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The Pronk Pops Show 970, September 22, 2017: Breaking Story 1: Rocket Man Kim Jong-Un Promises To Explode Hydrogen Bomb Over Pacific Ocean — Story 2: The Democratic and Republican Party Failure To Completely Repeal Obamacare Including Repealing The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) and All Related Mandates, Regulations, Taxes, Spending and Subsidies — Obamacare Collapsing — Replace Obamacare With Free Enterprise Market Capitalism Health Insurance — Keep The Federal Government Out Of The Health Insurance and Health Care Business — Videos — Story 3: Obama’s Secret Surveillance Spy State Scandal — Misuse of Intelligence Community For Political Purposes — Gross Abuse of Power and Political Conspiracy — Violation of Fourth Amendment — Videos —

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Image result for rocket man kim h bomb in pacific

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Breaking Story 1: Rocket Man Kim Jong-Un Promises To Explode Hydrogen Bomb Over Pacific Ocean —

North Korea Threatens Nuclear Test in the Pacific Ocean

What could happen if NKorea tests hydrogen bomb over ocean?

Kim Jong-un makes unprecedented statement at Trump as N. Korea suggests future …

Panel on Kim Jong Un Calls President Trump ‘Dotard’ and ‘Frightened Dog’ #DonaldTrump #NorthKorea

“Rocket Man” : North Korea’s Kim Jong Un Calls President Trump ‘a Frightened Dog’ and ‘Dotard’

Putin warns US, North Korea on verge of conflict

Hydrogen Bomb vs. Atomic Bomb: What’s The Difference?

North Korea nuclear test: Hydrogen bomb ‘missile-ready’ – BBC News

Fareed Zakaria on North Korea hints at detonating H-Bomb in Pacific. #Breaking #FareedZakaria

LGM-30 Minuteman Launch – ICBM

Why Is It So Hard to Build an ICBM?

Why North Korea Can’t Build An ICBM (yet)

 

People in Pyongyang, North Korea, watched a television broadcast on Friday of Kim Jong-un’s response to President Trump’s speech at the United Nations. CreditEd Jones/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

SEOUL, South Korea — North Korea has long cultivated an image of defiant belligerence, punctuating its propaganda and diplomacy with colorful threats, insults and bluster. But by addressing President Trump in a personal statement on Friday, the nation’s leader, Kim Jong-un, has pushed his government’s brinkmanship to a new, potentially more perilous level.

In a statement written in the first person, published on the front pages of state newspapers and read on national television, Mr. Kim called Mr. Trump a “mentally deranged U.S. dotard” who had “denied the existence of and insulted me and my country in front of the eyes of the world.”

Mr. Kim vowed to take the “highest level of hard-line countermeasure in history.”

In a country where the leader is essentially portrayed as a god, Mr. Kim’s decision to respond personally to Mr. Trump’s speech to the United Nations General Assembly and pledge reprisals escalated the standoff over the North’s nuclear program in a way that neither he nor his predecessors had done before.

Though the statement made no mention of nuclear weapons, in the context of a political system built on a cult of personality, Mr. Kim’s intervention appeared to sharply reduce the possibility that his government might retreat or compromise, even in the face of war.

Mr. Kim condemned Mr. Trump’s threat to “totally destroy” North Korea if the United States is forced to defend itself, and he declared that it had “convinced me, rather than frightening or stopping me, that the path I chose is correct and that it is the one I have to follow to the last.”

Mr. Ri could not have made such an alarming comment without approval from Mr. Kim, although some analysts question whether North Korea has the technology or political daring to conduct an atmospheric nuclear test, something the world has not seen for decades.

Mr. Trump responded on Friday by further personalizing the dispute. On Twitter, the president pronounced Mr. Kim to be “obviously a madman.”

North Korea has often issued statements in the names of its government and its People’s Army, and since taking power in late 2011, Mr. Kim has delivered an annual New Year’s Day speech. But Friday’s statement was the first by Mr. Kim directed openly at a foreign head of state. Mr. Kim’s father and grandfather, who ruled North Korea before him, never made such a statement, South Korean officials said.

In effect, Mr. Kim, whose cultlike leadership rests upon his perceived daring toward North Korea’s external enemies, has turned the nation’s standoff with the United States into a personal duel with Mr. Trump, analysts said.

The North Korean news media carried photographs of Mr. Kim sitting in his office and reading his statement, but his voice was not broadcast. On the country’s state-run Central TV, a female announcer read his statement.

“This is totally unprecedented,” said Paik Hak-soon, a longtime North Korea analyst at the Sejong Institute, a think tank outside Seoul, referring to Mr. Kim’s statement. “The way North Korea’s supreme leadership works, Kim Jong-un has to respond more assertively as its enemy gets more confrontational, like Trump has.

“There is no backing down in the North Korean rule book,” Mr. Paik said. “It’s the very core of their leadership identity and motive.”

Until now, Mr. Kim himself has appeared to refrain from personal attacks on the American president, even as Mr. Trump has called him a “maniac,” a “total nut job,” and, most recently, “Rocket Man.”

On Friday, Mr. Kim said he took Mr. Trump’s latest assault personally and accused him of making “the most ferocious declaration of a war in history.”

Mr. Kim also suggested Mr. Trump’s belligerent rhetoric signaled American weakness rather than resolve. “A frightened dog barks louder,” he said.

Koh Yu-hwan, a professor of North Korean studies at Dongguk University in Seoul, said that Mr. Kim, faced with Mr. Trump’s threat of annihilation, could respond only with equal force.

“When Trump stood before the United Nations General Assembly and threatened to totally destroy his country, Kim Jong-un had to take that as the United States telling the world of its intention for possible military action,” Mr. Koh said. “He had to respond in kind, launching the same kind of verbal bombs.”

Analysts said that by putting his reputation on the line with his statement, Mr. Kim was now far more unlikely to stand down. Instead, his government was likely to conduct more nuclear and missile tests, they said.

“Trump shot himself in the foot with his unabashedly undiplomatic United Nations General Assembly speech,” said Lee Sung-yoon, a Korea expert at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. “By threatening to totally destroy North Korea, he created the impression around the world that it is actually the United States — instead of North Korea — that’s motivated by aggression. In effect, Trump gave Kim Jong-un a freebie for another major provocation. Kim will oblige, and claim that it was in ‘self-defense’ against Trump’s unnerving threats.”

Daryl G. Kimball, executive director of the Arms Control Association, compared the Korean standoff to the October 1962 crisis over Soviet missiles in Cuba, urging the United Nations secretary general, António Guterres, to convene the six parties that were previously involved in talks on denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula — China, Japan, North Korea, Russia, South Korea and the United States — to discuss reducing fever-pitch tensions.

“We are in a cycle of escalation that leads to a very bad end,” Mr. Kimball said.

North Korea has conducted all of its six nuclear tests within deep underground tunnels to diminish the spread of radioactive materials, and has stepped up the pace of its missile tests. Some analysts fear that the next step might be for North Korea to try to prove that it can deliver a nuclear warhead on a long-range missile, no matter how dangerous and provocative that might be.

It has been 37 years since any nation tested a nuclear weapon in the planet’s atmosphere, reflecting the nearly universal opposition to such tests over fears of the effects of radioactive fallout on human health and the environment. The last atmospheric test took place in 1980, when China fired what experts believed to be a nuclear-tipped ballistic missile into a desert salt flat more than 1,300 miles west of Beijing.

Mr. Trump addressing the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday. CreditChang W. Lee/The New York Times

Shin Beom-chul, a security expert at the government-run Korea National Diplomatic Academy in Seoul, said that even if North Korea wanted to conduct an atmospheric nuclear test in the Pacific, it did not have the ability to dispatch test-monitoring ships to the open ocean while the United States military was on the prowl.

Mr. Shin said North Korea probably would not risk the radioactive fallout and other grave dangers involved in a nuclear missile test. The country has yet to master the technologies needed to prevent the warhead at the tip of its long-range ballistic missile from burning up while re-entering Earth’s atmosphere, South Korean officials said.

“What if the nuclear missile goes wrong midflight and detonates over Japan? It would mean a nuclear war,” Mr. Shin said. “More likely, North Korea will graduate its provocations, as if moving on steppingstones.”

Analysts said North Korea had been escalating tensions in stages in what they called a “salami tactic,” as in slice by slice.

Kim Dong-yub, a defense analyst at the Seoul-based Institute for Far Eastern Studies of Kyungnam University, said that North Korea would probably try to disprove skeptics in the West over its ability to strike long-range targets by firing its Hwasong-14 intercontinental ballistic missile over Japan and farther into the Pacific — but without a nuclear payload.

Some analysts said the North Korean leader was acting more defensively than offensively, with his threats aimed at forcing the Trump administration to ease sanctions. On Thursday, Mr. Trump issued an executive order empowering his government to punish international banks and other entities that trade with North Korea.

But other analysts warned that North Korea’s determination to improve its nuclear capabilities — and act offensively — had long been underestimated.

“If we follow what North Korea has been doing, it will be almost certain that it will fire its missile sooner or later to demonstrate an ICBM range,” Mr. Kim, the Kyungnam University analyst, said. “I don’t think the missile will carry a nuclear warhead, but I can’t shake off the fear that it might, because North Korea has time and again carried things beyond my expectation.”

Story 2: Obamacare Collapsing– American People Be Damned — Democratic and Republican Parties Fail To Completely Repeal Obamacare Including Repealing Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) and All Related Mandates, Regulations, Taxes, Spending and Subsidies — Replace Obamacare With Free Enterprise Market Capitalism Health Insurance — Keep The Federal Government Out Of The Health Insurance and Health Care Business — Videos

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Graham-Cassidy Will Probably Fail. McCain and Paul Announce No Votes

BREAKING NEWS: McCain kills Obamacare repeal for a second time and announces he’ll oppose his p…

Rand Paul a No Vote on Graham-Cassidy HC Bill. He Explains

RAND PAUL FULL ONE-ON-ONE EXPLOSIVE INTERVIEW WITH MARTHA MACCALLUM (9/18/2017)

Rand Paul Goes Off On Obamacare “Repeal”

Senator: Graham-Cassidy not an Obamacare repeal

Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) On Latest Obamacare Effort: This Is Not Repeal – The Five

RAND PAUL FULL ONE-ON-ONE EXPLOSIVE INTERVIEW WITH NEIL CAVUTO (9/14/2017)

 

Paul: ‘I won’t be bribed or bullied’ on repeal vote

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) pushed back on Friday against pressure from President Trump to vote for a last-ditch GOP effort in the Senate to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, saying that he “won’t be bribed or bullied.”

In an early-morning tweet, Trump warned Paul that if he failed to vote for Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Bill Cassidy‘s (R-La.) health-care proposal, he would forever be known as “‘the Republican who saved ObamaCare.'”

But in a series of tweets following the president’s post, Paul contended that the Graham-Cassidy measure does not fulfill the GOP’s longtime promise to repeal the ACA, and ultimately keeps ObamaCare’s taxes and spending.

The Graham-Cassidy measure revives the GOP’s efforts to repeal and replace parts of the ACA after a slimmed-down repeal bill failed in July. It seeks to end ObamaCare’s insurance subsidies and the Medicaid expansion, and instead convert those pots of money to block grants for the states.

The new proposal needs at least 50 votes to pass the Senate with a tie-breaking vote from Vice President Pence, and backers are scrambling to round up the votes before a Sept. 30 procedural deadline, after which the measure would need a filibuster-proof 60 votes.

The White House has thrown its weight behind the measure and Trump has tweeted his support for it in recent days, casting the bill as a new opportunity for the GOP to fulfill its seven-year promise to do away with ObamaCare.

So far, Paul is the only GOP senator who has indicated he will vote against the Graham-Cassidy proposal. But three others — Sens. Susan Collins(Maine), Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) and John McCain (Ariz.) — are being closely watched.

The trio voted “no” on the “skinny” ObamaCare repeal bill in July leaving that bill one vote short of passing. All three remain undecided about the Graham-Cassidy proposal.

http://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/351865-paul-i-wont-be-bribed-or-bullied

3 red-flag provisions in the Graham-Cassidy health care bill

Posted September 21, 2017 08:36 AM

by Daniel Horowitz

Red flag storm warning

John-Kelly | Getty Images

Previously, I noted that while Graham-Cassidy does nothing to change the fundamentals of the current system of health care and medical insurance, it at least repeals the individual mandate, which will allow us to escape from the dumpster fire and potentially start a new system. But any “holding of the nose” to pass this bill should only be under the condition that the other provisions are not worse than the status quo. That’s the only way we can take “half a loaf rather than none” — or in this case, more like ten percent. That rationale breaks down if there are provisions that will make the system worse or further entrench Obamacare in current law.

Thus far, I have found three concerning provisions:

Protected class for insurance coverage

Page 13 of the bill stipulates that “a health insurance issuer may not vary premium rates based on an individual’s sex or membership in a protected class under the Constitution of the United States.”

Readers of Conservative Review are well aware that the radical king courts have already made foreign nationals and transgenders protected classes under the U.S. Constitution in many respects. Most certainly, once we codify such language into statute, there is no limit to what lower court judges and Anthony Kennedy will do to expand “constitutional” rights to all sorts of insurance coverage. They could use this provision to mandate coverage for illegal aliens. They could use this provision to carve out all sorts of coverage for homosexuals and for sex-change operations. Most certainly, it will give states trouble in cutting off subsidy funding for abortions.

This might possibly be worse than current law.

Forcing Texas and conservative states to expand government-run health care

Proponents of the bill are touting this system as an exercise in federalism because it devolves the subsidies and Medicaid expansion to the states in one giant pot. Some D.C. conservatives think it’s a good thing that red state that didn’t originally expand Medicaid will “get their fair share.” However, those who truly oppose Obamacare and understand free markets know that expanded Medicaid not only is costly and creates dependency but also distorts the market and inflates the cost of health care for everyone else. Furthermore, it hurts private practices because the programs pay hospital physicians more than private practice physicians. Medicaid expansion has been a boon for the hospital cartel and has destroyed any semblance of market-based health care.

Until now, we all celebrated the one silver lining of some red states not expanding Medicaid. Now, this bill brings this aspect of Obamacare, and its ensuing price inflation on the market, to the states that don’t currently have it. Worse, the bill (page 15) puts a gun to the heads of these states and says that if they want a waiver for even the few regulatory relief provisions offered in this bill, they must take and administer the federal Obamacare/Medicaid expansion grants.

Thus, to the extent a state can waive a regulation for an individual insurance contract, they must give subsidies to that individual — regardless of his status. He could be a millionaire!

As Chris Jacobs, noted health policy expert at the Texas Public Policy Institute, wrote, “Moreover, some conservatives may view provisions requiring anyone to whom a waiver applies to receive federal grant funding as the epitome of moral hazard—ensuring that individuals who go through health underwriting will receive federal subsidies, no matter their level of wealth or personal circumstances.” He further observed, “By requiring states to subsidize bad actors—for instance, an individual making $250,000 who knowingly went without health coverage for years—with federal taxpayer dollars, the bill could actually raise health insurance premiums, not lower them.”

Thus, this is not a “half a loaf,” this is a poisonous loaf. While blue states are free to move the funding further to the Left and create single-payer, in no way can red states move towards free markets, because for every step they make towards regulatory relief, they must add more market-distorting funding than even under the status quo. This will hook the politicians from the reddest of red states on the dope they didn’t fully embrace before now.

The bailout fund

It would be one thing to leave most of Obamacare in place, as opposed to leaving it all in place. But this bill adds a state bailout fund that entrenches Obamacare even further. Not only does it codify the illegal cost-sharing subsidies for three years (and we all know the three years will be expanded indefinitely), it creates an unaccountable $35 billion slush fund for HHS to dole out at their full discretion to “fund arrangements with health insurance issuers to address coverage and access disruption and respond to urgent health care needs within States.” And of course, rather than disappearing in 2020, this will create a funding cliff that will only expand the program thereafter.

As I mentioned before, the only saving grace of this bill is that repeal of the individual mandate will prompt consumers to leave the insurance cartel and create direct care and health-sharing associations as an alternative to this entire scheme. However, by creating an unaccountable bailout program, HHS bureaucrats will work with state bureaucrats and insurance cartel lobbyists (no elected officials involved!) to mask the price inflation to keep the insurance monopoly intact.

It will codify, enshrine, and expand Obamacare.

Overall, it’s understandable why conservatives would want to support something over nothing at this late hour. And with the right focus on supply-side market reforms, we could possibly make a partial repeal work, with the elimination of the mandates. But politicians must first focus on not making things worse. Moreover, they should at least negotiate to get rid of the bailout fund and these onerous provisions while working for some true health care reforms, such as price transparency and parity of tax treatment. If this requires using the reconciliation bill for next year to fix health care, then so be it.

The mother’s milk of the D.C. swamp is the false dichotomy of “take or leave it.” Don’t fall for the trick without first fighting for more.

https://www.conservativereview.com/articles/3-red-flag-provisions-in-the-graham-cassidy-health-care-bill

Story 3: Obama’s Secret Surveillance Spy State Scandal — Misuse of Intelligence Community For Political Purposes — Gross Abuse of Power and Political Conspiracy — Violation of Fourth Amendment — Videos —

Sharyl Attkisson speaks out about Obama-era surveillance

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Special Report : Krauthammer on FBI, CIA and NSA served subpoenas in unmasking probe : 5/31/2017

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Hannity : Circa News reports Obama’s FBI illegally shared spy data about Americans : 5/25/2017

James Clapper Admits To Unmasking Trump

President Obama went to British intelligence to spy on Trump for him! – Judge Napolitano

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It looks like Obama did spy on Trump, just as he apparently did to me

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The Pronk Pops Show 969, September 21, 2017, Story 1: President Trump Signs Executive Order Targeting Institutions and People Doing Business With North Korea — Communist China Trades With and Enabled North Korea Nuclear Weapon and Missile Programs — Waiting For Embargo Banning All Trade and Investment in Communist China — Videos — Story 2: Fed To Start Quantitative Tightening In October 2017 by Selling Some ($10 Billion Per Month or $120 Billion Per Year) of $4,500 Billion Bond Portfolio As U.S. Economy Slows in 2017? — Videos

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 Story 1: President Trump Signs Executive Order Targeting Institutions and People Doing Business With North Korea — Communist China Trades With and Enabled North Korea Nuclear Weapon and Missile Programs — Waiting For Embargo Banning All Trade and Investment in Communist China — Videos —

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BREAKING NEWS: President Donald Trump Announces New Sanctions on North Korea through Executive Order

Trump: China has told its banks to stop doing business with North Korea

North Korea: Trump signs new order to widen sanctions

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John Bolton calls for ‘sweeping’ set of sanctions on China

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John Bolton: We are at a ‘crisis point’ with North Korea

Trump administration undercuts his message on North Korea

Former CIA Director James Woolsey: North Korea Has Been Able To Hit Power Grid For Years | CNBC

Ralph Peters on North Korea: China will never help us

Peters: People don’t understand how desperate North Korea is

China getting away with ‘trade murder’: Ralph Peters

What Are Economic Sanctions?

Chinese sanctions will help US trade deficit, but could backfire: Andrew Peek

Gordon Chang: China understands the effects of US sanctions

Lou Dobbs : Is China helping North Korea create nuclear missiles? : 5/30/2017

Gordon Chang: NKorea is forcing the United States to act

Trump unplugging Chinese banks will end China’s economy: Gordon Chang

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What Is Life Really Like In North Korea?

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Trump signs order aiming to cut off funding for North Korean missile program

  • President Donald Trump signs an executive order to expand his authority to target people and institutions doing business with North Korea.
  • With the action, he aims to reduce funding going to the dictatorship’s nuclear and missile programs.

President Donald Trump speaking as he meets with South Korean president Moon Jae-in during the U.N. General Assembly in New York, September 21, 2017.

Trump unveils order aiming to cut off funding for North Korean missile program  

President Donald Trump on Thursday signed an executive order expanding his authority to target people and institutions that do business with North Korea.

Through the measure, the president aims to cut off the communist dictatorship’s funding and deter its nuclear and missile ambitions amid a string of recent tests and provocations.

“North Korea’s nuclear weapons and missile development is a grave threat to peace and security in our world and it is unacceptable that others financially support this criminal, rogue regime,” Trump said before a meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and South Korean President Moon Jae-in. “Our new executive order will cut off sources of revenue that fund North Korea’s efforts to develop the deadliest weapons known to humankind. The order enhances the Treasury Department’s authorities to target any individual or entity that conducts significant trade in goods, services or technology with North Korea.”

The isolated nation has tested ballistic missiles and an apparent hydrogen bomb in recent weeks in the face of international economic sanctions and warnings. On Tuesday, Trump told the U.N. General Assembly that the U.S. “will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea” if it is forced to defend itself or its allies.

President Donald Trump speaking as he meets with South Korean president Moon Jae-in during the U.N. General Assembly in New York, September 21, 2017.

Kevin Lamarque | Reuters
President Donald Trump speaking as he meets with South Korean president Moon Jae-in during the U.N. General Assembly in New York, September 21, 2017.

Last week, the U.N. Security Council unanimously passed fresh measures to punish the communist dictatorship economically, with the support of China and Russia. Trump has repeatedly pressed China, North Korea’s only major ally, to do more to force Pyongyang to abandon its nuclear ambitions.

Trump on Thursday highlighted that China’s central bank has told its banks to strictly implement U.N. sanctions. He thanked President Xi Jinping for what he called a “bold” and “somewhat unexpected” move.

On Tuesday, he also commended Beijing for signing on to two recent sanctions packages enacted by the Security Council. The U.S. sees China’s commitment to sanctions as crucial to forcing Pyongyang to end its nuclear and missile programs.

Trump appeared to try to quash speculation that he is targeting China or other North Korean trading partners with the action.

“I want to be clear — the order targets only one country, and that country is North Korea,” he said.

Trump said the order identifies industries including textiles, fishing, information technology and manufacturing, which the Treasury Department can target with “strong sanctions.” The president added that the order includes “measures designed to disrupt” shipping and trade networks to reduce North Korea’s ability to avoid the sanctions.

Earlier, national security advisor H.R. McMaster said Trump would take more action to stop North Korea “short of war.” Trump’s advisors have repeatedly said they prefer to use diplomatic methods to curb North Korea’s aggression.

The president again said that he seeks the “complete denuclearization” of North Korea.

Trump had separate bilateral meetings scheduled with both Moon and Abe on Thursday.

https://www.cnbc.com/2017/09/21/trump-to-make-north-korea-announcement-mcmaster-says.html

 

Trump announces new economic sanctions targeting North Korea over nuclear program

 September 21 at 12:45 PM

President Trump announced an executive order on Sept. 21 to enforce economic sanctions on North Korea and countries that do business with the “rogue regime” of North Korea. (The Washington Post)

NEW YORK — President Trump announced an executive order Thursday granting the Treasury Department additional authority to enforce economic sanctions on North Korea and target foreign companies and individuals that do business with the rogue nation in Northeast Asia.

Trump said the new powers aim to cut off international trade and financing that dictator Kim Jong Un’s regime uses support its nuclear and ballistic missile weapons programs. The president also said that Chinese President Xi Jinping had ordered Chinese banks to cease conducting business with North Korean entities. Trump called the move “very bold” and “somewhat unexpected,” and he praised Xi.

“North Korea’s nuclear program is a grave threat to peace and security in our world, and it is unacceptable that others financially support this criminal, rogue regime,” Trump said in brief public remarks during a meeting with the leaders of South Korea and Japan to discuss strategy to confront Pyongyang.

He added that the United States continues to seek a “complete denuclearization of North Korea.”

He added that the order will give Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin the “discretion to target any foreign bank knowingly facilitating specific transactions tied to trade with North Korea.”


President Trump meets with South Korean president Moon Jae-in during the U.N. General Assembly in New York on Thursday. (REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque)

A White House fact sheet said the executive order imposes a ban on airplanes or ships that have visited North Korea will be banned for 180 days from visiting the United States, a move to crack down on illicit trade.

“This significantly expands Treasury’s authority to target those who enable this regime…wherever they are located,” Mnuchin said.

Trump’s announcement came as he has sought to rally international support for confronting Pyongyang during four days of meetings here at the United Nations General Assembly. In a speech to the world body on Tuesday, Trump threatened to “totally destroy” the North if necessary and referred derisively to Kim as “rocket man.” But the president and his aides have emphasized that they are continuing to do what they can to put economic and diplomatic pressure on the North in order to avoid a military conflict.

“We are witnessing a very dangerous confrontation spiral,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in a speech to the United Nations, filling in for President Vladimir Putin, who skipped the forum. “We resolutely condemn the nuclear missile adventures of Pyongyang in violation of Security Council resolutions. But military hysteria is not just an impasse, it’s disaster…There is no alternative to political and diplomatic ways of settling the nuclear situation on the Korean Peninsula.”

China is North Korea’s largest trading partner, but Mnuchin emphasized that “this action is in no way specifically directed at China,” and he said he called Chinese officials ahead of the announcement to give them a heads up.

In recent weeks, the U.N. Security Council has approved two rounds of economic sanctions but also left room for further penalties. For example, the sanctions put limits on the nation’s oil imports but did not impose a full embargo, as the United States has suggested it supports. The Trump administration has signaled it also wants a full ban on the practice of sending North Korean workers abroad for payments that largely go to the government in Pyongyang.

Sitting down with South Korean President Moon Jae-in before the trilateral discussion with Japan, Trump said the nations are “making a lot of progress.”

Moon praised Trump’s speech to the U.N., saying through a translator that “North Korea has continued to make provocations and this is extremely deplorable and this has angered both me and our people, but the U.S. has responded firmly and in a very good way.”

The Security Council had also applied tough new export penalties in August, and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Wednesday that there are signs those restrictions are having an economic effect.

“We have some indications that there are beginning to appear evidence of fuel shortages,” Tillerson said in a briefing for reporters. “And look, we knew that these sanctions were going to take some time to be felt because we knew the North Koreans…had basically stockpiled a lot of inventory early in the year when they saw the new administration coming in, in anticipation of things perhaps changing. So I think what we’re seeing is a combined effect of these inventories are now being exhausted, and the supply coming in has been reduced.”

There is no sign, however, that economic penalties are having any effect on the behavior of the Kim regime and its calculation that nuclear tests and other provocations will ensure its protection or raise the price of any eventual settlement with the United States and other nations.

All U.N. sanctions have to be acceptable to China, North Korea’s protector and chief economic partner. China’s recent willingness to punish its fellow communist state signals strong disapproval of North Korea’s international provocations, but China and fellow U.N. Security Council member Russia have also opposed some of the toughest economic measures that could be applied, such as banking restrictions that would affect Chinese and other financial institutions.

“We continue to call on all responsible nations to enforce and implement sanctions,” Trump said.

Trump said the United States had been working on the North Korea problem for 25 years, but he asserted that previous administrations had “done nothing, which is why we are in the problem we are in today.”

Through executive orders and other measures extending back to the Clinton administration, the United States has been trying to undermine the economic underpinnings of the North Korean nuclear weapons program.

Each new sanction from Washington has been followed by evasive measures by Pyongyang, and then another attempt from Washington to ramp up pressure. Earlier sanctions restricted trade between U.S. companies and businesses involved with the North Korean regime and its weapons efforts. Until recently, however, such sanctions had limited effects because North Korea continued an expansive trade with other countries, mainly China.

In recent years, the United States has sought to expand the economic pressure by working through the international banking system, where the country has particular leverage because so much of international trade is conducted in dollars. The “vast majority of international transactions are denominated in dollars, the world’s reserve currency,” a Congressional report found last year.

Even when the companies are outside the United States, trade conducted in dollars typically must run through U.S. banks, and last year, that provided the Obama administration an opportunity to interrupt such business.

In November 2016, a special measure implemented by the Treasury barred U.S. banks from providing the accounts that handle such transactions for any North Korean bank or any party acting on its behalf. The measure essentially cut off North Korean banks from any trade denominated in U.S. dollars.

