-nation gathering. O’Neill acknowledged that “the entire world is worried” about tensions between the two superpowers.

The struggle to find common ground did not bode well for a crucial meeting between President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping scheduled for the G-20 meeting in Argentina at month’s end.

Trump was conspicuously absent from the Asia gathering, sending Vice President Mike Pence in his stead. Pence and Xi swapped barbs, setting a contentious tone for trade talks involving 60 percent of the world economy.

O’Neill said the talks broke down over language about the World Trade Organization. The U.S. has adamantly opposed the way WTO treats China as a market-driven economy rather than one dominated by state-supported industries.

The same, sharp differences that have crippled trade between the two nations also made working out common language for a communique impossible, O’Neill concluded.

“There were two big giants in the room, what can I say,” O’Neill said.

In his speech to the group, Xi urged the business and political leaders to promote free trade.

“The world today is going through major development, transformation and change,” Xi told the group. “While economic globalization surges forward, global growth is shadowed by protectionism and unilateralism.”

Pence pitched that the United States offered nations in the region a better option for economic partnership and criticized Chinese “authoritarianism and aggression.” He said the U.S. seeks “collaboration and not control” and blasted a Chinese road-building program as forcing debt on poorer neighbors.

“We don’t drown our partners in a sea of debt, we don’t coerce or compromise your independence,” Pence said. “The United States deals openly and fairly. We do not offer a constricting belt or a one-way road.”

China’s foreign ministry denied leading developing nations into debt bondage.

“The assistance provided by China has been warmly welcomed by our partners in this region and beyond,” responded Wang Xiaolong, a foreign ministry official.

After the summit, Pence tweeted: “Every nation gathered here at APEC has a place in @POTUS’ vision for a free and open Indo-Pacific. Our vision excludes no one. We only ask that nations respect their neighbors’ sovereignty, embrace free, fair, and reciprocal trade, and uphold individual rights.”

The Trump administration has slapped tariffs on $250 billion in Chinese goods. The administration also has warned that duties on another $267 billion in goods could be coming, which would subject to tariff virtually all Chinese-made products shipped into the U.S.

China retaliated by levying tariffs on $110 billion worth of a wide variety of U.S. products, including farm equipment, soybeans, electric cars, orange juice, whiskey, salmon and cigars.

“The entire world is worried about the debate about trade relations between China and, of course, the United States,” O’Neill said. “This is a situation that both countries need to sit down and resolve. And I believe that the G20 meeting that is going to be held very shortly will be an opportune time.”

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9462

The Time That Pope Francis In St. Peter’s Square At The Vatican Declared To The Entire World That Lucifer Is The God Of The Catholic Church

What was so special about this ceremony to go to all that expense and trouble? What was it that the pope needed the entire world to watch? As it turns out, Pope Francis was about to declare that Lucifer is the Morning Star, a title that the Bible gives to Jesus Christ alone. The pope was telling all the world that Lucifer is God! The highlight of the ceremony was the singing of a Catholic prayer known as ‘The Exsultet‘, or ‘Easter Proclamation’.

 

by Geoffrey Grider November 16, 2018

The highlight of the ceremony was the singing of a Catholic prayer known as ‘The Exsultet’, or ‘Easter Proclamation’. The problem starts in the wording of the prayer itself.

On April 27th, 2014, Pope Francis held a ceremony in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican to induct two former popes into sainthood. Catholic sainthood ceremonies are fairly standard procedures, and happen quite often. But on this particular occasion, Pope Francis wanted it broadcast around the world in 3D, HF and 3K.

“How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!” Isaiah 14:12 (KJV)

What was so special about this sainthood ceremony to go to all that expense and trouble? What was it that the pope needed the entire world to watch? As it turns out, Pope Francis was about to declare that Lucifer is the Morning Star, a title that the Bible gives to Jesus Christ alone. The pope was telling all the world that Lucifer is God of the Catholic Church.

“I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.” Revelation 22:16 (KJV)

The highlight of the ceremony was the singing of a Catholic prayer known as ‘The Exsultet‘, or ‘Easter Proclamation’. The problem starts in the wording of the prayer itself. As you can see below, twice the name of Lucifer is mentioned as you can clearly see in both the Latin and English versions. The name of Jesus is not mentioned at all.

  • THE EXSULTET IN LATIN: Flammas eius Lucifer matutinus invéniat: ille, inquam, Lucifer, qui nescit occásum. Christus Fílius tuus, qui, regréssus ab ínferis, humáno géneri serénus illúxit, et vivit et regnat in sæcula sæculórum.
  • THE EXSULTET IN ENGLISH: May this flame be found still burning, by the Morning Star: the one Morning Star who never sets, Christ your Son, who, coming back from death’s domain, has shed his peaceful light on humanity, and lives and reigns forever and ever.

