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BROWNSVILLE, Texas | Recording of crying children at border adds to outrage



BROWNSVILLE, Texas — An audio recording that appears to capture the heartbreaking voices of small Spanish-speaking children crying out for their parents at a U.S. immigration facility took center stage Monday in the growing uproar over the Trump administration’s policy of separating immigrant children from their parents.

“Papa! Papa!” one child is heard weeping in the audio file that was first reported by the nonprofit ProPublica and later provide to The Associated Press.

Continue reading BROWNSVILLE, Texas | Recording of crying children at border adds to outrage at STL.News.



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JAKARTA, Indonesia | Dozens missing after ferry sinking at Indonesia’s Lake Toba



JAKARTA, Indonesia — Dozens of people are missing after a ferry sank on Indonesia’s Lake Toba, casting a tragic pall over holidays marking the end of the Muslim holy month.

Cellphone video released Tuesday by the National Disaster Mitigation Agency shows the crew of another ferry attempting to rescue people struggling in the waters shortly after the sinking Monday evening but being hampered by bad weather and rough waters.

Local police chief Marudut Liberty Panjaitan said 18 people have been rescued and one death confirmed.

Continue reading JAKARTA, Indonesia | Dozens missing after ferry sinking at Indonesia’s Lake Toba at STL.News.



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ASHLAND, Wis. | Death, washed-out roads amid flooding in Upper Midwest



ASHLAND, Wis. — Widespread flooding in the Upper Midwest was blamed for at least one death in Wisconsin, while disaster declarations were issued Monday in northern Michigan after flash-flooding washed out roads, damaged businesses and caused dozens of sinkholes.

The body of a 75-year-old man was recovered about 60 feet (18 meters) from his pickup truck in a ditch along a flooded road Sunday in White River, the Ashland County Sheriff’s Office said Monday.

Continue reading ASHLAND, Wis. | Death, washed-out roads amid flooding in Upper Midwest at STL.News.



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WASHINGTON | Acting drug enforcement chief set to retire at end of month



WASHINGTON — A spokeswoman for the Drug Enforcement Administration says the agency’s acting administrator will be retiring at the end of June.

The spokeswoman, Mary Brandenberger, has confirmed a report in The Washington Post that DEA chief Robert Patterson had announced his retirement.

The Post reported Monday that Patterson had sent an email to DEA staff in which he said running the agency on a temporary basis had become “increasingly challenging.”

The newspaper said Patterson wrote that he had “realized that the administrator of the DEA needs to decide and address priorities for years into the future” — something he could not do in an acting capacity.

Continue reading WASHINGTON | Acting drug enforcement chief set to retire at end of month at STL.News.



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TUMWATER, Wash. | Police identify gunman killed by bystander in Walmart lot



TUMWATER, Wash. — Tim Day has been identified as the armed suspect killed by a bystander Sunday in a Walmart parking lot in Washington state, police said Monday.

Authorities say the string of crimes began earlier Sunday when the 44-year-old man from McCleary, Washington, is believed to have unsuccessfully attempted to carjack a family at a gas station in Olympia, which is about 60 miles (97 kilometers) southwest of Seattle.

He fled after the attempt, according to police, and was later seen driving erratically before crashing into another vehicle in nearby Tumwater.

Continue reading TUMWATER, Wash. | Police identify gunman killed by bystander in Walmart lot at STL.News.



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UNITED NATIONS | Report says over 1 billion small arms in world, up from 2007



UNITED NATIONS — There are over 1 billion firearms in the world today, including 857 million in civilian hands — with American men and women the dominant owners, according to a study released Monday.

The Small Arms Survey says 393 million of the civilian-held firearms, 46 percent, are in the United States, which is “more than those held by civilians in the other top 25 countries combined.”

“The key to the United States, of course, is its unique gun culture,” the report’s author, Aaron Karp, said at a news conference.

Continue reading UNITED NATIONS | Report says over 1 billion small arms in world, up from 2007 at STL.News.



