The Rundown for Feb. 15, 2019

TRUMP PLANS TO SIGN FUNDING BILL… President Trump plans to avoid another partial government shutdown by signing the border-security deal reached by congressional negotiators on Monday night, CNN reported yesterday. The bipartisan agreement gives Trump just $1.375 billion to install about 50 miles of fencing along Texas’ border with Mexico. The president, who had sought $5.7 billion to build a border-long wall, told reporters on Tuesday that he wasn’t happy about the deal. Democratic Caucus Chairman Hakeem Jeffries said the House will vote on the government-funding legislation today.

JUDGE FINDS MANAFORT LIED ABOUT RUSSIAN CONTACTS… A federal judge yesterday voided the plea deal offered to former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, claiming he “intentionally” lied to the FBI, special counsel and a grand jury. U.S. District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson said Manafort “made multiple false statements” including his contacts with Russian political operative Konstantin Kilimnik during the campaign and after. As part of his plea deal, the 69-year-old Manafort pleaded guilty to two charges of conspiracy and witness tampering in September. His sentencing hearing is scheduled for March 13.

U.S. COUNTERINTELLIGENCE OFFICER INDICTED… A federal grand jury has indicted a former U.S. counterintelligence officer for spying for the Iranian government. Monica Elfriede Witt was charged yesterday with conspiracy to deliver defense information to Iranian government representatives and assisting the Iranian intelligence services. According to the Justice Department, the information threatened other agents in the U.S. intelligence community. Witt has not been arrested and remains at large in Iran.

PROGRESS REPORTED IN DENVER TEACHER TALKS… Both sides reported progress yesterday in their efforts to end the three-day-old teachers strike in Denver. The strike by the 5,650-member Denver Classroom Teachers Association affects 92,000 students. Substitute teachers and administrators have been staffing all 207 district schools since the strike began on Monday.

FEMA CHIEF STEPPING DOWN… Federal Emergency Management Agency chief announced yesterday that he is stepping down amid allegations that he misused government resources. Long said he will leave his position on March 8, at which time his deputy, Peter Gaynor, will take over as the acting administrator. An investigation by the Department of Homeland Security’s inspector general determined that Long used government vehicles for non-official reasons, costing the American taxpayer “$94,000 in staff salary, $55,000 in travel expenses and $2,000 in vehicle maintenance.”

MARS ROVER DIES IN DUST STORM… NASA yesterday announced the death of Mars rover Opportunity. The space agency hasn’t been in contact with the robot since last June when it went silent following a global dust storm. The craft was initially designed to last just three months but ended up spending 15 years exploring the surface of Mars, sending back footage and crucial information.

ACTOR RALPH WAITE DIES… Actor Ralph Waite, who is best remembered as the patriarch of a Depression-era Virginia family on the classic television series “The Waltons,” died last week, his manager confirmed yesterday. He was 85. The cause of death was not disclosed. Waite continued acting up to last year, when he appeared in episodes of the series “NCIS,” “Bones” and “Days of Our Lives.”

‘BREAKING BAD’ SEQUEL COMING TO NETFLIX… A feature-length “Breaking Bad” film is reportedly on its way to Netflix and then to AMC. The Hollywood Reporter and Variety reported yesterday that the sequel will star Aaron Paul, who reprises his role as Jesse Pinkman. “Breaking Bad” creator Vince Gilligan will oversee the series.

‘ROMA’ STAR GETS VISA TO ATTEND OSCARS… Mexican actor Jorge Antonio Guerrero will be attending this year’s Academy Awards after finally securing a visa to travel to the U.S. The “Roma” star was denied a visa three times by immigration officials. Netflix reportedly stepped in to help the actor obtain a non-immigrant visa. “Roma” received 10 Oscar nominations.

Brooklyn 148 – CLEVELAND 139 (3OT)… D’Angelo Russell scored 36 points to lead eight players in double figures as the Nets outlasted the Cavaliers. Joe Harris added 25 points. Jeremy Clarkson’s 42 points weren’t enough for Cleveland.

MINNESOTA 121 – Houston 111… The Timberwolves pulled past the Rockets in the second half. Jeff Teague scored 27 points and dished off 12 assists. Karl-Anthony Towns added 25 points. Houston’s James Harden led all scorers with 42 points.

Milwaukee 106 – INDIANA 97… The Bucks jumped out to an early lead and then had to rally in the fourth quarter to get past the Pacers. Giannis Antetokounmpo racked up 33 points, 19 rebounds and 11 assists.

BOSTON 118 – Detroit 110… The Celtics cruised past the Pistons despite playing without the injured Kyrie Irving. All five starters scored in double figures led by Jayson Tatum’s 19 points. Al Horford had 17 points and 14 boards.

Philadelphia 126 – NEW YORK 111… Joel Embiid scored a game-high 26 points and brought down 14 boards as the 76ers dealt the Knicks their 18th straight loss. Tobias Harris added 25 points for Philadelphia.

CHICAGO 122 – Memphis 110… The Bulls built an early lead and maintained it the rest of the way in defeating the Grizzlies. Otto Porter Jr. scored 37 points and grabbed 10 rebounds. Robin Lopez added 25 points and Lauri Markkanen added 21.

TORONTO 129 – Washington 120… Pascal Siakam lit it up for a career-high 44 points and collected 10 boards to lead the Raptors past the Wizards for their 10th straight win. OG Anunoby added a career-best 22 points.

Miami 112 – DALLAS 101… The Heat took control with a big third quarter and held on to down the Mavericks. Dwyane Wade came off the bench to lead all scorers with 22 points. Deon Waiters added 20 points. Five other players scored in double figures for Miami.

DENVER 120 – Sacramento 118… The Nuggets erased an early double-digit deficit to upend the Kings. Nikola Jokic tipped in the winning basket with less than a second remaining and finished with 20 points, 18 rebounds and 11 assists. Paul Millsap had 25 points and 13 boards. Malik Beasley added 21 points.

L.A. CLIPPERS 134 – Phoenix 107… The Clippers built a 16-point halftime lead and never looked back in their rout of a Suns team that has lost 15 games in a row. Lou Williams delivered a game-high 30 points off the bench. Dino Gallinari added 20 points.

PORTLAND 129 – Golden State 107… The Trail Blazers outscored the Warriors 35-12 in the fourth quarter to pull away with the victory. Damian Lillard dropped in 29 points to lead eight players in double figures. Golden State played without DeMarcus Cousins, who was given the night off.

Charlotte is at Orlando…
Atlanta hosts New York…
Oklahoma City is at New Orleans

PITTSBURGH 3 – Edmonton 1… The Penguins skated past the Oilers after spotting them an early lead. Bryan Rust tied the game with a shorthanded goal early in the second period and Teddy Blueger added a go-ahead goal less than four minutes later.

ANAHEIM 1 – Vancouver 0… Jakob Silfverberg scored a first-period goal and the Ducks made it stand in downing the Canucks. Kevin Boyle stopped all 35 shots at goal.

Calgary is at Florida…
Columbus hosts the N.Y. Islanders…
Detroit hosts Ottawa…
Dallas is at Tampa Bay…
Winnipeg hosts Colorado…
Montreal is at Nashville…
Chicago hosts New Jersey…
St. Louis is at Arizona…
Vegas hosts Toronto…
Washington is at San Jose…
Los Angeles hosts Vancouver

#1 TENNESSEE 85, South Carolina 73…
#13 VILLANOVA 85, Providence 67…
#15 Texas Tech 78, OKLAHOMA STATE 50…
#17 FLORIDA STATE 88, Wake Forest 66…
#22 VIRGINIA TECH 76, Georgia Tech 68

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