Tuesday, February 7

UK monarchy questioned, Hurricane Fiona gains strength: 5 Things podcast


On today’s episode of the 5 Things podcast: Protests raise questions about the future of the monarchy in the UK

USA TODAY’s James Brown reports. Plus, attorneys clash before a special master over Mar-a-Lago documents, Congressional editor Ledge King looks at the state of American democracy, world leaders meet amid a grim UN General Assembly and Hurricane Fiona gains strength.

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 21st of September, 2022. Today, a look at the future of monarchy in Britain, plus a grim tone at the UN General Assembly and more.

Here are some of the top headlines:

  1. Protests continue in Iran. They were sparked by the death of Mahsa Amini who had been picked up by the country’s so called morality police for an allegedly loose headscarf.
  2. Some 230 whales have been stranded off the coast of Tasmania in Australia. That’s just days after 14 sperm whales were found beached on the other side of the island.
  3. And Aaron Judge has hit 60 home runs in a season. He’s just the sixth major league player ever to reach the milestone.

Now that Queen Elizabeth II has been laid to rest, a question looms for some in great Britain. Should the country even have kings and queens at all? USA TODAY’S James Brown has more.

James Brown:

Paul Powlesland is an anti-monarchy protester in London. He’s one of the people talking about an idea that was once unthinkable.

Paul Powlesland:

The Queen’s personal popularity, and the fact that she’s just always been there, has really stopped or hidden any real debate about the monarchy and its role in the UK for many decades. And I think now she’s gone, and when the kind of mourning period has ended, people will begin to discuss more about why do we have this institution?

James Brown:

Bringing up the concept of England without a monarchy this close to the Queen’s death is causing quite the stir. Over the last few days, videos have surfaced of police clashing with anti-monarchy protestors, including some arrests.

[Audio of protesters clashing with police.]

Protest:

Disgusting!

James Brown:

Other people have been ushered away for simply holding signs, including some that say things like “Not my King.” This got Powlesland’s attention. So on Monday, I found a blank piece of paper and headed outside of London’s Houses of Parliament. That’s where he held it over his head.

Paul Powlesland:

An officer spoke to me and asked me for my details for holding up that sign. I refused to give it to them, and I asked him a question. If I was to write not my king on this sign, like the previous signs that I’d seen, would I be arrested? And he replied, “I probably would because it was offensive and therefore against the Public Order Act.”

James Brown:

Powlesland and other protestors were allowed to continue the next day. But their sentiments aren’t universal. According to a YouGov survey from June, a little over 60% of UK residents think the country should keep the monarchy. Only a fifth of the population says they should have an elected head of state instead. Pat Ryder, a UK resident in line to pay her respects to the Queen, says she’s open to debating the monarchy’s future, but she’s concerned about the timing of the protest.

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Pat Ryder:

If anybody wants to protest, please do it because it’s our right, and I’m proud to be British that we can do it. But wait until after the funeral, maybe two weeks time, then do your protests. But not now.

James Brown:

James Brown, USA TODAY.

Taylor Wilson:

You can hear more from James every Sunday, right here on 5 Things, and a big thank you to photojournalist, Jasper Colts, who’s on the ground in London reporting this story.

Attorneys for former President Donald Trump and the Justice Department clashed yesterday in front of a special master over access to records seized from Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate. James Trusty, one of Trump’s lawyers said that the Presidential Records Act gives Trump broad latitude over records from his White House administration, and supersedes security concerns raised by the government. He said the legal team needs to review seized records before making detailed arguments, but Deputy Chief of the Justice Department’s Counterintelligence Section, Julie Edelstein, argued that the classification status of records is determined by the current White House administration.


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