The Rundown for August 18, 2020

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE… The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 5,437,851 and the nation’s death toll stands at 170,493 according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University… Texas reported 51 new Covid-19-related deaths yesterday, raising the total number to 10,034 in the state… The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill announced yesterday that all in-person classes would shift to remote learning after more than 130 students tested positive and 349 were placed in quarantine just one week into classes.

DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL CONVENTION OPENS… The 2020 Democratic National Convention opened last night with speakers basing their messages on social issues and the COVID-19 pandemic. South Carolina Congressman Jim Clyburn hailed presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden as a candidate who could unify the country. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo described his state’s response to the pandemic. Later in the evening, former Ohio Governor John Kasich and other Republicans pledged their support for Biden while criticizing Trump’s leadership. Biden was also lauded by his former rivals in the presidential race, including Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders. Former first lady Michelle Obama closed out the virtual event by praising Biden for his work as vice president alongside her husband, former President Barack Obama, and urging Americans to vote in November.

TRUMP APPROVES AID FOR IOWA… President Trump yesterday approved Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds’ request for nearly $4 billion in federal aid after a powerful derecho tore through the state last week. Reynolds sought an emergency declaration Sunday after the storm destroyed more than 10 million acres of crops, including 43% of the state’s corn and soybean yields. Hundreds of thousands of Iowans were without power.

POSTMASTER TO TESTIFY… Postmaster General Louis DeJoy has agreed to testify before the House Committee on Oversight and Reform next week Tuesday about controversial changes he has implemented at the U.S. Postal Service. Committee chairwoman Carolyn Maloney said Robert Duncan, chair of the USPS Board of Governors, will also give testimony at the hearing. Democrats have expressed concern that the changes at the USPS could impact the 2020 presidential election. DeJoy, a major donor to Republicans and committees supporting President Trump, was appointed in May.

FORMER CIA AGENT CHARGED WITH SELLING SECRETS… The Justice Department announced yesterday that a CIA veteran has been charged with selling U.S. secrets to China. Prosecutors say Alexander Yuk Ching Ma, who served in the CIA from 1967 to 1989, conspired with at least five officers from the Chinese Ministry of State Security 12 years after his retirement. Ma is accused of meeting with Chinese agents in a Hong Kong hotel room and sharing “a substantial amount of highly classified national defense information.” Ma took a job with the FBI after leaving the CIA, and allegedly used his post to obtain classified documents regarding missiles and other weapons to share with the Chinese government. According to prosecutors, Ma admitted his activities to an undercover FBI agent posing as a Chinese government representative.

ENTERTAINMENT
CHARGES IN JAM MASTER JAY KILLING
… Federal prosecutors yesterday announced murder charges against two men accused in the cold-case 2002 killing of former Run-DMC hip-hop star and deejay Jam Master Jay. A grand jury indicted Ronald Washington and Karl Jordan, Jr. were indicted by in what federal prosecutors described as a “drug-related homicide.” Jay, whose real name was Jason Mizell, was fatally shot at his recording studio in Queens on October 30, 2002. He was 37.

WILL SMITH, KEVIN HART TEAM UP… Will Smith and Kevin Hart are putting together a remake of the 1987 comedy film “Planes, Trains & Automobiles.” In a social-media post, Hart said the film would be set in Philadelphia. It’s not known whether Smith or Hart plan to play the roles played by John Candy and Steve Martin in the original. Martin played a husband and father trying desperately to get home to Chicago for Thanksgiving. On his flight, he meets a curtain ring salesman, played by Candy, who adds to the adventure.

SPORTS
MLB SCORES
St. Louis 3 – CHI. CUBS 1
… Brad Miller stroked a tie-breaking two-run double in the top of the seventh inning and the Cardinals topped the Cubs in a doubleheader opener.

CHI. CUBS 5 – St. Louis 4… David Bote’s three-run homer capped a five-run top of the sixth inning and the Cubs claimed a split of the twinbill.

N.Y. YANKEES 6 – Boston 3… Luke Voit homered twice and drove in three runs as the Yankees beat the Red Sox for the 10th straight time. Aaron Hicks and Thairo Estrada also went deep.

ATLANTA 7 – Miami 6… Adam Duvall and Dansby Swanson blasted two-run homers in the bottom of the ninth inning to rally the Braves past the Marlins.

N.Y. Mets 11 – Washington 4… Robinson Cano and Pete Alonso both homered twice to help power the Mets past the Nationals. Cano drove in four runs. Alonso was 3-for-3 and reached base five times.

Toronto 7 – BALTIMORE 2… Randal Grichuk homered and knocked in four runs as the Blue Jays cruised past the Orioles. Cavan Biggio went 3-for-5 with a homer and three RBIs. Hyun-Jin Ryu (2-0) allowed a run on four hits over six innings.

CHI. WHITE SOX 7 – Detroit 2… Tim Anderson and Luis Robert each homered twice as the White Sox cruised past the Tigers. Yoan Moncada and Danny Mendick also circled the bases.

MINNESOTA 4 – Kansas City 1… Nelson Cruz smacked a pair of solo homers in the Twins’ defeat of the Royals. Six pitchers held Kansas City at bay.

San Diego 14 – TEXAS 4… Fernando Tatis Jr. unloaded a grand slam and belted a three-run homer to lead the Padres in their rout of the Rangers.

HOUSTON 2 – Colorado 1… Carlos Correa’s two-run double in the bottom of the first inning provided all the offense the Astros needed in their win over the Rockies. Brandon Bielak (3-0) allowed only a Trevor Story homer in six innings.