North Korea, however, has continued to conduct such trades by using front companies located in third countries, at least some of which are in China.

The new executive order expands the U.S. pressure on the North by allowing the Treasury to single out those front companies, and any banks helping to finance any trade with North Korea, for sanctions. Those sanctions would cut off trade with those companies or forbid them from conducting transactions in dollars.

Anne Gearan in New York,  Abby Phillip in Washington and Peter Whorisky contributed to this report.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-politics/wp/2017/09/21/trump-says-the-u-s-will-impose-new-sanctions-on-north-korea/?utm_term=.f13cecf3e9e7

US-North Korea standoff could spark economic war with China

  • The escalating saber rattling between the U.S. and North Korea has raised the prospects of an economic confrontation between America and China.
  • So far, economic sanctions against Pyongyang have done little to convince North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to curb his ambitions to develop a nuclear missile capable of striking the U.S. mainland.
  • Now, critics of those measures are calling for stepped-up pressure on China, North Korea’s largest trading partner.

President Donald Trump (L) and Chinese President Xi Jinping (R) walk together at the Mar-a-Lago estate in West Palm Beach, Florida, April 7, 2017.

Jim Watson | AFP | Getty Images
President Donald Trump (L) and Chinese President Xi Jinping (R) walk together at the Mar-a-Lago estate in West Palm Beach, Florida, April 7, 2017.

The escalating saber rattling between the U.S. and North Korea has raised the prospects of an economic confrontation between America and China.

At issue are a series of sanctions against Pyongyang designed to convince North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to curb his ambitions to develop a nuclear missile capable of striking the U.S. mainland.

But those measures have had little impact on the increasingly bellicose stand-off, and on Thursday President Donald Trump repeated his complaint that Beijing needs to lean harder on Pyongyang to defuse rising tensions.

“I think they can do a lot more and I think they will do a lot more,” the president told reporters. “We lost hundreds of billions of dollars a year on trade with China. They know how I feel. It’s not going to continue like that.”

On Tuesday, Trump threatened to inflict “fire and fury” on North Korea if it continues to pursue its nuclear weapons program. A recent series of successful North Korean test launches were matched Wednesday by Kim’s threats to launch a missile at the U.S. territory of Guam.

The latest round of sanctions includes fresh restrictions, unanimously approved Saturday by the United Nation Security Council, that target North Korean exports of coal, iron, iron ore, lead, lead ore and seafood. The measures also ban countries from hiring more North Korean laborers, bar new joint ventures with North Korea and ban fresh investment in existing joint ventures.

“We say to China, ‘You have a choice whether you do business with North Korea or you do business with the U.S. but you can’t do both.'”-Sen. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md.

Economic sanctions so far have proved ineffective largely because North Korea has found ways to get around them with “evasion techniques that are increasing in scale, scope and sophistication,” according to a February U.N. report.

“Designated entities and banks have continued to operate in the sanctioned environment by using agents who are highly experienced and well trained in moving money, people and goods, including arms and related material, across borders,” the U.N. report found.

The widest flow of goods and cash, by far, crosses North Korea’s border with China. As North Korea’s largest trading partner, China accounted for roughly 85 percent of overall volume in 2015, according to data from the United Nations Comtrade database.

Coal and other minerals accounted for more than 40 percent of North Korean exports in 2015, followed by textiles (29 percent), metals (7 percent) and machinery (6 percent). North Korea’s biggest imports included textiles, machinery and raw materials including minerals, metals and plastics.

Though China has taken some steps to curb imports from North Korea, exports rose by nearly 30 percent in the first half of this year, according to Chinese customs data. During the six-month period, overall trade flows across the North Korean-China border rose 10 percent to $2.65 billion.

That’s why critics of the existing North Korean sanctions say the measures don’t go nearly far enough in cutting off the flow of cash and goods to the Pyongyang regime.

Some of those critics are calling for “secondary sanctions,” which would cut off trade and financial flows to any country doing business with North Korea.

“We say to China, ‘You have a choice whether you do business with North Korea or you do business with the U.S., but you can’t do both,'” Sen. Chris Van Hollen, D.-Md., told MSNBC on Thursday. “That is what got people’s attention with the Iran sanctions, and that’s what we need to do now.”

Last month, Van Hollen co-sponsored a bill with Sen. Pat Toomey, R.-Pa., that would impose secondary sanctions targeting third parties and countries that do business with North Korean companies and individuals.

Secondary sanctions offer a powerful financial weapon by allowing the U.S. government to bar foreign banks access to the U.S. financial system.

In late June, the White House imposed limited secondary sanctions on two Chinese citizens and a shipping company for helping North Korea develop nuclear weapons and also accused a regional Chinese bank, the Bank of Dandong, of laundering money for Pyongyang, Reuters reported.

Beyond cutting off cash and supplies to the North Korean regime, secondary sanctions squeeze the flow of cash to individuals, putting pressure on Kim’s political allies, according to David Cohen, a senior CIA official in the Obama administration.

“Imposing secondary sanctions would send a strong message to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un that the financial noose is tightening in a way that could drive a wedge between Kim and the Pyongyang elite critical to his continued hold on power,” Cohen wrote in a recent op-ed piece.

Imposing secondary sanctions that single out major Chinese banks and state enterprises comes with the risk of economic retaliation from Beijing.

To minimize that risk, the White House will need to build a much wider coalition of Asian countries, says Nicholas Burns, former U.S. ambassador to NATO during the George W. Bush administration.

But developing that coalition will be a tough task for an administration that has yet to fill dozens of key diplomatic positions. So far, the White House has filled fewer than half of the State Department positions that require Senate confirmation.

“It really is a time for diplomacy,” Burns told CNBC on Thursday. “But there’s no American ambassador to South Korea, there’s no secretary of State for East Asia. So, you’ve also got to fill out the ranks.”

https://www.cnbc.com/2017/08/10/us-north-korea-standoff-could-spark-economic-war-with-china.html

 

How did North Korea get nuclear weapons?

North Korea showed off its arsenal of missiles during this parade to celebrate the 105th birth anniversary of Kim Il-Sung in Pyongyang, North Korea, April 15, 2017.

North Korea showed off its arsenal of missiles during this parade to celebrate the 105th birth anniversary of Kim Il-Sung in Pyongyang, North Korea, April 15, 2017.

AP Photo/Wong Maye-E

North Korea is known for its bluster and outrageous propaganda, but the nuclear threat posed by the country is taken seriously by those in the know.

The “hermit kingdom” is estimated to have between 13 and 30 nuclear weapons, according to the Institute for Science and International Security. It could have up to 50 by the year 2020.

U.S. President Donald Trump has made it clear that he considers North Korea a legitimate threat. In early April, Trump dispatched the USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier and its battle group to waters off the Korean Peninsula, and said “major, major conflict” was quite possible.

WATCH: Trump discusses military option for North Korea

Tensions have since soared over fears that North Korea may be about to conduct its sixth nuclear weapons test. On Friday, the country sent a letter to American lawmakers, saying any sanctions would only cause its nuclear testing program to “gather greater pace, beyond anyone’s imagination.”

But how did a country as isolated and impoverished as North Korea get its hands on nuclear weapons in the first place?

The Korean War

In 1950, a few months into the Korean War, U.S. President Harry Truman said in a press conference that the use of an atomic bomb was under “active consideration.”

Truman’s nuclear threat remained just that, with the Korean War formally ending in an armistice in 1953. But U.S. forces still laid waste to North Korean targets, dropping over 650,000 tons of bombs and napalm, according to The Korean War: A History.

U.S. Air Force Gen. Curtis LeMay estimated that the U.S. “killed off 20 per cent of the Korean population.”

WATCH: North Korea propaganda video puts White House in crosshairs, simulates strike on US Capitol

After the war, North Korea tried to convince its wartime ally China to share its nuclear weapons technologies. Supreme Leader Kim Il-Sung, grandfather of present-day leader Kim Jong-Un, twice asked Chinese ruler Mao Zedong for help but was refused both times, according to The Two Koreas: A Contemporary History.

Denied an easy path to a nuclear bomb, North Korea set about cobbling together an indigenous nuclear weapons program.

Soviet support

It helped that the country already had basic nuclear infrastructure in place.

As a founding member of the Soviet-led Joint Institute for Nuclear Research, North Korea had for years sent its scientists to the Soviet Union for nuclear energy training, according to a timeline compiled by the Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI).

The Soviets even helped North Korea set up its first nuclear reactor in 1964. The reactor was used to produce radioactive isotopes for medicinal, industrial and research purposes.

READ MORE: Mike Pence urges China, Russia to pressure North Korea to abandon weapons program

But in the years that followed, the country began to explore weapons capabilities, summoning its best scientists home — including from Canada, according to NTI — to work on its fledgling nuclear weapons program.

But while North Korea’s scientists had the technical training, they lacked designs for the highly sophisticated facilities needed to produce nuclear weapons.

Path to a plutonium weapon

 In the ‘70s and ‘80s, North Korea set about acquiring sensitive nuclear technologies from Europe, taking advantage of the lack of adequate nuclear information safeguards at the time.

At one point, North Korean agents went to a conference in Vienna and chatted up some Belgian scientists who had a design for a plutonium separation plant, The Atlantic reported.

“Lo and behold, it wasn’t long before the North Koreans obtained the design information for that installation… and then eventually over a period of 10 to 15 years, they set that technology up, they deployed the plant, they started to experiment with it and use it,” Mark Hibbs, a senior fellow with the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, told The Atlantic.

READ MORE: North Korea says it’s ready for war if Donald Trump wants

In 2003, CIA director George Tenet told the Senate Armed Services Committee that North Korea “probably” has one or two plutonium-based nuclear warheads, according to The Statesman’s Yearbook 2012.

The following year, second-generation Supreme Leader Kim Jong-Il invited a delegation of Western nuclear scientists to North Korea to see its plutonium extraction facility. One of them, American scientist Dr. Siegfried Hecker, revealed in a Google Tech Talk lecture that North Korean officials at one point brought out two marmalade jars of plutonium.

“Inside one was a plutonium powder and the other one had plutonium metal,” Hecker said.

He even held one of the jars in his hand, and concluded from its appearance, weight and warmth that it contained radioactive plutonium.

In 2006, two years after Hecker’s visit, North Korean state media announced the country’s first nuclear weapon test.

By then, the country’s scientists had increasingly begun redirecting their efforts away from plutonium-based nuclear weapons to uranium-based ones, according to NTI. This is because the facilities needed to produce weapons-grade uranium can more easily be hidden underground, away from prying satellites and weapons inspectors.

North Korea wanted to cover all its bases.

Pakistani proliferation

The groundwork for North Korea’s uranium nuclear weapons program was laid in the ‘90s, with substantial help from Dr. A.Q. Khan, the pioneer of Pakistan’s atomic bomb program.

Khan orchestrated the clandestine transfer of uranium centrifuges, enrichment machines and technical data to North Korea over a period of several years, according to the book Nuclear Black Markets: Pakistan, A.Q. Khan and the Rise of Proliferation Networks.

According to the book’s author, Mark Fitzpatrick, some of Khan’s deals were likely tied to existing official agreements between the two countries, wherein North Korea provided ballistic missile technologies to Pakistan.

WATCH: Pakistan test fires submarine-based cruise missile

In 2003, the U.S. learned of North Korea’s plans to build a uranium-enrichment facility with Pakistan’s help. The following year, Khan admitted to running a global nuclear proliferation ring, with Iran and Libya among his other clients.

Khan later told German magazine Der Spiegel that he was merely acting on behalf of the Pakistani leadership.

He even released what he claimed was a 1998 letter from Jon Pyong-ho, one of the architects of North Korea’s nuclear program, in which Pyong-ho assures that $3 million has been transferred to Pakistan’s army chief, and asks that Khan dispatch “the agreed documents, components, etc.” via a North Korean emissary.

READ MORE: Pakistan refuses to release doctor who helped US find Osama bin Laden

Khan was later pardoned by Pakistani leader Gen. Pervez Musharraf.

“By freely selling enrichment equipment and putting the designs on computer disks, Khan significantly lowered the technical barriers to nuclear weapons development,” Fitzpatrick wrote.

And no country benefited more from Khan’s largesse than North Korea.

READ MORE: Pakistan issues nuclear warning to Israel on Twitter after fake news story

In 2010, Dr. Siegfried Hecker was again invited to North Korea, and was this time taken on a tour of a uranium enrichment facility. He described what he saw as “truly mind-boggling” — around 2,000 centrifuges that appeared to contain highly enriched, weapons-grade uranium.

“[The North Koreans] take whatever they can get, and then they build things themselves, and they do it quite well,” Hecker concluded in his Google Tech Talks lecture.

The Nuclear Silk Road

In early 2015, debris from a North Korean satellite launch were analyzed by experts and found to contain components manufactured in the U.K. and routed through Chinese companies, according to a United Nations Panel of Experts report.

The following year, foreign journalists on a tour of a Pyongyang factory spotted a shipment of boxes from Calgary-based chemical producer Dow Canada, the Washington Post reported.

These are but two of several known instances of North Korea evading international sanctions and export controls to procure weapons components.

WATCH: China says it will impose more sanctions on North Korea if missile test conducted: Tillerson


“North Korea is very creative in the way that it goes about sanctions evasion, and the patterns in which it goes about it vary,” Andrea Berger, a senior researcher with the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies, told Global News.

Berger says North Korea often sends trusted nationals to China to set up front companies, often in collaboration with Chinese citizens. These companies then import equipment from Western manufacturers, who often have no way of knowing that the companies are really fronts controlled by the North Korean regime.

“Let’s say you’re Siemens in Germany and you get a purchase request from ‘Golden Star General Trading Corporation’ in China. You look into that company and it doesn’t have a big web presence  —  because most Chinese small and medium-sized enterprises don’t  — and you assume, after some limited due diligence, that it’s probably fine,” Berger says.

READ MORE: China defends trade practices with North Korea after Chinese-made vehicles seen towing ballistic missiles

Even Chinese banks themselves often get deceived, she adds.

“The bank account might be under, say, ‘Golden Star General Trading Corporation’ or a Chinese director,” Berger says. “The Bank of China might not immediately be the wiser that there’s a North Korean beneficiary behind that account.”

By covering their tracks in this manner, front companies procure sensitive goods before re-exporting them to North Korea, evading Chinese export controls via misleading shipping labels or creative smuggling techniques.

READ MORE: U.S. mulls North Korea sanctions, targeting cash that flows through Chinese banks

The racket doesn’t exclusively involve surreptitious front operations, however.

In 2015, a large Chinese company called Shenyang Machine Tools bought equipment from a European manufacturer under the explicit condition that the items wouldn’t be re-sold to North Korea, according to the Institute for Science and International Security.

Shenyang Machine Tools promptly broke the agreement by embedding the products into its own line of industrial machines, which were then exported to North Korea.

The equipment in question is commonly used to manufacture missile parts and uranium centrifuges.

Financial skullduggery

So how does North Korea pay for the expensive parts that it acquires illegally?

Turns out it doesn’t just use front companies to buy  —  it also uses them to sell its own military products.

Earlier this year, the UN Panel of Experts reported the interception of a shipment of 45 military radios bound for Eritrea. The shipment was sent by a Malaysian-based company called Glocom — which investigators found to be controlled by the North Korean intelligence agency.

Glocom was selling the radios to developing countries at North Korea’s behest — for $8,000 per unit.

READ MORE: U.S. urges UN Security Council to increase economic pressure on North Korea over weapons program

Berger, who is familiar with the Glocom investigation, said the company was “being used to facilitate sales of that technology specifically.”

The combination of such clandestine military deals, the sale of missile technologies and the export of coal and minerals have enabled North Korea to fund its nuclear procurement, the UN report suggested.

The “disco ball” warhead

In March 2016, North Korean state media released photographs of Kim Jong-Un standing in front of what it claimed was a miniaturized nuclear warhead “standardized to be fit for ballistic missiles,” Reuters reported.

The object was silver, shiny and shaped like a giant orb. It was roundly mocked on Twitter for resembling a disco ball.

So you’re saying this new disco ball with old CDs stuck on the side will be more glittery? 

But experts aren’t laughing.

Melissa Hanham, a researcher who analyzes open source data and photos to assess North Korea’s weapons programs, says it’s “plausible” that the object is a working nuclear warhead.

“We can’t see inside it to say, ‘Yes, it is’ or ‘No, it isn’t’ a nuclear warhead,” Hanham told Global News. “But they’ve had five nuclear tests, so it wouldn’t be surprising for them to have that kind of compact warhead by that many tests.

READ MORE: North Korea’s latest missile launch could be 2nd test of new technology, experts say

“I can tell you that we’ve measured it a lot, and it does fit into the payload of many of their missiles.”

Hanham admits it’s bizarre that North Korea would let its Supreme Leader stand so close to the real thing, but points out that “there are other photographs of Kim Jong-Un engaging in really dangerous activities that confuse us as well” — referring to photos of him smoking next to a solid-fuel rocket engine and standing underneath a heavy object dangling from a crane.

A legitimate threat

The purported warhead may have been goofy-looking, but it represented one of many milestones in a ramped-up schedule of North Korean nuclear weapons development over the past year and a half.

“North Korea in 2016 spent a lot of time doing a point-for-point refutation of every major narrative of the things it ‘couldn’t do’ in its nuclear missile program,” Berger says.

“All the developments we’re seeing in the nuclear missile program are deeply serious, and the more we continue to laugh about it, the more North Korea will attempt to demonstrate that it has a credible military program that is making rapid advancement.”

WATCH: Should we be worried about North Korea?

That advancement is the result of over half a century of steadily accumulated scientific know-how and single-minded subterfuge, with North Korea taking advantage of lax regulations and shady foreign partners to hoodwink the international non-proliferation regime.

Berger says China’s “conscious negligence” — in relation to both clamping down on front companies and tightening export controls — has resulted in such a huge flow of illicit goods to North Korea that it would take “an enormous effort” to rein it in at this point.

“The problem we have is enormous policy inertia, and very few good ideas of how to address the situation,” Berger says.

READ MORE: Could North Korea’s nuclear missiles reach Canada?

Hanham agrees. “I think there are probably still opportunities to slow or disrupt their program, but they’ve already crossed a lot of important thresholds that make it unlikely that they will give up their [nuclear] program entirely,” she says.

“North Korea has shown that it’s dedicated to acquiring nuclear weapons, and it’s very hard to stop any country that’s completely dedicated.”

How did North Korea get nuclear weapons?

Story 2: Fed To Start Quantitative Tightening In October 2017 by Selling Some ($10 Billion Per Month or $120 Billion Per Year) of $4,500 Billion Bond Portfolio As U.S. Economy Slows in 2017? — Videos

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Fed will finally wind down historic rescue program

The Federal Reserve is leaving interest rates alone to give the economy room to keep growing.

But the central bank did take historic action on Wednesday: It will begin undoing the extraordinary steps it took to prop up the economy for almost a decade after the financial crisis. The Fed said it would begin shedding some of the $4.5 trillion in investments starting next month.

The announcement marks a milestone in the long recovery from 2008, and reflects confidence by Fed officials that the economy will continue to grow.

Starting in October, the Fed will begin unloading $10 billion of debt from its so-called balance sheet, including $6 billion in Treasury securities and $4 billion in agency debt each month through December.

For years, the central bank piled up purchases of Treasury and mortgage-backed securities, a strategy intended to stimulate the economy by reducing borrowing costs for everyone. At the time, it also reduced its benchmark interest rate to zero, and only began raising it in December 2015, seven year after the crisis.

On Wednesday, the Fed left rates unchanged, hovering between 1% and 1.25%.

Related: The CNNMoney Trump Jobs Tracker

The central bank has raised that rate three times since December as the economy has gradually improved. Raising rates too quickly could risk hobbling the recovery.

Still, the majority of Fed policymakers signaled on Wednesday that they expect to lift rates one more time this year.

Central bankers pointed to signs of strength in the U.S. economy, including a pickup in household spending and growth in business investments, in a statement following the Federal Open Market Committee’s two-day meeting.

“Job gains have remained solid in recent months, and the unemployment rate has stayed low,” the Fed said in a statement.

While Fed officials cautioned that the devastation of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria would hold back the U.S. economy in the “near term,” they said the storms would not “materially alter” the country’s economy overall.

“Within a few months, rebuilding activity has typically kicked in, returning economic growth to normal—or maybe even a little higher than normal,” wrote Eric Winograd, AB senior economist in a note. “So, despite the storms, we’re still confident the U.S. economy will keep its momentum, because the foundations are sound.”

Related: Fed Chair Janet Yellen warns – Monitor your credit report!

Some Fed officials have warned against raising interest rates until inflation — which reflects the prices of everything from meat and cheese to houses and cars — meets the goal of 2% that they consider healthy for the economy.

But inflation is still running below that target, even though the job market has picked up and other explanations have fallen away. In a press conference, Fed chair Janet Yellen described it as something of a “mystery.”

In past years, she said the Fed has been able to point to root causes of low inflation: the gap between those employed versus those that aren’t, energy prices and a rising dollar.

“This year’s inflation shortfall is more of a mystery,” Yellen told reporters at the press conference. “I will not say that the committee clearly understands what the causes are.”

Central bankers have been in a bind over when to lift rates again. Inflation has been stubbornly low for years, suggesting the Fed should hold off. But economic growth and low unemployment suggest they should act.

Fed officials cautioned that they do expect inflation to be higher than normal — at least for a little while — following the hurricanes that have devastated Texas, Florida and now Puerto Rico.

“Inflation remains the wild card of Fed policy and the temporary boost to gasoline prices following the hurricanes only clouds the picture further,” said Bankrate.com’s chief financial analyst Greg McBride. “Whether the Fed hikes in December will remain an open question until December.”

Along with one more rate hike this year, the Fed also predicted three more possible moves next year.

“It is too soon for the committee to conclude that the recent slowing in inflation was sufficiently permanent to alter the Fed’s plans,” Michael Gapen, a Barclay’s analyst wrote in a research note.

The Fed said it continues to expect inflation to remain at 1.6%, below its target, and the unemployment rate to be 4.3%, based on its updated economic projections.

The central bank did, however, offer a rosier picture of the overall economy, upping its economic growth forecast to 2.4% from 2.2%.

Yellen again declined to address speculation about whether President Trump will nominate her for a second four-year term leading the Fed. Her first term ends in February.

http://money.cnn.com/2017/09/20/investing/federal-reserve-janet-yellen/index.html

Fed prepares to cut $4.5 trillion portfolio: What it means
By Matthew Rocco Published July 12, 2017 The Fed FOXBusiness Opens a New Window.

USA-FED/ The Federal Reserve building in Washington, D.C (Kevin Lamarque / Reuters)
Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen will be on Capitol Hill for two days of congressional testimony starting Wednesday, and investors will be closely watching the proceedings for any clues about the central bank’s plans to shrink its securities portfolio.

The Fed has begun to pave the way toward cutting its balance sheet, which grew from about $1 trillion to $4.5 trillion in five years. The large increase is the result of an aggressive bond-buying stimulus program known as quantitative easing. The program was implemented to keep interest rates low and support a collapsed housing market. Since December 2015, the Fed has gradually raised the benchmark fed funds rate from near zero amid an improved labor market and U.S. economy. But its large portfolio of Treasury bonds and mortgage-backed securities has remained in place.

With officials phasing out its crisis-era monetary policies, the Fed is now discussing a timeline to start winding down its portfolio to about half its current size.

“[The Fed] is in uncharted territory. They’ll be very cautious because they are committed to reducing interest rates and reducing the balance sheet. The first foray will be fairly limited,” said Nariman Behravesh, IHS Markit’s chief economist.

Investors have mostly prepared themselves for the Fed’s next move by anticipating an increase in interest rates. If anything, the Fed tends to “do less than the market expected,” Behravesh added.

“I think the good thing is the Fed is raising rates in an environment that’s not gangbusters, but it’s decent. Rates will go up, no question, but if they go gradually, it won’t do a great amount of damage to the economy,” he said, noting that the fed funds rate remains historically low. “Monetary policy is becoming tighter, but at the end of next year, it still won’t be tight.”

Fed members have already decided on a plan of action. Currently, the Fed purchases new bonds to replace the ones that come due. Once it starts the clock, the central bank will allow bonds to mature and roll off its balance sheet.

At their June policy-setting meeting, members of the Federal Open Market Committee set up a plan to shed as much as $6 billion worth of government bonds and $4 billion in mortgage-backed securities each month as a starting point. The Fed would raise the amount every quarter, eventually hitting a cap of $30 billion in Treasury and $20 billion in mortgage bonds per month.

Federal Reserve Board Chairwoman Janet Yellen holds a news conference after the Fed released its monetary policy decisions in Washington, U.S., June 14, 2017. TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY – RTS1750PExpand / Contract
Federal Reserve Board Chairwoman Janet Yellen holds a news conference after the Fed released its monetary policy decisions in Washington, U.S., June 14. (Joshua Roberts / Reuters)
Demand for bonds will weaken once the Fed stays on the sidelines, thus lowering prices and forcing interest rates to climb. (Bond yields move in the opposite direction as prices.) The magnitude of that rate increase will depend on how gradually the Fed sells off its holdings, Behravesh explained.

The benchmark 10-year Treasury yield has declined about 0.081 percentage points since the start of the year, hitting 2.36% in recent trading.

As for when the Fed will kick off the process, several officials prefer to “announce a start to the process within a couple of months,” according to minutes of their June meeting Opens a New Window. . Others believed that a decision later in 2017 would give the Fed more time to study inflation, which has fallen short of the central bank’s target, and U.S. economic activity.

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The general consensus is that the Fed will make an announcement in September. In her prepared remarks to Congress Opens a New Window. , Yellen affirmed that the Fed will “likely” implement the program this year, as long as the economy “evolves broadly as anticipated.”
“We do not intend to use the balance sheet as an active tool for monetary policy in normal times,” Yellen said, adding that the Fed is prepared to “resume reinvestments” if it sees a deterioration in the economic outlook.

No matter when the Fed begins to shrink its portfolio, economists expect it to move in the same way it raises interest rates: slowly.

“It’s hard to tell how slowly they are going to go,” Behravesh said, but the Fed is determined to move one step at a time. The impact on the financial and housing markets isn’t fully clear, and the Fed plans to raise the fed funds rate at the same time it dumps assets.

In June, the Fed raised the fed funds rate another quarter of a percentage point to a range of 1% to 1.25%. The next rate hike is expected in December.

http://www.foxbusiness.com/markets/2017/07/12/fed-prepares-to-cut-4-5-trillion-portfolio-what-it-means.html

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The Pronk Pops Show 968, September 20, 2018: Breaking and Developing: Story 1: 7.1 Richter Scale Earthquake Kills Over 200 In Mexico — Videos — Story 2: Category 4 Hurricane Marie With 155 Miles Per Hour Winds, 10 Foot Flood Surge and 20 Plus Inches of Rainfall Turns Lights Out in Puerto Rico with Widespread Flooding and Damages — Videos –Story 3: Yes The Obama Administration Was Wiretapping The Trump Campaign and Former Trump  Campaign Manager Paul Manafort — Trump Was Right and Big Lie Media Lied Again — Obama Spying Scandal Bigger Than Watergate — Videos — Story 4:  Illegal Aliens Shout Down House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi Calling Her A Liar — When Will American Citizens Shout Down President Trump Calling Him A Liar? … President Trump and Republican Party Want Touch Back Amnesty and Pathway to  Citizenship For Illegal Aliens — Majority of American People Want All Immigration Laws Enforced — Deport and Remove All 30-60 Million Illegal Aliens In United States To Country of Origin — No Republican Re-importing of Illegal Aliens With Expedited Visas and Touch Back Amnesty and Pathway to Citizenship — Employ American Citizens Not Illegal Aliens — Videos

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‘It’s destroyed everything in its path’: Puerto Rico in total darkness after Hurricane Maria knocks out 100% of the island’s power while nearly two feet of rain turns roads into rivers of mud

  • The entire island of Puerto Rico is without power after Hurricane Maria swept through the U.S. territory today 
  • Maria made landfall on Puerto Rico Wednesday morning as a Cat. 4 hurricane with 155 mph winds
  • As of 5pm ER, the eye of the storm has moved off shore and weakened to a Cat. 3 storm with 110 mph winds
  • The storm is next headed to the Dominican Republic, where it’s expected to strike tonight 
  • The Turks & Caicos Islands and the southeastern Bahamas will see hurricane conditions Thursday evening
  • Before hitting Puerto Rico, Maria battered St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands for about five hours overnight
  • So far, Maria has been blamed for nine deaths – seven on Dominica and two on Guadeloupe  

All of Puerto Rico has lost power after deadly Hurricane Maria swept through the island on Wednesday – with winds that blew the roofs off homes and flash floods that turned roads into rivers.

