Rust assistant director ‘was subject of safety complaint’

Good morning.

A TV crew member has disclosed that she raised safety concerns in the past about the assistant director who authorities say unwittingly handed Alec Baldwin the prop gun that killed the cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on a film set in New Mexico last week.

Maggie Goll, a prop maker and licensed pyrotechnician, said she filed an internal complaint with the executive producers of Hulu’s Into the Dark TV series over concerns about the assistant director Dave Halls’ conduct on set.

Goll alleged in an interview that Halls had previously not followed safety protocols for weapons and pyrotechnics when she worked alongside him on the TV series in 2019.

It looks like the US may have turned a corner as the number of new Covid cases and deaths has been in a steady decline since early September, prompting many experts to conclude that the worst effects of the pandemic in America are probably in the past.

But in the same breath those experts also caution that it’s not yet safe to abandon safeguards. That’s because parts of the US population and much of the world remain unvaccinated, which could allow for outbreaks and dangerous new variants of the virus to emerge.

A powerful storm has roared ashore in California, flooding cities, toppling trees and causing mud flows in areas burned bare by recent fires. After months of drought, the darkened clouds collecting over the state this weekend were a welcome sight to some. But rather than the much-needed drizzle that residents and officials had hoped could end a disastrous fire season and dampen dried landscapes, the state got a deluge.

Drenching rain and strong winds accompanied the arrival of an “atmospheric river” – a long and wide plume of moisture pulled in from the Pacific Ocean that was predicted to move south over the next few days. The weather service’s Sacramento office warned of “potentially historic rain” and by Sunday afternoon the storm had already delivered. Several areas including San Francisco, Santa Rosa and Sonoma reported dangerous flooding.

Exciting news for people who believe in science enough to want mass vaccination, but not enough to think horoscopes are made up: Utah’s Salt Lake county health department says there’s a big difference in vaccination rates depending on your Zodiac sign.

The results of analysis of 1.2 million residents showed that Leos – apparently the most compassionate – were the most vaccinated, at 70%, closely followed by people with the Aquarius sign (67%). Scorpios came last – only 46% were vaccinated, with Virgos (50%) coming in a close second-to-last.

Researchers were candid about the limits of their research. “Obviously, it’s not super scientific because we are talking astrology,” said Nicholas Rupp, a Salt Lake health department spokesperson, to the dismay of horoscope fans everywhere.

Bryan Mealer trained to be a chaplain in Bellevue hospital in New York during the pandemic. What he learned changed the way he saw other people, his faith and himself.

Since 1736 the New York hospital has cared for the city’s poorest residents – people living on the streets; those in the grips of a mental health crisis, addiction and withdrawal; families who lack insurance and choices; immigrants without papers and resources for preventive care. An entire floor treats detainees from Rikers Island jail.

In a city of exorbitant wealth, the hospital has long stood as an open door to the outcast and marginalized. In his year as a trainee chaplain, Mealer learned that sometimes there is no way to “save” someone but people can always use “radical kinship”.

China is targeting a clean energy goal of reducing fossil fuel use to below 20% by 2060, according to an official plan published by state media.

The cabinet document, released on Sunday, follows a pledge by President Xi Jinping to wean the world’s biggest polluter off coal, with a target of peaking carbon emissions by 2030 and achieving carbon neutrality 30 years later.

But critics are taking the claims with a grain of salt as the country has pushed ahead with opening dozens of new coal-fired power plants. Authorities have also been wanting to ramp up production, with coal prices surging and supplies running low, both factors behind recent power outages.

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A pair of trainers worn by the NBA superstar Michael Jordan early in his career have sold for nearly $1.5m, setting a record price at auction for game-worn footwear.

Jordan wore the white leather shoes with the red Nike swoosh and soles in the fifth game of his rookie season with the Chicago Bulls, when Nike’s Jordan-affiliated brand was only just taking off as a sensation on and off the court.

The astronomical price easily beat the record held by a pair of Nike Air Jordans that sold for $615,000 in August 2020 at a Christie’s auction.

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