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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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Fox News reporter and right-wing conspiracy theorists planned to wiretap family of slain DNC staffer Seth Rich: report

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The Daily Beast on Monday evening broke a bombshell report on a secret 2017 meeting in Texas on a right-wing conspiracy theory where espionage was discussed.

"One of their topics was responding to online critics of wealthy Texas businessman Ed Butowsky, who had recently been outed as a driving force behind a retracted Fox News story about murdered Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich," The Beast reported. "The group that gathered at Butowsky’s home included a conspiracy theorist, a Fox reporter fighting for her career, a former private intelligence contractor married to star journalist Lara Logan, and a Democratic PR operative who lost his business in the face of sexual assault allegations."

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Maddow breaks down potential ‘direct financial connection’ between the Russian government and Donald Trump

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MSNBC anchor Rachel Maddow read bombshell excerpts from a new book set for release on Tuesday.

The host interviewed David Enrich, finance editor at The New York Times, about his forthcoming book Dark Towers: Deutsche Bank, Donald Trump, and an Epic Trail of Destruction.

The host of "The Rachel Maddow Show" read excerpts from the book.

"There was no doubt that Deutsche Bank had extensive business dealings with Russia, and those dealings included acting as a conduit for dirty money to get out of Russia and into the western financial system," Enrich wrote.

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Congress still has one big tool left to rein in Trump’s corruption: Oversight Committee Democrat

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Senate Republicans may have managed to quash the impeachment trial without calling forth any new witnesses or seriously considering the evidence against President Donald Trump. And the president may feel vindicated and largely invulnerable as a result.

But, Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL) told CNN's Anderson Cooper on Monday, that doesn't mean Democrats don't have one last big play to rein in the president's abuses of power. They can use the first and strongest authority delegated to them: the power of the purse.

"What can Democrats really do when it comes to oversight of the president?" asked Cooper. "I mean, now that impeachment is over, does seem like there are fewer and fewer guardrails, if any."

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