In the Bible, the name Lucifer appears only one time, in Isaiah 14. It is the proper name of a created being who fell from grace and as such was renamed Satan. The word ‘Lucifer’ means ‘light bearer’ and the word Satan means ‘adversary’. But they are both proper names of the same person, otherwise known as the Devil. The word ‘Lucifer’ is never used as anything else but as a name for the Devil.

When the Antichrist shows up during the time of Jacob’s trouble, he will fool people into thinking that he is actually the Messiah, Jesus Christ. Antichrist has the title of messiah, ‘christos’, built right in his name, he is just a false messiah. But this is exactly who is being sung about in the Exsultet prayer at the Vatican, it has nothing to do with the real Messiah, Jesus.

“For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.” Matthew 24:24 (KJV)

Jesus doesn’t have a last name, the word ‘Christ’ meaning ‘Messiah’ is His title. There is only one Jesus, but the Bible tells us there is more than one messiah, more than one christ. The Exsultet, which in its full version is quite lengthy, never mentions the name of Jesus one single time. It only uses the name ‘Christ’, which as you can see in the Bible can mean either Jesus or the Antichrist, depending on the context.

What is the context of the Exsultet? Well, the only proper name that is mentioned in the Exsultet is the name of Lucifer, and it declares that ‘Lucifer the Morning Star’ is the Son of God. But Lucifer is not the Morning Star, Jesus is. If the writers of the Exsultet had wanted to write a song about Jesus being the Morning Star, they could easily have done that, but they didn’t. They gave that honor to Lucifer, who is the Devil and Satan. Every time the Exsultet is sung in a Catholic Church it is praising the name of Lucifer, not Jesus!

The NIV ‘bible’ also calls Lucifer the ‘Morning Star’, but deletes his name in order to fool you:

Don’t bother looking for the name of ‘Lucifer’ in the ‘not inspired version’ of that non-bible commonly called the NIV. They removed it right around the same time they also removed all 75 references to the prophecy marker word ‘selah‘. Why don’t the NIV blasphemers want you to know about the name of Lucifer? Because they’re busy disguising him so you think that he, the Devil, is the ‘Morning Star’.

“How you have fallen from heaven, morning star, son of the dawn! You have been cast down to the earth, you who once laid low the nations!” Isaiah 14:12 (NIV)

Interestingly, Mormonism teaches that Jesus and Lucifer are brothers who have the same Father, God. I wonder where Joseph Smith got that idea from? Who else worships Lucifer as the ‘light bearer’ of the world? Freemason do that, don’t you know? Hmm, I wonder where they could have got that idea from. Well, you know what they say about ‘birds of a feather’, they sure do

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9460

Campi Flegrei: Magma Building Beneath Dangerous Supervolcano Could Be a Signal of a Huge Eruption

By Hannah Osborne On 11/14/18 at 2:00 PM

One of the world’s most dangerous supervolcanoes appears to be accumulating magma as it transitions to a pre-eruption state, a study has found. Scientists do not say that a large eruption is imminent—but they do suggest that current conditions at Campi Flegrei indicate one could happen at “some undetermined point in the future.”

Campi Flegrei is one of the few active supervolcanoes in the world. It is located in southern Italy, about nine miles to the west of Naples, which is home to around 1.5 million people. The last time it erupted was in 1538—a fairly small event known as the Monte Nuovo eruption. However, 40,000 years ago, it produced a “super-colossal” eruption, which is just one down from the “mega-colossal” eruptions recorded at Yellowstone.

Over the last 60 years, the volcanic region—which is made up of 24 craters and edifices—has shown signs of unrest, and scientists have been studying it and monitoring it closely to better understand the changes taking place.

In a study published in Science Advances, a team of researchers led by Francesca Forni, from ETH Zurich in Switzerland, examined rock, mineral and glass samples taken from 23 eruptions at Campi Flegrei—including the two biggest from the last 60,000 years. By analyzing the elements within these samples, the researchers were able to construct a picture of what was happening before and after eruptions.

Their findings appear to show that magma is building beneath the volcanic system—and that it is entering a new caldera cycle. This could indicate that the volcano is moving toward a new phase that will result in a large eruption at the site, the team says. The study does not indicate that an eruption will happen soon.

A view of the Campi Flegrei caldera from Posillipo hill. Francesca Forni

Analysis of the elements suggest there were critical changes to the temperature and water content of the magma at certain points in the eruptive history of Campi Flegrei. Minerals in the magma were found to decrease over time, while water content increased. They found that this happened before the Monte Nuovo eruption.

