BARR INVESTIGATING RUSSIA PROBE… Attorney General William Barr confirmed to Senators yesterday that he has launched his own informal inquiry about the origins of the Russia investigation. Appearing before the Senate Appropriations Committee, Barr said he wants to understand how and why key decisions were made about the counterintelligence investigation opened by the FBI in the summer of 2016. Barr said he has taken seriously some of the criticisms by Republican supporters of President Trump about the way the FBI and Justice Department conducted the investigation. Democrats on the panel accused him of partisanship and noted he admitted having no evidence to support his notion that the Trump campaign had been spied on.
HOUSE PASSES NET NEUTRALITY BILL… The House yesterday voted 232-190 to restore Obama-era net neutrality rules that would prevent broadband providers from blocking and throttling Internet speeds for economic gain. The net neutrality regulations were introduced under the Obama administration and struck down by the Republican-controlled Federal Communications Commission in 2017. Net neutrality proponents argue that without the rules, Internet gatekeepers could charge customers for faster speeds and block content from competitors for a price.
WALL CONTRACTS OFFERED… The Defense Department has offered its first contracts to build a wall on the border with Mexico. SLSCO Ltd., headquartered in Texas, received a $789 million contract for wall construction in Santa Teresa, New Mexico. Montana-based Barnard Construction Co. was also awarded a $187 million contract for primary pedestrian wall replacement at Yuma, Arizona. Work on the two contracts is expected to start in the next couple of months.
58 ARRESTED IN SEX-TRAFFICKING STING… Authorities in Minnesota revealed yesterday that 58 people were arrested on charges of attempting to solicit children for sex or for trafficking in a sting operation staged during the NCAA Final Four men’s basketball tournament. The sting resulted in the rescue of 28 victims from trafficking situations, including one minor. From Friday through Monday, undercover agents posed as minors or as sex buyers and chatted with suspects on social media platforms.
PLAINS STATES HIT BY BLIZZARD… A powerful blizzard pushed east across the Rockies and into the Plains states yesterday. As much as a foot of snow was expected to fall in places, raising the threat of more flooding in areas still recovering from last month’s deluge. Forecasters called for life-threatening conditions stretching from Colorado to Minnesota over the next two days.
YOUTUBE REMOVES TRUMP VIDEO… A campaign video that President Trump tweeted on Tuesday was removed from Twitter yesterday following a complaint filed by Warner Bros. The video used music composed by Hans Zimmer for the soundtrack to the 2012 Batman film “The Dark Knight Rises.” Warner explained that the video’s use of its music was unauthorized.
GAME SHOW CHEATER CHARLES VAN DOREN DIES… Charles Van Doren, who rose to infamy in the 1950s after admitting that he cheated on the game show “Twenty-One,” died on Tuesday, family members have confirmed. He was 93. Van Doren won a then-record $129,000 on the popular NBC game show in late 1956 and early 1957. He later testified before Congress that he’d been given the answers in advance and his victory was actually rigged. The revelation led to Van Doren pleading guilty to perjury charges for lying to a Manhattan federal jury that investigated the scandal.
CINCINNATI 2 – Miami 1… Solo homers by Jose Iglesias and Jesse Winker in the bottom of the eighth inning sent the Reds past the Marlins.
Pittsburgh 5 – CHI, CUBS 2… Francisco Cervelli hit a solo homer and Starling Marte added a two-run shot for the Pirates. Jordan Lyles (1-0) surrendered a run on three hits over six innings.
ST. LOUIS 7 – L.A. Dodgers 2… The Cardinals got homers from Yadier Molina and Marcell Ozuna in winning their fourth in a row. Jack Flaherty (1-0) held the Dodgers to a run on three hits over six innings.
Washington 15 – PHILADELPHIA 1… Matt Adams had a couple of hits and knocked in four runs. Anthony Rendon added three RBIs. Nationals starter Jeremy Hellickson (1-0) held the Phillies to three hits over six shutout innings.
