Giuliani appears before Atlanta grand jury, queer conversion therapy continues: 5 Things podcast

·10 min read

On today's episode of the 5 Things podcast: Giuliani appeared for 6 hours on Trump's effort to overturn election

He appeared before an Atlanta grand jury Wednesday. Plus, news organizations push for more documents linked to the search at former President Donald Trump's estate, investigative reporter Kenny Jacoby explains how female athletes have been stiffed on scholarships, U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres visits Ukraine and Life reporter Anthony Robledo talks about how queer conversion therapy is still being used.

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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.

Taylor Wilson:

Good morning. I'm Taylor Wilson and this is 5 Things you need to know Thursday, the 18th of August, 2022. Today, more on Giuliani's testimony in front of a grand jury, plus universities not living up to Title IX, and more.

Here are some of the top headlines:

  1. The US Government has announced trade talks with Taiwan in a show of support for the island. The announcement came after Beijing fired missiles into the sea near Taiwan, as tensions continue following House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's visit there last month.

  2. A Georgia man has been indicted on 10 counts of homicide after a boat crash earlier this summer killed five people. He was also charged with boating under the influence.

  3. And a pilot who died after exiting a plane that later made an emergency landing in North Carolina last month appeared visibly upset according to federal officials and told his co-pilot that he felt sick and needed air. He fell about 3,500 feet to his death.

Rudy Giuliani yesterday appeared for six hours in front of an Atlanta grand jury investigating interference in the 2020 election. Citing grand jury secrecy, Giuliani's lawyer, Robert Costello, declined to say whether Giuliani used his right against self-incrimination, but he said it was cordial. Giuliani briefly told the AP that he satisfied their subpoena.

Rudy Giuliani:

I can say it was... The District Attorney said at the end, Mr. Giuliani has satisfied his obligation under the subpoena. So I was very happy that I satisfied my obligation.

Taylor Wilson:

Earlier this week, Georgia prosecutors notified Giuliani's lawyers that the former New York mayor and Trump attorney is now a target of the widening investigation. After the 2020 election, Giuliani made claims that voting systems altered Georgia ballots while ignoring a hand count audit that confirmed President Joe Biden's victory in the state. He's the closest Trump associate known to have been summoned by the Fulton County Grand Jury. Demands for testimony from others are pending, including Senator Lindsey Graham. He made telephone calls to Georgia's secretary of state in the weeks following the November 2020 election, looking for additional examination of the ballots.

News organizations are continuing to push for the release of a document that would reveal why the Justice Department asked to search former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate. At a hearing today, attorneys for more than a dozen media companies will seek the entire probable cause affidavit despite Justice Department concerns that the release could harm its ongoing investigation. According to Martin Reeder, an attorney representing the Palm Beach Post of the USA TODAY Network, attorneys pushed back on federal prosecutors' claims that the entire document should be kept from the public. Meanwhile, Trump organization CFO, Allen Weisselberg is expected to plead guilty as soon as today in a tax evasion case. It's the only criminal prosecution to come from a long running investigation into Trump's company.

A USA TODAY piece called "Title IX: Falling Short at 50" explores how top US universities still fail to live up to the landmark law that bans sexual discrimination in education. Title IX turned 50 this summer and requires equality across a broad range of areas in academia and athletics. And despite major progress over the past half century, many institutions still fall short. Producer PJ Elliott spoke with reporter Kenny Jacoby on how female athletes are being stiffed on scholarships at some of the biggest schools.

Kenny Jacoby:

So the US Department of Education's policy says that the percentage of athletic scholarship dollars a school awards female and male athletes must fall within one percentage point of their representation in the athletic department. So that means that if 45% of athletes at a school are women, then the school has to give them between 44 and 46% of its athletic financial aid. Our findings found that the majority of schools that compete in the NCAA's Division I Football Bowl Subdivision did not comply with that standard. 49 of them underfunded scholarships for female athletes by a total of a combined $23.7 million in 2020-21 alone.

PJ Elliott:

So who are some of the biggest offenders?

Kenny Jacoby:

The biggest offender on our list for that year was the University of New Mexico where 50.5% of athletes were female, but they received only 41.7% of athletic scholarship dollars. So that's almost nine percentage points off. And the law says no more than a one percentage point difference is considered a violation. So their shortfall was in one year alone, $1.25 million that should have gone to female athletes, but instead were not, or went to men instead.

PJ Elliott:

Kenny, let's talk a little bit about scholarship limits. What are they and how do they hurt female athletes?