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Missouri Political News: Missouri political leaders support Lt. Governor Mike Kehoe



Jefferson City, MO – Missouri Lieutenant Governor Mike Kehoe released the following statement:

“When Governor Parson called and asked me to assist him in this great endeavor, it was one of the most humbling and unbelievable days in my life.  And like the governor, I do believe that public service is a privilege, and one that no one should take lightly.  That Governor Parson would consider me to help take Missouri to new heights is most humbling – and I am very honored to accept this high calling.”

“You have my commitment that I’ll work tirelessly to make sure Missourians get a great day, every day possible. 

Continue reading Missouri Political News: Missouri political leaders support Lt. Governor Mike Kehoe at STL.News.



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Missouri Political News: Missouri Senator Jeanie Riddle Applauds Appointment of New Lieutenant Governor, Mike Kehoe



JEFFERSON CITY, MO — Missouri State Senator Jeanie Riddle, R-Callaway County, issued the following statement regarding the appointment of Sen. Mike Kehoe, R-Jefferson City, as Missouri’s next lieutenant governor.

“I commend the governor for his appointment of Sen. Mike Kehoe as Missouri’s next lieutenant governor.  I have known Mike for almost a decade, during that time he has displayed a passion and a commitment to improving our state for all Missourians.  Mike is a proven leader, an accomplished businessman, but more importantly, I consider him a good friend. 

Continue reading Missouri Political News: Missouri Senator Jeanie Riddle Applauds Appointment of New Lieutenant Governor, Mike Kehoe at STL.News.



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U.S. Department of State: Secretary Pompeo’s Call With Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov



WASHINGTON – The below is attributable to U.S. Department of State Spokesperson Heather Nauert:‎

Secretary Pompeo and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov spoke by phone today.  The two discussed issues and concerns related to Syria and the bilateral relationship. Secretary Pompeo reemphasized the U.S. commitment to the southwest ceasefire arrangement that was approved by President Trump and President Putin one year ago.  He noted that it was critical for Russia and the Syrian regime to adhere to these arrangements and ensure no unilateral activity in this area.

Continue reading U.S. Department of State: Secretary Pompeo’s Call With Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov at STL.News.



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U.S. Department of State: Secretary Pompeo’s Meeting With Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez



WASHINGTON – U.S. Department of State release the following statement by State Departments Spokesperson Heather Nauert:

Secretary Pompeo met today in Washington with Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez.  They discussed how to improve regional security, strengthen government institutions, and combat corruption.  The Secretary stressed the importance of the Organization of American States’ Mission to Support the Fight against Corruption and Impunity in Honduras (MACCIH) and the urgent need for a new head of this body so it can continue to work effectively. 

Continue reading U.S. Department of State: Secretary Pompeo’s Meeting With Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez at STL.News.



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LOS ANGELES | Former Mexico President Vicente Fox joins High Times board



LOS ANGELES (AP) — Former Mexico President Vicente Fox, who calls himself a soldier in the global campaign to legalize marijuana, is joining the board of directors of venerable cannabis publication High Times to advance his agenda.

Speaking with The Associated Press about his views on cannabis and his new appointment, Fox said he foresees a day when a robust legal marketplace will produce new jobs and medicines while sharply reducing cartel violence in his home country.

Continue reading LOS ANGELES | Former Mexico President Vicente Fox joins High Times board at STL.News.



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U.S. Department of State: Statement Regarding the Ongoing Violence in Nicaragua



WASHINGTON – U.S. Department of State released the following statement:

The United States condemns the ongoing government-sponsored violence and intimidation campaign in Nicaragua, including the June 16 arson attack against the home and business of a family in Managua, killing six, and the further intimidation of the family during the wake.  Attacks and threats against peaceful protestors and the general population are unacceptable, and must cease.

We urge immediate and full implementation of the June 15 National Dialogue agreement on human rights. 

Continue reading U.S. Department of State: Statement Regarding the Ongoing Violence in Nicaragua at STL.News.



