Hollywood actor Alec Baldwin files lawsuit in deadly 'Rust' shooting – Arab News

Actor Alec Baldwin filed a lawsuit on Friday against the armorer and three other crew members over the deadly shooting on the set of the Western movie “Rust,” in which a gun that Baldwin was using during rehearsal killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins.
Baldwin’s suit was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court as a cross complaint stemming from a previous suit in which a different member of the crew named Baldwin and the others as defendants.
It is one of many pieces of litigation stemming from the tragedy of Oct. 21, 2021, which is also under criminal investigation and could result in New Mexico state charges.
Baldwin’s cross complaint names armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, first assistant director Dave Halls, prop supplier Seth Kenney and prop master Sarah Zachry. Attorneys for Gutierrez-Reed, Halls and Kenney did not immediately respond to requests for statements in their clients’ defense. Reuters could not locate an attorney for Zachry.
All four were also named as defendants along with Baldwin in the original lawsuit filed by a script supervisor who claimed the shooting caused her severe emotional distress.
Baldwin’s cross complaint alleges negligence and seeks damages to be determined at trial for the “immense grief” he endures.
“This tragedy happened because live bullets were delivered to the set and loaded into the gun, Gutierrez-Reed failed to check the bullets or the gun carefully, Halls failed to check the gun carefully and yet announced the gun was safe before handing it to Baldwin, and Zachry failed to disclose that Gutierrez-Reed had been acting recklessly off set and was a safety risk to those around her,” Baldwin’s cross complaint said.
The suit was written by Luke Nikas, an attorney for Baldwin who is with the firm Quinn Emanuel.
Hutchins was killed when a revolver Baldwin was rehearsing with during filming in New Mexico fired a live round that hit her and movie director Joel Souza, who survived.
In a television interview, the actor said he did not pull the trigger of the Colt .45 revolver and it fired after he cocked it.
An FBI forensic test of the single-action revolver found it “functioned normally” and would not fire without the trigger being pulled. 
PARIS: An Iranian man who lived for 18 years in Paris’ Charles de Gaulle Airport and whose saga loosely inspired the Steven Spielberg film “The Terminal” died Saturday in the airport that he long called home, officials said.
Merhan Karimi Nasseri died after a heart attack in the airport’s Terminal 2F around midday, according an official with the Paris airport authority. Police and a medical team treated him but were not able to save him, the official said. The official was not authorized to be publicly named.
Nasseri lived in the airport’s Terminal 1 from 1988 until 2006, first in legal limbo because he lacked residency papers and later by apparent choice.
Year in and year out, he slept on a red plastic bench, making friends with airport workers, showering in staff facilities, writing in his diary, reading magazines and surveying passing travelers.
Staff nicknamed him Lord Alfred, and he became a mini-celebrity among passengers.
“Eventually, I will leave the airport,” he told The Associated Press in 1999, smoking a pipe on his bench, looking frail with long thin hair, sunken eyes and hollow cheeks. “But I am still waiting for a passport or transit visa.”
Nasseri was born in 1945 in Soleiman, a part of Iran then under British jurisdiction, to an Iranian father and a British mother. He left Iran to study in England in 1974. When he returned, he said, he was imprisoned for protesting against the shah and expelled without a passport.
He applied for political asylum in several countries in Europe. The UNHCR in Belgium gave him refugee credentials, but he said his briefcase containing the refugee certificate was stolen in a Paris train station.
French police later arrested him, but couldn’t deport him anywhere because he had no official documents. He ended up at Charles de Gaulle in August 1988 and stayed.
Further bureaucratic bungling and increasingly strict European immigration laws kept him in a legal no-man’s land for years.
When he finally received refugee papers, he described his surprise, and his insecurity, about leaving the airport. He reportedly refused to sign them, and ended up staying there several more years until he was hospitalized in 2006, and later lived in a Paris shelter.
Those who befriended him in the airport said the years of living in the windowless space took a toll on his mental state. The airport doctor in the 1990s worried about his physical and mental health, and described him as “fossilized here.” A ticket agent friend compared him to a prisoner incapable of “living on the outside.”
In the weeks before his death, Nasseri had been again living at Charles de Gaulle, the airport official said.
Nasseri’s mind-boggling tale loosely inspired 2004’s “The Terminal” starring Tom Hanks, as well as a French film, “Lost in Transit,” and an opera called “Flight.”
In “The Terminal,” Hanks plays Viktor Navorski, a man who arrives at JFK airport in New York from the fictional Eastern European country of Krakozhia and discovers that an overnight political revolution has invalidated all his traveling papers. Viktor is dumped into the airport’s international lounge and told he must stay there until his status is sorted out, which drags on as unrest in Krakozhia continues.
No information was immediately available about survivors.
MARACAIBO, Venezuela: A “plague” of giant African snails that pose potential health risks to humans is causing alarm in Venezuela where sustained rains have facilitated their proliferation.
