At least 15 dead in Kentucky flooding, Trump praises LIV Golf: 5 Things podcast

On today's episode of the 5 Things podcast: At least 8 dead, more missing in Kentucky flooding

A state of emergency has been declared. Plus, Congressional reporter Ledge King has the latest on an inflation bill, we recap President Joe Biden's meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping, consumer travel reporter Eve Chen talks about Disney weddings and former President Donald Trump praises LIV Golf.

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 Friday, the 29th of July, 2022. Today, devastating Kentucky floods. Plus the latest on an inflation bill, and more.

Here are some of the top headlines:

  1. More than 780,000 doses of monkeypox vaccine will be made available today. That brings the total to more than a million doses in the US, with more than 20,000 cases of the virus detected in 77 countries.

  2. A Texas jury has ordered Charter Communications to pay $7 billion in damages to the family of an 83 year old woman who was robbed and murdered by a cable repair man. Attorneys for Betty Jo McClain Thomas say the killer had lied about past jobs.

  3. And the Mega Millions has soared past $1.1 billion, one of the largest jackpot prizes in history. The next drawing is set for tonight.

More rain is expected today in Kentucky after heavy flooding across the eastern part of the state left at least eight people dead yesterday. Additionally, hundreds of homes have been lost and mudslides were reported across the state and in Virginia and West Virginia. Kentucky governor, Andy Beshear, declared a state of emergency, and the National Guard has been mobilized.

Andy Beshear:

We're currently experiencing one of the worst, most devastating flooding events in Kentucky's history. The situation is dynamic and ongoing. In most places, we are not seeing receding water. In fact, in most places, it is not crested yet. What we are going to see coming out of this is massive property damage. We expect the loss of life.

Taylor Wilson:

Residents have been left stranded on rooftops and staff at at least one school were also reportedly stuck. The National Weather Service says more flooding is possible today in Kentucky, West Virginia and parts of Virginia. While more than 30,000 homes and businesses were without power yesterday.

Senate Democrats have agreed on a deal they say would lower the cost of prescription drugs, while also bringing down carbon emissions and chipping away at the federal deficit. In a major breakthrough, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin said they reached an agreement on a proposal that could save part of President Joe Biden's stalled domestic agenda. The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 marks an unexpected turn after negotiations hit a wall earlier this month. President Joe Biden.

Joe Biden:

The bill will lower healthcare costs for millions of Americans, and it will be the most important investment, not hyperbole, the most important investment we've ever made in our energy security, and developing cost savings and job creating clean energy solutions for the future. It's a big deal. Also, for the first time in a long time, begin to restore fairness to the tax code, begin to restore fairness, by making the largest corporations in America, pay their fair share without any new taxes on people making under $400,000 a year. Even some experts who have criticized my administration in the past agree that this bill, this bill, will reduce inflationary pressures on the economy.

Taylor Wilson:

So what does this mean for drug prices specifically? Producer PJ Elliot spoke with congressional reporter Ledge King to find out more.

Ledge King:

Its primary component is that it would allow Medicare to start negotiating drug prices beginning in 2023 with pharmaceutical companies so that they can get the best price. The VA, for example, is a federal agency that does it now, but Medicare has never been allowed to do it. Congress has always stopped that particular negotiation from happening, largely because big pharma doesn't want it. I mean, obviously negotiation usually leads to lower prices and that usually leads to smaller profits. So by doing this, this would be huge because it would allow millions of Americans to get their drugs for a lot cheaper conceivably than they are getting now. The other big component of this is it caps - or would cap, this deal's not done yet, is not passed yet - but it would cap out-of-pocket costs for Medicare patients at $2,000 a year, out of pocket prescription costs. So right now there is no cap and so at $2,000 a year, if you're a senior, you'd know the maximum you'd be paying for your drugs at any given 12 month period.

PJ Elliot:

So how did this and President Biden's other domestic agenda policies come together, and what's next?

Ledge King:

Joe Manchin and Chuck Schumer had to sort of come together for anything to happen because the Senate is 50/50 with the vice president, Kamala Harris, holding the tie breaking vote. So if anything is going to happen, Manchin - its most moderate member has to sign off. So what they're going to do is they're going to bring this probably next week. They hope that they keep all 50 Democrats in tow and they'll pass it through a sort of an arcane budget rule, called reconciliation, that allows a simple majority and allows them basically to bypass the filibuster. Normally they would need 60 votes to pass something like this, which would mean getting at least 10 Republicans to come on board. That's not going to happen. Republicans, they might get one or two. They will not get 10. So what's important about this deal is that it uses a special Senate rule to get around the normal filibuster rules, and we'll see if it passes next week. If they can keep all 50 together, it'll pass.

Taylor Wilson:

For Ledge's full story, click a link in today's episode description.

President Joe Biden was busy yesterday as he held a call with Chinese president Xi Jinping. The planned call was their first in more than four months and was dominated by tensions over Taiwan. Things are especially tense surrounding the possibility of a trip to the island next month by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. In all, the call lasted nearly two and a half hours ranging from Taiwan to a congressional bill passed this week, seeking to reduce US manufacturing reliance on China, particularly for semiconductors. But Taiwan is dominating the discourse. Craig Singleton, senior fellow at the nonprofit Foundation for Defense of Democracies, told the AP that Pelosi's trip would be significant.