Leaving at least nine people dead in its wake across the Caribbean, Hurricane Maria blew ashore in the morning in the southeast coastal town of Yabucoa as a Category 4 storm with winds of 155 mph.

While the eye of the storm has since moved off the island and weakened to a Category 3 hurricane, it’s expected to continue lashing the island of 3.4million with life-threatening winds, storm surge and rain through this evening.

‘Once we’re able to go outside, we’re going to find our island destroyed,’ said Abner Gomez, Puerto Rico’s emergency management director. ‘The information we have received is not encouraging. It’s a system that has destroyed everything in its path.’

As people waited it out in shelters or took cover inside stairwells, bathrooms and closets, Maria – the strongest storm to hit the island since the Great Depression – brought down cell towers and power lines, snapped trees and unloaded at least 20 inches of rain.

Widespread flooding was reported, with dozens of cars half-submerged in some neighborhoods and many streets turned into rivers. People calling local radio stations reported that doors were being torn off their hinges and a water tank flew away.

Even before the storm, Puerto Rico’s electrical grid was crumbling and the island was in dire condition financially.

Puerto Rico is struggling to restructure a portion of its $73billion debt, and the government has warned it is running out of money as it fights back against furloughs and other austerity measures imposed by a federal board overseeing the island’s finances.

Gov. Ricardo Rossello urged people to have faith: ‘We are stronger than any hurricane. Together, we will rebuild.’

He later asked President Donald Trump to declare the island a disaster zone, a step that would open the way to federal aid.

Hurricane Maria made landfall on Puerto Rico around 6:15am on Wednesday. Above was the hurricane's location at 5pm ET

The storm is expected to batter Puerto Rico for most of the day before moving on towards the Dominican Republic

Felled trees cover the roads in the Miramar neighborhood of San Juan, Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria made landfall on Wednesday

Felled trees cover the roads in the Miramar neighborhood of San Juan, Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria made landfall on Wednesday

A car is seen flipped over in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria in San Juan, Puerto Rico on Wednesday

Residents of San Juan, Puerto Rico, deal with damages to their homes on September 20, 2017, as Hurricane Maria batters the island

A view from the Sheraton Old San Juan, in Puerto Rico, where people are waiting out hurricane Maria on the second floor, some with their pets

A view from the Sheraton Old San Juan, in Puerto Rico, where people are waiting out hurricane Maria on the second floor, some with their pets

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In a video posted to Facebook, one Puerto Rican shows off the flooding in the town of Guayama

In a video posted to Facebook, one Puerto Rican shows off the flooding in the town of Guayama

People walk on the street next to debris after the area was hit by Hurricane Maria in Guayama, Puerto Rico on Wednesday

People walk on the street next to debris after the area was hit by Hurricane Maria in Guayama, Puerto Rico on Wednesday

Rescue workers carry a woman into the Emergency Operation Centre in Guayama, Puerto Rico on Wednesday

Rescue workers carry a woman into the Emergency Operation Centre in Guayama, Puerto Rico on Wednesday

Above was the view inside the Roberto Clemente Coliseum early Wednesday morning, as Maria made landfall  

Above was the view inside the Roberto Clemente Coliseum early Wednesday morning, as Maria made landfall

People taking shelter at Fajardo's City Hall watch as Hurricane Maria hits Puerto Rico on Wednesday

People take shelter at Roberto Clemente Coliseum in San Juan, Puerto Rico, on September 20, 2017

Hurricane Maria is pictured over Puerto Rico on Wednesday as it heads northwest towards the Dominican Republic

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4902546/Maria-makes-landfall-Puerto-Rico-Cat-4-hurricane.html#ixzz4tFsKOzSs

Maria Slams St. Croix, Rips Across Puerto Rico

September 20, 2017, 8:21 AM EDT

Above: VIIRS infrared satellite image of Hurricane Maria moving just west of St. Croix while at Cat 5 strength at 2:13 am EDT Wednesday, September 20, 2017. Image credit: NOAA/CIMSS/UM-Madison.

Ferocious Hurricane Maria made landfall around 6:15 am EDT Wednesday near Yabucoa in far southeast Puerto Rico as a top-end Category 4 storm, with peak sustained winds estimated at 155 mph.

Maria was the second strongest hurricane ever recorded to hit Puerto Rico, behind only the 1928 San Felipe Segundo hurricane, which killed 328 people on the island and caused catastrophic damage. Puerto Rico’s main island has also been hit by two other Category 4 hurricanes, the 1932 San Ciprian Hurricane, and the 1899 San Ciriaco Hurricane.

  • In terms of top sustained wind, Maria is the fifth strongest hurricane on record to hit the U.S. behind only the four Cat 5s to hit the country (Hurricane Andrew of 1992 in South Florida, Hurricane Camille of 1969 in Mississippi, the Labor Day Hurricane of 1935 in the Florida Keys, and the 1928 hurricane in Puerto Rico.)
  • In terms of lowest atmospheric pressure at landfall, Maria (917 mb) ranks third in U.S. records behind only the 1935 Labor Day Hurricane and Camille.
  • Maria’s landfall at Category 4 strength gives the U.S. a record three Category 4+ landfalls this year (Maria, Harvey, and Irma). The previous record was two such landfalls, set in 1992 (Cat 5 Andrew in Florida, and Cat 4 Iniki in Hawaii.)

Maria did not hit Puerto Rico as a Category 5 hurricane, thanks to an eyewall replacement cycle (ERC) that began on Tuesday night. The storm’s “pinhole” eye, less than 10 miles wide, was supplemented by an outer eyewall that contracted around the smaller one. The process helped lead to the slight weakening of Maria’s top winds, but it also likely broadened its core of winds topping 100 mph.

Impact on St. Croix

Maria raked the U.S. Virgin Island of St. Croix (population 50,000) with its outer eyewall on the strong (right front) side of the eye, between about 1 – 3 am EDT Wednesday morning, but the island missed seeing the Category 5 winds of the inner eyewall, which remained just offshore to the south. The highest winds officially observed on the island were at Cotton Valley RAWS, located on the east end of St. Croix: sustained at 99 mph, gusting to 136 mph, at 2:13 am EDT. A WeatherFlow station at Sandy Point, on the island’s southwest tip, observed sustained winds of 100-104 mph, gusting to 137 mph. Even stronger winds likely occurred somewhere across the island’s west end, but we don’t know how strong, since the wind measuring equipment at the St. Croix airport and the Lime Tree Bay Buoy failed.

According to the Quicklook page at NOAA’s Tides and Currents, Christiansted Harbor on the north side of St. Croix observed a storm surge of two feet. The pressure at a personal weather station on the southwest tip of St. Croix fell to 954 mb at 1:48 am, when the eye made its closest pass to the island.

The British Virgin Islands and the other two U.S. Virgin Islands—St. John and St. Thomas—were far enough northeast to avoid the worst from Maria. A wind gust to 86 mph was reported at St. Thomas, according to weather.com.

Final radar image from NWS San Juan during Hurricane Maria, 0545 EDT 9/20/2017
Figure 1. The last radar image of Maria from the NWS Puerto Rico radar before it failed, taken at 5:45 am EDT Wednesday. Maria officially made landfall 30 minutes later at 6:15 am EDT, when the center of the eye crossed the coast.

Maria in Puerto Rico

Yabucoa Harbor in southeast Puerto Rico, near where the center of Maria made landfall, recorded sustained winds of 71 mph gusting to 99 mph at 7:06 am EDT. A peak wind gust of 113 mph was observed there at 5:12 am. Other wind gusts across Puerto Rico as of early Wednesday morning, as compiled by weather.com, included:

  • Isla Culebrita: 137 mph
  • Camp Santiago: 118 mph
  • El Negro: 116 mph
  • Gurabo: 115 mph
  • Yabucoa: 113 mph
  • Fajardo: 100 mph

According to the Quicklook page at NOAA’s Tides and Currents, Yabucoa Harbor recorded a peak storm surge of approximately 5.3’ as of 8 am EDT Wednesday.

At 8 am EDT Tuesday, Maria was centered about 15 miles south-southwest of San Juan, PR, moving northwest at 10 mph. A sustained wind of 64 mph, gusting to 113, was reported at San Juan, Puerto Rico at 7 am, but the airport is no longer reporting winds. Maria will cut a destructive swath across Puerto Rico from southeast to northwest on Wednesdaymorning, with its center moving offshore from the north central coast by late morning. The mountainous terrain of Puerto Rico will disrupt Maria’s core, probably leaving the storm as a Category 3 by the time it moves back offshore midday Wednesday. Maria’s track is putting the dangerous right-hand side of Maria’s core over or near the San Juan metropolitan area.

Torrential rains will produce widespread flooding across Puerto Rico. NOAA/USGS gauge data showed that several rivers along the higher terrain of central and east central Puerto Rico were already close to record crests as of Tuesday morning. Jonathan Vigh (National Center for Atmospheric Research) noted that very heavy rainfall was observed by the NWS San Juan radar in the vicinity of the El Yunque rainforest, just east of San Juan, before the radar went out of service on Wednesday morning. He added that the region’s 3000-foot-high mountains and a northeastward-facing valley were nearly ideal for intercept hurricane-force winds blowing toward Maria’s center.

We’ll be back with a full update on Maria and Jose later today.

Jeff Masters co-wrote this post.

Radar-based rainfall estimates for Puerto Rico, 9/20/2017
Figure 2. Before it went out of service at around 5:45 am EDT Wednesday, the NWS radar showed very heavy rainfall accumulations along the higher terrain of east central Puerto Rico. Totals of more than 25″ were estimated in the vicinity of the El Yunque rainforest.
First-light GOES-16 image of Hurricane Maria taken at 7:15 am EDT September 20, 2017.
Figure 3. First-light GOES-16 image of Hurricane Maria taken at 7:15 am EDT September 20, 2017. Maria’s eye was obscured by clouds due to interactions with land. Image credit: NOAA/RAMMB. GOES-16 data is preliminary and considered non-operational.

https://www.wunderground.com/cat6/maria-slams-st-croix-now-ripping-across-puerto-rico

San Juan (AFP) – Hurricane Maria caused devastation across Puerto Rico Wednesday as 150 mile-an-hour winds from the island’s worst storm in living memory flooded the capital and sent thousands scurrying to shelters.

After killing at least nine people on a string of small Caribbean islands, Maria slammed into Puerto Rico’s southeast coast at daybreak before churning across a territory which is home to 3.4 million.

As tens of thousands of people hunkered down in shelters in the capital San Juan, Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz broke down in tears as she spoke of the utter devastation she had witnessed.

“Many parts of San Juan are completely flooded,” Yulin Cruz told reporters in one of the shelters whose roof swayed as she spoke.

“Our life as we know it has changed… There is a lot of pain and a lot of devastation.”

Maria made landfall as a Category Four storm on the five-point Saffir-Simpson scale, initially packing winds of a little over 150 mph (240 kph) before easing slightly as it powered towards San Juan.

– ‘Absolutely hammered’ –

“The wind sounds like a woman screaming at the top of her lungs!” Mike Theiss wrote on Twitter, sheltering in a safe room in the eye of the storm.

“We are getting absolutely hammered right now.”

Imy Rigau, who was riding out the storm in her apartment in San Juan, said water had “cascaded” through her ceiling.

“We are taking refuge in the hallway as there is about a foot of water in my apartment,” she told AFP.

“I boarded up the windows but with all of this, it seems they are going to be blown away. One of them was smashed up, so we are here in the hallway where there are no windows.”

Many of the most vulnerable of Puerto Rico’s residents took cover in the 500 shelters set up around the island, with officials warning of life-threatening floods.

“As we anticipated, this is the most devastating storm in a century or in modern history,” Puerto Rico governor Ricardo Rossello said on CNN as he warned of the danger of flooding and mudslides.

Puerto Rico’s most catastrophic hurricane was back in 1928 when Hurricane Okeechobee — also known as San Felipe Segundo — killed 300 people.

Although engineers had managed to restore power to most of the island after the recent Hurricane Irma, Maria caused a new black-out across the island.

Brock Long, who heads the US federal government’s emergency agency FEMA, warned it could take days for power to be restored on Puerto Rico and the smaller US Virgin Islands which have also been badly hit by Maria.

“Because of the nature of the geography of the islands, it’s a logistical challenge so it will be a frustrating event to get the power back on,” said Long.

– Dominica devastation –

The US and British Virgin Islands — still struggling to recover from the devastation of Irma — are also on alert, along with the Turks and Caicos Islands and parts of the Dominican Republic.

Maria has already torn through several Caribbean islands, leaving at least seven people dead on the island of Dominica.

Communications to Dominica have been largely cut, and its airports and ports have been closed.

But an advisor to Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit, who spoke to the premier by satellite phone, painted a picture of devastation on an island that is home to around 73,000 people.

“It’s difficult to determine the level of fatalities but so far seven are confirmed, as a direct result of the hurricane,” Hartley Henry said in a statement.

Reports from rural communities spoke of a “total destruction of homes, some roadways and crops,” added Henry.

“The country is in a daze -– no electricity, no running water — as a result of uprooted pipes in most communities and definitely no landline or cellphone services on island, and that will be for quite a while.”

In the French territory of Guadeloupe, one person was killed by a falling tree as Maria hit, while another died on the seafront.

At least two more are missing after their boat sank off the French territory, while some 40 percent of households were without power.

In the US Virgin Islands, locals reported horizontal rain and trees swirling in the wind.

“Very violent and intense right now as we have just begun to experience hurricane force winds,” said 31-year-old Coral Megahy, hunkered down on St Croix island.

There had been fears that Maria could wreak fresh havoc on islands that were already flattened by Category Five hurricane Irma earlier in the month.

Reports suggested St Martin, a French-Dutch island that was among the most severely hit by Irma with 14 dead, had escaped the worst this time around.

Britain, France and the Netherlands had boosted resources in their Caribbean territories ahead of Maria, after heavy criticism of poor preparations for Irma.

All three European countries have increased their troop deployments to the region after complaints of looting and lawlessness after Irma.

https://www.yahoo.com/news/puerto-rico-virgin-islands-brace-hurricane-maria-100652998.html

https://www.ventusky.com/?p=18;-67.4;5&l=temperature

 

Story 3: Yes The Obama Administration Was Wiretapping The Trump Campaign and Former Trump  Campaign Manager Paul Manafort — Trump Was Right and Big Lie Media Lied Again — Obama Spying Scandal Bigger Than Watergate — Videos

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Mueller casts broad net in requesting extensive records from Trump White House

President Trump has weighed in on special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election time and time again. Here’s a look at how he can limit the probe, and what Congress is trying to do about it. (Jenny Starrs/The Washington Post)

 September 20 at 3:30 PM

The special counsel investigating Russian election meddling has requested extensive records and email correspondence from the White House, covering everything from the president’s private discussions about firing his FBI director to his White House’s handling of a warning that President Trump’s then-national security adviser was under investigation, according to two people briefed on the requests.White House lawyers are now working to turn over internal documents that span 13 categories investigators for the special counsel have identified as critical to their probe, the people said. Special counsel Robert S. Mueller III, appointed in May in the wake of Trump’s firing of FBI Director James B. Comey, took over the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election and whether the Trump campaign coordinated with the Russians in that effort.The list of requests was described in detail by two people briefed on them. Both insisted on anonymity to discuss a sensitive investigation. Some details of the requests were first reported Wednesday afternoon by the New York Times.The requests broadly ask for any document or email related to a series of highly publicized incidents since Trump became president, including the firing of national security adviser Michael Flynn and Comey, the people said. The list demonstrates Mueller’s focus on key moments and actions by the president and close advisers that could shed light on whether Trump sought to block the FBI investigations of Flynn and of Russian interference. His team is also eyeing whether the president sought to obstruct the earlier Russia probe overseen by Comey.The special counsel team’s work in recent months has zeroed in on Paul Manafort, a former chairman of the Trump campaign, and Flynn. An official close to the probe said both men are under investigation.

After the revelation that the special counsel is examining a letter President Trump drafted to fire former FBI director James Comey, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said they’re working with the special counsel on Sept. 1. (Reuters)

Mueller’s agents have questioned witnesses and business associates of both men about whether the men sought to conceal the nature of consulting work they did that could have benefited foreign governments. In a raid of Manafort’s home last month, agents sought to seize records related to Manafort’s finances.

Over the past few weeks, White House lawyer Ty Cobb began sending records to the special counsel. Cobb is working within the White House to gather more of those documents and has told staffers and other lawyers that he hoped to turn over many more this week.

Cobb declined to discuss the subjects that Mueller’s team has questioned him about.

“The White House doesn’t comment on any communications between the White House and the Office of Special Counsel out of respect for the Office of Special Counsel and its process,” Cobb said in a statement. “We are committed to cooperating fully. Beyond that I can’t comment.”

Mueller also asked for any email or document the White House holds that relates to Manafort, the people briefed on the requests said. Manafort resigned from the campaign before the election amid scrutiny of his work for a powerful Ukrainian political party aligned with the Russian government.

Mueller has requested that the White House turn over all internal communications and documents related to the FBI interview of Flynn in January, days after he took office, as well as any document that discusses Flynn’s conversations with Russia’s then-ambassador, Sergey Kislyak, in December. Mueller has also asked for records about meetings then-Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates held with White House counsel Don McGahn in late January to alert him to Justice Department concerns about Flynn, as well as all documents related to Flynn’s subsequent firing by the White House.

Regarding Comey, Mueller has asked for all documents related to meetings between Trump and Comey while Comey served at the FBI, records of any discussions regarding Comey’s firing and any documents related to a statement by then-press secretary Sean Spicer made on the night Comey was fired. He has also asked for any documents related to a meeting Trump held in the Oval Office with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov the day after Comey was fired.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/mueller-casts-broad-net-in-requesting-extensive-records-from-trump-white-house/2017/09/20/3c5cfbe2-9e2e-11e7-8ea1-ed975285475e_story.html?utm_term=.62ec633db1ca

Manafort offered to give Russian billionaire ‘private briefings’ on 2016 campaign


Then-Trump Campaign Chairman Paul Manafort talks to reporters at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland in July 2016. (Matt Rourke/AP)

 September 20 at 5:04 PM

Less than two weeks before Donald Trump accepted the Republican presidential nomination, his campaign chairman offered to provide briefings on the race to a Russian billionaire closely aligned with the Kremlin, according to people familiar with the discussions.Paul Manafort made the offer in an email to an overseas intermediary, asking that a message be sent to Oleg Deripaska, an aluminum magnate with whom Manafort had done business in the past, these people said.“If he needs private briefings we can accommodate,” Manafort wrote in the July 7, 2016, email, portions of which were read to The Washington Post along with other Manafort correspondence from that time.The emails are among tens of thousands of documents that have been turned over to congressional investigators and special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s team as they probe whether Trump associates coordinated with Russia as part of Moscow’s efforts to interfere in the 2016 U.S. election.There is no evidence in the documents showing that Deripaska received Manafort’s offer or that any briefings took place. And a spokeswoman for Deripaska dismissed the email ex­changes as scheming by “consultants in the notorious ‘beltway bandit’ industry.”

FBI agents raided the home of President Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort without warning on July 26 with a search warrant, and seized documents and other records, say people familiar with the special counsel investigation.

Nonetheless, investigators believe that the exchanges, which reflect Manafort’s willingness to profit from his prominent role alongside Trump, created a potential opening for Russian interests at the highest level of a U.S. presidential campaign, according to people familiar with the probe.

Several of the exchanges, which took place between Manafort and a Kiev-based employee of his international political consulting practice, focused on money that Manafort believed he was owed by Eastern European clients.

The notes appear to be written in deliberately vague terms, with Manafort and his longtime employee, Konstantin Kilimnik, never explicitly mentioning Deripaska by name. But investigators believe that key passages refer to Deripaska, who is referenced in some places by his initials, “OVD,” according to people familiar with the emails. One email uses “black caviar,” a Russian delicacy, in what investigators believe is a veiled reference to payments Manafort hoped to receive from former clients.

In one April exchange days after Trump named Manafort as a campaign strategist, Manafort referred to his positive press and growing reputation and asked, “How do we use to get whole?”

Manafort spokesman Jason Maloni said Wednesday that the email ex­changes reflected an “innocuous” effort to collect past debts.

“It’s no secret Mr. Manafort was owed money by past clients,” Maloni said.

Maloni said no briefings with Deripaska ever took place but that, in his email, Manafort was offering what would have been a “routine” briefing on the state of the campaign.

 As a lobbyist and political consultant in the 1980s, Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort worked with international clients that included two dictators who were then allied with the United States. (Bastien Inzaurralde/The Washington Post)

Vera Kurochkina, a spokeswoman for Rusal, the company led by Deripaska, on Wednesday derided inquiries from The Post that she said “veer into manufactured questions so grossly false and insinuating that I am concerned even responding to these fake connotations provides them the patina of reality.”

Collectively, the thousands of emails present a complex picture. For example, an email exchange from May shows Manafort rejecting a proposal from an unpaid campaign adviser that Trump travel abroad to meet with top Russian leaders. “We need someone to communicate that DT is not doing these trips,” Manafort wrote, according to an email read to The Post.

The email exchanges with Kilimnik add to an already perilous legal situation for Manafort, whose real estate dealings and overseas bank accounts are of intense interest for Mueller and congressional investigators as part of their examination of Russia’s 2016 efforts. People close to Manafort believe Mueller’s goal is to force the former campaign chairman to flip on his former Trump associates and provide information.

In August, Mueller’s office executed a search warrant during an early-morning raid of Manafort’s Alexandria, Va., condominium, an unusually aggressive step in a white-collar criminal matter.

Mueller has also summoned Maloni, the Manafort spokesman, and Manafort’s former lawyer to answer questions in front of a grand jury. Last month, Mueller’s team told Manafort and his attorneys that they believed they could pursue criminal charges against him and urged him to cooperate in the probe by providing information about other members of the campaign. The New York Times reported this week that prosecutors had threatened Manafort with indictment.

The emails now under review by investigators and described to The Post could provide prosecutors with additional leverage.

Kilimnik did not respond to requests for comment. A spokesman for Mueller declined to comment.

Deripaska, one of Russia’s richest men, is widely seen as an important ally of President Vladi­mir Putin. A U.S. diplomatic cable from 2006, published by WikiLeaks, referred to Deripaska as “among the 2-3 oligarchs Putin turns to on a regular basis.”

The billionaire has struggled to get visas to travel to the United States because of concerns he might have ties to organized crime in Russia, according to the Wall Street Journal. He has vigorously denied any criminal ties.

Russian officials have frequently raised the visa matter over the years with U.S. diplomats, according to former U.S. officials familiar with the appeals.

In 2008, one of Manafort’s business partners, Rick Davis, arranged for Deripaska to meet then-presidential candidate John McCain at an international economic conference in Switzerland.

At the time, Davis was on leave from Manafort’s firm and was serving as McCain’s campaign manager. The meeting caused a stir, given McCain’s longtime criticism of Putin’s leadership.

The Post reported in 2008 that Deripaska jointly emailed Davis and Manafort after the meeting to thank them for setting it up. Davis did not respond Wednesday to a request for comment.

At the time of the McCain meeting, Manafort was working in Ukraine, advising a Russia-friendly political party. He ultimately helped to elect Viktor Yanukovych as president in 2010. In 2014, Yanukovych was ousted from office during street protests and fled to Moscow.

Manafort and Deripaska have both confirmed that they had a business relationship in which Manafort was paid as an investment consultant. In 2014, Deripaska accused Manafort in a Cayman Islands court of taking nearly $19 million intended for investments and then failing to account for the funds, return them or respond to numerous inquiries about exactly how the money was used. There are no signs in court documents that the case has been closed.

The emails under review by investigators also show that Manafort waved off questions within the campaign about his international dealings, according to people familiar with the correspondence.

Manafort wrote in an April 2016 email to Trump press aide Hope Hicks that she should disregard a list of questions from The Post about his relationships with Deripaska and a Ukrainian businessman, according to people familiar with the email.

When another news organization asked questions in June, Manafort wrote Hicks that he never had any ties to the Russian government, according to people familiar with the email.

Hicks, now the White House communications director, declined to comment.

Former campaign officials said that Manafort frequently told his campaign colleagues that assertions made about him by the press were specious. They also privately shared concerns about whether Manafort was always putting the candidate’s interests first.

The emails turned over to investigators show that Manafort remained in regular contact with Kilimnik, his longtime employee in Kiev, throughout his five-month tenure at the Trump campaign.

Kilimnik, a Soviet army veteran, had worked for Manafort in his Kiev political consulting operation since 2005. Kilimnik began as an office manager and translator and attained a larger role with Manafort, working as a liaison to Deripaska and others, people familiar with his work have said.

People close to Manafort told The Post that he and Kilimnik used coded language as a precaution because they were transmitting sensitive information internationally.

In late July, eight days after Trump delivered his GOP nomination acceptance speech in Cleveland, Kilimnik wrote Manafort with an update, according to people familiar with the email exchange.

Kilimnik wrote in the July 29 email that he had met that day with the person “who gave you the biggest black caviar jar several years ago,” according to the people familiar with the exchange. Kilimnik said it would take some time to discuss the “long caviar story,” and the two agreed to meet in New York.

Investigators believe that the reference to the pricey Russian luxury item may have been a reference to Manafort’s past lucrative relationship with Deripaska, according to people familiar with the probe.

Kilimnik and Manafort have previously confirmed that they were in contact during the campaign, including meeting twice in person — once in May 2016, as Manafort’s role in Trump’s campaign was expanding, and again in August, about two weeks before Manafort resigned amid questions about his work in Ukraine.

The August meeting is the one the two men arranged during the emails now under examination by investigators.

That encounter took place at the Grand Havana Club, an upscale cigar bar in Manhattan. Kilimnik has said the two discussed “unpaid bills” and “current news.” But he said the sessions were “private visits” that were “in no way related to politics or the presidential campaign in the U.S.”

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/manafort-offered-to-give-russian-billionaire-private-briefings-on-2016-campaign/2017/09/20/399bba1a-9d48-11e7-8ea1-ed975285475e_story.html?utm_term=.5cc60e2cfae3

Story 4:  Illegal Aliens Shout Down House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi Calling Her A Liar — When Will American Citizens Shout Down President Trump Calling Him A Liar? … President Trump and Republican Party Want Touch Back Amnesty and Pathway to  Citizenship For Illegal Aliens — Majority of American People Want All Immigration Laws Enforced — Deport and Remove All 30-60 Million Illegal Aliens In United States To Country of Origin — No Republican Re-importing of Illegal Aliens With Expedited Visas and Touch Back Amnesty and Pathway to Citizenship — Employ American Citizens Not Illegal Aliens — Videos

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Immigration Activists Shout Down Nancy Pelosi Over Trump Dreamer Deal

They repeatedly called the minority leader a “liar.”

