‘Start Here’: Georgia race, Trump’s phone. What you need to know to start your day.


It’s Friday, Oct. 26, 2018. Thanks for choosing to start here.

1. Inside the hunt for suspected bomber who targeted Democrats

Federal authorities are now focusing on South Florida as the possible origin of some of the suspected bombs mailed this week to top Democratic political figures, multiple sources told ABC News.

Law enforcement agencies are devoting resources to the area to try and trace the packages back to their original drop-off sites.

Officials believe the suspected bombs, which were shipped in padded manila envelopes with six first-class mail “forever” stamps, all were mailed through the U.S. Postal Service, but ABC News learned a number of the packages had no originating postmarks.

ABC News’ Aaron Katersky and Jack Date take us inside the investigation as forensic experts dissect the packages in hopes of finding the bomber.

2. Claims of voter suppression in Georgia

Amid lawsuits and allegations of voter suppression, Republican Secretary of State Brian Kemp and Democrat Stacey Abrams are locked in a heated race in Georgia’s gubernatorial election.

Voting rights activists have accused Kemp, who is in charge of overseeing elections, of suppressing the minority vote. Kemp’s office reportedly blocked 53,000 voter registrations, 70 percent of which were from black applicants, according to the Associated Press. He called the accusations “a farce” during a debate this week.

ABC News’ Deborah Roberts breaks down the race in her home state.

3. Trump denies New York Times report on China tapping his iPhone

President Donald Trump denied a New York Times report that U.S. spy agencies believe China eavesdrops on the president when he calls friends and associates on an unsecured iPhone.

Trump tweeted yesterday morning the story was “so incorrect I do not have time here to correct it,” adding he only uses government phones.

ABC News has not independently verified the Times report, but what could foreign adversaries want to know from the private phone conversations?

“One priority is to learn military secrets and classified information,” John Cohen, former acting undersecretary at the Department of Homeland Security and an ABC News contributor, tells us. “But there’s also a great benefit to a foreign country to understand where the president’s head is at on issues such as trade, or in other areas where there are currently negotiations going on.”

4. What the migrants in the caravan are fleeing

Overnight, we heard the White House would deploy 800 troops to the southern border preparing for a potential caravan of thousands walking through Mexico.

Officials said they’ll be offering logistical support, setting up tents and reinforcing the fence.

A lot of the political rhetoric around the issue is lost on the actual people in that caravan. They’re just walking, slowly, in blazing temperatures. So why flee Honduras for this?

ABC News’ Victoria Moll Ramirez tells us about her family, who lives in Honduras, and the dangers they face on an hourly basis.


‘And others’: The president criticizes CNN the same week a bomb is mailed to the network.

‘We will vote them out’: Young voters, the largest share of the electorate, could make a huge difference in the midterms.

‘Global freeloading’: The president talks about prescription drug prices.

‘I can’t fathom how anybody with a conscience could murder their girlfriend and then go have dinner with somebody else’: Police released a timeline detailing what led to the murder of Lauren McCluskey.

‘A lot of people ask what “MMMBop” means’: Hanson explains a song.

From our partners at FiveThirtyEight:

How To Make Sense Of This Week’s Mail Bombs

Last ‘Nightline’:

How the investigation into the suspected mail-bomb campaign is unfolding: “Nightline” looks at how authorities are working to find the suspect.

What’s next for Megyn Kelly?: “Nightline” discusses Kelly’s comments on blackface and breaks down the significance of the controversy.

On this day in history:

Oct. 26, 1994 — Jordan and Israel sign a peace treaty.

Today’s must-see photo:

David Watson, of the U.S., throws during the men’s discus event at the Invictus Games in Sydney. (photo credit: Craig Golding/EPA via Shutterstock)

For more great photos from around the world click HERE.

Socially acceptable:

Watch what happens when a merchant asks thieves to return and rob him later.

All right, you’re off and running. You can always get the latest news on ABCNews.com and on the ABC News app. Details on how to subscribe to the “Start Here” podcast are below. See you tomorrow!

“Start Here” is the flagship daily news podcast from ABC News — 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. On Amazon Echo, ask Alexa to “Play ‘Start Here'” or add the “Start Here” skill to your Flash Briefing. Follow @StartHereABC on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for exclusive content, show updates and more.

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