On today’s episode of the 5 Things podcast: Rescuers search for survivors after catastrophic tornadoes
Dozens are dead across five states. Plus, investigative reporter Daphne Duret explains how whistleblower cops face a system built to beat them down, jobs reporter Paul Davidson explores how more job candidates are putting their vaccination status on their resumes, the Michigan school shooting suspect is due back in court and there’s a new Miss Universe.
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Good morning, I’m Taylor Wilson. And this is 5 Things you need to know Monday, the 13th of December 2021. Today, the aftermath from devastating weekend tornadoes. Plus, the blue wall of silence and more.
Here are some of the top headlines:
The country today is still coming to grips with devastating tornadoes that tore through five states over the weekend. More than 30 were reported late Friday into Saturday, and Kentucky was the hardest hit with at least 50 people dead as of Sunday morning. But even more are missing and feared dead after a tornado caused a roof collapse at a candle factory there. Survivor Autumn Kirks described the horror.
Everything was going good and then the sirens went off and we didn’t, we barely had time to get everybody back to the hallways before it hit. I mean, there was no time at all. I looked up, I was on the floor in the hallway and I looked up and I seen sky, and that’s not normal at all. The whole building was just gone in shambles. There’s people screaming, people trying to climb out, people who were crushed. One of my girls was crushed really bad. We were trapped under this wall, and I don’t know who it was, but it was one of the younger black men that works there, he just came over and just lifted the wall and started lifting pieces until he could get us out. And he got me and two of the three girls out. One of the girls was crushed really bad. And the guy, I’m pretty sure his leg was broke.
Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear said it was the worst tornado in the state’s history.
We have lived through some of the toughest hours of our lives as Kentuckians. This event is the worst, most devastating, most deadly tornado event in Kentucky’s history.
Elsewhere, at least six people were killed at an Amazon warehouse in Illinois, outside St. Louis. And questions are being asked of whether Amazon had proper shelters in place for employees. Governor JB Pritzker.
The Edwardsville community experienced great tragedy, the structural collapse of an Amazon warehouse with workers inside. It brings me great sorrow to confirm that at this time six individuals have lost their lives in the collapse with an additional person receiving medical treatment. Search and recovery operations are ongoing.
We talked to Amazon. They talk about the fact that they took employees to a safe place. Was there anywhere where employees could go to get shelters?’
We did not talk specifics about where the movement of employees were, but as I said, I implored them to stand up for this community, to make sure that the families get whatever they need in this community, and they’ve offered to do so.
Four deaths were also confirmed in Tennessee and two each in Arkansas and Missouri.
Police who report misconduct say they also have to fight courts, prosecutors and other groups who typically side with their bosses. USA TODAY, investigative reporter Daphne Duret explains the blue wall of silence and what happens to whistleblowers inside some police departments around the country.
So my partners and I – Gina Barton, Brett Murphy, and I – spent a year looking at police whistleblower cases. And what we found is that in most cases where police officers reported on the misconduct of their fellow officers, they were bullied, demoted, fired, sometimes face physical threats, and sometimes were even charged with crimes themselves. In many cases, the officers who are accused of the wrongdoing by whistleblowers have the benefit of union protections and other rights that help them escape accountability. For example, officers that we’ve covered in the series have had the chance to look at a bunch of materials in investigations against them before they gave interviews to investigators so that they could properly prepare their answers accordingly. Now that is not the kind of thing that happens to the average citizen that is accused of a crime. So what we’ve seen in a lot of these cases is that the officers who are accused of wrongdoing certainly get more privileges than members of the public do, but also are often treated better than the officers who are accusing them of wrongdoing.
To read Daphne’s full story, check out a link in today’s episode description.
Today marks one year since the COVID-19 vaccine rolled off a Michigan Pfizer plant toward hospitals around the country, as healthcare workers became the first people in the US to get vaccinated.
