The Rundown for December 12, 2019

INSPECTOR GENERAL: INVESTIGATION WASN’T POLITICALLY MOTIVATED… Justice Department inspector general Michael Horowitz yesterday contradicted President’s Trump’s that an investigation into his campaign was politically motivated. Testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee about the inspector general’s 400-page report on the FBI’s investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential campaign, Horowitz said there was no “documentary or testimonial evidence that political bias or improper motivation influenced the FBI’s decision to conduct these operations.” Horowitz also said a continuing investigation targets FBI officials’ leaks to Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani before the 2016 election.

BOEING OVERLOOKED ANALYSIS IN LETTING MAX JETS FLY… The Wall Street Journal reported yesterday that the Federal Aviation Administration allowed Boeing 737 MAX jets to fly despite its own analysis that warned it could become one of the most accident-prone airliners in decades unless fixes were made to an automated flight-control system. The analysis in November 2018 warned of one fatal crash every two or three years and predicted as many as 15 catastrophic accidents globally over the life of the MAX fleet. The FAA allowed the MAX to remain in service after installing revised flight-control software and telling crews how to respond to a misfire.

PROSECUTORS WANT LEV PARNAS RETURNED TO JAIL… Federal prosecutors in Manhattan want Rudy Giuliani associate Lev Parnas returned to jail after accusing him of misrepresenting his income and hiding a large payment he got from Russia earlier this year. Bloomberg reported yesterday that the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York considers Parnas a “flight risk” after he allegedly lied about his income and concealed a $1 million payment from Russia in September. Prosecutors say the payment was sent to an account under Parnas’ wife’s name. Parnas, along with fellow Giuliani associate Igor Fruman, was arrested in October and charged with campaign finance violations.

HOUSE PASSES FARMWORKERS BILL… The House yesterday passed a bipartisan bill that would grant legal status to thousands of undocumented farmworkers. The bill, which passed by a 260-165 vote, would provide a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants working in agriculture, reform a temporary agricultural program used by employers and require companies to verify whether workers are in the U.S. legally through a federal system. A 2016 Pew Research Center survey found that immigrants without legal status accounted for 15 percent of workers in the agriculture industry.

FED LEAVES KEY RATE UNCHANGED… The Federal Reserve cited steady low inflation in leaving the benchmark interest rate unchanged yesterday. The Federal Open Market Committee kept the federal funds rate at 1.5 percent to 1.75 percent after basing its decision on a strong labor market, rising economic activity and household spending. The committee did express concern over weak exports.

NYT: WEINSTEIN REACHES DEAL WITH ACCUSERS… The New York Times reported yesterday that Harvey Weinstein and the board of his bankrupt film studio have reached a tentative $25 million settlement with dozens of women who accused the former Hollywood producer of sexual misconduct. Lawyers involved in the negotiations reportedly told the paper that the deal would end nearly all civil lawsuits by actresses and former Weinstein employees who accused him of offenses ranging from sexual harassment to rape. Weinstein would not be required under the settlement to admit wrongdoing and the payout would be made by insurers for the former Weinstein Co. studio. Weinstein has been accused of sexual misconduct dating back decades by more than 70 women. He has denied the allegations, saying any sexual encounters were consensual.

BAD RELIGION, ALKALINE TRIO TO TOUR… Rock bands Bad Religion and Alkaline Trio are planning a joint North American tour in 2020. The groups will perform 18 shows together, beginning March 26 in Los Angeles and ending April 19 in Milwaukee. The tour coincides with the 40th anniversary of Bad Religion’s debut as a group.

L.A. Lakers 96 – ORLANDO 87… LeBron James racked up 25 points, 10 assists and 11 rebounds in leading the Lakers past the Magic. Anthony Davis finished with 16 points and 12 rebounds.

L.A. Clippers 112 – TORONTO 92… The Clippers bombed the Raptors 37-14 in the second quarter and remained in control the rest of the way. Kawhi Leonard scored 23 points in his return to Toronto after collecting his championship ring before the contest.

Houston 116 – CLEVELAND 110… James Harden scored 20 of his 55 points in the fourth quarter and the Rockets fought off the Cavaliers. Russell Westbrook tossed in 23 points for Houston.

INDIANA 122 – Boston 117… The Pacers outscored the Celtics 38-23 in the fourth quarter to pull off a come-from-behind win. Malcolm Brogdon led the way with 29 points. Domantas Sabonis had 15 points and 12 boards.

Charlotte 113 – BROOKLYN 108… The Hornets built a double-digit halftime lead and held on to down the Nets. Devonte Graham scored 40 points to lead all scorers. Five other players scored in double figures for Charlotte.

CHICAGO 136 – Atlanta 102… Zack LaVine scored 35 points to lead the Bulls in their rout of the Hawks. Lauri Markkanen added 22 points.

Utah 127 – MINNESOTA 116… Donovan Mitchell scored 30 points, Joe Ingles tossed in 23 points and the Jazz handled the Timberwolves. Rudy Gobert finished with 20 points and 16 rebounds.

Memphis 115 – PHOENIX 108… The Grizzlies got 27 points from Dillon Brooks and 24 from Jaren Jackson Jr. in topping the Suns.

MILWAUKEE 127 – New Orleans 112… The Bucks led by 23 points at the half and coasted past the Pelicans to win their 16th straight. Eric Bledsoe pumped in 29 points.

SACRAMENTO 94 – Oklahoma City 93… The Kings rallied from 11 points down in te fourth quarter to upend the Thunder. Bogdan Bogdanovic knocked down a go-ahead 3-pointer with 13.4 seconds remaining. Buddy Hield scored a team-high 23 points.

New York 124  – GOLDEN STATE 122 (OT)… The Knicks fought off the Warriors after letting an 18-point halftime lead slip away. Marcus Morris Sr. scored a game-high 36 points and brought down 10 boards. Julius Randle added 24 points. RJ Barrett had 22 points and 10 rebounds.

Philadelphia is at Boston…
San Antonio hosts Cleveland…
Dallas is at Detroit…
Denver hosts Portland

NHL NEWS… The San Jose Sharks fired head coach Pete DeBoer last night and replace him with assistant coach Bob Boughner on an interim basis. The Sharks are 15-16-2 with 32 points on the season. The 51-year-old DeBoer had a 198-129-34 record in his four-plus seasons as head coach. The team reached the Stanley Cup Final in his first season in San Jose and advanced to the Western Conference final last season.

WASHINGTON 3 – Boston 2… John Carlson netted a tie-breaking goal early in the third period and the Capitals made it stand in beating the Bruins. T.J. Oshie scored back-to-back goals in the second period.

MONTREAL 3 – Ottawa 2 (OT)… The Canadiens recovered to outlast the Senators after blowing a two-goal third-period lead. Ben Chairot found the net 1:11 into overtime. Nick Cousins and Tomas Tatar also scored for Montreal.

COLORADO 3 – Philadelphia 1… Mikko Rantanen found the net twice in leading the Avalanche past the Flyers. Goalie Pavel Francouz made 32 saves.

Nashville is at Buffalo…
Tampa Bay hosts Boston…
the N.Y. Islanders are at Florida…
Pittsburgh hosts Columbus…
Winnipeg is at Detroit…
St. Louis hosts Vegas…
Edmonton is at Minnesota…
Calgary hosts Toronto…
Chicago is at Arizona…
Vancouver hosts Carolina…
Los Angeles is at Anaheim…
San Jose hosts the N.Y. Rangers

ILLINOIS 71,#5 Michigan 62…
#15 ARIZONA 99, Omaha 49

the N.Y. Jets (5-8) are at Baltimore (11-2)

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