The team notes that after the Monte Nuovo eruption, Campi Flegrei entered a “new phase” of inactivity. Since the 1950s, there have been three “major periods of unrest,” raising concern that the volcano is reawakening. The movement of magma from depths of about five miles to 1.8 miles has previously been blamed for this unrest.

The latest findings suggest this is consistent with the presence of water-saturated magma in the upper crust, allowing for the build up of a huge magma reservoir. “We propose that the subvolcanic plumbing system at Campi Flegrei is currently entering a new build-up phase, potentially culminating, at some undetermined point in the future, in a large volume eruption,” they conclude.

Luca De Siena, from the U.K.’s University of Aberdeen, who has previously published research on the Campi Flegrei system, commented on the findings: “At Campi Flegrei, an outstanding question is why we cannot see the plumbing systems of the volcano below 4-5km (2.5-3 mile) depths, as at Yellowstone caldera, for example,” he told Newsweek.

“Forni et al. suggest that a large, highly-evolved, and relatively cold magma layer may be absorbing most of the energy we send down to reconstruct deeper structures. This problem is typical of sub-basaltic, oceanic settings, where deeper reservoirs are invisible to seismic imaging. Their findings open the possibility to model the effects of these magmatic layers on monitoring recording, thus allowing to reconstruct their shape and dimensions and eventually see below them.”

Mount Vesuvius. An eruption at Campi Flegrei could be of similar size to the eruption that buried Pompeii and Herculaneum in 79AD. GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP/Getty Images

Volcanologist Christopher Kilburn, from the U.K.’s UCL, who was also not involved in the study, said the results are consistent with observed changes that took plalce during past eruptions: “It thus provides an alternative interpretation to be tested against conventional ideas,” he said.

“Should an eruption occur, the best guess is that it will have a size and behaviour similar to that seen during past 15,000 years or so—hence ranging from the size of the last eruption (Monte Nuovo, 1538, 0.02 cubic km) to something similar to the eruption of Vesuvius that overwhelmed Pompeii and Herculaneum (c. one cubic km). These are the scenarios being used to prepare mitigation plans.

“The paper changes tack in its final paragraph. Having argued that the 1538 eruption represents the squeezing out of magma from the vestige of a magma reservoir, it suggests that CO2 emissions indicate the possible replenishment of the reservoir and, thus, hints at the possible start of a build-up to a ‘large-volume eruption.’ This statement is speculative and does not depend on the preceding results.”

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9458

Mt. Sinai in Saudi Arabia? See for yourself

Trailer for new film presents jaw-dropping evidence

Published: 14 hours ago

Art Moore

For villagers and Bedouins in northwest Saudi Arabia, it’s simply a matter of fact that the “mountain of Moses,” where the great prophet received the Ten Commandments directly from God and other iconic biblical events took place, is in their midst.

That assertion conflicts with the conventional wisdom of scholars who believe the site is in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula.

But the few Westerners who have visited the highly restricted area in the highly restricted Islamic kingdom insist that seeing is believing. And there are others who have done extensive research over the years who agree.

In May, WND reported the findings of Bible scholar and author Joel Richardson, who embarked on his journey to the mountainous area known as Jabal al-Lawz with skepticism but returned “fully confident that this is the real Mount Sinai.”

“At every turn, everything lines up with the biblical narrative. Everything falls into place,” Richardson said. “If this is not Mount Sinai, then God Himself has masterfully created the greatest hoax in human history.”

Now, Ryan Mauro, a national security analyst who frequently appears on Fox News, is producing a video documenting his own trips to the area, titled “The Mountain of Moses,” so people can see the evidence for themselves.

Mauro, who was also an adjunct professor for Liberty and Regent Universities until recently, has been covertly traveling to Saudi Arabia to obtain unprecedented footage of the sites.

They include many landmarks and other evidence that fit the biblical descriptions of the rock at Horeb struck by Moses, the golden-calf altar made by the Israelites and the altar constructed by Moses.

It’s the region that the Bible calls Midian, where Moses married Jethro’s daughter and shepherded Jethro’s flocks.

Mauro points out that the Bible says more than 70 times that the Israelites went “out of Egypt.”

In the final stage of fundraising and editing his video, he’s set up a GoFundMe page for people who want to contribute financially.

“If this is Mount Sinai and the sites seen in this video are evidences of the Exodus, then this will impact the billions of people of faith, and those with no faith at all,” he told WND.

‘Where Moses walked’

Mauro said local Saudis were “excited to tell us that we were traveling where Moses and the Israelites walked.”

“Some Saudis were coming from across the country just to see the area believed to be the land of Jethro and the well where Moses met Jethro’s daughters. Muslims from around the world visit the area, believing it is related to the Exodus.”

The video he is producing includes the testimony of a former member of a jihadist group who claims he and other jihadists knew Mount Sinai was in Saudi Arabia, protected by fences and guards.

