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Immigration violations, possible sex trafficking found at Nevada brothels

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An investigation of three legal Nevada brothels owned by a reality TV star and candidate for the state legislature found immigration violations and indications of possible human trafficking, the county sheriff said.

An inspection this week of the Bunny Ranch, Kit Kat Ranch and Love Ranch, all owned by Dennis Hof, capped a four-month probe by the Lyon County Sheriff’s Office and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Sheriff Al McNeil said in a statement.

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Hof, who appeared in the HBO reality TV show “Cathouse” about prostitutes at one of his brothels, won the Republican state primary in June for a seat in the Nevada assembly and is considered the favorite in the November general election.

Hof denied any immigration violations or trafficking at the brothel and said the sheriff’s department was responsible for screening prospective employees.

“It’s on the county, not us,” Hof told Reuters.

Nevada is the only U.S. state where prostitution is legal, although it is confined to brothels in eight counties.

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“The discovery of U.S. immigration law violations in our legal brothel system is extremely alarming,” McNeil said in a statement posted on Facebook on Thursday.

“The ability to coerce, exploit and traffic non-US citizens into Lyon County by foreign criminal enterprises is going to be difficult to detect and deter by our limited capabilities and resources of foreign born applicants, which has caused us to develop better working partnerships with federal agencies to combat human trafficking efforts,” he said.

Lyon County Sheriff deputies and U.S. Customs and Immigration officials this week conducted an inspection of work cards required for prostitutes at Nevada’s brothels, McNeil said.

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A four-month-long internal investigation found prostitute registration procedures to be rife with violations over several decades, the sheriff’s office statement said.

“Those practices include US immigration law violations, foreign country human trafficking indicators, fraudulent statements, issuance of work cards prior to completing criminal history background checks, and inability to validate out-of-state and US and other foreign national documents to determine identity,” the statement said.

Reporting by Dan Whitcomb; editing by Bill Tarrant, Leslie Adler and Alexander Smith

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UK travel giant Thomas Cook set to collapse: report

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Thomas Cook's 178-year existence was reported to be coming to an end on Monday after the British travel firm struggled to find private investment to keep it afloat, potentially affecting thousands of holidaymakers.

The operator has said it needs £200 million ($250 million) or else it will face administration, which could affect 600,000 holidaymakers and require Britain's largest peacetime repatriation.

A source close to the negotiations told AFP that the company had failed to find the cash from private investors and would collapse unless the government intervened.

But ministers are unlikely to step in due to worries about the pioneering operator's longer-term viability, the Times reported, leaving it on the brink.

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‘We are the people’: Watch Billy Porter get a standing ovation for his passionate speech at the Emmys

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In a powerful and passionate speech accepting his Emmy, "Pose" actor Billy Porter showered the audience with love and proudly reminded all of their right to belong and be loved.

"Oh, my God. God bless you all! The category is love, y'all, love!" Porter exclaimed.

The epic FX show "Pose" depicts Black and Latinos in the LGBTQ ballroom culture of New York City in the 1980s in the first season and the early 1990s in the second season.

"I am so overwhelmed and so overjoyed to have lived long enough to see this day," he said. "James Baldwin wrote, 'It took many years of vomiting up the filth I was taught about myself and half-believed, before I was able to walk on the earth as though I had a right to be here.' I have the right. You have the right. We all have the right."

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Paris show of King Tutankhamun artifacts set new record with 1.42 million visitors

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A blockbuster Tutankhamun show set a new all-time French record Sunday, with 1.42 million visitors flocking to see the exhibition in Paris, the organisers said.

The turnout beat the previous record set by another Tutankhamun show billed as the "exhibition of the century" in 1967, when 1.24 million queued to see "Tutankhamun and His Times" at the Petit Palais.

"Tutankhamun: Treasures of the Golden Pharaoh" -- which has been described as a "once in a generation" show -- will open in London in November.

The last time a show of comparable size about the boy king opened there in 1972 it sparked "Tutmania", with 1.6 million people thronging the British Museum.

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