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Biden Issues Stern Warning To Putin Ahead Of US-Russia Summit

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US President, Joe Biden has doled out a word of caution to Russian president Vladimir Putin in anticipation of a planned meeting between the two at a summit.

Joe Biden has made it crystal clear he does not want to go war with Russia but if Russia refuses to reach an agreement with the States, they would not hesitate to use robust ways to retaliate.Biden addressed some US troops at a hangar in Britain.

In his words: “I’m headed to the G7, then to the NATO ministerial and then to meet with Mr. Putin to let him know what I want him to know,” We’re not seeking conflict with Russia. We want a stable predictable relationship, I’ve been clear: the United States will respond in a robust and meaningful way if the Russian government engages in harmful activities.”

“We’ve already demonstrated that. I’m going to communicate that there are consequences for violating the sovereignty of democracies in the United States and Europe and elsewhere. Our unrivaled network of alliances and partnerships that are the key to American advantage in the world and have been,

“They’ve made the world safer for all of us and they are how we are going to meet the challenges of today, which are changing rapidly. We’re going to meet it though from a position of strength. I believe we’re in at an inflection point in world history, the moment where it falls to us to prove that democracies will not just endure, but they will excel as we rise to seize the enormous opportunities of the new age,

“We have to discredit those who believe that the age of democracy is over, as some of our fellow nations believe.” he added.

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Kenneth Kaunda, Founding President Of Zambia, Dies At 97

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The first president of Zambia, Kenneth Kaunda, has died aged 97, local news sources have confirmed. He was the country’s founding father and ruled for 27 years from 1964 after it gained independence from Britain.

Kaunda’s death comes days after reports that he was admitted to Maina Soko military hospital in the capital Lusaka, where he was treated for pneumonia from Monday.

A Facebook post by his son, Kambarage Kaunda, announced the Zambian founding president’s passage.

Kambarage asked for prayers for his father whom he called Mzee.

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Biden, Putin Agree To Steps On Cybersecurity, Arms Control

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US President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed on Wednesday to begin cybersecurity and arms control talks at a summit that highlighted their discord on those issues, human rights and Ukraine.

In their first meeting since he took office in January, Biden asked Putin how he would feel if a ransomware attack hit Russia’s oil network, a pointed question making reference to the May shutdown of a pipeline that caused disruptions and panic-buying along the US East Coast.

While Biden stressed that he did not make threats during the three-hour meeting, he said he outlined US interests, including cybersecurity, and made clear to Putin that the United States would respond if Russia infringed on those concerns.

Both men used careful pleasantries to describe their talks in a lakeside Swiss villa, with Putin calling them constructive and without hostility and Biden saying there was no substitute for face-to-face discussions.

They also agreed to send their ambassadors back to each other’s capitals. Russia recalled its envoy after Biden said in March that he thought Putin was a “killer.” The United States recalled its ambassador soon after.

Putin said on Wednesday that he had been satisfied by Biden’s explanation of the remark.

But there was no hiding their differences on issues such as human rights, where Biden said the consequences for Russia would be “devastating” if jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny died, or cyberspace, where Washington has demanded Moscow crack down on ransomware attacks emanating from Russian soil.

“I looked at him and said: ‘How would you feel if ransomware took on the pipelines from your oil fields?’ He said: ‘It would matter,'” Biden told reporters at an unusual solo news conference, itself an illustration of the tensions between the two nations.

The query referred to a cyberattack that closed the Colonial Pipeline Co system for several days in May, preventing millions of barrels of gasoline, diesel and jet fuel from flowing to the East Coast from the Gulf Coast.

Biden also vowed to take action against any Russian cyberattacks: “I pointed out to him that we have significant cyber capability. And he knows it.”

Speaking to reporters before Biden, Putin dismissed US concerns about Navalny, Russia’s increased military presence near Ukraine’s eastern border and US suggestions that Russians were responsible for the cyberattacks on the United States.

He also suggested Washington was in no position to lecture Moscow on rights, batting away question about his crackdown on political rivals by saying he was trying to avoid the “disorder” of a popular movement, such as Black Lives Matter.

“What we saw was disorder, disruption, violations of the law, etc. We feel sympathy for the United States of America, but we don’t want that to happen on our territory and we’ll do our utmost in order to not allow it to happen,” he said.

