CORONAVIRUS UPDATE… The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 4,426,982 and the nation’s death toll stands at 150,713, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University. Both California and Florida set new records for single-day coronavirus deaths yesterday… House Speaker Nancy Pelosi yesterday mandated the wearing of face masks in the U.S. House of Representatives, hours after Texas Republican Representative Louie Gohmert announced he tested positive for COVID-19. Gohmert, a vocal mask skeptic, was walking around without face covering at Tuesday’s House Judiciary Committee hearing.
U.S. REDUCES TROOPS IN GERMANY… The Trump administration announced a major repositioning of U.S. forces in Europe yesterday. Nearly 12,000 American troops are being removed from Germany and the headquarters of U.S. European Command is being moved from Germany to Belgium. The Pentagon said the moves were meant to deter Russia but President Trump later claimed they were in response to Germany not spending enough on its defense budget. According to the Pentagon, 6,400 of the U.S. troops stationed in Germany will return to the U.S. Another 5,400 will be moved to other locations in Europe that already house American troops, and troops from the U.S. will rotate into locations in southeastern Europe. There will remain 24,000 American troops in Germany. The decision triggered an onslaught of disapproval from Republicans, Democrats and former senior military officials, who said the move will benefit Russia, degrade U.S. national security and military readiness, cost U.S. taxpayers billions and undermine U.S. relations with Germany, NATO and Europe.
FEDS PULLING OUT OF PORTLAND… Oregon Governor Kate Brown and the Trump administration struck an agreement yesterday that will remove federal agents from downtown Portland following nightly clashes between law enforcement and demonstrators. Some federal officers guarding a U.S. courthouse that has been targeted during violent protests will leave today, Brown said. President Trump earlier this month sent agents from U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the U.S. Marshals Service to quell downtown Portland protests against racial injustice. The deployment appears only to have angered protesters, who grew in number from a couple hundred to 20,000.
JUDGE BLOCKS ‘PUBLIC CHARGE’ RULE… A federal judge yesterday ordered the Trump administration to stop enforcing a sweeping wealth test on people applying for green cards and visas throughout the national emergency over the coronavirus pandemic. Judge George Daniels of the U.S. District Court in Manhattan agreed with the attorneys general of New York, Connecticut and Vermont, who had argued that the rules discourage immigrants from seeking public assistance during the pandemic. The “public charge” rule took effect in February after the Supreme Court left it in place and urged the states to take their cases to lower courts.
HOUSE PANEL GRILLS TECH CEOs… Members of the House Judiciary Antitrust Subcommittee yesterday grilled CEOs of four of the world’s biggest tech companies as part of its ongoing investigation into competition in the digital market. The questioning fell along party lines. Republicans complained about an effort to silence conservative voices online. most Democrat asked about monopolized markets, other antitrust issues and data privacy.
RAPPER MALIK B. DIES… Rapper Malik Abdul Baset, who was best-known as a founder of The Roots has died of undisclosed causes, the group announced yesterday. He was 47. Performing under the name Malik B., he recorded with the band through the 1999 release of the Grammy-winning album “Things Fall Apart,” which sold more than a million copies in the U.S.
TRACY MORGAN SUED FOR DIVORCE… Actor/comedian Tracy Morgan has been sued for divorce by his wife of five years. He and Megan Wollover married in 2015 after a four-year relationship and have a daughter together. Morgan currently stars on the TBS comedy “The Last O.G.”
CINCINNATI 12 – Chi. Cubs 7… The Reds outslugged the Cubs to snap their four-game skid. Nick Castellanos unloaded a grand slam. Mike Moustakas and Nick Senzel also went deep.
Milwaukee 3 – PITTSBURGH 0… Brandon Woodruff (1-1) pitched one-hit ball and struck out 10 over 6-1/3 innings. Three relievers completed the shutout. Keston Hiura and Ben Gamel homered for Milwaukee.
SAN FRANCISCO 7 – San Diego 6… Mike Yastrzemski’s second solo homer of the night came in the bottom of the ninth inning and gave the Giants a walkoff win over the Padres. Donovan Solano homered in the eighth as San Francisco erased a 6-2 deficit.