Immigration activists shouted down Democratic House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) during a tense press conference in San Francisco on Monday, protesting a tentative agreement with President Trump to pass a law that extends protections for young immigrants known as Dreamers.

In addition to ensuring recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program can stay in the country, Trump’s apparent agreement to work with Democrats reportedly includes tougher border security measures, something immigration advocates say is a non-starter. No concrete details have yet been released about the deal-in-the-works, and the president himself has offered contradictory statements on whether an agreement has been reached at all.

“We undocumented youth will not be a bargaining chip for Trump’s xenophobic agenda,” the protesters shouted at Monday’s press conference. They repeatedly called the minority leader a “liar.”

Half an hour after the press conference started, Pelosi left. “Since you don’t want to listen, we’ll have to just go,” she said.

Half an hour after the press conference started, Pelosi left. “Since you don’t want to listen, we’ll have to just go,” she said.

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The Pronk Pops Show 967, September 19, 2017, Story 1: President Trump United Nations Speech Names North Korea and Iran As Threats to World Peace and Critical of Those Nations (China) Who Trade With Them –Totally Destroy North Korea And The Rocket Man Mr. Kim — Videos — Story 2: Major 7.1 Richter Scale Killer Earthquake Hits Central Mexico — 76 Miles Southwest of Mexico City Centered in Puebla state town of Raboso,  — Damages and Collapses Buildings — Over 150 Deaths — Videos — Story 3: Category 5 Hurricane Marie With Sustained Winds of 165 Miles Per Hour and Wind Gust 195 MPH Hits Puerto Rico, British and American Virgin Islands, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Guadeloupe — Videos

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Image result for president trump addresses the united nationsThe earthquake struck 5 miles southeast of Atencingo in the central state of Puebla at a depth of 32 miles

 

NASA News, Sep 19, 2017

 

Story 1: President Trump United Nations Speech Names North Korea and Iran As Threats to World Peace and Critical of Those Nations (China) Who Trade With Them — Totally Destroy North Korea And The Rocket Man Mr. Kim — Videos —

Image result for trump destroy north koreaImage result for trump at united nations

Image result for rocket man kim jung un

Image result for rocket man kim jung unImage result for rocket man kim jung un

Donald Trump says U.S. will ‘totally destroy’ North Korea if they are forced to defend themselves

President Trump addresses the United Nations (entire speech)

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Image result for branco cartoons rocket man kim jung un

Image result for branco cartoons rocket man kim jung un

Image result for branco cartoons rocket man kim jung un

Image result for branco cartoons rocket man kim jung un

 

Trump On North Korea: ‘Rocket Man Is On A Suicide Mission’

President Donald Trump‘s first address to the United Nations General Assembly was marked by tough talk for North Korea and Iran.

The president referred to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un as “rocket man” and threatened to “totally destroy North Korea” if the United States is forced to defend itself or allies against the North’s aggression.

“The United States has great strength and patience, but if it is forced to defend itself or its allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea,” Trump said Tuesday. “Rocket Man is on a suicide mission for himself and for his regime. The United States is ready, willing, and able, but hopefully this will not be necessary.”

The UN secretary general warned UN members Tuesday morning that the threat of a nuclear attack is at its highest level since the end of the Cold War, and that fiery talk can lead to fatal misunderstandings, CBS2’s Alice Gainer reported.

At the Pentagon, U.S. Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis was asked about the president’s new nickname for Kim Jong Un.

“We’re dealing with the North Korea situation through the international processes, and we will continue to do so with Secretary Tillerson leading the effort,” he said. “We will hopefully get this resolved through diplomatic means.”

Trump also slammed the Iranian government, calling it an “economically depleted rogue state” whose chief export is violence.

Questioning the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran, Trump said the world cannot allow the “murderous regime” to continue its destabilizing activities while building dangerous missiles. He added world leaders “cannot abide” by the agreement if it “provides cover” for Iran to eventually build its nuclear program.

“The Iran deal was one of the worst and most one-sided transactions the United States has ever entered into. Frankly, that deal is an embarrassment to the United States, and I don’t think you’ve heard the last of it, believe me. It is time for the entire world to join us in demanding that Iran’s government end its pursuit of death and destruction,” Trump said.

French President Emmanuel Macron said that scrapping the deal would be a big mistake.

“I think that it’s better than nothing,” he said.

Iran’s president hasn’t given any specifics about how the country would react to a withdrawal.

“Given that Mr. Trump’s reactions and actions and policies are somewhat unpredictable, we have had long thought and discussions about our reactions,” President Hassan Rouhani said.

During his more than 40-minute inaugural address to the UN General Assembly, Trump said that he will “always put America first” and the U.S. can no longer be taken advantage of in its dealings around the globe.

Trump said he will “defend America’s interests above all else.” He says the U.S. will “forever be a great friend to the world,” including its allies, but the U.S. can no longer be taken advantage of and get nothing in return.

But Trump said that UN member states should unite to face global dangers, and rallied other countries to do their part in solving global issues, including sharing the burden of fighting terrorism.

“We live in a time of extraordinary opportunity… but each day also brings news of growing dangers that threaten everything we cherish and value,” Trump said. “Terrorists and extremists have gathered strength and spread to every region of the planet. Rogue regimes represented in this body not only support terrorists but threaten other nations and their own people with the most destructive weapons known to humanity.”

“To put it simply, we meet at a time of both immense promise and great peril,” Trump said. “It is entirely up to us whether we lift the world to new heights or let it fall into a valley of disrepair.”

The president talked tough on terror saying “it is time to expose and hold responsible” nations that provide funding and safe harbor to terror groups. He says all responsible nations must work together to confront terrorists and “the Islamic extremist that inspires them.”

“We will stop radical Islamic terrorism, because we cannot allow it to tear up our nation and, indeed, to tear up the entire world,” said the president.

The leaders of Russia and China, among others, were not in attendance. Trump did not mention Russia in his speech, but he will meet with Russia’s foreign minister and host a reception for UN leaders Tuesday night.

After his address, Trump went to a luncheon where he gave a toast, admittedly calling himself a critic of the UN for years.

“To the potential — the great, great potential — of the United Nations. Thank you all for being here,” he said.

More: UN General Assembly Street Closures

In his first appearance at the United Nations on Monday, Trump made a call for sweeping reforms.

“In recent years, the United Nations has not reached its full potential because of bureaucracy and mismanagement,” Trump said.

The U.S. is the UN’s largest contributor, paying at least 25 percent of the operating budget. The president encouraged other nations to consider joining in, reviewing the UN’s spending and efficiency.

“I think the main message is ‘Make the United Nations great,’ not again, ‘Make the United Nations great.’ Such tremendous potential and I think we’ll be able to do this,” Trump said.

“Major portions of the world are in conflict and some in fact are going to hell, but the powerful people in this room, under the guidance and auspices of the United Nations can solve many of these vicious and complex problems,” Trump said. “The American people hope that one day soon the United Nations can be a much more accountable and effective advocate for human dignity and freedom around the world.”

North Korea was a major conversation point in Monday’s phone call with China’s president. Trump also met with French President Emanuel Macron and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu focused on Iran.

Dinner with Latin American leaders was centered around trade and instability in Venezuela, which Trump addressed during his speech Tuesday.

“The Venezuelan people are starving, and their country is collapsing, their Democratic institutions are being destroyed,” Trump said. “This situation is completely unacceptable and we cannot stand by and watch. As a responsible neighbor and friend, we and all others have a goal — that goal is to help them regain their freedom, recover their country and restore their democracy.”

Trump accused its President Nicolas Maduro of stealing power from elected representatives to preserve his “disastrous rule.”

There is no sign that Trump will falter on his choice to withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord unless it is renegotiated, which will likely be a major topic this week.

Trump On North Korea: ‘Rocket Man Is On A Suicide Mission’

Story 2: Major 7.1 Richter Scale Killer Earthquake Hits Central Mexico — 76 Miles Southwest of Mexico City Centered in Puebla state town of Raboso,  — Damages and Collapses Buildings — Over 150 Deaths — Videos —

Image result for richter scale

Raw: Mexico Quake Death Toll Continues to Rise

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Major Earthquake Hits Mexico City. 7.1 Magnitude!

People fill into streets after Earthquake hits Mexico

More info and Footage on Mexico City Earthquake!

BREAKING NEWS: Magnitude 7.1 Earthquake Hits Central Mexico. #Breaking #Mexico #EarthQuake

MEXICO CITY HIT BY MAGNITUDE 7.1 EARTHQUAKE ( REAL FOOTAGE )

[youtub3e=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YOvM4dQ5kM4]

Special Report: Deadly Earthquake Hits Central Mexico | NBC News

LIVE 🔴 Mexico 7.1 Earthquake 🔴 LIVE COVERAGE Hurricane MARIA Tracking CATEGORY 5 UPDATES 24/7

Crisis in Mexico’s MEGACITY

 

Mexico City hit by deadly 7.1 magnitude earthquake on anniversary of 1985 disaster

Rescuers search through rubble after the city is struck on the anniversary of a 1985 quake that killed thousands of people.

Rescuers frantically try to move rubble after the 7.1 magnitude quake
Image:Rescuers frantically try to move rubble after the 7.1 magnitude quake 

A major earthquake has struck central Mexico, with reports that at least 134 people have been killed and thousands forced on to the streets.

Panicked workers fled from office buildings and clouds of dust rose up from the crumbling facades of damaged buildings after the 7.1 magnitude quake struck.

The tremors came hours after preparation drills were held on the anniversary of a devastating 1985 earthquake that killed more than 5,000 people in the city.

Police try to clear the area around a collapsed building in Mexico City
Image:Police try to clear the area around a collapsed building in Mexico City

At least 30 people had died in the capital, while there were reports of people trapped in collapsed and burning buildings and local TV footage showed rescuers frantically trying to dig into rubble with pickaxes.

Speaking minutes after the earthquake struck, resident Georgina Sanchez sobbed: “I’m so worried. I can’t stop crying. It’s the same nightmare as in 1985.”

https://www.instagram.com/p/BZO_UM9lvbH/embed/?cr=1&v=7&wp=538#%7B%22ci%22%3A0%2C%22os%22%3A314.25000000000006%7D

Gala Dluzhynska said she was taking a class with 11 other women on the second floor of a building in the fashionable Alvaro Obregon street area when window and ceiling panels fell as the building began to tear apart.

She said she fell in the stairs and people began to walk over her, before someone finally pulled her up.

“There were no stairs anymore. There were rocks,” she said.

Rescuers, firefighters, policemen, soldiers and volunteers remove rubble and debris from a flattened building in search of survivors after a powerful quake in Mexico City on September 19, 2017
Image:Firefighters, police, soldiers and volunteers have come together in an effort to rescue survivors

The US Geological Survey said the quake was centred near Raboso in Puebla state, 76 miles (123km) southeast of Mexico City.

A civil protection official in Puebla said two people had been killed after a school collapsed, while Mexico state’s governor confirmed eight deaths, including a quarry worker killed by a rockslide and another victim hit by a falling lamppost.

Officials asked people not to smoke in the streets of Mexico City – which has a population of 20 million – warning of possible ruptured gas pipes.

Mexico City International Airport suspended operations, while electricity and phone lines were down in parts of the capital.

“We got out really fast, leaving everything as it was and just left,” said Rosaura Suarez, as she stood with a crowd on the street.

Alfredo Aguilar, 43, said the quake was “really strong – buildings started to move”.

He added that he saw a woman fainting as “people started to run.”

Rescuers display a placard reading 'Silence' as they hurry to free possible victims out of the rubble of a collapsed building after a quake rattled Mexico City on September 19, 2017
Image:Rescuers call for ‘Silence’ as they try to find victims in the rubble

The earthquake came less than two weeks after an 8.1 magnitude tremor in southern Mexico killed at least 98 people.

Mexico’s President Enrique Pena Nieto was on a flight to Oaxaca – one of the areas hardest hit by the previous quake – on Tuesday.

He tweeted that he would be returning to Mexico City as soon as possible to deal with the emergency.

http://news.sky.com/story/mexico-city-hit-by-71-magnitude-earthquake-on-anniversary-of-1985-disaster-11043859

 

At least five dead’ after 7.1-magnitude earthquake rocks Mexico City – shaking buildings and sending people fleeing into the street

  • Tremor hit hours after emergency drills around the nation on the anniversary of another devastating quake
  • Horrifying images coming out of country’s capital show rubble and chunks of buildings strewn across roads
  • Local resident Georgina Sanchez said: ‘I’m so worried. I can’t stop crying. It’s the same nightmare as in 1985’

At least five people are dead after a 7.1-magnitude earthquake hit Mexico leaving buildings shaking and sending people fleeing into the street.

The tremor hit just hours after emergency drills around the nation on the anniversary of another devastating quake that killed thousands in Mexico City in 1985.

Today’s quake hit 5 miles southeast of Atencingo in the central state of Puebla at a depth of 32 miles, the US Geological Survey said.

Horrifying images coming out of the country’s capital show rubble strewn across roads and enormous chunks of collapsed buildings laying on the ground with hundreds of terrified locals fleeing onto the streets.

As structures fell around her, local resident Georgina Sanchez, 52, said: ‘I’m so worried. I can’t stop crying. It’s the same nightmare as in 1985.’

It comes just days after a powerful 8.1 quake hit Mexico killing at least 98 people.

At least five people are dead after a 7.1-magnitude earthquake hit Mexico leaving buildings shaking and sending people fleeing into the street.

The tremor hit just hours after emergency drills around the nation on the anniversary of another devastating quake that killed thousands in Mexico City in 1985.

Today’s quake hit 5 miles southeast of Atencingo in the central state of Puebla at a depth of 32 miles, the US Geological Survey said.

Horrifying images coming out of the country’s capital show rubble strewn across roads and enormous chunks of collapsed buildings laying on the ground with hundreds of terrified locals fleeing onto the streets.

As structures fell around her, local resident Georgina Sanchez, 52, said: ‘I’m so worried. I can’t stop crying. It’s the same nightmare as in 1985.’

It comes just days after a powerful 8.1 quake hit Mexico killing at least 98 people.

Horrifying images coming out of the country's capital show rubble strewn across roads and enormous chunks of collapsed buildings laying on the ground with hundreds of terrified locals fleeing onto the streets

This car was left crushed under falling debris during the 7.1-magnitude earthquake

Hospital patients who were evacuated from wards were taken outside in their beds as a safety precaution

As structures fell around her, local resident Georgina Sanchez, 52, said: 'I'm so worried. I can't stop crying. It's the same nightmare as in 1985'

Rescuers are seen working through piles of debris in Mexico City with the help of bystanders

Rescuers are seen working through piles of debris in Mexico City with the help of bystanders

In the capital Mexico City, thousands of people streamed out of buildings into the streets in a panic filling the plaza around the Independence Monument with a mass of people.

Traffic came to a standstill as masses of workers blocked streets while clouds of dust rose from fallen facades.

Office workers were also seen hugging each other to calm themselves.

In the city’s Roma neighborhood small piles of stucco and brick fallen from building facades littered the streets.

Panic in Mexico City as 7.1 earthquake hits capital

The tremor hit just hours after emergency drills around the nation on the anniversary of a devastating quake that killed thousands in Mexico City in 1985

Locals are pictured clearing debris from the earthquake which left dozens of buildings collapsed - with metal and concrete sent falling to the ground

Clouds of dust rose from fallen facades following the dramatic tremor which sent panic throughout the capital city's 20million inhabitants

The impact of the quake ripped buildings to pieces with materials torn from structures by the force of the tremor

Two men calmed a woman, blood trickling form a small wound on her knee, seated on a stool in the street, telling her to breathe deeply.

Lazaro Frutis, a 45-year-old who escaped an office building before it crumpled to the ground, said: ‘We ran outside thinking all was going to collapse around us.

‘The worst thing is, we don’t know about our families or anything.’

At a nearby market, a worker in a hard hat walked around the outside of the building, warning people not to smoke as a smell of cooking gas filled the air.

The earthquake struck 5 miles southeast of Atencingo in the central state of Puebla at a depth of 32 miles

The earthquake struck 5 miles southeast of Atencingo in the central state of Puebla at a depth of 32 miles

It comes just days after a powerful 8.1 quake hit Mexico killing at least 98 people. Locals are pictured helping a woman during today's incident

It comes just days after a powerful 8.1 quake hit Mexico killing at least 98 people. Locals are pictured helping a woman during today’s incident

Office workers huddle as major earthquake shakes Mexico City

Market stall vendor Edith Lopez, 25, was caught up in the quake and said she saw glass bursting out of the windows of some buildings.

Mexico City’s international airport suspended operations with personnel checking the structures for damage. It is not immediately clear how many flights have been affected.

Earlier this month, an 8.1 magnitude quake struck off the coast of Chiapas killing at least 98 people.

Streams of smoke were seen streaming from piles of collapsed buildings in the capital Mexico City

Streams of smoke were seen streaming from piles of collapsed buildings in the capital Mexico City

Mexicans were left shocked as the quake struck just hours after emergency drills

The hardest-hit area was Juchitan, Oaxaca, where a third of the city’s homes collapsed or were uninhabitable.

The remains of brick walls and clay tile roofs cluttered streets as families dragged mattresses on to pavements to spend another anxious night sleeping outdoors.

Members of the ‘Topos’ (Moles) specialised rescue team dug through piles of debris looking for folk’s loved ones and hoping to find some that were still alive.

People fled for their lives after the earthquake struck the capital Mexico City

People fled for their lives after the earthquake struck the capital Mexico City

Today's quake hit 5 miles southeast of Atencingo in the central state of Puebla at a depth of 32 miles, the US Geological Survey said

Today’s quake hit 5 miles southeast of Atencingo in the central state of Puebla at a depth of 32 miles, the US Geological Survey said

Soldiers of the Army and Navy also joined in on the search and rescue, hoping to locate the bodies still missing in the wreckage.

Pena Nieto declared three days of national mourning when he first broke numbers on the deaths associated with the earthquake

The epicenter of the earthquake was 123km southwest of the town of Pijijiapan.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4900334/Strong-7-4-quake-hits-Mexico-anniversary-deadly-1985-tremor.html#ixzz4tA0OWmRB

 

Mexico City airport suspends operations following 7.1 magnitude earthquake

MGN
By Associated Press |
 
MEXICO CITY (AP) – The Latest on the strong earthquake that hit Mexico City (all times local):

2:55 a.m.

Mexico City’s international airport says it has suspended operations due to the magnitude 7.1 quake that shook the central part of the country.

The airport says in a tweet that airport personnel are checking the structures for damage. It’s not immediately clear how many flights have been affected.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake was centered near the Puebla state town of Raboso, about 76 miles (123 kilometers) southeast of Mexico City.

___

2:45 p.m.

Mexican television stations are showing dramatic images a several story building collapsing following a magnitude 7.1 earthquake that rattled the center of the country. It was unclear if people were inside the building.

Numerous other buildings collapsed or suffered serious damage across central Mexico in Tuesday’s quake.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake had a magnitude of 7.1 and was centered near the Puebla state town of Raboso, about 76 miles (123 kilometers) southeast of Mexico City.

2:20 p.m.

Mexican television stations are broadcasting images of collapsed buildings in heavily populated parts of the city following Tuesday’s magnitude 7.1 earthquake. Televisa broadcast images of a plume of smoke rising from one large structure.

One of the collapsed buildings is a large parking garage alongside a hospital.

There are no immediate reports on casualties.

___

2:10 p.m.

Puebla Gov. Tony Gali says buildings have been damaged in his state in central Mexico by a magnitude 7.1 earthquake.

Gali said on his official Twitter account that “we will continue reviewing” damages and urged people to follow emergency procedures.

“What we have reports of is material damage … we have no reports of deaths so far,” tweeted Puebla Interior Secretary Diodoro Carrasco.

He said the towers of some churches have fallen in the city of Cholula, which is famous for its many churches.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake had a magnitude of 7.1 and was centered near the Puebla state town of Raboso, about 76 miles (123 kilometers) southeast of Mexico City.

___

2 p.m.

On Mexico City’s main boulevard, thousands of people streamed out of buildings into the streets in a panic, filling the plaza around the Independence Monument with a mass of people.

Office workers hugged each other to calm themselves.

In the city’s Roma neighborhood, which was struck hard by the 85 quake, small piles of stucco and brick fallen from building facades littered the streets.

Two men calmed a woman, blood trickling form a small wound on her knee, seated on a stool in the street, telling her to breathe deeply.

At a nearby market, a worker in a hard hat walked around the outside of the building, warning people not to smoke as a smell of cooking gas filled the air.

Market stall vendor Edith Lopez, 25, had been in a taxi a few blocks away when the quake struck. She said she saw glass bursting out of the windows of some buildings.

1:50 p.m.

Buildings have been seriously damaged in Mexico City after a 7.1 magnitude earthquake shook central Mexico.

Local television stations broadcast images of collapsed facades and streets filled with rubble.

There were no immediate reports of casualties.

___

1:35 p.m.

The U.S. Geological Survey says it calculates the earthquake that struck central Mexico as magnitude 7.1

It says the epicenter was near the town of Raboso, about 76 miles (123 kilometers) southeast of Mexico City.

Mexico’s seismological agency calculated its preliminary magnitude at 6.8 and said its center was east of the city in the state of Puebla.

Earlier in the day buildings across the city held preparation drills on the anniversary of the 1985 quake.

http://www.ktuu.com/content/news/UPDATE-Buildings-collapse-following-71-magnitude-earthquake-in-Mexico-445804783.html

Richter magnitude scale

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Richter magnitude scale (ML, also Richter scale) assigns a magnitude number to quantify the size of an earthquake. The Richter scale, developed in the 1930s, is a base-10logarithmic scale, which defines magnitude as the logarithm of the ratio of the amplitude of the seismic waves to an arbitrary, minor amplitude, as recorded on a standardized seismograph at a standard distance.

As measured with a seismometer, an earthquake that registers 5.0 on the Richter scale has a shaking amplitude 10 times greater than an earthquake that registered 4.0 at the same distance. As energy release is generally proportional to the shaking amplitude raised to the 32 power, an increase of 1 magnitude corresponds to a release of energy 31.6 times that released by the lesser earthquake.[1] This means that, for instance, an earthquake of magnitude 5 releases 31.6 times as much energy as an earthquake of magnitude 4.

The Richter scale built on the previous, more subjective Mercalli intensity scale by offering a quantifiable measure of an earthquake’s size.[2]

In the United States, the Richter scale was succeeded in the 1970s by the moment magnitude scale. The moment magnitude is currently used by the US Geological Survey to describe magnitudes for all earthquakes.[3]

Development

In 1935, seismologistsCharles Francis Richter and Beno Gutenberg of the California Institute of Technology developed a scale, later dubbed the Richter magnitude scale, for computing the magnitude of earthquakes, specifically those recorded and measured with the Wood-Anderson torsion seismograph in a particular area of California. Originally, Richter reported mathematical values to the nearest quarter of a unit, but the values later were reported with one decimal place; the local magnitude scale compared the magnitudes of different earthquakes.[1] Richter derived his earthquake-magnitude scale from the apparent magnitude scale used to measure the brightness of stars.[4]

Richter established a magnitude 0 event to be an earthquake that would show a maximum, combined horizontal displacement of 1.0 µm (3.9×10−5 in) on a seismogram recorded with a Wood-Anderson torsion seismograph 100 km (62 mi) from the earthquake epicenter. That fixed measure was chosen to avoid negative values for magnitude, given that the slightest earthquakes that could be recorded and located at the time were around magnitude 3.0. The Richter magnitude scale itself has no lower limit, and contemporary seismometers can register, record, and measure earthquakes with negative magnitudes.

{\displaystyle M_{\text{L}}}M_\text{L} (local magnitude) was not designed to be applied to data with distances to the hypocenter of the earthquake that were greater than 600 km (370 mi).[3] For national and local seismological observatories, the standard magnitude scale in the 21st century is still {\displaystyle M_{\text{L}}}M_\text{L}. However, this scale cannot measure magnitudes above about {\displaystyle M_{\text{L}}}M_\text{L} = 7,[5] because the high frequency waves recorded locally have wavelengths shorter than the rupture lengths[clarification needed] of large earthquakes.

Later, to express the size of earthquakes around the planet, Gutenberg and Richter developed a surface wave magnitude scale ({\displaystyle M_{\text{s}}}M_{\text{s}}) and a body wave magnitude scale ({\displaystyle M_{\text{b}}}M_\text{b}).[6] These are types of waves that are recorded at teleseismicdistances. The two scales were adjusted such that they were consistent with the {\displaystyle M_{\text{L}}}M_\text{L} scale. That adjustment succeeded better with the {\displaystyle M_{\text{s}}}M_{\text{s}} scale than with the {\displaystyle M_{\text{b}}}M_\text{b} scale. Each scale saturates when the earthquake is greater than magnitude 8.0.

Because of this, researchers in the 1970s developed the moment magnitude scale ({\displaystyle M_{\text{w}}}M_\text{w}). The older magnitude-scales were superseded by methods for calculating the seismic moment, from which was derived the moment magnitude scale.

About the origins of the Richter magnitude scale, C.F. Richter said:

I found a [1928] paper by Professor K. Wadati of Japan in which he compared large earthquakes by plotting the maximum ground motion against [the] distance to the epicenter. I tried a similar procedure for our stations, but the range between the largest and smallest magnitudes seemed unmanageably large. Dr. Beno Gutenberg then made the natural suggestion to plot the amplitudes logarithmically. I was lucky, because logarithmic plots are a device of the devil.

Details

The Richter scale was defined in 1935 for particular circumstances and instruments; the particular circumstances refer to it being defined for Southern California and “implicitly incorporates the attenuative properties of Southern California crust and mantle.”[7] The particular instrument used would become saturated by strong earthquakes and unable to record high values. The scale was replaced in the 1970s by the moment magnitude scale (MMS, symbol Mw); for earthquakes adequately measured by the Richter scale, numerical values are approximately the same. Although values measured for earthquakes now are {\displaystyle M_{w}}M_{w} (MMS), they are frequently reported by the press as Richter values, even for earthquakes of magnitude over 8, when the Richter scale becomes meaningless. Anything above 5 is classified as a risk by the USGS.[citation needed]

The Richter and MMS scales measure the energy released by an earthquake; another scale, the Mercalli intensity scale, classifies earthquakes by their effects, from detectable by instruments but not noticeable, to catastrophic. The energy and effects are not necessarily strongly correlated; a shallow earthquake in a populated area with soil of certain types can be far more intense in effects than a much more energetic deep earthquake in an isolated area.

Several scales have historically been described as the “Richter scale”, especially the local magnitude{\displaystyle M_{\text{L}}}M_\text{L} and the surface wave {\displaystyle M_{\text{s}}}M_{\text{s}} scale. In addition, the body wave magnitude{\displaystyle m_{\text{b}}}m_\text{b}, and the moment magnitude{\displaystyle M_{\text{w}}}M_\text{w}, abbreviated MMS, have been widely used for decades. A couple of new techniques to measure magnitude are in the development stage by seismologists.

All magnitude scales have been designed to give numerically similar results. This goal has been achieved well for {\displaystyle M_{\text{L}}}M_\text{L}{\displaystyle M_{\text{s}}}M_{\text{s}}, and {\displaystyle M_{\text{w}}}M_\text{w}.[2][8] The {\displaystyle m_{\text{b}}}m_\text{b} scale gives somewhat different values than the other scales. The reason for so many different ways to measure the same thing is that at different distances, for different hypocentral depths, and for different earthquake sizes, the amplitudes of different types of elastic waves must be measured.

{\displaystyle M_{\text{L}}}M_\text{L} is the scale used for the majority of earthquakes reported (tens of thousands) by local and regional seismological observatories. For large earthquakes worldwide, the moment magnitude scale (MMS) is most common, although {\displaystyle M_{\text{s}}}M_{\text{s}} is also reported frequently.

