It's Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2019. Thanks for choosing to start here.
1. Trump defends shutdown to farmers
It's Day 25 of the government shutdown and Americans across the country are feeling it.
Travelers at airports -- one of whom sneaked a gun onto an international flight in Atlanta -- are seeing longer security lines as about 800,000 Transportation Security Administration agents, many of whom are calling out sick in an apparent protest, still aren't being paid.
Lawmakers have discussed options to reopen the government, but President Donald Trump isn't budging on his request for $5.7 billion to fund a border wall, a demand on which Democrats have refused to cave.
ABC News Senior Congressional Correspondent Mary Bruce tells us, "The problem is, no one wants to blink first."
Trump was in New Orleans on Monday to pitch the border wall to a convention of farmers who've felt the effects of the president's trade policies and the shutdown.
Brent Renner, who operates a corn, soybean, and hog farm in Klemme, Iowa, shares his concerns over the shutdown: "The longer this goes on, the more difficult it will be for me to conduct business as usual."
2. House Republicans block Steve King from committees
House Republicans are punishing Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, after his most recent racially charged comments drew condemnation not just from Democrats but also members of his own party.
"White nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization -- how did that language become offensive?" King said in a recent interview with The New York Times.
Members of the House Republican Steering Committee voted Monday night to block the Iowa congressman from committee assignments, a move that ABC News' John Verhovek tells us "basically strips King of any of his discernible powers in Congress this entire session."
King, who's denied he's racist, said in a statement the decision was "political" and that his remarks were "completely mischaracterized." House Democrats today will vote on a resolution disapproving of his comments, but a censure vote could come later this week.
3. Key Brexit vote planned for today
Last month, Theresa May went before British Parliament seeking approval from lawmakers after spending months hammering out terms with European officials on Brexit.
However, lawmakers were ready to turn her down and perhaps deliver a vote of no confidence, so she postponed the vote to today.
ABC News Foreign Correspondent James Longman says even if the vote succeeds, the process is far from over.
'Not only did I never work for Russia, I think it's a disgrace that you even asked that question because it's a whole big fat hoax': The president responds to a story by The New York Times, which, by the way, won a 2018 Pulitzer Prize for its coverage of Trump and Russia.
'I assume he's speaking about those kinds of things, but you'd have to ask him': The secretary of state takes a stab at what the president actually means in a series of tweets related to foreign policy.
'Many, many french fries': The president of the United States of America welcomes college football national champion Clemson to the White House with a buffet of fast food.
'This will be a sweet cleanup': A truck carrying 40,000 pounds of liquid chocolate overturns on an Arizona highway.
From our partners at FiveThirtyEight:
Why Harris and O'Rourke may have more upside than Sanders and Biden: In particular, our method claims there are five essential groups of Democratic voters, which we describe as ...
Chilling new details emerge in Jayme Closs case: The kidnapped Wisconsin teen says she was forced to stay under the suspect's bed and her mother was forced to tape her mouth shut before she was killed, according to a new criminal complaint.
Childhood abduction survivor Alicia Kozakiewicz tells her story of recovery: Kozakiewicz, like Jayme Closs, was 13 when she was abducted. Seventeen years later, she's sharing her experience overcoming her trauma.
On this day in history:
Jan. 15, 2009 -- US Airways Flight 1459 crash lands on the Hudson River after colliding with geese shortly after takeoff.
The must-see photo:
Kimono-clad women ride a train after attending a ceremony to celebrate "Coming-of-Age Day" in Tokyo. Men and women celebrate as they're formally recognized as adults in Japanese society at the age of 20. (photo credit: Kimimasa Mayama/EPA/Rex/Shutterstock)
For more great photos from around the world CLICK HERE.
What's hot on social:
After authorities in an Austrian town closed roads to all vehicles because of avalanche warnings, a resident got creative by using skis and a horse to get to around.
See you tomorrow.
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