He also seemed to question the legitimacy of arresting the rioters who attacked the US Capitol on Jan. 6, seeking to stop Biden’s certification as president after he beat his predecessor, Donald Trump, in the November election by over 7 million votes.

Biden said any comparison between what happened on Jan. 6 and the Black Lives Matter movement was “ridiculous.”

US-Russia relations have been deteriorating for years, notably with Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea from Ukraine, its 2015 intervention in Syria and US charges – denied by Moscow – of meddling in the 2016 election won by Trump.

Neither side gave details on how their planned cybersecurity talks might unfold, although Biden said he told Putin that critical infrastructure should be “off-limits” to cyberattacks, saying that included 16 sectors that he did not publicly identify.

“We need some basic rules of the road that we can all abide by,” Biden said he had told Putin.

Biden said he raised human rights issues because it was in the “DNA” of his country to do so, and also because of the fate of US citizens jailed in Russia.

Putin said he believed some compromises could be found, although he gave no indication of any prisoner exchange deal.

Putin, 68, called Biden, 78, a constructive, experienced partner, and said they spoke “the same language.” But he added that there had been no friendship, rather a pragmatic dialogue about their two countries’ interests.

“President Biden has miscalculated who he is dealing with,” said US Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, who is close to Trump. He called it “disturbing” to hear Biden suggest that Putin cared about his standing in the world.

Trump was accused by both Democrats and some Republicans of not being tough enough on Putin, particularly during a jovial 2018 meeting in Helsinki between the two leaders.

This time, there were separate news conferences and no shared meal.

Both Biden and Putin said they shared a responsibility, however, for nuclear stability, and would hold talks on possible changes to their recently extended New START arms limitation treaty.

In February, Russia and the United States extended New START for five years. The treaty caps the number of strategic nuclear warheads they can deploy and limits the land- and submarine-based missiles and bombers to deliver them.

A senior US official told reporters that Biden, Putin, their foreign ministers and interpreters met first for 93 minutes. After a break, the two sides met for 87 minutes in a larger group including their ambassadors.

Putin said it was “hard to say” if relations would improve, but that there was a “glimpse of hope.”

“This is not about trust, this is about self-interest and verification of self-interest,” Biden said, but he also cited a “genuine prospect” of improving relations.

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India Slams Twitter For Not Complying With New IT Rules

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India’s technology minister said on Tuesday that Twitter Inc had deliberately defied and failed to comply with the country’s new IT rules, which became effective in late May.

The new rules or the so-called Intermediary Guidelines, announced in February, are aimed at regulating content on social media firms such as Facebook, its WhatsApp messenger and Twitter, making them more accountable to legal requests for swift removal of posts and sharing details on the originators of messages.

The rules also require big social media companies to set up grievance redressal mechanisms and appoint new executives to coordinate with law enforcement.

India’s technology ministry wrote to Twitter on June 5, warning the company of “unintended consequences” if it did not obey the rules, Reuters previously reported.

Ravi Shankar Prasad did not directly say on Tuesday whether Twitter had lost intermediary protections, but a senior government official told Reuters that Twitter may no longer be eligible to seek liability exemptions as an intermediary or the host of user content in India due to its failure to comply with new IT rules.

“There are numerous queries arising as to whether Twitter is entitled to safe harbour provision,” Prasad tweeted. “However, the simple fact of the matter is that Twitter has failed to comply with the Intermediary Guidelines that came into effect from the 26th of May.”

Twitter, Prasad added, had chosen the “path of deliberate defiance when it comes to the Intermediary Guidelines.”

Twitter did not respond to a request for comment though it said on Monday it was keeping India’s technology ministry apprised of the steps it was taking.

“An interim Chief Compliance Officer has been retained and details will be shared with the Ministry directly soon,” it said. “Twitter continues to make every effort to comply with the new guidelines.

New Delhi-based digital advocacy group Internet Freedom Foundation said it was only up to courts, and not the government, to decide whether companies such as Twitter remained intermediaries for alleged non-compliance such as appointment of executives.

Growing tensions between India’s government and U.S. big tech have riled firms that have spent millions of dollars to build hubs in their largest growth market, to the extent some are rethinking expansion plans, people close to the matter have told Reuters previously.

 

Credit: www.msn.com

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