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Alec Baldwin fatally shoots woman with prop gun on set of new movie Rust - victim named as Halyna Hu

22 October

A woman has died and a man has been injured after actor Alec Baldwin discharged a prop firearm on the set of new Western movie Rust.

The woman has been named as Halyna Hutchins, a 42-year-old director of photography, and the injured man is Joel Souza, the film's director.
Hutchins was transported via helicopter to University of New Mexico Hospital, but was later pronounced dead.
Souza was taken by ambulance to Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical Center, where he is being treated.
The shooting happened on the film set in New Mexico, Santa Fe County Sheriff's Office said.
A spokesman for Baldwin, who is producing and starring in the film, said there was an accident involving the misfire of a prop gun with blanks.
Juan Rios, a spokesman for the sheriff's office, said: "This investigation remains open and active. No charges have been filed in regard to this incident. Witnesses continue to be interviewed by detectives."
He added that detectives are investigating how and what type of projectile was discharged.
Police responded to the set at the Bonanza Creek Ranch at about 2pm local time, following emergency calls of a person being shot there.
Rust's production has been halted.
The Santa Fe New Mexican reported that Baldwin, 63, was seen Thursday outside the sheriff's office in tears but refused to comment.
Hutchins was named a "rising star" by American Cinematographer magazine in 2019 and was director of photography on the 2020 action film Archenemy, starring Joe Manganiello.
"I'm so sad about losing Halyna," said Archenemy director Adam Egypt Mortimer on Twitter. "And so infuriated that this could happen on a set.
"She was a brilliant talent who was absolutely committed to art and to film."
Actor Joe Manganiello, who starred in Archenemy, called her "an incredible talent" and "a great person" on his Instagram account, adding that he was lucky to have Hutchins as director of photography on the film.
Director and writer James Gunn, who worked on films such as Guardians of the Galaxy and Slither, said on Twitter: "My greatest fear is that someone will be fatally hurt on one of my sets. I pray this will never happen.
"My heart goes out to all of those affected by the tragedy today on Rust, especially Halyna Hutchins & her family."
Rust, which was due to keep filming until November, is about a 13-year-old boy who is left to fend for himself and his younger brother after his parents' death in 1800s Kansas, according to the Internet Movie Database.
The teenager is sentenced to hang for accidentally killing a local rancher and goes on the run with his long-estranged grandfather, played by Alec Baldwin.
This is not the first high-profile death involving a prop gun on set.
Brandon Lee, son of the late martial-arts star Bruce Lee, died while filming a death scene for the movie The Crow in 1993, when he was 28 years old.
The .44-caliber weapon used was supposed to fire a blank but an autopsy revealed that a bullet was lodged near his spine.
A Twitter account run by Lee's sister Shannon said: "Our hearts go out to the family of Halyna Hutchins and to Joel Souza and all involved in the incident on 'Rust.' No one should ever be killed by a gun on a film set. Period."
In 1984, actor Jon-Erik Hexum was pretending to play Russian roulette with a .44 Magnum on the set of the television series Cover Up when he shot himself in the head with a prop gun blank and died.

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Queen spends night in hospital after cancelling Northern Ireland visit

22 October

The Queen spent Wednesday night in hospital after cancelling a visit to Northern Ireland, Buckingham Palace has said.

A spokesman said she was admitted for "preliminary investigations" - but returned to Windsor Castle at lunchtime on Thursday and "remains in good spirits".
The 95-year-old monarch was treated at the private King Edward VII Hospital in central London, in what was her first overnight hospital stay in eight years.
Sky's royal correspondent, Rhiannon Mills, said Her Majesty's admission was not related to COVID-19 - and she was back at her desk doing some light work by Thursday afternoon.
The Queen had undertaken a string of engagements in recent weeks, but had been given medical advice to rest for a few days.
On Tuesday evening, Her Majesty had attended an event at Windsor Castle, where she was seen alongside Prince Charles, Prince William and Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
During the event, she also shook hands with Bill Gates and US climate envoy John Kerry.
The following day, she had been due to attend a service marking the centenary of the partition of Ireland and the formation of Northern Ireland.
In a statement at the time, Buckingham Palace said the Queen had "reluctantly accepted" the medical advice to rest - adding she was "disappointed" about being unable to make the trip.
Her Majesty's last stay in hospital happened in 2013, when she had suffered a nasty bout of gastroenteritis. She had successful surgery to treat an eye cataract in 2018, and also had a knee operation in 2003.
Next year, the Queen will celebrate 70 years on the throne - and although she continues to carry out official engagements, she has handed more duties to Prince Charles.
Earlier this month, she was seen using a walking stick for support in public for the first time.
The Queen appeared to be in good health during Tuesday's drink reception - and earlier this week, it emerged the monarch had turned down an award that would have named her Oldie of the Year.
According to an aide, Her Majesty believes "you are as old as you feel" - and she felt that she did not meet the "relevant criteria" for the trophy.

