It’s Monday, Jan. 14, 2019. Thanks for choosing to start here.
1. Trump fields Russia accusations as shutdown reaches 24th day
The partial government shutdown, spurred by a battle over building a border wall, is now the longest in American history, and it’s clear whom most Americans hold responsible: President Donald Trump.
A new ABC News/Washington Post poll finds 53 percent of those surveyed pin the blame on Trump, and the Republicans in Congress, while just 29 percent blame the Democrats.
ABC News’ Tara Palmeri says separate stories from The New York Times and Washington Post that contain accusations about the president’s involvement with Russia and Vladimir Putin may actually be the bigger talking point for Democrats as the week begins. (The New York Times won a 2018 Pulitzer Prize for its coverage of Trump and Russia.)
The White House has denied both reports.
We’ll also hear from ABC News’ David Kerley, who explains why we’re seeing a rise in TSA agents calling out sick.
2. Saudi teen arrives in Canada
The Saudi teen granted asylum after fleeing a family she claimed abused her has arrived in Canada.
A week ago, Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun, 18, tried to fly to Australia, where she planned to apply for asylum, but was stopped at an airport in Thailand, where authorities took her passport. She barricaded herself in a Bangkok hotel room, publicly pleaded for help on social media and demanded U.N. intervention.
ABC News’ Julia Macfarlane walks us through the teen’s saga: “Twitter changed everything.”
3. Indiana case highlights ‘rape by deception’ controversy
In most places where sex is discussed, you’re going to hear the word “consent.”
However, some advocates for sexual abuse victims say the word means different things to different people.
ABC News’ Linsey Davis tells us about a young woman named Abigail Finney, who said she was tricked into having sex and the law didn’t protect her.
‘The drug companies are holding our lives hostage so they can profit’: Drug prices in the U.S. are outpacing inflation, according to a study from 2008 to 2016 that shows companies hiked up prices.
‘Efforts to discourage, intimidate, or otherwise pressure’: Democrats issue a statement asking the president to ease up on Michael Cohen.
‘I’m asking myself a lot of questions and none of them make sense’: The man accused of kidnapping Jayme Closs and murdering her parents appears in court today.
From our partners at FiveThirtyEight:
How Julian Castro could win the 2020 Democratic primary: Just 44 years old, Castro first held public office at the age of 26 when he won a seat on the city council in San Antonio. He then went on to run for mayor in 2005, but narrowly lost that race before handily winning in 2009.
Woman who found Jayme Closs tells the story of the girl’s remarkable rescue: A social worker was walking her dog when she said 13-year-old Jayme Closs, who had been missing for three months after her parents were found murdered, walked up to her and asked for help.
The chilling true story behind ‘Dirty John’: Debra Newell shares her story of falling in love with a violent con man and how it’s inspired a podcast, TV series and documentary.
On this day in history:
Jan. 14, 1999 — President Bill Clinton’s impeachment trial is underway in the Senate.
A zoo in India welcomed a baby hippo in healthy condition. The calf was playful with its protective mother, Dimpy.
All right, you’re off and running. You can always get the latest news on ABCNews.com and on the ABC News app. Details on how to subscribe to the “Start Here” podcast are below.
See you tomorrow.
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