The Rundown for July 24, 2020

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE… The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 4,034,102 and the death toll stands at 144,242, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University… President Trump announced yesterday that the Jacksonville, Florida, component of the Republican National Convention is being cancelled due to surging coronavirus cases in the state. Trump said he’ll appear in telerallies and online events rather than at a large gathering. The event was scheduled for August 25 to August 27… The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention yesterday released guidelines for school re-openings. Students should wear masks, wash their hands frequently and socially distance, the CDC urged.

JOHN LEWIS TO LIE IN STATE… House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell announced yesterday that civil rights icon and U.S. Congressman from Georgia John Lewis will lie in state at the Capitol Rotunda next week. The public will be invited to pay their respects 6 p.m to 10 p.m. Monday and 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Tuesday. Lewis died Friday after a battle with Stage 4 pancreatic cancer.

FEDERAL USE OF FORCE INVESTIGATED… Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz announced yesterday that he’s opening an investigation into the use of force by federal law enforcement agents on protesters in Portland and Washington, D.C. A referral from the U.S. Attorney’s office in Oregon prompted the probe, Horowitz said. Federal law enforcement officials arrived in Portland earlier this month to quell Black Lives Matter protests in the city. More than 40 protesters reportedly have been grabbed off the street by unidentified officers in unmarked vehicles.

MICHAEL COHEN TO BE RELEASED FROM PRISON…. President Trump’s former personal lawyer Michael Cohen is expected to be released from prison today after a judge yesterday ordered him freed. U.S. District Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein found that the Justice Department had ordered him back to prison earlier this month as retaliation against him for planning to release a book critical of Trump before November’s election. In ordering Cohen’s release, the judge found his First Amendment rights had been violated. The 53-year-old Cohen sued federal prison officials and Attorney General William Barr on Monday, claiming he was imprisoned for writing the book: “Disloyal: The True Story of Michael Cohen, Former Personal Attorney to President Donald J. Trump.” Cohen pleaded guilty on August 21, 2018, to eight counts including campaign finance violations, tax fraud, and bank fraud. He was sentenced to three years in federal prison on December 12, 2018, and was furloughed in May.

JUDGE RULES FEDS CAN’T ARREST PROTEST OBSERVERS… A federal judge yesterday issued a temporary restraining order that prevents federal officers from arresting legal observers and journalists at the Black Lives Matter protests in Portland unless a crime has been committed. U.S. District Court Judge Michael Simon’s order will remain in place for 14 days. It also allows journalists to ignore dispersal orders from authorities.

ENTERTAINMENT
TAYLOR SWIFT RELEASES ALBUM
… Taylor Swift made a surprise announcement yesterday when she revealed that she would be releasing a new album at midnight. “Folklore” contains 16 tracks and features Bon Iver, Aaron Dessner of The National and frequent collaborator Jack Antonoff. Swift also said she would release the music video for the song “Cardigan.”

LUKE COMBS RESCHEDULES TOUR… Luke Combs has rescheduled the remaining dates of his “What You See is What You Get” tour. He announced yesterday that the tour will resume June 22, 2021, in Albuquerque. Combs launched the tour in February and it was supposed to run into December. The coronavirus pandemic prompted the tour’s postponement.

SPORTS
MLB
INTERLEAGUE

WASHINGTON 4 – N.Y. Yankees 1… The World Series-champion Nationals opened major league baseball’s abbreviated 60-game season by downing the Yankees in a game called in the sixth inning due to rain. Starter Gerrit Cole allowed a run on one hit over five innings. Giovanni Stanton homered with a runner aboard in the top of the first inning and single home a run in the fifth.

NL
L.A. DODGERS 8 – San Francisco 1
… Enrique Hernandez lined a two-run single during a five-run bottom of the seventh inning and added a two-run homer in the eighth as the Dodgers pulled away from the Giants. Dustin May got the start for the Dodgers after scheduled starter Clayton Kershaw complained of stiffness in his back and will begin the season on the 10-day injured list.

TODAY’S MLB SCHEDULE…
NL

Atlanta (Mike Soroka) is at the N.Y. Mets (Jacob deGrom)…
the Chi. Cubs (Kyle Hendricks) host Milwaukee (Brandon Woodruff)…
Miami (Sandy Alcantara) is at Philadelphia (Aaron Nola)…
St. Louis (Jack Flaherty) hosts Pittsburgh (Joe Musgrove)…
Arizona (Madison Bumgarner) is at San Diego (Chris Paddack)…
the L.A Dodgers (Ross Stripling) hosts San Francisco (Jeff Samardzija)

AL
Toronto (Hyun-Jin Ryu) is at Tampa Bay (Charlie Morton)…
Cleveland (Shane Bieber) hosts Kansas City (Danny Duffy)…
Baltimore (Tommy Milone) is at Boston (Nathan Eovaldi)…
the Chi. White Sox (Lucas Giolito) host Minnesota (Jose Barrios)…
Seattle (Marco Gonzalez) is at Houston (Justin Verlander)…
Oakland (Frankie Montas) hosts the L.A. Angels (Andrew Heaney)

INTERLEAGUE
Detroit (Matthew Boyd) is at Cincinnati (Sonny Gray)…
Texas (Lance Lynn) hosts Colorado (German Marquez)

MLB EXPANDS PLAYOFFS FOR 2020 SEASON… Major League Baseball owners and players agreed yesterday to expand the playoffs from 10 teams to 16 teams for the 2020 season. As reported by ESPN, all second-place teams in the six divisions will now qualify for the playoffs. The seventh and eighth playoff teams in each league will be determined by best record. The first round of the playoffs, scheduled for September 29-October 2, will be four three-game series in each league with all games played at the higher seed’s home stadium. The rest of the rounds will be their customary length: The two division series in each league will be five-game series, while the American League and National League Championship Series and World Series will be seven-game series.

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