Daily Archives

21 Articles

your ad here
Posted by Worldkrap on

Survey: 1 in 3 US Election Workers Feels Unsafe 

Long after a contentious U.S. presidential election that unleashed a torrent of partisan threats against poll workers and others, many American election officials continue to feel unsafe because of their jobs, according to a recent survey.The FILE – Then-President Donald Trump looks on at the end of his speech during a rally to contest the certification of the 2020 U.S. presidential election results by the U.S. Congress, in Washington, Jan. 6, 2021.Trump blamedMany officials blamed former President Donald Trump for inspiring the threats by falsely claiming the November election had been rigged against him in favor of his Democratic opponent, Joe Biden.However, Brennan Center analysts said the problem runs “far deeper than one man.” They cited recent efforts by dozens of state officials and legislators across the country to undermine election officials and workers by passing new legislation and taking other actions to mitigate their influence.Between January 1 and mid-May alone, at least 14 states enacted 22 new laws that will restrict access to the vote and weaken the hand of state and local election officials and poll workers to protect the integrity of the polls, according to the Brennan Center.“It is no accident in 2021, as American democracy finds itself under assault, these officials are a prime target,” the Brennan Center said in its report. “If we are going to protect American democracy, we must protect them. It is no exaggeration to say the survival of our democracy depends on it.”Many Republicans said they passed the legislation to bolster Americans’ confidence in the voting process and the accuracy of the voting rolls. They said they were also seeking to strengthen the authority of partisan poll watchers to make sure ballots are properly handled.FILE – Maricopa County ballots cast in the 2020 general election are examined and recounted by contractors working for Florida-based company Cyber Ninjas at Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Phoenix, May 6, 2021.Arizona recountArizona state Senate Republicans ordered an unofficial hand-count audit of the 2020 presidential election results in Maricopa County in search of evidence of fraud, prompting Republican officials in other states to consider emulating the process in the future.Hans von Spakovsky, a senior legal fellow with the conservative Heritage Foundation, said the new laws that have angered Democrats are in fact meant to “fix the vulnerabilities that exist in our election system.”“They are not discriminatory and, contrary to [Garland’s] misrepresentations, protect the fairness and integrity of the election process for all voters,” Spakovsky said in an email.The Brennan Center survey was based on interviews with 233 election officials across the country. It was conducted April 1-7 and had a margin of error of plus or minus 6.4%.The November election saw an unprecedented level of threats against election workers and officials. The threats became so serious that several officials were forced to move out of their homes for their own safety. Among them were top Georgia officials including Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, a Republican who defied Trump’s demand to deliver his state to the former president.Those types of threats are unlikely to dissipate anytime soon, according to some experts. In May, Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, a Democrat, reported that a man called her office saying she deserved to die and inquiring what she was wearing “so she’ll be easy to get.””It was one of at least three such threats today,” Hobbs tweeted on May 6. “Then a man who I’ve never seen before chased me and my staffer outside of our office.” The governor subsequently assigned state troopers to provide Hobbs with around-the-clock protection.FILE – Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs talks about voter registration at Phoenix College on National Voter Registration Day in Phoenix, Sept. 24, 2019.Condemnation of threats, violenceThe onslaught of threats has alarmed many in politics and government. In February, the National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS) passed a resolution condemning “violence and threats of violence against election workers” and calling “on all leaders to denounce these dangerous occurrences.”Asked for comment on the Brennan Center report, NASS referred VOA to the resolution.The Brennan Center called on the Justice Department to set up a task force to prioritize identifying, investigating and prosecuting those threatening election workers. The center also urged states to coordinate investigating and prosecuting those responsible for threatening election officials.“As states around the country pass laws that will limit access to voting in the name of baseless ‘election integrity concerns,’ they have almost entirely ignored one of the most pernicious threats to our democracy in decades: the harassment and intimidation of election workers,” the report said.A Justice Department spokesperson did not respond to a request for comment on the Brennan Center report and its proposal for an election threats task force.Sylvia Albert, director of elections and voting for Common Cause, a government watchdog group based in Washington, said the persistent threats would make it harder to fill the slots ahead of the 2022 midterm elections.“And it is the American people who will suffer when elections are unable to be run in a safe, free and fair way with adequate staffing,” Albert said.
 

your ad here
Posted by Worldkrap on

Biden Strikes Realistic Tone After Meeting With Putin

U.S. President Joe Biden and Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin have ended their summit in Geneva, with Biden describing it as “good” and “positive.”  
 
