It’s Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2019. As we get ready to ring in the new year, here’s what you need to know to start your day.
1. Religious attacks
The Southern Poverty Law Center’s Lecia Brooks joins “Start Here” today as law enforcement grapples with how to address the uptick in anti-Semitic attacks and attacks targeting houses of worship in general.
“There does need to be an increase in security,” she says. “We see the attacks on synagogues, we see the attacks on mosques, we see the attacks in Christian churches– so houses of worship are targeted for hate crimes, that’s just a fact.”
But Brooks notes there is concern around an increased police presence that could make communities “vulnerable to racial profiling.”
2. Australia burning
Amid a record heatwave in Australia, firefighters are battling devastating wildfires that have killed 10 people and destroyed more than 1,000 homes in the past few months.
“They just don’t have the resources to be able to grapple something on this scale,” ABC News Chief National Correspondent Matt Gutman says. “I don’t even know if the United States would have those kind of resources.”
Despite calls to cancel Sydney’s New Year‘s Eve fireworks display, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the celebration would continue as a show of the country’s resilience.
3. Data privacy is 2020
A new data privacy law takes effect in California on New Year’s Day that will allow consumers to see the personal data collected by companies and request that it be deleted.
The California Consumer Privacy Act applies to companies that operate in the state, but users across the country could see its impact, according to Hayley Tsukayama, a legislative activist with the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
“We’ve slowly been losing our privacy in a lot of ways and this gives us a way to stand up to companies and say, ‘Hey, I just want to know what you have on me,'” she tells the podcast.
“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.
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‘Tariffs have not boosted manufacturing’: President Donald Trump’s tariffs and the retaliation by countries he has targeted have resulted in job losses and higher costs for U.S. manufacturers, negatively affecting them overall, a federal study recently found.
‘He will undoubtedly be right back’: A federal judge dismissed a lawsuit Monday brought by a former top deputy to former national security adviser John Bolton regarding testimony in the impeachment probe led by House Democrats.
‘More than fit enough’: According to letters written by three doctors and released by his campaign on Monday, Sen. Bernie Sanders is currently in “good health” nearly three months after he suffered a heart attack that took him off the campaign trail for several weeks.
From our friends at FiveThirtyEight:
The FiveThirtyEight team rings in the new year by taking a look back at some of their best work from 2019.
Doff your cap:
Tabatha Adams of Woodlawn, Ohio, noticed all year long how hard her regular Waffle House waitress, Mikia, worked at her job. So when she went with her friends to their weekly Friday breakfast last week, she organized it so they all gave Mikia, a single mother of five, a $100 tip — $800 in all.
It was all part of a social media movement called Shock and Claus, which encourages groups of people to leave $100-per-person tips at “a local greasy spoon” around the holidays. You can see more examples at ShockAndClause.com.
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