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COVID-19: Government will not change booster jab rules unless JCVI says so, minister says - as calls

22 October

The government will not change the six-month gap between second doses of the coronavirus vaccine and the booster jab unless the UK's vaccine advisory body recommends it, a health minister has said.

Care minister Gillian Keegan told Kay Burley on Sky News that ministers will "do whatever" the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) says when it comes to booster jab rules, and that the advisory body is "continually looking at the data".
Her comments come amid concerns that the pace of the booster vaccine rollout is too slow, with former health secretary and Conservative MP Jeremy Hunt suggesting the gap should be cut to five months to improve immunity in the lead up to Christmas.
In the latest data released on Thursday, the UK recorded another 52,009 new COVID cases and 115 virus-related deaths.
The number of new infections marked the first time that figure had been above 50,000 since 17 July.

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COVID-19: Online groups attempt to confront MPs over their 'evil actions'

22 October

Anti-vaccination and anti-lockdown protesters are organising themselves online to confront MPs in person, Sky News has found.

One online group is going after politicians because of their "evil actions" - and shares tips on how to find constituency offices and MPs' homes.
Photos and videos of members and other like-minded protesters approaching politicians or their offices are being widely shared on the messaging app Telegram. One video shows an MP revealing he was forced to call the police after his home was targeted by anti-vaxxers.
It comes as concerns around MPs' safety have risen following the killing of Sir David Amess. The death of the MP for Southend West is being treated as terrorism related and is not thought to be linked to the anti-vax or anti-lockdown movements.
This week, Michael Gove was escorted by police officers after being surrounded by anti-vaccine protesters, while MPs have spoken out about receiving threats and harassment.
At least six groups discussing how to locate and confront MPs were found on Telegram during an investigation by the Sky News Data and Forensics team.
One such group that encourages members to speak in person with MPs and protest outside their offices and homes was set up five months ago. It has already built up around 2,350 members across the UK.
The Telegram channel's description says the group is a "community outreach movement to make people aware of their MPs evil actions and to target their political seat under pressure or alternatively, replace."
They say their intention is to confront MPs in a non-violent way.
They want to convince them of what they believe are the dangers of the coronavirus vaccine. They also seek to prevent any further COVID-related restrictions impacting the UK, in particular lockdowns and vaccine passports.
New users are encouraged to share where they live in the UK and who their local member of parliament is. More than 100 MPs across the country are named - including Sir David.
There are frequent requests for help finding the offices and homes of politicians appearing in the chat.
One such message reads: "How do I find out where Oliver Heald MP lives?!!!"
New users are directed to a publicly accessible business directory where they claim some MPs' addresses can be found.
Some users who join are enthusiastic but do not know who their MP is.
One user writes: "From Wakefield! Sorry don't know who is our MP all these idiots are the sane just tell where to go and stand at 2pm please"
One of the MPs the group managed to find and speak to is Chris Heaton-Harris, who represents Daventry.
An hour-long video of around 30 people surrounding the Conservative minister was uploaded on 2 October. The MP has one female aide with him.
The conversation with the crowd has moments where voices are raised against the MP, but is largely calm.
One moment of tension happens after Mr Heaton-Harris refuses to say he would not rule out voting for vaccine passports.
The MP then describes to the group how a person or people attempted to put a large number of stickers protesting against vaccine passports on his house. However, the protesters mistook the MP's house for his neighbour's.
"For the first time since I was elected in 2010, that was the first time someone has tried to physically intimidate me to do something," he tells the group.
He adds: "It's the first time I've ever had to call the police in my time as an MP."
One member of the crowd responds: "It's hardly murder."
At the end of the meeting, Mr Heaton-Harris encourages the group to ask questions of him as their MP, but asks them to try to dissuade others from approaching his family home.
Other MPs confronted in person by the group include Labour's Anneliese Dodds as she walked alone to her party's conference. She is described in the Telegram group as "treasonous".