The jihadist believes Saudi Islamic Law has saved the mountain from being ruined, explaining it otherwise would have been turned into an oft-visited site of idolatry.

“Local Saudis we met were proud of the fact that Moses and the Israelites were there,” Mauro said.

One local said, “This is our land, but it is also the land of the Yahud [Jews] who came here long ago.”

Neom

Remarkably, the “mountain of Moses” is within an area designated by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman Al Saud as the site of his $500 billion, futuristic megacity called Neom.

Thirty-three times larger than New York City, it’s to be an autonomous zone with its own legal and taxation system, independent from Riyadh.

A promo video shows the prince’s utopian vision to “set aside a part of the world for those who want to change the world,” providing “the blank page you need to write humanity’s next chapter.”

Mauro said he’s already seeing construction in the area and a sharp increase in security.

“Even if the Saudi construction does not directly harm archaeological artifacts, it could prevent future excavation and ruin the scenery that allows you to envision the Exodus right before your eyes,” he said.

“We are calling for the entire plain in front of Mount Sinai to be preserved so that artifacts are not damaged and so the Exodus story can come to life for everyone.”

He said his video will be released along with a comprehensive website to house the research and provide updates.

The website will post a petition calling on the U.S. State Department and Saudi government to preserve the sites and have them put on UNESCO’s World Heritage list.

Mauro said he’s concerned that the Saudis might preserve the sites but not the Exodus-like environment.

“We don’t want it to become like the pyramids in Giza, Egypt. The pyramids are an impressive sight, but there are streets, stores and hotels so close by that it’s hard to feel like you’re in ancient Egypt. We don’t want that to happen to these sites in Saudi Arabia.”

Rock of ages

Joel Richardson at the “split rock of Moses at Horeb” (Courtesy Joel Richardson)

In the May interview with WND, Richardson noted that within the academic community, some have reacted harshly to the claim that Mt. Sinai is at al-Lawz, while others cautiously believe it’s a possibility.

“If those on the fence actually could visit the site, I guarantee they would be fully convinced, or 95 percent there,” Richardson said.

On his visit, Richardson met a Saudi bedouin he captured on video referring to the site as the “mountain of Moses.” Locals also known the distinctive split rock – discovered by American researchers who lived in Saudi Arabia for 12 years, Jim and Penny Caldwell – as the “rock of Moses.”

Scholars such as James Karl Hoffmeier, a professor of Old Testament and Ancient Near Eastern History and Archaeology at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and creationist Gordon Franz have argued against the Saudi site as the place where Moses received the Ten Commandments.

Richardson argues that no scholar has sufficiently addressed the fact that among the various petroglyphs found in the area is an image of an ancient menorah, offering evidence of a Hebrew community.

Joel Richardson and Egyptian bull petroglyph (Courtesy Joel Richardson)

Archer petroglyph (Courtesy Joel Richardson)

A Wikipedia entry on Jabal al-Lawz contends investigators who believe it’s the location of Mt. Sinai such as Ron Wyatt, Bob Cornuke and Lennart Moller have misidentified a mountain called Jabal Maqla as Jabal al-Lawz.

Richard explains Jabal al-Lawz, which means “Mountain of Almonds,” is the name of the entire range.

In biblical times, the range was called Horeb.

Jabal Maqla, also rendered Jebel al-Makklah, is the specific mountain in question. It’s also known as “Jabal Musa,” the “Mountain of Moses.”

“This is a mountain with a dark-colored basalt rock on the top, as well as a cave on its front – ‘the Cave of Elijah’ – with an altar at its base with bulls carved all over it, ‘the Golden Calf altar,’” he said. “It also has an animal corral and altar, and pillars at its base, consistent with God’s command to Moses to build at the base of the mountain.”

In addition, he said, newly discovered petroglyphs at the foot of mountain depict archers, echoing a warning by Moses recorded in Exodus that anyone who set foot on the mountain would be shot with arrows.

“Jethro’s view,” with Horeb on the left and the triple peak believed to be Mount Sinai on the right (Courtesy Joel Richardson)

“When you go there, it becomes very obvious that this is the real site,” Richardson told WND. “The other large granite mountain just to the north of it is what the Bible called Horeb. The split rock of Horeb is just to the northwest of it.”

The split rock (Courtesy Joel Richardson)

Consistent with the biblical account of water pouring out of the rock, there are clear signs of water erosion in an arid area where such erosion is evident nowhere else, said Richardson.

