'Start Here': Puerto Rico braces for Tropical Storm Dorian and Brazil rejects G-7 aid

Here's what you need to know to start your day.

It's Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2019. Let's start here.

1. Puerto Rico in the path

Tropical Storm Dorian is barreling toward Puerto Rico today, nearly two years after Hurricane Maria devastated the U.S. territory.

"Puerto Rico's power grid, while it has been beefed up and it's improved ... it's still very fragile," he says. "A storm, no matter what strength, could put that thing at risk."

The U.S. territory has already declared a state of emergency and Puerto Rico Gov. Wanda Vazquez said more than 7,400 generators and three mega generators are on the island. Dorian is expected to move through Puerto Rico today and toward the Dominican Republic later tonight.

2. Amazon inferno

“He is working very hard on the Amazon fires and in all respects doing a great job for the people of Brazil - Not easy," Trump tweeted on Tuesday. "He and his country have the full and complete support of the USA!”

Nearly 2 million acres of the "lungs of the world" have been destroyed by the rapidly spreading flames and scientists are fearful of the fires potentially changing the nature of the habitat, according to ABC News Chief National Correspondent Matt Gutman.

"They will char so much area, so much forest that it'll put Brazil, or parts of Brazil, past a tipping point turning forest into savanna," he says. "That's a major concern here."

3. Epstein's accusers speak

More than a dozen alleged victims of Jeffrey Epstein shared their stories in Manhattan federal court on Tuesday with many urging prosecutors to "finish what you have started" as the accused sex trafficker's criminal case is closed in the wake of his death.

"The reckoning must not end, it must continue," said Virginia Roberts Giuffre, an alleged victim of Epstein who said she was "recruited" as a teenager. "He did not act alone. We trust the government is listening and the others will be brought to justice."

Prosecutors vowed in court to pursue charges against any co-conspirators.

Epstein's lawyers called on the judge to launch an investigation into their client's death, criticizing conditions at the Metropolitan Correctional Center where he died by suicide. Prosecutors said there's an ongoing active investigation by a Southern District of New York and FBI team, as well as a grand jury investigation.

4. Trade theft case

A former Google executive is facing charges of trade secret theft for allegedly stealing Google's self-driving car technology and giving it to Uber.

Anthony Levandowski is accused of removing thousands of files from Google's autonomous car program before leaving the company without prior notice, according to federal officials. He has denied he stole secret documents.

"What this really shows is the underbelly and dark world of Silicon Valley dealings," ABC News' Alex Stone tells the podcast. "The competition is fierce, especially with autonomous vehicles."

Uber is not facing charges and has been cooperating in the case, investigators said.

"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.


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Doff your cap:

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