Start Here: $44 million from Weinstein, $16 billion for farmers, Trump v. Pelosi

https://abcnews.go.com/US/start-here-44-million-weinsteins-studio-16-billion-farmers/story?id=63227421

It’s Friday, May 24, 2019. Let’s start here.

A settlement, but it’s not settled

Harvey Weinstein and his former movie studio have tentatively agreed to a $44 million settlement with multiple women who said the disgraced producer sexually assaulted them.

When finalized, the agreement, which would be paid from the studio’s insurance and not by Weinstein personally, would provide about $30 million to the accusers and about $14 million to help cover legal fees.

But, as ABC News’ Aaron Katersky says on today’s episode of “Start Here,” with the former producer still facing criminal charges in New York “this does not let Harvey Weinstein entirely off the hook.”

PHOTO: Harvey Weinstein returns from lunch to State Supreme Court, in New York, April 26, 2019.Richard Drew/AP
Harvey Weinstein returns from lunch to State Supreme Court, in New York, April 26, 2019.

The war of the words

After House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the president would benefit from “an intervention,” Donald Trump responded on Thursday by saying “Crazy Nancy” was “a mess” and that “she’s lost it.”

As this feud drags on, ABC News’ Trish Turner tells us, members of the president’s party are still trying to get things done in Congress.

“Republicans,” Turner says, “are learning to basically ignore the drama that comes from this president.”

PHOTO: Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., meets with reporters at the Capitol, May 23, 2019. J. Scott Applewhite/AP
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., meets with reporters at the Capitol, May 23, 2019.

Your tax dollars at work

Trump unveiled a $16 billion aid package for farmers, similar to one announced last year, to help offset effects from the trade war with China.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture said it will provide $14.5 billion in direct payments, about $1.4 billion to purchase goods from farmers and another $100 million to develop additional markets in which to sell affected crops.

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said the $16 billion would be generated from tariffs on Chinese goods. ABC News’ Mark Remillard tells “Start Here” that’s not accurate.

“The costs of the tariffs,” Remillard says, “are borne by U.S. importers and U.S. consumers.”

PHOTO: A tractor pulls a square baler press and creates square bales from the straw of a harvested wheat field. STOCK PHOTO/Getty Images
A tractor pulls a square baler press and creates square bales from the straw of a harvested wheat field.

18 counts

Julian Assange on Thursday was charged with 18 counts tied to his alleged orchestration of Wikileaks disclosures in 2010, including potential violations of the Espionage Act.

ABC News’ Alex Mallin joins the podcast today to explain why these new charges are so significant: “If this was a criminal case before, this is now a First Amendment case.”

“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:

‘Mathematical models, statistics, estimates, they crunched some numbers based on how people say they ate’: Seven dietary factors may contribute to cancer risks.

62,000 pounds: A lot of beef is recalled because of potential E. coli contamination.

From our friends at FiveThirtyEight:

Are more moderate Democrats more electable? I don’t know, but they seem to be polling better with general election voters.

Doff your cap:

A beloved custodial worker received a special surprise last week, when staff and students named him “King for a Day” at his retirement party.

John Lockett, aka Mr. John, cried tears of joy when he was greeted by 685 kids at Sand Hill Elementary School in Carrollton, Georgia. The 83-year-old has been a janitor for more than a decade after previously working in construction.

VIDEO: Children make 83-year-old janitor king for a day Play
Children make 83-year-old janitor ‘king’ for a day

“He was so surprised that he just cried with the kids,” Principal Carla Meigs told “Good Morning America.” “It was so sweet. He is very humble, hardworking, just dedicated to the job. He is as good as they come.”

Meigs said the children gave him a crown, a cape and informed him it was “Mr. John Day.”

“It was the perfect day to celebrate him and make it about him,” Meigs added.