Rockville Man Sentenced To 15 Years In Prison For Sextortion

By Newsroom America Staff at 3:51 pm Eastern

Marc Joseph Punzalan, age 21, of Rockville, Maryland, has been sentenced to 15 years in prison for producing child pornography in a scheme in which he met young girls through social media and Internet chat rooms and convinced them to send him sexually explicit photographs of themselves.

Three Charged With Operating Forced Labor Scheme That Exploited Guatemalan Migrants

3:46 pm Eastern | U.S. News

A federal court in the Northern District of Ohio has unsealed a 15-count superseding indictment charging three defendants with luring Guatemalan minors and adults into the United States on false pretenses, then using threats of physical harm to compel their labor at egg farms in Ohio. read more »

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Destruction At Palmyra Site 'Perverse' Attempt To Deny Syrian People Their Heritage

4 Jul 18:39 | World

Condemning the destruction of archaeological treasures from the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra as a “perverse…new attempt to break the bonds between people and their history,” the head of UNESCO called on the international community to stop the traffic in cultural property. read more »

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Scientists Warn Of Species Loss Due To Man-Made Landscapes

3 Jul 16:43 | World

Research led by the University of Exeter has found a substantial reduction in bird species living in cultivated mango orchards compared to natural habitats in Southern Africa. read more »

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Syria's 'Disastrous' Conflict Fuelling Child Labour And Exploitation Across Region

3 Jul 12:37 | World

Much more needs to be done to reverse the trend of an ever increasing number of children forced to work as a result of the conflict in Syria often "carrying heavy loads, being exposed to pesticides and toxic chemicals, and working long hours," according to a new report. read more »

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Mortgage Rates Rise To 9-Month High

3 Jul 16:33 | Business

Mortgage rates continued the march higher, with the benchmark 30-year fixed mortgage rate climbing to 4.19 percent, according to Bankrate.com's weekly national survey. read more »

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Report Projects Steady Decline In Food Prices Over Next Decade

2 Jul 17:30 | World

Real prices for global agricultural products will continue their gradual decline over the coming decade due to a combination of strong crop yields, higher productivity and slower growth in global demand, according to a new report issued by the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO).read more »

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Texas Reaches Agreement On Deep Water Horizon Oil Spill

2 Jul 16:26 | U.S. News

Texas has announced an agreement in principle with BP over the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico in which BP will pay $20 billion in damages and penalties to five states and the federal government.read more »

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Rising Fossil Fuel Energy Costs 'Spell Trouble' For Global Food Security

2 Jul 15:22 | World

Scientists warn that new sustainable technologies will be needed for humanity just to stay even in the arms race against the microorganisms that can rapidly spoil the outputs of the modern food system.read more »

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Questions Raised About Industry Dominance In Diabetes Research

2 Jul 14:17 | SciTech

Diabetes research is dominated by a small group of prolific authors, raising questions about the imbalance of power and conflict of interests in this field, argue experts.read more »

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Former Silk Road Task Force Agent Pleads Guilty to Extortion And Money Laundering

2 Jul 12:29 | U.S. News

A former DEA agent has pleaded guilty to extortion, money laundering and obstruction of justice, which he committed while working as an undercover agent investigating Silk Road, an online marketplace used to facilitate the purchase and sale of illegal drugs and other contraband.read more »

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Chemical Polluter Convicted In Massive Scheme To Deceive The EPA

2 Jul 10:15 | U.S. News

Michael J. Conrad, an Escondido chemist whose company was previously convicted of environmental crimes in federal court in 2012, has admitted he submitted false documents to the EPA to obscure his involvement in the prior federal case.read more »

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Ebola Virus Resurfaces In Liberia

2 Jul 09:07 | World

The World Health Organization (WHO) reports Ebola has resurfaced in Liberia after a teenager who died earlier this week tested positive for the disease in the West African country that had been declared free of Ebola transmission just two months ago.read more »

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First-Ever Heatwave Warning Guidelines Issued As Global Temperatures Soar

2 Jul 08:13 | World

A series of new guidelines have been issued aimed at addressing the health risks posed by the increasing number and intensity of climate change-related heatwaves affecting the planet, as warm weather alerts spread across Europeread more »

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Justice Department Opposes Electrolux Buying General Electric's Appliance Business

1 Jul 17:37 | Business

The Department of Justice has filed a civil antitrust lawsuit seeking to block the acquisition of General Electric Company’s appliance business by AB Electrolux and Electrolux North America Inc., whose brands include Frigidaire. read more »

