The Rundown for July 17, 2020

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE… The number of coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 3,576,156 and the nation’s death toll stands at 138,358, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University. Florida, which trails only Texas for the highest death rate in the country, reported a record 156 new deaths, along with record highs in cases and hospitalizations… Georgia Governor Brian Kemp announced yesterday that he is suing Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms over the city’s mask mandate, claiming the measure violates his emergency orders… Target and CVS announced yesterday that they will join other large retailers in requiring customers to wear masks. CVS will require masks starting July 20. Target’s requirement takes effect August 1.

MANHATTAN DA SAYS TRUMP IS DODGING SUBPOENA… The Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance yesterday accused President Trump of dragging out the court battle over eight years of his tax returns. Vance told a judge in federal court that Trump is trying to shield himself from criminal investigation by challenging a subpoena served at his accounting firm and pushed for an expedited review. Trump’s lawyers argued that the subpoena was vague and a politically motivated attempt to harass him.

UNEMPLOYMENT FILINGS… 1.3 million more American workers have filed for unemployment benefits, according to the Labor Department’s weekly report released yesterday. The claims were down 10,000 from the previous week and left the unemployment rate at 11.9 percent. More than 50 million U.S. workers have filed for unemployment since the start of the pandemic, although many have since returned to jobs.

RUSSIA ACCUSED OF HACKING CORONAVIRUS VACCINE RESEARCH… British, Canadian and U.S. security agencies say a “cyber espionage group” associated with the Russian intelligence services has attempted to hack into coronavirus vaccine research. The Western intelligence agencies say they believe the hackers are part of the same Russian group that hacked Democratic Party emails in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Russia has denied the accusation.

MARY TRUMP MEMOIR SETS SALES RECORD… Mary L. Trump’s memoir about life in the Trump family and its effects how it shaped her uncle into the current president sold 950,000 copies on its first day of release on Tuesday, setting an all-time high for publisher Simon & Schuster. The author says she published “Too Much and Never Enough” to help end her uncle’s presidency because “a second term … would be the end of American democracy.” During an appearance on MSNBC’s “The Rachel Maddow Show” last night, Mary Trump characterized her uncle as “virulently racist” and claimed she heard him use the N-word and anti-Semitic slurs.

… Jon Hamm has signed on to star in and produce an upcoming “Fletch” reboot based on Gregory Mcdonald’s “Fletch” mystery novels. The 49-year-old Hamm will play an investigative reporter popularized by Chevy Chase in the 1985 film “Fletch” and its 1989 sequel, “Fletch Lives.” In the new story, Fletch becomes a prime suspect in multiple murders and must find his fiancées stolen art collection.

MAROON 5 BASSIST STEPS AWAY FOLLOWING ARREST… Maroon 5 founder and bassist Mickey Madden has announced that he is stepping away from the band following his arrest two week ago on domestic violence charges. The 41-year-old Madden was released from jail with a September 29 court date. He faces up to six years in prison if convicted.

… An explosive report in yesterday’s Washington Post detailed the experiences of 15 women who claim they were the victims of sexual harassment and verbal abuse while employed by the Washington Redskins. Those accused of misconduct were members of owner Dan Snyder’s inner circle. They included former director of pro personnel Alex Santos and former assistant director of pro personnel Richard Mann II. Former president of business operations Dennis Greene and former chief operating officer Mitch Gershman were also named in allegations spanning from 2006 to 2019. Santos, who was fired this week, is accused by six former employees and two reporters who covered the team of commenting about their bodies and making unwelcome overtures. The team has hired attorney Beth Wilkinson to review the organization’s protocols, including its culture, policies and allegations of workplace misconduct.

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