It's Tuesday, Sept. 17, 2019. Let's start here.
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1. Iran tensions
Tensions are escalating between the U.S. and Iran as the Trump administration accuses Tehran of crippling Saudi Arabia's key oil facilities in a weekend drone attack.
Hours after the massive attack, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo blamed the Iranian government, which denied involvement. President Donald Trump initially tweeted that the U.S. was "locked and loaded" to respond to Iran if necessary, but has stopped short of directly pointing a finger at the regime.
"That was a very large attack and it could be met with an attack, many, many times larger, very easily by our country, but we're going to find out who definitively did it first," he told reporters at the White House on Monday.
"It's looking that way," President Trump says when asked if if there is evidence that Iran was behind the attack on the Saudi oil facility.— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) September 16, 2019
"As soon as we find out definitively we'll let you know," he adds. https://t.co/LikcIgXaoi pic.twitter.com/ExoKMd4zeO
As the U.S. maintains its maximum pressure campaign against Iran, ABC News Chief Global Affairs Correspondent Martha Raddatz questions on "Start Here" whether the strategy is working.
"The U.S. really has to take a look at where this has gotten the Americans because so far oil tankers have been attacked, they've shot down a U.S. drone, and now according to the U.S., they're launching missiles and drones at oil facilities," she says, adding, "If there's no response to this, then what do the Iranians think?"
2. Israel's do-over
Embattled Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is fighting for his job in Israel's do-over election today as he faces a formidable challenge from centrist and rival Benny Gantz.
Netanyahu failed to form a ruling coalition after barely winning his election back in April amid possible corruption charges. In the months since, he's made appeals to his right-wing base to try to secure another victory in today's re-do.
"Netanyahu had a decade to annex the West Bank, or the Jordan Valley, or settlements," ABC News' Jordana Miller says. "He has traditionally staved off those far-right elements, but this time around he needs them."
3. Autoworkers strike
Tens of thousands of General Motors factory workers are on strike, demanding a fair return for what they say were big concessions made during the 2009 auto industry bailout.
"They forfeited pay, and they forfeited vacation, and they forfeited benefits, and they said when things get better for you, they're going to get better for us," the Detroit Free Press' Phoebe Wall Howard tells the podcast.
Contract talks between the United Auto Workers and GM resumed on Monday, but negotiations over wages, health care benefits and and more remain at a stalemate.
After the union announced the strike over the weekend, GM issued a statement including the offer rejected by the UAW-- $7 billion in investments and more than 5,400 jobs-- and said the company has "negotiated in good faith and with a sense of urgency."
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'Probable cause for intoxication': The Bay Area father of an 11-year-old child has been charged with manslaughter after he allegedly ran over his son with his boat this weekend after he had been drinking.
'There’s nothing cute about this': California has become the third state to issue an executive order regarding the sale of e-cigarettes but fell short of an outright ban on flavored products after efforts during its legislative session fell short, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced in a press conference Monday.
'It's a shock': Two high school football players died this weekend nationwide after sustaining injuries on the field.
'I am a very lucky guy': Stu MacDonald purchases a megabucks ticket once a week and usually, his wife Claudia tells him to "get the winning ticket," but the one day she forgot, he wound up with a prize worth $4.6 million.
From our friends at FiveThirtyEight:
'Fires on the sidelines!': NFL's Week 2 is in the books. And boy, did it have it all. Inexplicable replay decisions! Calls blown dead that should not have been!
Doff your cap:
Harmony Hobbs was, for a long time, a figure within “mommy wine culture” -- a culture that encourages drinking alcohol to take the edge off of parenting and which has been reinforced by internet memes and products with mantras like “mommy fuel” or “I wine because my kids whine.”
But in 2017, Hobbs, a mom of three from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, who had created a successful blog called “Modern Mommy Madness,” began a new journey. She gave up alcohol and went sober, realizing that her drinking had gotten out of hand. She was no longer drinking for fun, but rather, to mask the pressures of motherhood.
“Instantly, it made me feel better,” Hobbs said. “I had rules because I didn’t want to be irresponsible, so I would drink a lot at home -- wine. Just a glass or two and I feel better. Then, I [would] get the kids again and I would drink like the rest of the bottle and start on another one.”
She then transformed her blog about drinking into one that chronicled her painful road to recovery.
“It’s ridiculous that at 37 years old, I’m going to have to relearn how to cope with the difficulties of life: grief and pain and abandonment and loss and the everyday stress that accompanies motherhood,” Harmony Hobbs wrote in a blog post after being sober for 25 days. “Maybe I never knew how to handle those things in the first place, and that’s what landed me in a 12-step program. The ‘hows’ and ‘whys’ don’t matter -- I just want to get better.”