‘Start Here’: Venezuela, US asylum policy, Foxconn


It’s Thursday, Jan. 31, 2019. Let’s start here.

1. Venezuelans rally against Maduro

Thousands took to the streets in Venezuela yesterday to demand President Nicolas Maduro’s resignation after the U.S. officially recognized opposition leader Juan Guaido.

ABC News Senior Foreign Correspondent Ian Pannell is in Caracas and tells us Maduro told a Russian news outlet he’s ready to talk with Guaido.

2. Foxconn announces ‘adjustment of plans’

Foxconn, the Taiwan-based electronics maker, announced on Wednesday that it’s proposed Wisconsin project will be focused on research and development, a reversal from past statements that the firm would create thousands of manufacturing jobs.

The company said in a statement it remains committed to the project and creating 13,000 jobs, but added that the global market has shifted and “necessitated the adjustment of plans for all projects, including Wisconsin.”

Rick Rommel, a business reporter with the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, walks us through the story.

3. Immigration deadline looms

Congress has until Feb. 15 to agree on an immigration deal before the government runs out of money.

Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle agree that some measures regarding border security are required, but trying to negotiate on Trump’s border wall campaign promise remains an issue, ABC News’ Ali Rogin tells us.

“The president has used the term ‘wall’ so much,” Rogan says, “that anything on the Republican side that does not include the wall could potentially be seen as a defeat, and anything on the Democrat side that does include a wall could be seen as a defeat.”

This week, the Trump administration’s new asylum-seeker policy, which requires people wait in Mexico as their cases work their way through the courts, took effect. There’s been a significant increase in requests, and ABC News contributor John Cohen, a former acting undersecretary at the Department of Homeland Security, argues in favor of sending more resources to the border to process cases.

Other news:

$582,834.82: A jury rules Rand Paul’s neighbor has to pay more than half a million dollars to the Kentucky senator following a 2017 scuffle over a pile of leaves.

‘I mean, you have hundreds of miles of open space, and they go out there, and they’re loaded up with drugs or they have women in the backseat of the cars with duct tape all over the place’: An administration official tells ABC News there’s no evidence to support the president’s repeated claims human traffickers are duct-taping women near the border — or that prayer rugs have been found.

‘We will provide more clarity on the numbers when we have it’: More U.S. troops are being sent to the border.

From our partners at FiveThirtyEight:

Early-voting laws probably don’t boost turnout: The data suggests that early voting actually doesn’t increase turnout — it just shifts when existing voters cast their ballots.

Last ‘Nightline’:

Support pours in for ‘Empire’ star Jussie Smollett after attack: Chicago police say they are “taking this investigation” very seriously, and Smollett has since been treated and released from the hospital.

Cliff Sims is latest to publish a White House tell-all: Sims admits he “was a viper too” during his time in the Trump White House.

On this day in history:

Jan. 31, 2017 — Donald Trump fires Sally Yates after she instructs the Justice Department to not defend the travel ban.

The must-see photo:

Opposition National Assembly President Juan Guaido takes part in a walkout against President Nicolas Maduro, in Caracas, Venezuela. (photo credit: Ariana Cubillos/AP)

For more great photos from around the world CLICK HERE.

Cold on social:

Aerial footage shows the view of the Chicago River as the city experiences brutally cold temperatures.

All right, you’re off and running. 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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