tv CNN Newsroom With Poppy Harlow and Jim Sciutto CNN October 22, 2021 7:00am-8:00am PDT
investigators say halyna hutchins was airlifted from the set of "rust," a western, being filmed near santa fe, pronounced dead at the hospital. the film's director, joel souza, also injured. stephanie elam joins us now. stephanie, the film's producers are saying they're working with police. what more are we learning about the circumstances of this? >> yeah. there's a lot of holes at this point, no doubt about it, jim and erica, when you look at what's happened here. we know that the sheriff's office says they got a 911 call about a shooting on the set at the bonanza creek ranch, this movie set filming this western. they said when they got there, there had been two people shot. we know who they are. we also know that they are talking to all the witnesses, the people who were there on the set, that they are interviewing everyone, that no one has been charged, but the investigation remains open. as far as the company, the production company behind this
movie "rust," they are saying that they are devastated by today's tragedy, sending their deepest condolences to halyna's family and loved ones. they've halted production on the film indefinitely at this point as they continue to weather the authorities here and are providing counseling to everyone on set. looking at what this movie is about, according to imdb.com, this film is about a 13-year-old boy who goes on the run with his grandfather, who's played by alec baldwin, who was also a producer on the film, after he sends the boy for an accidental killing of a local rancher, mirroring in some ways the theme of the movie there. you saw the pictures of alec baldwin looking completely distraught after this. the question remains how could this prop firearm be in a condition it could potentially kill somebody, where were they that the director of photography, the cinematographer and the director could have been
in the line of this gunfire, if you will. so, so many questions about that, and also worth remembering blanks are still very dangerous. you can see that we are seeing some reaction from people on set, like francis fisher posted here a picture on her instagram of halyna hutchins where she actually writes, "rest in paradise, dear halyna. i loved watching you work, your intense focus and vibrant command of the room." she talks about more there and a beautiful picture of the two many ebbs of the crew there that must be just devastated after this really tragic accident. hopefully we'll learn more today about what exactly happened. absolutely. the shock must still be so raw for so many folks. stephanie elam, appreciate it. halyna hutchins, who you just saw there, in that photo, the cinematographer, tributes pouring in as stephanie mentioned, and a lot of
recognition for her work. she was a journalist that became a flirilmmaker and a rising stan the industry. >> she was the kind of filmmaker who would stand in any uncomfortable place with her camera to get a shot she thought would be the right shot. >> joining us now to discuss is marcus cooley, prop master, production designer, who's worked with weapons on movies such as "fast and furious" and "bad boys." good to have you on. so many questions, marcus. so folks can understand, blank cartridges, the police statement says there was a projectile that came out of this gun. is that normal with the way blanks work? >> not in the sense of what we've seen happen here. there are particles of black powder that typically come out of the firearm once it's been discharged but not in the sense of what seems to have occurred here. >> and what are some of the
protocols on set in terms of how close people can be? these are props. you know, someone who's never spent time on a movie set, i have to say, you think of a prop and think it can't be a real gun, can't harm anybody, and there are also protocols in place in terms of distancing to make sure that nothing goes wrong. can you walk us through what is supposed to happen? >> yeah. the industry-wide labor management has safety bulletin number one for just about every movie set. it's bulletin number one. there's strict guidelines on the processes, what we're required to do to make sure these weapons are safe. to be clear, anything that's called a prop weapon, talking about shooting, is, in fact, a real gun. there are some small modifications that have been made to be used on movie settles but they're still very real. so, you know, we have blanks that we use. there are also dummy rounds which are used for when we see
somebody loading a weapon, but they've inert, so no black powder in them. the safety process to go through that is typically when we bring a weapon out, we have a big safety meeting with the first a.d., responsible for the safety management of set overall. we bring in special effects, bring in all the actors. everyone inspects the gun, talks about what's going to happen, where the camera will be when this happens, and we present the weapon to the talent, present the weapon to anyone who wants to inspect it, and that's generally to make sure we see what exactly is going into that firearm. you know, after a certain amount of time, people do get comfortable on set, the talent trusts us. i've worked with really big-name actors that after working so much they trust what we're giving them and it's been cleared and safe. we do that with the first a.d. however, we still go through that process with the first a.d. to ensure there's nothing that
