On today’s episode of the 5 Things podcast: China starts military drills surrounding Taiwan after Pelosi’s visit
The U.S. maintains that it has not shifted in its policy toward the island. Plus, travel reporter Zach Wichter says flight prices will soon drop, closing arguments are set in Brittney Griner’s trial, money and tech reporter Terry Collins talks about employers looking for skills over experience and the NFL preseason is here.
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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.
Taylor Wilson:
Good morning. I’m Taylor Wilson and this is 5 Things you need to know Thursday, the 4th of August, 2022. Today, China’s response to Pelosi’s Taiwan visit, plus employers are changing the way they hire and more.
Taylor Wilson:
Here are some of the top headlines:

China began military exercises today in six areas surrounding Taiwan. Drills were prompted by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s trip there this week. China had warned of vague consequences for the visit as Beijing and Washington throw the self-governing island into the middle of their rising tensions. China have used Taiwan as part of its territory though Taiwan sees itself as a sovereign country. The US has long taken a murky middle ground trying to support Taiwan without upsetting China, but with her trip, Pelosi became the highest ranking American official to visit Taiwan in 25 years. Pelosi was defiant in defending her visit.
Rep. Nancy Pelosi:
I just hope that it’s really clear that while China has stood in the way of Taiwan participating and going to certain meetings, that they understand that they will not stand in the way of people coming to Taiwan. We have to show the world and that’s one of the purposes of our trip, to show the world the success of the people of Taiwan. Their courage, their courage to change their own country to become more democratic.
Taylor Wilson:
As for China’s response, military drills are set to run through Sunday and include missile strikes on targets both north and south of the island. They’re similar to Chinese military drills aimed at intimidating Taiwan’s leaders and voters in the mid 1990s. China state Xinhua News Agency said the exercises were joint operations focused on blockade, C target assault, ground targets and airspace control. As for the current US stance on Taiwan, John Kirby, strategic coordinator for the National Security Council said Pelosi’s trip is consistent with US policy, but he made clear this week that the US does not support Taiwan independence.
John Kirby:
Nothing has changed about our one China policy, which is of course guided by the Taiwan Relations Act. The Three Joint US PRC Communiqués and the Six Assurances. We have said, and we have repeatedly said that we oppose any unilateral changes to the status quo from either side, we have said that we do not support Taiwan independence. And we have said that we expect cross trait differences to be resolved by peaceful means.
Taylor Wilson:
For more stay with USATODAY.com.

Relief is on the horizon for air travelers in the US. As travel reporter Zach Wichter tells producer PJ Elliott, airfares could start averaging less than $300 round trip for domestic flights booked this month.
Zach Wichter:
Airline tickets this summer have been extremely expensive. I was looking at some data from Hopper, which is an online booking platform. And according to the experts I spoke to there, this summer set records. It was the highest domestic average round trip airfare since they started collecting data in 2014. I believe they said that in May, the price of tickets peaked around $410 round trip on average. And since then it’s started to come down a little bit and their prediction is that it’s going to continue to come down or continue to go down kind of through this month of August into September and October before heading up again as people get closer into booking for Thanksgiving in the holidays over the winter.
PJ Elliott:
So Zach, looking ahead to the holidays, is there an idea of travelers will be paying more or less than they have over the last few years for their tickets?
Zach Wichter:
You know, I’m not exactly sure how it’s going to compare to last year. What I can say is there is a sort of predictable seasonality to airline prices. So it’s always more expensive to travel closer to say Christmas or Thanksgiving than it is to travel in the middle of October or in late September or something like that. So that sort of cycle that we see every year that maybe got a little more disrupted during the pandemic is going to be more normalized this year.
Taylor Wilson:
For Zach’s full story, find a link in today’s show description.

Closing arguments are expected today in WNBA star Brittney Griner’s trial in Russia. She’s been detained there since February in a cannabis possession case and could face up to 10 years in prison if convicted. Last week, the US said it proposed a deal for the release of Griner and Paul Whelan, an American imprisoned in Russia on espionage charges. But White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Russia made a bad faith counter offer that American officials don’t consider serious. Griner’s defense lawyer, Maria Blagovolina, said sentencing was expected very soon.

There’s a growing trend in the job sector, both in the US and abroad. More employers are looking to hire workers based on their skills instead of how much experience they have. Money and Tech reporter, Terry Collins has more.
Terry Collins:
So more employers are looking to hire workers based on their skills rather than how much experience they have. So it’s almost to a point of now where companies are, almost nearly half of companies are adopting a skills first approach, a strategy that helps reduce bias and a third of replacing resumes as a top gauge with other skills base assessments. Right now, employers who don’t, maybe not only probably don’t have as much experience are getting a chance to be as competitive with those who do have experience in the resumes. So everything’s kind of just changing right now, kind of a bit of a leveling field of sorts. And this is all according to a survey conducted by HireVue, a video interviewing platform that uses AI driven software to help companies seek equitable hiring.
So employers are looking for employees who are a bit more versatile, like they may get hired for one job, but then at the same time, they also have to possibly be ready to maybe pivot and maybe move into another position if necessary, but that employer should be giving possible employees warning, ample time. And if they are so interested, be willing to train that employee or prospective employee to be prepared to handle that position. So a lot of jobs today now are just require a lot of flexibility in addition to patience with a new job.
These studies come as the US economy is shrinking, feeling recession fears, meanwhile, while the dollar is suddenly strong globally, and these surveys arrive as job creation is continuing in the US. Employers added a robust 372,000 jobs in June to go with an average 457,000 jobs per month so far in 2022. So if you are looking for a job, it is a good time to continue doing so despite this imbalance market that we have right now,
Taylor Wilson:
NFL football is back, at least the preseason. Tonight, the Las Vegas Raiders and Jacksonville Jaguars open up the preseason schedule with the Hall of Fame game in Canton, Ohio. The game is an annual tradition to kick off the upcoming season held the same week as the league’s hall of fame inductions, which are on Saturday. It’s the fourth time the Raiders have been in the game and the second for the Jaguars, it’s also the debut for new Raiders coach Josh McDaniels, who’s a Canton native, as well as for Doug Peterson debuting this year for the Jags. You can tune in at 8:00 PM Eastern 5:00 PM Pacific on NBC. And you can find 5 Things every day of the year, right here, wherever you’re listening right now. Thanks to PJ Elliott for his great work on the shownd I’m back tomorrow with more of 5 Things from USA TODAY.


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