The first colonies of the sub-Saharan Achatina fulica snail were discovered at the beginning of November on the shores of Lake Maracaibo in western Venezuela.
Since then, more snails have been found in agricultural areas in the region, as well as in neighboring Tachira state.
“Specific sites have been verified… where approximately 350 to 400 snails are being collected per day,” Rafael Ramirez, the mayor of the city of Maracaibo, told AFP.
He said authorities were working hard combat the snails.
The giant African snail is considered an invasive species because of its reproductive capacity — up to 600 eggs every two weeks — and its relatively long lifespan of six years on average.
It can be devastating to crops and also carries parasites that can cause meningitis, encephalitis and intestinal disorders in humans.
The snail has been present in Venezuela since 1997 with the last plague detected in 2017 although in smaller quantities, said Jose Sandoval, director of wildlife at the Azul Ambientalista NGO.
“This will be unstoppable because they are big and already adults: They have already laid eggs,” said Sandoval.
“We are faced with an invasion, a plague, and so it is hard to eradicate them when they reach these numbers, but they can be controlled.”
Sandoval took AFP on an eradication mission in Maracaibo in which he collected 437 snails in just two hours.
He said the prolonged rainy season was to blame for the snails’ reappearance and rapid reproduction.
“They will remain until March, they will damage crops… they are voracious,” he added.
LONDON: From hula hooping on stilts to pulling cars with your teeth, people from across the Arab world showed off their amazing talents on Thursday to mark the 19th annual Guinness World Records Day.
The theme of this year’s event was “Super Skills” and there was no shortage of unusual expertise on show.
In Dubai, UAE and Middle East freestyle football champion Ammar Alkhudairi broke two records with his amazing soccer skills.
The “Arabs Got Talent” semifinalist, also known as Ammar Freez, claimed his first all-time best by making 87 football touches in 30 seconds while hanging by one hand from a bar.
His second came with the help of Abdulla Al-Hattawi, with the two men racking up 70 football touches while performing a wheelie on a quad bike. That was also Al-Hattawi’s fourth world best — as recognized by Guinness — after he was part of a 17-person team in June that achieved the most riders on a single quad bike, traveling 100 meters in 49.5 seconds.
Meanwhile, 21-year-old Sarra Rokbani from Tunisia got her name in “Guinness World Records” by achieving 91 full-contact martial arts kicks in 30 seconds while on a treadmill.
The second-year student has a large internet following and is well known for her amazing martial art stunts and fabulous long hair.
Equally impressive was five-time record holder Yazan Saleh, who became the fastest man to pull a car for 30 meters with his teeth, clocking a time of 18.13 seconds. The Syrian strongman also equaled another record after achieving 25 consecutive hurdle hops.
Records were also being set elsewhere in the world, including in London, where performance artist Mariam Olayiwola, also known as Amazi, managed to spin 25 hula hoops simultaneously while walking on stilts.
Likewise, 14-year-old contortionist Liberty Barros broke the record for the fastest 20 meter backbend knee lock, bending her body backwards while walking the distance in 22 seconds.
In China, cyclist Zhang Jing Kun took the record for most bunny hops to rear onto a bar in one minute, with 14, while in Mexico, Nicolas Montes de Oca achieved three titles: most single-arm handstands in a minute with 23 repetitions, most handstands in a minute, with 41, and most alternating single-arm handstands in a minute, with 32.
Craig Glenday, editor-in-chief of “Guinness World Records,” described Guinness World Records Day as “a global celebration of the superlative.”
“We’ve all got skills, we’ve all got party tricks, but are they good enough to make it into the ‘Guinness World Records’ book?” he said.
LONDON: Getting up close to Big Ben requires earplugs, and ear defenders over them to be safe. When the 13.7-ton bell sounds, the vibration hits you in the chest.
After a five-year restoration project, the world-famous ringer is back with a bong.
The Great Clock towering above Britain’s Houses of Parliament is resuming daily operations following the painstaking renovation of more than 1,000 moving parts.
When the clock’s five cast-iron bells including Big Ben fell silent in 2017, a mournful crowd of parliamentarians and staff gathered below. Some shed tears.
But after a week of testing, normal service will resume every 15 minutes from 11:00 a.m. (1100 GMT) on Sunday.
The time marks the moment on November 11, 1918 when the guns fell silent in World War I. In Britain, Remembrance Sunday immediately follows Armistice Day every November 11.
They are two of the few occasions that Big Ben and his partners have rung since 2017, along with New Year’s Eve, when Britain left the European Union in 2021, and the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II in September.
Atop the 96-meter Elizabeth Tower is the belfry housing the bells — protected by exterior netting to keep out bats and pigeons.
Beyond lie some of London’s most spectacular vistas.
But parliament’s three in-house timekeepers don’t have time to enjoy the view.
Ian Westworth, 60, and his colleagues have been busy overseeing the tests to ensure everything is in order after the $90-million (£80-million) restoration.
