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‘Start Here’: Sanders and Warren tensions simmer ahead of debate and Astros fire manager, GM after cheating investigation



It’s Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2019. Let’s start here.

1. Progressives and punditry

Democratic presidential hopefuls will face off on the debate stage today for the last time before the Iowa caucuses amid increasing tensions between Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass.

Warren confirmed a CNN report on Monday that in 2018, Sanders disagreed with her when she said a woman could win in 2020 against President Donald Trump, but she added, “I have no interest in discussing this private meeting any further because Bernie and I have far more in common than our differences on punditry.”

Sanders denied ever telling her that a woman couldn’t win, saying in a statement, “It’s sad that, three weeks before the Iowa caucus and a year after that private conversation, staff who weren’t in the room are lying about what happened.”

On today’s “Start Here,” ABC News’ Adam Kelsey breaks down the drama between the progressive pair, who had maintained a non-aggression pact at the beginning of the campaign: “If there’s any time for these two to create some separation between each other it’s going to be at this debate tonight.”

2. Trainees kicked out

Attorney General William Barr announced Monday that 21 Saudi students will be expelled from the U.S. following an investigation into last month’s deadly shooting at the Naval Air Station in Pensacola, Florida.

Barr said the shooter, Lt. Mohammed Alshamrani, was “motivated by jihadist ideology.”

ABC News Chief Justice correspondent Pierre Thomas says that while the 21 military trainees did not aid in the attack, some were found to have “derogatory material” on their electronic devices.

3. The two popes

In a new book, retired Pope Benedict XVI is speaking out against allowing married older, married men to be ordained as priests, a proposal that Pope Francis is considering to address a priest shortage.

“I think it raises the question of how do you deal with two Catholic leaders being alive at the same time,” says ABC News’ Megan Williams in Rome. “Many Catholics are saying, is this the time where we should start bringing in rules to deal with popes who more and more will retire instead of die.”

4. Two out in Houston

The Houson Astros fired general manager Jeff Luhnow and manager A.J. Hinch on Monday, hours after MLB handed down a one-year suspension for the pair in connection with a sign-stealing scheme during the 2017 season.

According to the investigation’s findings, which was initiated after a 2019 article by The Athletic, the Astros utilized footage from the center field camera to identify signs and used a “runner” to relay the information to the dugout.

In separate statements, both Luhnow and Hinch denied having any role in directing or overseeing the scheme but acknowledged they failed to stop the cheating.

ESPN’s Jeff Passan tells “Start Here” that the investigation was recently expanded beyond the Astros: “What makes this thing so tricky for Major League Baseball is it wasn’t just the Houston Astros who were using technology to make themselves better.”

“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.


‘A nightmare’: A 22-year-old man has been arrested after pushing his elderly landlord so violently down the front stairs of his building in a dispute over rent that the man died.

‘No one did anything’: Authorities dropped charges against an Alabama man who was accused of killing his wife 30 years ago, saying another man has confessed to the murder.

‘No threat to aviation’: A missing teen with autism was found at Orlando International Airport on Friday after passing through a Transportation Safety Administration checkpoint by using someone else’s boarding pass, authorities confirmed.

‘More charges are expected’: A man born before World War II even began has been arrested after allegedly robbing a bank in South Carolina while wearing a mask.

From our friends at FiveThirtyEight:

‘Why Booker’s campaign never really took off’: On Monday, New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker dropped out of the presidential race. And for a candidate who has long been pegged as a presidential aspirant, even while he was still mayor of Newark, it’s remarkable how little impact Booker’s candidacy made on the Democratic primary.

Doff your cap:

A Granbury, Texas, man who bravely jumped into action last month by gunning down an active shooter at a church has received the state’s highest civilian honor.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott presented Jack Wilson with the Medal of Courage Monday morning for stopping “a gunman in a deadly shooting at a church in North Texas.”

Wilson, 71, is a former reserve deputy sheriff who was at the West Freeway Church of Christ in Fort Worth on Dec. 29, when Keith Thomas Kinnunen opened fire during a service.

“I don’t see myself as a hero,” Wilson told reporters after the shooting. “I see myself as doing what needed to be done to take out the evil threat.”

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Two dead, seven injured after South Carolina bar shooting



HARTSVILLE, S.C. — Two people were killed and seven people were injured early Sunday in a shooting at a bar in South Carolina, officials said.