I feel great. It didn’t feel any different from receiving my annual influenza vaccine. I am very proud to be a healthcare worker. And I’m also very proud to be in this position to promote public confidence in the safety of the vaccine.
That was the scene when Sandra Lindsay got vaccinated, a nurse on Long Island in New York and likely the first person in the US to receive the jab. She followed several people in the UK who became the first to be vaccinated in the world days earlier. Today, more than 237 million Americans have received at least one dose of either the Pfizer, Moderna or Johnson and Johnson versions of the shots, and 60.5% of the population is fully vaccinated. Still, that dramatically trails much of the developed world. More than 80% of people are fully vaccinated in more than a dozen countries, including the world’s leader, the United Arab Emirates and places like Cuba and South Korea.
And there’s still that ongoing conversation about how to deal with vaccination status in the workplace. Job seekers are now asking themselves a new question, whether they should include vaccination status on their resumes. Economics and jobs reporter Paul Davidson has more.
The positives seem to be that most employers are looking for people to put their vaccination status on their resume. Most employers are mandating vaccinations for their employees, not all, but looks like over 60% or thereabouts want their employees to be vaccinated. And so as they hire, in surveys at least, they’re saying they’d like people to put their vaccination status on their resumes. A third of employers actually say they won’t consider an application or a resume if your vaccination status is not on there. So that’s a strong reason to put it on there. Some people on the negative side, some people might not be comfortable putting health information on a resume. That’s at least what one sort of resume career coach told me. It’s sort of breaking from tradition.
So one thing has to do with your own personal comfort level. Another thing is the whole issue of vaccinations to some extent has become a little controversial, at least depending on where you are and what region you’re in. The public is divided to some degree, even though most people are vaccinated now, and certainly about 80 some odd percent of adults are vaccinated. But there is some disagreement depending on red state, blue state, whether you think vaccination should be mandatory. So it is possible, if you have it on your resume, not in most cases, but in some. It might not be a view that the employer you’re applying to shares. And you could argue in that case if you’re unvaccinated, that might help in those instances, which are probably a minority. So I think the consensus seems to be it probably doesn’t hurt to put it on and could help you land a job.
For the latest on vaccines and COVID-19, you can stay with our live COVID updates page on USATODAY.com.
Ethan Crumbley, the 15-year-old suspect in the Michigan School shooting on November 30th is due back in court today. He’s accused of killing four people and injuring seven others at Oxford High School outside Detroit. He’s been charged with 24 counts, including four counts of first degree murder and also terrorism causing death. It’s not clear how his defense team will approach the case, but they’ll likely point to his young age while also possibly seeking a mental competency evaluation to determine whether he understands the charges against him. They may also point to his parents as complicit, Jennifer and James Crumbley are facing involuntary manslaughter charges for their alleged roles in the shooting. They have a probable cause hearing set for tomorrow.
There’s a new Miss Universe.
The new Miss Universe is India.
Miss India, Harnaaz Sandhu, won the 70th annual event last night in Israel. The international competition hosted by Steve Harvey featured 80 contestants before going down to the final three: South Africa, Paraguay and India. The night featured some attention grabbing moments from Steve Harvey as usual. He referenced his botched 2015 announcement at one point when he mistakenly named Miss Colombia as the winner instead of Miss Philippines. And this time around at one point, he accidentally called Miss Paraguay, “Miss Portugal.” As for other contestants, Miss USA Elle Smith, a broadcast news reporter in Louisville, made it into the top 10, but could not crack the top five. She won Miss USA as Miss Kentucky last month.
Thanks for listening to 5 Things. You can find us on whatever your favorite podcast app is, including Apple Podcasts, Spotify and your smart speaker device. Thanks to PJ Elliott for his great work on the show, and I’m back tomorrow with more of 5 Things from USA TODAY.
‘This too shall pass away’ this famous Persian adage seems to be defeating us again and again in the case of COVID-19. Despite every effort