‘Start Here’: Iran vows to retaliate after Soleimani strike and Weinstein charged with sex crimes in Los Angeles


It’s Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2019. Let’s start here.

1. Iran tensions

How will Iran respond to the U.S. drone strike that killed Qassem Soleimani?

Iran is vowing to retaliate and mourners are gathered in the streets to grieve the military leader’s death, according to ABC News Chief Global Affairs Correspondent Martha Raddatz on “Start Here.”

“Everywhere we have gone there are images of General Soleimani,” she says. “You really feel the impact of what has happened when you’re here and how incredibly significant the loss of General Soleimani is to the Iranian people.”

The airstrike has also escalated political tensions back in Washington, D.C., where ABC News Chief White House Correspondent Jonathan Karl says Democrats are skeptical about the intelligence behind the strike.

“Congress has been provided only a classified description of the intelligence,” he says. “The demands now that at least Democrats are making in Congress is that the administration should put out for the public the intelligence that was used to justify this attack. No indication whether or not that’s going to happen.”

2. New Weinstein charges

As his criminal trial gets underway in New York, disgraced Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein now faces sex crimes charges in Los Angeles where he’s accused of raping one woman and sexually assaulting another in separate incidents over a two-day period in 2013.

“It covers such a short period of time, the way it’s laid out by the L.A. County District Attorney’s Office,” ABC News Senior Investigative Reporter Aaron Katersky tells the podcast. “Harvey Weinstein rapes a woman one evening and the very next evening is back at it with a second woman and that’s just a month before Harvey Weinstein is alleged to have raped a woman here in New York City.”

Weinstein has denied any allegations of non-consensual sex.

3. Bolton to testify?

John Bolton, President Donald Trump’s former national security adviser, is offering to testify in the Senate impeachment trial if he’s subpoenaed.

Bolton is one of four key witnesses that Senate Democrats say must testify for the trial to be fair, but leadership in the Republican-controlled Senate remains at an impasse over whether to hear from any witnesses at all.

“Mitch McConnell, we know, is standing firm, he wants to get going with a trial and then decide on witnesses mid-trial, as was done during the Clinton impeachment process,” ABC News Senior Congressional Correspondent Mary Bruce says. “But Democrats, of course, want a commitment now.”

“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.

Elsewhere:

‘Criminal charges’: Two dozen Australians in the state of New South Wales have been arrested since early November for intentionally setting fires as record-large blazes continue to burn across the country.

‘Screams for help’: A woman has been rescued after being stuck inside a clothing donation bin for three days when a person passing by heard her screams for help.

‘Instrument of death’: In what lawyers believe to be the largest child wrongful death settlement in American history, Ikea is set to pay $46 million to a California family whose son was killed after a dresser tipped over and fell on him.

‘Great sadness’: The oldest remaining survivor of the USS Indianapolis from WWII has died.

From our friends at FiveThirtyEight:

‘What decades of primary polls tell us about the 2020 Democratic presidential race’: Someone polling around where Biden was in the second half of the year has roughly a 35 percent chance of claiming the Democratic nomination.

Doff your cap:

Every dog has it’s day — even if it’s years in the making.

Sandi, a 12-year-old dog, has finally found her forever home after she spent 2,461 days, more than six years, at the Marion-Grant County Humane Society in Indiana.

“She kind of runs the place,” said Christy Bernadin, one of the shelter employees. “She’s been here longer than any employee.”

Her goodbye sendoff was “filled with pets, kisses and even a few tears,” according to MGCHS.

“I’m so happy,” Sue Kershner, a representative for the humane society said. “But it’s bittersweet for the other dogs.”



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