It’s Thursday, Sept. 5, 2019. Let’s start here.
1. Tracking Dorian
ABC News Chief Meteorologist Ginger Zee tells “Start Here” that Charleston, South Carolina officials have taken a proactive approach to evacuation orders as Dorian approaches.
Dorian, which restrengthened to a Category 3 hurricane late Wednesday, might make landfall as it inches closer to the Carolinas — and South Carolina’s governor is warning that the time to evacuate will soon be over.
The hurricane has killed at least 20 in the Bahamas, as well as an elderly man in North Carolina, as the powerful storm charges up the Southeast coast.
“If you are still in an evacuation zone you still have time to get out — but time to get out is running out,” South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster said Wednesday.
“It’s the water that kills people,” McMaster warned, “and it’s clear that we’re going to have a lot of water.”
2. Climate conversations
ABC News’ Stephanie Ebbs explains to “Start Here” that while Democrats are united in their calls to slow climate change, “the ways they want to get to that are a little different.”
Hours before the debate Sen. Bernie Sanders called on all of the candidates to support a complete ban on fracking, the process of removing and processing natural gas. Natural gas has been one of the fastest growing sources of energy in the U.S. as it was seen as a “cleaner” alternative to coal, but climate experts have also raised concern about the release of methane that can contribute even more to global warming than carbon dioxide.
Similar to questions about natural gas, some candidates expressed doubt in expanding nuclear energy as an option to replace fossil fuels citing concerns about how the country handles nuclear waste.
“I would look at those plants and make sure they’re safe and figure out what upgrades we have to make to the plants,” Klobuchar said.
“But I wouldn’t expand nuclear unless we can find safe storage and figure this out.”
A few candidates acknowledged that their plans could mean some tension or costs for Americans as they encourage more people to switch to electric vehicles and shift major industries like agriculture.
“There are a lot of ways that we try to change our energy consumption and our pollution and god bless all of those ways. Some of it is with lightbulbs, some of it is on straws, some of it is on cheeseburgers, right? There are a lot of different pieces to this. And people are trying to find the part that they can work on and what can they do. And I’m in favor of that. And I’m going to help and support,” she said.
3. Border funding flap continues
ABC News’ Trish Turner tells the show that military construction projects are “the biggest deal for members back in their districts.”
The Pentagon notified lawmakers Wednesday about military construction projects in their districts that will be deferred or delayed in order to divert funding to build the president’s wall at the southern border — including hundreds of millions of dollars that was slated for military reconstruction due to Hurricane Maria.
Thirty-four projects in Republican congressional districts total $831,099,000 in deferred money for the border wall — $101,047,000 less than Democrats — though Republicans have three more projects being deferred than Democrats.
President Donald Trump said that he and Defense Secretary Mark Esper believe the money is needed in the name of “national security.”
“It is when you have thousands of people trying to rush our country. I think that’s national security, when you have drugs pouring into our country,” Trump said in the Oval Office on Wednesday. “I view that as national security and [Esper] had very good conversations with various members of Congress.”
4. Snuffing out flavored e-cigarettes
Dr. Nithin Paul from the ABC News Medical Unit tells the podcast that “the tables are turning on the vaping industry” in the wake of multiple teenagers hospitalized by alleged E-cigarette complications.
Michigan on Wednesday became the first state in the country to ban flavored e-cigarettes, as concerns continue to grow over the potential dangers of vaping.
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer made the decision after her chief medical executive found that vaping among young people “constitutes a public health emergency,” according to a press release from the governor’s office.
Vaping among high school students increased nationally by 78% from 2017 to 2018, and rose by 48% among middle school students during that same time period, according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
The FDA believes the sharp increase stems from the use of USB-flash-drive-like e-cigarettes, including the JUUL product, which have become majorly popular among young people.
“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.
‘Lens of skepticism’: A New Jersey man was arrested Wednesday for defrauding more than 30 victims out of more than $2 million after wooing them on internet dating sites.
‘There’s no rationale for that’: The search for a missing 10-year-old girl from Indiana came to a tragic end after her body was found in a shed behind her home and her stepmother was arrested for her murder.
‘I want to thank the jury for doing justice’: Former Obama White House counsel Greg Craig was found not guilty on a charge related to his private work in Ukraine on Wednesday, wrapping up a three-week-long trial in Washington.
‘This is a graphic reminder to slow down’: The Oklahoma Highway Patrol and Department of Public Safety released terrifying footage on Tuesday of a U-Haul that slammed into two men in Stringtown as a stark reminder for drivers to slow down — especially when the roads are slick and flashing lights are visible.
From our friends at FiveThirtyEight:
‘It was absolutely the right decision’: When the Democratic National Committee put the kibosh on plans for virtual caucuses in Iowa and Nevada, they may have pissed off the people who saw the event as a chance to give more people the opportunity to vote. But at least the DNC made the cybersecurity community happy.
Doff your cap:
“It was either leave the dogs on the street to fend for themselves…or do something about it,” Chella Phillips said on a phone interview with ABC News. “I just want these dogs to be safe. I could care less about the dog poop and pee in my house.”