PELOSI UNINVITES TRUMP FROM STATE OF THE UNION AGAIN… House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has again rejected President Trump’s efforts to deliver a State of the Union in the House chamber during the government shutdown. Trump sent Pelosi a letter yesterday informing her that he was planning on presenting his annual address from the House chamber next week as planned, but the Democratic California senator refused to hold a vote for a measure that would allow the president to speak. Trump last night said he will do an “alternative” event instead. Meanwhile, Democratic House leaders introduced a plan to end the shutdown by giving the president most or all of the $5.7 billion he seeks for border security with Mexico, but on the condition that it is used for technological tools and more border agents rather than a physical barrier. Also, Trump’s former White House chief of staff John Kelly joined four other former Homeland Security secretaries in calling on Trump to end the shutdown in order to ensure national security.
MICHAEL COHEN POSTPONES TESTIMONY… President Trump’s former personal lawyer Michael Cohen is postponing his scheduled February 7 public testimony before Congress “due to ongoing threats against his family from President Trump,” according to Cohen attorney Lanny Davis. The 52-year-old Cohen volunteered to appear before the House Oversight Committee. He was sentenced last month to three years in prison for charges that included making secret payments to women who claimed they had affairs with Trump, lying to Congress about the president’s business dealings with Russia and failing to report millions of dollars in income.
HOUSE PANEL INVESTIGATES SECURITY CLEARANCES… The House Oversight and Reform Committee announced yesterday that it is opening an investigation into the handling of security clearances in the Trump administration. The inquiry reportedly targets former national security adviser Michael Flynn, Trump son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner and former White House aide Rob Porter. Maryland Democratic Congressman Elijah Cummings, who chairs the committee, wrote in a letter to the White House that the investigation is a response to “grave breaches of national security at the highest level of the Trump administration.”
TRUMP RECOGNIZES OPPOSITION LEADER AS VENEZUELA’S PRESIDENT… President Trump announced yesterday that he recognizes opposition leader Juan Guaido as Venezuela’s interim president. The announcement came after Guaido announced he was taking control as the country’s leader amid nationwide demonstrations calling for President Nicolas Maduro to step down. Maduro was sworn in for a second term two weeks ago, but his election has drawn charges of illegitimacy and international condemnation.
5 DEAD IN FLORIDA BANK SHOOTINGS… A 21-year-old man fatally shot five people yesterday after entering a SunTrust Bank in Sebring, Florida. The suspect, Zephen Xaver, turned himself in to SWAT officers following what was described as a hostage situation. Authorities say they’ll release more information at a press conference this morning.
ALEC BALDWIN PLEADS GUILTY TO HARASSMENT CHARGE… Actor Alec Baldwin pleaded guilty yesterday to second-degree harassment for his role in a fight over a New York City parking spot. The 60-year-old actor allegedly punched the man during a dispute in front of Baldwin’s Manhattan apartment in November. Baldwin has agreed to take an anger management class and pay a $120 fine.
BRYAN SINGER DENIES SEXUAL-ASSAULT ALLEGATIONS… Director Bryan Singer is denying a magazine article’s allegations that he sexually assaulted and slept with multiple underage boys. An article in The Atlantic quotes two men who claim they had sex with him when he knew they were under 18. The article also includes claims from men whose lawsuits against Singer were settled or voluntarily dismissed. Singer’s most recent film, “Bohemian Rhapsody,” is up for five Academy Awards.
INDIANA 110 – Toronto 106… The Pacers got past the Raptors despite losing guard Victor Oladipo in the second quarter after he suffered what they fear is a season-ending knee injury. Thaddeus Young scored 23 points and brought down 15 rebounds.
BROOKLYN 114 – Orlando 110… The Nets made it five straight wins by defeating the Magic. Spencer Dinwiddie scored 29 points to lead all scorers. D’Angelo Russell added 25 points and 10 boards.
Houston 114 – NEW YORK 110… James Harden poured in a career-high 61 points in leading the Rockets past the Knicks. Harden has scored at least 50 points in five games this season. Eric Gordon knocked down the go-ahead 3-pointer with 9.8 seconds left and finished with 20 points.
L.A. Clippers 111 – MIAMI 99… The Clippers pulled away in the second half to put away the Heat. Tobias Harris pumped in a game-high 31 points.
BOSTON 123 – Cleveland 103… The Celtics cruised past the Cavaliers or their fifth straight win. Terry Rozier scored 22 of his game-high 26 points in the first half. Fellow reserve Jaylen Brown added 23 points.
Charlotte 118 – MEMPHIS 107… Kemba Walker scored 22 points to lead a balanced scoring attack and as the Hornets handled the Grizzlies. Bismack Biyombo had 10 rebounds to go with his nine points.
Atlanta 121 – CHICAGO 101… John Collins dropped in a career-high 35 points as the Hawks rolled past the Bulls. Alex Len delivered 14 points and 10 boards off the bench.
Detroit 98 – NEW ORLEANS 94… The Pistons recovered to hold off the Pelicans after blowing an eight-point lead in the final two minutes. 1Blake Griffin pumped in 37 points.
PHILADELPHIA 122 – San Antonio 120… Joel Embiid powered his way to 33 points and 19 rebounds as the 76ers fought off the Spurs. Ben Simmons racked up 21 points, 10 boards and 15 assists.
UTAH 114 – Denver 108… The Jazz got a game-high 35 points from Donovan Mitchell in their defeat of the Nuggets. Rudy Gobert had 15 points and 11 rebounds.
TONIGHT’S NBA SCHEDULE…
Golden State is at Washington…
Oklahoma City hosts New Orleans…
Portland is at Phoenix…
the L.A. Lakers host Minnesota
TORONTO 6 – Washington 3… Nazem Kadri notched his fifth career hat trick and had an assist as the Maple Leafs dealt the Capitals their seventh straight loss. William Nylander assisted on three goals. Goalie Frederik Anderson stopped 41 shots.
MONTREAL 2 – Arizona 1… Mike Reilly netted a tie-breaking goal early in the third period and the Canadiens made it stand in edging the Coyotes. Jonathan Drouin opened the scoring with a power-play goal midway through the first period. Carey Price made 30 saves at goal.
Minnesota 5 – COLORADO 2… The Wild scored four unanswered goals to erase a first-period deficit and top the Avalanche. Eric Staal scored two goals and had an assist. Pontus Aberg and Mikael Backlund each had two assists.
St. Louis 5 – ANAHEIM 1… Zack Sanford and Tyler Bozak scored goals in their return from injured reserve and the Blues breezed past the Ducks. Anaheim managed just 14 shots on goal.
Nashville 2 – VEGAS 1… Ryan Johansen and Nick Bonino scored back-to-back goals in the second period and the Predators hung on to down the Golden Knights. Goalie Juuse Saros stopped 48 shots.
Carolina 5 – VANCOUVER 2… The Hurricanes scored all five goals in the second period and coasted past the Canucks. Nino Niederreiter found the net twice. Teuvo Teravainan scored a goal and assisted on two others.
All-Star Game Saturday in San Jose
TOP 25 MEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL SCORES…
#1 Tennessee 88, VANDERBILT 83…
#7 NEVADA 100, Colorado State 60…
#12 MARQUETTE 79, DePaul 69…
#17 HOUSTON 94, East Carolina 50…
#25 LSU 92, Georgia 82