Labour's John McDonnell and Lisa Nandy are also confronted.
Despite many in the group emphasising the need to keep protests peaceful, some advocate for violence and intimidation.
One user writes: "At this point I feel like ANY kind of disruption is a good thing. We have had peaceful protests for over a year and achieved nothing! I don't agree with out right abusing people, but the fight is coming Weber you peaceful or not n I want to do my part".
Accusations and offensive insults are thrown at MPs, from claims of accepting bribes and corruption to calling them "traitorous".
One user posted a link to an article about how Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab shared that he had received violent threats. The user writes: "Scare the MPs so they vote to extend special measures and vote on the security bill."
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The group discussed the death of Sir David on 15 October.
"Someone killed an MP today, probably they're all really scared now," one user writes.
Several conspiracies about the killing are also shared in the group.
A group member writes: "Seems a bit suspicious, now they're talking about special protection for MPs. Quite a coincidence."
To which another member replies: "Excalty.. that why we need to serve them all and fast."
Partially scuppered by many MPs and their staff working from home, the group have continued to turn up at constituency offices in the hope they may run into their local representative.
In early June, the first photo showing a small group of protesters outside an MP's office was shared in the chat. It was the office of Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer in north London.
The poster wrote: "A picture outside MP Kier Starmers office when a few of us first arrived. We got a great community reception, if we stay persistent they will all know we are there every week! Not a bad start!!"
They added: "The police were good to us too as long as we don't storm the office, leave rubbish behind, put stickers on it and are peaceful... it's our democratic right."
Another user shared a selfie in front of a Scottish MP's office in Glasgow, while others wrote messages claiming to have gone to other offices.
The most recent photo was shared on 15 October.
This picture showed two people holding up a "No to COVID passports" banner with the office for Lee Rowley, MP for North East Derbyshire, clearly visible in the background.
As well as attempting to confront MPs in person, the group also write to their MPs and create leaflets to encourage others to join them.
The group has created local groups, as well as operating alongside other Telegram channels which also encourage people to physically approach MPs.
Videos showing confrontations with MPs - including with the Leader of the House of Commons Jacob Rees-Mogg - are shared in these Telegram groups.
The person filming questions MPs about coronavirus conspiracy theories involving Bill Gates and Klaus Schwab, the executive chairman of the World Economic Forum.
Many of these videos are uploaded to a video hosting site popular with the anti-vaccine community.
Videos shared in the groups or on the video site show MPs Lee Anderson, Chris Grayling and Sir Desmond Swayne also being targeted, as well as the Prime Minister's father Stanley Johnson. These videos appear to be filmed during the Conservative Party conference.
David Lammy and Angela Rayner are accosted over vaccines at the Labour party conference. Other similar videos feature Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty.
A number of different videos of Michael Gove being harassed in Westminster this week are also on the site.
The videos are uploaded with comments such as "Throw him to the lions! String him up!"
One comment makes a direct reference to the killing of Sir David, saying: "Whers the boogyman terrorsit now to stab up c***s like GOVE, how they have the brass face to walk the streets is beyond me."
One short clip of Matt Hancock running in a marathon is also shared on the video site. It is uploaded with the caption: "WHERES THE GUY WITH THE GUN, ARRRRR DAM."


The Data and Forensics team is a multi-skilled unit dedicated to providing transparent journalism from Sky News. We gather, analyse and visualise data to tell data-driven stories. We combine traditional reporting skills with advanced analysis of satellite images, social media and other open source information. Through multimedia storytelling we aim to better explain the world while also showing how our journalism is done.
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COVID-19: PM vows to stick with his strategy, as WHO warns the UK's current situation is 'not health

22 October

Boris Johnson has admitted the level of COVID cases is "high" and he is "watching the numbers very carefully every day" - but insisted he is "sticking with our plan".

