Oath Keepers founder sentenced for Jan. 6, 'The Little Mermaid' returns; 5 Things podcast
On today's episode of the 5 Things podcast: Oath Keepers founder sentenced to 18 years in prison for Jan. 6
The founder of the right-wing militia group Oath Keepers has been sentenced for his role on January 6th. Plus, White House and Republican negotiators get closer to a debt ceiling deal, the Supreme Court sides with a 94-year-old grandmother, USA TODAY Photojournalist Josh Morgan talks about the 'Flags-In' ceremony, and 'The Little Mermaid' is back.
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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.
Good morning. I'm Taylor Wilson and this is 5 Things you need to know Friday, the 26th of May 2023. Today, a major January 6th sentencing. Plus, the Supreme Court sides with a grandmother, and we hear from Flags-In Day at Arlington National Cemetery.
Stewart Rhodes, founder of the right wing militia group Oath Keepers, was sentenced to 18 years in prison yesterday. The sentence comes after he was convicted of seditious conspiracy in connection with the January 6th attack. It's the first sentence passed down to a person found guilty of the rare Civil War era charge linked to the riot. Before the sentence, he addressed the court, calling himself a political prisoner. Judge Amit Mehta, who oversaw the case, rebuked that characterization and said he and others took up arms to instigate a revolution. In tear-filled victim impact statements earlier this week, law enforcement officers and congressional staffers recounted trauma from that day they say will stay with them forever.
White House and Republican negotiators are getting closer to a deal to raise the debt ceiling by June 1st, according to a democratic source familiar with the talks. The source said the two sides made progress on annual spending caps, one of the main sticking points while working into the night yesterday. Republicans have pushed for six years of annual limits on discretionary funding while the White House wants just two years. A report from Reuters said President Joe Biden and Republican House Speaker Kevin McCarthy are now 70 billion dollars apart on discretionary spending. June 1st remains the date that Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen says is the earliest possible for a potential default.
The Supreme Court yesterday unanimously cited with a 94-year-old grandmother who lost her home to foreclosure and then lost the equity she had in the property when the county sold it. A Minnesota County sold Geraldine Tyler's condo for $40,000, and instead of returning the $25,000 difference between the sales price and what she owed in back taxes, the county pocketed the balance and used the extra money for forest development, County parks and recreation programs. In the opinion, Chief Justice John Roberts held that Tyler had a plausible case that the county violated the constitution's takings clause.
As we move toward Memorial Day weekend, ceremonies are being held to remember those killed in service to the country. One of them was the Flags-In ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery. I spoke with USA TODAY photojournalist Josh Morgan to learn more. Thanks for hopping on the podcast, Josh.
Hey, happy to be here.
Can you just start by telling our listeners a bit about what the Flags-In ceremony is?
It's an annual event that happens just before Memorial Day and about a thousand service members from the 3rd US Infantry Regiment, also known as the Old Guard, they place approximately 260,000 American flags on the tombstones of those laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery. It's a way of honoring service members for what they've done, the ultimate sacrifice for our country.
And Josh, who did you speak with at this year's ceremony?
I spoke with three folks who are part of the 3rd US Infantry Regiment: Staff Sergeant Gerald Morgan, Staff Sergeant Colin Clancy and Staff Sergeant Robin Barnhill. Staff Sergeant Gerald Morgan, he is part of the Old Guard and he has been in the army for about 12 years. This is his second time participating in the ceremony. And his thoughts and feelings reflected, I think, those of most who were there.
Staff Sgt. Gerald Morgan:
It makes me feel that I'm giving back as well, giving back some time, respect, gratitude towards these fallen warriors that stand here before us.
He served in Iraq and Afghanistan and he mentioned to me that there were folks that he deployed with that were there at Arlington and he, second generation Army, his father served for 27 years and last year they laid flags together. And that was just another great story behind why this means so much to him because he said that his father also served with folks who are at the cemetery. It really illustrates why this act is so meaningful for him and I think for a lot of other soldiers as well.
Josh, was there any other super moving moment that stood out to you at this ceremony?
I don't think that I can pick out an individual moment as much as just reflecting on the ceremony as a whole. So, you got a thousands soldiers out there. They have rucksacks full of hundreds of flags. And then what they do is, the flags are supposed to be about a boot's lengths apart from the tombstone, and so they all put their boot up to the tombstone, they put the flag in, and they do it with incredible speed. And so, it's incredible to see just the vast scale of it all. Because if you've ever been to Arlington National Cemetery, it's ginormous, right? There are so many soldiers there. And one of the other soldiers that I spoke with, Staff Sergeant Colin Clancy, he told me that, too, just this overwhelming feeling of being there and being around all of that.
Staff Sergeant Colin Clancy:
First time I went through and did this, it was very... I almost didn't have words for it. All of us coming out here with the Old Guard, I feel like it's the very least that we can do for these hundreds of thousands of service members that have paid the ultimate sacrifice.
All right, Josh Morgan talking with us ahead of this Memorial Day weekend. Thanks so much, Josh.
The Little Mermaid is back.
You broke the rules. You went to the above world.
A man was drowning. I had to save him.
This obsession with humans has to stop.
I just want to know more about them.
The live action version of Disney's 1989 animated classic hits theaters today. And actress Halle Bailey is a star in the making. She sat down with USA TODAY ahead of the film's release to discuss making the movie and her impact on kids of color as a Black actress starring as Ariel.
Well, this whole thing honestly keeps me motivated and positive and happy and inspired. But what truly strikes my heart and makes me just cry are seeing the reactions of the babies and the children and the beautiful Black, Brown boys and girls who see themselves in this character in this new version of Ariel. And that honestly is what I focus on, what makes me the happiest. And everyone who knows me knows I'm obsessed with kids. I can't wait to have my own. So, these videos just make me bawl immediately and it makes me feel like I've done a good job. And when they're rooting for me, I'm like, "I don't need anyone else to root for me."
It makes me feel overjoyed, overwhelmed, excited, grateful. It's a combination of all the feels. I think that it hits me only in certain waves and moments where it feels like real life because, the other day I'm driving down... Was it Sunset? And I see a big billboard and I'm like, "What?" A part of me is like, "This isn't real? Is it really happening?" So, I think there's moments where you go in and out of this dreamlike state. At the core is just the gratefulness that I feel.
I went to Disney World. I was there with the Disney Dreamers Academy and I had a blast just talking to the children and teenagers and peers my age. And it was just a wonderful experience. But walking through the park, I had met this beautiful young girl. Her name was Mila Rose, and she didn't say a word, but she hugged me and squeezed me so tight the whole time, and it was just the most endearing moment. And I was in tears because I just felt like this little girl was reassuring me that what I'm doing is making a difference and it's powerful and it's impacting her. And so feeling that hug from her was like receiving all of the flowers in the world that I ever needed.
Thanks for listening to 5 Things. We're produced by Shannon Rae Green and our executive producer is Laura Beatty. Special thanks to Cherie Saunders and Alexis Gustin. I'm Taylor Wilson back tomorrow with another episode of 5 Things.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Oath Keepers leader sentenced, 'Little Mermaid' returns: 5 Things podcast