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WASHINGTON | Nationals get RHP Kelvin Herrera from Royals for 3 players



WASHINGTON (AP) — Right-hander Kelvin Herrera has been acquired by the Washington Nationals from the Kansas City Royals for three minor leaguers.

The Nationals sent infielder Kelvin Gutierrez, outfielder Blake Perkins and right-hander Yohanse Morel to Kansas City in the deal announced Monday during Washington’s doubleheader against the New York Yankees.

Herrera has 14 saves and a 1.05 ERA this season. He’s allowed three earned runs in 25 2/3 innings while striking out 22 batters and walking two.

Continue reading WASHINGTON | Nationals get RHP Kelvin Herrera from Royals for 3 players at STL.News.



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WASHINGTON | Upping ante, Trump threatens new tariffs on Chinese imports



WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump directed the U.S. Trade Representative to prepare new tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese imports Monday as the two nations moved closer to a potential trade war.

The tariffs, which Trump wants set at a 10 percent rate, would be the latest round of punitive measures in an escalating dispute over the large trade imbalance between the two countries. Trump recently ordered tariffs on $50 billion in Chinese goods in retaliation for intellectual properly theft.

Continue reading WASHINGTON | Upping ante, Trump threatens new tariffs on Chinese imports at STL.News.



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Pennsylvania News: Ohio Man, Thomas Ross Sentenced to Time Served and Ordered to Participate in a Residential Drug Treatment Program for July 2016 FBI Gate Crashing Incident



PITTSBURGH, PA – A resident of New Waterford, Ohio, has been sentenced in federal court to time served on his conviction of willfully injuring or committing depredation against any property of the United States, United States Attorney Scott W. Brady announced today.

Chief United States District Judge Joy Flowers Conti imposed the sentence on Thomas Ross, age 50, formerly of New Waterford, Ohio. Ross has been imprisoned since July 26, 2016, five months of which had been allocated to a separate state conviction on simple assault, fleeing and eluding, and failing to stop at traffic signals, committed on the same date as this offense.

Continue reading Pennsylvania News: Ohio Man, Thomas Ross Sentenced to Time Served and Ordered to Participate in a Residential Drug Treatment Program for July 2016 FBI Gate Crashing Incident at STL.News.



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WASHINGTON | US prepares new tariffs on Chinese imports in retaliation



WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump directed the U.S. Trade Representative to prepare new tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese imports Monday as the two nations moved closer to a potential trade war.

The tariffs, which Trump wants set at a 10 percent rate, would be the latest round of punitive measures in an escalating dispute over the large trade imbalance between the two countries. Trump recently ordered tariffs on $50 billion in Chinese goods in retaliation for what the U.S.

Continue reading WASHINGTON | US prepares new tariffs on Chinese imports in retaliation at STL.News.



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Kansas News: Topeka Man, George Bernard Phelps Sentenced For Robbing Health Club



TOPEKA, KAN. – A Topeka man was sentenced today to 24 months in federal prison for robbing a health club, U.S. Attorney Stephen McAllister said.

George Bernard Phelps, III, 31, Topeka, Kan., pleaded guilty to one count of robbery. In his plea, he admitted that on Nov. 24, 2017, he and another man robbed the Genesis Health Club at 2909 Southwest 37th Street in Topeka.

A Genesis employee came upon the two defendants in the lobby of the business while they were attempting to pry open a box used for money deposits by members of the club. 

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Montana News: Montana Attorney General Fox Defends Montana’s Mining Laws In Federal Court



HELENA, MT – On Friday, Montana Attorney General Tim Fox joined a coalition of thirteen states intervening in a lawsuit to defend state mining laws against federal overreach.

In January 2017, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed a draft rule that would establish nationwide minimum reclamation bonding requirements for hard rock mining under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA).  The Montana Department of Environmental Quality currently regulates bonding requirements for mining operations in the state. 

Continue reading Montana News: Montana Attorney General Fox Defends Montana’s Mining Laws In Federal Court at STL.News.