The seismic moment{\displaystyle M_{o}}M_o, is proportional to the area of the rupture times the average slip that took place in the earthquake, thus it measures the physical size of the event. {\displaystyle M_{\text{w}}}M_\text{w} is derived from it empirically as a quantity without units, just a number designed to conform to the {\displaystyle M_{\text{s}}}M_{\text{s}} scale.[9] A spectral analysis is required to obtain {\displaystyle M_{o}}M_o, whereas the other magnitudes are derived from a simple measurement of the amplitude of a specifically defined wave.

All scales, except {\displaystyle M_{\text{w}}}M_\text{w}, saturate for large earthquakes, meaning they are based on the amplitudes of waves which have a wavelength shorter than the rupture length of the earthquakes. These short waves (high frequency waves) are too short a yardstick to measure the extent of the event. The resulting effective upper limit of measurement for {\displaystyle M_{L}}M_L is about 7[5] and about 8.5[5] for {\displaystyle M_{\text{s}}}M_{\text{s}}.[10]

New techniques to avoid the saturation problem and to measure magnitudes rapidly for very large earthquakes are being developed. One of these is based on the long period P-wave;[11] the other is based on a recently discovered channel wave.[12]

The energy release of an earthquake,[13] which closely correlates to its destructive power, scales with the 32 power of the shaking amplitude. Thus, a difference in magnitude of 1.0 is equivalent to a factor of 31.6 ({\displaystyle =({10^{1.0}})^{(3/2)}}=({10^{1.0}})^{(3/2)}) in the energy released; a difference in magnitude of 2.0 is equivalent to a factor of 1000 ({\displaystyle =({10^{2.0}})^{(3/2)}}=({10^{2.0}})^{(3/2)}) in the energy released.[14] The elastic energy radiated is best derived from an integration of the radiated spectrum, but an estimate can be based on {\displaystyle m_{\text{b}}}m_\text{b} because most energy is carried by the high frequency waves.

Richter magnitudes

Earthquake severity.jpg

The Richter magnitude of an earthquake is determined from the logarithm of the amplitude of waves recorded by seismographs (adjustments are included to compensate for the variation in the distance between the various seismographs and the epicenter of the earthquake). The original formula is:[15]

{\displaystyle M_{\mathrm {L} }=\log _{10}A-\log _{10}A_{\mathrm {0} }(\delta )=\log _{10}[A/A_{\mathrm {0} }(\delta )],\ }M_\mathrm{L} = \log_{10} A - \log_{10} A_\mathrm{0}(\delta) = \log_{10} [A / A_\mathrm{0}(\delta)],\

where A is the maximum excursion of the Wood-Anderson seismograph, the empirical function A0 depends only on the epicentral distance of the station, {\displaystyle \delta }\delta . In practice, readings from all observing stations are averaged after adjustment with station-specific corrections to obtain the {\displaystyle M_{\text{L}}}M_\text{L} value.

Because of the logarithmic basis of the scale, each whole number increase in magnitude represents a tenfold increase in measured amplitude; in terms of energy, each whole number increase corresponds to an increase of about 31.6 times the amount of energy released, and each increase of 0.2 corresponds to a doubling of the energy released.

Events with magnitudes greater than 4.5 are strong enough to be recorded by a seismograph anywhere in the world, so long as its sensors are not located in the earthquake’s shadow.

The following describes the typical effects of earthquakes of various magnitudes near the epicenter. The values are typical only. They should be taken with extreme caution, since intensity and thus ground effects depend not only on the magnitude, but also on the distance to the epicenter, the depth of the earthquake’s focus beneath the epicenter, the location of the epicenter and geological conditions (certain terrains can amplify seismic signals).

Magnitude Description Mercalli intensity Average earthquake effects Average frequency of occurrence (estimated)
1.0–1.9 Micro I Microearthquakes, not felt, or felt rarely. Recorded by seismographs.[16] Continual/several million per year
2.0–2.9 Minor I to II Felt slightly by some people. No damage to buildings. Over one million per year
3.0–3.9 III to IV Often felt by people, but very rarely causes damage. Shaking of indoor objects can be noticeable. Over 100,000 per year
4.0–4.9 Light IV to VI Noticeable shaking of indoor objects and rattling noises. Felt by most people in the affected area. Slightly felt outside. Generally causes none to minimal damage. Moderate to significant damage very unlikely. Some objects may fall off shelves or be knocked over. 10,000 to 15,000 per year
5.0–5.9 Moderate VI to VII Can cause damage of varying severity to poorly constructed buildings. At most, none to slight damage to all other buildings. Felt by everyone. 1,000 to 1,500 per year
6.0–6.9 Strong VIII to X Damage to a moderate number of well-built structures in populated areas. Earthquake-resistant structures survive with slight to moderate damage. Poorly designed structures receive moderate to severe damage. Felt in wider areas; up to hundreds of miles/kilometers from the epicenter. Strong to violent shaking in epicentral area. 100 to 150 per year
7.0–7.9 Major X or greater[17] Causes damage to most buildings, some to partially or completely collapse or receive severe damage. Well-designed structures are likely to receive damage. Felt across great distances with major damage mostly limited to 250 km from epicenter. 10 to 20 per year
8.0–8.9 Great Major damage to buildings, structures likely to be destroyed. Will cause moderate to heavy damage to sturdy or earthquake-resistant buildings. Damaging in large areas. Felt in extremely large regions. One per year
9.0 and greater At or near total destruction – severe damage or collapse to all buildings. Heavy damage and shaking extends to distant locations. Permanent changes in ground topography. One per 10 to 50 years

(Based on U.S. Geological Survey documents.)[18]

The intensity and death toll depend on several factors (earthquake depth, epicenter location, population density, to name a few) and can vary widely.

Minor earthquakes occur every day and hour. On the other hand, great earthquakes occur once a year, on average. The largest recorded earthquake was the Great Chilean earthquake of May 22, 1960, which had a magnitude of 9.5 on the moment magnitude scale.[19]The larger the magnitude, the less frequently the earthquake happens.

Beyond 9.5, while extremely strong earthquakes are theoretically possible, the energies involved rapidly make such earthquakes on Earth effectively impossible without an extremely destructive source of external energy. For example, the asteroid impact that created the Chicxulub crater and caused the mass extinction that may have killed the dinosaurs has been estimated as causing a magnitude 13 earthquake (see below), while a magnitude 15 earthquake could destroy the Earth completely.[citation needed] Seismologist Susan Hough has suggested that 10 may represent a very approximate upper limit, as the effect if the largest known continuous belt of faults ruptured together (along the Pacific coast of the Americas).[20]

Energy release equivalents

The following table lists the approximate energy equivalents in terms of TNT explosive force – though note that the earthquake energy is released underground rather than overground.[21] Most energy from an earthquake is not transmitted to and through the surface; instead, it dissipates into the crust and other subsurface structures. In contrast, a small atomic bomb blast (see nuclear weapon yield) will cause only light shaking of indoor items, since its energy is released above ground.

Approximate magnitude Approximate TNT equivalent for
seismic energy yield
Joule equivalent Example
0.0 15 g 63 kJ
0.2 30 g 130 kJ Large hand grenade
1.5 2.7 kg 11 MJ Seismic impact of typical small construction blast
2.1 21 kg 89 MJ West fertilizer plant explosion[22]
3.0 480 kg 2.0 GJ Oklahoma City bombing, 1995
3.5 2.7 metric tons 11 GJ PEPCON fuel plant explosion, Henderson, Nevada, 1988
3.87 9.5 metric tons 40 GJ Explosion at Chernobyl nuclear power plant, 1986
3.91 11 metric tons 46 GJ Massive Ordnance Air Blast bomb
6.0 15 kilotons 63 TJ Approximate yield of the Little Boy atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima (~16 kt)
7.9 10.7 megatons 45 PJ Tunguska event
8.35 50 megatons 210 PJ Tsar Bomba—Largest thermonuclear weapon ever tested. Most of the energy was dissipated in the atmosphere. The seismic shock was estimated at 5.0–5.2[23]
9.15 800 megatons 3.3 EJ Toba eruption 75,000 years ago; among the largest known volcanic events.[24]
13.0 100 teratons 420 ZJ Yucatán Peninsula impact (creating Chicxulub crater) 65 Ma ago (108 megatons; over 4×1029 ergs = 400 ZJ).[25][26][27][28][29]

Magnitude empirical formulae

These formulae for Richter magnitude {\displaystyle \textstyle M_{\mathrm {L} }}{\displaystyle \textstyle M_{\mathrm {L} }} are alternatives to using Richter correlation tables based on Richter standard seismic event ({\displaystyle M_{\mathrm {L} }}M_{\mathrm {L} }=0, A=0.001mm, D=100 km). Below, {\displaystyle \textstyle \Delta }\textstyle \Delta  is the epicentral distance (in kilometers unless otherwise specified).

The Lillie empirical formula:

{\displaystyle M_{\mathrm {L} }=\log _{10}A-2.48+2.76\log _{10}\Delta ,}{\displaystyle M_{\mathrm {L} }=\log _{10}A-2.48+2.76\log _{10}\Delta ,}

Where {\displaystyle A}A is the amplitude (maximum ground displacement) of the P-wave, in micrometers, measured at 0.8 Hz.

For distances {\displaystyle D}D less than 200 km,

{\displaystyle M_{\mathrm {L} }=\log _{10}A+1.6\log _{10}D-0.15,}{\displaystyle M_{\mathrm {L} }=\log _{10}A+1.6\log _{10}D-0.15,}

and for distances between 200 km and 600 km,

{\displaystyle M_{\mathrm {L} }=\log _{10}A+3.0\log _{10}D-3.38,}{\displaystyle M_{\mathrm {L} }=\log _{10}A+3.0\log _{10}D-3.38,}

where {\displaystyle A}A is seismograph signal amplitude in mm and {\displaystyle D}D is in km.

The Bisztricsany (1958) empirical formula for epicentral distances between 4˚ to 160˚:[30]

{\displaystyle M_{\mathrm {L} }=2.92+2.25\log _{10}(\tau )-0.001\Delta ^{\circ },}{\displaystyle M_{\mathrm {L} }=2.92+2.25\log _{10}(\tau )-0.001\Delta ^{\circ },}

Where {\displaystyle \tau }\tau  is the duration of the surface wave in seconds, and {\displaystyle \Delta }\Delta  is in degrees. {\displaystyle M_{\mathrm {L} }}M_{\mathrm {L} } is mainly between 5 and 8.

The Tsumura empirical formula:[30]

{\displaystyle M_{\mathrm {L} }=-2.53+2.85\log _{10}(F-P)+0.0014\Delta ^{\circ }}M_\mathrm{L} = -2.53 + 2.85 \log_{10} (F-P) + 0.0014 \Delta^{\circ}

Where {\displaystyle F-P}F-P is the total duration of oscillation in seconds. {\displaystyle M_{\mathrm {L} }}M_{\mathrm {L} } is mainly between 3 and 5.

The Tsuboi, University of Tokyo, empirical formula:

{\displaystyle M_{\mathrm {L} }=\log _{10}A+1.73\log _{10}\Delta -0.83}M_\mathrm{L} = \log_{10}A + 1.73\log_{10}\Delta - 0.83

Where {\displaystyle A}A is the amplitude in micrometers.

See also

References

Story 3: Category 5 Hurricane Marie With Sustained Winds of 165 Miles Per Hour Gust 195 MPH Hits Puerto Rico, British and American Virgin Islands, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Guadeloupe — Videos

Hurricane Maria is Crazy Powerful. Puerto Rico Bracing!

Cat 5 Hurricane Aimed at Puerto Rico

Bob Henson discusses the path of Hurricane Maria

Hurricane Maria could be the worst ever for Puerto Rico, meteorologist says

Hurricane Maria Hits Puerto Rico British Virgin Islands Dominica Dominican Republic Guadeloupe 9/19

Rep. Luis Gutierrez on Category 5 Hurricane Maria Barreling Toward Puerto Rico

Live Now Hurricane Maria Category 5 Trash Guadeloupe & Dominica With High Speed Winds (Sep 19, 2017)

CATEGORY 5 ~ HURRICANE MARIA HITS DOMINICA ( Pray for the Dominican republic)

Puerto Rico Faces Hurricane Maria After Irma’s $1 Billion Damage

 
 
  • Governor warns flood-zone residents their lives are in danger
  • Island orders rationing of already scarce basic necessities

Two weeks ago, Puerto Rico was spared a devastating hit when Hurricane Irma ripped up the Caribbean. This time, it may not be so lucky.

 The bankrupt island, already contending with the aftermath of a storm that left as much as $1 billion of damage and hundreds of thousands still without power, faces even more upheaval with Hurricane Maria set to hit as soon as Tuesday night. The government ordered rationing of basic necessities, including water and batteries, although those items were already gone from some San Juan store shelves as residents prepared for what could be the worst storm for the U.S. territory in decades.

Hurricane Maria heading west on Sept. 19.

Source: NOAA

“If you are in a flood zone or in a wood house, your life is in danger,” Governor Ricardo Rossello said during a press conference Monday in San Juan. “There has never been an event like this in our history in the last 100 years. Our call is for all citizens to move to a safe place.”

 Puerto Rico is facing an active hurricane season with little financial ability to navigate a natural catastrophe. It filed for bankruptcy in May after years of economic decline and borrowing to fill budget gaps. A series of defaults have effectively left it unable to raise money in the capital markets. And its aging government-owned electric utility, the Electric Power Authority, is also operating under court protection from creditors. Puerto Rico’s emergency fund stood at about $32 million before Irma passed through.

Prepa, the government-run utility, is still trying to restore power to hundreds of thousands of residents after its electrical infrastructure sustained as much as $400 million of the nearly $1 billion of damage from Irma. It was already in need of upgrades because it relies on oil to produce most of its electricity and the median plant age is 44 years, more than twice the industry average.

“We will not have sustainable electric infrastructure in the near future,” Rossello said. “We will be bringing in crews from outside of Puerto Rico to attend to these measures.”

Rossello’s administration has opened nearly 500 shelters throughout the island and may set up more. Water, batteries, baby food and generators were already scarce in San Juan by Monday evening and motorists waited at least half an hour in line to buy gasoline. Officials estimate the last time the island withstood such a powerful storm was in 1928 with Hurricane San Felipe.

“No matter what happens here in the next 36 hours, Puerto Rico will survive, we will rebuild, we will recover and with your support, we will come out stronger than ever,” Rossello said in a statement Tuesday.

Maria’s threat hasn’t rattled the bond market, given that Puerto Rico has already defaulted and is seeking to have some of its debts discharged in bankruptcy. While its securities were actively traded as the storm gathered force, Puerto Rico debt maturing in 2035 changed hands Tuesday at an average price of 56.7 cents on the dollar, the lowest level since Sept. 1, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

The island is mostly insured by local firms, though has been seeking more international interest, according to a report published last year by the commonwealth’s commissioner of insurance’s office. Universal Insurance Group of Puerto Rico is the No. 1 provider of home coverage on the island, with almost 62 percent market share, according to data compiled by ratings firm A.M. Best. MAPFRE North America Group, ranked second with 22.5 percent of the market, is a unit of Spanish insurer Mapfre SA.

— With assistance by Sonali Basak

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-09-19/puerto-rico-faces-hurricane-maria-after-irma-s-1-billion-damage

Saffir–Simpson scale

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Saffir–Simpson scale
Category Wind speeds
Five ≥70 m/s, ≥137 knots, ≥157 mph,≥252 km/h
Four 58–70 m/s, 113–136 knots,130–156 mph, 209–251 km/h
Three 50–58 m/s, 96–112 knots,111–129 mph, 178–208 km/h
Two 43–49 m/s, 83–95 knots,96–110 mph, 154–177 km/h
One 33–42 m/s, 64–82 knots,74–95 mph, 119–153 km/h
Related classifications
Tropical storm 18–32 m/s, 34–63 knots,39–73 mph, 63–118 km/h
Tropical depression ≤17 m/s, ≤33 knots, ≤38 mph,≤62 km/h

The Saffir–Simpson hurricane wind scale (SSHWS), formerly the Saffir–Simpson hurricane scale (SSHS), classifies hurricanes – Western Hemisphere tropical cyclones that exceed the intensities of tropical depressions and tropical storms – into five categories distinguished by the intensities of their sustained winds. To be classified as a hurricane, a tropical cyclone must have maximum sustained winds of at least 74 mph (33 m/s; 64 kn; 119 km/h) (Category 1). The highest classification in the scale, Category 5, contains storms with sustained winds exceeding 156 mph (70 m/s; 136 kn; 251 km/h).

The classifications can provide some indication of the potential damage and flooding a hurricane will cause upon landfall.

Officially, the Saffir–Simpson hurricane wind scale is used only to describe hurricanes forming in the Atlantic Ocean and northern Pacific Ocean east of the International Date Line. Other areas use different scales to label these storms, which are called “cyclones” or “typhoons“, depending on the area.

There is some criticism of the SSHS for not taking rain, storm surge, and other important factors into consideration, but SSHS defenders say that part of the goal of SSHS is to be straightforward and simple to understand.

The scale was developed in 1971 by civil engineer Herbert Saffir and meteorologist Robert Simpson, who at the time was director of the U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC).[1] The scale was introduced to the general public in 1973,[2] and saw widespread use after Neil Frank replaced Simpson at the helm of the NHC in 1974.[3]

The initial scale was developed by Saffir, a structural engineer, who in 1969 went on commission for the United Nations to study low-cost housing in hurricane-prone areas.[4] While performing the study, Saffir realized there was no simple scale for describing the likely effects of a hurricane. Mirroring the utility of the Richter magnitude scale in describing earthquakes, he devised a 1–5 scale based on wind speed that showed expected damage to structures. Saffir gave the scale to the NHC, and Simpson added the effects of storm surgeand flooding.

In 2009, the NHC made moves to eliminate pressure and storm surge ranges from the categories, transforming it into a pure wind scale, called the Saffir–Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale (Experimental) [SSHWS].[5] The new scale became operational on May 15, 2010.[6]The scale excludes flood ranges, storm surge estimations, rainfall, and location, which means a Category 2 hurricane which hits a major city will likely do far more cumulative damage than a Category 5 hurricane that hits a rural area.[7] The agency cited various hurricanes as reasons for removing the “scientifically inaccurate” information, including Hurricane Katrina (2005) and Hurricane Ike (2008), which both had stronger than estimated storm surges, and Hurricane Charley (2004), which had weaker than estimated storm surge.[8] Since removed from the Saffir–Simpson hurricane wind scale, storm surge predicting and modeling is now handled with the use of a computerized numerical model developed by the National Weather Service called “Sea, Lake, and Overland Surge from Hurricanes” (SLOSH).

In 2012, the NHC expanded the windspeed range for Category 4 by 1 mph in both directions, to 130–156 mph, with corresponding changes in the other units (113–136 kn, 209–251 km/h), instead of 131–155 mph (114–135 kn, 210–249 km/h). The NHC and the Central Pacific Hurricane Center assign tropical cyclone intensities in 5 knot increments, and then convert to mph and km/h with a similar rounding for other reports. So an intensity of 115 knots is rated Category 4, but the conversion to miles per hour (132.3 mph) would round down to 130 mph, making it appear to be a Category 3 storm. Likewise, an intensity of 135 knots (~155 mph, and thus Category 4) is 250.02 km/h, which according to the definition used before the change would be Category 5. To resolve these issues, the NHC had been obliged to incorrectly report storms with wind speeds of 115 kn as 135 mph, and 135 kn as 245 km/h. The change in definition allows storms of 115 kn to be correctly rounded down to 130 mph, and storms of 135 kn to be correctly reported as 250 km/h, and still qualify as Category 4. Since the NHC had previously rounded incorrectly to keep storms in Category 4 in each unit of measure, the change does not affect the classification of storms from previous years.[5] The new scale became operational on May 15, 2012.[9]

Categories

The scale separates hurricanes into five different categories based on wind. The U.S. National Hurricane Center classifies hurricanes of Category 3 and above as major hurricanes, and the Joint Typhoon Warning Center classifies typhoons of 150 mph or greater (strong Category 4 and Category 5) as super typhoons (although all tropical cyclones can be very dangerous). Most weather agencies use the definition for sustained winds recommended by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), which specifies measuring winds at a height of 33 ft (10.1 m) for 10 minutes, and then taking the average. By contrast, the U.S. National Weather ServiceCentral Pacific Hurricane Center and the Joint Typhoon Warning Center define sustained winds as average winds over a period of one minute, measured at the same 33 ft (10.1 m) height,[10][11] and that is the definition used for this scale. Intensity of example hurricanes is from both the time of landfall and the maximum intensity.

The scale is roughly logarithmic in wind speed, and the top wind speed for Category “c” (c=1 to 4, as there is no upper limit for category 5) can be expressed as 83×10^(c/15) miles per hour rounded to the nearest multiple of 5 – except that after the change mentioned above, Category 4 is now widened by 1 mph in each direction.

The five categories are, in order of increasing intensity:[12]

Category 1

Category 1
Sustained winds Most Recent
33–42 m/s
64–82 kn
119–153 km/h
74–95 mph
Max 2017-09-14 1705Z.jpgHurricane Max shortly before landfall in Mexico in September 2017.

Very dangerous winds will produce some damage

Category 1 storms usually cause no significant structural damage to most well-constructed permanent structures; however, they can topple unanchored mobile homes, as well as uproot or snap weak trees. Poorly attached roof shingles or tiles can blow off. Coastal flooding and pier damage are often associated with Category 1 storms. Power outages are typically widespread to extensive, sometimes lasting several days. Even though it is the least intense type of hurricane, the storm can still produce widespread damage and can be a life-threatening storm.[5]

Hurricanes that peaked at Category 1 intensity, and made landfall at that intensity include: Flossy (1956), Gladys (1968), Agnes (1972), Juan (1985), Ismael (1995), Claudette (2003), Gaston (2004), Stan (2005), Humberto (2007), Isaac (2012), Manuel (2013), Earl (2016), Hermine (2016), Newton (2016), Franklin (2017), and Max (2017).

Category 2[edit]

Category 2
Sustained winds Most Recent
43–49 m/s
83–95 kn
154–177 km/h
96–110 mph
Arthur Jul 3 2014 1615Z.jpg
Arthur in 2014 approaching North Carolina.

Extremely dangerous winds will cause extensive damage

Storms of Category 2 intensity often damage roofing material (sometimes exposing the roof) and inflict damage upon poorly constructed doors and windows. Poorly constructed signs and piers can receive considerable damage and many trees are uprooted or snapped. Mobile homes, whether anchored or not, are typically damaged and sometimes destroyed, and many manufactured homes also suffer structural damage. Small craft in unprotected anchorages may break their moorings. Extensive to near-total power outages and scattered loss of potable water are likely, possibly lasting many days.[5]

Hurricanes that peaked at Category 2 intensity, and made landfall at that intensity include: Able (1952), Alice (1954), Fifi (1974), Diana (1990), Calvin (1993), Gert (1993), Rosa (1994), Erin (1995), Alma (1996), Juan (2003), Alex (2010), Richard (2010), Tomas (2010), Carlotta (2012), Ernesto (2012), and Arthur (2014).

Category 3

Category 3
Sustained winds Most Recent
50–58 m/s
96–112 kn
178–208 km/h
111–129 mph
Otto 2016-11-24 1605Z.jpg
Otto near its landfall on Nicaragua.

Devastating damage will occur

Tropical cyclones of Category 3 and higher are described as major hurricanes in the Atlantic or Eastern Pacific basins. These storms can cause some structural damage to small residences and utility buildings, particularly those of wood frame or manufactured materials with minor curtain wall failures. Buildings that lack a solid foundation, such as mobile homes, are usually destroyed, and gable-end roofs are peeled off. Manufactured homes usually sustain severe and irreparable damage. Flooding near the coast destroys smaller structures, while larger structures are struck by floating debris. A large number of trees are uprooted or snapped, isolating many areas. Additionally, terrain may be flooded well inland. Near-total to total power loss is likely for up to several weeks and water will likely also be lost or contaminated.[5]

Hurricanes that peaked at Category 3 intensity, and made landfall at that intensity include: Easy (1950), Carol (1954), Hilda (1955), Celia (1970), Ella (1970), Eloise (1975), Olivia (1975), Alicia (1983), Elena (1985), Roxanne (1995), Fran (1996), Isidore (2002), Lane (2006), Karl (2010), Sandy (2012) and Otto (2016).

Category 4[edit]

Category 4
Sustained winds Most Recent
58–70 m/s
113–136 kn
209–251 km/h
130–156 mph
Harvey 2017-08-25 2231Z.png
Harvey in August 2017 shortly before its Texaslandfall.

Catastrophic damage will occur

Category 4 hurricanes tend to produce more extensive curtainwall failures, with some complete structural failure on small residences. Heavy, irreparable damage and near complete destruction of gas station canopies and other wide span overhang type structures are common. Mobile and manufactured homes are often flattened. Most trees, except for the heartiest, are uprooted or snapped, isolating many areas. These storms cause extensive beach erosion, while terrain may be flooded far inland. Total and long-lived electrical and water losses are to be expected, possibly for many weeks.[5]

The 1900 Galveston hurricane, the deadliest natural disaster to hit the United States, peaked at an intensity that corresponds to a modern-day Category 4 storm. Other examples of storms that peaked at Category 4 intensity, and made landfall at that intensity include: Hazel (1954), Gracie (1959), Flora (1963), Cleo (1964), Betsy (1965), Frederic (1979), Joan (1988), Iniki (1992), Luis (1995), Iris (2001), Charley (2004), Dennis(2005), Gustav (2008), Ike (2008), Joaquin (2015), and Harvey (2017).

Category 5

Category 5
Sustained winds Most Recent
≥ 70 m/s
≥ 137 kn
≥ 252 km/h
≥ 157 mph
Maria Geostationary VIS-IR 2017.pngMaria in September 2017 approaching landfall on Dominica.

Cataclysmic damage will occur

Category 5 is the highest category of the Saffir–Simpson scale. These storms cause complete roof failure on many residences and industrial buildings, and some complete building failures with small utility buildings blown over or away. Collapse of many wide-span roofs and walls, especially those with no interior supports, is common. Very heavy and irreparable damage to many wood frame structures and total destruction to mobile/manufactured homes is prevalent. Only a few types of structures are capable of surviving intact, and only if located at least 3 to 5 miles (5 to 8 km) inland. They include office, condominium and apartment buildings and hotels that are of solid concrete or steel frame construction, public multi-story concrete parking garages, and residences that are made of either reinforced brick or concrete/cement block and have hipped roofs with slopes of no less than 35 degrees from horizontal and no overhangs of any kind, and if the windows are either made of hurricane-resistant safety glass or covered with shutters. Unless all of these requirements are met, the absolute destruction of a structure is certain.[5]

The storm’s flooding causes major damage to the lower floors of all structures near the shoreline, and many coastal structures can be completely flattened or washed away by the storm surge. Virtually all trees are uprooted or snapped and some may be debarked, isolating most affected communities. Massive evacuation of residential areas may be required if the hurricane threatens populated areas. Total and extremely long-lived power outages and water losses are to be expected, possibly for up to several months.[5]

Historical examples of storms that made landfall at Category 5 status include: “Cuba” (1924), “Okeechobee” (1928), “Bahamas” (1932), “Cuba–Brownsville” (1933), “Labor Day” (1935), Janet (1955), Camille (1969), Edith (1971), Anita (1977), David (1979), Gilbert (1988), Andrew (1992), Dean (2007), Felix (2007), Irma (2017),[13] and Maria (2017).[14] No Category 5 hurricane is known to have made landfall at that strength in the eastern Pacific basin.

