It’s Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2019. Let’s start here.
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1. Vindman’s concerns
Army Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, a national security official who was on the July phone call between President Donald Trump and the Ukrainian president, told House impeachment investigators that he twice reported his concerns to top officials about Trump pressuring Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden.
“I did not think it was proper to demand that a foreign government investigate a U.S. citizen, and I was worried about the implications for the U.S. government’s support of Ukraine,” Vindman said, according to a copy of his opening remarks obtained by ABC News.
During his deposition behind closed doors on Tuesday, Democrats accused Republicans of pushing Vindman to reveal the identity of the whistleblower, according to ABC News Senior Congressional Correspondent Mary Bruce on “Start Here” today.
“Republicans say that Chairman Adam Schiff prevented them from asking questions about who Vindman spoke to in July after this phone call,” she says. “Vindman has said he was not the whistleblower, but Democrats are essentially accusing the Republicans of trying to go through a process of elimination-style of questioning to determine the identity of the whistleblower.”
2. Teachers on strike
Negotiations continue as Chicago teachers remain on strike, demanding smaller class sizes, higher wages, and lower housing costs.
Natasha Dunn, a Chicago mother, fills “Start Here” in on what life has been like amid the ongoing strike for her son, a senior in high school preparing for college.
“His concern has been because he’s been out of school for so long, that he’s not going to meet those benchmarks that they’re supposed to meet at a certain time to get them ready for the AP exam,” she says, adding, “This is the most important time in a senior’s life.”
3. College compensation
The NCAA will now allow student athletes to be compensated for their names, images and likenesses in a major shift for college sports.
The board of governors voted unanimously for the decision with chair Michael V. Drake saying they “must embrace change to provide the best possible experience for college athletes,” but it’s an early step in what could be a long process for the NCAA, according to ABC News Legal Analyst and ESPN “Outside the Lines” co-host Ryan Smith.
“The devil is in the details,” he says. “How will these rules be constructed? Will it allow someone like a transcendent talent, Zion Williamson, or any other number of collegiate athletes out there to do these kinds of deals, or will they try to restrict it if they feel something is ‘not in the best interest of collegiate athletics.'”
4. Lebanon protests
Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri resigned on Tuesday after days of demonstrations from anti-government protesters angry over an economic crisis.
“When you look at the history of Lebanon … where there’s pollution, where there’s corruption and frustration, and there’s been in-fighting in that government, and people couldn’t take it anymore,” ABC News Foreign Editor Kirit Radia explains to “Start Here.”
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‘An informal hold’: Additional State Department officials are set to testify Wednesday in the Trump impeachment probe, amid word that White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney had placed an informal hold on security assistance to Ukraine.
‘The actions of a wicked man’: The father of former Rep. Katie Hill pushes for the prosecution of her “evil” estranged husband who he says utilized “revenge porn” against Hill.
‘This absolutely made our country less safe’: Despite a record numbers of migrants stopped by federal authorities along the southern U.S. border, tens of thousands more evaded capture over the past year, according to Customs and Border Protection.
From our friends at FiveThirtyEight:
FiveThirtyEight’s Amelia Thomson-DeVeaux looks at why Democrats are moving quickly with impeachment.
Doff your cap:
It played one of the most crucial roles in a top-secret U.S. military operation in Syria on Sunday, racing through an underground tunnel and cornering one of the world’s most sought-after terrorists faster than any human or robot could.
It’s a dog — a Belgian Malinois, to be exact — and although top brass is withholding its name, it’s being hailed as a hero in the operation that ultimately resulted in the Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s death.
President Donald Trump, in a hastily-arranged address to the nation on Sunday, called it “a dog, a beautiful dog, a talented dog,” and — though it sustained injuries of its own — he gave it credit for ensuring that the dozens of operators on the ground completed the two-hour mission unscathed.