San Diego 3 – SAN FRANCISCO 1… Manny Machado hit a tie-breaking homer in the top of the sixth inning. Padres starter Nick Margevicius allowed a run on five hits over six innings.
COLORADO – Atlanta (ppd)… Inclement weather in Denver forced postponement of yesterday’s Rockies-Braves game. The game has been rescheduled for August 26.
DETROIT 4 – Cleveland 1… Niko Goodrum provided all the offense the Tigers needed with a two-run homer in the bottom of the first inning. John Hicks added a solo shot in the sixth.
Oakland 10 – BALTIMORE 3… Khris Davis went 3-for-5 with a homer and four RBIs. Matt Chapman doubled home a run and hit a two-run homer for the Athletics.
Tampa Bay 9 – CHI. WHITE SOX 1… Tommy Pham homered twice and drove in three runs. Austin Meadows went 3-for-5 with a solo homer and three RBIs. Rays starter Tyler Glasnow pitched two-hit ball over six scoreless innings and struck out 11.
Seattle 6 – KANSAS CITY 5… Mitch Haniger connected for a tie-breaking solo homer in the top of the ninth inning and the Mariners made it stand in edging the Royals. Mallex Smith and Edwin Encarnacion knocked in two runs apiece.
HOUSTON 8 – N.Y. Yankees 6… The Astros completed a sweep of the Yankees. Jose Altuve homered twice. Carlos Correa went 3-for-4 with a homer and three RBIs.
N.Y. METS 9 – Minnesota 6… The Mets put away the Twins with a six-run bottom of the fifth inning and a three-run seventh. Jonathan Schoop went 3-for-4 with an RBI.
Mitch Garver smacked a solo homer.
Texas 5 – ARIZONA 2… Hunter Pence homered, Logan Forsythe produced a pair of run-scoring singles and the Rangers got past the Diamondbacks. Starter Lance Lynn (1-1) gave up a run on four hits over six innings.
L.A. ANGELS 4 – Milwaukee 2… The Angels scored all four runs in the bottom of the third inning and held on to beat the Brewers. Justin Bour lined a two-run single.
TODAY’S NL SCHEDULE…
Miami (Lopez, 1-1) is at Cincinnati (Gray, 0-2)…
the L.A. Dodgers (Buehler, 1-0) are at St. Louis (Wacha, 0-0)…
Atlanta (Gausman, 1-0) hosts the N.Y. Mets (Matz, 0-0)…
Pittsburgh (Musgrove, 1-0) is at the Chi. Cubs (Quintana, 0-1)…
Arizona (Godley, 1-1) hosts San Diego (TBA)…
Colorado (Gray, 0-2) is at San Francisco (Samardzija, 0-0)
TODAY’S AL SCHEDULE…
Oakland (Brooks, 1-1) is at Baltimore (Bundy, 0-0)…
Detroit (Turnbull, 0-1) hosts Cleveland (Bieber, 0-0)…
Seattle (Leake, 2-0) is at Kansas City (Lopez, 0-1)…
Boston (Eovaldi, 0-0) hosts Toronto (Sanchez, 1-1)…
Indiana 135 – ATLANTA 134… Edmond Sumner’s three free throws with less than a second remaining lifted the playoff-bound Pacers over the Hawks. Sumner finished with 22 points. T.J. Leaf led all scorers with 28 points. Tyreke Evans tossed in 27 points.
BROOKLYN 113 – Miami 94… The Nets got 21 points from D’Angelo Russell and 20 from Shabazz Napier in downing the Heat. Miami’s Dwyane Wade had 25 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists in his final NBA game.
Orlando 122 – CHARLOTTE 114… Terrence Ross delivered 35 points off the bench and Aaron Gordon added 27 points as the Magic eliminated the Hornets from the postseason. Kemba Walker’s 43 points weren’t enough for Orlando.
