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New Mexico firefighters beg holdouts to evacuate village

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A firefighter works to combat the Hermits Peak and Calf Canyon wildfire, near Las Vegas, New Mexico, U.S. May 4, 2022. Picture taken May 4, 2022. REUTERS/Kevin Mohatt

By Andrew Hay

TAOS, N.M. (Reuters) -Firefighters in New Mexico begged holdout residents of a mountain village to evacuate on Sunday, before the United States’ largest active wildfire races up a valley that is their only way out.

Many have ignored requests to leave as they stayed on to defend centuries-old homes and ranches in Chacon, the village about 45 miles (72 km) northeast of Santa Fe, with a population of around 200.

As the fire rapidly burned through forest 8 miles (13 km) away, firefighters and police warned people they would not be able to see or breathe once the blaze was upon them.

“It’s coming, and it’s coming fast,” Dave Bales, the incident commander, told a briefing, adding that a lot of residents remained in Chacon and another threatened village, Guadalupita.

About 12,000 households in northern New Mexico have been told to flee the second-largest wildfire in state history, which began in part after a burn prescribed by the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) raged out of control on April 6.

“With winds like this, this fire can burn another 50,000 acres,” William Sandoval, one of those who left Chacon, said from an evacuation center in the nearby town of Peñasco.

The fire is advancing through forest packed with fuel after a century of USFS policy to douse blazes within hours and court-ordered bans on logging since the mid-1990s, said forest biologist Joshua Sloan at New Mexico Highlands University.

Climate change has reduced snowpacks, leaving the area parched by its worst drought in at least five centuries, research on tree rings in the nearby Jemez Mountains shows.

The so-called Hermits Peak Calf Canyon fire has consumed 176,273 acres (71,335 hectares), an area nearing the size of all five boroughs of New York City, and is 21 percent contained.

Sports & General

Johnny Depp’s attorneys challenge Amber Heard on abuse claims

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3/3

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Actor Johnny Depp reacts as he leaves for a recess during a defamation trial against his ex-wife, actor Amber Heard, at Fairfax County Circuit Court, in Fairfax, Virginia, U.S., May 5, 2022. Jim Lo Scalzo/Pool via REUTERS

2/3

By Lisa Richwine

(Reuters) -Attorneys for actor Johnny Depp began their questioning of Amber Heard in the couple’s defamation trial on Monday and challenged the “Aquaman” star’s claims that she suffered physical abuse before and during their brief marriage.

Depp’s attorneys introduced photographs of Heard making public appearances on red carpets and “The James Corden Show” shortly after times that she said Depp had struck her with his hands, on which he usually wore heavy rings.

The pictures shown to jurors appeared to reveal no injuries. Heard said the harm, which included what she thought was a broken nose, was not severe enough to be visible or was covered up by makeup.

Depp, 58, is suing Heard, 36, for $50 million, saying she defamed him when she claimed she was a victim of domestic abuse. Heard has countersued for $100 million, arguing that Depp smeared her by calling her a liar.

At the start of cross-examination of Heard, an attorney for Depp asked Heard if she had abused Depp and was further harming him with false allegations.

“I could never hurt Johnny,” Heard said.

Earlier, Heard told jurors that she filed for divorce from Depp in 2016 because she worried she would not survive physical abuse by him. She said she realized the relationship was beyond repair after he threw a cell phone that hit her in the face.

“I knew I had to leave him,” she said. “I knew I wouldn’t survive it if I didn’t.

“I made the decision to file for divorce,” she added. “It was hard because I loved Johnny so much.”

The pair wed in February 2015 and their divorce was finalized about two years later.

Depp has testified that he never hit Heard and argued that she was the abuser in their relationship. He said she threw a vodka bottle at him in early 2015, severing the top of his right middle finger.

Heard said she did not cause the finger injury and said she only hit him to defend herself or her sister.

She also denied Depp’s allegation that she had left feces in a bed at one of his homes following a fight on her birthday. A security guard had testified that Heard told him the feces were a “horrible practical joke.”

Heard said she did not commit any prank that day, adding that she was “not in a pranking mood.”

“I had just been attacked on my 30th birthday by my husband, with whom I was desperately in love and knew I needed to leave,” she said.

The legal case centers on a December 2018 opinion piece by Heard that appeared in the Washington Post. The article never mentioned Depp by name, but his lawyer told jurors it was clear Heard was referencing him.

Depp, once among Hollywood’s biggest stars, said Heard’s allegations cost him “everything.” A new “Pirates of the Caribbean” movie was put on hold, and Depp was replaced in the “Fantastic Beasts” film franchise, a “Harry Potter” spinoff.

Heard’s attorneys have argued that she told the truth and that her opinion was protected free speech under the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment.

Closing arguments are scheduled for May 27.

Less than two years ago, Depp lost a libel case against the Sun, a British tabloid that labeled him a “wife beater.” A London High Court judge ruled that he had repeatedly assaulted Heard.

