Friday, October 22, 2021

Wake-Up Call: Prop Discharges On Set, Baldwin Kills Crew Member

Daily Mail 10/22/21

Alec Baldwin discharged a “prop firearm” while filming in New Mexico on Thursday (Oct. 21st), killing the director of photography and wounding the director.

According to a Santa Fe Sheriff’s department press release, authorities responded to the incident at Bonanza Creek Ranch just before 2 p.m. local time following 911 call indicating that someone had been shot on set.

The director of photography, 42-year-old Halyna Hutchins, died at University of New Mexico Hospital in Albuquerque and 48-year-old director Joel Souza was taken to Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical Center where he was receiving emergency care.

The Santa Fe New Mexican reports that Baldwin, who both produces and stars in the film, was seen outside of the sheriff’s office headquarters “distraught and in tears” while on the phone.

A spokesperson for the Santa Fe Sheriff’s Department told Deadline, “Mr. Baldwin was questioned by investigators and released. No arrests or charges have been filed. This investigation remains open and active. No charges have been filed in regard to this incident. Witnesses continue to be interviewed by detectives.”

Rust Movie Productions LLC also issued a statement to the outlet saying that production has been halted and they are cooperating with the sheriff’s department’s investigation.

➤COVID CASES AND DEATHS ARE DECLINING: The Delta wave of the COVID-19 pandemic appears to be easing in the U.S. An average 79,000 new cases per day were reported as of October 19th, a drop of 22 percent over the previous two weeks. Deaths have fallen by 14 percent during the same period. The numbers are expected to decline further through the next few weeks.

In another bit of good news, Hawaii will reopen fully to leisure and business visitors as of November 1st. In August, Governor David Ig had urged visitors to stay away because the state's hospitals were overflowing with patients. New COVID cases there have fallen 50 percent in just two weeks.

➤DEATH OF FUGITIVE LAUNDRIE CONFIRMED: Partial human remains found earlier this week in a Florida wilderness park have been confirmed by the FBI to be those of Brian Laundrie, the fugitive from justice. Laundrie was suspected in the murder of Gabby Petito, who was found dead in a remote part of Wyoming after going on a road trip with Laundrie.

➤BANNON HELD IN CONTEMPT OF CONGRESS: Steve Bannon, a close ally of former President Donald Trump, has been held in contempt of Congress in a vote of the House of Representatives. He has refused to respond to a subpoena to testify before a House committee investigating the January 6th attack on the U.S. Capitol. The House vote was 229-202 and included nine Republicans in favor. The vote may lead to criminal charges being brought against Bannon by the Department of Justice.

➤RECORD CLOSE FOR S&P 500: The Standard & Poor's 500 Index closed at a record high of 4,550 yesterday, following the Dow Jones Index on its upwards trajectory. Strong profits and year-end optimism are fueling the stock rally, which wiped out a two-month swoon.

➤MOSCOW BACK IN LOCKDOWN: Russia is enduring its worst-ever surge in COVID-19 cases, and the city of Moscow is imposing a universal 10-day lockdown starting next week in response. Unvaccinated people over 60 or suffering from chronic diseases have already been ordered to stay home for four months.

➤CLEARED AFTER 19 YEARS IN PRISON: Kim Hoover-Moore spent nearly 19 years in prison after being convicted of killing a baby in her care. Now, new evidence in the case has led to her release. A new analysis of the evidence showed that an earlier undetected injury could have led to the bleeding that killed the nine-month-old baby who was being cared for by Hoover-Moore at the time of her death in 2002.
A number of convictions for shaken baby syndrome have been scrutinized recently as new evidence emerges to challenge the diagnosis.

➤ABOUT THAT FIREBALL OVER THE MIDWEST: That fireball that streaked through the sky over the Midwest in the early hours Wednesday has been identified by NASA as a satellite that re-entered the atmosphere and fragmented. That's almost disappointing since many observers saw an eruption of green, yellow, red and white lights across the sky during the event, which occurred at 12:43 AM. According to The Detroit News, Harvard astrophysicist Jonathan McDowell believes the object was a Russian spy satellite called Kosmos-2552 that failed at launch on September 9th and has been orbiting the Earth ever since. His conclusion has not been corroborated.

➤SHOPPERS ARE PARTLY TO BLAME FOR AMERICA’S CRIPPLING LABOR SHORTAGES: There’s a labor shortage happening in the U.S., and it’s been blamed on lazy workers, or workers being disincentivized by expanded federal unemployment benefits. But survey results suggest another group should take some of the blame: consumers who have treated workers poorly. A poll of restaurant workers earlier this year found 80 percent said they had experienced hostile behavior from customers who didn’t want to follow COVID-19 safety protocols. About 50 percent said they were considering leaving their jobs, and of that group, 40 percent said it was because of customer hostility and harassment. A survey of restaurant workers released in August showed similar results—more than 66 percent said a key reason for the labor shortage was customer disrespect. Stores such as Gap and H&M are trying to rebalance the power between customers and workers by launching campaigns to shield workers from hostile customers. Mark Cohen, director of retail studies at Columbia Business School says, “Workers will understandingly seek a best decision for themselves, something they haven’t had the luxury of in the past.

⚾THE DODGERS STAY IN THE GAME: The Los Angeles Dodgers are not done yet. Thanks to three home runs by Chris Taylor, they defeated the Atlanta Braves 11-2 last night. They still trail the Braves 3-2 heading into Game 6 of the National League Championship Series in Atlanta tomorrow night.

➤ENES KANTER VS. CHINA: China is in a snit over criticism of its human rights record from Boston Celtics player Enes Kanter. So, it has blocked highlights of the team's games from the Chinese internet. Kanter posted a video on social media voicing his support for Tibet and calling Chinese President Xi Jinping a "brutal dictator." China has a history of intimidating political dissidents and religious leaders in Tibet, supposedly an autonomous region of China.

🏀BEN SIMMONS IN TALKS WITH 76ERS MANAGEMENT: Philadelphia 76ers All-Star guard Ben Simmons is expected to meet with the team's leadership today. Simmons requested a trade four months ago and has shown little enthusiasm for his job since. Most recently, he got thrown out of a practice session and barred from this week's 76ers game against the New Orleans Pelicans. He is officially listed as "doubtful" for tonight's game against the Brooklyn Nets.

🏈WASHINGTON HIRES TWO NEW COACHES: Washington State is hiring two new coaches to fill the giant hole in its coaching staff, The Athletic reports. Quarterbacks coach Dan Morrison and offensive line coach Dennis McKnight, both formerly with Hawaii and SMU, are expected to join the Cougars staff. Washington State fired head coach Nick Rolovich and four assistant coaches for refusing to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

➤LONGHORN LINEBACKER DIED OF OVERDOSE: University of Texas student and Texas Longhorns linebacker Jake Ehlinger's death in May was due to an accidental drug overdose, according to a statement from his family. He had taken the prescription medication Xanax laced with fentanyl, a synthetic opioid. Ehlinger was 20 years old.

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