The Rundown for Jan. 2, 2019

TRUMP TO MEET WITH CONGRESSIONAL LEADERS OVER SHUTDOWN… President Trump is planning to sit down with eight top congressional leaders of both parties today for the first time in the 12-day-old partial government shutdown. Homeland Security Department officials are expected to attend the meeting, according to congressional staffers. Democrats take control of the House tomorrow and have vowed to pass legislation immediately to fund the Department of Homeland Security through February 8 without the $5 billion Trump has demanded to build a wall along the southern border with Mexico. Democrats also plan to pass six other bills to fund remaining closed portions of the federal government through September 30.

SYRIA WITHDRAWAL PLAN SLOWED DOWN… The White House announced yesterday that the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Syria will be carried out over a period of four months. The announcement follows President Trump’s previous declaration that all U.S. forces would be pulled out within a month. Trump’s initial withdrawal plan drew international criticism and was blamed for the abrupt retirement of Secretary of Defense James Mattis.

KIM JONG UN WANTS TO MEET WITH TRUMP… North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said yesterday in a televised New Year’s address to his communist nation that he’s willing to meet with President Trump at any time in 2019 to discuss denuclearization. Kim warned, however, that Pyongyang may find a “new path” if the U.S. maintains its current sanctions. The North Korean leader also urged the U.S. to seek compromises if denuclearization is the goal.

FAMILY CLAIMS AMERICAN INNOCENT OF RUSSIA’S SPY CHARGES… The family of an American man detained in Russia on spy charges insists he is innocent. Family members say retired U.S. Marine Paul Whelan was visiting Moscow for a wedding when he was arrested by Russia’s FSB state security service. The U.S. State Department says it expects Moscow to provide consular access to Whelan.

NEW HORIZON COLLECTS DATA ON DISTANT COSMIC BODY… NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft withstood its most recent challenge early yesterday morning when it passed and observed an object 4 billion miles away. Scientists and their families at Johns Hopkins University’s Applied Physics Laboratory celebrated once the spacecraft navigated past Ultima Thule, a roughly 22-square-mile rock of ice. The rock became the most distant cosmic body yet explored by mankind. NASA scientists hope the data they collect will help explain the origin of the universe.

JIMMY OSMOND RECOVERING FROM STROKE… Former Osmond Family singer Jimmy Osmond is recovering from a stroke he suffered in Birmingham, England, during his performance as Captain Hook in a performance of “Peter Pan.” Osmond completed his performance and was driven to the hospital after. The 55-year-old performer is the youngest sibling in the singing family. He previously suffered a stroke in 2004 that was blamed on a heart defect.

SINGER RAY SAWYER DIES… Family members have confirmed that Ray Sawyer, who fronted the 1970s band Dr Hook & the Medicine Show, died Friday at age 81. Sawyer was a member of the band from 1969 to 1981. He sang lead vocals in the band’s hits “Sylvia’s Mother” and “The Cover of the Rolling Stone.”

Iowa 27, #18 Mississippi State 22 in the Outback Bowl… Nate Stanley passed for 214 yards and three touchdowns in the Hawkeyes’ defeat of the Bulldogs. Nick Easley had eight catches for 104 yards and two scores.

#14 Kentucky 27, #12 Penn State 24 in the Citrus Bowl… The Wildcats took a 27-7 lead into the fourth quarter and held on to beat the Nittany Lions. Benny Snell rushed for 144 yards and two touchdowns.

#11 LSU 40, #8 Central Florida 32 in the Fiesta Bowl… Joe Burrow threw for 394 yards and four touchdowns in leading the Tigers past the Knights. He found Justin Jefferson on two scoring strikes. Nick Brossette led the ground game with 108 yards rushing.

#6 Ohio State 28, #9 Washington 23 in the Rose Bowl… The Buckeyes got past the Huskies despite giving up 20 unanswered points in the fourth quarter. Quarterback Dwayne Haskins threw touchdown passes to three different receivers.

#15 Texas 28, #5 Georgia 21, in the Sugar Bowl… Quarterback Sam Ehlinger rushed for three touchdowns in leading the Longhorns past the Bulldogs.

TORONTO 122 – Utah 116… Kawhi Leonard poured in a career-high 45 points in leading the Raptors past the Jazz. Pascal Siakam finished with a career-best 28 points and 10 rebounds.

MILWAUKEE 121 – Detroit 98… All five starters scored in double figures as the Bucks cruised past the Pistons. Brook Lopez led the way with 25 points. Kris Middleton tossed in 22 points.

DENVER 115 – New York 108… The Nuggets pulled past the Knicks in the fourth quarter. Nikola Jokic racked up 19 points, 14 boards and 15 assists. Malik Beasley came off the bench to score a game-high 23 points.

Portland 113 – SACRAMENTO 108 (OT)… The Trail Blazers overcame a 14-point halftime deficit to outlast the Kings. Damian Lillard scored 25 points to lead six players in double figures. Jusuf Nurkic powered his way to 24 points and 23 rebounds.

Philadelphia 119 – L.A. CLIPPERS 113… The 76ers withstood a late rally to fend off the Clippers. Joel Embiid had game-highs with 28 points and 19 boards. Five other players scored in double figures for Philadelphia.

Dallas is at Charlotte…
Washington hosts Atlanta…
Miami is at Cleveland…
Brooklyn hosts New Orleans…
Detroit is at Memphis…
Boston hosts Minnesota…
Orlando is at Chicago…
Phoenix hosts Philadelphia…
Oklahoma City is at the L.A. Lakers

Boston 4 – CHICAGO 2… Sean Kuraly netted a tie-breaking goal midway through the third period and Brad Marchand added an empty-netter as the Bruins topped the Blackhawks in the 2019 Winter Classic played at Notre Dame Stadium. David Pastrnak scored a goal and had an assist. Goalie Tuukka Rask made 36 saves.

NASHVILLE 4 – Philadelphia 0… Goalie Juuse Saros stopped all 32 shots in the Predators’ blanking of the Flyers. Viktor Arvidsson found the net twice.

VEGAS 2 – Los Angeles 0… Goalie Marc-Andre Fleury needed only 17 stops to record a shutout of the Kings. Brandon Pirri scored at 3:43 of the third period to break a scoreless tie. Alex Tuch added an empty-netter.

Pittsburgh is at the N.Y. Rangers…
Detroit hosts Calgary…
Vancouver is at Ottawa…
Dallas hosts New Jersey…
San Jose is at Colorado…
Arizona hosts Edmonton

#9 FLORIDA STATE 87, Winthrop 76…
#10 VIRGINIA TECH 81, Notre Dame 66…
ST. JOHN’S 89, #16 Marquette 69

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