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People in New York are being warned to limit outdoor activity as smoke from Canadian wildfires drifts across many areas of the northeastern US.

Air quality in the state is now “unhealthy”, according to the Environment Protection Agency, and a murky haze has descended over landmarks such as the Statue of Liberty and Times Square.

Unusually early and intense wildfires in Canada’s Quebec province are to blame – more than 150 forest fires were burning on Tuesday – and over 100,000 people have been forced to evacuate.

The Statue of Liberty is covered in haze and smoke caused by wildfires in Canada, in New York, U.S., June 6, 2023. REUTERS/Amr Alfiky
Times Square in Manhattan is shrouded in haze and smoke which drifted south from wildfires in Canada, in New York City, New York, U.S., June 6, 2023. REUTERS/Maye-E Wong
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New York’s Times Square
Much of the northeastern US is suffering with poor air quality. Pic: airnow.gov
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Much of the northeastern US is suffering with poor air quality. Pic: airnow.gov

Lightning is said to have started many of the fires.

US authorities said residents with heart or lung disease, older people and children should keep outdoor activities short, and that others should reduce the amount they’re active or exercising.

New York state, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and the Washington DC area are among the states with an “unhealthy” fine particulate matter reading (PM 2.5).

People in New York have been advised to limit strenuous outdoor activities. Pic: AP
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People have been advised to limit strenuous outdoor activities. Pic: AP
Pic: AP
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Floodlights lit up the haze at the New York Yankees game. Pic: AP

Toronto, Canada’s biggest city, also warned residents about the air quality and tourists at the CN Tower were met with a murky orange vista rather than clear early-summer skies.

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An eerie haze also hung over the New York Yankees’ game against Chicago White Sox on Tuesday night.

There was an even starker air warning in Canadian capital Ottawa, where officials ranked it category 10+, indicating “very high risk”.

People take photographs as a smokey Toronto is seen from the CN Tower as wildfires in Ontario and Quebec continue to burn, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada June 6, 2023. REUTERS/Carlos Osorio
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The viewing gallery at the top of the CN Tower
A smokey Toronto skyline is seen from the CN Tower as wildfires in Ontario and Quebec continue to burn, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada June 6, 2023. REUTERS/Carlos Osorio
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A murky haze has been hanging over Toronto

Wildfires are common in Canada’s west, but this year the east has seen significant fires – and more than 110 are said to be out of control.

Some 3.3 million hectares have already burned – about 13 times the 10-year average – and more than 120,000 people have been forced to leave home.

Chibougamau, a remote Quebec town of about 7,500, was the latest to be evacuated late on Tuesday.

What’s the risk from the pollution?

Fine particulate matter, known as PM 2.5, is about 30 times smaller than the width of a human hair and can be blown long distances.

It can cause throat and lung irritation and worsen conditions such as asthma or heart disease. The particles can also disturb the eyes and nose.

Children can be particularly sensitive as their lungs are still developing and they breathe in more air per unit of body weight. Older people can also struggle more than others.

Where does PM 2.5 pollution come from?

Primarily from vehicle exhausts, but also any other operations that burn fuels such as coal or wood – including forest or grass fires.

How can you reduce the risk?

Try to avoid outdoor exercise or exertion. Consider wearing a N95-rated face mask to reduce your exposure if you have to go outside.

Keep windows, doors and fireplace shut and run any air-con units on a recirculation setting. An air purifier in the home could also help people who are especially vulnerable.

“We’re following all of this from hour to hour, obviously,” said Quebec Premier FranCois Legault.

“If we look at the situation in Quebec as a whole, there are several places where it is still worrying.”

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He said the Abitibi-Temiscamingue region in the northwest of the province Quebec was a particular concern.

The US, Mexico, France and South Africa are among those who have sent firefighters to help – but no rain is immediately forecast meaning the fires are likely to be tougher to extinguish.

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Convicted Rust armourer denied immunity to testify at Alec Baldwin’s trial, judge rules

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Convicted Rust armourer denied immunity to testify at Alec Baldwin's trial, judge rules

A convicted film set armourer has been denied immunity to testify at Alec Baldwin’s involuntary manslaughter trial over the fatal shooting of a cinematographer on the set of Rust, a judge has ruled.

Hannah Gutierrez-Reed was jailed in April for her role in the shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, who died during a rehearsal on the New Mexico set of the western in 2021.

Baldwin pointed a prop gun at Hutchins, 42, when the revolver went off, killing her and injuring director Joel Souza.

The actor has maintained he pulled back the gun’s hammer, but not the trigger.

Halyna Hutchins.
Pic:Shutterstock
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Halyna Hutchins. Pic:Shutterstock

Prosecutors had requested that Rust’s chief weapons supervisor Gutierrez-Reed get so-called use immunity, which would prevent them using anything she says at Baldwin’s trial, which is scheduled to start in July, against her.

Her lawyer said she does not wish to incriminate herself as she appeals her 18 months imprisonment over involuntary manslaughter and in another unrelated weapons case she faces.

She was found guilty of criminal negligence for mistakenly loading a live round into the gun Baldwin was using.