L.A. ANGELS 7 – San Francisco 6… Tommy La Stella’s two-run homer in the bottom of the ninth inning gave the Angels a come-from-behind win over the Giants and snapped their four-game skid. Mike Trout also went deep for L.A.

L.A. DODGERS 11 – Seattle 9… The Dodgers rallied past the Mariners after blowing an early four-run lead. Corey Seager, Enrique Hernandez and Mookie Betts homered for L.A. Seager’s brother Kyle homered for Seattle, making them the first pair of brothers in 19 years to homer as opponents in the same game.

ARIZONA 4 – Oakland 3… David Peralta homered and singled home the winning run in the bottom of the ninth inning as the Diamondbacks topped the Athletics.

TODAY’S MLB SCHEDULE
Colorado (Anthony Senzatela, 0-0) is at Houston (Zack Greinke, 0-0)…
Texas (Mike Minor, 0-0) hosts San Diego (Luis Perdomo, 0-0)…
San Francisco (Trevor Cahill, 0-0) is at the L.A. Angels (Dylan Bundy, 3-1)…
Arizona (Luke Walker, 0-0) hosts Oakland (Frankie Montas, 2-1)…
Tampa Bay (Blake Snell, 0-0) is at the N.Y. Yankees (Masahiro Tanaka, 0-0)…
Pittsburgh (J.T. Brubaker, 0-0) hosts Cleveland (Carlos Carrasco, 2-2)…
Washington (Austin Voth, 0-0) is at Atlanta (Josh Tomlin, 0-0)…
the L.A. Dodgers (Tony Gonsolin, 0-0) host Seattle (Marco Gonzalez, 2-2)…
the N.Y. Mets (David Pearson, 3-1) are at Miami (Humberto Mejia, 0-0)…
Boston (Zack Godley, 0-0) hosts Philadelphia (Zach Eflin, 0-0)…
Toronto (Nate Pearson, 0-0) is at Baltimore (Wade LeBlanc, 0-0)…
Kansas City (Brad Keller, 0-0) hosts Cincinnati (Luis Castillo, 0-0)…
Detroit (Tarik Skubal, 0-0) is at the Chi. White Sox (Dylan Cease, 3-1)…
Minnesota (Kenta Maeda, 0-0) hosts Milwaukee (Corbin Burnes, 0-0)…
St. Louis (Daniel Ponce de Leon, 0-0 is at the Chi. Cubs (Yu Darvish, 3-1)

NBA PLAYOFFS (FIRST-ROUND OPENERS)…
EASTERN CONFERENCE
Toronto 134 – Brooklyn 110
… The Raptors made 22 of 44 3-point attempts in bombing the Nets. Fred VanVleet was 8-of-10 from beyond the arc and led all scorers with 30 points. Serge Ibaka delivered 22 points off the bench. Game 2 is tomorrow.

Boston 109 – Philadelphia 101… The Celtics came up big in the fourth quarter to rally past the 76ers. Jayson Tatum piled up 32 points and 10 rebounds. Jaylen Brown added 29 points. Game 2 is tomorrow.

WESTERN CONFERENCE
Denver 135 – Utah 125
(OT)… Jamal Murray scored 10 of his 36 points in the overtime period as the Nuggets spurted past the Jazz. Nikola Jokic had 29 points and 10 boards. Donovan Mitchell’s 57 points weren’t enough for Utah. Game 2 is tomorrow.

L.A. Clippers 118 – Dallas 110… Kawhi Leonard put up 29 points and 12 rebounds as the Clippers held off the Mavericks. Paul George tossed in 27 points. Luka Doncic scored a game-high 42 points for Dallas, which lost Kristaps Porzingis in the third quarter following his ejection for picking up his second technical foul. Game 2 is tomorrow.

TODAY’S NBA PLAYOFFS SCHEDULE (FIRST-ROUND OPENERS)…
EASTERN CONFERENCE
Milwaukee (1) vs. Orlando (8)…
(4) Indiana vs Miami (5)

WESTERN CONFERENCE
L.A. Lakers (1) vs. Portland (8)…
Houston (4) vs. Oklahoma City (5)

NHL STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS FIRST-ROUND SCORES
EASTERN CONFERENCE
(in Toronto)
Tampa Bay 2 – Columbus 1… The Lightning got second period goals from Barclay Goodrow and Yanni Gourde in holding off the Blue Jackets to take a 3-1 lead in the series. Goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy made 28 saves. Game 5 is tomorrow.

Boston 4 – Carolina 3… The Bruins came alive to score all four goals in the third period and upend the Hurricanes to take a 3-1 series lead. Jake DeBrusk scored twice. Brad Marchand and Connor Clifton also found the net. Game 5 is tomorrow.

WESTERN CONFERENCE (in Edmonton)
Colorado 7 – Arizona 1… The Avalanche skated past the Coyotes to take a 3-1 series lead. Nazem Kadri scored two goals and set up another. Game 5 is tomorrow.

St. Louis 3 – Vancouver 1… Ryan O’Reilly netted a pair of goals and had an assist as the Blues clipped the Canucks and evened the series at 2-2. Alex Pietrangelo had a goal and an assist. Game 5 is tomorrow.

TODAY’S NHL STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS FIRST-ROUND SCHEDULE
EASTERN CONFERENCE
(in Toronto)
Philadelphia vs. Montreal for Game 4 with the Flyers leading 2-1…
Washington vs. the N.Y. Islanders for Game 4 with the Islanders leading 3-0

WESTERN CONFERENCE (in Edmonton)
Dallas vs. Calgary for Game 5 with the series tied 2-2…
Vegas vs. Chicago for Game 5 with the Golden Knights leading 3-1

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