“It borders on the absurd to think all of these things are all coincidences. Further, all of the locals would have to be deceived, because they all call it the mountain of Moses, or the rock of Moses,” he said.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9456

THIRD TIME THE CHARM? After Starting Both World Wars I and II, Germany Now Calls For The Creation Of A Massive European Army

In her speech, which was about the future of the EU, Merkel said: ‘What is really important, if we look at the developments of the past year, is that we have to work on a vision of one day creating a real, true European army. She said the new army would work in conjunction with NATO, but added that ‘only a stronger Europe is going to defend Europe.’  ‘Europe must take our fate into our own hands if we want to protect our community,’ she said. The remark drew widespread applause and a smattering of boos from watching lawmakers.

by Geoffrey Grider November 13, 2018

Angela Merkel called for the creation of a ‘real, true’ European army during a speech to EU ministers on Tuesday in a rebuke to President Trump. The German Chancellor also called for a European Security Council that would be responsible for coordinating defence policy across the continent.

If history is any guide to future events, Germany will indeed be the driving force behind the start of WWIII whenever that finally begins. There is just something about the mindset of the German people in Europe that leads them towards dreams of world domination. They came pretty close in WWI, they came frighteningly close in WWII, and one might well imagine the third time just may be the charm.

“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” George Santayana20th century thinker

In 2018, Germany is the de facto leader of the European Union, they have the strongest economy, and now they want to lead an effort to create an European Army to defend themselves from ‘Russia, China and the US’.

Hmm…does anyone else find that interesting?

Merkel calls for creation of a ‘real, true’ European army in rebuke to Trump

FROM THE DAILY MAIL UK: In her speech, which was about the future of the EU, Merkel said: ‘What is really important, if we look at the developments of the past year, is that we have to work on a vision of one day creating a real, true European army.

She said the new army would work in conjunction with NATO, but added that ‘only a stronger Europe is going to defend Europe.’

‘Europe must take our fate into our own hands if we want to protect our community,’ she said.

The remark drew widespread applause and a smattering of boos from watching lawmakers.

Macron made the same suggestion last week in an interview with TV station Europe 1 when he spoke about Russian aggression and Trump’s decision to withdraw from a key Cold War missile pact.

He said: ‘I believe in the project of a sovereign Europe. We won’t protect Europe if we don’t decide to have a true European army.

‘We have to have a Europe that can defend itself alone – and without only relying on the United States in a more sovereign manner.

‘We should protect ourselves when it comes to China, Russia and even the United States of America.’

That last remark angered Trump, who met with Macron on Friday last week and tweeted before the meeting: ‘President Macron of France has just suggested that Europe build its own military in order to protect itself from the US, China and Russia.

‘Very insulting, but perhaps Europe should first pay its fair share of NATO, which the US subsidizes greatly!’

The French government insists that Macron meant Europe needs to protect itself from decisions the US makes – such as withdrawing from the missile treaty – and not from an invasion, though Trump seems to have interpreted it differently

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9454

Final Warning, Israel Threatens to Destroy Hezbollah’s Munitions Factories

By David Brummer November 12, 2018 , 1:02 pm

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. Isaiah 43:2 (The Israel Bible™)

Israel has apparently sent a final warning to the Lebanese government that it will seek to destroy Iranian proxy, Hezbollah’s munitions factories, unless they are promptly shut down.

Iran is known to have recently supplied Hezbollah with precision-guided munitions, enabling a much greater number of their vast arsenal – thought to be in the region of 120,000 – 150,000 rockets – with an ability to strike within a 10-meter radius of an intended target. The prospect of Israel having to contend with such a large number of unguided rockets is causing concern, but the threat of high-precision weapons significantly ramps up the threat.

Similar to the set-up in which Hamas and Islamic Jihad manufacture their missiles in the Gaza Strip, Hezbollah’s precision-guided factories are thought to be located in small workshops. They are scattered across Lebanon making them harder to locate and target by air or missile – and they are frequently placed among civilian populations.

It is clear that even if they were destroyed, the likelihood of collateral damage – in the form of significant civilian casualties – is high. Although such Israeli missions would be justified, and the fact that Hezbollah is committing a war crime understood, the optics of carrying out such a move would not look good – and the PR backlash would no doubt be severe.

According to Debkafile’s military sources report, this latest (or last) warning was not Israel’s first. Lebanon has allegedly been cautioned more than once through both the United States and France. However, Israel’s final warning was relayed to Beirut on Monday, Nov. 11, by Aurelien Lechevallier, adviser to French President Emmanuel Macron, who visited Israel on the same day as President Donald Trump’s special adviser for Syria, James Jeffrey.

On Saturday, Hezbollah’s leader Hassan Nasrallah said in a speech, “The path of the resistance is decisive, strong and triumphant, achieving historic victories. We are not afraid of any sanctions and we will continue to hold on to our weapons and missiles.”