Chi. White Sox 4 – CLEVELAND 0… Luis Robert stroked a two-run single as the White Sox scored all four runs in the top of the ninth inning to break a scoreless tie. The game featured a duel between Chicago starter Lucas Giolito and his counterpart Zach Plesac, but neither got a decision.
DETROIT 5 – Kansas City 4… JaCoby Jones slammed a go-ahead solo homer in the bottom of the seventh inning and the Tigers made it stand in edging the Royals.
N.Y. Yankees 9 – BALTIMORE 3… DJ LeMahieu, Aaron Judge and Aaron Hicks homered as the Yankees beat the Orioles for the 17th straight time.
SEATTLE 10 – L.A. Angels 7… Kyle Seager lifted a tie-breaking sacrifice fly in the bottom of the seventh inning and J.P. Crawford singled home two runs in the eighth to push the Mariners past the Angels. Dylan Moore’s three-run homer capped a five-run sixth.
Colorado 5 – OAKLAND 1… German Marquez (1-1) limited the Athletics to a run on four hits over six innings. Charlie Blackmon had a couple of hits, including an RBI double.
TEXAS 7 – Arizona 4… The Rangers came up with five runs in the bottom of the eighth inning to upend the Diamondbacks. Joey Gallo belted a game-tying two-run homer.
Washington 4 – TORONTO 0 (10 innings)… Asdrubal Cabrera legged out a bases-clearing triple in the top of the 10th inning as the Nationals fought off the Blue Jays.
L.A. Dodgers 4 – HOUSTON 2 (13 innings)… Edwin Rios connected for a two-run homer in the top of the 13th inning and the Dodgers made it stand in outlasting the Astros after both teams scored in the 11th. Cory Seager also went deep for L.A.
BOSTON 6 – N.Y. Mets 5… Christian Vazquez hit a game-tying homer in the bottom of the seventh inning and added a two-run single during a three-run eighth as the Red Sox topped the Mets.
ATLANTA 7 – Tampa Bay 4… Freddie Freeman went 4-for-5 with a homer and three RBIs in leading the Braves past the Rays.
MINNESOTA 3 – St. Louis 0… Starter Rich Hill (1-0) got help from four relievers as the Twins blanked the Cardinals. The 40-year-old Hill pitched two-hit ball over five innings. Eddie Rosario homered for Minnesota.
TODAY’S MLB SCHEDULE…
the Chi. Cubs (Yu Darvish) are at Cincinnati (Luis Castillo)…
Arizona (Robbie Ray) hosts the L.A. Dodgers (Ross Stripling)…
San Diego (Nelson Lamet) is at San Francisco (TBA)
Cleveland (Shane Bieber) is at Minnesota (Jose Berrios)…
Seattle (Marco Gonzalez) hosts the L.A. Angels (Dylan Bundy)…
the N.Y. Yankees (J.A. Happ) are at Baltimore (John Means)…
Detroit (Ivan Nova) hosts Kansas City (Brady Singer)
Washington (Erick Fedde) is at Toronto (Hyun-Jin Ryu)…
the N.Y. Mets (Steven Matz) host Boston (Martin Perez)…
Atlanta (Max Fried) hosts Tampa Bay (Ryan Yarbrough)
DODGER RELIEVER JOE KELLY SUSPENDED… Major League Baseball has handed L.A. Dodgers reliever Joe Kelly an eight-game suspension for his role in a benches-clearing incident that occurred in Houston on Tuesday night. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts was issued a one-game suspension and Houston Astros manager Dusty Baker was fined an undisclosed amount. Kelly, who threw a fastball behind Alex Bregman’s head and then taunted Carlos Correa on the way back to the dugout, plans to appeal his suspension.
NBA REGULAR SEASON RESUMES TODAY… The 2019-20 NBA season resumes tonight with a doubleheader in Orlando, Florida. The New Orleans Pelicans meet the Utah Jazz at 6:30 p.m. Eastern, followed by the Lakers-Clippers to follow at 9 p.m. Eastern. Both games air on TNT. The NBA announced yesterday that of the 344 players tested for COVID-19 on the NBA campus since test results were last announced on July 20, zero have returned confirmed positive tests.
NHL STANLEY CUP QUALIFIERS BEGIN SATURDAY…