Russia and China out to undermine US election, says Biden

It is normal for presidential nominees of the major parties to have intelligence briefings, though it is not clear when Biden started to receive his. (File/AFP)
Short Url
Updated 18 July 2020

Russia and China out to undermine US election, says Biden

  • It is normal for presidential nominees of the major parties to have intelligence briefings
  • Security officials warned at the end of last year foreign adversaries would attempt to interfere in the 2020 elections

WASHINGTON, US: Russia and China are trying to undermine US democracy in the run-up to November’s presidential election, Joe Biden said, citing intelligence briefings he is now receiving.
“The Russians are still engaged in trying to delegitimize our electoral process. Fact,” the presumptive Democratic challenger said at a fundraiser on Friday according to the Washington Post.
“China and others are engaged as well in activities that are designed for us to lose confidence in the outcome,” he added.
It is normal for presidential nominees of the major parties to have intelligence briefings, though it is not clear when Biden started to receive his.
On June 30 he said he may ask for a briefing, but that he had not been offered one up until then.
Security officials warned at the end of last year foreign adversaries would attempt to interfere in the 2020 elections, to “undermine our democratic institutions, influence public sentiment and affect government policies.”
US intelligence found that Russia intervened in the 2016 elections to support Donald Trump, who has bristled at the charges and called for better ties with Putin.


Britain pledges $227 million annual civilian and food aid to Afghanistan

Updated 24 November 2020

Britain pledges $227 million annual civilian and food aid to Afghanistan

  • Afghanistan is at risk of receiving between 15 percent and 20 percent less funding than it received at the previous donor conference four years ago

GENEVA: Britain said it will pledge $227 million in annual civilian and food aid for Afghanistan at a conference on Tuesday in Geneva where officials from about 70 countries and humanitarian organizations will pledge billions of dollars for the war-torn nation.
Dependent on foreign aid, Afghanistan is at risk of receiving between 15 percent and 20 percent less funding than it received at the previous donor conference four years ago, diplomats say, as governments are under intense pressure to make savings as they ramp up spending to help their own economies recover from impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
Withholding funds at this point, diplomats say, could at least provide foreign governments with some leverage to inject a greater sense of urgency into peace talks between the Afghan government and Taliban representatives that began in Qatar in September.
Britain, a country with a long and difficult history of involvement in Afghanistan, is the country’s third largest bilateral donor, and the amount being pledged in Geneva will be slightly higher than it pledged at the last donor conference in Brussels four years ago.
The statement issued by the UK Mission to the United Nations and World Trade Organization in Geneva said $207 million would be pledged to support peace and stability in Afghanistan and “improve access to education and vital infrastructure.”
Britain would “also announce an extra $20 million to the United Nations’ World Food Programme” for Afghanistan.
The latest monetary commitment is separate from the $93.32 million security pledge for Afghan forces for 2021, which Britain announced last month.
In Brussels in 2016, Britain had pledged a total of $1 billion for four years, which translated into 187.5 million pounds annually.
At the Brussels conference, Afghanistan obtained total pledges of $15.2 billion for 2017 to 2020, equivalent to $3.8 billion a year.