Detroit 115 – NEW YORK 89… The Pistons rolled past the Knicks to claim the final Eastern Conference playoff spot. Luke Kennard scored 27 points. Reggie Jackson tossed in 21 points. Andre Drummond powered his way to 20 point and 18 boards.
PHILADELPHIA 125 – Chicago 109… The 76ers handled the Bulls despite resting their starters ahead of the playoffs. Jonathan Simmons led the way with 20 points.
MEMPHIS 132 – Golden State 117… The Grizzlies topped the Warriors in a contest played mainly by reserves. Jevon Carter pumped in a career-high 32 points. Justin Holiday added 22 points.
Oklahoma City 127 – MILWAUKEE 116… The Thunder topped the Bucks to nail down the sixth seed in the Western Conference playoffs. Dennis Schroder scored a game-high 32 points. Jerami Grant added 28 points. Russell Westbrook had 15 points, 11 rebounds and 17 assists
SAN ANTONIO 105 – Dallas 94… The Spurs built a 20-point halftime lead and coasted past the Mavericks. LaMarcus Aldridge scored 34 points and grabbed 16 boards.
DENVER 99 – Minnesota 95… The Nuggets were too much down the stretch in their win over the Timberwolves. Nikola Jokic scored 29 points and brought down 14 rebounds.
L.A. CLIPPERS 143 – Utah 137 (OT)… The Clippers recovered to outlast the Jazz after blowing a double-digit lead in the first half. Montrezl Harrell scored 24 points to lead seven players in double figures. Ivica Zubac had 22 points and 11 boards.
PORTLAND 136 – Sacramento 131… The Trail Blazers erased a 25-point halftime deficit to down the Kings and claim the third seed in the Western Conference playoffs. Rookie Anfernee Simmons pumped in 37 points. Skal Labissiere had 29 points and 15 rebounds.
NBA PLAYOFFS SET… The NBA playoff picture is complete following last night’s regular-season finales. First-round action begins on Saturday.
EASTERN CONFERENCE FIRST-ROUND MATCHUPS…
(1) Milwaukee Bucks vs. (8) Detroit Pistons
(2) Toronto Raptors vs. (7) Orlando Magic
(3) Philadelphia 76ers vs. (6) Brooklyn Nets
(4) Boston Celtics vs. (5) Indiana Pacers
WESTERN CONFERENCE FIRST-ROUND MATCHUPS…
(1) Golden State Warriors vs. (8) LA Clippers
(2) Denver Nuggets vs. (7) San Antonio Spurs
(3) Portland Trail Blazers vs. (6) Oklahoma City Thunder
(4) Houston Rockets vs. (5) Utah Jazz
NHL STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS SCORES (first-round openers)…
Columbus 4 – TAMPA BAY 3… The Blue Jackets came from three goals down in the second period to outlast the Lightning. Seth Jones scored on a power play with 5:55 remaining to cap a three-goal third period. Josh Anderson had a goal and an assist.
N.Y. ISLANDERS 4 – Pittsburgh 3 (OT)… Josh Bailey scored on a rebound at 4:39 of overtime to lift the Islanders over the Penguins. Jordan Eberle had a goal and an assist.
St. Louis 2 – WINNIPEG 1… The Blues scored twice in the third period to upend the Jets. Tyler Bozak scored the game-winner with 2:05 remaining. Goalie Jordan Binnington made 25 saves.
Dallas 3 – NASHVILLE 2… Rookie Miro Heiskanen netted a pair of goals as the Stars held of the Predators. Ben Bishop stopped 32 shots at goal.
SAN JOSE 5 – Vegas 2… Brent Burns and Evander Kane each had a goal and an assist as the Sharks skated past the Golden Knights. Erik Karlsson set up two goals.
TONIGHT’S NHL STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS SCHEDULE (first-round openers)…
Toronto is at Boston…
Washington hosts Carolina…
Colorado is at Calgary