Start Here: Ukraine testimony reversal and Kentuckys close governors race
It’s Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2019. Let’s start here.
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1. Quid pro whoa
Gordon Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union, amended his testimony in the impeachment inquiry to confirm a quid pro quo with Ukraine, according to a transcript released by House Democrats on Tuesday.
“He’s updating it to say that he specifically told an adviser to the president of Ukraine that he presumed that the aid that was being withheld was contingent on announcing investigations into Joe Biden,” ABC News’ Katherine Faulders explains on “Start Here” today.
Sondland didn’t acknowledge this in his testimony last month, but he said the reversal came after he “refreshed” his “recollection” following testimony from William Taylor, the top U.S. diplomat in Ukraine.
2. Kentucky call
Andy Beshear, Kentucky’s Democratic attorney general, has declared victory in the close gubernatorial race against Republican Gov. Matt Bevin, who told supporters he would not be conceding.
“As it stands right now, the race is too close to call,” ABC News’ Kendall Karson says. “The two rivals are separated by 5,000 votes and this entire race is likely going to come back down to a recount.”
3. Mexico massacre
At least nine Americans were killed, including six children, after they were ambushed by an armed group between the Sonora and Chihuhua states in Mexico, according to Mexican officials.
A drug cartel has been blamed for the killing and President Donald Trump is demanding Mexico allow U.S. troops to “help in cleaning out these monsters.”
ABC News Chief National Correspondent Tom Llamas joins the podcast from Mexico City, “I had a chance to speak to a formal intel officer who knows this region well… and he tells me that there have been rival drug gangs and that there has been drug violence in this area forever.”
4. Iran tensions
In another violation of the 2015 nuclear agreement, Iran has announced plans to begin injecting uranium gas into centrifuges at its nuclear facility, Fordo.
“This is the secret, underground facility in Iran where they have over a thousand centrifuges,” ABC News’ Conor Finnegan, who covers the State Department, says. “They’ve been spinning empty for the last few years because this was meant to become a research facility under the nuclear deal.”
‘High degree of concern’: A 13-year-old boy who was charged with two counts of first-degree murder and robbery with a dangerous weapon escaped from law enforcement on Tuesday after a court appearance in North Carolina, officials said.
‘Looking to change things’: The attorney representing a group that said they were asked to move seats at an Illinois Buffalo Wild Wings because of their race is calling for the company to be “trailblazers” when it comes to standing up to racism.
“Cheer dad,” as Holland has come to be known, has been performing from the stands for about three weeks. But on Nov. 1 at the York High vs. Warhill High dame in Yorktown, Virginia, he was caught on camera and now has more than 10,000 overwhelmingly positive comments.
Holland said he was “just having fun.” But, “if this bring joy to folks then I ‘m happy to be that guy.”