Depp’s lawyers filed the case in Fairfax County, Virginia, because the Washington Post is printed there. The newspaper is not a defendant.

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Amber Heard says she feared she would not survive Johnny Depp marriage

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Actor Johnny Depp reacts as he leaves for a recess during a defamation trial against his ex-wife, actor Amber Heard, at Fairfax County Circuit Court, in Fairfax, Virginia, U.S., May 5, 2022. Jim Lo Scalzo/Pool via REUTERS

2/3

By Lisa Richwine

(Reuters) -“Aquaman” actor Amber Heard told jurors in a defamation case on Monday that she filed for divorce from Johnny Depp in 2016 because she worried she would not survive physical abuse by him.

Under questioning by her attorneys, Heard said she took the step after the “Pirates of the Caribbean” star threw a cellphone that hit her in the face. The incident made her realize the marriage was “falling apart” despite her attempts to repair it, she said.

“I knew I had to leave him,” she said. “I knew I wouldn’t survive it if I didn’t.

“I made the decision to file for divorce,” she added. “It was hard because I loved Johnny so much.”

Jurors were shown photos of Heard with redness and swelling on her face that she said was caused by being struck by the phone.

At this point in their marriage, “the violence was now normal and not the exception,” Heard said.

In earlier testimony, Depp said he never hit Heard or any woman and argued that she was the abuser in their relationship.

Depp, 58, is suing Heard, 36, for $50 million, saying she defamed him when she claimed she was a victim of domestic abuse. Heard has countersued for $100 million, arguing that Depp smeared her by calling her a liar.

The pair wed in February 2015 and their divorce was finalized about two years later.

Heard said Depp hurled the phone at her during an argument in May 2016 at a Los Angeles penthouse that he owned. The episode is one of several that Heard has described in which she said Depp assaulted her.

In his testimony, Depp said Heard was the violent one and in early 2015 threw a vodka bottle that cut off the top of his right middle finger.

Heard denied severing Depp’s finger and said she only hit him to defend herself or her sister.

She also denied Depp’s allegation that she had left feces in a bed at one of his homes following a fight on her birthday. A security guard had testified that Heard told him the feces were a “horrible practical joke.”

Heard said she did not commit any prank that day, adding that she was “not in a pranking mood.”

“I had just been attacked on my 30th birthday by my husband, with whom I was desperately in love and knew I needed to leave,” she said.

The legal case hinges on a December 2018 opinion piece by Heard that appeared in the Washington Post. The article never mentioned Depp by name, but his lawyer told jurors it was clear Heard was referencing him. The couple’s divorce was finalized in 2017.

Depp, once among Hollywood’s biggest stars, said Heard’s allegations cost him “everything.” A new “Pirates” movie was put on hold, and Depp was replaced in the “Fantastic Beasts” film franchise, a “Harry Potter” spinoff.

Heard’s attorneys have argued that she told the truth and that her opinion was protected free speech under the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment.

Closing arguments are scheduled for May 27.

Less than two years ago, Depp lost a libel case against the Sun, a British tabloid that labeled him a “wife beater.” A London High Court judge ruled that he had repeatedly assaulted Heard.

Depp’s lawyers filed the case in Fairfax County, Virginia, because the Washington Post is printed there. The newspaper is not a defendant.

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Sports & General

‘Rust’ producer says movie will be completed – Hollywood Reporter

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The film set of “Rust”, where Hollywood actor Alec Baldwin fatally shot a cinematographer and wounded a director when he discharged a prop gun, is seen from a distance, in Santa Fe, New Mexico, U.S., October 23, 2021. REUTERS/Kevin Mohatt/File

(Reuters) – A producer of the movie “Rust,” whose set saw the fatal accidental shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins last year, said the movie will be completed, the Hollywood Reporter reported on Monday.

Hutchins was killed https://reut.rs/3PoJbwM in October when a revolver that actor Alec Baldwin was rehearsing with during filming in New Mexico fired a live round that hit her and movie director Joel Souza. Souza was wounded but survived.

“We’re confident we’ll be able to complete the movie,” Anjul Nigam, one of the producers, was quoted as saying by Hollywood Reporter.

A representative of Nigam did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Last month, the state of New Mexico fined https://reut.rs/3FP8YcR Rust Movie Productions the maximum amount possible, $137,000, for what it called “willful” safety lapses leading to Hutchins’ death. The company said it disagreed with the findings.

Baldwin, also a producer on the film, has been named in several lawsuits filed in connection with Hutchins’ death, including one by her husband.

Baldwin, 64, has denied responsibility for Hutchins’ death and said live rounds should never have been allowed onto the set of the Western film at Bonanza Creek (NYSE:BCEI) Ranch.

The actor also has argued in court papers that an indemnification clause in his contract shields him from personal liability.

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