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Silicon Valley clears out notorious homeless ‘Jungle’ camp

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Authorities began Thursday dismantling a notorious homeless camp known as “The Jungle” in the heart of California’s affluent Silicon Valley.

Municipal workers in white overalls and face masks moved into the camp along a creek in San Jose, where some 300 people live in tents and other makeshift lodging.

The encampment, only a few minutes away from the city’s downtown district, is home to people forced out of an overheating rental market as lucrative tech companies moved in in recent years.

“We have been rehousing for the last 18 months,” San Jose city spokesman David Vossbrink told AFP, saying they had found places for some 140 people in shelters, with some in hotels and motels.

Some 60 other people had received offers of rent subsidies but have not yet found somewhere to live, he added.

The operation to close down the camp will last two or three weeks, and will include putting up a reinforced fence to prevent anyone coming back and settling in again.

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But the spokesman admitted that those forced to leave the “Jungle” could not all expect to be housed by the city, which has budgeted nearly $10 million over three years for homeless.

San Jose is counting on a refuge set to open for the winter to house some 200 people of Santa Clara County’s estimated 5,000-7,000 homeless, he said.

The city, with its population of around one million, has one of America’s highest proportions of homeless people.

The spokesman attributed the problem to various factors, including the 2008 global financial crisis, exorbitant rents fueled by the tech boom, and the scarcity of unskilled jobs.

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Vossbrink said the “Jungle” had to be cleared because it posed security, public health and pollution problems, and because of looming winter temperatures. “It’s becoming urgent,” he said.

But some activists are protesting the operation.

Scott Wagers, a pastor who heads a homeless support association, said the camp developed over the last two years, after the clearance of another slum in San Jose.

“The people are just going to move to another place that will become another jungle,” he said.

Report typos and corrections to [email protected].
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CNN

Mitch McConnell busted on CNN as the ‘ringmaster’ leaving the door open for more Russian election interference

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On Tuesday, CNN's John Avlon broke down how Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is every bit the obstacle to secure and safe elections as President Donald Trump is.

"There should be things that transcend petty politics, and towards the top of that list is stopping foreign powers from interfering in our elections," said Avlon, playing a clip of former special counsel Robert Mueller warning about the dangers. "Robert Mueller's warning is again, falling on willfully deaf ears. We know that foreign powers continue to try to meddle in our elections. Trump's FBI director and Director of National Intelligence have made this crystal clear."

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2020 Election

Who’s leading the Wall Street primary? Looks like Biden, Harris and Buttigieg

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Having already determined that two of the top contenders for the Democratic presidential nomination — Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders — are unacceptable and must be stopped at all costs, Wall Street financiers have reportedly begun to narrow down their list of 2020 favorites as candidates' fundraising efforts reach a "fevered peak" ahead of the June filing deadline.

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‘Race Traitor’: Far-right UK student jailed for more than four years over Prince Harry online posts

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A far-right university student who called Prince Harry a race traitor and created an image of him with a pistol to his head was on Tuesday jailed in Britain for more than four years.

Michal Szewczuk, 19, posted the image, which also featured a blood-splattered swastika, on microblogging platform Gab in August last year, months after the prince married mixed-race actress Meghan Markle.

The post included the phrase "See Ya Later Race Traitor".

Szewczuk, who was jailed for four years and three months, pleaded guilty to two counts of encouraging terrorism and five counts of possession of terrorist material, including the White Resistance Manual and an Al-Qaeda manual.

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