shouldn't be in that weapon. >> okay. i understand you're at a disadvantage there, all of us are, because we weren't on the set and there are many unanswered questions here. based on your experience, one of the remarkable details here is that two people were injured, one killed and one hospitalized. can you imagine any circumstances with a prop weapon or a blank round where that could happen, where two people could be injured or hit? >> yeah, i mean, there are injuries that do happen from, you know, pop casings from guns when you're working with autopsy t automatic weapons and people can get burned and get hurt. i don't see how this is possible unless the camera was a foot away from the gun, which is highly unlikely. there's strict guidelines on distance and things like that. in particular, circumstances, you don't want anyone closer than 20 feet from the point of the muzzle. you don't want to be completely
straight on to camera. you want to be off axis so never pointing directly at the lens. in certain cases we do a lock-off with cameras set static, we remove everyone away from the camera and they do everything wirelessly, but if something were to happen or anything did come dislodged from the weapon, nobody would be hurt. it's circumstance, speculation, but, you know, it's hard to say what exactly happened. in my experience, no. for two people to be injured in this way, it draws a lot of conclusionings i think before we've gotten all the facts, but it's a tragedy. >> certainly raises a number of additional questions. no one should ever be killed on a gun set, period, they say. were there changes in the industry after his death? >> yeah. you know, brandon lee's situation was, you know, similar. it was the lack of awareness and paying attention.
i think certainly like when sara jones was tragically killed in an accident, it always brings awareness and more of a spotlight onto the industry on what safety measures are in place on film sets. firearm safety is number one, always has been, like i mentioned. within our industry, we have an industry-wide safety committee. it's bulletin number one, firearm safety. situations like this should never, ever happen. unfortunately, whether it's inexperience, whether it's budgetary issues, whatever it is, it should never, ever happen. >> no question. devastating for all involved. marcus, thanks for sharing your experience with us. >> thank you very much. this morning, democrats on capitol hill are continuing their push to reach a deal on a framework for president biden's sweeping social safety net package. they're not there yet. hopes are dwindling for a deal to materialize by the end of
today, one of the latest deadlines to get done. senators joe manchin, kyrsten sinema, their red lines on issues from medicare coverage to tax hikes on the wealthy remain sticking points. >> president biden still expressing optimism in his cnn town hall last night, optimism that, in fact, the finish line is near. take a listen. >> one of the other things democrats are looking to do is expand medicare to include dental, vision, and hearing. will all three of those still be covered? >> that's a reach, and the reason why it's a reach is not -- i think it's a good idea, it's not that costly in relative terms. but here's the thing. mr. manchin is opposed to that. >> there's a lot of democrats in the house, in the senate, who are confused about where senator sinema actually stands on things. do you know where she stands? >> first of all, she's smart as the devil, number one. number two, she's very
supportive of the environmental agenda in my legislation. where she's not supportive is she says she will not raise a single penny in taxes on the corporate side and/or on wealthy people, period. >> joining us now cnn chief congressional correspondent manu raju and cnn white house correspondent john harwood. manu, president biden and spoeps we've learned having breakfast this morning. leader schumer is zooming in for that moment. what has the reaction been on the hill to some of the comments from the president last night at the town hall? are they having an impact this morning on those negotiations and this framework? >> reporter: well, a lot of the things that the president said last night confirmed what had been reported by us, by others about where things were headed. so the president making clear a number of these issues are unresolved and still uncertain when a deal can be reached. remember, the democratic leaders wanted to get a deal by today, an outline, a framework of what
this large social safety net package will look like after months of hard-fought negotiations between moderates and progressives. they are not there yet. the president himself made clear there are four or five issues that are outstanding and those negotiations with kyrsten sinema and joe manchin still uncertain. among the issues that are still outsanding, right there, climate change, paid leave, meld care expansion, prescription drug pricing as well as taxes. that is the key issue. how are they going to finance this program? kyrsten sinema says she will not support raising taxes on corporations and high earners, so they're scrambling to find alternative ways. i caught up yesterday with the chief tax briter in the house, richard neil, who met with kyrsten sinema and tried to impress upon her why he believes it's necessary to raise taxes, and she made clear her position. >> i pointed out it's the ninth
