"The executive power in our government is not the only, perhaps not even the principal, object of my solicitude. The tyranny of the legislature is really the danger most to be feared, and will continue to be so for many years to come. The tyranny of the executive power will come in its turn, but at a more distant period." -- Thomas Jefferson, Democracy in America

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U.S. Attorney-General Merrick Garland on Monday accused the Chinese government of an effort “to intimidate Americans” and silence dissidents abroad by using a massive state-run hacking program.

The Chinese Embassy denied the claims as “groundless” and said they were part of an ongoing smear campaign by the United States.

Garland’s comment came as the U.S. Justice Department unsealed charges against seven Chinese nationals it says are part of a hacking program run by China’s Ministry of State Security, or MSS, and has targeted the White House, Congress and critics of Beijing.

“The Justice Department will not tolerate efforts by the Chinese government to intimidate Americans who serve the public, silence the dissidents who are protected by American laws, or steal from American businesses,” Garland said after the charges were announced.

Tags: CHINA/TAIWAN, COMPUTERS/INTERNET, COVER-UP/ DECEPTIONS/ PROPAGANDA, WHITE HOUSE
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More than six dozen countries will hold elections this year, but none will be more consequential than the one scheduled for November in the United States. After all, what happens in the US invariably has outsize impact, given America’s economic, military, and diplomatic power and influence. Countries in both Europe and the Indo-Pacific count on the US to guarantee their security – a guarantee they have not had reason to question for three-quarters of a century.

Moreover, unlike most presidential elections in American history, this is one in which the differences between the two likely major party candidates far outweigh their similarities. Much the same can be said about which of the two parties wins control of the Senate and the House of Representatives. What makes the coming year so fraught for America and the rest of the world, though, is the reality that American democracy faces multiple hurdles. Indeed, the near future consists of three distinct phases, each with its own challenges and dangers. The first phase is already under way and will continue through election day, November 5. The problem is already in plain sight: with politics taking priority over policy, it has become nearly impossible to enact important legislation. Military aid to Ukraine has been put on hold because the Republican-controlled House, following the lead of Donald Trump, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, refuses to approve it. Two years of successfully resisting Russian aggression in Europe have been put at risk.

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