“It’s the sound of London back again,” Westworth said on a dawn tour of the tower.
“The bell’s sounded through wars, and you try and imagine what this bell’s actually seen — 160 years of development.”
The Elizabeth Tower, previously called the Clock Tower, was renamed in 2012 to honor the late queen’s Diamond Jubilee.
When first built in the 1840s, it dominated the Westminster skyline. Today, newer and taller buildings lie nearby.
“You used to be able to hear this (Big Ben) on a quiet night up to 15 miles (24 kilometers) away,” Westworth said, as a chill wind whistled through the belfry.
“Now you’re lucky on a day like today if you can hear it the other side of Parliament Square.”
The five-year restoration involved cleaning and repainting each of the five bells’ hammers and arms. The bells themselves stayed in place.
Big Ben sounds the hour, and is so large that flooring in the tower beneath would have to be dismantled if it ever had to be removed.
The four smaller bells around it sound the quarter-hour.
The biggest job was taking apart the 11.5-ton clock mechanism dating from 1859 so that every cog and pinion could be cleaned, repaired and re-oiled by a specialist company in Cumbria, northwest England.
Other changes were cosmetic.
Twenty-eight round LED lights now illuminate the four clock faces, a balance of green and white offering the closest match to how they would have looked in gas-lit Victorian times.
Above the bells sits a taller LED light, which glows white when parliament is sitting.
State-of-the-art sprinklers have been installed throughout the tower, although the belfry is beyond reach of the system.
In past years before the renovation, parliament’s timekeepers would benchmark the Great Clock’s time against the telephone speaking clock.
Now, it is calibrated by GPS via Britain’s National Physical Laboratory.
But the method to adjust the clock’s timing mechanism remains old-fashioned: pre-decimal pennies are added or removed from weights attached to two giant coiled springs, to make or lose a second.
As the top of the hour approaches, it is time to don the ear defenders again for the continuing series of tests.
Big Ben bongs seven times, setting off a bass vibrato in the gantry around it.
While deafening, the unmistakable peal of the cracked bell is also a reassuring note of constancy after a year of political upheaval in Britain, and as the rest of the parliamentary estate frays.
Political bickering over the costs is holding up a bigger renovation of the aging complex.
But Westworth and his 35-year-old colleague Alex Jeffrey remain focused on the job in hand: tending to parliament’s 2,000 clocks, many of them irreplaceable antiques.
“Every day you’re keeping time in a very hands-on way, using technology, arts and crafts,” Jeffrey said.
“It’s very tactile, as is maintaining the Great Clock,” he added. “It’s the best job in the world.”
LONDON: The Lebanese Army has conducted training to prepare for bank robberies and hostage scenarios following a series of incidents in which depositors stormed banks to demand their frozen savings.
A video of the training, posted earlier this week on the official Lebanese Army Twitter account, shows a group of soldiers recreating a “security incident” at a bank branch.
The purpose of the exercise was to simulate “dealing with a security incident inside a bank and arresting the perpetrators,” the post said.
US and British trainers assisted with the exercise, the army said in the tweet.
The news was confirmed later on Wednesday by authorities. In a statement, officials said: “Units carried out exercises that mimicked arresting terrorists after they forcibly entered a number of banks in the context of a terrorist plot … with the aim of misleading security forces.”
The video shows a group of six soldiers brandishing assault rifles while detaining a man outside a building.
نفّذت وحدات من الجيش في منطقة جونية تمرينًا يحاكي التعامل مع حدث أمني داخل أحد المصارف وتوقيف الفاعلين.
يندرج هذا التمرين في إطار التدريب حول مفهوم العمليات الخاصة بمكافحة الإرهاب #SOFEX2022 الذي ينفذ بالاشتراك مع فرق تدريب أميركية وبريطانية.#الجيش_اللبناني #LebaneseArmy pic.twitter.com/LBQpqjRd2h
The training came as part of the Special Operations Forces Exhibition, a defense industry event held every two years in Jordan.
The video of the training exercise has triggered intense debate among the Lebanese public.
“They are trying to scare the depositors, to make them think twice. The army is not responsible for such things, it’s the police’s job to go inside. The (army) is being given special orders,” Dina Abu Zour, a lawyer from the Depositor’s Union, said.
Lebanese Army spokesperson Georges Khoury said that the training exercises had “no relation to any recent actions in banks.”
He added: “This was just a training activity, training for special forces against any terrorist activity, like kidnappings, for example.”
Over the last few years, Lebanon has experienced a deep economic crisis, with the currency plummeting against the US dollar, causing many people’s savings to plunge in value.
As a result, most Lebanese are unable to access their bank savings due to capital controls.
In recent months, more than a dozen depositors, some of whom were armed, have held up banks, although only a few have faced charges, with authorities avoiding heavy penalties over fears of a widespread backlash.
The government, however, has adopted a harsher tone as the phenomenon of bank raids has continued.


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