The government has so far resisted calls to move to Plan B of its autumn and winter COVID response for easing pressures on the NHS.
But a spokesman for the World Health Organisation has warned it's "not a healthy situation in the UK right now" - and a lecturer in intensive care medicine has told Sky News that waiting for the situation to get worse is no way to handle an emergency.
Any Plan B for England could include a return to mandatory mask wearing, a return to work from home guidance, or the introduction of coronavirus passports for some venues.
Some within the NHS have called for ministers to move to Plan B immediately after an eighth day in a row that the number of daily infections has been above 40,000.
Daily case numbers today reached 52,009 - the first time that figure has been above 50,000 since 17 July.
Health Secretary Sajid Javid this week even predicted there could be as many as 100,000 COVID cases a day heading into winter.
But, asked what level of cases could trigger further action, Mr Johnson on Thursday said he would not yet be bringing in fresh measures.
"We're watching the numbers very carefully every day," the prime minister said, during a visit to Northern Ireland.
"You're absolutely right the number of infections are high. But we're within the parameters of what the predictions were, what SPI-M and the others said where we would be at this stage given the steps that we've taken.
"So we're sticking with our plan."
Mr Johnson said the UK was in an "incomparably better" position than 12 months ago due to the "huge level of protection" now provided by COVID vaccines, which mean 90% of the adult population currently have coronavirus antibodies.
But he added the UK needed to "fortify ourselves further" ahead of this winter.
"The numbers are high, we can see what's happening, we can see the increase, now is the time to get those booster jabs and also to vaccinate the 12 to 15-year-olds as well," the prime minister said.
In a message to all those eligible for a booster vaccine, including the most vulnerable and all over-50s, Mr Johnson said: "When you get the call, get the jab."
A media blitz has been launched by the Government encouraging people to take up COVID-19 booster jabs - with adverts set to appear on billboards, TV, radio and social media platforms.
Meanwhile parents can book vaccines for children aged between 12 to years old from this evening - with appointments available as early as the weekend.
Mr Johnson stressed there was "certainly no shortage of supply" of COVID jabs with "huge quantities of vaccine" in the UK.
"Come forward and get it when your time comes - it's a demand issue and we really urge people to come and do it," he added.
Earlier on Thursday, former Conservative health secretary Jeremy Hunt urged ministers to consider whether to shorten the time that most people have to wait for a third booster jab from six months to five months after their second dose.
And Mr Johnson did not rule out shortening the time between jabs two and three for most people who are eligible for a booster vaccine, saying it was "an extremely important point".
"On the issue of timing, all I will say is I think we just need to keep going as fast as possible," he said.
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Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said it was "wrong" to focus debate on whether the government should enforce Plan B.
He instead urged ministers to "get a grip" on their "failing" Plan A and a "stalling" vaccination programme.
"The government said the vaccine would be the security wall against the virus and now the government is letting that wall crumble," Sir Keir added.
"We've seen those that most need it not able to get the jab they need - only, I think, 17% of children have got the vaccine.
"And the booster programme has slowed down so much that, at this rate, we're not going to complete it until spring of next year.
"So the government needs to change, it needs to get a grip, I think it needs to drive those numbers up to at least 500,000 vaccines a day."
Downing Street on Thursday confirmed that, should ministers decide Plan B was necessary, a House of Commons vote would be required to return to the mandatory wearing of face masks or to introduce the use of COVID certification for entry to certain venues.
And Mr Javid later said that a record 234,000 people had booked a booster jab on Wednesday through the National Booking Service.
Dr David Nabarro, the World Health Organisation's special envoy on COVID-19, told Sky News that it was "not a healthy situation in the UK right now".
"If I were in a responsible position I'd be asking myself how much longer before we do start to introduce proper mask-wearing mandates," he said.
"Vaccines are fantastic lifesavers... but on their own they don't offer what we believe to be sufficient to get this pandemic under control.
"Now it's really important everybody should be wearing masks, particularly in crowded places, everybody should be practicing social distancing and being careful on hygiene.
"Living with the virus doesn't mean letting go and letting it roam everywhere. Living with the virus means being super careful about it and getting on with our lives."
Patricia Marquis, England director at the Royal College of Nursing, told Sky News that is was "sensible for us to look at increased mask wearing, social distancing and thinking about large gatherings and whether those are right or not".
"Further measures about work from home etc. which we know are in Plan B really need to be considered very seriously," she added.
"It does need to be done not just to protect the NHS, but to protect the public because what we don't want to see is rising significant illness and rising deaths."
And Professor Charlotte Summers, a lecturer in intensive care medicine at the University of Cambridge, told Sky News she was "expecting an incredibly challenging winter if we don't start taking some action now".
"I'm an intensive care specialist, I deal with emergencies all the time - that's my job," she added.
"I'm pretty certain that there is no emergency for which waiting for it to get worse before you take any action is the best way to handle it."

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