CORONAVIRUS UPDATE… The number of conformed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 3,304,942 and the nation’s death toll stands at 135,205, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University. Florida’s 15,300 new cases yesterday were a daily high for any state during the pandemic. Arizona, Texas and California have also been hard-hit. There was good news in New York City, where health officials reported zero coronavirus-related deaths for the first time since the pandemic hit.
GRAHAM TO ALLOW MUELLER TO TESTIFY… Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham announced on Twitter yesterday that he will allow Democrats to bring in former special counsel Robert Mueller to testify about his investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. Graham, a Republican from South Carolina, had denied Democrats’ previous attempts to bring Mueller before the committee but apparently changed his mind after reading an op-ed Mueller wrote in Saturday’s Washington Post. Mueller defended his office’s prosecution of former President Trump adviser Roger Stone and emphasized that he is still a convicted felon and “rightly so” even after President Trump’s commuted his sentence.
21 INJURED AFTER BLAST ABOARD NAVY SHIP… The Navy says 17 sailors and four civilians were injured yesterday after an explosion caused a three-alarm fire aboard the USS Bonhomme Richard as it was docked at Naval Base San Diego for routine maintenance. The hospitalized sailors were reported to be in stable condition and mostly suffering from either heat exhaustion or smoke inhalation. San Diego Fire Chief Colin Stowell said that the fire would “more than likely” burn the ship to the water.
FEDERAL EXECUTION SCHEDULED FOR TODAY… The first federal execution since 2003 is scheduled for today following yesterday’s decision by the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals to overturn a lower court ruling staying the execution of a man convicted of murdering a family of three. 47-year-old Daniel Lewis Lee of Yukon, Oklahoma, is scheduled to die by lethal injection at 4 p.m. at a federal prison in Indiana. He was convicted in Arkansas of the 1996 killings of a husband, wife and their 8-year-old daughter. Lee’s family tried to delay the execution by arguing that they would be put at high risk for coronavirus if they had to travel to attend the execution and vowed to appeal to the Supreme Court.
GAS PRICES DOWN 2 CENTS… The average price for a gallon of regular-grade gasoline in the U.S. rose by 2 cents over the past two weeks, according to a nationwide survey of gas stations released yesterday. The highest average price found that the most expensive gas was in the San Francisco Bay Area, where it cost $3.20 per gallon. The cheapest gas was in Houston, where a gallon costs $1.79 on average.
ELVIS’ GRANDSON DIES… Singer and actor Benjamin Keough, the son of Lisa Marie Presley and the grandson of Elvis and Priscilla Presley, died yesterday from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound in Calabasas, California. He was 27. Keough was the son of musician Danny Keough and the sister of actress Riley Keough.
POP SMOKE TOPS ALBUM CHART… Pop Smoke’s posthumous release, “Shoot for the Stars Aim for the Moon” sold 251,000 copies to top the Billboard 200 album chart. The original Broadway soundtrack to “Hamilton” shot into second place on sales of 102,000 units. Last week’s champ, Lil Baby’s “My Turn,” dropped into third place after selling 62,000 copies. DaBaby’s “Blame It On Baby” sold 36,000 units to finish fourth. Post Malone’s “Hollywood’s Bleeding” capped the top five with 36,000 copies sold.
REDSKINS TO CHANGE NAME… The Washington Redskins are expected to announce a new nickname at a press conference this morning. The nickname has been criticized for years as racially insensitive and the franchise announced earlier this month that it would be conducting a thorough review. Team owner Dan Snyder famously told USA Today in 2013 to “put it in all caps” that he would never change the name. Meanwhile, major league baseball’s Atlanta Braves have informed season-ticket holders that that they will not be changing their nickname but will take a further look at the future of the tomahawk chop.