But he further described the summit in a realistic tone, saying the next several months would serve as a “test” of whether relations between the two countries can improve.
 
“I am not sitting here saying because the president and I agreed that we would do these things that all of a sudden it’s going to work,” Biden said during the press conference after his more than three-hour meeting with Putin. “I’m not saying that.  
 
“What I am saying is, I think there’s a genuine prospect to significantly improve the relations between our two countries, without us giving up a single, solitary thing based on principle and our values,” Biden said.
 
In his press conference after the summit, Putin, speaking through an interpreter, also described the meeting as “constructive.” He said there were “no hostilities,” calling the U.S. leader a “constructive person, well-balanced and experienced, a seasoned politician.”  
 
After the summit, both the White House and the Kremlin released identical statements, noting that “even in periods of tension,” both countries have demonstrated they are able to make progress on “shared goals of ensuring predictability in the strategic sphere, reducing the risk of armed conflicts and the threat of nuclear war.”  
 
Both governments said they will begin consultations on strategic stability to manage relations. In his press conference, Putin noted that as nuclear powers, the U.S. and Russia have a special responsibility to maintain relations.U.S. President Joe Biden and Russia’s President Vladimir Putin meet at Villa La Grange in Geneva, Switzerland, June 16, 2021.”The recent extension of the New START Treaty exemplifies our commitment to nuclear arms control. Today, we reaffirm the principle that a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought,” the White House and Kremlin statements said.
 
“Consistent with these goals, the United States and Russia will embark together on an integrated bilateral Strategic Stability Dialogue in the near future that will be deliberate and robust. Through this Dialogue, we seek to lay the groundwork for future arms control and risk reduction measures,” the statement said.
 Sticking points
 
While both leaders noted the talks were productive, it is clear divisions remain.  
 
Biden said there were disagreements, but “it was not done in a hyperbolic atmosphere,” adding that no threats were made during the meeting.
 
Those disputes include the issue of Ukraine, cyberattacks and human rights.
 
“I pointed out to him we have significant cyber capability, and he knows it. He doesn’t know exactly what it is, but it’s significant,” Biden said, noting that he told Putin that critical U.S. infrastructure should be “off limits” to cyberattacks.
 
Biden appeared to suggest that should Moscow launch such an attack, the U.S. may retaliate “in a cyber way.”
 
“I looked at him, I said, ‘Well, how would you feel if ransomware took on the pipelines from your oil fields?’” Biden said.
 
Putin denies U.S. accusations of election meddling and cyberattacks, including ransomware attacks on American businesses that U.S. intelligence agencies conclude may be coming from within Russian territories.Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during a news conference after his meeting with U.S President Joe Biden at the ‘Villa la Grange’ in Geneva, Switzerland, June 16, 2021.Biden also said he “made it clear” to Putin the U.S. will continue to raise human rights issues.
 
“Human rights is going to always be on the table,” Biden sid. He said he brought up issues like the detention of Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny and Trevor Reed, a former U.S. Marine imprisoned in Russia because “that’s who we are.”
 
Putin remained firm about his position on Navalny. “This man knew that he was breaking the law of Russia. He has been twice convicted,” Putin said, keeping his habit of not saying the opposition activist’s name aloud.  
 
Repeating Russia’s official claim, Putin said Navalny violated bail conditions last year by going abroad while unconscious after an apparent Novichok poisoning and by failing to check in with Russian officials as required.  
 
