The Rundown for Feb. 19, 2019

16 STATES SUE OVER NATIONAL EMERGENCY DECLARATION… The New York Times reported yesterday that 16 states have joined a lawsuit challenging President Trump’s national emergency declaration. The lawsuit, filed in Federal District Court in San Francisco, claims Trump did not have the authority to divert government funding towards building a wall along the southern border with Mexico because Congress controls spending. California Attorney General Xavier Becerra says Trump’s recent declaration that he “didn’t need” to declare an emergency but he’d “rather do it much faster” provides evidence of a manufactured crisis.

ROSENSTEIN LEAVING JUSTICE DEPARTMENT… Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein is expected to leave the Justice Department within a month. Rosenstein reportedly has been planning to step down following William Barr’s confirmation as attorney general and will leave in mid-March. Insiders say Barr has selected deputy transportation secretary Jeffrey Rosen as his deputy.

U.S.-NORTH KOREA CONSIDER EXCHANGE… The U.S. and North Korea are reportedly considering an exchange of liaison officers, according to a CNN report. Analysts are characterizing the exchange as an incremental step towards building formal diplomatic relations. Word of the potential exchange comes in advance of next week’s scheduled summit between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Vietnam.

NORTH CAROLINA ELECTION HEARINGS UNDERWAY… Hearings to determine the winner of North Carolina’s 9th Congressional District race got underway in Raleigh yesterday. State Board of Elections investigators presented evidence showing that an operative working on behalf of Republican congressional candidate Mark Harris illegally purchased absentee ballots in a “coordinated” and “unlawful” scheme in Bladen and Robeson counties. Investigators say operative McCrae Dowless recruited local people and paid them $125 for every 50 mail-in ballots they collected. As a result, the ballots could have been altered before being counted. A months-long investigation included interviews with 42 voters, 30 subject witnesses and subpoenas of documents.

THE ‘KISSING SAILOR’ DIES… The American sailor seen in an iconic photo kissing a woman in Times Square at the end of World War II died on Sunday, his family confirmed yesterday. George Mendonsa was 95 years old. In the photo, the young sailor is depicted kissing Greta Zimmer Friedman on August 14, 1945. The pair did not know each other. Mendonsa had served on a destroyer during the war and was on leave when the war ended.

NETFLIX ENDS ‘JESSICA JONES’ AND ‘THE PUNISHER’… Netflix has confirmed that it has officially canceled its last remaining Marvel series, “Jessica Jones” and “The Punisher.” “Jessica Jones” will conclude after its third season while “The Punisher” is ending after only two seasons. The cancellations mark the end of a relationship between Netflix and Marvel that began in 2013.

QUEEN TO PERFORM AT OSCARS… The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced yesterday that Queen will be among performers at the 2019 Academy Awards. The band will join previously announced performers Jennifer Hudson, Gillian Welch, David Rawlings, Bradley Cooper, Lady Gaga and Bette Midler. In addition to performing at the event, Queen is the subject of best picture nominee “Bohemian Rhapsody.”

CALGARY 5 – Arizona 2… Mark Giordano, Michael Frolik and Mikael Backlund each had a goal and an assist as the Flames put away the Coyotes. Elias Lindholm and Rasmus Andersson had two assists apiece.

Tampa Bay 5 – COLUMBUS 1… Nikita Kucherov scored two first-period goals and Brayden Point scored 34 seconds apart in the third period in the Lightning’s thrashing of the Blue Jackets. Goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy made 39 saves and came within 1:45 of a shutout.

CHICAGO 8 – Ottawa 7… Alex DeBrincat netted three goals and set up two others as the Blackhawks outshot the Senators. Patrick Kane and Dylan Strome each had a goal and two assists.

COLORADO 3 – Vegas 0… Semyon Varlamov stopped all 40 shots in the Avalanche’s blanking of the Golden Knights. Andrew Agozzino provided all the offense Colorado needed with a goal and an assist.

Boston 6 – SAN JOSE 5 (OT)… The Bruins recovered to outlast the Sharks after blowing an early three-goal deficit. Charlie McAvoy scored the winning goal with let in overtime. Jake DeBusk had a goal and two assists. David Krejci assisted on three goals.

Washington 3 – LOS ANGELES 2… Alex Ovechkin found the net twice as the Capitals held off the Kings. Pheonix Copley got the start at goal and stopped 28 shots.

the N.Y. Rangers are at Carolina…
New Jersey hosts Pittsburgh…
Tampa Bay is at Philadelphia…
Florida hosts Buffalo…
Columbus is at Montreal…
St. Louis hosts Toronto…
Anaheim is at Minnesota…
Dallas hosts Nashville…
Arizona is at Edmonton

#3 Virginia 64, #20 VIRGINIA TECH 58…
#22 WISCONSIN 64, Illinois 58…
#23 Kansas State 65, WEST VIRGINIA 51

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