Kenny Jacoby:

Yeah. So 40 years ago, the NCAA schools got together and decided to impose limits on the amount of scholarship monies that can be awarded to each team at that school. And there are differences for men's and women's teams. But they set it up in a way so that they can give 85 full ride scholarships to football players, but no other sport, men's or women's has a limit higher than 20. And that includes women's rowing, which is the next highest. It's not uncommon to see a hundred person women's rowing team, but they only have 20 total scholarships to go around. So the way it's set up, a school would need to have twice as many women's teams as men's just to get in a range where you can make up that difference that football creates. And the majority of schools don't do that. Now there have been some efforts to raise the scholarship limits over the years, or remove them altogether, but the schools have collectedly voted down those proposals. So the way it's currently set up, women are almost ensured that they will always receive less than men.

Taylor Wilson:

You can find the full piece with a link in today's episode description.

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres will meet with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan today in the Western Ukrainian city of Lviv. The group is expected to discuss a potential fact finding mission to the Russian controlled Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant. Concerns that a nuclear catastrophe could take place at the plant were on the rise over the weekend after Zelenskyy pledged to target Russian soldiers at the facility. He's accused Russia of using Europe's largest nuclear plant as cover to shell cities near the facility.

The group in Lviv today will also discuss grain shipments out of Ukraine. And Secretary-General Guterres will then head to Odessa on Ukraine's Black Sea coast, one of the country's major ports. Ships there resumed exports earlier this month.

[Sound of a ship's horn.]

Spokesman for the Secretary-General Stéphane Dujarric said this week that regions already facing hunger crises around the world have been hit even harder by a lack of Ukrainian grain exports earlier this year amid Russia's invasion of the country.

Stéphane Dujarric:

Near complete halt of Ukrainian grain and food import on the global market has made life even harder for families already struggling with rising hunger. According to the World Food Programme, a record 345 million people in 82 countries are now facing acute food insecurity while up to 50 million people in 45 countries are right on the edge of famine and risk being tipped over without humanitarian support. The World Food Programme notes that with commercial and humanitarian maritime traffic now resuming in and out of the Black Sea ports, Ukraine's Black Sea ports, some global supply disruptions will ease with relief for countries facing the worst of the global food crisis.

Taylor Wilson:

Meanwhile, Ukraine's general staff says more than 44,000 Russian troops have died in Ukraine since Russia first launched attacks in February. That total comes as North Korea says it is reviewing plans to send workers for restoration projects in Eastern Ukraine going against UN Security Council sanctions. Russian separatist leaders in Eastern Ukraine are seeking North Korea's help. Ukrainian intelligence also says that Russia's military leadership is looking to recruit mercenaries from Central Asian countries to counter a potential lack of Russian citizens willing to fight.

Queer conversion therapy is still practiced in the US. And experts say, we need to talk about it. Life and Entertainment reporter Anthony Robledo does just that with PJ Elliot.

Anthony Robledo:

So conversion therapy is still practiced in the US. It's no longer as dangerous as it was before because it used to be supported by the APA. And now there's so many studies that basically show that conversion therapy is not only ineffective, but very harmful to queer youth, but it's still very much still existent, just not at the same extent it would be three decades ago.

PJ Elliott:

So what are the harms to LGBTQ youth with conversion therapy?

Anthony Robledo:

The harms of conversion therapy, it's been proven to show that it increases depression, loneliness, social and interpersonal harm, suicidal ideation, and even suicide attempts.

PJ Elliott:

So Anthony, let's talk about the legality of conversion therapy and is it being practiced in many states in the country?

Anthony Robledo:

Only around 20 states have protections against conversion therapy. So it's still very much legal in many states. Pennsylvania, just the governor signed an executive order, basically encouraging the state to discourage practices. So I think it's a good move in the right direction, but there's still so many states in the US that don't have any protections against that.

PJ Elliott:

Are there any outreach programs or assistant programs out there for those LGBTQ youth that may be going through conversion therapy and want some sort of help?

Anthony Robledo:

There's multiple resources that will offer more positive and efficient therapy, like The Trevor Project, or GLAD has a list of resources for people with specific needs depending on your other demographics. So there's so many other resources available online that you could access through The Trevor Project or GLAD that will offer more efficient therapy that will actually help queer youth rather than these harmful practices.

Taylor Wilson:

Thanks for listening to 5 Things. You can find us seven days a week on whatever your favorite podcast app is. 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 article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Title IX failing at 50, UN's Guterres visits Ukraine: 5 Things podcast