inning. >> what was her rationale for opposing it? >> yeah, what was her rationale? >> she never expressed any to me. there wasn't by intransigence on her part, never any "never," just a free-flowing conversation. >> so she did not explain why she opposes those tax hikes, but she has indicated she is open to supporting efforts to raise revenue in other ways, including increased irs tax enforcement, dealing with other issues with high earners. they have not provided more details about that but they're talking about potentially taxes on billionaires, maybe a minimum corporate tax, but those questionings had to be vetted. the concerns that richard neil and others have is in the new ideas coming in may not be fully vetted, dragging this out for months. a key moment. when does it end? we don't know. >> joan harwood, in his strongest terms to date, said he's open to altering the
filibuster on potentially the debt limit and voting rights. i wonder, is there a white house plan to do so? and does the white house believe it has the votes to do so? >> reporter: they don't now, but they may have the votes later, jim. the president was more explicit last night in talking about filibuster reform. he has said before he was open to the idea of returning to the talking filibuster, which is a way of making the filibuster more difficult to execute. he's also hinted at the idea that on things as fundamental as voting rights that he might be open to altering the filibuster. but it's a question of sequencing, and as he's getting increasing pressure from voting rights advocates, people interested in things like immigration reform or other issues, what joe biden said with anderson cooper is it's a matter of strategic patience. take a listen. >> are you saying once you get this current agenda passed on spending and social programs
that you would be open to fundamentally altering the filibuster or doing away with it? >> well, that remains to be seen, exactly what that means in terms of fundamentally altering it, whether or not we just end the filibuster straight up. >> when it comes to voting rights, so i'm clear, you would entertain the notion of doing away with the filibuster on that one issue? is that correct? >> and maybe more. >> that was an interesting allusion at the end, jim. what you hear from president biden is first i need the votes of manchin and sinema for his economic package, top priority, the same people resistant on the filibuster, but while he's working on the economic package, he's trying to build a case for filibuster reform. joe manchin's was filibustered later this week. what better way to get joe manchin to alter his position
than to watch some trying to build a case. also the case the white house understands that if you're going to have a big fight over voting rightis and the filibuster, migt be better to have that in 2022 with an election campaign to run than right now trying to pass an economic package. >> boy, still a lot in the sequence there to get right. manu, john, we know you'll be watching closely. thanks so much. up next, this hour we'll speak with a key lawmaker in those negotiations. we'll get his take on what or who is to blame. the democrats miss another deadline. and a michigan city is in crisis. lead pipes make water undrinkable. officials say some people should consult their doctor before using the water at all. we'll speak with the mayor. and the house is asking the justice department to criminally prosecute steve bannon.
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right now sources tell cnn that president biden is meeting with house speaker nancy pelosi as democrats work towards an agreement on their domestic agenda. chuck schumer is joining that meeting by video as key and big sticking points remain regarding climate policy, paid leave, and corporate and individual tax rate increases.
joining me to discuss, congressman ami bera, a moderate democrat from california and sits on the house foreign affairs committee. thanks for taking the time. >> thanks for having me on. >> so given me've busted through so many deadlines at this point, can you give us a realistic one? is there one? >> you know, when i was at the white house on tuesday, the president was pretty optimistic. he went through in granular detail some of the areas where there was agreement. i think they're in the last mile of this, you know, trying to iron out those last four or five things that, yeah, there's still a little ways to go. >> one of them is the possibility of raising taxes to pay for this. you each heard that kyrsten sinema opposes that although there's been some signaling she's willing to talk within some buckets, as she calls them, for potential revenue increases. a key question is can you pay for these expansions and benefits without raising some taxes on someone or some