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9452

Saudi Arabian Prince Announces Plans to Build First Nuclear Reactor

By Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz November 6, 2018 , 4:07 pm

As for those peoples that warred against Yerushalayim, Hashem will smite them with this plague: Their flesh shall rot away while they stand on their feet; their eyes shall rot away in their sockets; and their tongues shall rot away in their mouths. Zechariah 14:12 (The Israel Bible™)

Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman announced during a visit to Riyadh’s King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology on Monday his plans to build his country’s first nuclear research reactor.

Construction of the reactor is already underway and expected to be completed by the end of next year. It will follow all the safety standards of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). The reactor will use uranium oxide fuel with 2.1 percent enrichment.

Saudi Arabia is the world’s largest exporter of crude oil and the country with the largest amount of oil reserves. The country is responsible for 15.9 percent of global oil exports in 2017, totaling $133.6 billion in value. Saudi Arabia’s domestic energy needs for their population and for desalination of water is growing. They are looking to nuclear energy to diversify their energy sources. According to Reuters news agency, Saudi Arabia hopes to reduce the amount of oil and natural gas it uses for domestic needs in order to allow it to sell more of it overseas.

The Kingdom plans to build two full nuclear power reactors for energy and as many as 16 over the next 25 years, making it one of the biggest nuclear projects being pursued in the world today. If the plan is realized, it will make Saudi Arabia the second Gulf Arab state to launch a nuclear power project after the United Arab Emirates, which is building four South Korean-designed reactors.

The announcement does not come as a complete surprise. Last year, the International Atomic Energy Agency revealed that the Saudi government invited proposals for the construction of two nuclear power reactors.

Their moves to develop a nuclear program come in response to the Iranian nuclear program. The Saudi Arabian government is at odds with Iran and has been skeptical of Iran’s compliance with the nuclear deal they signed in 2015 intended to delay their nuclear weapons program. Prince Mohammed said in March that if Iran develops a nuclear weapon, his country will do so as well.

“Saudi Arabia does not want to acquire any nuclear bomb, but without a doubt, if Iran developed a nuclear bomb, we will follow suit as soon as possible,” he told a CBS in an interview.

Prince Mohammed was vocally supportive of President Trump’s decision in May to withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, and to reimpose economic sanctions.

The reactor will be used for research and not to generate electricity. The prince also announced plans to launch six other strategic projects in renewable energy, water desalination, genetic medicine, and the aircraft industry

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9450

Egypt hosts Arab war games, in possible nod to growing anti-Iran alliance

Drill by states envisioned as part of ‘Arab NATO’ comes after Gulf appears to open up to Israel, but some warn against having Iran replace Jewish state as regional boogeyman

By AP Today, 5:20 am 1

CAIRO, Egypt — Ground, air and naval units from five Arab nations are arriving in Egypt to join their Egyptian counterparts for war games, Egypt’s military said, in the first sign that a military alliance proposed by Washington and dubbed the “Arab NATO” for its Middle East partners may be gaining traction.

A military statement late Wednesday said forces from Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Bahrain and Jordan will take part in the November 3-16 exercises codenamed “Arab Shield” and to be held in western Egypt. Lebanon and Morocco are taking part as observers.

Egypt has been holding separate drills with each of these five Arab nations in recent years, but “Arab Shield” will be the first time that all six will be simultaneously participating in war games.

The announcement came a little more than a month after US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met in New York with the foreign ministers from the six nations participating in this month’s maneuvers plus those from Oman and Qatar to advance the idea of creating a Sunni alliance uniting America’s Middle East partners against Shiite and non-Arab Iran.

However, the Egyptian military statement made no link between the war games and the proposed alliance, which Egypt may be approaching with caution given its sectarian undertones.

Egypt has become heavily dependent on financial assistance and investments from Gulf heavyweights like Saudi Arabia and the UAE and that might in turn influence its decision on whether to join the proposed alliance.

The Arab NATO idea was previously seen as part of a wider US administration approach to the region, which included some form of normalized ties with Israel as part of an anti-Iran alliance. Egypt and Jordan are the only Arab countries to have official relationships with the Jewish state, though Israeli leaders have regularly boasted of growing, albeit covert, ties with potential regional allies.

While Arab states have traditionally insisted Israel first reach a peace deal with the Palestinians before open ties can be forged, the last week has seen several public signals of a growing rapprochement with Israel. That included a visit to Oman by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and separate trips to the UAE by two Israeli ministers.

On Saturday, Oman’s Foreign Minister Yussef bin Alawi bin Abdullah told a security conference in Bahrain that Israel should be accepted in the region.

Trump envoy Jason Greenblatt, who will travel to the region next week, lauded the apparent growing ties Wednesday.

