It’s Friday, Jan. 24, 2019. Let’s start here.
1. Abuse of power argument
On the second day of the House impeachment managers’ opening arguments, Democrats argued that President Donald Trump’s pressure campaign against Ukraine was an abuse of his power.
“It’s not about him having done something that Democrats disagree with from the perspective of foreign affairs, it’s about him having entirely abused his power in using his office for personal gain — that, at least, is the argument that the Democrats are making,” ABC News Legal Analyst Kate Shaw says on “Start Here.”
The president’s legal team has said that abuse of power is not an impeachable offense and that Trump’s actions do not warrant his removal from office.
2. What we know about new coronavirus
A deadly new coronavirus continues to spread beyond China where it originated, sickening hundreds of people, as a second suspected case is reported in the U.S.
“We don’t know how this virus behaves,” ABC’s Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Jennifer Ashton tells the podcast, but, she adds, “the overall risk the U.S. population is still deemed to be low.”
3. ‘Birth tourism’ restrictions
The Trump administration is cracking down on what it calls “birth tourism” by implementing new plans that could limit travel for pregnant women coming to the U.S. to give birth, according to State Department officials.
Consular officers around the world will have more power to deny applications for women they believe are traveling for the “primary purpose” of giving birth, but ABC News’ Serena Marshall says they’re prohibited from asking an applicant if she’s pregnant.
“They’d have to determine this by looking at her or some roundabout way of getting at the question,” Marshall tells the podcast. “So there’s already been a ton of push-back by groups like the ACLU that are painting this as the administration being anti-women.”
“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.
‘Biggest TV ad blitz’: As Democrats lay out their impeachment case against the president, his reelection campaign plans its biggest television ad blitz yet next week, gearing up for the second week of the Senate impeachment trial.
‘Lowering the cost’: A coalition of health insurers pledged $55 million to help manufacture generic prescription drugs at lower prices, as the skyrocketing cost of medication has triggered a national reckoning.
‘We know there are problems’: The new governor of Mississippi announced a series of reforms to boost safety for prison inmates and staff following a series of violent deaths, riots, escapes, and a federal lawsuit backed by hip-hop artist Yo Gotti and music mogul Jay-Z.
From our friends at FiveThirtyEight:
FiveThirtyEight’s Nate Silver takes an early look at what the chances are of a brokered convention.
Doff your cap:
Bill White is a ex-Marine who, years into his retirement, still proudly wears his Marine uniform and likes to spend time with his friends from the service.
But White isn’t your average veteran. The Stockton, California, resident is 104 years old, having earned a Purple Heart for surviving the Battle of Iwo Jima in 1945.
Now the WWII vet has a new mission: “Operation Valentine,” in which he wants to receive Valentine’s Day cards from strangers around the world.
White, an avid scrapbooker, says he hopes to save all the cards he receives so they can be a part of his history.
“So far White has received cards from all over … he has even received some gifts and packages,” Diane Wright, executive director of The Oaks at Inglewood, where White resides, told ABC News. “We are looking at over 2,000 cards so far. Quite astonishing!”
You can find out how to contribute to White’s mission by reading his story.