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Anger erupts as Las Vegas seeks to impose a controversial ban on sleeping in streets

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Faced with a growing number of homeless people, Las Vegas has passed a controversial law that bans sleeping on the street and imposes punishments of a $1,000 fine and six months in prison.

The ordinance — the latest in a series of measures by US cities to grapple with rising vagrancy — comes into force Sunday, but its criminal provisions will not be applied until February.

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Sleeping on the streets of the gambling hub will only be illegal in downtown Las Vegas and residential areas — not the famous casino “Strip,” which comes under a different jurisdiction.

It will not apply when homeless shelters are full.

Opponents of the law focused their anger on Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman before and during the vote late Wednesday.

Demonstrators outside City Hall chanted “Housing, not handcuffs” and held signs proclaiming “Poverty is not a crime,” local media reported.

Goodman said the law is necessary for a city that is highly dependent on tourism revenues and to protect “the health and safety of the entire community.”

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The law is not intended to punish the homeless but to help with their reintegration into society, she said, according to NPR radio.

It has been backed by Las Vegas’s Chamber of Commerce.

According to the latest census, 5,500 people sleep on the streets of southern Nevada each night. Only 2,000 beds are available through municipal services and charities.

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The measure has drawn criticism from beyond Las Vegas, including from several Democratic presidential candidates.

The explosion in the number of homeless people in the United States — especially in California and New York, where housing prices have soared in recent years — could become an issue in the 2020 election.

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Las Vegas has tried to tackle the issue before. The city council has banned public food handouts, briefly closed public parks, and even banned sleeping within 500 feet (150 meters) of feces.

Former mayor Oscar Goodman, the husband of the current mayor, once even proposed shipping homeless people to an abandoned prison 30 miles outside the city, the USA Today newspaper said.


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George Conway: Even if the White House is telling the truth — we’d have no reason to believe them

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Republican lawyer George Conway tweeted Sunday night that even if the story the White House is spinning about President Donald Trump's trip to Walter Reed makes perfect sense, there's no reason to believe them.

https://twitter.com/gtconway3d/status/1196202741552599040

The tweet shared a Washington Post report from Karen Tumulty who further explained the sentiment.

"It's a good bet he White House is not telling the truth when it claims Trump was at Walter Reed 'to begin portions of his routine annual physical exam,'" Tumulty tweeted. "We know this because — well because those people lie about pretty much everything."

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‘I’m very upset’: Furious Texas rancher says Trump is ‘secretly’ trying to steal land to build ‘the wall’

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Ranchers in Laredo, Texas, are furious as they're learning President Donald Trump is stealing their land away to build the "wall," he says, has already been built.

During a campaign stop in Louisiana Thursday, Trump said that his wall is "going up faster than anyone thought possible." But when probed about it, Trump's own top border official confirmed none of the wall has been built, in fact, all that has been built replaced existing structures.

Only four miles of the area where the Trump "wall" is going is owned by the federal government already. So, the White House is now calling land-owners on the Texas border to beg them to cooperate with their landgrab.

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Mike Pence distances himself from his own top adviser after she refuses to lie for Trump

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Vice President Mike Pence's top adviser, Jennifer Williams, seems to be enduring retaliation from her employers after cooperating with subpoenas from the House impeachment inquiry this week. Williams spoke to the committee behind closed doors, and her testimony has was released Saturday.

President Donald Trump attacked her as a "Never Trumper" on Twitter Sunday, despite her work for the Trump adminsitration.

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