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usa breaking news Britney Spears’ conservatorship, Miami condo collapse: 5 Things podcast

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On today’s episode of the 5 Things podcast: At least 1 dead, 99 unaccounted for in Miami building collapse. It’s still unclear what caused the condo tower to collapse. Plus, Derek Chauvin will be sentenced, Vice President Kamala Harris visits the U.S./Mexico border, we hear a breakdown on Britney Spears’ fight to leave her conservatorship and a major UFO report may be released.

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.

Taylor Wilson:

Good morning. I’m Taylor Wilson, and this is 5 Things you need to know Friday, the 25th of June 2021. Today, the latest from a devastating building collapse in Miami, plus Derek Chauvin will be sentenced, and more.

Here are some of the top headlines:

  1. President Joe Biden will meet with Afghan leaders on Friday as the US continues to withdraw military from the country. The meeting comes as peace talks between the Afghan government and Taliban have stalled. And the militant group has gained new territory at an alarming rate in recent weeks.
  2. Former NRA President David Keene was tricked into giving a fake graduation speech by a gun violence prevention group. He gave the speech in front of 3,044 empty chairs representing children and teenagers who were shot and killed before they could graduate high school. His speech was then edited with audio from 911 calls of students trapped during shootings.
  3. And the Montreal Canadiens are going to the Stanley Cup Final. The Habs, as they’re known, have not been to the final since winning at all in 1993. And they’re the first Canadian team to make the final in a decade. They’ll play the winner of Friday’s game seven between the New York Islanders and Tampa Bay Lightning.

Taylor Wilson:

Rescue crews continue to search for survivors of a 12-story condo collapse early Thursday morning in Miami. At least one person is dead and 99 people are still unaccounted for, though, some may not have been in the building at the time of the collapse. It’s still not clear what exactly caused the collapse of the Champlain Tower in the town of Surfside. The building was only 40 years old and in the middle of a 40-year inspection. Roof work was also ongoing, but it was unclear if that was connected.

Taylor Wilson:

A key piece of information came Thursday from Florida International University Researcher, Shimon Wdowinski. He said the building was sinking at an alarming rate as far back as the 1990s, according to a study, he did last year. But he said that his research does not show a definitive cause for the collapse. About 55 of the more than 130 condos in the building collapsed. Survivors from the other side of the building said they felt shaking and were then evacuated by emergency workers. Jeff and Penney Pias told USA TODAY that they were vacationing next door at the Bluegreen Vacations Hotel. They said the collapse sounded like a tornado. And there was dust all over the neighborhood, including in their hotel lobby. Nearby residents described the aftermath as chilling with emergency vehicles scattered across the area. Neighbor, Michael Ruiz.

Michael Ruiz:

I live off of Collins Avenue and I’m hearing all about, I would say about 50 ambulances and firetrucks and fire rescue, just driving by. So we have a WhatsApp group in our building where we communicate and somebody mentioned something that are on an app. There was a building that collapsed. So I live nearby. So I came by and I have never seen so many ambulances and police in my life all at once. It looked like something from like 9/11, literally.

Michael Ruiz:

So the back of that building, I was able to go to the back and I have video footage and photos of the entire building collapsed from the 14th floor. So there’s a third of the entire building that you cannot see from the street, but it’s completely gone in the back towards the beach side. It almost looks, like I said, like 9/11, like if a bomb hit or something and it just completely wiped it out. There’s a pile of rubble.

Taylor Wilson:

Dozens of survivors have been pulled from the rubble as Miami-Dade Fire’s Ray Jadallah said Thursday.

Ray Jadallah:

The northeast corridor of the apartment had collapsed approximately 55 apartment units. Our units began search and rescue efforts. They pulled 35 occupants that were trapped inside the building. In addition to those 35, 10 were assessed and treated, two were transported to various hospitals. Search and rescue efforts are still ongoing. We do have operations conducting inside based on additional intel that we’re receiving from resources inside.

Taylor Wilson:

It’s not clear if more survivors will be found or how many of the 99 missing people were inside the building when it collapsed. But Frank Rollason, Director of Miami-Dade Emergency Management told the Miami Herald that emergency workers believed they had already removed all survivors from inside the tower. One survivor’s leg had to be amputated to free her from the rubble. Rescue crews used sonar equipment to detect movements from beneath the rubble. And firefighters also used a garage beneath the building to tunnel in from below. Some of the debris included broken water pipes and flooding complicating rescue efforts, and potentially making it harder for people trapped to survive.

Taylor Wilson:

A small fire also began Thursday afternoon that was put out after about 20 minutes. The President of Paraguay’s sister-in-law is among those missing, along with other family members. Other Paraguayans are also among the missing and about 20 Jewish people, including some Israeli citizens are also among those unaccounted for. The Miami Herald reported that several of them missing are also Latin American visitors who were in Florida to get their COVID-19 vaccinations. For all the latest on this developing story, stay with usatoday.com.

Taylor Wilson:

Derek Chauvin will be sentenced on Friday. The former police officer who murdered George Floyd could receive a sentence of up to 30 years in prison. In May of 2020, Chauvin pressed his knee to Floyd’s neck for more than nine minutes, even as Floyd said, he couldn’t breathe. A jury found Chauvin guilty in April of second and third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. Chauvin is a first-time offender, but he could face a higher sentence because of a number of other factors, including abusing his position of trust and authority. Former Hennepin County chief public defender, Mary Moriarty said to expect a full 30-year sentence.