Biden underscored a demand for press freedom. “I also raised the ability of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty to operate, and the importance of a free press and freedom of speech,” Biden said referring to the U.S.-funded media that were branded as “foreign agents” by the Russian government and accused of violating rules that could be punished with heavy fines, even imprisonment.
 
A recent incident in which a commercial airline was forced to land in Minsk, so that Belarusian authorities could arrest a prominent dissident, also was discussed, Biden said, adding that Putin “didn’t disagree with what happened.”
 
“He just said it’s a perspective of what you do about it,” Biden said. Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko relies heavily on Putin for support.President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin, arrive to meet at the ‘Villa la Grange’, June 16, 2021, in Geneva, Switzerland.Ukraine sovereignty
 
Ukraine appears to be another issue where the two leaders disagreed.  
 
Biden said he communicated to Putin “unwavering commitment to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine.”
 
“We agreed to pursue diplomacy, related to the Minsk Agreement,” he said, referring to the 2014 deal to halt the war in the Donbas region of Ukraine.
 
Prior to the summit, Ukrainian officials played down the prospect of ending the war in the eastern part of the country, which has been simmering for seven years between Russian-backed separatists and the Ukrainian army.
 
“We have made it very clear to our partners that no agreement on Ukraine reached without Ukraine will be recognized by us,” Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said.
 
On the issue of Ukraine’s accession to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Putin gave a terse assessment. “I don’t think there is anything to discuss there,” he said.
 
The Kremlin has stated that Ukraine’s entry into NATO is a “red line” for Russia. Asked earlier this week about whether Ukraine should join NATO, Biden said, “It depends on whether they meet the criteria,” including cleaning up corruption.  
 
The administration announced earlier this month that Biden will host Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy at the White House sometime this summer. Biden has not invited Putin to Washington.U.S. President Joe Biden and Russia’s President Vladimir Putin meet for the U.S.-Russia summit at Villa La Grange in Geneva, Switzerland, June 16, 2021. (Sputnik/Mikhail Metzel/Pool via Reuters)No Cold War
 
Biden emphasized the “last thing” Putin wants now is a Cold War. He said that while the summit’s end is not a “Kumbaya moment,” it’s in neither country’s interest to be in a “new Cold War” situation.
 
Biden went on to say he thinks Putin understands this, though it doesn’t mean Putin is “willing to lay down his arms.” Biden assessed the Russian leader is still concerned that the U.S. aims to “take him down.”
 
Putin said in a bid to lower tensions, he and Biden agreed to return their ambassadors to their posts in the future. U.S. Ambassador John Sullivan and Russian Ambassador Anatoly Antonov left their posts earlier this year amid worsening U.S.-Russia relations. They both participated in expanded bilateral discussions at the summit.   
 
According to a White House official, the summit ended at 5:05 CEST Wednesday when the expanded bilateral between the two delegations concluded. That meeting on the American side included five high-level officials in addition to Biden and Secretary of State Antony Blinken. The session was concluded after one expanded bilateral meeting, according to the official, not two as was previously scheduled.
 

