The Rundown for December 31, 2019

IRAN VOWS ‘CONSEQUENCES’ FOR AIR STRIKES… Iran warned of “consequences” yesterday following Sunday’s U.S. airstrikes that targeted Iran-backed militia group Kataib Hezbollah in Iraq and Syria. The strikes killed 25 people and wounded at least 51 more, according to CNN. The strikes came weeks after U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo blamed Iranian-backed forces for a series of attacks on American bases in Iraq.

POMPEO TO VISIT UKRAINE… The State Department announced yesterday that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will meet with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in Kyiv on January 3. The meeting will be part of the first leg of Pompeo’s five-day tour through Eastern Europe and Central Asia. The Ukraine visit will while U.S. Senators are returning from holiday recess and continuing negotiations with congressional leaders over terms for President Trump’s trial on charges related to his withholding of military aid from Ukraine. Trump is accused of using the aid as collateral in pressuring the Ukrainian government to launch investigations into his political rival Joe Biden.

JUDGE TOSSES LAWSUIT OVER WHITE HOUSE AIDE’S SUBPOENA… A federal judge yesterday dismissed a lawsuit that sought a ruling on whether former White House aide Charles Kupperman must comply with a congressional subpoena in the impeachment inquiry into President Trump. U.S. District Judge Richard Leon called the lawsuit “moot” because a U.S. House of Representatives committee withdrew a subpoena seeking his testimony. House investigators subpoenaed Kupperman in October for his testimony in their investigation into Trump’s dealings with the Ukrainian government. Kupperman, who served as a deputy to former national security adviser John Bolton, listened to a July 25 call Trump made to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. The White House instructed him not to comply with the subpoena. Legal observers noted that yesterday’s could force Bolton to testify in the impeachment inquiry.

MORE CHARGES AGAINST HANNUKAH STABBING SUSPECT… Prosecutors have filed federal hate crime charges against Hannukah stabbing suspect Grafton Thomas. The Greenwood Lake, New York, resident has pleaded not guilty to five state counts of attempted murder and one count of burglary stemming from a machete-wielding attack at the home of a Hasidic Jewish rabbi during a Hannukah party on Saturday night. He was ordered held on $5 million bail with his next court appearance Friday. FBI investigators say the 37-year-old Thomas possessed documents that expressed anti-Semitic views and referenced “Nazi culture.”

U.S. POPULATION GROWTH SLOWS… A Census Bureau report released yesterday found that the U.S. population growth rate in 2019 was the slowest in a century due to declining births, increasing deaths and immigration restrictions. The nation’s population grew from 2018 to 2019 by almost 1.5 million people, which is the slowest rate since 1917 to 1918 during World War I, the report claimed. President Trump’s restrictions on immigration, combined with fewer economic opportunities, were cited for a migration drop from 1 million in 2016 to 595,000 in 2019.

ENTERTAINMENT
SHARON STONE HAS DATING-APP ACCOUNT RESTORED… The women-driven dating app Bumble says it has restored the account of actress Sharon Stone. Her account was blocked after the platform’s moderators received several reports of a fake profile. The 62-year-old Stone, who is best-known for starring in the 1992 film “Basic Instinct,” was back up and running after complaining tweeting at Bumble about her block.

HARRY STYLES REMAINS ATOP ALBUM CHART… Harry Styles’ “Fine Line” sold 89,000 units to remain atop the weekend box office. Michael Buble’s “Christmas” rose into second place after selling 77,000 copies. Roddy Ricch’s “Please Excuse me for Being Antisocial” stayed at No. 3 on sales of 73,000 units. Mariah Carey’s “Merry Christmas” rose to fourth place with 71,000 copies sold. Billie Eilish’s “When We Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?” finished fifth after selling 63,000 units.

SPORTS
NBA SCORES
WASHINGTON 123 – Miami 105… The Wizards bombed the Heat 42-24 in the second quarter to erase an early double-digit deficit and cruised to the victory. Jordan McRae pumped in 29 points. Garrison Matthews added 28 points and Ian Mahinmi tossed in 25.

Atlanta 101 – ORLANDO 93… The Hawks rallied in the second half to put away the Magic and end their 10-game losing streak. Brandon Goodwin scored 21 points to lead a balanced scoring attack.

Milwaukee 123 – CHICAGO 102… Kris Middleton’s 25 points led seven players in double figures and the Bucks throttled the Bulls. Giannis Antetokounmpo had 23 points and 10 rebounds.

MINNESOTA 122 – Brooklyn 115 (OT)… The Timberwolves outlasted the Nets despite playing without Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins. They got 24 points from Shabazz Napier and 21 from Jarrett Culver. Gorgui Dieng pulled down 20 boards to go with his 11 points.

UTAH 104 – Detroit 81… The Jazz pulled away in the second half to rout the Pistons. Donovan Mitchell led the way with 23 points. Jordan Clarkson delivered 20 points off the bench. Rudy Gobert finished with 13 points and 19 rebounds.

Phoenix 122 – PORTLAND 116… The Suns rallied past the Trail Blazers after trailing by 19 heading into the second quarter. They got 33 points from Devin Booker and 29 from Kelly Oubre Jr. Ricky Rubio scored 18 points and dished off 13 assists.

TODAY’S NBA SCHEDULE
Philadelphia is at Indiana…
Charlotte hosts Boston…
the L.A. Clippers are at Sacramento…
San Antonio hosts Golden State
Cleveland is at Toronto…
Houston hosts Denver…
Dallas is at Oklahoma City

NHL SCORES
PITTSBURGH 5 – Ottawa 2… Evgeni Malkin scored two goals and assisted on another in leading the Penguins past the Senators. Jake Guentzel had a goal and two assists before leaving the game with an upper-body injury after being slammed into the boards.

TODAY’S NHL SCHEDULE
Boston is at New Jersey…
Washington hosts the N.Y. Islanders…
Anaheim is at Vegas…
Minnesota hosts Toronto…
Tampa Bay is at Buffalo…
Carolina hosts Montreal…
Florida is at Columbus…
Detroit hosts San Jose…
Winnipeg is at Colorado…
Calgary hosts Chicago…
the N.Y. Rangers are at Edmonton…
Arizona hosts St. Louis…
Philadelphia is at Los Angeles

COLLEGE FOOTBALL BOWL SCORES
Western Kentucky 23, Western Michigan 20 in the First Responder Bowl…
Louisville 38, Mississippi State 28 in the Music City Bowl…
California 35, Illinois 20 in the Redbox Bowl…
#9 Florida 36, #24 Virginia 28 in the Orange Bowl

TODAY’S COLLEGE FOOTBALL BOWL SCHEDULE
Virginia Tech plays Kentucky in the Belk Bowl…
Florida State plays Arizona State in the Sun Bowl…
#23 Navy plays Kansas State in the Liberty Bowl…
Wyoming plays Georgia State in the Arizona Bowl…
#11 Utah plays Texas in the Alamo Bowl

TOP 25 MEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL SCORES
#1 GONZAGA 93, Detroit Mercy 72…
#6 BAYLOR 83, Jackson State 57…
#9 MEMPHIS 84, Tulane 73…
#10 VILLANOVA 68, Xavier 62…
#20 DAYTON 77, North Florida 59

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