‘Start Here’: Trump asks China for Biden probe, Vegas has settlement, N. Korea talks

It’s Friday, Oct. 4, 2019. Let’s start here.

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1. Trump calls on China to investigate Bidens

President Trump ramped up his attacks Thursday against Vice President Joe Biden, calling on both Ukraine and China to investigate him and his son’s business dealings.

“I would think that if they were honest about it, they would start a major investigation into the Bidens,” Trump said of Ukraine, adding, “China should start an investigation into the Bidens. Because what happened in China is just about as bad as what happened with Ukraine.”

ABC News White House correspondent Karen Travers tells “Start Here” that the White House has still not refuted any specifics within the whistleblower complaint about Trump’s July 25 call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy.

2. Shooting settlement

A settlement of up to $800 million to resolve claims against MGM Resorts stemming from the 2017 Las Vegas massacre was announced on Thursday.

“Our goal has always been to resolve these matters so our community and the victims and their families can move forward in the healing process,” Jim Murren, chairman and CEO of MGM Resorts, said in a statement.

Robert Eglet, a lead counsel for the victims of the massacre and their families, said the agreement “marks a milestone in the recovery process” for the victims.

“While nothing will be able to bring back the lives lost or undo the horrors so many suffered on that day, this settlement will provide fair compensation for thousands of victims and their families,” Eglet said in a statement.

Under the settlement agreement, the victims have agreed to dismiss all pending litigation against MGM Resorts, according to the company’s statement.

ABC News Chief National correspondent Matt Gutman tells “Start Here” that some victims say MGM “stepped up to the plate” with this settlement.

PHOTO: The 2 broken windows on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino.Denise Truscello/Getty Images, FILE
The 2 broken windows on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino.

3. New North Korea talks

Talks between the U.S. and North Korea are set to resume today after the failed Hanoi summit between the two nations and a series of North Korean rocket launches have heightened tensions between the two sides.

ABC News Chief Global Affairs correspondent Martha Raddatz tells the podcast that the recent launches are a way for Kim Jong Un to remind the U.S. of what they’re capable of.

PHOTO: North Korean leader Kim Jong Un attends the Emergency Convocation of the Central Military Committee Emergency Expansion Meeting of the Workers Party of North Korea in this undated photo released, Sept. 6, 2src19.Kcna/Reuters, FILE
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un attends the Emergency Convocation of the Central Military Committee Emergency Expansion Meeting of the Workers’ Party of North Korea in this undated photo released, Sept. 6, 2019.

4. DIY rape kit warning

Connecticut on Thursday became the latest state to question the manufacturers of do-it-yourself rape kits over their representation that their products will yield evidence admissible in court.

Brooklyn-based “MeToo Kit” and New Jersey-based PRESERVEkit have offered products for women to self-collect evidence of a sexual assault instead of relying on an invasive hospital examination.

Connecticut has now joined several other states in notifying the manufacturers their products may violate fair trade laws.

Connecticut District Attorney William Tong tells “Start Here” that he believes the kits “do much more harm than good” and that women should approach authorities to be tested by professionals.

“The fact is that 77% of sexual assault survivors do not report the crime,” Jane Mason, co-founder of PRESERVEkit, posted to her website. “The PRESERVEkit exists for the 77%.”

“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:

‘I suggest we stop the back and forth’: In newly disclosed text messages shared with Congress, the top U.S. diplomat in Ukraine writes to a group of other American diplomats that “I think it’s crazy to withhold security assistance for help with a political campaign.”

‘A difficult period in the life of the Church’: The Vatican orders a review of the Buffalo diocese over its handling of sex abuse allegations.

‘Alters the purpose of DNA collection’: The Trump administration moves to collect DNA from detained migrants.

From our friends at FiveThirtyEight:

Lee Drutman, looking at the impeachment process, says that if Republicans ever turn on Trump, it’ll happen all at once.

Doff your cap:

The mystery homeless woman who captivated the country with her singing voice in a Los Angeles subway station is now on her way to a record deal with a Grammy-nominated producer.

“I actually wrote a deal memo to her and I don’t even know her,” Joel Diamond, CEO and president of Silver Blue Records, told “Good Morning America.” “I’ve never done that my entire life. It’s crazy.”

Diamond wrote the deal memo for Emily Zamourka, who has been living on the streets of Los Angeles for two years.

Read more about Emily Zamourka’s incredible story here.

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