Mary Moriarty:

I think the probability is that he will get the 30 years. And I say that based on what the judge wrote in his order, when he found aggravating factors about the abuse of trust and about the particular cruelty here.

Taylor Wilson:

Whatever the sentence is, because of Minnesota law, Chauvin will serve two thirds behind bars and the remainder under supervised release. He’s never expressed remorse for Floyd’s death, but will have a chance to speak for the first time at Friday’s hearing.

Taylor Wilson:

Vice-President Kamala Harris will visit the U.S.-Mexico border on Friday. Her trip comes after months of pressure from Congress to travel to the region. She’s been tasked with trying to tackle the root causes of migration from Central America and has been criticized in recent months by both Republicans and some Democrats for her handling along with President Joe Biden’s of a recent wave of migrants. The AP’s Alexandra Jaffe explains.

Alexandra Jaffe:

The vice-president and the White House broadly have resisted sending either Harris or President Biden to the border. And this has become a big controversy for the White House. One of the challenges Harris has is obviously, there’s a lot of politics around this, and in particular, she heads down to the border less than a week prior to former President Donald Trump’s trip to the border. He will be heading down there with a group of Republicans and speaking likely about immigration and a range of other issues, but he is already claiming credit for Kamala Harris’ decision to go to the border because he and the Republican Party as a whole have basically elevated Harris as the face of the Biden Administration’s immigration policy and charged that Harris’ and Biden’s refusal to visit the border, suggest that they are absent on what they describe as a crisis at the border.

Alexandra Jaffe:

Harris is in a bit of a no-win situation, partly because it’s taken her so long to visit, but also, it’s tough to say, going down for half a day, that it is more than a photo opp. She likely won’t have any new policies to announce. And that’s what a lot of advocates are looking for, reform policies in the area or greater border enforcement in the area. And so, it really just depends on how she handles this visit, if it’s seen as a success and a real reflection that the Biden Administration is taking it seriously,

Taylor Wilson:

Harris will visit El Paso along with Homeland Security Secretary, Alejandro Mayorkas.

Taylor Wilson:

As we mentioned earlier this week on the show, Britney Spears spoke out at a hearing Wednesday. She pleaded to a judge to end the legal conservatorship run by her father. Spears called the arrangement abusive. With more on the specifics of her situation, here’s the Host and Producer of Entertain This, Ralphie Aversa.

Ralphie Aversa:

Yeah, it was a moment that fans of Britney Spears waited 13 years for. On Wednesday, Spears addressed the court during a hearing about her conservatorship. She spoke two years ago, but her comments never became public. This time, the remote hearing wasn’t sealed and it felt like the entire internet was collectively listening in. Spears called into the court and spoke for over 20 minutes. At times, she talked so fast that the judge asked her to slow down for the court recorder. Spears’ biggest demand, she wants the conservatorship dissolved without being evaluated. Now it’s currently managed by her father, Jamie and Bessemer Trust Company, in addition to a professional conservator who presides over Spears.

Ralphie Aversa:

But it’s the allegations from Spears that caught everyone’s attention. There were simple things. Her boyfriend, Sam Asghari can’t drive her around in his car and then troubling accusations. Spears says she has an IUD implanted in her and the conservatorship won’t allow her to remove it. So, she can’t have kids again. Spears also listed how she’s been personally and professionally exploited from being pressured to sign tour deals, to being forced to visit a therapist where paparazzi could photograph her. Spears’ father in a statement through his attorney only said that he loved his daughter and missed her. Spears’ fans, however, are furious. Over a half million tweets about the singer were posted Wednesday. And her peers are sending their support as well, including Mariah Carey. And yes, even her ex-boyfriend Justin Timberlake. Perhaps most surprising, actress Rose McGowan speaking out. And yet it’s not surprising because she spoke out, but because she did so with Fox News’ Tucker Carlson.

Rose McGowan:

And while we’ve all been entertained by Britney Spears, she’s been being tortured.

Ralphie Aversa:

After Spears’ statement, the court took a recess. And when the hearing resumed, it seemed the judge and counsel were going to set a date to follow up on what was discussed. However, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Brenda Penny was informed that someone went against her order and recorded the proceeding. So the judge immediately stopped the audio transmission.

Taylor Wilson:

For more, you can search Britney Spears on usatoday.com or head to our Entertainment section.

Taylor Wilson:

A highly-anticipated report on UFOs could be released by US intelligence and military officials as early as Friday. The report was commissioned as part of December’s COVID-19 relief package. And it’s expected to add more details to sightings all over American skies that seem to have no explanation. The report shows a growing consensus among government agencies and Capitol Hill that UFOs are an area of serious concern, not just conspiracy theories online. But it’s still not clear how much of the report will actually be made available because of national security concerns.

Taylor Wilson:

Thanks for listening to 5 Things. If you have a second, please drop us a review and five stars on Apple Podcasts. You can also listen wherever you find your audio, including Spotify. Thanks as always to Shannon Green and Claire Thornton for their great work on the show. 5 Things is part of the USA TODAY Network.



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