US kills top al-Qaida leader, MLB trade deadline arrives: 5 Things podcast

On today’s episode of the 5 Things podcast: US kills top al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahri

He was hidng in Kabul. Plus, national correspondent Deborah Berry reports on people of color winning Congressional races in mostly white districts, 37 people are now dead in Kentucky flooding, the MLB trade deadline is here and travel reporter Zach Wichter says the FAA is looking for the public’s opinion on airplane seat sizes.

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 Tuesday, the 2nd of August, 2022. Today, the US killing of al-Qaeda’s leader, plus a rising death toll in Kentucky flooding, and more.

Here are some of the top headlines:

  1. The uncontrolled McKinney fire continues to burn in Northern California and grew to 86 square miles yesterday. Two people were found dead inside a burned vehicle.
  2. A Texas militia member was sentenced to more than seven years in prison yesterday for his role in the Capitol riot. It’s the most severe punishment yet in a case related to January 6th.
  3. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is expected to visit Taiwan. There’s been no official announcement, but local media there are reporting she’ll arrive tonight. She’d become the highest ranking elected US official to visit the self-ruled island in more than 25 years.

President Joe Biden said yesterday that a drone strike in Afghanistan over the weekend killed top al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri, the successor of Osama bin Laden. He was bin Laden’s top deputy during 9/11 attacks and helped carry out the bombing of the USS Cole in 2000 and the 1998 bombings of US embassies in Tanzania and Kenya. The drone strike came Saturday night in downtown Kabul while he was standing on a balcony at a house. It’s the first known US attack in Afghanistan since Biden ended the 20-year war there last year.

President Biden:

My fellow Americans, on Saturday at my direction, the United States successfully concluded an airstrike in Kabul, Afghanistan, that killed the Amir of al-Qaeda, Ayman al-Zawahiri. Al-Zawahiri was bin Laden’s leader. He was with him the whole time. He was his number two man, his deputy at the time the terrorists attacked 9/11. Now justice has been delivered, and this terrorist leader is no more. People around the world no longer need to fear the vicious and determined killer. The United States continues to demonstrate our resolve and our capacity to defend the American people against those who seek to do us harm. We make it clear again tonight that no matter how long it takes, no matter where you hide, if you are a threat to our people, the United States will find you and take you out.

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