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    President Joe Biden finally sits down with Vladimir Putin for their first presidential summit today – meeting in a locked-down Geneva as both men take each other's measure and assess whether there is a way to put the relationship between the U.S. and Russia on a more stable course.  The city, which warmly welcomed the leaders by placing U.S. and Russian flags along the shores of Lake Geneva, has ratcheted up security – with special forces patrolling Lake Geneva by sea, heavily armed police, and the usual retinue of motorcades to ferry both men, who are staying in separate hotels nearby each other. Putin is set to arrive first at the summit venue in an event that is both choreographed in its broad outlines and adjusted on the fly, some areas left entirely open – including the food. President Joe Biden sits down with Russian President Vladimir Putin for two meetings on Wednesday Putin is known for seeking to turn western complaints about human rights and rule of law against his critics. He was set to arrive in...
    President Joe Biden on Thursday announced new sanctions against Russia and expelled 10 diplomats in retaliation for the Kremlin's interference in American elections, its aggressive actions in the Ukraine, and the SolarWinds cyber hack. The White House also harshly denounced Moscow for offering the Taliban bounties for U.S. troops serving in Afghanistan. The United States said it was taking the action to 'counter Russia’s harmful foreign activities that threaten the national security and foreign policy of the United States.'  In a series of actions on Thursday, the United States sanctioned 32 Russian entities and individual along with six technology companies, formally attributed the SolarWinds cyber breach to Russian intelligence agencies, and accused Moscow of still trying to hack American targets. 'The President signed this sweeping new authority to confront Russia's continued and growing malign behavior,' said Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen in a statement. The Treasury Department is in charge of carrying out the sanctions. 'Treasury is leveraging this new authority to impose costs on the Russian government for its unacceptable conduct, including by limiting Russia's ability to finance its activities...
    The Biden administration is preparing to announce sanctions in response to a massive Russian hacking campaign that breached vital federal agencies, as well as for election interference, a senior administration official said Wednesday night. The sanctions, foreshadowed for weeks by the administration, would represent the first retaliatory action announced against the Kremlin for last year's hack, familiarly known as the SolarWinds breach.  In that intrusion, Russian hackers are believed to have infected widely used software with malicious code, enabling them to access the networks of at least nine agencies in what U.S. officials believe was an intelligence gathering operation aimed at mining government secrets. Besides that hack, U.S. officials last month alleged that Russian President Vladimir Putin authorized influence operations to help Donald Trump in his unsuccessful bid for reelection as president, though there's no evidence Russia or anyone else changed votes or manipulated the outcome. The Biden administration is preparing to announce sanctions in response to a massive Russian hacking campaign that breached vital federal agencies, as well as for election interference  The measures are to be...
    Miami : March 18, 2021 0 The Russian ambassador to Washington will leave on Saturday, summoned by the Russian authorities, after US President Joe Biden declared that he thought his counterpart Vladimir Putin was “a murderer.” “In meetings in the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and other bodies, ways to correct the Russian-American relationship currently in crisis will be analyzed,” the Russian embassy in the United States wrote on its Facebook page. According to the diplomatic headquarters, “reckless statements by US officials run the risk of causing the collapse of already conflictive relations.” Russian diplomacy explained that it had called its ambassador in Washington Anatoly Antonov for consultations after Biden’s statements. The US president said he thought Putin was a “murderer” and assured that “he will pay” for Russian interference in the 2016 and 2020 US elections. The Kremlin did not immediately react to these claims. Calling your ambassador for consultations is a rare occurrence in Russian diplomacy. The president of the Russian lower house, Viacheslav Volodin, assured that Biden had “insulted” all Russians and “attacked”...
    “We have identified several incidents in which actors linked to the Russian, Chinese or Iranian governments have undermined the security of networks of political organizations, candidates and parties,” write the Ministries of Justice and Homeland Security. “Some have gathered information that they could have published to influence the operations, but we have not observed any dissemination, modification or destruction” of this data, they add in this investigation report. In addition, “Russian and Iranian campaigns have targeted essential infrastructure and compromised the security of networks in charge of electoral operations”, but had no impact on “the votes, the counting or the transmission of results” , add the two ministries. The authors of the document then evoke, without naming it, the allegations hammered by former President Donald Trump and his supporters to contest the victory of Democrat Joe Biden in the presidential election. “We are aware of public statements, according to which foreign governments, including Venezuela, Cuba or China, (…) have manipulated the counting thanks to their control of electoral infrastructures”, they write. “The investigations have shown...
