The Rundown for April 18, 2019

WILLIAM BARR HOSTING PRESS CONFERENCE… Attorney General William Barr is scheduled to hold a press conference this morning on special counsel Robert Mueller’s report prior to the Justice Department’s release of a redacted version of the report. The press conference is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. Eastern. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein is expected to attend.

TRUMP ADMINISTRATION TOUGHENS TRAVEL TO CUBA… National Security Advisor John Bolton announced yesterday that the Trump administration is tightening restrictions on travel and remittances to Cuba. The move reverses Obama era policies and increases pressure on the Cuban government’s support of the Nicolás Maduro regime in Venezuela. Under the new policy, travel to Cuba will be limited to family visits.

TRADE DEFICIT DROPS IN FEBRUARY… A report released yesterday by the Census Bureau and the Bureau of Economic Analysis indicates the U.S. goods and services trade deficit dropped 3.4 percent to $49.4 billion in February. The drop brings it to its lowest level since June 2018. The $1.8 billion drop was boosted by U.S. exports increasing 1.1 percent to $209.7 billion, while imports rose just 0.2 percent to $259.1 billion. Goods and services for the year decreased 7.6 percent, to $8.3 billion, from the same period in 2018. Year-to-date, U.S. exports have increased $11.1 billion, or 2.7 percent, while imports have increased $2.8 billion, or 0.5 percent.

JUSTICE DEPARTMENT REMOVES CATCH-AND-RELEASE POLICY…The Justice Department has withdrawn an immigration policy that allows asylum seekers to be released in the U.S. while their requests were being processed. Under a new Trump administration plan, authorities can jail migrants without bail in crowded federal facilities. Immigration advocates argue the new rule could lock up migrants who have legitimate asylum claims for months.

DOZENS CHARGED IN OPIOID CRACKDOWN… An investigation by the Appalachian Regional Prescription Opioid Strike Force has resulted in charges filed against 60 medical professionals in seven states. Federal prosecutors say 60 Sixty people, including 31 doctors, illegally prescribed opioid drugs in exchange for cash and sexual favors. The suspects are accused of writing some 350,000 prescriptions and distributing 32 million pills. Charges were filed in West Virginia, Tennessee, Ohio, Alabama, Kentucky, Louisiana and Pennsylvania.

MIKE MYERS TO PRODUCE NETFLIX SERIES… Mike Myers has reportedly signed on to produce a six-episode half-hour series or Netflix. Variety reports that Myers will play multiple characters in the series, but little else is known about it. Some have speculated that Myers will reprise his Dr. Evil character.

WRITERS GUILD SUED AGENCIES… The Writers Guild of America has stepped up its battle against Hollywood’s four biggest talent agencies with a lawsuit that it filed yesterday. The suit claims that agents’ use of so-called packaging fees is illegal under California law because they pose a conflict of interest in representing writers. Packaging fees mean agents combine elements of a television series, including writers, scripts or actors, and sell them directly to studios as a unit rather than taking commission from each. The fight has resulted in numerous writers firing their agents.

PHILADELPHIA 3 – N.Y. Mets 2… Phillies starter Jake Arrieta (3-1) allowed just two runs on six hits over eight innings. Scott Kingery and Cesar Hernandez homered.

St. Louis 6 – MILWAUKEE 3… Homers by Matt Carpenter and Marcell Ozuna helped the Cardinals double up on the Brewers and avoid a series sweep. Starter Michael Wacha (1-0) gave up two runs on five hits over six innings.

L.A. DODGERS 3 – Cincinnati 2… A.J. Pollock’s three-run homer in the bottom of the sixth inning provided all the offense the Dodgers needed to complete a sweep of the Reds. Walker Buehler pitched three-hit ball over six shutout innings.

WASHINGTON 9 – San Francisco 6… Juan Soto, Howie Kendrick, Matt Adams and Kurt Suzuki all circled the bases in powering the Nationals past the Giants.

Chi. Cubs 6 – MIAMI 0… Cole Hamels (3-0) limited the Marlins to three hits over seven innings and two relievers preserved the shutout. Jason Heyward and Javier Baez homered for the Cubs.

Arizona 3 – ATLANTA 2 (10 innings)… Adam Jones homered and drew a bases-loaded walk in the top of the 10th inning to force home the decisive run. Jones also scored the tying run on Ketel Marte’s seventh-inning double.

Kansas City 4 – CHI. WHITE SOX 3 (10 innings)… Hunter Dozier smacked a go-ahead solo homer in the top of the 10th inning. Alex Gordon singled home two runs for the Royals.