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Record Numbers Of Migrants And Refugees Crossed Mediterranean So Far In 2015

1 Jul 16:18 | World

War, conflict or persecution forced most of the 137,000 desperate people who made the perilous journey to cross the Mediterranean Sea into Europe during the first six months of 2015, making this primarily a refugee crisis, a new report said.read more »

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Economic Attitudes Indicate Encroaching Anxieties: Harris Poll

1 Jul 15:29 | U.S. News

Americans are increasingly bracing for overcast economic skies: Only one in four U.S. adults (25%) believe the economy will improve in the coming year, down from a third (32%) at the beginning of 2015, according to a Harris Poll.read more »

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Year Of Sustained Violence Across Iraq Has Hit Children Hardest

1 Jul 12:08 | World

UNICEF said over the past year in Iraq it has seen a 75 per cent increase in grave violations against children that include killing and maiming, abduction, recruitment as soldiers, sexual violence, attacks against schools and denial of humanitarian access.read more »

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2.4 Billion People Worldwide Still Lack Basic Sanitation

1 Jul 10:02 | World

Agencies tracking access to water and sanitation targets against the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) have warned that the lack of progress on sanitation threatens to undermine the child survival and health benefits from gains in access to safe drinking water.read more »

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SEC Charges Goldman Sachs With Violating Market Access Rule

1 Jul 09:34 | Business

The Securities and Exchange Commission today charged Goldman, Sachs & Co. with violating the market access rule in connection with a trading incident that resulted in erroneous executions of options contracts.read more »

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Home Price Gains Ease In April: S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices

1 Jul 08:41 | Business

The latest S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices for April 2015 show that home prices continued their rise across the country over the past 12 months.read more »

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Court Confirms Apple's Liability For E-Book Price-Fixing Conspiracy

30 Jun 16:26 | U.S. News

The U.S. Court of Appeals has confirmed Apple's liability for conspiring to end e-book retailers’ freedom to compete on price by taking control of pricing from e-book retailers and substantially increasing the prices that consumers paid for e-books.read more »

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Sugary Drinks Linked To High Death Tolls Worldwide

30 Jun 15:10 | SciTech

Consumption of sugary drinks may lead to an estimated 184,000 adult deaths each year worldwide, according to new research.read more »

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Most Internet Anonymity Software Leaks Users' Details

30 Jun 13:07 | SciTech

A study of fourteen popular VPN providers found that eleven of them leaked information about the user because of a vulnerability known as 'IPv6 leakage'. read more »

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Study Finds The Fear You Experience Playing Video Games Is Real - And Enjoyable

30 Jun 12:02 | Entertainment

With the advent of video games, a frequently asked question has been whether we get as engrossed in them emotionally as we do when we see a scary movie. The answer is yes and in new ways, according to new research by faculty in Indiana University's Media School.read more »

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Las Vegas Auto Dealers Settle Charges They Deceptively Advertised The Cost Of Cars

30 Jun 10:40 | U.S. News

Two auto dealers in Las Vegas have agreed to settle Federal Trade Commission charges they used deceptive ads to promote the sale or leasing of their vehicles, including advertising heavily discounted prices that were not generally available to consumers.read more »

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UNESCO Unveils Global Campaign To Counter Deliberate Destruction Of Cultural Heritage

30 Jun 09:27 | World

UNESCO has launched the Global Coalition Unite for Heritage campaign, which aims to strengthen the mobilization of governments and all heritage stakeholders in the face of deliberate damage to cultural heritage, particularly in the Middle East.read more »

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Determination To Bring Justice To People Of Sudan Remains 'Unshaken'

30 Jun 08:21 | World

Over six years since the issuance of the first warrant of arrest against Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir, the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) said that her Office's determination to bring "independent and impartial justice" to the people of Sudan remains "unshaken".read more »

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Crisis For Miss Universe and Miss USA Over Trump Comments

29 Jun 23:27 | Entertainment

The Miss Universe and Miss USA pageant's are in crisis after the broadcasters, hosts, special guests and some sponsors pulled out in protest at comments by presidential hopeful and co-rights owner Donald Trump.read more »

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App Developer Settles FTC Charges It Hijacked Consumers’ Phones To Mine Cryptocurrency

29 Jun 17:26 | U.S. News

A smartphone app developer has agreed to settle charges it lured consumers into downloading its "rewards" app, saying it would be free of malware, when the app's main purpose was actually to load the consumers' mobile phones with malicious software to mine virtual currencies for the developer. read more »