Criticism

Some scientists, including Kerry Emanuel and Lakshmi Kantha, have criticized the scale as being simplistic, indicating that the scale takes into account neither the physical size of a storm nor the amount of precipitation it produces.[7] Additionally, they and others point out that the Saffir–Simpson scale, unlike the Richter scale used to measure earthquakes, is not continuous, and is quantized into a small number of categories. Proposed replacement classifications include the Hurricane Intensity Index, which is based on the dynamic pressure caused by a storm’s winds, and the Hurricane Hazard Index, which bases itself on surface wind speeds, the radius of maximum winds of the storm, and its translational velocity.[15][16] Both of these scales are continuous, akin to the Richter scale;[17] however, neither of these scales have been used by officials.

“Category 6”

After the series of powerful storm systems of the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season, a few newspaper columnists and scientists brought up the suggestion of introducing Category 6, and they have suggested pegging Category 6 to storms with winds greater than 174 or 180 mph (78 or 80 m/s; 151 or 156 kn; 280 or 290 km/h).[7][18] Only a few storms of this intensity have been recorded. Of the 33 hurricanes currently considered to have attained Category 5 status in the Atlantic, 17 had wind speeds at 175 mph (78 m/s; 152 kn; 282 km/h) or greater and only seven had wind speeds at 180 mph (80 m/s; 160 kn; 290 km/h) or greater (the 1935 Labor Day hurricaneAllenGilbertMitchRitaWilma, and Irma). Of the 15 hurricanes currently considered to have attained Category 5 status in the eastern Pacific, only six had wind speeds at 175 mph (78 m/s; 152 kn; 282 km/h) or greater (PatsyJohnLindaRick, and Patricia), and only three had wind speeds at 180 mph (80 m/s; 160 kn; 290 km/h) or greater (Linda, Rick, and Patricia). However, most storms which would be eligible for this category were typhoons in the western Pacific, most notably Typhoon Tip in 1979 with sustained winds of 190 mph (310 km/h) and typhoons Haiyan and Meranti in 2013 and 2016, respectively, with sustained winds of 195 mph (314 km/h).[19]

According to Robert Simpson, there are no reasons for a Category 6 on the Saffir–Simpson Scale because it is designed to measure the potential damage of a hurricane to human-made structures. Simpson stated that “…when you get up into winds in excess of 155 mph (249 km/h) you have enough damage if that extreme wind sustains itself for as much as six seconds on a building it’s going to cause rupturing damages that are serious no matter how well it’s engineered.”[3] Despite his statements, the counties of Broward and Miami-Dade in Florida have building codes which require critical infrastructure buildings to be able to withstand hurricane winds of 156 and up,[20] which contradicts Mr. Simpson’s assessment of building strength. Absent a “Category 6”, governments have no guidance as to where “up” should end.

See also

References

  1. Jump up^ Williams, Jack (May 17, 2005). “Hurricane scale invented to communicate storm danger”USA Today. Retrieved February 25, 2007.
  2. Jump up^ Staff writer (May 9, 1973). “’73, Hurricanes to be Graded”. Associated Press. Archived from the original on May 19, 2016. Retrieved December 8, 2007.
  3. Jump up to:a b Debi Iacovelli (July 2001). “The Saffir/Simpson Hurricane Scale: An Interview with Dr. Robert Simpson”Sun-Sentinel. Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Retrieved September 10, 2006.
  4. Jump up^ Press Writer (August 23, 2001). “Hurricanes shaped life of scale inventor”. Retrieved March 20, 2016.[dead link]
  5. Jump up to:a b c d e f g h The Saffir–Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale National Hurricane Center. Accessed 2009-05-15.
  6. Jump up^ National Hurricane Operations Plan Archived July 8, 2011, at the Wayback Machine., NOAA. Accessed July 3, 2010.
  7. Jump up to:a b c Ker Than (October 20, 2005). “Wilma’s Rage Suggests New Hurricane Categories Needed”LiveScience. Retrieved October 20, 2005.
  8. Jump up^ “Experimental Saffir–Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale” (PDF). National Hurricane Center. 2009.
  9. Jump up^ Public Information StatementNOAA. Accessed March 9, 2012.
  10. Jump up^ Tropical Cyclone Weather Services Program (June 1, 2006). “Tropical cyclone definitions” (PDF). National Weather Service. Retrieved November 30, 2006.
  11. Jump up^ Federal Emergency Management Agency (2004). “Hurricane Glossary of Terms”. Archived from the original on December 14, 2005. Retrieved March 24, 2006. Accessed through the Wayback Machine.
  12. Jump up^ “Name That Hurricane: Famous Examples of the 5 Hurricane Categories”Live Science. Retrieved 2017-09-11.
  13. Jump up^ “Famous Hurricanes of the 20th and 21st Century in the United States” (PDF). http://www.weather.gov/crh/.
  14. Jump up^ Brown, Daniel. “Hurricane Maria Tropical Cyclone Update”. National Hurricane Center. Retrieved 19 September 2017.
  15. Jump up^ Kantha, L. (January 2006). “Time to Replace the Saffir–Simpson Hurricane Scale?” (PDF). Eos87 (1): 3, 6. Bibcode:2006EOSTr..87….3Kdoi:10.1029/2006eo010003. Retrieved December 8, 2007.
  16. Jump up^ Kantha, Lakshmi (February 2008). “Tropical Cyclone Destructive Potential by Integrated Kinetic Energy” (PDF). Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society. Boston: American Meteorological Society89 (2): 219–221. Bibcode:2008BAMS…89..219Kdoi:10.1175/BAMS-89-2-219.
  17. Jump up^ Benfield Hazard Research Centre (2006). “Atmospheric Hazards”Hazard & Risk Science Review 2006University College London. Retrieved December 8, 2007.
  18. Jump up^ Bill Blakemore (May 21, 2006). “Category 6 Hurricanes? They’ve Happened: Global Warming Winds Up Hurricane Scientists as NOAA Issues Its Atlantic Hurricane Predictions for Summer 2006”ABC News. Retrieved September 10, 2006.
  19. Jump up^ Debi Iacovelli and Tim Vasquez (1998). “Supertyphoon Tip: Shattering all records” (PDF). Monthly Weather Log. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved September 19, 2010.
  20. Jump up^ Jennifer Kay (September 2017). “Irma could test strength of Florida’s strict building codes”The_Washington_Post. Washington, DC. Retrieved September 16, 2017.

External links

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saffir%E2%80%93Simpson_scale

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The Pronk Pops Show 966, September 18, 2017, Story 1: Two Islamic Terrorists Arrested For London Train Attack — United Kingdom Threat Level Lowered From Critical to Severe — Elderly Couple Took in Several Hundred Forster Children Over The Years Including Two Suspected Terrorists — Trump: “Loser Terrorist” and “Sick and Demented” — 21-year-old Syrian refugee Yahyah Farroukh Named Suspect — Videos — Story 2: Trump Wants To Increase CIA Drone Attacks — Videos — Story 3: Third Night of Violence in St. Louis — Protesters and Vandals Damage Property With Over 120 Arrests and 11 Police Injured — Videos

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Image result for President Trump tweet on London terrerorist Attack Parson Green September 15, 2017

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Story 1: Two Islamic Terrorists Arrested For London Train Attack — United Kingdom Threat Level Lowered From Critical to Severe — Elderly Couple Took in Several Hundred Forster Children Over The Years Including Two Suspected Terrorists — Trump: “Loser Terrorist” and “Sick and Demented” — 21-year-old Syrian refugee Yahyah Farroukh Named Suspect — Videos —

Police nab second suspect over London bombing

UK Police make second arrest in Parsons Green terror attack

UK Police Make Arrest In London Subway Blast

Parsons Green: Home raided by police owned by couple ‘who took in children & refugees’

Teenager held over parsons green bomb was arrested in Dover port departure area

Nigel Farage on the London Train Attack and More

UK terror threat lowered to severe after subway bombing

 

The Parsons Green tube bomb suspect has been named

 

UK police quiz 2 ex-foster children over London subway bomb

 

LONDON (AP) – The two suspects detained over last week’s London subway bombing are an 18-year-old refugee from Iraq and a 21-year old from Syria, both of whom were fostered by a British couple, according to a local official and media reports.

The 18-year-old was detained Saturday at the southeast England port of Dover, a departure point for ferries to France. The 21-year-old was held later the same day in Hounslow in west London. Photos published by the Sun newspaper showed a man being detained outside a fast-food restaurant in Hounslow, which was searched by police.

Both men are being held under the Terrorism Act and are being questioned at a London police station about Friday’s attack. Neither has been charged.

A man walks into Aladdins, a fast food restaurant in Hounslow, London, Monday, Sept. 18, 2017. The two suspects detained over last week's London subway bombing are an 18-year-old refugee from Iraq and a 21-year old believed to be from Syria, both of whom were fostered by a British couple, according to a local official and media reports. The 18-year-old was detained Saturday at the southeast England port of Dover, a departure point for ferries to France. The 21-year-old was held later the same day in Hounslow in west London. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)

A man walks into Aladdins, a fast food restaurant in Hounslow, London, Monday, Sept. 18, 2017. The two suspects detained over last week’s London subway bombing are an 18-year-old refugee from Iraq and a 21-year old believed to be from Syria, both of whom were fostered by a British couple, according to a local official and media reports. The 18-year-old was detained Saturday at the southeast England port of Dover, a departure point for ferries to France. The 21-year-old was held later the same day in Hounslow in west London. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)

Thirty people were injured when an improvised explosive device partly exploded aboard a crowded London Underground train at Parsons Green station during the morning rush hour. None of the injuries was life-threatening, and experts said it appears the main charge of the bomb didn’t detonate.

After the rush-hour bombing, British officials raised the country’s terror threat level to the highest level, “critical,” meaning an attack may be imminent. They lowered it Sunday to “severe,” and police said the investigation was making rapid progress.

Police searched three addresses, including the house in suburban Sunbury, outside London, of Penelope and Ronald Jones. The couple has been honored by Queen Elizabeth II for fostering more than 200 children, including refugees from Middle Eastern conflicts.

Ian Harvey, who heads local Spelthorne Borough Council, said he believed the 18-year-old was an Iraqi orphan who moved to the U.K. when he was 15 after his parents died and had lived in the Sunbury house.

He said the 21-year-old was also a former foster child of the Joneses. Sky News and other British media named him as Yahyah Farroukh, who is originally from Syria.

West Thames College in West London said in a statement that “Yahyah Farroukh, who, according to media reports is the second suspect detained in connection with the Parsons Green incident, was a former student at the college from December 2013 to June 2015.” It said he began attending courses when he was 17 to learn English.

Suleman Sarwar, co-owner of Aladdin’s Fried Chicken in Hounslow, said Farroukh worked there and was arrested by police Saturday night at the end of his shift.

Stephen Griffiths, who lives across the street from Penelope and Ronald Jones, said police had visited the house several times, most recently two or three weeks ago.

“The police were there multiple times over the span of about a month – a few times a week,” he said.

“You always think foster kids are going to have a bit of trouble, but you don’t think terrorism,” he added.

Footage obtained by broadcaster ITV shows a man near the Sunbury address Friday morning carrying a bag from Lidl supermarket. Images posted on social media following the attack appeared to show wires protruding from a flaming bucket contained in a Lidl bag on the floor of the train carriage.

Commuters returned to Parsons Green station Monday for the first morning rush hour since the bombing. Police asked the traveling public to be vigilant and said there would be more armed police on the transit network for the time being.

Most of the injured in Friday’s explosion aboard a District Line train suffered flash burns while some were injured in the panicked rush to leave.

The Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for the attack, but British officials say there is no proof yet that it was involved.

Four other violent attacks in Britain this year have killed 36 people. Three were the work of attackers motivated by Islamic extremism, and one by anti-Muslim hatred.

In the deadliest attack, a suicide bomber struck a packed concert hall in Manchester in northern England, killing 22 people. The other attacks, near Parliament, on London Bridge and near a mosque in Finsbury Park in north London, involved vehicles and, in two cases, knives.

___

Frank Griffiths and Gregory Katz contributed to this report.

A police officer stands by a cordon on Cavendish Road, in Sunbury-on-Thames, in England, Monday, Sept. 18, 2017. The two suspects detained over last week's London subway bombing are an 18-year-old refugee from Iraq and a 21-year old believed to be from Syria, both of whom were fostered by a British couple, according to a local official and media reports. Police searched three addresses, including the house in suburban Sunbury, outside London, of Penelope and Ronald Jones. The couple has been honored by Queen Elizabeth II for fostering more than 200 children, including refugees from Middle Eastern conflicts. (Dominic Lipinski/PA via AP)

A police officer stands by a cordon on Cavendish Road, in Sunbury-on-Thames, in England, Monday, Sept. 18, 2017. The two suspects detained over last week’s London subway bombing are an 18-year-old refugee from Iraq and a 21-year old believed to be from Syria, both of whom were fostered by a British couple, according to a local official and media reports. Police searched three addresses, including the house in suburban Sunbury, outside London, of Penelope and Ronald Jones. The couple has been honored by Queen Elizabeth II for fostering more than 200 children, including refugees from Middle Eastern conflicts. (Dominic Lipinski/PA via AP)

Commuters are seen on the platform at Parsons Green station in London, Monday, Sept. 18, 2017. A bucket wrapped in an insulated bag caught fire on a packed London subway train at Parsons Green station on Friday Sept. 15, police are treating it as a terrorist incident. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)
 Commuters are seen on the platform at Parsons Green station in London, Monday, Sept. 18, 2017. A bucket wrapped in an insulated bag caught fire on a packed London subway train at Parsons Green station on Friday Sept. 15, police are treating it as a terrorist incident. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)

This image made from CCTV video obtained by ITN on Sunday Sept. 17, 2017, shows what they say is a person leaving the property in Sunbury, England, on Friday, which was raided in connection with the subway bombing in London. British broadcaster ITN have released CCTV footage of what they say shows a person leaving the property in Sunbury-on-Thames where police carried out a raid in connection with Friday's bombing in London. (ITN via AP)

Commuters wait on the platform at Parsons Green station in London, Monday, Sept. 18, 2017. A bucket wrapped in an insulated bag caught fire on a packed London subway train at Parsons Green station on Friday Sept. 15, police are treating it as a terrorist incident. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)

Commuters wait on the platform at Parsons Green station in London, Monday, Sept. 18, 2017. A bucket wrapped in an insulated bag caught fire on a packed London subway train at Parsons Green station on Friday Sept. 15, police are treating it as a terrorist incident. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)

Commuters use the street and station at Parsons Green in London, Monday, Sept. 18, 2017. A bucket wrapped in an insulated bag caught fire on a packed London subway train at Parsons Green station on Friday Sept. 15, police are treating it as a terrorist incident. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)

Commuters use Parsons Green station in London, Monday, Sept. 18, 2017. A bucket wrapped in an insulated bag caught fire on a packed London subway train at Parsons Green station on Friday Sept. 15, police are treating it as a terrorist incident. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)

Transport police keep guard at Parsons Green station in London, Monday, Sept. 18, 2017. A bucket wrapped in an insulated bag caught fire on a packed London subway train at Parsons Green station on Friday Sept. 15, police are treating it as a terrorist incident. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)

An armed police officer stands nearby after an incident on a tube train at Parsons Green subway station in London, Friday, Sept. 15, 2017. A reported explosion at the train station sent commuters stampeding in panic, injuring several people on Friday at the height of London's morning rush hour, and police said they were investigating it as a terrorist attack. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)

Police forces guard the entrance following Friday's incident on a tube at Parsons Green Station in London, Sunday, Sept. 17, 2017. A manhunt is under way after an improvised explosive device was detonated on a crowded subway car, injuring at least 29 people. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)

FILE - In this Feb. 12, 2010 file photo, Penelope and Ronald Jones receive their MBEs for serving children and families from Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace, in London. Police on Saturday launched a massive armed search in the southwestern London suburb of Sunbury which is believed to include the home of foster carer Jones and her husband after an 18 year-old man was arrested in connection with the London subway attack on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017. (Lewis Whyld/PA via AP, File)

FILE - In this Feb. 12, 2010 file photo, Penelope Jones receives her MBE for serving children and families from Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace, in London. Police on Saturday launched a massive armed search in the southwestern London suburb of Sunbury which is believed to include the home of foster carer Jones and her husband after an 18 year-old man was arrested in connection with the London subway attack on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017. (Lewis Whyld/PA via AP, File)

A train pulls in to the platform at Parsons Green tube station in London, Monday, Sept. 18, 2017. A bucket wrapped in an insulated bag caught fire on a packed London subway train at Parsons Green station on Friday Sept. 15, police are treating it as a terrorist incident. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)

Parsons Green attack: Police raid foster carers’ home in west London as 18-year-old man is arrested in Dover

Armed police raided the home of two respected foster carers in their hunt for the bomb factory used by the Parsons Green bomber today, just hours after arresting an 18-year-old man close to the port of Dover.

The rapidly moving developments came a day after commuters fled in terror after a homemade bomb partially detonated on a District Line train, injuring 29 people.

Kent police detained the teenager close to the Port of Dover at 7.50am on suspicion of being a terrorist, describing it as a “significant arrest”.

 Police officers were later seen searching bins close to Dover Priory rail station a few minutes walk from the port.

The suspect is due to be moved to a south London police station tonight.

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu, of the Metropolitan Police, said: “We have made a significant arrest in our investigation this morning. Although we are pleased with the progress made, this investigation continues and the threat level remains at critical.

“The public should remain vigilant. This arrest will lead to more activity from our officers.”

The arrest place to close to the busiest ferry hub in Europe, which serves as a commercial gateway to the French coast, including Calais and Dunkirk – raising the prospect the suspect could have been attempting to leave the country.

Mrs Penelope Jones and Mr Ronald Jones from Sunbury-on-Thames are made MBEs by Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace.
Mrs Penelope Jones and Mr Ronald Jones from Sunbury-on-Thames are made MBEs by Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace. CREDIT: LEWIS WHYLD/PA ARCHIVE 

Five hours later armed police backed by the bomb squad arrived at an address in Sunbury-on-Thames, south west London, and began evacuating residents from surrounding homes.

The elderly owners of the Cavendish Road property, Penelope and Ronald Jones, are a dedicated foster couple who have taken in hundreds of young people since 1970, including refugees from several countries.

In 2009 Mr and Mrs Jones were appointed MBEs for services to children and families. The honour was presented to them by the Queen at a ceremony at Buckingham Palace.

Mrs Jones, 71, and her husband, 88, said at the time: “We open our hearts to all the children. Anybody that comes to us we will do whatever we can to help them with whatever they need.”

Their home is 11 miles from Parsons Green and on the overground rail line to Wimbledon, which is on the District Line. The couple were unavailable for comment.

A neighbour who gave her name as Daphne, who lives opposite the house that was raided on Cavendish Road, said: ”I am so worried about Ron and Penny, they are a lovely couple.”

The white bucket that is said to have blown up on the Parsons Green carriage
The improvised explosive device in a white bucket blew up on the final carriage of the Parsons Green train CREDIT: PRICEY1983AA/TWITTER

Mojgan Jamali, who lives close to the house, said: “I was in my house with my children and there was a knock at the door from the police.

“They told me to leave. They said: ‘You have one minute to get out of the house and get away.’

“I just got out, I got my three children and we left the house and the street.”

Friday’s device reportedly contained the explosive triacetone triperoxide (TATP) and nails, but is thought to have only partially detonated from inside a bucket.

There were fears the number of those hurt could have been much higher had the bomb, which was concealed within a supermarket carrier bag, fully exploded.

It is not yet known whether the device, which was reportedly fixed with a timer, went off at its intended target or whether it was intended to go off further into central London.

 The train, which was bound for Edgware Road, was just pulling into the station in south-west London when the device detonated in the rear carriage, sending passengers fleeing to safety.

Parsons Green station was reopened in the early hours of Saturday.

Amber Rudd, the Home Secretary, speaking after a meeting of the Government’s Cobra emergency committee, said: “There is no doubt that this was a serious IED, it was good fortune that it did so little damage in fact.”

Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley said police were “chasing down suspects”, indicating that a potential network of plotters could have been involved in the Parsons Green attack.

The Met said it has spoken to 45 witnesses and 77 images and videos have been sent to detectives by members of the public.

A key plank of the investigation has focused on CCTV, with officers combing through footage to establish who planted the device, and when and where it was placed on the train.

Security minister Ben Wallace suggested CCTV images of the bomber could be released as part of the manhunt, but Scotland Yard subsequently denied there were any plans to do so.

Troops have been dispatched to key sites across the country to free up armed police officers after the country’s terror threat level was raised to its highest point.

The threat level remains at critical, which means a further attack is feared to be imminent.

In a move to reassure Londoners, the Met Commissioner Cressida Dick joined uniformed officers on patrol, travelling by tube to Waterloo Station and walking along the South Bank.

The army will deploy troops at key locations around the capital in order to free up police who were last night involved in a huge manhunt to catch the terrorist responsible for the failed Parsons Green bomb attack, which Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant claimed responsibility.

Witnesses described scenes of terror and panic after the blast sent a “fireball” and a “wall of flame” through a District line service in west London.

But the main device, which had been fitted with a crude timer using shop-bought fairy lights, failed to detonate, meaning hundreds of people were spared death and serious injury.

Anti-terror police are understood to be working on the theory that the bomb was detonated early by accident and that the intended target may have been the Tube station at Westminster.

A police officer at the entrance to Parsons Green after the station re-opened overnight CREDIT:JONATHAN BRADY/PA WIRE

The attack – the fifth terrorist attack on the UK in just six months – caused a diplomatic row between Washington and London.

Donald Trump seemed to accuse the Metropolitan Police of knowing the identity of the attacker in advance but failing to prevent the bombing. Mr Trump posted on Twitter: “Another attack in London by a loser terrorist. These are sick and demented people who were in the sights of Scotland Yard. Must be proactive!”

His claim earned the US President a stiff rebuke from Theresa May. “I never think it’s helpful for anybody to speculate on what is an ongoing investigation,” said the prime minister. “The police and security services are working to discover the full circumstances of this cowardly attack and to identify all those responsible.”

Despite Mr Trump’s suggestion that the terrorist was known to police, counter-terrorism sources insisted that was not the case and that the hunt for the perpetrator of the bombing on a District Line train was ongoing.

An injured woman is assisted by a police officer close to Parsons Green station
An injured woman is assisted by a police officer close to Parsons Green station CREDIT: STEFAN ROUSSEAU/PA

Counter terrorism specialists from Scotland Yard were working to establish his identity from CCTV footage on the train and at stations on the line. They were also combing through records of payments with Oyster cards used to buy Tube tickets.

One theory is the suspected bomber may have fled the scene among the stampede of panicking passengers and escaped among the crowds.

They were also uncertain that Parsons Green was not the planned target, pointing to reports that the bomb, which was packed with shrapnel and contained a timing device, had apparently malfunctioned.

Witnesses reported seeing people “covered in blood” after a “flash and a bang” from the device, but sent a “fireball” through the packed Tube train.

Pictures and video posted on social media showed a flaming bucket – which appeared to have wires coming from it – inside a Lidl carrier bag on the floor of a carriage.

The device is not believed to have fully detonated and it is reported that it could have been set off on a timer.

More follows – stay with us for the latest updates through the day

House raided belonged to respected foster carers

The Sunbury-on-Thames property was owned by Penelope and Ronald Jones, who were appointed MBE in 2009 for services to children and families.

Neighbours described them as a “lovely couple” and said they were worried for them.

Police search home of foster carers over London bomb attack

 00:38

The elderly couple were given their awards by the Queen at a ceremony at Buckingham Palace.

At the time Mrs Jones said: “We open our hearts to all the children. Anybody that comes to us we will do whatever we can to help them with whatever they need.”

Mrs Penelope Jones and Mr Ronald Jones from Sunbury On Thames are made MBEs by Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace. 
Mrs Penelope Jones and Mr Ronald Jones from Sunbury On Thames are made MBEs by Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace.  CREDIT: LEWIS WHYLD/PA ARCHIVE 

Residents evacuated at Sunbury address

The Met Police said police officers had evacuated and were searching a residential address in Sunbury-on-Thames.

Scotland Yard said: “The evacuation is a precautionary measure following the arrest of a man in Dover, Kent, at approximately 07:50hrs this morning in connection with the investigation into the terrorist attack at Parsons Green Underground Station on Friday, 16 September.

Officers began evacuating the address at approximately 13:40hrs today.

Residents in the buildings immediately surrounding the address are also being evacuated as a precautionary measure.

Cordons are being put in place at a 100 metre radius to facilitate the Metropolitan Police Service’s operation, which is being supported by colleagues from Surrey Police.

A search of the address is ongoing and the cordons will remain in place until the operation is complete.

Police would like to thank the local residents directly affected for their cooperation and patience. Local officers are on duty in the immediate area to talk to the community and address any concerns that they may have.

No further arrests have been made.”

Police cordon set up after officers raid house in Sunbury-on-Thames

00:35

Armed police raid west London address

Police investigating the Parsons Green bombing carried out a raid on an address in Sunbury-on-Thames, close to the start of the M3 in west London, on Saturday afternoon.

Residents described a house in Cavendish Road being evacuated by armed officers. Others reported bomb squad vehicles arriving as armed officers moved in.

Met Police Commissioner Cressida Dick says London “will not stop”

London will not be stopped by terror, Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick has said as she highlighted an increased visible police presence on the capital’s streets.

Ms Dick spoke as she joined officers on some of the city’s busiest streets, travelling on the Tube to Waterloo Station and patrolling the tourist hot spot of the South Bank

She said: “London has not stopped after other terrible attacks and it will not stop after this one.”

The Commissioner said the public should feel “utterly reassured” by the presence of police.

Met chief says London "will not stop"Met chief says London “will not stop”

02:38

She said: “I’ve been out and about today. The public seem to be very positive about the number of officers that we have.”

She added: “The great thing about London is that we don’t give in, we don’t give in to terrorists – we never have and we carry on.

“So the transport system is running just as it ever did and the events are going ahead today. People are out and about. I’ve spoken to lots of people, Londoners and tourists and business people. People are here and I would say, carry on about your business and secondly, of course, be vigilant.”

She added: “My main message is London is carrying on. Carry on with your business but be alert, don’t be alarmed but make sure you tell us anything that worries you.”

Scenes from Saturday morning

Armed police are making their presence felt in the capital following the news last night that Prime Minister Theresa May had raised the UK terror threat level to critical.

Armed police in Westminster
Increased security in Westminster CREDIT:  TOM NICHOLSON/LNP

Meanwhile, Tube passengers have been returning to Parsons Green.

A passenger walks into Parsons Green Underground station
The station reopened in the early hours CREDIT: PETER NICHOLLS/REUTERS

Scotland Yard describe the arrest as “significant”

The 18-year-old was arrested by Kent Police in the port area of Dover under section 41 of the Terrorism Act.

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu, Senior National Co-ordinator for Counter Terrorism Policing, said: “We have made a significant arrest in our investigation this morning. Although we are pleased with the progress made, this investigation continues and the threat level remains at critical.

“The public should remain vigilant as our staff, officers and partners continue to work through this complex investigation. We are not, at this time, changing our protective security measures and the steps taken to free up extra armed officers remain in place.

“This arrest will lead to more activity from our officers. For strong investigative reasons we will not give any more details on the man we arrested at this stage.”

18-year-old arrested in Dover over London bombing

00:49

Man, 18, arrested in Dover

An 18-year-old man has been arrested in the Dover area under the Prevention of Terrorism Act in connection with the Parsons Green station bombing.

More information to follow as we receive it.

Tightened security ahead of Chelsea v Arsenal game

In a statement, Chelsea said:  “Following Friday morning’s incident at Parsons Green, and in order to help us fully prepare for the game, the majority of the Stamford Bridge site will remain closed until Sunday morning.

“This includes Stadium Tours, the Museum, Megastore and the Chelsea Health Club & Spa, while the ticket office will be operating via telephone and online only.

“During that time, entrance to the site will be via the Stamford Gate entrance only. On Sunday, we urge supporters to arrive at least one hour before kick-off to allow for extra security measures.