“In the last few days we have seen our regional partners Oman, Bahrain, and the UAE make statements and/or gestures signaling warmer ties with Israel,” Greenblatt wrote on Twitter. ” A more stable region leads to a stronger and more prosperous region. It is good for all.”

But a prominent Egyptian analyst on Thursday warned Cairo against joining a US-brokered Sunni alliance, framing its creation as part of an ongoing process to replace Israel with Iran as the Arabs’ chief enemy and emphasizing that differences between the Arabs and Iran can be politically settled.

“Israel is not a friend and this is a fact despite all attempts to ignore it,” wrote Abdullah el-Sinnawy in the independent al-Shorouk newspaper, alluding to growing public contacts between Israel and Gulf Arab nations that, unlike Egypt and Jordan, don’t have diplomatic relations with Israel.

“Where will the alliance’s front line (against Iran) be? The Arab NATO project is about military confrontation that will be fueled by Israeli participation and no one will be able to bear its grave consequences,” he wrote.

Qatar has reacted with skepticism to the proposed alliance, citing its yearlong dispute with Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain and Egypt. The four nations have since June 2017 boycotted Qatar, demanding that the tiny but super wealthy nation limit its diplomatic ties with Iran, shut down the state-funded Al-Jazeera news network and sever ties to radical Islamic groups like the Muslim Brotherhood and Lebanon’s Hezbollah. Qatar denies supporting Islamist groups.

Oman is highly unlikely to join the alliance, given its close relations with Iran and its traditional role as a mediator in regional or international conflicts involving Tehran.

The US proposed alliance follows the derailment three years ago of efforts to create a joint Arab force agreed on at a March 2015 Arab summit in Egypt. That force was to be led by an Egyptian and headquartered in Saudi Arabia. But a meeting of military chiefs of staff that was to iron out details of the force was canceled in the last minute in August 2015 and another one was never scheduled.

Last year, Saudi Arabia announced the creation of an Islamic military alliance to fight terrorism. Defense chiefs from some 40 Muslim majority nations gathered for the alliance’s inaugural meeting in Riyadh a year ago, but little has been heard of the grouping since.

Egypt is a member of a Saudi-led, US-backed coalition that has been fighting Shiite rebels in Yemen since 2015, but its role in the conflict is known to be limited to reconnaissance and the deployment of warships off Yemen’s Red Sea coastline to secure shipping lanes.

However, Egypt’s military is likely to be a key partner in the proposed alliance.

The most populous Arab nation, Egypt under general-turned-president Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi has become one of the world’s top arms buyers. It has spent billions of dollars, mainly in Russia, France and Germany, to acquire fighter jets, submarines, troop carriers and helicopter gunships.

Its recent arms purchases are on top of some $1.3 billion worth of American arms it buys annually under a US military aid program in place since Egypt signed a 1979 peace treaty with Israel.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9448

TV report: Israel silent as Iran hit by computer virus more violent than Stuxnet

Tehran strategic networks attacked, Hadashot TV says, hours after Israel revealed it tipped off Denmark about Iran murder plot, and days after Rouhani’s phone was found bugged

By TOI staff 31 October 2018, 9:59 pm 55

Iranian infrastructure and strategic networks have come under attack in the last few days by a computer virus similar to Stuxnet but “more violent, more advanced and more sophisticated,” and Israeli officials are refusing to discuss what role, if any, they may have had in the operation, an Israeli TV report said Wednesday.

The report came hours after Israel said its Mossad intelligence agency had thwarted an Iranian murder plot in Denmark, and two days after Iran acknowledged that President Hassan Rouhani’s mobile phone had been bugged. It also follows a string of Israeli intelligence coups against Iran, including the extraction from Tehran in January by the Mossad of the contents of a vast archive documenting Iran’s nuclear weapons program, and the detailing by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the UN in September of other alleged Iranian nuclear and missile assets inside Iran, in Syria and in Lebanon.

“Remember Stuxnet, the virus that penetrated the computers of the Iranian nuclear industry?” the report on Israel’s Hadashot news asked. Iran “has admitted in the past few days that it is again facing a similar attack, from a more violent, more advanced and more sophisticated virus than before, that has hit infrastructure and strategic networks.”

The Iranians, the TV report went on, are “not admitting, of course, how much damage has been caused.”

On Sunday, Gholamreza Jalali, the head of Iran’s civil defense agency, said Tehran had neutralized a new version of Stuxnet, Reuters reported. “Recently we discovered a new generation of Stuxnet which consisted of several parts … and was trying to enter our systems,” Jalali said.

The Stuxnet virus was uncovered some eight years ago, and was widely reported to have been developed together by US and Israeli intelligence. It penetrated Iran’s rogue nuclear program, taking control and sabotaging parts of its enrichment processes by speeding up its centrifuges.