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WASHINGTON | Unapologetic Trump digs in on immigration despite outrage



WASHINGTON (AP) — An unapologetic President Donald Trump defended his administration’s border-protection policies Monday in the face of rising national outrage over the forced separation of migrant children from their parents. Calling for tough action against illegal immigration, Trump declared the U.S. “will not be a migrant camp” on his watch.

Images of children held in fenced cages fueled a growing chorus of condemnation from both political parties, four former first ladies and national evangelical leaders.

Continue reading WASHINGTON | Unapologetic Trump digs in on immigration despite outrage at STL.News.



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DEERFIELD BEACH, Fla. | Authorities: Rapper XXXTentacion shot dead in Florida



DEERFIELD BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Troubled rapper-singer XXXTentacion was shot and killed Monday in Florida in what police called an apparent robbery attempt, authorities said.

The 20-year-old rising star, whose real name is Jahseh Dwayne Onfroy, was pronounced dead Monday evening at a Fort Lauderdale-area hospital, the Broward Sheriff’s Office said. He was shot earlier Monday outside a Deerfield Beach motorcycle dealership.

XXXTentacion had been at RIVA Motorsports checking out inventory, the sheriff’s office said.

Continue reading DEERFIELD BEACH, Fla. | Authorities: Rapper XXXTentacion shot dead in Florida at STL.News.



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Homeland Security News: Myth vs. Fact: DHS Zero-Tolerance Policy



WASHINGTON – In recent days, we have seen reporters, Members of Congress, and other groups mislead the public on the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) zero-tolerance policy.

Federal law enforcement officers have sworn duties to enforce the laws that Congress passes.  Repeating intentionally untrue and unsubstantiated statements about DHS agents, officers, and procedures is irresponsible and deeply disrespectful to the men and women who risk their lives every day to secure our border and enforce our laws.

Continue reading Homeland Security News: Myth vs. Fact: DHS Zero-Tolerance Policy at STL.News.



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NEW YORK | Immigration detention policy becomes major issue in media



NEW YORK (AP) — The Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” policy on immigration is blowing up into a major issue after simmering in the media for the past couple of weeks.

You could see that in the travel plans of television networks. Gayle King of “CBS This Morning” traveled to southern Texas to report on the story of children being separated from their parents. Lester Holt anchored NBC’s “Nightly News” from the border area on Monday, and other television talkers such as MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell are headed there.

Continue reading NEW YORK | Immigration detention policy becomes major issue in media at STL.News.



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WICHITA, Kan | Judge: Kansas cannot require proof of citizenship to vote



WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A federal judge ruled Monday that Kansas cannot require documentary proof of U.S. citizenship to register to vote, finding such laws violate the constitutional right to vote in a ruling with national implications for voting rights.

The ruling by U.S. District Judge Julie Robinson is the latest setback for Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, who has championed such laws and led President Donald Trump’s now-defunct voter fraud commission.

Continue reading WICHITA, Kan | Judge: Kansas cannot require proof of citizenship to vote at STL.News.



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WASHINGTON | EPA shifts oversight of coal waste to a state for 1st time



WASHINGTON (AP) — The Environmental Protection Agency on Monday approved the first state permit program for disposal of toxic ash from coal plants, a switch from federal oversight that the coal industry had sought.

Coal ash is the residue left after burning coal to generate power.

Utilities around the country have reported groundwater contamination with arsenic, radium and other pollutants at coal-burning power plants, where landfills and man-made ponds have been used for decades as dumping grounds for coal ash, according to data released by plant owners.

Continue reading WASHINGTON | EPA shifts oversight of coal waste to a state for 1st time at STL.News.



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SEATTLE | Some Amazon investors side with ACLU on facial recognition



SEATTLE (AP) — Some Amazon company investors said Monday they are siding with privacy and civil rights advocates who are urging the tech giant to not sell a powerful face recognition tool to police.

The American Civil Liberties Union is leading the effort against Amazon’s Rekognition product, delivering a petition with 152,000 signatures to the company’s Seattle headquarters Monday, telling the company to “cancel this order.” They’re asking Amazon to stop marketing Rekognition to government agencies over privacy issues that they say can be used to discriminate against minorities.