corporations? >> you know, i think that's probably one of the final details. most of us think a 25% corporate tax rate is fine. again, when you only have one senator that can bring the whole thing down and senator sinema has said she won't raise the corporate tax rate, i think we've got to go looking for other revenue. the president wants this paid for. i think all of us want to make sure this is all paid for and doesn't raise the deaf sit. so i think that's one of the final details. so where are you going to find that other revenue? do you put it on high earners? is some of this going to be fuzzy math? it wouldn't be the first time a spending bill was passed in washington by democrats or republicans where the math doesn't really add up. >> well, there is congressional math. i do think you could see a tax on billionaires. i think you could see a minimum corporate tax rate for those corporations that are paying effectively zero taxes. i think there are some options
here. >> okay. other issues. when you look at the big picture here, though, it's a lot smaller, right, than initially discussed. by the way, democrats have the white house, they have the senate, slim margin, but they got the senate and the house, slim margin, but have the house. a lot of these are much smaller, from 12 weeks paid leave to 4 week, eliminating the free community college, reducing the expansion of the child tax credit perhaps just an extension of one year. is that too small in your view? are you willing to vote for something that's much smaller than initially envisioned? >> you know, this isn't that small, $1.7 trillion is pretty big. i think there's more we could have done, but that is the art of legislating and negotiation. these are good policies that will help, you know, stronger female participation in the workforce as we come out of the pandemic, paid family leave, child care, you know, enhanced home care. might not be as big as the president initially wanted, but
this still is a pretty transformational policy. >> i want to talk about something that the president brought up last night, and that deals with voting rights. as you know on the senate side republicans voted down the compromise plan that manchin had negotiated with the intention of getting some republican support. he said he is open, at least, to changing the filibuster in some way for voting rights and perhaps the debt limit. are democrats in agreement on the need to do that? >> you know, on the house side i think we probably would be. again, this is a place where you've seen senator manchin and sinema say they wouldn't go there. in a very narrow way, some of these voting laws being enacted around the country in republican states are eroding our democracy. so i'd be supportive of in a narrow way on voting rights to get rid of the filibuster. >> okay. you're on the foreign affairs committee. one of the most notable moments last night was the president being questioned on the issue of
taiwan. he said more than once in effect that the u.s. would come to taiwan's defense. you're well aware of america's strategic ambiguity, which is sort of an almost don't ask, don't tell kind of approach to the issue there. but on the central question, do you believe the u.s. will, should leave open the possibility of going to war to defend taiwan from a chinese invasion? >> well, i think there's always that possibility. i don't think the president was changing our policy, which still is a one-china policy. but we've always talked strongly about the autonomy of the taiwanese people and their sovereignty. you're seeing, you know, the european union, seeing, you know, japan, the g-7 all talking about taiwan's sovereignty. and i don't think that policy has changed. i think the message that the president was trying to deliver to xi jinping and the prc was don't change that policy.
we're not changing the policy. they're acting much more aggressive here. >> the crucial question, though, is will, should the commander in chief send u.s. service members potentially to die, right, or at least risk their lives to defend taiwan? that's the key question there. should it? >> it's not just taiwan, though, right, because as you see chinese aggression in the region, you see what they did in hong kong, you know, if they were to invade taiwan, you know, japan is right there in close proximity, you know, korea is certainly watching. we've got a lot of troops in okinawa, our marines there. so the message to china is, you know, this region's been pretty peaceful and stable and prosperous, don't change that calculus right now. >> congressman ami bera, good to have you on the program. >> great. thanks, jim. >> erica? another water crisis in michigan, officials warning some
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officials in benton harbor, michigan, are declaring a state of emergency after the discovery of high levels of lead contamination in the water there. right now the time line to get the lead out of that city's water system is 18 months, a year and a half. residents are told to use bottled water for everyday activities, including cooking, drinking, and brushing their teeth. >> residents are still recovering from a water main break that forced the city to turn off service earlier this week. cnn's miguel marquez is live in michigan this morning. miguel, what's an update on the situation? is the water back on? >> reporter: yeah, when it rains it pours in benton harbor, it seems. these are two disconnected situations, but, yes, the water main break break, an 89-year-old pipe they are replacing. it broke in town.
