1. PURSE STRINGS

    Kerry Threatens to Cut Afghan Aid

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    Secretary of State John Kerry is already setting off warning flares in Afghanistan to try to keep things cool. On Monday, preliminary election results showed Ashraf Ghani won the Afghan presidency, but his rival, Abdullah Abdullah, proceeded to reject the results as a “coup” against the people. Abdullah’s refusal to accept Ghani’s presidency could set off sectarian strife with the potential to explode into a civil war. In response to these concerns, Kerry already declared Tuesday than any Afghan attempt at a power grab would be punished financially by the U.S. In a letter released by the U.S. embassy in Kabul, Kerry said: “I have noted reports of protests in Afghanistan and of suggestions of a ‘parallel government’ with the gravest concern. Any action to take power by extralegal means will cost Afghanistan the financial and security support of the United States and the international community.” The final election results are released July 22.

    Read it at Reuters