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Ohio News: Ohio Governor Kasich Announces Appointments to State Board, Commission, and Committee



COLUMBUS, OH – Today, Ohio Governor John R. Kasich announced the following appointments:

Michael P. Pell, II of West Union (Adams Co.) has been reappointed to the Southern State Community College Board of Trustees for a term beginning June 18, 2018, and ending May 11, 2024.

Tracy O’Hara of Bethel (Brown Co.) has been appointed to the Southern State Community College Board of Trustees for a term beginning June 18, 2018, and ending May 11, 2024.

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ISTANBUL | Turkey charges father of NBA’s Kanter as terror group member



ISTANBUL (AP) — A Turkish court has accepted an indictment charging the father of NBA player Enes Kanter with “membership in a terror group,” the country’s official news agency reported Monday.

The indictment followed an investigation of Mehmet Kanter, and prosecutors planned to seek his conviction and a prison term of five to 10 years at trial, Anadolu Agency said.

It’s unclear when the trial in western Tekirdag province would begin.

Continue reading ISTANBUL | Turkey charges father of NBA’s Kanter as terror group member at STL.News.



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WASHINGTON | Pentagon suspends August military drills with South Korea



WASHINGTON (AP) — The Pentagon says it has formally suspended a major military exercise planned for August with South Korea, a much-anticipated move stemming from President Donald Trump’s nuclear summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

The announcement Monday says all planning for the exercise has been stopped. Pentagon spokeswoman Dana White says the department has made no decisions on other military exercises with South Korea. Exercises with other countries in the Pacific will continue.

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NASA News: NASA Administrator Statement on Space Policy Directive-3



WASHINGTON – The following is a statement from NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine on Monday’s signing of Space Policy Directive-3 by President Donald Trump:

“NASA strongly supports the White House’s continued bold direction in forging a sustainable and focused space policy that strengthens American leadership.  It was my honor today to represent the agency at the National Space Council, where the President announced Space Policy Directive-3 – which will guide critical and much-needed progress for space traffic management.

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San Francisco News: Former IRS-CI Special Agent, Alena Aleykina Convicted Of Filing False Tax Returns, Theft Of Government Money And Obstruction Of Justice



SAN FRANCISCO – Alena Aleykina, former special agent for the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI) Division, was convicted on June 15 after a jury in Sacramento, Calif., found her guilty of filing false tax returns, obstruction of justice, and stealing government money, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Alex G. Tse and Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Richard E. Zuckerman of the Justice Department’s Tax Division.  The verdict followed a two-week trial in the district court in the Eastern District of California before the Honorable John A.

Continue reading San Francisco News: Former IRS-CI Special Agent, Alena Aleykina Convicted Of Filing False Tax Returns, Theft Of Government Money And Obstruction Of Justice at STL.News.



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WEST VIRGINIA News: Jefferson County man, Plauche sentenced for firearms charge



MARTINSBURG, WEST VIRGINIA – Adam Joseph Plauche, of Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, was sentenced today to 18 months incarceration for selling a stolen firearm, United States Attorney Bill Powell announced.

Plauche, age 38, pled guilty to one count of “Possession and Sale of Stolen Firearm” in March 2018.  Plauche admitted to having a stolen firearm and shipping it across state lines in September 2015 in Jefferson County, West Virginia.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program that has been historically successful in bringing together all levels of law enforcement to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone.

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Virginia News: NEWPORT, Karvia Cross, Woman Guilty of Fraud Using Stolen Info from OPM Data Breach



NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – A Maryland woman pleaded guilty today to participating in a scheme to use the stolen identification information of victims of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) data breach to obtain fraudulent personal and vehicle loans through Langley Federal Credit Union (LFCU).

According to court documents, Karvia Cross, 39, of Bowie, participated in and recruited others to engage in a fraudulent identity-theft scheme targeting LFCU. In 2015 and 2016, LFCU received numerous online membership and consumer loan applications in the names of stolen identities that were victims of the OPM data breach.