your ad here
Posted by Worldkrap on

Putin: Jailed Opposition Leader Navalny Got What He Deserved

Russian President Vladimir Putin said Wednesday that jailed opposition leader Alexey Navalny got what he deserved when he was sentenced to prison. Putin, speaking at a news conference in Geneva after his summit with U.S. President Joe Biden, said, without mentioning Navalny’s name, “He deliberately moved [back to Russia] to be arrested.” Navalny, Putin’s most prominent political foe, was arrested in January when he returned from Germany, where he had been treated at a Berlin hospital for five months while recovering from a poisoning. Navalny contends Russian agents applied the nerve agent Novichok to his underwear in August, a claim Moscow has denied. Russian President Vladimir Putin gestures as he speaks during a news conference after his meeting with U.S President Joe Biden at Villa La Grange in Geneva, Switzerland, June 16, 2021.Then, in February, Navalny was handed a two-and-a-half-year prison term for violating terms of a suspended sentence he had been given after a 2014 embezzlement conviction he has claimed is politically motivated. Putin told reporters that Navalny had received his due punishment for violating his probation and had known he would be arrested when he returned to Russia. When asked what would happen if Navalny died in prison, Biden said Wednesday, “I made it clear to him that I believe the consequences of that would be devastating for Russia.” In an interview last week with NBC News, Putin denied ordering the poisoning of Navalny. “We don’t have this kind of habit of assassinating anybody,” Putin said, but he would not guarantee that Navalny would get out of prison alive. FILE – A still image from CCTV footage released April 2, 2021, by Life.Ru shows what is said to be jailed Kremlin critic Alexey Navalny speaking with a prison guard at the IK-2 corrective penal colony in the town of Pokrov, Russia.”Look, such decisions in this country are not made by the president,” Putin said. “He will not be treated any worse than anybody else.” A Moscow court last week outlawed organizations founded by Navalny, describing them as “extremist.” Analysts viewed the move as part of Putin’s effort to silence dissent and bar Kremlin critics from running for parliament in September. In the NBC interview and at Wednesday’s news conference, Putin equated Russia’s response to dissent with the arrest of more than 500 supporters of former U.S. President Donald Trump during the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. Putin contended the U.S. arrests had infringed on the protesters’ rights to free speech, ignoring the fact that some of the protesters were charged with injuring dozens of police officers, smashing windows and ransacking congressional offices. “We sympathize with what happened in the United States,” he said in Geneva. “We have no desire to allow the same thing to happen in our country.” At a rally shortly before the assault on the Capitol, Trump urged his supporters to “fight like hell” in confronting lawmakers as they were certifying Biden’s Electoral College victory in November’s election. But Putin claimed they had been charged with criminal offenses only because they made “political demands.”  “Isn’t that persecution for political opinions?” Putin asked. Only a handful of the cases have been adjudicated so far. Those convicted of violence or vandalism in the attack on the Capitol could face years in prison, while those who only entered the building against restrictions could be handed light sentences or given probation. 
 

your ad here
Posted by Ukrap on

Ізраїль заявляє про пожежі через «вогняні кулі», запущені зі Смуги Гази

Ізраїльські військові вранці 16 червня заявили, що їхні літаки атакували об’єкти «Хамас» у відповідь на запуск «вогняних куль»

your ad here
Posted by Ukrap on

Єврокомісія погодила перші плани відновлення після пандемії – кошти отримають Португалія та Іспанія

Португалія отримає 16 мільярдів євро фінансування, Іспанія – 140 мільйонів

your ad here
Posted by Worldkrap on

What Does Success Look Like in Biden-Putin Summit?

