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UBS is set to buy rival Credit Suisse, road rage shootings on the rise: 5 Things podcast

On today's episode of the 5 Things podcast: Swiss banking giant UBS to buy Credit Suisse

Swiss banking giant UBS is set to buy rival Credit Suisse. Plus, Russian President Vladimir Putin makes a surprise visit to Ukraine, the family of a South Carolina teenager found dead near the Murdaugh estate in 2015 wants answers, USA TODAY Money and Personal Finance Reporter Medora Lee looks at the cost of diabetes, and USA TODAY Criminal Justice Reporter Grace Hauck says road rage shootings are on the rise.

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.

Taylor Wilson:

Good morning. I'm Taylor Wilson and this is 5 Things you need to know Monday, the 20th of March 2023. Today, another chapter in this month's banking drama, this time in Switzerland. Plus, Putin makes a surprise visit to occupied Ukraine and road rage shootings are on the rise.

Banking giant UBS is buying its smaller rival Credit Suisse for $3.2 billion. The deal caps a volatile week for Credit Suisse, including when its shares plunged on Wednesday. That happened after its largest investor, the Saudi National Bank, said it wouldn't invest any more in the bank to avoid regulations if its stake rose above 10%. Credit Suisse also reported this week that it identified material weaknesses in the bank's internal controls on financial reporting. The Swiss government said it would provide more than $9 billion to reduce risks for UBS in the deal. Yesterday's announcement comes after the collapse of two US banks last week. Still, many of Credit Suisse's problems are unique, and don't overlap with Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank. And financial experts continue to stress that these hectic few weeks don't necessarily signal the start of a financial crisis similar to 2008.

Russian President, Vladimir Putin made a surprise visit to Mariupol, Ukraine over the weekend. There he inspected reconstruction work and visited the home of at least one local resident, according to the Kremlin. The port city has been under Russian control since May and was illegally annexed by Moscow in September. The trip comes the same week that the International Criminal Court issued arrest warrants for Putin and Maria Lvova-Belova, an official in his office responsible for children's rights. The court cites their alleged involvement in the unlawful deportation of children from occupied areas of Ukraine to Russia.

The family of a South Carolina teenager who was found dead in 2015 is making a new push to find the truth and the years long cold case. Stephen Smith's mother says funds have been raised for his remains to be exhumed for an independent autopsy. Smith was a 19-year-old nursing student when he was found lying in the middle of a rural road in Hampton County, South Carolina. The location is not far from property belonging to Alex Murdaugh, the disgraced lawyer who is convicted this month of killing his wife and son. At first, officials ruled Smith's death a hit-and-run, but investigators later considered it a homicide based on evidence at the scene. For years, rumors swirled in the small-town community that the case was connected to the Murdaugh family. The name appeared dozens of times in witness statements to police, but the case grew cold and there have been no arrests to this day.

Diabetes can be costly. Millions of Americans with the disease recently cheered on price reductions to the life-saving medication insulin, but that's far from the only cost associated with diabetes. USA TODAY Money and Personal Finance Reporter Medora Lee explains. Hi, Medora.

Medora Lee:

Hi, how are you?

Taylor Wilson:

Well, thanks. Thanks for coming back on the podcast, talking the cost of diabetes. I'm curious, Medora, so if insulin isn't usually the highest cost associated with diabetes, what is?

Medora Lee:

So, you might be surprised to find out, but it is actually the supplies that you need to manage your diabetes that are very expensive. So, think glucose monitoring systems, lancets, alcohol swabs or prep pads, all of that can really add up. Testing strips. Sometimes people might have to test their sugar levels six to eight times a day. All of this really adds up and it can cost anywhere between hundreds of extra dollars a month, or maybe even almost a thousand depending on your insurance and where you live.

Taylor Wilson:

So, Medora, who exactly is affected by these costs? Are we talking about everyone with diabetes?

Medora Lee:

It is, and that's what the big kicker is. It's everyone who has diabetes might have to... Not every single person is going to have to always test daily and several times a day. Some people don't have to test that often, but everybody does have to watch their glucose levels. So, there are 37 million Americans who have diabetes, about 8 million use insulin. But all of those people have to test their sugar levels or watch them, and then add to that another a hundred million people who might be pre-diabetic who may need test supplies as well. So that's a lot of people.

Taylor Wilson:

Wow. I mean that's like one in three Americans almost that's a huge, huge number.

Medora Lee:

Yeah.

Taylor Wilson:

So, Medora, how can people go about cutting the cost of diabetes supplies?

Medora Lee:

So, there are a lot of different organizations that might provide you with either free or discounted supplies for seniors. There's something called benefitscheckup.org, and they can maybe point you to a location in your neighborhood. You can do a search by zip code to see what organizations might help with your medicines and your healthcare needs. Needymeds.org connects people with programs that help pay for medicines and supplies, too. And then a lot of manufacturers also provide coupons, or discounts for people who can't afford their supplies. So, there are a lot of different ways to go about it, but it's going to take a little time TO just research. But if you come to USA TODAY, we have a little list with some links.

Taylor Wilson:

All right. Medora Lee, thanks so much.

Medora Lee:

Okay, thanks so much. Bye-bye.

Taylor Wilson:

Road rage shootings are on the rise. I spoke with USA TODAY Criminal Justice Reporter Grace Hauck to learn more. Grace, thanks for hopping on 5 Things.

Grace Hauck:

Thanks for having me.

Taylor Wilson:

So, what did the numbers say about road rage in America?

Grace Hauck:

Yeah, so there is a new report out from gun safety advocacy group, Everytown for Gun Safety. They've done this report before. And this new report finds that road rage shootings are rising. They've been rising since at least 2018. And in fact, have doubled from 2018 to 2022. That is based on data that is publicly sourced from the gun violence archive. That's a non-profit database. And they use that data just because there isn't really any other good federal data on this topic. And even at the state and local level, road rage shootings aren't really characterized in that specific way. Usually, it's a gun assault or some other category of crime. And so, to be able to look at road rage shootings as an issue, and as a trend nationwide, this gun violence archive data set is really the best that we've got. That data set shows that in 2018, there were about 70 road rage shooting fatalities, and less than 200 injuries, but in 2022, that about doubled. There were about 141 road rage shooting deaths and more than 400 injuries. So, this is clearly an increasing problem in the country.

Taylor Wilson:

So, what's causing this rise in road rage?

Grace Hauck:

The data that Everytown researchers went through, they're not able to say definitively yet. They offer a few different theories, gun violence surge during the COVID-19 pandemic. It could be the rising firearm sales that we've seen in recent years, and just the prevalence of firearms in our everyday lives a lot more. I think further research is needed. The authors also cautioned that a Supreme Court ruling last summer that made it easier to be able to carry a firearm in public will also have an effect potentially on road rage shootings. It's a bit too early to be able to say that definitively, but that's something that they're just cautioning to be on the watch for in the future. One other interesting point from the study was that they found the five states with the highest rate of people shot and road rage shootings were New Mexico, Arizona, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Wisconsin. Those states make up about 8% of the US population, but they account for about 20% of road rage, shooting victims.

Taylor Wilson:

All right. USA TODAY Criminal Justice Reporter Grace Hauck, thanks so much.

Grace Hauck:

Thanks for having me.

Taylor Wilson:

Thanks for listening to 5 Things. You can find us every day of the week right here, wherever you get your podcasts. I'm back tomorrow with more of 5 Things from USA TODAY.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: UBS to buy rival Credit Suisse, Putin visits Ukraine: 5 Things podcast