Ukraine shoots down Russian drones in Kyiv, Biden and McCarthy to meet: 5 Things podcast

On today’s episode of the 5 Things podcast: Ukraine shoots down Russian drones in Kyiv.

Ukraine successfully shoots down 35 of Russia’s Iranian-made drones aimed at Kyiv. Plus, USA TODAY National Political Correspondent David Jackson recaps final arguments in the Trump-Carroll lawsuit, mass shootings are on the rise in 2023, Biden is scheduled to meet McCarthy on debt ceiling, and the driver who killed 8 at Texas shelter is charged.

Podcasts: True crime, in-depth interviews and more USA TODAY podcasts right here.

Hit play on the player above to hear the podcast and follow along with the transcript below. This transcript was automatically generated, and then edited for clarity in its current form. There may be some differences between the audio and the text.

Cherie Saunders:………

Good morning. I’m Cherie Saunders and this is 5 Things you need to know Tuesday, the 9th of May, 2023. Today, Ukraine successfully shoots down 35 drones aimed at Kyiv. Plus, a federal jury begins deliberations in the defamation trial against Trump, and Biden and McCarthy sit down to debt ceiling talks.

A Russian air assault on Kyiv was swatted aside yesterday when the Ukraine military shot down all 35 Iranian made drones, but their fiery, shattered remnants still managed to injure residents and damage vehicles, according to the Ukraine Air Force. Air raid alarms sounded for more than three hours in the pre-dawn darkness across Kyiv. According to Mayor Vitali Klitschko, the drone attack was the most severe assault on Ukraine’s capitol since the start of the war.

Elsewhere, Russian shelling of over a hundred targets killed four civilians, according to the Ukrainian Defense Ministry. The assault came as Moscow enforced tight security on the eve of traditional Victory Day commemorations in Red Square. The annual celebration marks the surrender of Nazi Germany in World War II. The shelling came as Russian forces claimed they would soon control the highly contested Ukraine city of Bakhmut.

Meanwhile, the Abrams tanks the US reluctantly pledged earlier this year will not be on the front lines for Ukraine’s planned spring counteroffensive. That’s because the tanks are being modified to remove sensitive technology that could fall into the hands of Russian forces. According to US officials, it is a necessary precaution in case the Russians capture one of the vehicles and exploit them for intelligence.

A federal jury begins deliberations today in E. Jean Carroll’s rape and defamation lawsuit against former President Donald Trump. At stake, millions of dollars and possibly even a presidential election. I sat down with National Political Correspondent David Jackson to learn more. David, thanks for coming back on the podcast.

David Jackson:…….

Yeah, thanks for having me.

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Cherie Saunders:………

What did E. Jean Carroll’s legal team argue in its closing statements?

David Jackson:…….

Basically the same thing they’ve been arguing for two weeks, that Donald Trump intentionally and maliciously sexually assaulted their client in 1996, at a department store, and he’s been lying about it ever since.

Cherie Saunders:………

David, what did the attorney for former President Donald Trump, have to say?

David Jackson:…….

Basically that E. Jean Carroll’s just making it up for financial gain and for political vengeance against the former president. That Carroll wasn’t able to make her case and is just doing it to get back at Trump.

Cherie Saunders:………

You reported that Trump told journalists in Ireland last week that he would confront E. Jean Carroll in court, but he was a no-show. So what happened?

David Jackson:…….

Not surprisingly, the president was engaging in a little bit of bluster, I think last week. Reporters had asked him why he didn’t appear at the trial, and instead of just saying that he didn’t want to go or anything like that, he basically said that he was going to cut short his trip to Ireland and go back to New York and confront E. Jean Carroll, and that he would probably attend the trial. And given the news coverage of Trump’s comments, the judge in the case told his lawyers, “Hey look, if Trump really does want to testify, he’s got until Sunday at 5 o’clock to request that the case be reopened and that he’d be allowed to testify.” Well 5 o’clock came and went and no word from Trump. So I don’t think he ever really intended to testify, he just answered that question that way in order to try to somehow save face.

Cherie Saunders:………

How do you think the verdict in the trial will impact Trump’s 2024 presidential campaign?

David Jackson:…….

That’s impossible to say. In March he was indicted on a criminal charge of falsifying business records to cover up hush money, and not only did not hurt him, he actually has gained in the polls since then. So just there’s really no way to tell. In a normal world, you would think someone who a jury found libel for a rape, that that would hurt their political prospects, but in Trump’s case, he seems to defy political gravity so a lot of his supporters seem to think that his political enemies are all making up stories about him. I’m sure Trump will make that argument if he loses this trial, so there may not be any impact at all on his numbers.

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Cherie Saunders:………

You’ve been covering all of the criminal investigations that Trump will face in the months ahead. Where do the other cases stand?