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Mankind's 'Unprecedented Transformation Of Earth'

29 Jun 15:40 | World

Human beings are pushing the planet in an entirely new direction with revolutionary implications for its life, a new study by researchers at the University of Leicester has suggested. read more »

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Pending Home Sales Maintain Momentum In May

29 Jun 15:18 | Business

Pending home sales continued to rise in May and are now at their highest level in over nine years, according to the National Association of Realtors. read more »

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Children With Severe Head Injuries Are Casualties Of Wars In Iraq And Afghanistan

29 Jun 12:16 | World

During the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, U.S. combat support hospitals treated at least 650 children with severe, combat-related head injuries, according to a special article in the July issue of Neurosurgery.read more »

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Former State Representative Convicted On Bribery Charge

29 Jun 10:40 | U.S. News

A former state representative and Pikeville, Kentucky, coal operator, Wendell Keith Hall, has been convicted by a jury of bribing a federal mine official.read more »

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High Blood Pressure Linked To Reduced Alzheimer's Risk And Medication May Be Reason

29 Jun 08:30 | SciTech

A new study suggests that people with a genetic predisposition to high blood pressure have a lower risk for Alzheimer's disease. read more »

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SpaceX Dragon ISS Resupply Mission Fails

28 Jun 15:32 | U.S. News

Space's eighth Dragon resupply mission on a flight to take cargo to the International Space Station failed just over two minutes into the ascent from Cape Canaveral’s Space Launch Complex.read more »

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Study Finds Pet Owners Reluctant To Face Up To Their Cats' Kill Count

28 Jun 12:34 | SciTech

Cats are increasingly earning themselves a reputation as wildlife killers with estimates of animals killed every year by domestic cats in the UK numbering into the millions. read more »

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June 30 Will Get An Extra Second

28 Jun 09:25 | U.S. News

The day will officially be a bit longer than usual on Tuesday, June 30, 2015, because an extra second, or "leap" second, will be added.read more »

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Emergency Visits For Childhood Food Allergy On Rise In Illinois

26 Jun 15:45 | U.S. News

Emergency room visits and hospitalizations of children with severe, potentially life-threatening food allergy reactions increased an average of nearly 30 percent per year over five years in Illinois, reports a Northwestern Medicine study.read more »

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Natural Wilderness Areas Need Buffer Zones To Protect From Human Development

26 Jun 17:29 | U.S. News

University of Georgia researchers say the U.S. still has millions of acres of pristine wild lands, but these federally protected nature areas have a problem: Their boundaries have become prime real estate.read more »

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Top Scientists Call For Improved Incentives To Ensure Research Integrity

26 Jun 13:26 | U.S. News

Scientific controversies, from problems replicating results - such as with the now debunked association between autism and MMR vaccines - to researcher misconduct and sensationalism, have led to speculation of "trouble at the lab," as the Economist put it.read more »

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Doctors And Scientists Call For Divestment From Fossil Fuel Companies

26 Jun 12:18 | SciTech

Over 50 leading doctors and academics have signed an open letter published in The Guardian calling on the Wellcome Trust to divest from fossil fuel companies.read more »

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Commenters Exposed To Prejudiced Comments More Likely To Display Prejudice Themselves

26 Jun 10:19 | Entertainment

A study published by researchers at the University of Canterbury, New Zealand, found exposure to prejudiced online comments can increase people's own prejudice, and increase the likelihood that they leave prejudiced comments themselves.read more »

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Massive Damage To Nepal's Healthcare Services Put Millions Of Quake Survivors At Risk

26 Jun 09:39 | World

The World Health Organization (WHO) has warned the health of the people who survived Nepal's twin earthquakes could be at risk if regular services are not urgently rebuilt and restored in a country where 80 per cent of health facilities in the 14 most affected districts are damaged.read more »

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Aid Efforts For Syrian Refugees Imperilled By 'Staggering' $3 Billion Funding Gap

26 Jun 08:15 | World

Humanitarian and development efforts targeting millions of Syrian refugees are at risk of collapsing due to a severe funding crisis, the refugee agency UNHCR has warned.read more »

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Antibiotic-Resistant Superbugs 'The Health Crisis Of This Generation'

26 Jun 17:17 | U.S. News

Decades of inaction to curb the overuse of life-saving antibiotics by physicians, dentists, patients, and farmers has created hard-to-treat "superbugs" that are spreading and growing stronger, with dire consequences, according to Consumer Reports.read more »

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