Continue reading Virginia News: NEWPORT, Karvia Cross, Woman Guilty of Fraud Using Stolen Info from OPM Data Breach at STL.News.



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Pennsylvania News: McKees Rocks Man, Devon Johnsona Sentenced to Two More Years in Prison for Escaping from Renewal Center



PITTSBURGH, PA. – A resident of McKees Rocks, PA, has been sentenced in federal court to 24 months’ imprisonment on his conviction of escape from custody, United States Attorney Scott W. Brady announced today.

United States District Judge Mark R. Hornak imposed the sentence on Devon Johnson, age 29.

According to information presented to the court, on August 31, 2016, the defendant escaped from the Renewal, Inc. Residential Reentry Center, where he had been confined pursuant to a judgment and commitment order of the United States District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia..

Continue reading Pennsylvania News: McKees Rocks Man, Devon Johnsona Sentenced to Two More Years in Prison for Escaping from Renewal Center at STL.News.



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Pennsylvania News: Ohio Man, Nathaniel Lee Sentenced for Role in a Conspiracy to Distribute Counterfeit $100 Bills



PITTSBURGH, PA – A resident of Columbus, Ohio, has been sentenced in federal court to time served, approximately eight months incarceration, and three years supervised release on his conviction of conspiracy to utter and pass counterfeit Federal Reserve notes, and for possession of counterfeit Federal Reserve notes, United States Attorney Scott W. Brady announced today.

Chief United States District Judge Joy Flowers Conti imposed the sentence on Nathaniel Lee, age 35, of Columbus, Ohio.

Continue reading Pennsylvania News: Ohio Man, Nathaniel Lee Sentenced for Role in a Conspiracy to Distribute Counterfeit $100 Bills at STL.News.



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U.S. Department of State News: Statement Regarding Terrorist Attack in Nigeria



WASHINGTON – U.S. Department of State has released the following statement:

The United States condemns in the strongest possible terms the terrorist attack on Saturday night in Damboa, Nigeria.  This violent attack – aimed at civilians celebrating with their families and communities during the Eid al-Fitr holiday marking the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan – is a reminder of the depravity of those who commit such attacks against innocent people. 

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NEW YORK | Bail revoked for promoter of failed music fest in Bahamas



NEW YORK (AP) — Bail was revoked Monday for the promoter of a failed music festival on a Bahamian island by a judge who called him a flight risk and a nonviolent danger to the community.
U.S. District Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald said Billy McFarland was a “serious risk of flight” after his re-arrest last week on new charges alleging that he tried to cheat some of the victims of his botched 2017 Fyre Festival on the Bahamian island of Exuma by trying to sell them bogus tickets to music, fashion and sporting events.

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BRONNITSY, Russia | Argentina coach plans major changes to team at World Cup



BRONNITSY, Russia (AP) — Argentina coach Jorge Sampaoli is planning major changes to his team for the South Americans’ next World Cup match.

In the team’s first training session since a disappointing 1-1 draw against Iceland, Sampaoli tried a different tactical approach Monday, with an eye toward the clash against Croatia on Thursday.

He tested a system with three central defenders: Gabriel Mercado, Nicolas Otamendi and Nicolas Tagliafico. Mercado was replacing Marcos Rojo, who put in a poor performance against Iceland in a line of four defenders.

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SYDNEY | World Cup telecasts experiencing quality issues Down Under



SYDNEY (AP) — An Australian telecommunications company with streaming rights to the World Cup has allowed the free-to-air SBS network to televise matches for 48 hours while it attempts to resolve a series of disruptions that have plagued the service.

Optus Sport bought broadcast rights for most World Cup games from SBS, although all Australian matches and the World Cup final remain on SBS.

The technical issues include poor-quality match footage or no vision at all, prompting complaints from those who paid to subscribe to the service.

