Tonight's Jan. 6 hearing, WHO weighs monkeypox: 5 Things podcast – USA TODAY

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On today’s episode of the 5 Things podcast: Jan 6 hearing continues while AG Garland says he will follow the law on attack
White House Correspondent Rebecca Morin gives details on President Biden’s executive actions on climate change. Plus, the World Health Organization is meeting to decide if the monkeypox outbreaks should be considered a Public Health Emergency of International Concern, sentencing begins for a former Minneapolis police officer in the George Floyd case, and two former White House aides under former President Donald Trump are expected to be the next witnesses at the House investigative hearing.
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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.
PJ Elliott:
Good morning, I’m PJ Elliott and this is 5 Things you need to know for Thursday, the 21st of July, 2022. I’m filling in for Taylor Wilson, who will be back on Monday, July 25th. Today the World Health Organization meets on monkeypox, President Biden announces action on climate change and more.
Here are some of the top headlines:

Former White House aides under former President Donald Trump, who each resigned because of the Capitol attack on January 6th, 2021, are expected to be the next witnesses at the House investigation hearing Thursday. Sarah Matthews, who was deputy press secretary quit the day of the attack. She issued a statement that said she was honored to serve in the Trump administration, but was disturbed by that day’s events. Matthew Pottinger, who was deputy national security advisor, typed up his resignation letter, the night of the attack because of the delay in deploying the national guard, according to the book, “Betrayal,” by CNN reporter Jonathan Carl, Pottinger, who told the committee a tweet by Trump calling then Vice President Mike Pence, “a coward,” prompted him to resign.
Meanwhile, Attorney General Merrick Garland reiterated Wednesday he would pursue investigations into the Capitol attack by following the facts and the law, after some advocates worried a recent memo signaled he would avoid investigating former President Trump.
AG Merrick Garland:
Look, no person is above the law in this country. Nothing stops…
Even a former president? 
AG Merrick Garland:
No. I don’t know how to… maybe say that again. No person is above the law in this country. I can’t say it any more clearly than that. There is nothing in the principles of prosecution in any other factors, which prevent us from investigating anyone, anyone who’s criminally responsible for an attempt to do undo a democratic election.
PJ Elliott:
His comments came after MSNBC host, Rachel Maddow, reported Monday on a May 25th Garland memo that reminded prosecutors to remain neutral and impartial during the election year.

One of four ex officers from the Minneapolis police department convicted of violating the rights of George Floyd is scheduled to be sentenced this week. Prosecutors asked a federal judge to sentence Thomas Lane between five and a quarter and six and a half years in prison for his role in the restraint that killed Floyd on May 25th, 2020. Lane’s attorney is seeking two and a quarter years. Lane and two other officers were convicted in February of depriving Floyd of his right to medical care as Floyd was pinned under then-officer Derek Chauvin’s knee for nine and a half minutes while handcuffed and face down on the street. Lane held Floyd’s legs. The two other officers were also convicted with failing to intervene to stop Chauvin, but Lane, who asked twice if they should turn Floyd on his side, did not face that charge.

The World Health Organization is meeting Thursday to decide whether the outbreak of monkeypox should be considered a “public health emergency of international concern,” which could lead more resources to be devoted to fighting the disease. Nearly 1500 Americans have been infected with monkeypox since early May, and Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said in a news conference that the federal government is working to provide additional vaccines to stem the widening outbreak. A two dose vaccine is currently available, but there is not enough for everyone at risk who wants protection.

During a trip to Somerset, Massachusetts Wednesday, President Joe Biden announced several executive actions on climate change. USA TODAY White House Correspondent Rebecca Morin explains.
Rebecca Morin:
The president, he suffered a bit of a setback in Congress. Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia said he wouldn’t support any sort of bill that includes provisions that would address energy or climate change. And so the president, that has been a pretty big part of his agenda is trying to address climate change. That’s something that he promised he would do on the campaign trail and also since becoming president. And so, you know, after that setback, he decided that he had to do whatever executive action he can take. One of the things he is going to do is to invest new funding in this program that basically allows communities to create projects that deal with natural hazards or natural disasters. It’s also going to boost domestic offshore wind industry. That’s something that’s really big in Somerset, Massachusetts. They have a pretty big facility there that is dealing with the offshore wind industry. And so those are some of the actions he’s taking.
There isn’t really a timeline for this. It’s unclear which communities are going to get some of these benefits, because again, some of this is through programs and just federal funding to these programs. And so it might be unclear.
One of the other executive actions that he’s taking deals with energy prices. And so he’s issuing guidance to this program called the Low Income Home Energy Assistant Program, which will help lower energy prices for Americans. Right now it’s extremely hot, and so energy prices are pretty high for a lot of people. So that’s something that he’s trying to do. It’s unclear though, how long that will take.
PJ Elliott:
For more on this story, find a link in today’s episode description.

Three women are suing the federal government because they were reincarcerated after they were released into home confinement. As USA TODAY’S Tiffany Cusaac-Smith tells producer James Brown, home confinement became common during the COVID 19 pandemic.
James Brown:
Your story centers on Eric Alvarez and Ava Cardoza. Who are they?
Tiffany Cusaac-Smith:
Eva Cardoza and Eric Alvarez are engaged to be married. Eva was in Danbury prison in Connecticut amid the coronavirus pandemic. She was released to slow the spread of COVID in prison and they kind of formed a big family there between his kids and, and her daughter. But she had a positive marijuana test and that led to her reincarceration back in Danbury prison. It is where she remains today.
James Brown:
How common is home confinement and how effective is it?
Tiffany Cusaac-Smith:
Throughout the pandemic, they’ve had regular home confinement going on. The Bureau of Prisons says that’s around more than 40,000 people who were able to get home confinement amid the pandemic. Those who got home confinement, just to slow down the spread of coronavirus in those prison settings, is around more than 3000. The number of people who have been returned back to prison, that were given home confinements because of the pandemic, it’s very low.
Criminal justice advocates would say it shows that the program is working as it should, because there’s not a lot of recidivism.
James Brown:
Where do we go from here?
Tiffany Cusaac-Smith:
Right now, there are at least three lawsuits that we profiled in the story, federal lawsuits kind of challenging the practice of bringing these women back to prison for what they say are minor offenses. So those cases are still ongoing in court, and the court might weigh in on those due process concerns, about whether this was constitutional, whether it was transparent. So that’s what we’re awaiting.
PJ Elliott:
You can find the link to this story in today’s episode description.
Thanks for listening to today’s 5 Things. As a reminder, you can subscribe for free and rate us in review on Apple Podcast, and catch us wherever you get your audio. Thanks to James Brown for his work on today’s show. I’ll be back with more 5 Things tomorrow from USA TODAY.


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