they were able to get it reconnected. but the problem with that is you may have bacteria get into the water system so the entire town is bottled water only and don't drink the water at least for now. they're bringing the pressure up across town so water service is coming back. on the lead issue, they've been dealing with that many years now, three years, many tests have shown an elevated level of lead in the water. for the state of michigan, which is very sensitive to lead in the water after the crisis in flint years ago, the level they'd like to see of lead is zero. for federal governments it's 15 parts per billion. but here in the state of michigan they'd like to see zero. so right now what is happening and across the city, having to do it for some time, they are handing out water to residents so people can get water, advising them not to drink the water at least for now and to not use it for cooking and other pi
purposes. but it is slowly coming back. the governor had announced previously a plan to replace all the pipes here. monday she announced they were going to do an expedited process to get those pipes replaced within 18 months. she's asked the legislature for the rest of the money to do that on an expedited basis. the legislature will take that up. one committee in the legislature, which is republican, the governor is a democrat, they've asked for an investigation now into the governor and what her administration knew about the situation in benton harbor all the way along. back to you. >> miguel marquez, appreciate it. joining us is the mayor of benton harbor michigan, marcus mohamed. good to have you with us. as miguel lays out all of the issue us and the sort of legislative logistical issues, the reality is for the people in your city, the 10,000 residents, their water has too much lead in it even if the watt strbak on. they're being told it's going to be at least 18 months, and there
isn't even the money there, right, to replace those pipes. what do they do for the next 18 months? >> the first thing, you know, i'm letting residents know we will provide clean and safe drinking water. currently, we have up to 30,000 cases of water coming into the city. we've expanded sites. we'll be hiring residents to do the delivery service to reach senior citizens, people who may be working and not able to pick it up at the different sites. the good thing is we started with $284,000 in 2018 and as it stands today -- and i said then i wanted to work with state and federal officials to procure more funding because i knew that $284,000 was not a dent in the
larger project, but i'm happy to announce today that we have $18.6 million. we've already started to replace and remove lines, identify more homes, and the work has begun. >> mayor muhammad, this is reminiscent of what we saw in flint a number of years ago, amazing in the 21st century america, there is lead in people's water and it takes this long to fix it. i wonder how this makes you view the ongoing debate about infrastructure, right, in this country. is this a sign that this kind of thing is necessary in a number of cities around the country? >> i think it's a wick-up call for the united states of america, the state of michigan. i was in front of the house oversight committee yesterday, and some of the committee members discussed and talked about other cities in the state of michigan that are
experiencing this problem. i've said before, flint had it first, the city of benton harbor is battling right now. my goal is working with the governor, the republican legi legislator. i've been in contact with congressman fred upton. if we all work together, the city of benton harbor can become a model not just for state of michigan but before the entire united states. >> not just an issue in your town or even just in the state. i'm curious, one of the things that came out of flint, we talked about the impact of lead and especially on children. are you seeing health issues from these elevated lead levels in the water? >> talking with the county health department, i was on the phone with dr. lauren hamill, ceo of spectrum beaumont, and
they have not seen any uptick in terms of in seniors or in children. however, you know, our posture at this point is caution as it rilts to the drinking water. we'll be testing residents' water as well as children and the governor's directive or executive directive allows for it to be done at no cost. it's an all hands on deck, all-government approach. the city council just recently declared a local emergency, which empowers the mayor, myself, to work with the agencies and do whatever is necessary to resolve this problem as quickly as possible. >> we hope you're able to move quickly. so many families and children impacted there. marcus muhammad, good luck to you. >> thank you so much. i would like to lastly say to the senate, to the house, you
know, the city of benton harbor is a perfect example where real lives and real people are impacted. so i plead with washington, get us the infrastructure bill, because benton harbor needs it and we need it now. >> we hope they're listening. mayor marcus muhammad. still ahead this hour, dr. fauci suggests the recommended age for covid-19 booster shots could go down soon. what he's watching as booster rollouts start soon for moderna and johnson & johnson vaccines coming up. can help you track your pizza come on, cody. where are you, buddy? then your bank should help you track your spending. virtual wallet® is so much more than a checking account. its low cash mode feature gives you at least 24 hours of extra time to help you avoid an overdraft fee. okay, he's gotta be close. he's six blocks in the other direction. make a left, make a left, make a left! he made a right again. virtual wallet® with low cash mode from pnc bank. one way we're making a difference.