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Arkansas News: Fort Smith, Jake C. Files, Former Arkansas State Senator Sentenced To 18 Months In Federal Prison For Wire Fraud, Money Laundering, And Bank Fraud



Fort Smith, Arkansas – Duane (DAK) Kees, United States Attorney for the Western District of Arkansas announced today that Jake C. Files, age 46, of Fort Smith, Arkansas, was sentenced today to 18 months in federal prison followed by three years of supervised release.  Files was also ordered to pay $83,903.77 in restitution, on one count each of Wire Fraud, Money Laundering and Bank Fraud. Files was ordered to surrender to the U.S. Marshals Service to begin serving his sentence on Aug.

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BUCHAREST, Romania | Romania: Criminal justice revisions worsen graft worries



BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Romanian lawmakers approved revised criminal justice statutes Monday that critics called a setback for prosecuting corruption, votes that took place hours after an American diplomat urged Romania to keep fighting official corruption to prevent “hostile powers” from undermining the country.

Assistant Secretary of State Wess Mitchell said during a visit to Bucharest that the United States “applauds and encourages” the work of Romania’s anti-corruption prosecutors “because this is how you remove vulnerabilities that hostile powers would use to undermine” a nation.

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U.S. Department of State News: Assistant Secretary Dr. Christopher A. Ford To Visit Seoul and Tokyo



WASHINGTON – U.S. Department of State released the following statement:

Assistant Secretary of State for International Security and Nonproliferation Dr. Christopher A. Ford will lead a United States delegation to Seoul and Tokyo, June 18 to 20, to convey the Administration’s Iran policy, including with regard to the re-imposition of nuclear-related sanctions on Iran.

The United States is working with nations around the world to create a new global effort to counter Iran’s nuclear and proliferation threats, as well as its support for terrorism, militancy, and continued development and testing of ballistic missiles.

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New York News: Long Island Man, Richard Jacobellis Pleads Guilty to Distributing Heroin That Caused Death of A College Student



Defendant Sold Heroin that Killed One Victim and Caused Serious Injury to Another
Central Islip, N.Y – Earlier today, at the federal courthouse in Central Islip, Richard Jacobellis pleaded guilty to distributing heroin, further admitting that he distributed heroin that resulted in the death of 20-year-old Nicholas Weber in 2016 and serious bodily injury to Frances Theiling in 2015. As part of his guilty plea, Jacobellis agreed to a specific sentence of 192 months’ imprisonment, to be followed by five years of supervised release, subject to the Court’s approval.

Continue reading New York News: Long Island Man, Richard Jacobellis Pleads Guilty to Distributing Heroin That Caused Death of A College Student at STL.News.



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VIRGINIA News: North Carolina Man, Grandy Nester Sentenced to 295 Months on Gun and Drug Conspiracy Charges



Multi-jurisdictional Investigation Dismantled Methamphetamine Trafficking Organization
Abingdon, VIRGINIA – United States Attorney Thomas T. Cullen announced today that Grandy Nester, 33, of Pilot Mountain, N.C., was sentenced last week in the United States District Court in Abingdon as a result of Operation Rolling Thunder, an investigation conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives and local law enforcement in Virginia and North Carolina.

The collaborative law enforcement effort has resulted in twenty-two defendants entering guilty pleas related to the distribution of methamphetamine and firearms possession in Southwest Virginia and North Carolina. 

Continue reading VIRGINIA News: North Carolina Man, Grandy Nester Sentenced to 295 Months on Gun and Drug Conspiracy Charges at STL.News.



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Department of State News: Statement Regarding the Execution of Mohammad Salas, Iranian Sufi Dervish



WASHINGTON – U.S. Department of State issued the following statement today:

We condemn the Iranian government’s execution of Mohammad Salas, a member of the long-persecuted Iranian Gonabadi Sufi Dervish community.  According to reports, Mr. Salas was hanged this morning at Rajai Shahr Prison, the notorious jail recently designated by the Department of Treasury in connection with serious human rights abuses against persons in Iran.

At least 300 Sufis demanding the release of one of their fellow faith members were unjustly arrested and remain behind bars following a clash with Iranian security forces in February. 

