Friday, December 2

Ian hits Florida Keys, are cover letters necessary?: 5 Things podcast

On today’s episode of the 5 Things podcast: Catastrophic flooding expected as Ian approaches Florida

The hurricane has arrived in the Florida Keys as a Category 3. Plus, Russia declares victory in a series of elections the West calls a sham, national correspondent Tami Abdollah gives a timeline for the next Jan. 6 hearings, drugmakers deliver promising trial results for an Alzheimer’s drug and reporter Olivia Munson weighs whether you should add a cover letter to your job application.

Podcast: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:

Buenos dias. I’m Taylor Wilson and this is 5 Things you need to know Wednesday, the 28th of September, 2022. Today, the latest as Hurricane Ian gets ready to slam Florida. Plus what’s next for the January 6th committee and more.

Here are some of the top headlines:

  1. An abducted 15 year old girl and her father wanted in the death of her mother were both killed in a shootout with law enforcement yesterday on a California highway. It’s not clear whether the teenager was shot by her responding deputies or by her father.
  2. Nearly 200,000 Russian nationals have fled the country to Finland, Kazakhstan, and Georgia over the past week. That’s after President Vladimir Putin announced a kind of military draft for reservists in the country, as the invasion of Ukraine continues.
  3. And every major Florida theme park is closing because of Hurricane Ian. Hear more about the storm next.

Hurricane Ian slammed into Cuba yesterday as a category 3, hitting the island with 125 mile an hour winds. Power at one point was knocked out across the country affecting some 11 million people. The storm now heads for Florida. It began hitting the Keys last night and is expected to make landfall in Southwest Florida, likely as a category 4 this afternoon, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis ordered some 2.5 million people to evacuate.

Ron DeSantis:

It is now a major hurricane, category 3 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 125 miles per hour. We have about 2.5 million Floridians that are currently under some type of an evacuation order. When you’re talking about storm surges like this, when you’re talking about historic flooding, that water is a very, very difficult adversary. You do not want to put yourself in harm’s way unnecessarily. So if you’re ordered to evacuate, that’s a decision based off what we’re seeing with this storm. What your local officials are seeing with the storm.

Taylor Wilson:

Conditions are expected to deteriorate through South and central Florida throughout the day, particularly on the State’s West Coast. A storm surge warning is in effect with the highest risk from Naples to Sarasota. Tampa residents, Genie and Randy Gasman debated staying, but ended up heading inland to Orlando.

Genie Gasman:

We’re here in Orlando as we evacuated. Of course, we had a disagreement on evacuating. My husband wanted to stay in a 24 floor high rise to watch the storm come in, and I wanted to play it safe and evacuate. So as you can see, I won. We’re in Orlando and we’re safe.

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Taylor Wilson:

Tampa’s airport has shut down and Orlando’s will do the same later this morning. Over 1200 flights yesterday and today have been canceled because of the hurricane. FEMA administrator Deanne Criswell said not to underestimate the storm.

Deanne Criswell:

By the time it reaches the shores of Florida, the storm is going to slow down to approximately five miles per hour. And this is significant because what this means is that Floridians are going to experience the impacts from this storm for a very long time. I can tell you that our biggest concern as we wait for this storm to make landfall is storm arises. And I will note that storm surge is a leading cause of hurricane related fatalities. So therefore, if people are told to evacuate by their local officials, please listen to them. The decision you choose to make may mean the difference between life and death. And so my message to those who may be watching at home, get ready and do not underestimate the potential that this storm can bring.

Taylor Wilson:

For updates throughout the day, stay with

Russia has declared victory in a series of elections in Ukraine’s East and South that some in the west called a sham. The Kremlin said voters in four regions voted to join Russia. The Kherson Region, they said did so at 87%, while Luhansk and Donetsk went for the move at 98% or more, and Zaporizhzhia was at 93%. But the US and others have called out the referendum as sham elections, with outcomes decided ahead of time by Russia. US Ambassador to the UN, Linda Thomas Greenfield and UK Ambassador James Kariuki.

Linda Thomas Greenfield:

The United States will never recognize any territory Russia attempts to seize or allegedly annex as anything other than part of Ukraine. We reject Russia’s actions unequivocally, and we will continue to work with our allies, partners, and like-minded to impose costs on Russia and to provide historic amounts of support for Ukraine.

James Karuki:

Any reference held under these conditions at the barrel of a gun can never be remotely close to free or fair. And the very idea that a referendum on a fundamental question could be held at three days notice in the middle of a war zone is frankly farcical.

