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San Francisco’s homeless population surges by double-digits in two years

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SAN FRANCISCO: The Office of Mayor London Breed has said that the homeless population in San Francisco has increased by double digits over the past two years, despite the city’s huge efforts to combat homelessness.

The initial results of the two-year Homelessness Point-in-Time (PIT) Count, which was carried out on Jan. 24, show a 17-percent increase in homeless individuals, although the number of veteran homelessness and youth homelessness dropped by 14 percent and 10 percent, respectively, said the office.

The PIT count is conducted every two years upon the requirement of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

The preliminary results showed that 8,011 people living in the streets, both sheltered and unsheltered, in San Francisco were counted homeless, while the figure was 6,858 in 2017.

“The increase in unsheltered people was driven largely by people living in vehicles, accounting for 68 percent of the increase in unsheltered people,” said the mayor’s office.

A more complete count is expected to be released in July after being reviewed by federal guidelines, which normally excludes people in jails, hospitals and health treatment centers, who are counted as homeless by city officials.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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US piles pressure on Iran with new troop deployments

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US piles pressure on Iran with new troop deployments

WASHINGTON: China and Russia warned Tuesday about escalating Middle East tensions after Washington said it would deploy 1,000 more troops to the region and renewed accusations that Iran was behind a tanker attack.

The US moves came as Iran set a 10-day countdown for world powers to fulfil their commitments under a nuclear deal abandoned by Washington, saying it would otherwise surpass the uranium stockpile limit mandated by the accord.

Tensions between Tehran and Washington have escalated ever since the US quit the deal, with Washington bolstering its military presence in the region and blacklisting Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards as a terrorist organization.

On Monday, Washington further upped the ante.

“I have authorized approximately 1,000 additional troops for defensive purposes to address air, naval, and ground-based threats in the Middle East,” acting Pentagon chief Patrick Shanahan said in a statement.

“The recent Iranian attacks validate the reliable, credible intelligence we have received on hostile behavior by Iranian forces and their proxy groups that threaten United States personnel and interests across the region,” Shanahan said.

The United States has blamed Iran for last week’s attacks on two tankers in the Gulf of Oman, a charge Tehran denies as “baseless.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Trump says US to begin removing ‘millions’ of illegal migrants

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WASHINGTON: The United States will start removing “millions” of illegal migrants next week, President Donald Trump said Monday, adding that Guatemala is preparing to sign a safe third country deal.

“Next week ICE will begin the process of removing the millions of illegal aliens who have illicitly found their way into the United States. They will be removed as fast as they come in,” Trump said on Twitter, referring to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency.

He added that “Guatemala is getting ready to sign a Safe-Third Agreement,” an apparent reference to a pact in which migrants entering Guatemalan territory would have to apply for refugee status there, not in the United States.

The US is facing a surge in migrant arrivals from Guatemala and other impoverished Central American countries which are plagued by gang violence.

The numbers have overwhelmed the ability of US authorities to temporarily shelter and process them.

Trump has called it “an invasion,” and has made the fight against illegal migration a central plank of his administration.

Earlier Monday the US said it would not offer any more aid to El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras unless they take “concrete actions” to deter undocumented migrants from heading for the US.

For fiscal 2019, $370 million initially planned will be allocated to other foreign policy priorities, the State Department said, and all future aid is now conditional.

“We will not provide new funds for programs in those countries until we are satisfied the Northern Triangle governments are taking concrete actions to reduce the number of illegal migrants coming to the US border,” Ortagus said.

 

 

 

 

 

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Trump to launch 2020 campaign in retiree-friendly Florida

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Trump to formally announce his re election bid on June 18

WASHINGTON: Ronald, Don and John are living the good life in this haven of Republican retirees in Florida, a city designed for the aging, with paths everywhere for golf carts and where residents have plenty of time to campaign for their president, Donald Trump.

The Villages is a pleasant, immaculately clean, fast-growing retirement town in central Florida. The average age of its 75,000 inhabitants is 71. Some two-thirds are Republican.

One afternoon not long ago five retirees all wearing Trump pins reviewed lists of recent arrivals in the city in order to send them invitations to join Republican-affiliated clubs.

An hour’s drive to the south, in Orlando, the US president will be formally launching his re-election campaign on Tuesday.

“We’re very proud,” Ronald McMahan, vice president of one of the clubs,said. “We’re proud to be Republicans, we’re proud to be with other Republicans and very proud that Mr. Trump has chosen to open his campaign here.”

Trump’s choice of Florida was no accident. If he is to win a second term in the White House in 2020, he will have to win in Florida again.

 

 

 

 

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