It’s Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2019. Let’s start here.
1. Impeachment delivery
There are 59 pages of records that describe an attempted meeting between Rudy Giuliani and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy and an effort to remove U.S. Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch from her post, according to ABC News’ Lucien Bruggeman on “Start Here.”
“There are very strong suggestions that associates of Rudy Giuliani were actually surveilling her in Ukraine,” he says.
In the meantime, the impeachment trial is on track to begin next week, but there are still deliberations about allowing witnesses later on as leadership in the Republican-controlled Senate faces pressure from the White House to hold a vote to dismiss the case altogether.
“They’re hoping after the arguments all happen, maybe there’s a loss of appetite,” ABC News’ Trish Turner tells the podcast. “Maybe they don’t want witnesses and so maybe they would just dismiss outright.”
2. Democratic debate
Less than three weeks ahead of the Iowa caucuses, Democratic presidential hopefuls faced off on the debate stage in Des Moines last night with tensions flaring between Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders.
But ABC News Political Director Rick Klein says the progressives weren’t looking to attack each other: “I think Elizabeth Warren was trying to be particularly careful in not looking like she was calling her longtime friend a sexist, knowing that they’re going up against the guy that a lot of Democrats consider a sexist.”
3. Flight fuel dump
A Delta Airlines passenger jet dumped fuel over a Los Angeles neighborhood playground on Tuesday as the plane was preparing for an emergency landing.
At least 60 people, including both children and adults, were evaluated by firefighters and paramedics after the incident, according to the Los Angeles County Fire Department.
The procedure is to dump fuel over sparsely populated areas to get to a safe weight to land the plane, ABC News Senior Transportation Correspondent David Kerley says, “This pilot continued to dump fuel as he circled back over Los Angeles and all the way down to 2,300 feet.”
Delta Airlines said in a statement, “The aircraft landed safely after a release of fuel, which was required as part of normal procedure to reach a safe landing weight. We are in touch with Los Angeles World Airports and the LA County Fire Department and share concerns regarding reported minor injuries to adults and children at a school in the area.”
4. Prosecutor sues city
A top prosecutor in St. Louis, Missouri is accusing the city and its police union of a coordinated, racist conspiracy to drive her from office.
In her federal civil rights lawsuit, St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner alleges racist and illegal efforts of her opponents to block police reforms meant to benefit minorities.
“She has been fighting from Day 1 to institute some of these measures and has met with great resistance from many on the police force, but in particular the police union, who she is suing,” ABC News’ Steve Osunsami says. “She is alleging a vast conspiracy here and she has really met, in some cases, a brick wall.”
The police union issued a statement calling Gardner’s lawsuit “frivolous and without merit.”
“Start Here,” ABC News’ flagship podcast, offers a straightforward look at the day’s top stories in 20 minutes. Listen for free every weekday on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, iHeartRadio, Spotify, Stitcher, TuneIn or the ABC News app. Follow @StartHereABC on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for exclusive content and show updates.
‘Tragic occurrence’: The Chicago Zoological Society has had to euthanize its female African lion at the Brookfield Zoo after she suffered injuries from an accidental fall just two weeks after euthanizing its male African lion due to age related complications.
‘No one believed her’: A 14-year-old girl resorted to installing cameras in her bedroom and recording the alleged physical abuse she endured because no one believed her, her mom and police said.
‘No one should be homeless’: A group of homeless mothers who refused to leave a vacant home they were squatting in with their children, were evicted amid the growing homeless crisis in California.
‘Extensive investigations’: Iran’s judiciary spokesman on Tuesday announced the arrests of an unspecified number of suspects in connection with the accidental shootdown of a Ukrainian passenger jet that killed all 176 people on board shortly after takeoff from Tehran last week.
From our friends at FiveThirtyEight:
‘What went down at the January Democratic debate’: Overall, Biden didn’t say a lot that he had not already said in previous debates. If you assume he’s generally winning then this felt like running down the clock, effectively.
Doff your cap:
After an intense tournament for the “Jeopardy! for the Greatest of All Time” title, contestant Ken Jennings on Tuesday beat contestants James Holzhauer, a.k.a. Jeopardy James, and Brad Rutter, to win the $1 million in prize money.
Jennings won two of last week’s three matches, with Holzhauer just behind after winning Wednesday’s contest. The first to reach three wins was crowned champ.
On Saturday, Jennings finally followed Holzhauer on Twitter and tweeted, “BREAKING: I have decided to follow James Holzhauer on Twitter, since he’s been following me on Jeopardy all week.”
Jennings holds the record for the longest winning streak with 74 consecutive games, for a total take of $3,370,700.
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