David Jackson:…….

Well, that’s a good question. I would love to take them one by one. Of course, as I mentioned, he’s been indicted in New York on the hush money case, so he’s awaiting trial for that, and the attorneys are talking about setting some kind of trial date in January or February. Meanwhile in Atlanta, local prosecutors are investigating his attempts to overturn his loss of Georgia to President Biden in the 2020 election. The district attorney in Georgia has indicated that she will make a decision on charging sometime between July 11th and September 2nd, when a specific grand jury will be meeting to determine that very question, so we expect to hear something out of Atlanta in July or August.

Meanwhile, there are two federal investigations of Trump going on, one involves his handling of classified documents. When he left the White House in 2021, Trump apparently took some classified documents with him, and that was a real no-no, so a grand jury’s investigating whether he broke any laws when he did that. Another federal investigation involves January 6th, the insurrection against the Capitol when some of his supporters were trying to overturn the election nationally. Prosecutors are looking into whether Trump bore some responsibility for that attack. And the two federal cases are hard to gauge because the federal prosecutors are very tightlipped about it. We don’t really know what the status of either case is, so we could hear some action from a grand jury on either one of those cases any day.

Cherie Saunders:………

All right, National Political Correspondent David Jackson. Thanks so much for your insights.

David Jackson:…….

Hey, thank you.

Cherie Saunders:………

If it feels like there have been more mass shootings this year than at this point last year, you’re right. The eight deaths in the Allen, Texas shooting on Saturday puts 2023 on pace to be one of the worst years in mass killings on record. Names of some of those killed at the suburban Dallas mall began to emerge yesterday. Meanwhile, authorities are working to determine whether the gunman, who was kicked out of the Army after three months due to mental health issues, was motivated by white supremacist and Neo-Nazi views.

In any given year, the US typically sees six mass shootings in a public place. According to USA TODAY’S Mass Shooting Database, a partnership with the Associated Press and Northeastern University, the highest number of mass shootings was in 2019, but 2022 was a close second. The massacre in Allen, Texas Saturday already marks the sixth public mass killing of 2023. 16 non-public mass shootings have also occurred so far this year. Allen mayor, Ken Fulk, spoke at a community prayer service held Sunday for the victims and survivors.

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Mayor Ken Fulk:.

As the healing begins, we will recover. We will not let the actions of one individual impact our resolve. We will band together as a community and will emerge even stronger.

Cherie Saunders:………

Mass shootings at a Nashville school and Louisville bank earlier this year also sparked nationwide outrage. President Joe Biden has again called on Congress to reinstate the nation’s ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines.

President Joe Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, will be sitting down together this afternoon to try and finally finagle a deal to raise the debt ceiling. The last time Biden met with McCarthy, 97 days ago, the President reiterated his long-held position that raising the debt ceiling is “not negotiable or conditional.” But Biden faces increasing pressure to soften his stance on Republican’s demands for spending cuts.

The White House had hoped that deep cuts to government programs proposed by GOP lawmakers would prove so unpopular to the American public that Republicans would have to side with the President and raise the debt ceiling without conditions. Instead, Republicans have stayed united. 43 Republican senators sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer yesterday, opposing any package to increase the debt ceiling that doesn’t include spending cuts. That means the Democratic majority in the Senate won’t have the votes needed to avoid a filibuster. The deadline for avoiding a government default is June 1st.

Police announced that the driver in a deadly crash Sunday morning at a bus stop near a shelter for migrants in Brownsville, Texas, has been charged. The eight counts of manslaughter and 10 counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon correspond to victim counts that resulted when an SUV plowed into the crowd. Most of the victims were Venezuelan, and all of them were men.

Brownsville Police Chief Felix Sauceda, said the driver, 34 year old George Alvarez, is a Brownsville resident with an extensive rap sheet. His total bond was set at $3.6 million. Sauceda said police are still awaiting the results of a toxicology report, but that Alvarez was very uncooperative at the hospital where he was being treated for injuries from the crash. Police are still looking into the cause of the crash, but tensions in the Texas border town have been running high after 15,000 migrants, mostly from Venezuela, crossed over in a single week, overwhelming border security.

And before we go, a note on the brighter side of things. The captain squad is getting bigger. Baseball Hall of Famer, Derek Jeter and his wife Hannah, announced the birth of their son, Kaius Green Jeter, yesterday. The five time World Series champion updated his Instagram bio to read, “Sleep deprived father of four.”.

Thanks for listening to 5 Things. If you like the show, please subscribe and leave us a rating and review on Apple Podcasts. If you have any comments, you can reach us at [email protected]. We’re back tomorrow with more of 5 Things from USA TODAY.

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