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this morning dr. anthony fauci says millions more people could soon be eligible for covid vaccine boosters. >> i would be rather confident as we get further and further over the next weeks to months that the age limit of it is going to be lowered. and you might soon fall into the age category where you can get eligible for a booster. israel is about a month ahead of us in the timetable, is seeing substantial waning of immunity over several months, first against infection and then in some age groups against severe disease. >> joining us now to discuss, the associate professor at the emery university school of medicine in atlanta. good to have you back. i try to be a good-news guy on
the pandemic. you have the data showing that while the vaccine works fantastically well, particularly against hospitalization and death, that over time that wanes, you have a booster and the booster does a really good job of rejuicing your immunity. is that the way folks should look at this? >> yeah. in fact, jim, i'll even take it one up on your sort of glass-half-full approach. when i talk to my medical staff, i don't use the phrase waning immunity. our immunity evolves. that's not just with covid but other infections. if not, our blood would be this highly viscous solution sludge full of antibodies. we have to have adaptive immunity. that's the beauty. our immune system is more complicated than antibodies. these vaccines, boosted or not, remain fantastically preventative of people dying or requiring hospitalization. the take-away i get from the last couple days is if you're over 65, you should get a
booster. if you had the johnson & johnson product, you should get a booster. there are other segments of folks that as we learn more that will benefit from boosting. but we have to actually vaccinate the unvaccinated. >> in terms of getting some unvaccinated vaccinated, part of that could change, right, when we hopefully approve or see authorization, i should say, for the vaccine for 5- to 11-year-olds. new data from pfizer, they're saying the vaccine is 90.7% effective against symptomatic covid in kid ages 5 to 11. what should we make of that number? it sound good to me, a lot better than a flu shot. >> yeah. it's fantastic. this is exactly what parents have been clamoring for for the last 18 months. i can show it graphically. this is publicly available data on the fda's site. what this shows is that you want to be on the blue line. this is showing covid infections
over time among 5- to 11-year-olds who got the pfizer product compare to a placebo. it shows if you were in the group that got the pfizer vaccine, over time, and this is during the delta wave, only three kids actually got a covid-19 infection. with the vaccine arm, 17 kids do. that's how they calculate that efficacy rate. over time, we expect that to be more. this could be a real game changer if parents vaccinate their kids. i hope this will bring solace and hope to parent who is want safety for their kids, especially in schools. >> a lot of parents get flu shots for their kids with maybe 50% efficacy against the flu? this is 97% effective in kids 5 to 11. doctor, let's hope folks listen to you. >> thank you. the justice department is considering criminal contempt charges for steve bannon. what's next for the former trump
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prosecute the trump aide. >> the vast majority of republicans deciding not to enforce a subpoena from their own chamber. members of the january 6th committee believe he had significant knowledge around the planning of the capitol attack. whitney wild joins us. you look at this. there are a lot of steps here waiting for a decision from the justice department, but how about in the investigation itself? >> well, they're still moving forward. this, as i have said before, this message to bannon was also meant to be a message for anyone planning to defy the subpoenas. there's an expectation people are supposed to be handing over documents this week and next week. the assumption is those documents are rolling in. several people know many of the people who have been subpoenaed are cooperating, and by cooperating we mean actually giving the committee what they're looking for. when we're talking about the department of justice, there are steps until they get to the point where steve bannon might face a criminal contempt charge. first it goes to the u.s.
attorney's office in d.c. it will certainly have to be signed off on by main justice, specifically attorney general merrick garland. there's a possibility it could go to grand jury, a possibility they could move forward with the criminal charge. we don't kno logistics. there are points this could all dissolve. it could be the justice department says we're not doing it. >> there are others who have not yet complied with subpoenas and question as to how much contact there is. do we know about kash patel? >> what i've heard from the committee, if theme defy the subpoena in this way -- one thing to have your attorney speaking with the committee and keep the line of communication going. if there's an outright defiance of the subpoena, i would be surprised if they didn't try to move forward in a similar way, including filing criminal contempt charge against people saying they are not going to abide by the subpoena, because they want to make clear
subpoenas from congress are real and you can't let one person off the hook and throw book at somebody else. >> republicans would say if and when they take over congress, what is the value of their subpoena? if folks look that far in the future. whitney wild, thanks. the weekend is coming. i'm jim sciutto. >> we made it, jim. i'm ryan hilinski. good to have you with us. "at this hour" starts after a quick break. advisor will work with you on a comprehensive wealth plan across your full financial picture. a plan with tax-smart investing strategies designed to help you keep more of what you earn. this is the planning effect.
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hello, everyone. i'm kate bolduan. here's what we are watching at this hour -- tragedy on a movie set. a filmmaker is killed, another injured after alec baldwin fires a prop gun. so many questions this morning about how this happened. close to a deal -- president biden reveals details about his long negotiations with democrats on that massive spending bill. why the president now says he's open to eliminating the filibuster. and green light booster shots for millions of americans as pfizer reports new data on the effectiveness of their vaccine in younger children. we begin with the breaking news, a tragic accident on the set of an alec baldwin movie, killin