Continue reading Department of State News: Statement Regarding the Execution of Mohammad Salas, Iranian Sufi Dervish at STL.News.



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MCALLEN, Texas | Politicians visit border amid outrage on family separation



MCALLEN, Texas (AP) — Politicians and advocates flocked to the Mexican border to visit U.S. immigration detention centers and turn up the pressure on the Trump administration amid a growing uproar Monday over its policy of separating immigrant children from their parents.

A group of congressional lawmakers on Sunday visited an old warehouse in South Texas where hundreds of children are being held in cages created by metal fencing. One cage held 20 youngsters.

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NEW YORK | US stocks recover from sharp early drop and finish mixed



NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks shrugged off early losses and wound up with a mixed finish Monday. Household goods companies took some of the worst losses as the S&P 500 index fell for the third time in four days.

The S&P 500 dropped as much as 22 points early on. Consumer products and packaged foods companies stumbled and drug makers and distributors fell, as did health insurers. That came after indexes in Europe and Asia fell.

Continue reading NEW YORK | US stocks recover from sharp early drop and finish mixed at STL.News.



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Iowa News: Iowa City, Jeffrey Simmermaker, Second Federal Conviction for Drug Trafficking Leads to 10 Years in Federal Prison



Iowa City Man Selling Meth, PCP, and Synthetic Drugs
Iowa City, Iowa – A man who sold “ice” methamphetamine, PCP, and synthetic drugs was sentenced on June 12, 2018, to ten years in federal prison.

Jeffrey Simmermaker, age 46, from Iowa City, Iowa, received the prison term after a December 20, 2017 guilty plea to conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine.  Evidence at the sentencing hearing established that Simmermaker was selling methamphetamine, PCP, and synthetic drugs in Tipton, Iowa. 

Continue reading Iowa News: Iowa City, Jeffrey Simmermaker, Second Federal Conviction for Drug Trafficking Leads to 10 Years in Federal Prison at STL.News.



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Studies show groundwater holding own against drilling boom



New research suggests drinking water supplies in Pennsylvania have shown resilience in the face of a drilling boom that has turned swaths of countryside into a major production zone for natural gas.

Energy companies have drilled more than 11,000 wells since arriving en masse in 2008, making Pennsylvania the nation’s No. 2 gas-producing state after Texas. Residents who live near the gas wells, along with environmental groups and some scientists, have long worried about air and water pollution.

Continue reading Studies show groundwater holding own against drilling boom at STL.News.



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Connecticut News: Meriden, DIGBY KERR, Owner of Meriden Transportation Broker Firm Sentenced to Prison for $600,000 Fraud Scheme



Meriden, Ct – John H. Durham, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that DIGBY KERR, 50, of Meriden, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Jeffrey A. Meyer in New Haven to 12 months and one day of imprisonment, followed by three years of supervised release, for defrauding four manufacturing companies of more than $600,000.

According to court documents and statements made in court, KERR owned and operated Transportation Cost Management, LLC (“TCM”), which was in the business of brokering shipping contracts between manufacturers and trucking companies. 

Continue reading Connecticut News: Meriden, DIGBY KERR, Owner of Meriden Transportation Broker Firm Sentenced to Prison for $600,000 Fraud Scheme at STL.News.



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Massachusetts News: Westminster Woman, Theresa Kenda Benedict Indicted for Stealing Social Security Benefits



BOSTON,Ms – A Westminster woman was arrested today in connection with stealing Social Security benefits.

Theresa Kenda Benedict, 55, was indicted on one count of theft of public funds and four counts of making false statements.  She is scheduled to appear in federal court in Worcester before U.S. District Court Chief Magistrate Judge David H. Hennessy at 2:00 PM.

According to the indictment that was unsealed today, Benedict served as the representative payee for an individual who was receiving Social Security benefits. 

Continue reading Massachusetts News: Westminster Woman, Theresa Kenda Benedict Indicted for Stealing Social Security Benefits at STL.News.



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