The Rundown for March 7, 2019

U.S. TRADE GAP WIDENS… President Donald Trump’s deficit reduction plan was dealt a blow yesterday when the Commerce Department released data indicating the U.S.’ trade gap with the rest of the world jumped to a 10-year high of $621 billion last year. According to the data, exports of U.S. goods and services rose by $148.9 billion in 2018 but imports jumped by $217.7 billion. The gap is now the widest it has been since the global financial crisis hit in 2008.

KIRSTJEN NIELSEN GRILLED BY HOUSE PANEL… Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen faced tough questions about the deaths of migrant children and other border issues yesterday during an appearance before the House Homeland Security Committee. Democrats accused her of lying or being unaware of the migrant situation along the border with Mexico. Nielsen denied migrant children were being detained in cages and noted that the enclosures children were kept in differed from dog kennels in that they are larger. Nielsen also confirmed that some parents were deported without their children, but added that “there was no parent who has been deported to my knowledge without multiple opportunities to take their children with them.”

DEMS SEEK RETURN OF NET NEUTRALITY RULES… Democrats yesterday unveiled legislation to reinstitute net neutrality rules that were removed by the Trump administration in 2017. The rules were repealed by the Federal Communications Commission by a 3-2 vote along party lines. The “Save the Internet Act” would prevent Internet providers from slowing down or blocking traffic from certain websites or offering so-called paid “fast lanes.” Internet service providers had lobbied to repeal the rules. Facebook, Amazon and Google are among tech giants that have lobbied for the rules’ reinstatement.

COHEN PROVIDES HOUSE PANEL WITH MORE DOCS… President Trump’s former personal lawyer Michael Cohen has provided the House Intelligence Committee documents that reveal alleged editing to the statement he used to lie to Congress in 2017 about efforts to build a Trump Tower in Moscow during the presidential election. Cohen claimed during public testimony before the House Oversight Committee last week that Trump lawyer Jay Sekulow in 2017 had edited statements that Cohen later delivered it to the intelligence committees of both the House and the Senate. Cohen pleaded guilty last year to lying to Congress in that statement by falsely claiming the Trump Tower effort was dropped months before Trump secured the presidential nomination.

BOLTON WARNS OF U.S. ACTION AGAINST VENEZUELA… National Security Adviser John Bolton revealed yesterday that the U.S. could pursue initiatives and sanctions that would help lead to a transition of power in Venezuela. Bolton warned that foreign financial institutions involved “in facilitating illegitimate transactions that benefit [Venezuelan President] Nicolas Maduro and his corrupt network” will face sanctions. National Assembly leader Juan Guaido has declared himself interim president according to Venezuelan law. Venezuela’s National Assembly declared the presidency vacant in January after finding that Maduro’s 2018 re-election was illegal due to abnormally low voter turnout.

R. KELLY JAILED… R&B singer R. Kelly was taken into custody at a child-support hearing in Chicago yesterday. The singer won’t be released from jail until he pays $161,000 in back child support he owes, according to the Cook County Sheriff’s Office. Kelly’s next hearing is scheduled for next Wednesday. He was charged last month with 10 counts of aggravated sexual abuse involving four women, including three who were underage at the time. Kelly has denied any wrongdoing and says his accusers are lying.

ALEX TREBEK BATTLING CANCER… Alex Trebek has revealed that he is battling stage four pancreatic cancer. The 78-year-old “Jeopardy!” host intends to finish out the show’s current season. Trebek has hosted the ratings-topping quiz show since 1984.

Miami 91 – CHARLOTTE 84… The Heat eased past the Hornets to win their third in a row. Kelly Olynyk scored 22 points and grabbed 11 rebounds. Hassan Whiteside delivered 18 points and 15 boards off the bench.

DETROIT 131 – Minnesota 114… The Pistons blasted the Timberwolves to win their sixth straight at home. Andre Drummond powered his way to 31 points and 15 rebounds in his 16th straight double-double. Luke Kennard tossed in 21 points.

WASHINGTON 132 – Dallas 123… The Wizards overcame an early double-digit deficit to down the Mavericks. Bradley Beal scored 30 points to lead all scorers. Trevor Ariza added 22 points. Jabari Parker came off the bench to score 20 points.

San Antonio 111 – ATLANTA 104… The Spurs were too much down the stretch in beating the Hawks to win their fourth in a row. LaMarcus Aldridge scored a game-high 32 points.

BROOKLYN 113 – Cleveland 107…The Nets led by 11 points after the first quarter and then had to rally in the fourth quarter to get past the Cavaliers. Spencer Dinwiddie scored 28 points off the bench. D’Angelo Russell added 25 points. Jarrett Allen had 15 points and 11 boards.

CHICAGO 108 – Philadelphia 107… Zach LaVine laid in the go-ahead basket with 1.6 seconds remaining and finished with 39 points in leading the Bulls past the 76ers. Robin Lopez dropped in 19 points.

Utah 114 – NEW ORLEANS 104… The Jazz made it five wins in six games by downing the Pelicans. Derrick Favors scored 25 points. Rudy Gobert added 22 points and 13 boards.

PHOENIX 107 – New York 96… Devin Booker poured in a season-high 41 points as the Suns cruised past the Knicks. The victory was Phoenix’s third straight.

Boston 111 – SACRAMENTO 109… Gordon Hayward’s runner with two seconds remaining sent the Celtics past the Kings. Jayson Tatum led Boston with 24 points. Al Horford finished with 21 points and 11 rebounds.

Denver 115 – L.A. LAKERS 99… The Nuggets jumped out to a 43-25 lead after the first quarter and withstood a second-half rally to top the Lakers. All five starters scored in double figures led by Will Barton’s 23 points. Nikola Jokic collected 17 boards to go with his 12 points.

Indiana is at Milwaukee…
Portland hosts Oklahoma City

Washington 5 – PHILADELPHIA 3… Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom each had a goal and an assist to lead the Capitals past the Flyers. Goalie Braden Holtby made 27 saves in his 250th career victory.

VANCOUVER 3 – Toronto 2 (OT)… The Canucks rallied from two goals down in the third period to outlast the Maple Leafs. Alexander Edler netted the winning goal at 3:11 of overtime. Loui Erickson and Josh Leivo scored third-period goals. Adam Gaudette had two assists.

St. Louis 5 – ANAHEIM 4… Robert Thomas and Alex Pietrangelo scored back-to-back goals in the final 1:04 to as the Blues stunned the Ducks. Pietrangelo’s winning goal came with 52 seconds remaining. Thomas also scored a second-period goal. Ryan O’Reilly had a goal and an assist. Troy Terry set up three goals.

VEGAS 2 – Calgary 1… Deryk Engelland scored a tie-breaking goal midway through the third period and the Golden Knights held on to edge the Flames. Shea Theodore opened the scoring with a first-period goal. William Karlsson assisted on both Vegas goals.

Florida is at Boston…
Pittsburgh hosts Columbus…
the N.Y. Islanders are at Ottawa…
Detroit hosts the N.Y. Rangers…
Minnesota is at Tampa Bay…
Chicago hosts Buffalo…
Colorado is at Dallas…
Edmonton hosts Vancouver…
Calgary is at Arizona…
Los Angeles hosts St. Louis…
Montreal is at San Jose

#10 LSU 79, FLORIDA 78 (OT)…
SETON HALL 73, #16 Marquette 64

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