As U.S. President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin took part in their highly anticipated summit Wednesday in Geneva, what does success look like for a meeting that both sides have downplayed from the start?  Both sides have highlighted opportunities for cooperation but neither expected much improvement in tense relations between Moscow and Washington. The meeting was set up to be more of an airing of grievances than a platform to reach significant agreements.”We’re not expecting a big set of deliverables out of this meeting,” said a senior administration official, briefing VOA and other reporters on board Air Force One during Biden’s flight to Switzerland.  The official said Biden’s goals include seeking areas where the United States and Russia can work together while clearly stating U.S. vital national interests and making it clear that “Russian activities that run counter to those interests will be met with a response.” He also aims to lay out his “vision for American values and our national priorities.”Russia’s President Vladimir Putin stands on a podium as he addresses the media during a press conference after the U.S.-Russia summit with U.S. President Joe Biden at Villa La Grange in Geneva, Switzerland, June 16, 2021.”The meeting has a low bar,” said Leslie Vinjamuri, director of the U.S. and Americas Program at Chatham House. It isn’t aiming for a “reset” of the relationship, Vinjamuri added, something that many American presidents prior to Biden have attempted.Vinjamuri added that if, following the summit, Biden can tell the American people that he has drawn red lines on interference in U.S. democracy, has called out Putin on cyberattacks, and underscored NATO’s commitment to deterring Russia’s aggression, the Biden administration will call that success.   On the other hand, Putin will likely brand the summit as a success just by playing the role of the statesman on the world’s largest stage, said Cyrus Newlin, associate fellow with the Europe, Russia, and Eurasia Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Russian state media have highlighted the fact that Biden is meeting Putin before Chinese President Xi Jinping or any other U.S. adversary.  Whether or not the summit comes out as a net positive for Biden can only be determined in the ensuing months — will Biden communicate his red lines and will Putin respect them, Newlin said.  “Does Russia tone down its cyberattacks? Does Russia cease its provocations in the Black Sea and along Ukraine’s border?” Newlin asked. “The failure of the U.S. to secure these basic changes in Russian behavior would illustrate that summits do have costs.”  Republicans have slammed Biden for rewarding Putin with a meeting without pre-conditions, a criticism rejected by the White House. Ukraine  Earlier this month Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said Russia has maintained a massive military presence near his country’s borders, having withdrawn only a fraction of the 100,000 troops deployed in April. The buildup is a concern for the West and would be brought up by Biden in his discussion with Putin, the senior administration official said. Ukraine’s ascension into NATO will be another key red line — a difficult problem to manage according to Timothy Frye, Columbia University Professor of Post-Soviet Politics and Author of “Weak Strongman: The Limits of Power in Putin’s Russia.” “Putin will insist on no NATO membership for Ukraine, while the U.S. will insist on Ukraine’s right to choose its foreign policy,” Frye said. Following Biden’s summit with NATO leaders Monday, Zelenskiy tweeted that NATO agreed that his country could join the alliance, causing some analysts to speculate that Putin might cancel his Wednesday summit with Biden. Commend U.S. President Joe Biden, left, and Russia’s President Vladimir Putin meet for the U.S.-Russia summit at Villa La Grange in Geneva, Switzerland, June 16, 2021.U.S. Ambassador John Sullivan and Russian Ambassador Anatoly Antonov returned to their respective home countries earlier this year amid worsening U.S.-Russia relations. Both are in Geneva and participated in the expanded part of the summit.    In April, Biden expelled 10 Russian diplomats and imposed new sanctions on companies linked to the hacking of the SolarWinds information technology company. The hack spread to SolarWinds’ clients — U.S. companies and government agencies. In May, two U.S. businesses involved in key goods — fuel and meat — were targeted in cyberattacks believed to have originated in Russia. Both companies paid millions of dollars in ransom to restore their business operations, although U.S. law enforcement officials have recovered most of the money Colonial Pipeline paid.  
Putin has denied U.S. accusations of election meddling, cyberattacks, human rights abuses and elimination of political opposition including through nerve agent poisoning. Moscow claims to be a victim of Western anti-Russian sentiment.  China  Prior to his meeting with Putin, Biden attended the G-7, NATO and EU summits, seeking to boost relations with allies and consult with them about the U.S.-Russia talks.       As in the prior meetings, China is a key driver in the U.S.-Russia talks. “The Biden administration wants to hold firm on Russia but engage just enough to dampen any unity between Russia and China,” Chatham House’s Vinjamuri said.  Moscow and Beijing have forged closer ties in recent years, including deeper military ties. Both have broadly similar foreign policy and expansionist ambitions, with aligning interests to reject what they see as U.S. and European efforts to impose a “liberal” character on the rules-based international order. 
 

your ad here
Posted by Ukrap on

Путін підійшов до перемов із Байденом у слабшій позиції – Клімкін

16 червня у швейцарській Женеві відбувся саміт президента США Джо Байдена з президентом Росії Володимиром Путіним