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News Brief: Jan. 16-20


New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern Steps Down

Alec Baldwin Charged with Involuntary Manslaughter over Rust Shooting

The Events Surrounding Preschooler’s Death and Suspect Arrest


New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern Steps Down

Six years ago, Jacinda Ardern was elected as New Zealand’s prime minister at 37 years old, making her the youngest female government head in the world at the time. Now, she feels burned out and intends to step down by February 7.

“These events… have been taxing because of the weight, the sheer weight and continual nature of them,” Ardern said, referring to the pandemic, the volcanic eruption, and other crises she’s been in office for. “There’s never really been a moment where it’s ever felt like we were just governing.”

The announcement has been met with mixed feedback.

One local told the NZ Herald Ardern was “running away before getting thrown out.” Ardern’s popularity has been declining over cost-of-living, crime and pandemic-delayed election promises.

Still, many praised Ardern’s time in office, including opposing leader Chris Luxon.

“She has given her all to this incredibly demanding job,” Luxon wrote on Twitter.

 “I hope I leave New Zealanders with a belief that you can be kind, but strong; empathetic, but decisive; optimistic, but focused. And that you can be your own kind of leader – one who knows when it’s time to go,” Ardern said.

Read more on this story here.


Alec Baldwin Charged with Involuntary Manslaughter over Rust Shooting

In October 2021, cinematographer Halyna Hutchins was shot by a prop gun on the film set for “Rust.” Whether or not he pulled the trigger, the gun was in actor Alec Baldwin’s hand and he will soon be charged with involuntary manslaughter per an announcement from Santa Fe’s District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies.

Baldwin claimed it misfired; he didn’t pull the trigger.

“I don’t know what happened on that set. I don’t know how that bullet arrived in that gun. I don’t know,” Baldwin said.

His lawyer, Luke Nikas, has called the new announcement a miscarriage of justice.

“Mr. Baldwin had no reason to believe there was a live bullet in the gun — or anywhere on the movie set,” the lawyer said.

On the other hand, a lawyer for Hutchin’s husband said, “It is a comfort to the family that, in New Mexico, no one is above the law.”

Hannah Gutierrez Reed, the armorer, will also be charged with involuntary manslaughter. Depending on the outcome in court, both could face up to 18 months in jail and a $5,000 fine if convicted.

Click here to read more.


The Events Surrounding Preschooler’s Death and Suspect Arrest

Approximately one-and-a-half to two years ago, the biological mother of 4-year-old Athena Brownfield and her 5-year-old sister left the girls in the care of Alysia and Ivon Adams. In that time, they were never enrolled in school or taken for a check-up.

Around midnight on Christmas, Ivon beat Athena, after which she never moved.

Ivon then buried the body.

A few weeks later, a mailman encountered Athena’s sister outside her home. She said she was alone and was tired of being alone. The mailman contacted authorities who reached out to Alysia. When Alysia asked where Athena was, they realized she was missing and launched an investigation.

Alysia faces two counts of child neglect, Ivon one count of child neglect and a first degree murder charge.Click here to read more.

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