The Rundown for Jan. 4, 2019

116th CONGRESS IS MOST DIVERSE EVER… The 116th Congress became the most diverse ever following its swearing in yesterday. The Congress boasts the most female members ever with 102 in the House and 25 in the Senate. The Congressional Black Caucus and the Hispanic Caucus have welcomed all-time-highs in members. There are also more Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders in Congress than ever before. Democratic congresswomen Ilhan Omar of Minnesota and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan became the first Muslim women in Congress. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona became the first openly bisexual Senator in U.S. history following her swearing in.

PELOSI RETURNS AS HOUSE SPEAKER; DEMS CONTROL HOUSE… Nancy Pelosi returned as speaker of the House yesterday. Her 220 votes were 28 more than her fellow California Representative Kevin McCarthy. Pelosi took quick action in pushing through the House two bills that re-open the government without giving President Trump the money he is demanding to build a wall. The White House has vowed that Trump would veto the bills. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has indicated the body won’t consider a bill that Trump opposes. Meanwhile, Democratic Congressman Steve Cohen of Tennessee introduced two bills that eliminate the electoral college and prevent presidents from pardoning themselves or their family members.

TRUMP PRESSES FOR WALL FUNDING… President Trump continues to press his demands for funding to build a wall along the southern border with Mexico. During an unannounced visit to the White House press briefing room yesterday, Trump told reporters that the wall is needed to stop criminals and drugs from entering the U.S. Trump angered some in the press corps when he left before answering questions.

ATTORNEYS GENERAL APPEAL AFFORDABLE CARE ACT RULING… A group of 17 democratic attorneys general has filed an appeal against a federal judge’s December 14 ruling declaring the Affordable Care Act unconstitutional. The coalition brought the ruling to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans. In his ruling striking down the health-care law, Texas District Court Judge Reed O’Connor specifically targeted the individual mandate, which requires Americans to have medical insurance. California Attorney General Xavier Becerra called O’Connor’s ruling an “unfortunate decision that could wreak havoc on the entire American healthcare system and risk lives in every state.”

AT LEAST SIX KILLED IN FLORIDA CRASH… At least six people were killed and eight others critically injured yesterday in a fiery crash near Gainesville, Florida. The crash involved a passenger van, a small four-door sedan and two tractor-trailers, according to the Florida Highway Patrol. The crash occurred in the southbound lanes of I-75 in Alachua County and prompted the shutdown of both directions of the interstate.

ARREST IN CELEBRITY BURGLARIES… Los Angeles police have announced the arrest of a suspect in a series of burglaries targeting celebrities’ homes. Investigators say they recovered hundreds of stolen items worth millions of dollars in the search of properties linked to 32-year-old Benjamin Ackerman. The suspect allegedly posed as a buyer to case the homes before burglarizing them. Thirteen victims, including musicians Usher and Adam Lambert, have been identified so far.

IN THEATERS… In “Escape Room,” six strangers must use their wits to survive after finding themselves in circumstances beyond their control. Deborah Ann Woll and Taylor Russell star in the PG-13 film.

SAN ANTONIO 125 – Toronto 107… The Spurs jumped out to a 38-19 lead after the first quarter and never looked back in cruising past the Raptors. LaMarcus Aldridge scored a game-high 23 points. DeMar DeRozan racked up 21 points, 14 rebounds and 11 assists. Four other players scored in double figures for San Antonio.

Denver 117  –  SACRAMENTO 113… The Nuggets erased a 13-point halftime deficit on their way past the Kings. Jamal Murray led all scorers with 36 points. Nikola Jokic powered his way to 36 points and 13 boards.

Houston 135 – GOLDEN STATE 134 (OT)… A double-teamed James Harden knocked down a 3-pointer with one second remaining in overtime to finish with 44 points and complete the Rockets’ come-from-behind win over the Warriors. Harden also hit a game-tying 3-pointer at the end of regulation, as Houston wiped out a 20-point deficit. Clint Capela had 29 points and 21 rebounds.

Utah is at Cleveland…
Chicago hosts Indiana…
Orlando is at Minnesota…
Miami hosts Washington…
Brooklyn is at Memphis

Minnesota 4 – TORONTO 3… Zach Parise converted a turnover into a tie-breaking goal early in the third period and the Wild made it stand in edging the Maple Leafs. Jared Spurgeon scored a goal and assisted on two others. Goalie Devan Dubnyk made 38 saves.

Carolina 5 – PHILADELPHIA 3… Teuvo Teravainen scored a pair of goals and had an assist in leading the Hurricanes past the Flyers. Sebastian Aho assisted on two goals.

BUFFALO 4 – Florida 3… The Sabres got a pair of goals from Jeff Skinner in holding off the Panthers. Sam Reinhart had a goal and an assist.

BOSTON 6 – Calgary 4… Jake DeBrusk and Brad Marchand netted two goals apiece as the Bruins outshot the Flames. David Pastrnak added a goal and an assist. Patrice Bergeron, David Krejci and Torey Krug had two assists apiece.

MONTREAL 2 – Vancouver 0… Goalie Corey Price made 33 saves in the Canadiens’ blanking of the Canucks. Jordie Benn and Jonathan Drouin scored for Montreal.

N.Y. ISLANDERS 3 – Chicago 2 (OT)… Devon Toews found the net at 1:48 of overtime to send the Islanders past the Blackhawks. Mathew Barzal netted both New York goals in regulation.

ST. LOUIS 5 – Washington 2… The Blues closed with four straight goals to upend the Capitals. Alex Pietrangelo assisted on Oskar Sundqvist’s go-ahead goal in the second period and found the net in the third.

Tampa Bay 6 –  LOS ANGELES 2… Six different players found the net as the Lightning skated past the Kings. Nikita Kucherov had a goal and three assists. Steven Stamkos added a goal and two assists. Ryan Callahan and Brayden Point each had a goal and an assist.

Winnipeg is at Pittsburgh…
Detroit hosts Nashville…
Columbus is at Carolina…
Dallas hosts Washington…
New Jersey is at Arizona…
Colorado hosts the N.Y. Rangers…
Vegas is at Anaheim

#2 MICHIGAN 68, Penn State 55…
#18 North Carolina State 87, MIAMI (Fla.) 82…
#21 INDIANA 73, Illinois 65…
Minnesota 59, #22 WISCONSIN 52…
PURDUE 86, #25 Iowa 70

AFC wild-card Indianapolis (10-6) is at AFC South-champion Houston (11-5)…
NFC East-champion Dallas (10-6) hosts NFC wild-card Seattle (10-6)

AFC wild-card L.A. Chargers (12-4) are at AFC North-champion Baltimore (10-6)
NFC North-champion Chicago (12-4) hosts NFC wild-card Philadelphia (9-7)

#2 Clemson plays #1 Alabama in the national championship game in Santa Clara, California

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