CORONAVIRUS UPDATE… The number of reported coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 1,699,126 and the death toll stands at 100,411, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Dr. Anthony Fauci warned yesterday that the latest scientific data shows that hydroxychloroquine is not an effective treatment despite the recommendation of President Trump. France banning the drug altogether yesterday and an internationally respected science journal published a 96,000-patient study that concluded the drug had no effect.
HONG KONG NOT CONSIDERED AUTONOMOUS… Secretary of State Mike Pompeo informed Congress yesterday that Hong Kong is no longer an autonomous region and isn’t entitled to special treatment under U.S. law. The declaration could have major implications for Hong Kong’s trade status under the Hong Kong Policy Act of 1992. The U.S. plans to treat the city the same as mainland China with regard to foreign policy and trade.
MORE PROTESTS IN MINNEAPOLIS… Protesters clashed with police for the second straight night in Minneapolis last night following the death of George Floyd in police custody. Protests were largely peaceful in the afternoon but police began firing tear gas and rubber bullets at protesters in the early evening. In Los Angeles, protesters gathered in front of City Hall and blocked traffic in both directions of the 101 freeway. Floyd’s death is currently under investigation by the FBI, the Minnesota Department of Criminal Apprehension, and the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office.
SUSPECTED KILLER IN CUSTODY AFTER MANHUNT… Authorities announced yesterday that the suspect in two killings and a kidnapping in Connecticut has been arrested in Maryland after a six-day manhunt. 23-year-old Peter Manfredonia was taken into custody without incident last night in Hagerstown, Maryland, after being found in the woods by a gas station. Police reportedly found a firearm they believe to be a murder weapon. The University of Connecticut senior is suspected of killing one man and seriously injuring another on Friday morning in Willington, Connecticut. He is also a suspect in the killing of a male acquaintance in Derby, Connecticut.
ROCKET LAUNCH POSTPONED… Yesterday’s launch of a SpaceX rocket carrying two NASA astronauts was aborted at the last minute due to weather conditions at Cape Canaveral, Florida. The mission was postponed until 3:22 p.m. Eastern on Saturday. When weather allows, the Crew Dragon capsule launch will be the first since 2011 to send American astronauts into orbit.
NBC CLEARED IN GABRIELLE UNION COMPLAINTS… NBC announced yesterday that an outside investigation of actress Gabrielle Union’s complaints of racism on the set of “America’s Got Talent” concluded that her allegations were unfounded. The outside review also found that Union’s claims had “no bearing” on the show’s decision to drop her as a judge. Union appeared on the show for one season before she and fellow freshman judge Julianne Hough weren’t asked to return. Union, who is black, contended she was fired because she had asked NBC and the show’s producers to respond to an environment that tolerated racist jokes and remarks.
ACTOR RICHARD HERD DIES… Actor Richard Herd, who was best known for his appearances on the TV sitcom “Seinfeld” and the films “Get Out” and “All the President’s Men,” died at his Los Angeles-area home on Tuesday of cancer-related causes, his wife, actress Patricia Crowder Herd, confirmed yesterday. He was 87. Herd portrayed Mr. Wilhem on 11 episodes of “Seinfeld.” His TV credits included “T.J Hooker” and “Star Trek.” Herd also appeared in the films “The China Syndrome,” “The Onion Field” and “Sgt. Bilko.”
NBA TEAMS CONTINUE REOPENING FACILITIES… More than half of the NBA’s 30 franchises have reopened facilities for individual workouts. The Charlotte Hornets and Philadelphia 76ers have reopened their facilities this week and the Dallas Mavericks plan to reopen today. The NBA forbids having no more than four players in the facility at any one time and isn’t allowing head or assistant coaches to participate.