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Russia threatens retaliation if Pentagon bans controversial Kaspersky Lab cybersecurity software

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Communications Minister Nikolay Nikiforov served notice on Friday that the Russian government would retaliate against U.S. companies if Congress bans the Pentagon from using controversial cyber-security software from Kaspersky Lab.

In an interview with Bloomberg, Nikiforov said that any “unilateral political sanctions” put in place by the U.S. government would impact American  companies that provide “a huge proportion of American software and hardware solutions in the IT sphere, even in very sensitive areas,” to Russia.

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The Russian official dismissed concerns about hidden code in the software that could impact computer network security, saying, “Foreign software isn’t necessarily about information risks as it undergoes screening and certification procedures.”

The FBI is currently scrutinizing Kaspersky Lab’s anti-virus software based upon fears that the Moscow-based company is run by executives with extensive ties to Russian intelligence and military agencies.

The Senate Armed Services Committee has asked that the Pentagon be banned “from using software platforms developed by Kaspersky Lab due to reports that the Moscow-based company might be vulnerable to Russian government influence.”

“We are very much concerned about this, very much concerned about the security of our country,” Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) said specifically about Kaspersky Lab.

Despite denials from Kaspersky executives that they had any involvement in the alleged hacking of the 2016 presidential election,  FBI agents interviewed over a dozen employees of the Russian company in the past week as part of a counterintelligence probe.

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‘A coward and a commander’: New Lincoln Project ad contrasts Trump with James Mattis

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On Friday, the conservative anti-Trump group The Lincoln Project released a new attack ad against President Donald Trump — this time using the criticism of his former Defense Secretary James Mattis, and comparing and contrasting their leadership ability.

"This is the story of a coward and a commander," said the ad's narrator. "The coward Trump dodged the draft. Jim Mattis led American troops for forty years. While a frightened Trump hides from protesters in a deep bunker firing off tweets, Jim Mattis does what he's always done: Leads. While Donald Trump angrily attacks, General Mattis' words deserve to be heard by every American."

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NFL Commissioner Goodell apologizes for league’s indifference to players’ protests against racism

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On Friday, CNN reported that National Football League Commissioner Roger Goodell is acknowledging his organization turned a blind eye when his athletes took a knee to protest racism and police violence, and issued a formal apology.

"We, the National Football League, admit we were wrong for not listening to NFL players earlier and encourage all to speak out and peacefully protest," Goodell said in a newly released Instagram video. "It has been a difficult time for our country. In particular, black people in our country. First, my condolences to the families of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and all the families who have endured police brutality."

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Maxine Waters calls for Trump’s Cabinet initiate the 25th Amendment ‘before this would-be dictator takes us all down’

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Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) called for Donald Trump to be removed from office on Friday.

"Is there one brave member of Trump’s cabinet who would move to initiate the 25th Amendment to remove him from office?" Waters asked on the president's favorite social networking platform.

The 25th Amendment would allow Vice President Mike Pence to ascend to the presidency if a majority of Trump's cabinet declares "the president is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office."

"Now is the time to save our country before this would-be dictator takes us all down!" Waters warned.

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