N.Y. YANKEES 5 – Boston 3… Brett Gardner unloaded a grand slam in the bottom of the seventh inning and the Yankees hung on to take both games of the series.

Cleveland 1 – SEATTLE 0… Jake Bauers homered in the top of the fifth inning and the Indians made it stand in clipping the Mariners. Carlos Carrasco (2-2) surrendered three hits over seven innings and Nick Wittgren completed the shutout.

TAMPA BAY 8 – Baltimore 1… The Rays got homers from Brandon Lowe, Ji-Man Choi and Yandy Diaz. Four pitchers combined to hold the Orioles at bay.

MINNESOTA 4 – Toronto 1… Nelson Cruz singled home a run and doubled in another for the Twins in a game delayed 54 minutes by rain.

TEXAS 5 – L.A. Angels 4… Shin-Soo Choo legged out a two-run triple to cap a four-run bottom of the fifth inning that carried the Rangers past the Angels.

OAKLAND 2 – Houston 1… Frankie Montas (3-1) limited the Astros to a run on three hits over 6-1/3 innings. Matt Chapman homered for the Athletics. Jurickson Profar went 2-for-3 with an RBI.

Pittsburgh 3 – DETROIT 2 (10 innings)… Colin Moran singled home Adam Frazier with the tie-breaking run in the top of the 10th inning.

Arizona (Weaver, 0-1) is at Atlanta (Toussaint, 1-0)…
Washington (Corbin, 0-2) hosts San Francisco (Pomeranz, 0-1)…
the L.A. Dodgers (Urias, 0-1) are at Milwaukee (Davies, 2-0)…
Colorado (Freeland, 1-3) hosts Philadelphia (Eflin, 2-1)…
Cincinnati (Roark, 0-0) is at San Diego (Paddack, 0-0)

the Chi White Sox (Nova, 0-2) are at Detroit (Norris, 0-0)…
Minnesota (Pineda, 2-0) hosts Toronto (Buchholz, 0-0)…
Kansas City (Bailey, 1-1) is at the N.Y. Yankees (German, 3-0)…
Tampa Bay (TBA) hosts Baltimore (Cashner, 3-1)…
Seattle (Hernandez, 1-1) is at the L.A. Angels (Stratton, 0-1)

NBA PLAYOFF SCORES (first-round)…
BOSTON 99 – Indiana 91… The Celtics outscored the Pacers 31-12 in the fourth quarter to emerge with the win and take a 2-0 lead in the series. Kyrie Irving led all scorers with 37 points. Jayson Tatum added 26 points. Game 3 is Friday in Indianapolis.

MILWAUKEE 120 – Detroit 99… The Bucks took control with a big third quarter on their way to taking a 2-0 lead in the series. Giannis Antekounmpo scored 13 of his 26 points in the quarter. Eric Bledsoe scored a game-high 27 points. Kris Middleton tossed in 24 points. The series moves to Detroit for Saturday’s Game 3.

HOUSTON 118 – Utah 98… The Rockets jumped out to a 20-point lead after the first quarter and never looked back in their rout of the Jazz. James Harden racked up 32 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists. Utah hosts Game 3 on Saturday.

Philadelphia is at Brooklyn for Game 3 with the series tied 1-1…
San Antonio hosts Denver for Game 3 with the series tied 1-1…
Golden State is at the L.A. Clippers for Game 3 with the series tied 1-1

Boston 6 – TORONTO 4… The Bruins outshot the Maple Leafs to even the series at two games apiece. David Pastrnak scored back-to-back goals in the second period. Brad Marchand had a goal and two assists. The series returns to Boston for Game 5 on Friday.

DALLAS 5 – Nashville 1… The Stars scored four first-period goals and cruised past the Predators to bring the series even at two games apiece. Roope Hintz netted two goals. John Klingberg had three assists. Nashville hosts Saturday’s Game 5.

COLORADO 3  – Calgary 2 (OT)… The Avalanche came from two goals down with 12 minutes left to upend the Flames and take a 3-1 lead in the series. Mikko Rantanen scored the winning goal at 10.23 of overtime. Rantanen and J.T. Compher scored third-period goals. Philipp Grubauer stopped 37 shots at goal. Game 5 is Friday in Calgary.

Washington is at Carolina for Game 4 with the Capitals leading 2-1…
Winnipeg hosts St. Louis for Game 5 with the series tied 2-2…
San Jose hosts Vegas for Game 5 with the Golden Knights leading 3-1

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