The shooting took place at Mac’s Lounge in Hartsville, Darlington County Coroner Todd Hardee told news outlets.

The conditions of those injured weren’t immediately clear. No further details, including what led to the shooting, were immediately released. More information will be released later Sunday, he said.

The coroner said the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division would help process the scene.

According to its Facebook page, Mac’s Lounge also serves as a music venue.

Hartsville is about 25 miles (40 kilometers) northwest of Florence, South Carolina, and about 40 miles (64 kilometers) south of the North Carolina state line.

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As some Americans closely watch Trump’s impeachment trial, others say their interest has faded



PHOENIX — Sarah Edwards woke up early Saturday, thinking less about President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial and more about getting her golden retriever puppy, Ralphie, to the dog park downtown.

It was not that Edwards, 40, who was born and raised in Phoenix, did not understand the event’s historical significance or its importance — her curiosity in the proceedings grew when a formal inquiry was announced and was piqued again last month when the House voted to pass two articles of impeachment against Trump. But she was exhausted after reading the news coverage about Trump’s all-but-imminent acquittal by the Republican-controlled Senate. The facts seemed blurred, and her interest began to fade.

Rather than follow every detail, she decided to pay attention to just the major developments.

“Sometimes, that just makes for a better day,” said Edwards, who works in the health insurance industry, adding that her interest in the trial has diminished because she feels like Trump has gotten away with so many egregious acts during his presidency and the outcome will be no different this time.

“I’ve just lost so much hope,” she said.

Personal attorney to President Donald Trump, Jay Sekulow, speaks during the impeachment trial in the Senate on Jan. 25.Senate TV via AP

The Senate’s trial into the charges against Trump began on Jan. 21, marking it only the third time in American history that a president has been impeached.

While the Senate impeachment trial that began Jan. 21 was broadcast live on TV and the internet and made the front pages of newspapers across the country, the public’s interest has waxed and waned. Like Edwards, some people say they believe the outcome of the trial has been predetermined, causing their interest to fade. Others have remained engaged, following every detail, while some have pulled away completely.

Traffic on news sites show that between Monday and Thursday, impeachment trial coverage did not attract the most viewers (that went to other Trump-related coverage, which captured 35 million views). But it still held public interest, coming in third place with 13,106,960 views, right behind the coronavirus, which received 13,851,440 views, said Sachin Kamdar, CEO of, a web analytics firm.

Benedict Nicholson, managing editor of Newswhip, a company that tracks how people engage with stories across social networks, said their data showed that weekly engagement to web content about impeachment peaked at around 80 million the week of Dec. 16, when the House voted to impeach Trump. Last week, when the Senate trial began, it showed about 22 million social media engagements for impeachment-related coverage through Thursday.

Nicholson noted that the trial proceedings did not start until Tuesday and focused more on rules and processes, which could explain the much lower engagement numbers.

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“I think it’s fair to say that although it’s not been as big a week in terms of engagement as some of the House proceedings, people are very much still paying attention to what is going on,” he said, adding that the numbers are still growing.

Eric Forman, 43, an IT engineer in Phoenix, was one of those who paid close attention when the House hearings began, watching CSPAN for at least two to three hours every day, along with reading stories online each evening. But his interest waned last week when the Senate approved a trial rules resolution by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-KY, that left the question of whether the chamber would subpoena witnesses and documents for later in the trial. Recent polls have shown that many Americans would like to hear from witnesses..

But when the decision was postponed, that’s the moment Forman said he knew Trump would be acquitted.

“That’s like presenting the evidence of your case after the judge has already hit the gavel,” he said, adding that he stopped keeping up with the proceedings as much as he had before. “They are having a trial without having a trial, and it’s a sham.”

Nancy Flynn, 51, of Las Vegas, said she followed the impeachment trial closely until last week when she lost interest after listening to arguments by House Manager Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif. She said she did not find the lead impeachment prosecutor credible. But she intended to start paying attention again as Trump’s defense team presents its case, and senators begin questioning both sides.

“I think they (Democrats) are going after him because they don’t like him,” said Flynn, who owns a small marketing business.

She said she believes Trump will be acquitted of the charges that he used his presidential power to pressure Ukraine to investigate his Democratic political rivals. “They (Democrats) are really setting a dangerous precedent.”

While some have lingering curiosity about the trial’s developments, others say they are not keeping up with it at all because nothing will sway them from their views.

