\'Start Here\': Carter Page, Michael Cohen And The White Helmets. What You Need To Know To Start Your Day

It's July 23, 2018. Here are some of the stories we're talking about on ABC News' new daily podcast, "Start Here."

1. FBI dumps files, says Carter Page is "agent of a foreign power"

He was an energy consultant, a Trump adviser and, according to the FBI, a recruit of the Russian government.

This weekend, the FBI dumped more than 400 pages of files about Carter Page -- applications for surveillance warrants. These documents were secretly filed in 2016, just a month before the presidential election. Together, they formed the backbone of the government's case that Page was taking orders from the Kremlin.

ABC News’ David Wright says Page is denying the charges.

"Start Here" is a daily ABC News podcast hosted by Brad Mielke featuring original reporting on stories that are driving the national conversation. Listen for FREE on the ABC News app, Apple Podcasts, TuneIn, Spotify, Stitcher, Google Play Music, iHeartRadio -- or ask Alexa: "Play 'Start Here.'"

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2. Michael Cohen says he has audio of Trump discussing payment to former Playmate

Sources told ABC News this weekend that the raid on the offices of President Donald Trump's former attorney Michael Cohen revealed audio of Trump discussing a payment for the rights to former Playboy Playmate Karen McDougal's story of an alleged affair with Trump.

ABC News' John Santucci says the question is whether these payments were made to influence the outcome of the election.

PHOTO: Attorney Michael Cohen in New York, April 11, 2018.Mary Altaffer/AP, file
Attorney Michael Cohen in New York, April 11, 2018.

3. Israeli military evacuates White Helmets from Syria

Syria has been in a state of civil war for seven years. During that time, Israel never got publicly involved or took a side.

That changed this weekend, as the Israeli military evacuated hundreds of Syrian rescue workers, known as White Helmets, from the area known as the Golan Heights, which straddles Syria and Israel.

ABC News’ Jordana Miller in Jerusalem says the rescue effort is part of what Israel is calling its “Good Neighbor Policy.”

PHOTO: Syrian civil defense volunteers, known as the White Helmets, work around destroyed buildings following reported air strikes on the rebel-held town of Douma, on the eastern outskirts of the capital Damascus, Oct. 5, 2016.Sameer Al-Doumy/AFP/Getty Images, FILE
Syrian civil defense volunteers, known as the White Helmets, work around destroyed buildings following reported air strikes on the rebel-held town of Douma, on the eastern outskirts of the capital Damascus, Oct. 5, 2016.

4. 11 taxi drivers gunned down in South Africa

It was a sad headline in South Africa. 11 people were killed when someone opened fire on a minibus taxi.

But there was more to this story. Those 11 people were actually all taxi drivers themselves. And it turns out, a lot of people in the taxi business have been dying lately.

ABC News’ Lizel Thom in Johannesburg says there’s “no rhyme or reason” to the violence, which often takes place with passengers still in the van.

PHOTO: A minibus with bullet holes on its side is seen on the road between Weenen and Colenso, in KwaZulu Natal province, South Africa, July 22, 2018.Claudine Senegal/Ladysmith Herald via AP
A minibus with bullet holes on its side is seen on the road between Weenen and Colenso, in KwaZulu Natal province, South Africa, July 22, 2018.

Source : https://abcnews.go.com/US/start-here-carter-page-michael-cohen-white-helmets-start/story?id=56709372

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