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Private security firm linked to Trump’s brother awarded $33 million government contract: report

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On Saturday, the Washington Post reported that the U.S. Marshals Service awarded a $33 million contract to CertiPath to provide security in federal courthouses and cellblocks.

The contract with CertiPath, a company based in Reston, Virginia that specializes in digital security, has drawn a formal complaint from one of the other entities that bid on the contract, because Robert Trump, the president’s younger brother, holds a minority stake in the firm. The complaint, filed with the Justice Department inspector general, alleges that CertiPath failed to disclose “one of the President’s closest living relatives stood to benefit financially from the transaction.”

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“The circumstances of this contract award, and what appear to be CertiPath’s efforts to obscure Mr. Robert Trump’s financial interest in the company even as it trades on the Trump name, present the appearance of preferential treatment for those who are close to the President,” the complaint continued.

Jeff Nigriny, CertiPath’s founder, denies any misconduct, saying that Robert Trump “is one investor in an entity which holds a minority interest in Certipath” and that “he is exclusively a passive investor, has no management role whatsoever, is not an officer or director, and his name has never been used or mentioned by Certipath in any solicitation for a government contract, whether state or federal.”

The controversy is yet another in a long string of allegations that President Donald Trump’s family has sought to profit from the president’s office, from foreign diplomats staying at the Trump International Hotel in Washington, to First Daughter Ivanka Trump steering inaugural fund money into Trump Organization contracts, to the Air Force refueling near a Trump resort in Scotland, to the president’s scrapped plan to hold next year’s G7 summit at the Trump National Doral golf resort in Miami.


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Why white silence is deafening — and deadly

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Once again, a video was released: George Floyd. For eight minutes, life was squeezed out of him. We saw him beg for water, for his breath, for his life. We saw the indifference with which his pleas were met. The video depicted Derek Chauvin, a now-fired Minneapolis police officer charged with murder, kneeling on Mr. Floyd's neck as he lost consciousness. It is enraging and horrifying, yet common.

Most white people I know believe that black lives matter. They will tell you they voted for Obama twice. They cannot stand Donald Trump. They are enraged by police brutality. These are the white people I want to speak to: Your anger and sadness about the big things are meaningless if you choose to do nothing about the small things you have control over.

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Iran’s new parliament speaker says talks with US ‘futile’

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Iran's parliament speaker Mohammad-Bagher Ghalibaf said any negotiations with the United States would be "futile" as he delivered his first major speech to the conservative-dominated chamber on Sunday.

Ghalibaf, a former commander of the Revolutionary Guards' air force, was elected speaker on Thursday after February elections that swung the balance in the legislature towards ultra-conservatives.

The newly formed parliament "considers negotiations with and appeasement of America, as the axis of global arrogance, to be futile and harmful," said Ghalibaf.

He also vowed revenge for the US drone attack in January that killed Qasem Soleimani, the commander of the Guards' foreign operations arm.

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World virus cases top 6 million as leaders disagree on pandemic response

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The number of coronavirus cases worldwide topped six million Sunday, with Brazil registering another record surge in daily infections as divisions deepened on how to deal with the pandemic.

Latin American countries are bracing for difficult weeks ahead as the disease spreads rapidly across the region, even as much of the world exits lockdowns that have wrecked economies and stripped millions of their jobs.

In Brazil -- the epicenter of South America's outbreak with nearly 500,000 confirmed cases, lagging only behind the United States -- disagreement among leaders over lockdown measures has hampered efforts to slow the virus as the number of fatalities in the country nears 30,000.

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