Nathan Beck, 40, of Los Angeles, said he has no interest in watching the trial and will vote for Trump no matter what because “when Trump speaks, it’s from the heart, unlike the other people.”

House impeachment manager Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., speaks during the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump on Jan. 23.Senate TV via AP

Natasha Watson, a Philadelphia resident who was visiting Detroit to participate in an equity, diversity and inclusion workshop last week, said watching the impeachment process has left her “disheartened and annoyed.”

“I really don’t really have faith that it’s going to make a difference at all,” she said, predicting that Senate Republicans would unanimously vote to keep Trump in office. “I have no doubt in my mind that he (Trump) will be our next president and we will suffer for it.”

Cody Quinn, 37, who works for a car dealership in Las Vegas, said he has not paid any attention to the impeachment proceedings because he feels it’s out of his hands and watching the trial would only bring him frustration.

“We vote and we’ve done our job,” Quinn said, adding that he does not believe lawmakers have brought forth any evidence that shows Trump committed a crime. “Now it’s up to the politicians we voted for.”

Others have little interest in continuing to watch the proceedings because they feel their time would be better spent paying attention to the upcoming presidential election.

“It’s like watching someone sitting in front of all their friends and asking them if they should send you to jail, and you know they are going to say no,” said Lakisha Banales, 42, a phlebotomist at a blood bank in Las Vegas. “Let’s move on and all come together to get someone into office who doesn’t cause so much division.”

Patrick Monahan, 26, a law student from Grosse Pointe Shores, Michigan, said he also believes lawmakers have been voting along party lines.

“I think the most important thing is probably just getting through with this,” said Monahan, who watched “probably three quarters” of the House hearing and is watching some of the Senate proceedings. “We just need to move on with this and start getting ready for 2020 (the election).”

Many are still committed to keeping up with details of the impeachment trial, regardless of outcome. Ronald Simms, 36, of Beverly Hills, California, said he understands that people are not watching because they feel the trial’s end has been predetermined, but he thinks it is important for Americans to pay attention.

“This is a historic moment and it’s finally happening and it’s important and everybody should be watching,” he said. “If anything, people need to be informed of what their government is doing, what their president is doing. What the president does is news.”

Mark Nimmons, 53, a lifelong Democrat who lives in the Detroit suburb of Southfield, Michigan, and works as a robot programmer for Ford Motor Co.,says he has watched “quite a lot” of the process in both the House and the Senate.

“I really do believe that this is the biggest threat to our democracy or democracy, period, that this country has ever had,” he said. “We really and truly need our democracy to pass this test.”

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Coronavirus Live Updates: Death Toll Reaches 56 as U.S. Finds Third Case



Public health officials in Toronto announced on Saturday night that test results showed that Canada has its first “presumptive” case of coronavirus.

Dr. Barbara Yaffe, Ontario’s associate chief medical officer of health, said the patient is a man in his 50s who returned to Toronto on Jan. 22 after visiting Wuhan, China. The following day he was admitted to a major Toronto hospital with a respiratory infection. He is now in stable condition.

Dr. David Williams, Ontario’s chief medical officer of health, said that while they “are convinced” they have a positive case, a government laboratory in Winnipeg, Manitoba, will run additional tests for confirmation, which is why health officials are still calling it presumptive.

On Saturday, Portugal’s health ministry said in a statement that doctors were monitoring and treating a patient in the Curry Cabral hospital in Lisbon, who is believed to have contracted the virus during a recent stay in Wuhan. The patient, whose identity was not disclosed, was described as being in a stable condition. The Portuguese ministry is awaiting the results of hospital tests to confirm the virus.

In a sign of the growing global dread about the disease, Taiwan said on Sunday that it would bar all visitors from China’s Hubei Province to the self-governing island, where a handful of cases have been confirmed. Taiwan’s government also said it would suspend applications from Chinese citizens for travel permits except in special cases, such as disease control or humanitarian medical assistance.

In a sign that the central government was ramping up its response to contain the outbreak, China’s National Health Commission said it would send 1,230 medical experts to Wuhan to assist in treatment.

The army has sent another 450 people, from three military medical universities, to Wuhan, according to a state media article that the health commission shared on its website. And the air force sent military transport aircraft to the cities of Shanghai, Xi’an and Chongqing to pick up emergency airlifts of medical team members and medical supplies for Wuhan.

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