Craig Singleton:

I think the Xi-Biden call went about as well as could be expected. There is clearly a White House-led effort to ensure that the intensifying competition between the United States and China does not veer into a military conflict. And although this latest call, like before that preceded it, did not result in a significant or meaningful deliverable, there is a lot of value in maintaining these sorts of leader to leader exchanges. They provide President Biden and Chinese leader Xi Jinping with an opportunity to exchange frank views about a range of issues, including those that they don't agree on. And I think should Speaker Pelosi proceed with the trip, it would coincide with the 75th anniversary of the founding of the People's Liberation Army in China. We're likely, I think, to see an increase, and a noticeable increase, in Chinese airspace incursions in and around Taiwan in the event that she proceeds with her trip.

We may even see something called a median line incursion, and that's a breach of the maritime border that exists in the center of the Taiwan Strait. I think what we're starting to see is that regardless of whether Speaker Pelosi ultimately decides to go, the White House is going to continue to reinforce both publicly and privately that the trip's goals are very limited and that this trip does not signify any sort of shift in America's One China policy.

Taylor Wilson:

Presidents Biden and Xi agreed to meet face to face at a time that has not yet been determined, though it may be at November's G20 Summit in Indonesia.

If you've ever thought about getting married at a Disney property, you're not alone. Consumer Travel reporter Eve Chen and producer PJ Elliot chat about how common it is to have a wedding with the mouse.

Eve Chen:

Thousands of couples get married at Disney properties all around the world each year. There's over 50 in Disney world alone, but there's also places at all the Disney parks across the country, at their private island in the Caribbean, on Disney Cruise Line. It's a thing.

PJ Elliot:

So what's the cost of having your wedding at a Disney property?

Eve Chen:

It doesn't have to be as expensive as you think. You see these pictures of these amazing weddings in front of the Cinderella castle and after hours, and indeed those can be very pricey, but actually the average price at Disney World is about the same as it is for the national average. The Knot estimated that the national average was about $28,000 for a wedding last year and Disney World says they're right in that same wheelhouse. The starting price is $7,500 and if you want a wedding inside the parks, then the starting price is $10,000. But by wedding standards, that is a low figure. Of course you can spend as much as you want because as you keep adding on experiences and depending on the venue, when would you choose to eat at any wedding the price can keep ballooning. So it's really up to the couple, but it can be affordable or it can be super expensive.

PJ Elliot:

What's included with some of these packages?

Eve Chen:

So a wedding will include at least the ceremony expenses, we're talking about the venue, the chair rentals, decor, the flowers, music or entertainment, all the things that you would normally spend on a wedding. A lot of couples also have their receptions at Disney properties. And the minimum that we talked about earlier - the $7,500 outside the parks, $10,000 inside the parks - that can include the reception costs as well. So it really depends on what the couple wants to do. So some couples only have their wedding at Disney World or Disney properties. Others only have their receptions there, but a lot of couples do both, make it sort of a destination experience. And so if they have both there, they can spend that minimum on that or even more and as much as they want to add on.

If you want to have a ride on Cinderella's carriage as a couple, that's an extra expense. If you want to have a portrait session inside the parks before they open to the public in wedding gowns and the formal attire, when the park is almost to yourself, that can be included in the package. Transportation for your guests from places on property to the venue. One other thing that couples can add to their wedding is having Disney characters come be part of their reception. So Mickey, Minnie, Beauty and the Beast, they can come take pictures with guests and the couple. Be part of the reception. Not the ceremony, but just the reception. But that would also be an extra fee. They try to work with a couple, not only their budget, but really what they want out of their wedding day, the ideas that they have in their mind and make it happen.

The latest golf tournament from the controversial LIV series tees off today. Its venue, the Old Course at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey. 48 golfers are traveling to the tour's third event, including Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka and others. LIV is funded by Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund and has long been criticized as a way for the kingdom to sport wash its human rights record. The country has been accused of a slew of human rights abuses, including politically motivated killings, torture, forced disappearances, and inhumane treatment of prisoners. Former president, Donald Trump, though, praised LIV and its Saudi connections.

Donald Trump:

Well, I've known these people for a long time in Saudi Arabia, and they've been friends of mine for a long time. They've invested in many American companies. They own big percentages of many, many American companies. And frankly, what they're doing for golf is so great. What they're doing for the players is so great. The salaries are going to go way up. The PGA was not loved by a lot of the players, as you know, for a long time. Now they have an alternative and nobody would've ever known there was going to be a gold rush like this.

Taylor Wilson:

For more on LIV, including an opinion piece from columnist Christine Brennan out this week, head to USA TODAY Sports.

And you can find 5 Things seven mornings a week, wherever you're listening right now. Thanks to PJ Elliot 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: Fatalities in Kentucky flooding, Disney-hosted weddings: 5 Things podcast