    (CNN)On Wednesday, I will testify before the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. Though I am no longer a public servant, it remains an honor to serve the public, and I am proud to heed the call of our Senate leaders to tell the public about the methodology of the agency I led, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), to secure the 2020 presidential election.I joined the Department of Homeland Security in March of 2017. I believe, then and now, that the Russian Federation attempted to interfere in our 2016 election to disparage Hillary Clinton to the advantage of then-presidential candidate Donald Trump, as laid out in the 2017 Intelligence Community Assessment. Russia attempted to advance its candidate of choice and to corrode public faith in American democracy through cyberattacks and a coordinated disinformation campaign. Our democratic institutions are facing targeted, calculated threats from without, and from within. This is why we prioritized election security as the primary focus of CISA. I made that mission clear at my confirmation hearing when I took an oath to defend...
    President Donald Trump may be following Vladimir Putin’s autocratic playbook closer than we all realize—and the Russian interference was just the tip of the iceberg. In this bonus members-only episode of The New Abnormal, The New Yorker staff writer and Surviving Autocracy author Masha Gessen joins co-host Molly Jong-Fast to talk about this phenomenon. They discuss how leaders like Trump and Putin put systems in place to hold power, and if you’re wondering how a man like Trump could do something so seemingly elaborate, it makes sense.
    (CNN)Last month, both Twitter and Facebook announced they were removing a network of accounts that promoted a fake news outlet staffed by computer-generated anchors. The artificial intelligence generated content was mostly directed at left-leaning voters in the United States, with the apparent goal of dissuading them from supporting the Biden-Harris ticket.Predictably, the accounts were traced back to Internet Research Agency, the most infamous of the Russian government-sponsored troll farms which prominently played in the 2016 election. Chris MurphyAs a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, I have reviewed a lot of both unclassified and classified information detailing Russia's plan to disrupt the 2020 election. This fake news channel is just one of a myriad of examples of how Russia has supersized and improved its ability to disrupt American politics since the 2016 election, when its influence reached an estimated 126 million people on Facebook alone. These new methods include setting up credible-looking websites like those taken down by Facebook and Twitter, hiring unknowing Americans to provide content for Russia-aligned news sites, and using high-ranking Republican senators and Trump associates...
    By now, the Kremlin has meddled in so many elections around the world that the immune system of global democracy has gotten at least a little wise to its threats. Here are some lessons that other countries can teach us in the age of Russian mayhem. When in Doubt, Go AnalogIn 2017, spooked by stories about Russian hacking in the US election, Dutch TV broadcaster RTL investigated the Netherlands' software system for counting paper ballots and found it riddled with security flaws. “The average iPad is more secure than the Dutch electoral system,” said one security researcher. So in a dramatic move just six weeks before a big election, the country decided to count all the votes manually—a slower but far more secure option.Get Physical AuthenticationIn 2007, Estonia was an early victim of Russian cyberattacks; yet today nearly half of the country's citizens vote online. Estonia has kept the Kremlin from corrupting that digital democracy in part by giving every citizen a smart ID card that physically authenticates their identity for online banking, paying taxes, and voting. Online elections remain...
    Democratic 2020 vice presidential candidate Kamala Harris warned that Russia’s continued interference in America’s political institutions could be a reason why Joe Biden might not win the election. Harris spoke with CNN’s Dana Bash, who asked for the senator’s response to a Department of Homeland Security warning that Russia is working to undermine public trust in the election by amplifying groundless claims that mail-in voting will lead to mass corruption. When asked if Russian interference could cost the election for Biden, Harris referred to the findings from her place on the Senate Intelligence Committee, saying she expects Russia “will be at the front of the line” of foreign efforts to meddle with the election. “Could it cost you the White House?” Bash asked. “Theoretically, of course, yes,” Harris answered. Harris elaborated by saying she and Biden were taking a realistic approach to the possibilities of what might happen at the end of the election. She made her argument by referring to allegations of voter suppression, Russia’s actions during the 2016 election, and President Donald Trump’s efforts to sow doubt...
    Kamala Harris slammed President Donald Trump and his Attorney General William Barr for denying systematic racism in the US justice system.  The California senator and Democratic vice presidential candidate hit out at Trump and Barr in an interview with CNN aired Sunday - saying that they are 'spending full time in a different reality'.  'We do have two systems of justice' for black and white Americans, said Harris, the first black and South Asian American woman on a major party presidential ticket.  'I don't think that most reasonable people who are paying attention to the facts would dispute that there are racial disparities and a system that has engaged in racism in terms of how the laws have been enforced,' she said.  'It does us no good to deny that. Let's just deal with it. Let's be honest. These might be difficult conversations for some, but they're not difficult conversations for leaders, not for real leaders.'  Scroll down for video  Kamala Harris slammed President Donald Trump and his Attorney General William Barr for denying systematic racism in the US...