Netanyahu is adamant that the Iranian regime remains determined to attain a nuclear weapons arsenal, and has bitterly opposed the P5+1 powers’ 2015 deal with Iran. US President Donald Trump, with whom Netanyahu is closely allied, withdrew from the accord in May.

Referring to Stuxnet, Wednesday’s TV report noted that “in the past, the US and Israel have been alleged to have worked together on operations.” Trying to establish whether Israel had any role in the latest cyberattack, the TV report said: “We’ve tried to clarify here. They’re refusing to comment.”

The TV report noted that “behind the scenes lately, the Mossad,” under its director Yossi Cohen, has been “fighting a real shadow war.”

Without attributing responsibility to the Mossad, the report mentioned the tapping of Rouhani’s phone, noting that the Iranians “had to switch it for an encrypted model because they understand that someone has been listening to him for days and weeks.”

On Sunday, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei urged intensified efforts to counter enemy “infiltration,” Reuters said.

In a speech to officials in charge of cyber defense, Khamenei said: “In the face of the enemy’s complex practices, our civil defense should… confront infiltration through scientific, accurate, and up-to-date… action,” the report said, quoting Iranian state TV.

Earlier Wednesday, Israeli officials said the Mossad provided its Danish counterpart with information concerning an alleged plot by Tehran to assassinate three Iranian opposition figures living in the Scandinavian country. According to the officials, the Mossad gave Denmark information about a plot to kill three Iranians suspected of belonging to the anti-regime Arab Struggle Movement for the Liberation of Ahvaz.

The intelligence reportedly provided by the Mossad prompted the arrest of a Norwegian national of Iranian origin earlier this month. Denmark on Tuesday recalled its ambassador to Iran over the incident.

“What Iran hides, Israel will find,” Netanyahu declared in his September UN speech.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9446

Russian nuclear attack on Yellowstone supervolcano ‘guarantees destruction of US’

A RUSSIAN attack on the Yellowstone supervolcano with “hyper-calibre” nuclear weapons are “guaranteed to destroy” the United States, according to a military expert.

By Joshua Nevett / Published 26th October 2018

Trump announces plan to pull out of Russian nuclear deal

Russia should abandon the idea of creating conventional ground forces capable of defeating NATO and “occupying Europe”, Sivkov Konstantin vice president of the Russian National Geopolitical Academy, has said.

Instead, Russia should focus on making nuclear war “irrational” and “meaningless” for the US by looking for an “asymmetrical answer”, Konstantin wrote in an article for VPK News.

Because Russia cannot compare with the US in the nuclear race, he argued, finding another a solution that plays to its strengths “remains the only way out”.

He suggested Russia should capitalise on its technological superiority to create “hypercalibre nuclear munitions” loaded with the equivalent of 100 megatonnes of TNT.

IN THE CROSSAIRS: Russia has been urged to develop advanced nuclear weapons with large yields (Pic: GETTY)

To put that into context, the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima during World War Two exploded with the energy of about 15 kilotonnes of TNT – a fraction of the warheads proposed by Konstantin.

The most powerful nuclear weapon ever detonated, tested by the USSR in 1961, yielded an estimated 50 megatonnes and may have reached 100 megatonnes in its “final form”.

Konstantin argues that Russia needs to produce “40–50 such warheads for heavy ICBMs or ultra-long torpedoes” to ensure mutually assured destruction, known as MAD, in the event of a nuclear war with the US.

He cited Yellowstone supervolcano and the San Andreas Fault Line as pressure points that are “critically dangerous for geophysical conditions in the United States”.

UNSTABLE: Yellowstone has dangerous ‘geophysical conditions’, Konstanti said (Pic: GETTY) Related

“Such attacks are guaranteed to destroy the USA”

“Such attacks are guaranteed to destroy both the USA as a state and the entire transnational elite,” he wrote.

“This again makes a large-scale nuclear war irrational and reduces the chances of its occurrence to zero.”

His terrifying assessment comes amid US threats to unilaterally withdraw from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, signed in 1987 during the Cold War.

Trump threatened to pull out of a treaty eliminating some nuclear missiles, including Pershing missiles, due to what he said was Russian non-compliance.

Labour MP Fabian Hamilton said Trump’s “dangerous” threat would “unilaterally withdraw” the USA from a global system of trust the country had been at the forefront of “painstakingly” building, leaving European allies exposed.

“In 1987 it was Europe at the epicentre of the Cold War and the arms race between America and Russia,” he said.

“Withdrawal from the INF brings back the spectre of Pershing missiles stationed in Europe and here in the UK – something I remember vividly from the 1980s.

“If that nuclear conflict was to happen between the two major nuclear powers the UK and our EU allies would probably be the first to be hit.”

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9443