“We also request that supporters do not bring bags as this will delay your entry to the stadium. The club continues to monitor events and liaise with the police and relevant authorities on supporter safety.”

Trump under fire in US over London bombing comments

Ben Cardin, a Democratic member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, backed Theresa May in her rebuke of Donald Trump over the London  bombing David Millward reports.

“I think the Prime Minister of the UK was appropriate in calling the president out.”

John Cohen, former US counterterrorism official and now a professor at Rutgers University, also believed Mr Trump’s intervention was unhelpful.

“At this stage investigators are going to be doing everything they can to locate those involved in the attack, and in particular the bomb maker,”  he told the New York Times.

“These types of statements — at this stage of the investigation — can undermine law enforcement efforts because it discloses key information that the investigators may be using to locate the attackers, and it could put peoples’ lives at risk.”

Bomb ‘highly likely’ to be TATP – CNN

A source briefed by investigators told CNN that an initial assessment of the device indicates it is “highly likely” to have contained the explosive TATP but that this has not been confirmed. It also appeared to have been crude and poorly designed, the source said.

‘Excellent progress’ made in hunt for terrorist, police say

Met Assistant Commissioner, Mark Rowley, said the police were making “excellent progress” in the hunt for the terrorist.

He said officers were trawling through hundreds of hours of CCTV footage and 77 images and videos taken by members of the public at the scene were also being examined.

Mr Rowley said the IED had now been made safe and was being examined by specialist forensic scientists.

Threat level raised to ‘critical’

The UK’s terror threat level has been raised from severe to critical, indicating a further attack may be imminent, following the Parsons Green Tube bomb, Prime Minister Theresa May said.

Army troops will be assisting the police with their duties, freeing up officers to continue their investigation into the attack.

Islamic State claims responsibility for the attack

The Islamic State terror group has claimed responsibility for the attack, according to the Amaq news agency which has links to the group.

White House defends Trump’s comments on Parsons Green attack

Mr McMaster was asked about Donald Trump’s comments this morning, in which he said the suspect of the bombing was “in the sights” of Scotland Yard.

Theresa May called that speculation “unhelpful”.

National security adviser H.R. McMaster, right, and U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley, participate in a news briefing at the White House, in Washington
National security adviser H.R. McMaster, right, and U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley, participate in a news briefing at the White House, in Washington CREDIT: CAROLYN KASTER 

Mr McMaster said he thought the president was speaking in general terms, and did not have any specific information.

He said: “I think what the president was communicating was that all our law enforcement efforts are focused on this threat for years.

“Scotland Yard is a leader in this, and if it happened here in the US the FBI would also have the suspect in their sights.

“I think he means generally this kind of activity is what we are trying to prevent.”

President Trump calls for renewed effort to cut terror funding

H.R. McMaster, Donald Trump’s national security adviser, has just spoken about the Parsons Green attack in the White House, Harriet Alexander reports.

He said: “The US stands in solidarity with the people of the UK.

“We will defend our people and our values against these cowardly attacks, and we will always stand by countries who do the same.”

He said Mr Trump had been “unambiguous” in his policy on terrorism, urging a renewed effort at cutting financing for terrorist networks.

President Trump speaks to PM to express sympathy

The White House press secretary has revealed details of the phone call between Donald Trump and Theresa May. The US president phoned to “convey his sympathies and prayers for those injured in the terrorist attack today in London”, the White House said.

“The President pledged to continue close collaboration with the United Kingdom to stop attacks worldwide targeting innocent civilians and to combat extremism. ”

A Downing Street spokesman said: “President Trump called the Prime Minister earlier today to offer his condolences over this morning’s cowardly attack in London.

“They also discussed North Korea’s latest missile test, agreeing it was a reckless provocation and that China must now use all its leverage to bring pressure to bear on the North Korean regime to ensure they change course and end these illegal tests.”

Number of injured rises to 29

NHS England says 29 people have been treated after the explosion at Parsons Green tube station.

As of 5.30pm on Friday, NHS England said it was now treating 21 patients.

Eight others were discharged earlier in the day.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/09/16/parsons-green-explosion-uk-terror-threat-level-critical-latest/

2017 Parsons Green bombing

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
2017 Parsons Green bombing
Part of Terrorism in the United Kingdom
2017 Parsons Green bombing 20.jpg

Police on Parsons Green, following the bombing

2017 Parsons Green bombing is located in London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham

Parsons Green
Parsons Green
2017 Parsons Green bombing (London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham)

Show map of London Borough of Hammersmith and FulhamShow map of Greater LondonShow map of the United KingdomShow all

Location Parsons Green tube stationLondon
TQ 249 766
Coordinates 51°28′30.08″N0°12′08.14″WCoordinates51°28′30.08″N 0°12′08.14″W
Date 15 September 2017
8:20 am (BST)
Target London Undergroundcivilians
Weapons Improvised explosive device
Deaths 0
Non-fatal injuries
30[1][2]

On 15 September 2017, at around 8:20 am BST (07:20 UTC), an explosion occurred on a District line train at Parsons Green tube station, in London, England. Thirty people were treated in hospital or an urgent care centre, mostly for burn injuries.[3][4] The incident is being treated by the Metropolitan Police as a “terrorist” attack.[4]

Background

Several attacks occurred in Britain in the months preceding the bombing. These include the Westminster attack, the Manchester bombing, the London Bridge attack and the Finsbury Park attack.[5]

Incident

Map of the station area

A crude homemade bomb partially exploded on an eastbound District line train at Parsons Green tube station, in West London.[6] The District line train was packed with commuters and school children.[7] Witnesses described seeing a fireball in the rear carriage of the packed rush-hour train. Numerous passengers were reported to have suffered flash burns. Others received crush injuries in the rush to leave the scene. Thirty people received medical treatment for their injuries, 19 of whom were taken to hospital by ambulance – the remainder self-presented themselves at hospital.[8]

The device had been left in a white plastic bucket inside a shopping bag. Wires were hanging out, as well as a black towel. Reports also indicate the device had a timer attached.[9]According to Ben Wallace, the security minister, the bomb contained the triacetone triperoxide explosive (TATP), the same explosive used in the 2005 London Underground bombingsand the November 2015 Paris attacks.[10] The explosive is known to be very unstable, which may have led to critical errors in the construction of the bomb, such that it only partially exploded. According to Chip Chapman, former head of counter-terrorism at the Ministry of Defence, “This absolutely didn’t function properly because… 1 ounce (30 g) of TATP is enough to blow car doors off”.[10]

Claim of responsibility

According to the Amaq News AgencyISIS claimed that an affiliated unit of the Islamic State carried out the attack.[11][12] The Metropolitan Police described the claim as “very routine in these sort of circumstances… whether or not they have had any previous engagement with the individuals involved”.[13] On 17 September Home Secretary Amber Rudd said there was no evidence to suggest ISIS were behind the attack, and added that they would find out how the attacker was radicalised if they could.[14]

Investigation

British Transport Police are leading the investigation into the attack,[15] according to the Metropolitan Police, “hundreds of detectives” are involved in the investigation.[16] The Metropolitan Police launched a manhunt for one, possibly two, suspects.[17] On 16 September, Kent Constabulary announced that a suspect, an unnamed 18-year-old male Iraqi refugee,[18] had been arrested in the Port of Dover on suspicion of a terror offence.[19] The port area was partially evacuated and a number of items recovered by the police.[20] Later that day, police raided, and searched a house in SunburySurrey.[21] Police also arrested a 21-year old man on the same day in Hounslow, west London, and were searching a house in Stanwell, Surrey, in connection with the attack.[22][23] The 21-year-old was later reported to be Yahyah Farroukh, a Syrian refugee originally from Damascus,[24][25] who arrived in the UK about 2013,[26] and the 18-year-old to be an Iraqi orphan refugee.[27] Farroukh had been studying at West Thames College since 2013, according to his Facebook page. Both Farroukh and the 18-year-old Iraqi had been raised by the same foster carers. Their house is one of the properties in Surrey searched by police.[28]

The suspects were arrested under Section 41 of the Terrorism Act. A court extended the time period during which the suspects can be legally held.[29]

Reactions

Domestic

In a statement after the incident, British Prime Minister Theresa May said: “My thoughts are with those injured at Parsons Green and the emergency services who, once again, are responding swiftly and bravely to a suspected terrorist incident”.[30]

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said: “As London has proven again and again, we will never be intimidated or defeated by terrorism. I am in close contact with the Metropolitan PoliceTransport for London (TfL), Government and other emergency services who are responding at the scene and leading the investigation. I will be attending the emergency COBRA meeting in Whitehall this afternoon with the Prime Minister. My sincere gratitude goes to all our courageous emergency responders and the TfL staff who were first on the scene. I urge all Londoners to remain calm and vigilant”.[31] Khan also said: “I am not going to apologise for saying we need more resources and more police in London”.[32]

Subsequent to the attack, the Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre decided to raise the terror threat level from ‘Severe’ to ‘Critical’,[33] for only the fourth time since its 2006 introduction.[34] Operation Temperer was also activated for the second time, as a result of the raise in threat level.[35] The terror threat level was then returned to ‘Severe’ by JTAC on 17 September 2017.[36]

International

US President Donald Trump tweeted: “Another attack in London by a loser terrorist. These are sick and demented people who were in the sights of Scotland Yard. Must be proactive!”[37] He also touted his proposed travel ban.[38] His comments were described by Theresa May as “not helpful” and characterised the tweets as inaccurate speculation.[39]

See also

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2017_Parsons_Green_bombing

Story 2: Trump Wants To Increase CIA Drone Attacks — Videos

Image result for cartoons drones trump cia

Image result for cartoons drones trump cia

 

CIA Drone Strikes Escalating?

Trump Broadens CIA Power to Launch Drone Strikes

Trump Gives CIA Authority To Conduct Drone Strikes

Published on Mar 13, 2017
President Donald Trump has given the CIA new authority to conduct drone attacks against suspected militants, the Wall Street Journal reported on Monday, citing U.S. officials. The move would be a change from the policy of former President Barack Obama’s administration of limiting the CIA’s paramilitary role, the newspaper reported. http://feeds.reuters.com/~r/reuters/t… http://www.wochit.com This video was produced by YT Wochit Vote It using http://wochit.com
 

Trump Gave CIA New Authority on Attack Drones

The Story Of The Drone Strike That Saved Hundreds Of Lives

 

Trump Administration Wants to Increase CIA Drone Strikes

WASHINGTON — When President Donald Trump visited CIA headquarters in the first weeks of his presidency, he toured the secure floor where agency officers direct drone strikes against suspected terrorists, current and former U.S. officials told NBC News.

Impressed by what he saw, Trump conveyed to incoming CIA Director Mike Pompeo and the assembled agency officers that he wanted them to take a more aggressive posture, according to two current U.S. officials and one former official briefed on the visit.

Soon afterward, multiple sources said, the CIA began carrying out drone strikes that might not have been authorized under the Obama administration, including in Syria, where the military has taken the lead on targeting militant leaders.

The White House granted CIA officers more autonomy to decide on whether and when the U.S. can pull the trigger in various places around the world, including in Yemen, where the military carries out the bulk of the airstrikes, according to four U.S. officials who have been briefed on the agency’s counterterrorism operations. The upshot is less micromanaging of targeting decisions by the White House, these officials say.

A U.S. Air Force MQ-9 Reaper drone sits armed with Hellfire missiles and a 500-pound bomb in a hanger at Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan
A U.S. Air Force MQ-9 Reaper drone sits armed with Hellfire missiles and a 500-pound bomb in a hanger at Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan March 9, 2016.Josh Smith / Reuters file

Now, the Trump administration is contemplating additional policy changes that will further expand the CIA’s authority to conduct drone strikes in a number of countries, both in and out of war zones. Such a move would reverse years of effort by President Barack Obama to reduce the CIA’s role in targeted killing and shift that responsibility to the military. It could also mean more civilian casualtiesin CIA drone strikes.

In reporting this story, NBC News spoke to officials at intelligence agencies, the Pentagon, Congress and the White House. All requested anonymity to discuss a classified program.

At the peak of its lethal activity in 2010 during the Obama administration, the CIA was carrying out as many as two drone strikes a week in Pakistan. Some current and former officers have argued that turning American’s premier spy agency into what one former CIA officer called “a killing machine” caused an erosion in its traditional espionage mission against adversaries such as Russia and China. A changing threat environment, and new Obama rules, led to a sharp drop off in the pace of CIA strikes in recent years.

Pompeo has pushed for more freedom of action. He wants Trump to authorize the spy agency to strike targets in Afghanistan, which had long been the domain of the military, a senior U.S. official with direct knowledge told NBC News. The New York Times first reported that news last week.

The White House also is drafting a new written policy on counterterrorist operations outside of war zones that would supercede the so-called drone playbook that the Obama administration had hoped would govern the decisions of future presidents, several officials said.

The drone playbook, known as the Presidential Policy Guidance, or PPG, includes a provision that no strike should go forward unless analysts determine that there is a near-certainty that no civilians will be harmed. And it includes a provision forbidding the addition of new detainees to the U.S. prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Image: An MQ-1B Predator remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) flies past a MQ-9 Reaper RPA as it taxis during a training mission at Creech Air Force Bas
An MQ-1B Predator remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) flies past a MQ-9 Reaper RPA as it taxis during a training mission at Creech Air Force Base on Nov. 17, 2015 in Indian Springs, Nevada.Isaac Brekken / Getty Images file

The Trump administration is contemplating removing both of those restrictions, officials involved in the planning told NBC News.

These developments concern human rights activists, who argue that the CIA is less accountable than the military.

“The last thing the U.S. should be doing right now is expanding a global, secret killing program,” said Zeke Johnson, senior director of programs for Amnesty International USA. “By its own admission, the U.S. government’s use of drones has meant the deaths of civilians and there has been insufficient accountability.”

U.S. officials who favor the changes point out that the military’s conventional bombing campaign in Iraq and Syria appears to have killed far more civilians than U.S. drones have.

But such comparisons are hard to make. Because the CIA drone strikes are secret and the U.S. government will not officially confirm them, there is no way for outsiders to gauge their frequency or effectiveness. In recent years, officials say, the pace of CIA drone strikes has declined as the military has conducted most of the drone strikes in nearly every country in which they are occurring, including Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and Yemen. But that also means it is not possible for outside groups to determine how many CIA strikes have occurred.

Related: Iran Has Drone Base Near U.S. Troops

Another factor is that the CIA and the military’s Joint Special Operations Command have integrated their targeted killing programs in recent years, U.S. officials say. It’s become easier for the CIA to hand off intelligence about a target and have the military pull the trigger, or vice versa.

“It’s impossible to know with Yemen, it’s impossible to know with Iraq and Syria, [how many CIA strikes have occurred],” said Bill Roggio, the editor of Long War Journal, a website that has tracked the strikes for years based on local media reports and other data.

The exception is Pakistan, where the U.S. military generally doesn’t bomb, and where the al Qaeda threat has much diminished in recent years. There have been five CIA drone strikes in Pakistan in 2017, up from three last year, according to Long War Journal.

Slick ISIS Video Shows Terror Group’s New Drones 1:12

It’s unclear whether a Trump overhaul to Obama’s drone playbook would be consequential in practice. Currently the playbook does not apply in Syria, Iraq or Afghanistan. It also does not apply for now in parts of Yemen and Somalia, which the military has declared to be active U.S. war zones.

But the playbook is still in place for Pakistan and anywhere else the CIA could potentially conduct drone strikes, including Libya and other parts of North Africa where ISIS is becoming an increasingly problematic presence.

In war zones such as Iraq and Syria, the so-called law of war standard applies, which tolerates civilian casualties as long as the targets are military and the collateral damage is “proportional” to the military benefit.

U.S. national security officials say they have seen no sign that Trump is seeking to follow through on some of the extreme rhetoric he employed on the campaign trail, including his calls for killing the families of terrorists and employing interrogation tactics that are “worse than waterboarding,” the simulated drowning technique used on three al Qaeda operatives that many consider to be torture.

The Pentagon and the CIA declined to comment. The White House did not respond to a request for comment

http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=two%20suspect%20arrested%20in%20London%20terrerorist%20Attack%20Parson%20Green%20%20September%2015%2C%202017&qs=n&form=QBIR&sp=-1&pq=two%20suspect%20arrested%20in%20london%20terrerorist%20attack%20parson%20green%20september%2015%2C%202017&sc=0-81&sk=&cvid=0E1E1C8A24A2453FBFBAF4444685715F

 

5 Things You Should Know About the CIA’s ‘Robotic’ Drone Assassination Campaign

Since 2001 drones have become a signature weapon in America’s war on terrorists and insurgents in the Muslim world and have been deployed from sub-Saharan Africa to the Philippines. But for all the fact that drone strikes are regularly reported by the media, very few Americans have a basic understanding of the contours, tactics, geography, strategy and weaponry used in the CIA’s largest assassination campaign since the Vietnam era. The following five points provide a layman’s guide to this vast, covert campaign in exotic lands for readers who want a deeper understanding of this revolution in warfare and counter-terrorism than that conveyed by the media.

1. The drones are not actually robots. With the opening of the latest installment of the Terminator movie series starring Arnold Schwarzenegger this summer, non-specialists can be forgiven for thinking that drones are Terminator-style, autonomous deathbots with minds of their own. In actuality, the U.S. military and CIA prefer to use the term “Remotely Piloted Vehicles” to stress the fact that human pilots are in the “kill chain” and ultimately control the drones. A two-man team consisting of a pilot and a sensor operator fly the drones remotely, usually from specially designed trailers located at U.S. Air Force bases in the states (often in Nevada) or at CIA Headquarters in Langley, Virginia. Drone pilots surveil their targets from afar via high resolution cameras for up to twenty four hours a day and follow their “pattern of life” movements. This provides an intimate knowledge of the target that was never had by manned jets flying at great heights and at high speeds (the drones are slow and propeller driven). The U.S. military is now training more drone pilots than pilots for manned aircrafts. There have been widely reported cases of drone pilots, who are not in harm’s way of course (in military terms they “project power, without projecting vulnerability”), suffering from combat stress due to the intimate nature of their tracking and killing of their human “targets” on screens.

2. The drones don’t usually drop bombs. While their critics, who make wild claims that “99 percent of the victims of drone attacks are civilians,” refer to “clumsy drone bombing campaigns,” in actuality most of the ordinance deployed by drones consists of highly accurate, laser-guided or satellite-guided “smart” mini-missiles. The most commonly used missile is the 100 pound AGM 114 Hellfire missile, which was originally designed to be fired by an Apache Longbow attack helicopter. This missile was originally designed to penetrate armor, but was re-configured with a metal sleeve to be used against un-armored targets, such as cars or clay walled houses. In an effort to reduce civilian bystander deaths (“collateral damage” in military parlance), the CIA and Air Force have also taken to firing even smaller mini-missiles called Scorpions which are only 21 inches in length. These “small smart weapons” are a far cry from unguided “dumb” bombs of up to 2,000 pounds which were inaccurately dropped by fast flying manned jets in the past. Their smaller blast radius leads to less un-intended victims. The drone missiles are so smart that if an operator sees a civilian bystander coming close to a target after the missile has been fired he can divert it at the last second.

3. The drones rarely kill civilians. While drone activists focus on the occasional accidental killing of civilian bystanders in voicing their criticism of the “play station mentality” behind drone operations, various studies have shown that the drones rarely create collateral damage. For example, the Washington DC-based New America Foundation has found that the drones have killed roughly 3,000 Al Qaeda and Taliban militants, but only about 300 civilians (i.e. about ten percent of the death toll is civilian). This makes the CIA’s “bombing” campaign far more precise than any previous bombing campaigns in history (usually civilian deaths far outnumber military deaths in aerial bombing campaigns). Such unprecedented accuracy is achieved through such tactics as firing smart missiles at targets when they are clearly observable in automobiles that have left crowded venues.

4.The CIA drones primarily operate in Pakistan. While the US military ran drone operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, the CIA runs drone operations in the wild tribal regions across the border in Pakistan known as the FATA (Federally Administered Tribal Agencies). This is a remote, hilly region inhabited by fierce Pashtun tribesmen (the tribe that makes up the Taliban). The Pashtuns “bleed” across the frontier into neighboring Afghanistan and have long utilized the FATA as a cross-border sanctuary for waging guerilla warfare in that country. Unable to directly invade this border region, which belongs to sovereign Pakistan, the US chose instead to wage a targeted drone campaign against terrorists and insurgents who fled here after the overthrow of the Taliban in 2001 and converted it into a refuge known as “Talibanistan.” The U.S. has carried out almost 400 drone strikes in the FATA region and these have killed the number three in the Pakistani Taliban on three separate occasions and the number three in Al Qaeda on two occasions. But for all the fact that the advanced Predator and Reaper drones indisputably kill far more militants than civilians in this region that is under de facto Taliban control, the drone campaign is deeply unpopular in Pakistan. The Pakistani public sees the drones as an infringement of their sovereignty, even though the Pakistani government covertly supports the drone campaign against Taliban terrorists who target their people and have seceded from Pakistan.

5. The drones make extensive use of spy networks. The high flying drones rely, to a tremendous extent, on techint (technological intelligence, such as eavesdropping on targets’ cellphones and high resolution cameras), but are only as good as their humint (human intelligence). The drones work closely with CIA and Pakistani ISI (Inter Service Intelligence) spy networks on the ground to track the movements of suspected Taliban militants or Al Qaeda terrorists. The spies then surreptitiously place small homing beacons known as “prathrai” (chips) on their targets which send signals to the drones. The drones then fire laser guided missiles that home in on the cigarette lighter-sized homing beacons and incinerate their targets. The Taliban are quite aware of the drones’ uncanny ability to hunt them and have launched witch hunts to kill real or suspected spies. They live in constant fear of the ever present drones (which display “deadly persistence” in military parlance) and are afraid to use cell phones, gather in large numbers, move in convoys, store ammunition in depots that can be seen from the air etc. In other words, the drones, when combined with spy networks, terrorize the terrorists and make sure that their safe haven in the FATA is neither safe nor a haven.

There is much more to understanding this complex drone campaign, from the history or the anti-drone movement to the existence of secret CIA airbases in Pakistan itself to Al Qaeda’s responses, but the above points are a good starting point for understanding some of the basics of America’s drone war on terrorists, militants and insurgents in the Islamic world. For more on this highly controversial, murky issue see: Brian Glyn Williams. Predators. The CIA’s Drone War on Al Qaeda.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/brian-glyn-williams/5-things-you-should-know-_5_b_7848274.html

UAVs in the U.S. military

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

As of January 2014, the U.S. military operates a large number of unmanned aerial systems (UAVs or Unmanned Air Vehicles): 7,362 RQ-11 Ravens; 990 AeroVironment Wasp IIIs; 1,137 AeroVironment RQ-20 Pumas; and 306 RQ-16 T-Hawk small UAS systems and 246 Predators and MQ-1C Grey Eagles; 126 MQ-9 Reapers; 491 RQ-7 Shadows; and 33 RQ-4 Global Hawk large systems.[1]

The military role of unmanned aircraft systems is growing at unprecedented rates. In 2005, tactical- and theater-level unmanned aircraft alone had flown over 100,000 flight hours in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom, in which they are organized under Task Force Liberty in Afghanistan and Task Force ODIN in Iraq. Rapid advances in technology are enabling more and more capability to be placed on smaller airframes, which is spurring a large increase in the number of Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (SUAS) being deployed on the battlefield. The use of SUAS in combat is so new that no formal DoD wide reporting procedures have been established to track SUAS flight hours. As the capabilities grow for all types of UAS, nations continue to subsidize their research and development, leading to further advances and enabling them to perform a multitude of missions. UAS no longer only perform intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance missions, although this still remains their predominant type. Their roles have expanded to areas including electronic attack, strike missions, suppression or destruction of enemy air defense, network node or communications relay, combat search and rescue, and derivations of these themes. These UAS range in cost from a few thousand dollars to tens of millions of dollars, with aircraft ranging from less than one pound to over 40,000 pounds.[citation needed]

Classifications by the United States military

U.S. UAV demonstrators in 2005

The modern concept of U.S. military UAVs is to have the various aircraft systems work together in support of personnel on the ground. The integration scheme is described in terms of a “Tier” system and is used by military planners to designate the various individual aircraft elements in an overall usage plan for integrated operations. The Tiers do not refer to specific models of aircraft but rather roles for which various models and their manufacturers competed. The U.S. Air Force and the U.S. Marine Corps each has its own tier system, and the two systems are themselves not integrated. The arm forces has been funding UAV project way before the terrorist attacks in 2001. Ever since 2001, there has much support from government funding of more productions of UAVs.

Use in the “War on Terror”

When the Obama administration announced in December 2009, the deployment of 30,000 new troops in Afghanistan, there was already an increase of attacks by unmanned Predator UAVs against Taliban and al-Qaeda militants in Afghanistan and Pakistan’s tribal areas, of which one probably killed a key member of al-Qaeda. However, neither Osama bin Laden nor Ayman al-Zawahiri was the likely target, according to reports. According to a report of the New America Foundation, armed UAV strikes had dramatically increased under President Obama – even before his deployment decision. There were 43 such attacks between January and October 2009. The report draws on what it deems to be “credible” local and national media stories about the attacks. This can be compared to a total of 34 in all of 2008, which was President Bush’s last full year in office. Between 2006 and 2009, UAV-launched missiles allegedly had killed between 750 and 1,000 people in Pakistan, according to the report. Of these, about 20 people were said to be leaders of al-Qaeda, Taliban, and associated groups. Overall, 66% to 68% of the people killed were militants, and 31% to 33% were civilians. U.S. officials disputed the percentage for civilians.[2] The U.S. Air Force has recently begun referring at least to larger UAS like Predator, Reaper, and Global Hawk as Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) to highlight the fact that these systems are always controlled by a human operator at some location.

Armed attacks by U.S. UAVs

MQ-1 Predator UAVs armed with Hellfire missiles have been used by the U.S. as platforms for hitting ground targets. Armed Predators were first used in late 2001 from bases in Pakistan and Uzbekistan, mostly aimed at assassinating high-profile individuals (terrorist leaders, etc.) inside Afghanistan. Since then, there have been many reported cases of such attacks taking place in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia.[3] The advantage of using an unmanned vehicle rather than a manned aircraft in such cases is to avoid a diplomatic embarrassment should the aircraft be shot down and the pilots captured, since the bombings take place in countries deemed friendly and without the official permission of those countries.[4][5][6][7]

A Predator based in a neighboring Arab country was used to kill suspected al-Qaeda terrorists in Yemen on 3 November 2002. This marked the first use of an armed Predator as an attack aircraft outside of a theater of war such as Afghanistan.[8]

The U.S. has claimed that the Predator strikes killed at least nine senior al-Qaeda leaders and dozens of lower-ranking operatives, depleting its operational tier in what U.S. officials described as the most serious disruption of al-Qaeda since 2001.[9] It was claimed that the Predator strikes took such a toll on al-Qaeda that militants began turning violently on one another out of confusion and distrust.[9] A senior U.S. counter-terrorism official said: “They have started hunting down people who they think are responsible [for security breaches]. People are showing up dead, or disappearing.”[9]

By October 2009, the CIA claimed to have killed more than half of the 20 most wanted al-Qaeda terrorist suspects in targeted killings using UAVs.[10] By May 2010, counter-terrorism officials said that UAV strikes in the Pakistani tribal areas had killed more than 500 militants since 2008 and no more than 30 (5%) nearby civilians – mainly family members who lived and traveled with the targets.[11][12] UAVs linger overhead after a strike, in some cases for hours, to enable the CIA to count the bodies and attempt to determine which, if any, are civilians.[12] A Pakistani intelligence officer gave a higher estimate of civilian casualties, saying 20% of total deaths were civilians or non-combatants.[12]

In February 2013, U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham stated that 4,756 people have been killed by U.S. UAVs.[13]

CIA officials became concerned in 2008, that targets in Pakistan were being tipped off to pending U.S. UAV strikes by Pakistani intelligence, when the U.S. requested Pakistani permission prior to launching UAV-based attacks.[9] The Bush administration therefore decided in August 2008 to abandon the practice of obtaining Pakistani government permission before launching missiles from UAVs, and in the next six months the CIA carried out at least 38 Predator strikes in northwest Pakistan, compared with 10 in 2006 and 2007 combined.[9]

One issue with using armed drones to attack human targets is the size of the bombs being used and the relative lack of discrimination of the 100 lb (45 kg) Hellfire, which was designed to eliminate tanks and attack bunkers.[14] Smaller weapons such as the RaytheonGriffin and Small Tactical Munition are being developed as a less indiscriminate alternative,[15] and development is underway on the still smaller US Navy-developed Spike missile.[16] The payload-limited Predator A can also be armed with six Griffin missiles, as opposed to only two of the much-heavier Hellfires.