Taylor Wilson:

Elections come as Russia is seemingly launching its latest phase of the war in Ukraine. The Kremlin is threatening to throw in more troops amid a kind of military draft. And Russia has recently given vague warnings about its willingness to use nuclear weapons. Russian President Vladimir Putin is expected to announce to parliament the new terrain on Friday in an attempt to gain public support for the war. Protests recently hit streets across Russia following the announcement of this month’s military mobilization.

The January 6th committee was set to hold its latest hearing today, but they had to postpone because of Hurricane Ian. So what happens next? Producer PJ Elliott discusses with National Correspondent Tami Abdollah.

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Tami Abdullah:

There were some hints that this might be the last hearing. It’s unclear because what’s happened in the past is after a hearing more people have come forward and then they’ve decided to continue investigating and then they had more information they wanted to release to the public. I think there were some expectations that this would be the final hearing, but that remains to be seen. The hearing itself is typically a couple hours long.

PJ Elliott:

Tami, we all know that it was a very busy summer and is still busy for former President Trump, but it was also busy pertaining to members of this committee.

Tami Abdullah:

yeah. I mean, so aside from the FBI executing the search warrant pertaining to Trump as they tell it in court documents, improperly keeping classified materials at Mar-a-Lago and other national records there, that should have gone to the archives. The summer has also been eventful because the vice chair of the January 6th house Select committee, Liz Cheney, she’s a Republican representative out of Wyoming, and she actually lost, she was actually clobbered in her primary by 30 percentage points against the primary opponent who was a Trump loyalist. So she’s no longer going to be a representative or in Congress. And so this is kind of one of her remaining outlets from her moving forward, especially now that we’re six weeks away from a crucial midterm.

Taylor Wilson:

In a new study, drug makers say their Alzheimer’s drug, Lecanemab, slowed cognitive decline among people with early signs of the disease. The study led by Eisai, teamed up with Biogen, showed that their drug targeting amyloid beta in the brains of study participants slowed down memory and thinking problems. The company said the nearly 1800 person study showed a 27% reduction in cognitive decline compared to the placebo. People on the medication did experience side effects like brain swelling, but it rarely caused symptoms. Eisai already submitted an application to the FDA for accelerated approval of the drug based on a smaller earlier stage clinical trial. It’ll now submit the latest trial results and the FDA is expected to make a decision by January. The study is the latest test to a three decade old theory that Alzheimer’s disease is triggered by amyloid beta plaques in the brain and can be slowed by drugs that target the buildup of those plaques. But drug companies have mostly struggled through a long list of failed clinical trials.

When applying to new jobs, you may be asked for a cover letter, but is that still important? Reporter Olivia Monsun gives some tips with PJ Elliott.

Olivia Monson:

Cover letters are important when applying for a job, because it allows you to show your skills besides just what’s on your resume, as well as give a sense of who you are and what you yourself are going to bring to the job and relate your experiences that you’ve said on the resume to what the job description is. And that’s one of the many reasons why cover letters are necessary and needed.

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PJ Elliott:

So Olivia, what would you say to those who have this stigma that the cover letter is just repetitive or unnecessary because their skills are already showcased on their resume?

Olivia Monson:

Yeah, I think that when it comes to writing cover letters, it can seem like a tedious task and it also may feel like someone from the company or the business that you’re applying to, they may not even be reading it, but that’s not true. I think that when people get a chance to read the cover letter, as I mentioned before, you can expand on what you’ve done, talk into more specific detail and express your interests in a way that’s beyond just, here’s some simple fact sheet about me, which is inherently what a resume is. A cover letter is something that you can use to take a deeper view of your initiative as well as highlight your qualifications beyond what is already preexisting on your resume.

PJ Elliott:

Well, let’s expand on that a little bit. What are some other things that people should absolutely put and make sure that is in their cover letter?

Olivia Monson:

I think it really depends on what kind of cover letter that you’re sending out. Just in a general sense speaking, an application cover letter is what is going to be the standard for when someone is applying to a job, and this expands on what’s on your resume and adds extra details to it. Of course, you want to add your name, you want to mention the position you’re applying for, as well as give a greeting in the beginning, such as like, Dear Hiring Manager, or if you actually know the hiring manager for the company you’re applying to, you can say their name. And then you also may choose to include the company’s name as well as their address above in your introduction. I think that that can also show you taking initiative and understanding where this building is going to be, if that information is not readily available online.

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