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Start Here: Giuliani associates arrested and Syrian refugees fleeing

It’s Friday, Oct. 11, 2019. Let’s start here.

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1. Giuliani associates arrested

Two men who reportedly have assisted Rudy Giuliani in his efforts to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden’s family have been arrested and were charged Thursday in connection with an alleged scheme to circumvent federal laws against foreign campaign donations.

The indictment alleges that Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman “conspired to circumvent the federal law against foreign influence by engaging in a scheme to funnel foreign money to candidates ….”

ABC News’ Alex Mallin explains the cases’ larger ramifications: “they are key witnesses in House Democrats impeachment investigation of the president.”

2. Refugee crisis

Thousands of refugees are fleeing northeastern Syria as Turkish forces continue its offensive targeting the Syrian Kurds.

ABC News Senior Foreign correspondent Ian Pannell is in the region and tells “Start Here” that many of those on the move feel trapped: “We can’t go to Turkey, we can’t go to Iraq, we have nowhere safe to go.”

PHOTO: Smoke rises over the Syrian town of Ras al-Ain, as seen from the Turkish border town on October 09, 2019, in Ceylanpinar, Turkey.Burak Kara/Getty Images

Smoke rises over the Syrian town of Ras al-Ain, as seen from the Turkish border town on October 09, 2019, in Ceylanpinar, Turkey.

3. One year after Michael

Residents of Mexico Beach, Florida are still rebuilding one year after Hurricane Michael devastated the city.

ABC News Senior Meteorologist Ginger Zee went back to talk to residents, some of whom are still living in FEMA housing units and feeling the pressure find a new place to live.

PHOTO: In this Oct. 12, 2018, file photo, debris from homes destroyed by Hurricane Michael litters the ground in Mexico Beach, Fla.Gerald Herbert/AP, FILE

In this Oct. 12, 2018, file photo, debris from homes destroyed by Hurricane Michael litters the ground in Mexico Beach, Fla.

“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.

Elsewhere:

‘Indigenous Peoples’ Day’: Washington, D.C. will join the list of cities and states to recognize Indigenous Peoples’ Day in place of Columbus Day, after the D.C. Council passed emergency legislation on Tuesday to rename the federal holiday.

‘Slammed him to the ground’: A 7-year-old New York boy is in critical but stable condition after a homeless man picked him up and slammed him headfirst into the ground while he and his brother were waiting for pizza to be delivered outside their grandfather’s house.

‘Kill it immediately’: The northern snakehead fish, an invasive species that can breathe air and survive on land, has been found in Georgia waters, according to wildlife officials.

‘Visibly upset’: A 21-year-old woman surrendered her newborn to a Los Angeles fire station this week, shedding light on the power of Safe Surrender laws.

From our friends at FiveThirtyEight:

‘Automatic voter registration’: As recently as 2015, automatic voter registration did not exist in the United States. Yet today, 16 states plus the District of Columbia have enacted (though in several cases, not yet implemented) some version of AVR. Almost overnight, it has become a core part of the agenda for those who want to make it easier for more people to vote.

Doff your cap:

Prince Harry and Ed Sheeran poke fun at their ginger hair and their look-alike appearances in a new video on mental health.

The video, released Thursday on World Mental Health Day, opens with Sheeran getting ready to go meet Harry.

“Guys, this World Mental Health Day, reach out, make sure that your friends, strangers, look out for anybody that might be suffering in silence,” Harry said directly to the camera. “We’re all in this together.”

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