Public opinion in the US (military use)

In 2013, a Fairleigh Dickinson University poll found that 48% of American voters believe it is “illegal for the U.S. government to target its own citizens living abroad with drone attacks.”[17] In the same poll, however, a majority of voters approved of the U.S. military and the CIA using UAVs to carry out attacks abroad “on people and other targets deemed a threat to the U.S.”.[18]

There are a number of critics of the use of UAVs to track and kill terrorists and militants. A major criticism of drone strikes is that they result in excessive collateral damage. However, others maintain that drones “allow for a much closer review and much more selective targeting process than do other instruments of warfare” and are subject to Congressional oversight.[19] Like any military technology, armed UAVs will kill people, combatants and innocents alike, thus “the main turning point concerns the question of whether we should go to war at all.”[19]

Infrastructure

In 2012, the USAF trained more UAV pilots than ordinary jet fighter pilots for the first time.[20] Unlike other UAVs, the Predator was armed with Hellfire missiles so that it can terminate the target that it locates.[21] This was done after Predators sighted Osama Bin Ladenmultiple times but could not do anything about it other than send back images. In addition, the Predator is capable of orchestrating attacks by pointing lasers at the targets.[22] This is important, as it puts a robot in a position to set off an attack. Their overall success is apparent because from June 2005 to June 2006 alone, Predators carried out 2,073 missions and participated in 242 separate raids.[23]

In contrast to the Predator, which is remotely piloted via satellites, the Global Hawk operates virtually autonomously.[24] The user merely hits the button for ‘take off’ and for ‘land’, while the UAV gets directions via GPS and reports back with a live feed. Global Hawks have the capability to fly from San Francisco and map out the entire state of Maine before having to return.[24] In addition, some UAVs have become so small that they can be launched from one’s hand and maneuvered through the street.[24] These UAVs, known as Ravens, are especially useful in urban areas, such as Iraq, in order to discover insurgents and potential ambushes the next block up.[25] UAVs are especially useful because they can fly for days at a time. Insurgents in the open for more than a few minutes at a time fear UAVs locating them.[21]

In the U.S., thousands of civilian UAV operators work for contractors, piloting and maintaining UAVs.[26] Up to four UAVs and about 400 to 500 pilot and ground support personnel are required for a single 24-hour-coverage combat air patrol (CAP).[27] A 2011 study by the Air Force School of Aerospace Medicine indicated that nearly 50% of spy UAV operators suffer from high stress.[26] The president of a civilian UAV operators’ union, the Association of Unmanned Operation (AUO), cited long working hours and decreasing wages as U.S. involvement in wars in Iraq and Afghanistan was reduced and as a result of the U.S. government’s budget sequestration.[26]

Given the increasing military use of cyber attacks against Microsoft software, the United States Armed Forces have moved towards Linux ground control software.[28][29]

Scale of use of UAVs by the U.S. military

An August 2013, Brookings Institution study reported that in the U.S. Air Force there were approximately 1,300 remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) pilots, 8.5 percent of total Air Force pilots, up from 3.3 percent in 2008.[30] The study indicated that the U.S. military’s combat air patrol (CAP) daily missions requirement is growing at a faster pace than RPA pilots can be trained, with an attrition rate during RPA flight screening being three times that of traditional pilots and a 13% lower promotion rate to Major than other officers.[30]

As of January 2014, the U.S. military operates a large number of unmanned aerial systems: 7,362 RQ-11 Ravens; 990 AeroVironment Wasp IIIs; 1,137 AeroVironment RQ-20 Pumas; and 306 RQ-16 T-Hawk small UAS systems and 246 Predators and MQ-1C Gray Eagles; 126 MQ-9 Reapers; 491 RQ-7 Shadows; and 33 RQ-4 Global Hawk large systems.[1]

As of mid-2014, the U.S. air force is training more drone pilots than fighter and bomber pilots combined.[31]

Research and development

At the center of the American military’s continued UAV research is the MQ-X, which builds upon the capabilities of the Reaper and Predator UAVs. As currently conceived, the MQ-X would be a stealthier and faster fighter-plane sized UAV capable of any number of missions: high-performance surveillance; attack options, including retractable cannons and bomb or missile payloads; and cargo capacity.[32]

Development costs for American military UAVs, as with most military programs, have tended to overrun their initial estimates. This is mostly due to changes in requirements during development and a failure to leverage UAV development programs over multiple armed services. This has caused United States Navy UAV programs to increase in cost from 0% to 5%, while United States Air Force UAV programs have increased from 60% to 284%.[33]

The USAF said in 2012, that it will focus development of UAVs to be collaboratively networked with manned aircraft in “buddy attacks,” while continuing to be able to fly as standalone systems.[34]

The U.S. Defense Department’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) planned in 2014 to award grants and contracts up to $5.5 million each, for its Fast Lightweight Autonomy Program (FLAP) program, which specifies UAVs capable of traveling 60 feet per second to include autonomy algorithms for quickly and autonomously navigating indoor obstacles and learning from past travels.[35]

List of U.S. military UAVs

Former
Current
Future

See also

References

Story 3: Third Night of Violence in St. Louis — Protesters and Vandals Damage Property With Over 120 Arrests and 11 Police Injured — Videos

St. Louis Cop Who Killed A Black Man Found Not Guilty | Los Angeles Times

‘Not Guilty’ Verdict In St. Louis Police Shooting Trial Sparks Protests | NBC Nightly News

St. Louis protesters stage ‘die-in’ and march for third time after police acquittal

Live: St. Louis Protest BREAKING NEWS Police Deploy Tear Gas as Protesters Turn Violent in Missouri

Police Officers Injured, Protesters Arrested In St. Louis Protests | NBC Nightly News

Arrests over Jason Stockley verdict in St. Louis

Black bloc runs amok in St. Louis street riot, 100+ arrests

USA: Violent protests continue in St Louis after following officer acquittal

Violence in St. Louis: Police & protesters clash after ex-cop acquitted of killing black man

Third night of violence rocks St. Louis

Violence breaks out on the streets of St Louis over white cop who was cleared of murdering black suspect as for the THIRD night in a row as cops arrest 80 people

  • St Louis entered its third night of protests on Sunday as demonstrators marched through traffic over town
  • They remain furious after white cop Jason Stockley was acquitted for 2011 shooting of Anthony Lamar Smith
  • As on Saturday, a peaceful daytime protest was followed by a splinter faction causing damage after dark
  • Police arrested 80 people, many for refusing orders to disperse, and confiscated several weapons
  • A man wearing a mask and carrying an Anonymous flag had body armor, a pistol and pepper spray taken
  • St Louis County cops were also sprayed with unknown chemicals from a pair of spray bottles

St Louis has entered its third consecutive night of violence over Friday’s acquittal of Jason Stockley, the white cop accused of murder in the 2011 shooting of Anthony Lamar Smith.

As occurred on Saturday, thousands of protesters had engaged in a peaceful protest over Stockley’s Friday acquittal, this time gathering outside the Police Department HQ before walking through the city.

And just as on Saturday, that was followed up by a splinter group that began causing mayhem, smashing windows in downtown St Louis, with windows being smashed and police attacked.

One man in a mask and body armor who was spotted waving an Anonymous flag was stopped by police and had a pistol, pepper spray and his protective gear confiscated.

Several St Louis County sheriff’s deputies were sprayed with an unknown chemical and had to be decontaminated; others were pelted with rocks.

More than 80 people were arrested and five weapons confiscated, police said. The officers’ injuries were minor to moderate, it was announced.

Scroll down for video

Chaos took over St Louis streets for the third night in a row on Sunday, as crowds continued to protests white ex-cop Jason Stockley's acquittal for the 2011 murder of Anthony Lamar Smith. Pictured: people running as demonstrators march

Police arrest a man in St Louis as demonstrators march in the city. In total 80 people were arrested on Sunday night - many of them for refusing to disperse at the orders of police2

Police arrest a man in St Louis as demonstrators march in the city. In total 80 people were arrested on Sunday night – many of them for refusing to disperse at the orders of police

Police stopped this man and confiscated his shield, Anonymous flag and body armor - as well as a pistol, pepper spray, his mask and other items

Police stopped this man and confiscated his shield, Anonymous flag and body armor – as well as a pistol, pepper spray, his mask and other items

These are the items confiscated from the individual, who has not yet been named. Police said he was also taken into custody after the incident

A man throws a chunk of concrete through a window in St Louis on Sunday. Several businesses and other buildings had their windows smashed in downtown St Louis, while planters and trash cans were knocked over and damaged

Cops arrive en masse to deal with protesters amid violence late at night in St Louis. Police later commended the daytime protesters for their responsible attitude - in stark contrast to the violence that came as night fell

At around 7pm Pastor Doug Hollis, an organizer of the peaceful daytime event, announced: ‘We met our goal. We are dispersing. This was a great, peaceful protest. That’s what we want.’

Tensions were raised after some declined to leave, and an unmarked police car reversed into a crowd at speed; nobody was hurt, but police said some protesters threw bottles afterward, the St Louis Post-Dispatch reported.

‘The crowd started moving in a threatening manner toward the Impala and because of road closures, the car could not go forward,’ police said in a statement. ‘The officer driving the blue Impala backed down the street to safety.’

By 8pm troublemakers had departed that group and headed downtown.

Windows were broken at several businesses, including the Marriott hotel on Washington Avenue, a sushi restaurant and a nail salon, and the intersection of Olive and 10th Streets was particularly badly hit.

A bike officer was injured around this time and taken to hospital in an ambulance; the nature of his injuries was not immediately apparent.

Strings of arrests were made on multiple occasions as police commanded crowds to disperse, and arrested those who refused to leave.

The masked man's flag - with the Anonymous logo - can be seen in this image. The violent protesters were just a small fraction of the thousands that gathered in the daytime

Police arrive with riot shields to break up the violence downtown. The pattern was the same as the one seen on Saturday, when nine people were arrested, four of them juveniles

A cop chases after vandals in downtown St Louis on Sunday. Residents remain angry about the Stockley decision - but rioters may turn public opinion against protesters if they continue

Just as on Saturday, the violence that occurred after dark on Sunday came after the close of a peaceful early evening protest.

That peaceful protest began with thousands of protesters converging outside St Louis Police Department’s headquarters and staging a ‘die-in’ which they laid across the ground, pretending to be dead.

Authorities had closed off several blocks around the police headquarters Sunday afternoon in anticipation of the demonstration, which included young children and teenagers, as well as adults.

The crowd also observed six minutes of silence in front of the police department building, then chanted ‘stop killing us’ as officers looked on from the headquarters’ windows.

Afterward, they resumed the large-scale marching, chanting slogans such as ‘this is what democracy looks like.’

Protesters said that the six-minute silence symbolized the six years between the Smith’s death and Stockley’s acquittal.

Early Sunday evening, protesters (pictured) gathered outside the St Louis Police Department headquarters, holding Black Lives Matter signs and American flags

Sunday's protest (pictured) was the third consecutive day of action after the verdict was delivered. The judge said there was no evidence Stockley had unlawfully shot Smith or planted a gun on him, despite claims by the prosecution

Lamont Davis is one of the five adults arrested after demonstrations turned violence in St Louis on Saturday
Lakeshia Starks was also arrested. Four juveniles were also taken in but have not been identified by authorities
Tristan Muir was also among those arrested
These are three of the five adults arrested after demonstrations turned violent in St Louis on Saturday. They are (l-r) Lamont Davis, Lakeshia Starks and Tristan Muir. Four juveniles were also arrested; they have not been identified

Edward Stewart was also arrested. The violence broke out after a peaceful protest concluded earlier Saturday

The five adults named by police as suspects in Saturday’s riot were Caryn Pierson, Edward Stewart, Tristan Muir, Lakeshia Starks and Lamont Davis. Three of them live in St Louis; one in the surrounding county; and the fifth in Freeburg, Illinois.

Pierson was charged with first-degree property damage and rioting, and jailed on a $20,000 bond. Stewart was charged with unlawful assembly and resisting arrest and jailed on a $10,000 bond.

Muir was charged with rioting and fourth-degree assault; he was jailed on a $10,000 bond. Starks was charged with first-degree property damage, rioting, and resisting arrest and jailed on a $20,000 bond. And Davis was charged with first-degree property damage and jailed on a $20,000 bond.

Missouri Governor Eric Greitens issued a warning Sunday on Facebook that anyone caught destroying property would be held accountable and could face felony charges.

‘Saturday night, some criminals decided to pick up rocks and break windows. They thought they’d get away with it. They were wrong. Our officers caught ’em, cuffed ’em, and threw ’em in jail,’ the first-term Republican governor wrote.

Demonstrators chant outside police headquarters in St Louis. Many Black Lives Matter placards could be seen among the crowds as they peacefully protested

A protester is seen being arrested in St Louis following riots on Saturday night, which saw dozens of shopfronts smashed. The violence broke out after a peaceful protest concluded earlier Saturday

Police haul off a protester as they break up the violent crowd on Saturday. A protester had thrown red paint onto the riot shield seen here. Rocks and chunks of concrete were also thrown at cops, who responded with tear gas

Jason Stockley (pictured) was aquitted on Friday in the 2011 death of Anthony Lamar Smith

Ed Sheeran’s Sunday concert at the Scott Trade Center was canceled on Saturday by Messina Touring Group on the venue’s website.

THE JUDGE WHO DECIDED THE CASE

St. Louis Circuit Judge Timothy Wilson

The judge who acquitted Stockley is described as objective and well-respected by prosecutors and defense lawyers alike.

St. Louis Circuit Judge Timothy Wilson, who must retire when he turns 70 in December, has ruled both for and against police during his 28 years on the bench.

‘He’s very methodical and a very objective judge,’ Jack Garvey, a lawyer and former judge told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

‘He really will review everything before he makes a decision. I don’t think he’s ideological in any way.’

People accused of crimes have the right to have their cases heard by a jury, but can opt to have the verdict rendered by a judge instead, as Stockley chose to do.

Experts say a judge is more likely to understand the concept of reasonable doubt and not be swayed by emotions.

 ‘With the safety of the fans being of upmost concern, and after consulting with local officials, who could not fully commit to providing a sufficient amount of police and other city services support, we felt it was in everyone’s best interest to cancel Sunday night’s show,’ it read.

‘While we regret to have had to come to this decision, we do look forward to returning to St Louis as soon as Ed’s schedule will allow in 2018.’

The Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra, which had canceled its Saturday and Sunday performances of the Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets scores, went ahead with its performance on Sundauy.

However, the orchestra is giving refunds on its website to those who were unable to attend due to the protests.

It also promised refunds to those who had tickets to the canceled Friday and Saturday events.

Rock band U2 also canceled a performance due to protests, saying their Saturday gig could not go ahead as ‘local crowd security personnel would not be at full capacity,’ and that they ‘cannot in good conscience risk our fans’ safety.’

Ticketholders will be able to claim a refund online or at their place of purchase, they added.

Saturday’s confrontation took place in an area that includes the Blueberry Hill club, where rock legend Chuck Berry played for many years.

There had been a peaceful march in the area earlier in the evening that ended with organizers calling for people to leave and reconvene Sunday afternoon.

But a few dozen protesters refused to go. Police ordered them to disperse, saying the protest was illegal. Hundreds of officers in riot gear eventually moved in with armored vehicles.

The demonstrators retreated down a street, breaking windows with trash cans and throwing objects at police.

Several protesters were taken away in handcuffs, including a man who was carried off upside down. At least one demonstrator was treated after he was hit with pepper spray.

Sam Thomas, who was helping his friend clean up the glass from the shattered windows of his clothing and accessories boutique, OSO, said he understood why people were angry. The US justice system is broken and needs to be fixed, he said.

‘I’m not saying this is the right way to fix it,’ he said of the damage. ‘The window isn’t murdered. Nobody is going to have a funeral for the window. We can replace it.’

Demonstrations began peacefully on Friday after Circuit Judge Timothy Wilson acquitted former St Louis police officer Stockley, 36, of first-degree murder in the 2011 shooting death of Smith, 24.

Protesters later clashed with police, and 33 people were arrested and 10 officers injured by early Saturday morning. Police said protesters also damaged Mayor Lyda Krewson’s home.

Police are seen here with two people - one of them unconscious after an asthma attack - during the riots. Protests continued on Sunday, but remained peaceful as of the early evening

Smith was shot in his car after Stockley and his partner chased him following an alleged drug deal, authorities said. Prosecutors argued that Stockley planted a weapon in Smith’s car.

Stockley left the St Louis Metropolitan Police Department in 2013. Smith’s family settled a wrongful death lawsuit against the city for $900,000 in 2013.

An informal group of St Louis-based activists known as the Ferguson frontline have organized the protests.

The group has focused on what it describes as institutional racism since rioting erupted in Ferguson, Missouri, a St Louis suburb, after a white police officer, Darren Wilson, shot black teenager Michael Brown in 2014.

A grand jury decided not to charge Wilson, and the US Justice Department declined to bring any charges of civil rights violations against him.

Brown’s death triggered sometimes violent protests in Ferguson and around the United States, fueled by police killings of unarmed black men in other cities.

It also helped spark debate about racial bias in the US justice system.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4893094/Third-day-protests-set-police-acquittal-St-Louis.html#ixzz4t4bVqEjQ

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The Pronk Pops Show 965, September 15, 2017, Breaking Story: Breaking Story 1: Radical Islamic Terrorist Attack — Improvised Bucket Bomb Device Explodes In United Kingdom Parson Green Tube Train Station in West London During Morning Rush Hour — 29 Injured None Seriously including Children — Threat Level Raised From Severe To Critical By Prime Minister May — Videos — Story 2: North Korea Fires Another Ballistic Missile Over Japan — Videos — Story 3: Conservative Commentator Ben Shapiro Allowed To Speak At University of California, Berkeley, Police Arrested Nine of The Protesters –Videos

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Image result for terrorist attack in London tube train Parsons green 14 September 2017Image result for North Korea launced missile over japan

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Image result for terrorist attack in London tube train Parsons green 14 September 2017

 

Breaking Story 1: Radical Islamic Terrorist Attack — Improvised Bucket Bomb Device Explodes In United Kingdom Parson Green Tube Train Station in West London During Morning Rush Hour — 29 Injured None Seriously including Children — Threat Level Raised From Severe To Critical By Prime Minister May — Videos —

Parsons Green explained: Terror attack on London Tube

18-yr-old Terrorist arrested for London Tube terror attack

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WION Gravitas: Know all about terror attack at Parsons Green Station in London

Parsons Green: Man arrested over Tube bombing

Parsons Green: Explosion was from an improvised explosive device – BBC News

London police confirm Parsons Green explosion was terrorist attack

Eyewitnesses describe moments of explosion on London Tube

Londoners resilient following Parsons Green attack: ‘Everyone seemed in good spirits’

Soldiers on the streets and extra armed police on patrol Theresa May raises terror level to CRITICAL

Trump Just Made HUGE Announcement To Americans Immediately After London Terror Attack Overnight

Parsons Green: ‘It’s a terrible thing’ – US President Donald Trump – BBC News

Parsons Green terror attack Theresa May scolds Donald Trump over ‘unhelpful’ comments

Parsons Green: ‘There was a human stampede’ – BBC News

Parsons Green Explosion Tube Train Station at District Line London – Fulham 9/15/2017

Explosion on London tube train

Burning device filmed on tube carriage at Parsons Green station

Several Injured in London Terror Attack

UK raises terror threat after Parsons Green Tube attack

Mayor’s statement on Parsons Green terrorist attack

Blast In London Underground Station

London tube attack witness describes ‘frightening’ scene

Parsons Green explosion was terrorist attack – London police (Special Coverage)

Parsons Green attack: 22 injured, UK terror threat remains at severe

#London #ParsonsGreen Bombing and the #MSM Usual Suspects Trained Seal Show: Repeat But Don’t Report

Idiots React to London Underground Attack

UPDATED

 Parsons Green attack: Police raid in west London as 18-year-old man arrested in Dover – latest news

Detectives investigating the terrorist attack at Parsons Green have made a “significant” arrest in connection with the attempted bombing.

The 18-year-old man was arrested by Kent Police in the port area of Dover on Saturday morning under section 41 of the Terrorism Act.

He remains in custody at a local police station from where he will be transferred to a south London police station.

 Deputy Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu, Senior National Co-ordinator for Counter Terrorism Policing, said: “We have made a significant arrest in our investigation this morning. Although we are pleased with the progress made, this investigation continues and the threat level remains at critical.

“The public should remain vigilant as our staff, officers and partners continue to work through this complex investigation. We are not, at this time, changing our protective security measures and the steps taken to free up extra armed officers remain in place.

“This arrest will lead to more activity from our officers. For strong investigative reasons we will not give any more details on the man we arrested at this stage.”

The development came after Prime Minister ordered troops onto the streets on Friday night after a suspected Islamist placed a powerful time bomb on a packed rush hour train heading towards Westminster.

Theresa May took the decision after the independent Joint Terrorism Assessment Centre (JTAC) recommended raising the terror threat to its highest level, Critical, meaning another attack is expected.

The white bucket that is said to have blown up on the Parsons Green carriage
The improvised explosive device in a white bucket blew up on the final carriage of the Parsons Green train CREDIT: PRICEY1983AA/TWITTER

The army will deploy troops at key locations around the capital in order to free up police who were last night involved in a huge manhunt to catch the terrorist responsible for the failed Parsons Green bomb attack, which Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant claimed responsibility.

At least 29 people were injured, including a boy believed to be aged about 10 when an improvised explosive device (IED) went off on a packed rush hour tube at Parsons Green in west London yesterday morning.

Witnesses described scenes of terror and panic after the blast sent a “fireball” and a “wall of flame” through a District line service in west London.

But the main device, which had been fitted with a crude timer using shop-bought fairy lights, failed to detonate, meaning hundreds of people were spared death and serious injury.

Anti-terror police are understood to be working on the theory that the bomb was detonated early by accident and that the intended target may have been the Tube station at Westminster.

Detectives have so far spoken to 45 witnesses and continue to receive information from the public to the confidential anti-terrorist hotline.

The public has sent 77 images and videos to investigators via the UK Police Image Appeal website.

A police officer at the entrance to Parsons Green after the station re-opened overnight
A police officer at the entrance to Parsons Green after the station re-opened overnight CREDIT: JONATHAN BRADY/PA WIRE

Detectives from the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command are continuing to urge anyone with information about the terrorist attack to contact police.

The attack – the fifth terrorist attack on the UK in just six months – caused a diplomatic row between Washington and London.

Donald Trump seemed to accuse the Metropolitan Police of knowing the identity of the attacker in advance but failing to prevent the bombing. Mr Trump posted on Twitter: “Another attack in London by a loser terrorist. These are sick and demented people who were in the sights of Scotland Yard. Must be proactive!”

His claim earned the US President a stiff rebuke from Theresa May. “I never think it’s helpful for anybody to speculate on what is an ongoing investigation,” said the prime minister. “The police and security services are working to discover the full circumstances of this cowardly attack and to identify all those responsible.”

Despite Mr Trump’s suggestion that the terrorist was known to police, counter-terrorism sources insisted that was not the case and that the hunt for the perpetrator of the bombing on a District Line train was ongoing.

An injured woman is assisted by a police officer close to Parsons Green station
An injured woman is assisted by a police officer close to Parsons Green station CREDIT: STEFAN ROUSSEAU/PA

Counter terrorism specialists from Scotland Yard were last night working to establish his identity from CCTV footage on the train and at stations on the line. They were also combing through records of payments with Oyster cards used to buy Tube tickets.

One theory is the suspected bomber may have fled the scene among the stampede of panicking passengers and escaped among the crowds.

They were also uncertain that Parsons Green was not the planned target, pointing to reports that the bomb, which was packed with shrapnel and contained a timing device, had apparently malfunctioned.

Witnesses reported seeing people “covered in blood” after a “flash and a bang” from the device, but sent a “fireball” through the packed Tube train.

Pictures and video posted on social media showed a flaming bucket – which appeared to have wires coming from it – inside a Lidl carrier bag on the floor of a carriage.

The device is not believed to have fully detonated and it is reported that it could have been set off on a timer.

More follows – stay with us for the latest updates through the day

Residents evacuated at Sunbury address

The Met Police said police officers had evacuated and were searching a residential address in Sunbury-on-Thames.

Scotland Yard said: “The evacuation is a precautionary measure following the arrest of a man in Dover, Kent, at approximately 07:50hrs this morning in connection with the investigation into the terrorist attack at Parsons Green Underground Station on Friday, 16 September.

Officers began evacuating the address at approximately 13:40hrs today.

Residents in the buildings immediately surrounding the address are also being evacuated as a precautionary measure.

Cordons are being put in place at a 100 metre radius to facilitate the Metropolitan Police Service’s operation, which is being supported by colleagues from Surrey Police.

A search of the address is ongoing and the cordons will remain in place until the operation is complete.

Police would like to thank the local residents directly affected for their cooperation and patience. Local officers are on duty in the immediate area to talk to the community and address any concerns that they may have.

No further arrests have been made.”

Police cordon set up after officers raid house in Sunbury-on-Thames

 00:35

Armed police raid west London address

Police investigating the Parsons Green bombing carried out a raid on an address in Sunbury-on-Thames, close to the start of the M3 in west London, on Saturday afternoon.

Residents described a house in Cavendish Road being evacuated by armed officers. Others reported bomb squad vehicles arriving as armed officers moved in.

Met Police Commissioner Cressida Dick says London “will not stop”

London will not be stopped by terror, Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick has said as she highlighted an increased visible police presence on the capital’s streets.

Ms Dick spoke as she joined officers on some of the city’s busiest streets, travelling on the Tube to Waterloo Station and patrolling the tourist hot spot of the South Bank

She said: “London has not stopped after other terrible attacks and it will not stop after this one.”

The Commissioner said the public should feel “utterly reassured” by the presence of police.

Met chief says London "will not stop"

Met chief says London “will not stop”

02:38

She said: “I’ve been out and about today. The public seem to be very positive about the number of officers that we have.”

She added: “The great thing about London is that we don’t give in, we don’t give in to terrorists – we never have and we carry on.

“So the transport system is running just as it ever did and the events are going ahead today. People are out and about. I’ve spoken to lots of people, Londoners and tourists and business people. People are here and I would say, carry on about your business and secondly, of course, be vigilant.”

She added: “My main message is London is carrying on. Carry on with your business but be alert, don’t be alarmed but make sure you tell us anything that worries you.”

Scenes from Saturday morning

Armed police are making their presence felt in the capital following the news last night that Prime Minister Theresa May had raised the UK terror threat level to critical.

Armed police in Westminster
Increased security in Westminster CREDIT:  TOM NICHOLSON/LNP

Meanwhile, Tube passengers have been returning to Parsons Green.

A passenger walks into Parsons Green Underground station
The station reopened in the early hours CREDIT: PETER NICHOLLS/REUTERS