    Sen. Kamala Harris, the running mate to Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden said foreign interference by Russia could cost them the 2020 election. "We have what happened in 2016, which is foreign interference," Harris said during a CNN interview that aired Sunday. "We have a president who has tried to convince the American people not to believe in the integrity of our election system and compromise their belief that their vote might actually count. These things are all at play." Earlier this year, the U.S. intelligence community warned China, Russia, and Iran are seeking to influence the 2020 election. That assessment, released in August by Bill Evanina, who leads the National Counterintelligence and Security Center, said Russia is “using a range of measures to primarily denigrate” Biden. The same report said China wants President Trump to lose reelection, and the Iran regime is seeking to undermine his presidency. Although the Trump administration has raised a lot of concerns about China, Harris said she believes Russia will be at the forefront of any meddling efforts in 2020. "I am clear that...
    CNN’s Jake Tapper grilled Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf on whether President Donald Trump really accepts the intelligence that Russia is trying to interfere in America’s elections again. In a broad-range interview for State of the Union, Tapper asked Wolf what is the DHS doing to counteract Russia’s ongoing attempts to launch disinformation campaigns and infiltrate America’s election infrastructure. Wolf answered that the department is aware of the disinformation campaigns being conducted by Russia and other countries, but also, “we don’t have any intelligence that says they are attacking election infrastructure specifically.” After Wolf said he could not see any indication that foreign powers are trying to falsify mail-in votes, Tapper moved the conversation toward Miles Taylor, the former DHS official who has called out Trump’s disinterest in Russia’s interference efforts. Wolf denied Taylor’s negative comments about the president’s approach to homeland security, and he chalked up Taylor’s revolt against Trump as “politics and nothing more.” “So President Trump does recognize that Russia is trying to interfere in the election and you don’t have any trouble introducing that...
    Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton offered a warning on Sunday over the signs that Russia is once again attempting to meddle with America’s electoral institutions. In an interview with MSNBC’s Zerlina Maxwell (who worked for Clinton’s 2016 campaign), Clinton was asked for what advice would she give Joe Biden’s 2020 campaign to address Russian interference. The question comes shortly after U.S. intelligence officials warned that Russia is once again trying to meddle in America’s elections, and that they and China seem to want President Donald Trump to win re-election. “When even the Trump administration intelligence officials have to admit that there is so much activity coming from Russia that is designed to help Trump, then you know there’s so much more than they are even telling us,” Clinton said. She continued by referring to senators who’ve been briefed on foreign interference and believe the situation is “so much worse” than what is publicly known. “I hope the press doesn’t fall for it,” Clinton said. “I hope the press is vigilant and incredibly skeptical about what’s happening...
    Al Jazeera journalist Kimberly Halkett is insisting she didn't call Trump Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany a 'lying b***h' at a White House press briefing.   Social media users flocked to Twitter claiming to have heard Halkett utter the remark from behind her face mask during a tense exchange with McEnany on Tuesday.  But Halkett, who works as Al Jazeera's White House correspondent, quickly denied using the profanity when questioned by one of her online followers.  'There's a lot of misreporting out there about that briefing,' Halkett wrote.  'The answer to your question is, I DID NOT. What I said was, 'OKAY, YOU DON'T WANT TO ENGAGE.'' Al Jazeera journalist Kimberly Halkett insists she didn't call Trump Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany a 'lying b***h' at a White House press briefing on Tuesday  Halkett, who works as Al Jazeera's White House correspondent, quickly denied using the profanity when questioned by one of her online followers It came after Halkett asked McEnany two questions about possible Russian interference in the upcoming Presidential election, which resulted in a back and forth between the...
    The head of U.S. Africa Command, Gen. Stephen Townsend, recently flew to Libya, signaling America’s concern for rising tensions as Russian fighter jets fly over eastern Libya and U.S. allies line up on opposing sides of the nine-year conflict. “The focus was on the need for a cease-fire and political negotiations,” U.S. Air Force Col. Chris Karns told the Washington Examiner after the Monday meeting between the United States and the U.N.-backed Government of National Accord. Karns said that Townsend did not offer AFRICOM capabilities such as intelligence, surveillance, or reconnaissance to bolster the GNA’s defenses. “Our role remains monitoring the terrorist threat and ensuring it doesn’t regenerate amidst the conflict,” Karns said. The meeting between Townsend, U.S. Ambassador to Libya Richard Norland, and Libyan Prime Minister Fayez al Sarraj in Zuwara comes amid rising tensions and rhetoric from regional players and U.S. allies on opposing sides in the conflict, explained retired U.S. Army Col. Chris Wyatt, who spent most of his career deployed in Africa. “We are in a difficult position geostrategically because we have friends, partners, and...
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