Washington, DC - The principals of a mortgage relief operation and their companies are banned from the mortgage loan modification and debt relief business under court orders obtained by the Federal Trade Commission. The orders resolve charges that the scheme falsely promised financially distressed homeowners they would receive legal representation to prevent foreclosure or lower their mortgage payments and interest rates, and illegally charged thousands of dollars in advance.

Las Vegas, Nevada - As conservationists work to recover endangered species populations, taking individuals that are maintained and protected under human care and reintroducing them into the wild, it becomes apparent that there is a great deal to learn about the science of species recovery. In a paper published in the recent edition of the Journal of Applied Ecology, a team of wildlife experts from San Diego Zoo Global, the U.S. Geological Survey, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the University of Nevada analyzed the effect of habitat quality on the survival and dispersal of released desert tortoises.

Sacramento, California - Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr., Senate President pro Tempore Kevin de León and Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon today announced an agreement on an expenditure plan for unallocated cap-and-trade proceeds that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions through programs that benefit disadvantaged communities, support clean transportation, reduce short-lived climate pollutants and protect natural ecosystems.

Washington, DC - The United States is profoundly alarmed by the recent United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) report that implicates South Sudanese government forces in the recruitment of child soldiers since the July 7th return to hostilities. Above and beyond our calls for an end to ongoing violence in South Sudan, we insist on an immediate halt to the unlawful recruitment and use of child soldiers by government and opposition forces. Individuals responsible for the unlawful recruitment or use of child soldiers for armed groups or forces may be subject to sanction under U.S. law and may be targeted for UN sanctions.

Sacramento, California - The USDA’s Economic Research Service  (ERS) has compiled and released preliminary agricultural production statistics for 2015 in California.  This first set of data indicates that production value fell by $9.5 billion, or more than eight percent compared to 2014, to a total of $47,071,513,000. California remains the leading agricultural state in the nation.

Washington, DC - Secretary of State John Kerry: "A year ago, President Obama set the goal of welcoming at least 10,000 of the most vulnerable refugees fleeing the conflict in Syria to the United States. Today, by committing additional resources to our refugee admissions process and maintaining our rigorous screening process and commitment to the security of the American people, we have reached that goal. Since 1975, over 3.2 million refugees have joined the fabric of American society, each one making us a stronger, more pluralistic society.