Actor Alec Baldwin departs his home, as he will be charged with involuntary manslaughter for the fatal shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the set of the movie "Rust", in New York, U.S., January 31, 2023. Pic: Reuters
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Pic: Reuters

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Prosecutor Kari Morrissey told today’s hearing she may still call Gutierrez-Reed to give evidence at Baldwin’s trial in July and labelled her “an incredibly important witness”.

However, the judge said it was clear from preliminary interviews and arguments from Gutierrez-Reed’s lawyers that she would not answer questions on the stand, with or without immunity.

In pre-trial interviews, Gutierrez-Reed claimed her constitutional right to silence.

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Baldwin has pleaded not guilty to one count of involuntary manslaughter, which carries a maximum sentence of 18 months in prison.

Prosecutors are trying to show Baldwin was negligent in his use of the revolver.

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Donald Trump raised £44m more than Joe Biden’s campaign in May – and he’s now turning to crypto

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Donald Trump raised £44m more than Joe Biden's campaign in May - and he's now turning to crypto

Donald Trump’s presidential campaign raised substantially more money than Joe Biden’s last month, new figures show.

The Republican candidate received £111m in contributions during May – with tens of millions sent after he was convicted of falsifying business records.

A New York jury found Trump guilty of covering up a “hush money” payment to adult film star Stormy Daniels – with one billionaire donating £39.5m after the verdict was reached.

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Trump slams ‘rigged’ trial and ‘devil’ judge

Trump’s campaign has refused to confirm how much cash it has in the bank, prompting critics to suggest the embattled politician is spending heavily on legal fees.

By contrast, Mr Biden raised £67m in May – about 40% less – with official records showing the Democrats have £167m on hand for the election battle.

Julie Chavez Rodriguez, who manages the Biden campaign, said: “The money we continue to raise matters, and it’s helping the campaign build out an operation that invests in reaching and winning the voters who will decide this election – a stark contrast to Trump’s PR stunts and photo ops that he’s pretending is a campaign.”

The latest figures show how the rules of US politics are changing. While a presidential candidate would have once had to bow out of the race after being convicted of felonies, Trump’s verdict led to a surge in financial support.

He will now likely use this cash to ramp up advertising and attempt to appeal to voters in swing states as November’s ballot draws closer.

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Biden freezes during holiday celebrations

Fundraising data for June is yet to emerge – with a glitzy fundraiser attended by film stars and former president Barack Obama netting over £23m for the Democrats last weekend.

Billionaire Michael Bloomberg has also donated £15m to pro-Biden groups, and formally endorsed the sitting president on Thursday.

Meanwhile, Trump has been increasingly turning to cryptocurrencies as he attempts to fill his campaign war chest.

He once described Bitcoin as a “scam” with value based on thin air – but in a sharp U-turn, has now declared he wants to be the “crypto president” and support the industry.

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Trump is the first major candidate in a US election to accept crypto donations – and earlier this week, there were unsubstantiated rumours he had launched his own digital asset, causing demand for “TrumpCoin” to surge.

On Thursday, Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss – crypto billionaires best known for accusing Mark Zuckerberg of stealing the idea for Facebook from them – donated £1.6m in Bitcoin to Trump, describing him as “pro-Bitcoin, pro-crypto and pro-business”.

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Donald Sutherland, Hunger Games and Kelly’s Heroes actor, dies

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Donald Sutherland, Hunger Games and Kelly's Heroes actor, dies

Donald Sutherland, who appeared in films including The Hunger Games and Kelly’s Heroes, has died at the age of 88.

His agency, CAA, said he died in Miami “after a long illness”.

The Canadian actor won an Emmy and a Golden Globe for his performance in the mini-series Citizen X.

In 2017, he received an honorary Oscar.

His son, fellow actor Kiefer Sutherland, said “with a heavy heart” that his father had “passed away”.

“I personally think [he was] one of the most important actors in the history of film,” Kiefer Sutherland posted on X, adding that he was “never daunted by a role – good, bad or ugly”.

“He loved what he did and did what he loved, and one can never ask for more than that. A life well lived.”

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Sutherland with his son Kiefer. Pic: Reuters
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Sutherland with his son Kiefer. Pic: Reuters

In the Hunger Games franchise, Donald Sutherland played President Snow alongside Jennifer Lawrence.

In Kelly’s Heroes he starred alongside Telly Savalas and Clint Eastwood as Sergeant Oddball – on a mission to steal gold from the Nazis.

“I love to work – I passionately love to work,” Sutherland told US talk show host Charlie Rose in 1998.

“I love to feel my hand fit into the glove of some other character. I feel a huge freedom – time stops for me. I’m not as crazy as I used to be, but I’m still a little crazy.”

Sutherland with Hunger Games star Jennifer Lawrence in 2015. Pic: AP
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Sutherland with Hunger Games star Jennifer Lawrence in 2015. Pic: AP

His “breakthrough performances” were in 1967 movie The Dirty Dozen and MASH, CAA said.

He also took parts in Robert Redford’s Ordinary People and Oliver Stone’s JFK.

He is survived by his wife Francine Racette, sons Roeg, Rossif, Angus, and Kiefer, daughter Rachel, and four grandchildren.

“A private celebration of his life will be held by the family,” CAA said.

Born in St John, New Brunswick, on the east coast of Canada in July 1935, he was the son of a salesman and a mathematics teacher.

He started university in Toronto as an engineering student but switched to English and started acting in college productions.

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