CORONAVIRUS UPDATE… The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 6,325,586 and the nation’s death toll stands at 189,580, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University… A report released yesterday by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children’s Hospital Association found that a half-million children in the U.S. have been diagnosed with Covid-19. The 70,630 new child cases reported between August 20 and September 3 marked a 16-percent increase in child cases over two weeks and brought the total to at least 513,415 cases… Drug giant AstraZeneca announced yesterday that it had paused global trials of its coronavirus vaccine because of an unexplained illness in one of the volunteers. Health officials not that the pause is a standard precaution in vaccine trials.
JUSTICE DEPARTMENT TAKING OVER TRUMP DEFAMATION CASE… The Justice Department announced it was taking a highly unusual legal maneuver in taking over the defense of President Trump in the defamation lawsuit filed against him by E. Jean Carroll. The former Elle magazine advice columnist accused Trump of sexually assaulting her long before Trump became president. Nevertheless, the Justice Department argued that it must take over because Trump’s comments spurring the defamation lawsuit came while he was in office. Legal experts note that if the Justice Department is allowed to take over, it would invalidate the lawsuit because the federal government can’t be sued for defamation. Carroll’s attorney, Robbie Kaplan, released a statement that warned, “Trump’s effort to wield the power of the U.S. government to evade responsibility for his private misconduct is without precedent, and shows even more starkly how far he is willing to go to prevent the truth from coming out.”
WHITE SUPREMACIST THREAT ‘PERSISTENT AND LETHAL’… Department of Homeland Security draft documents made public by Lawfare Editor in Chief Benjamin Wittes and first reported by Politico identify white supremacists as the most “persistent and lethal threat” in the U.S. through 2021. The documents conclude that that some U.S.-based violent extremists have capitalized on increased social and political tensions to commit violent acts. According to the report, foreign terrorist organizations also pose a threat but they “probably will remain constrained in their ability to direct such plots over the next year.”
COHEN TELL-ALL BOOK RELEASED… President Trump’s former personal attorney Michael Cohen calls Trump a “liar,” a “fraud” and a “bully” in a tell-all book that went on sale yesterday. Among Cohen’s accusations is that Trump admired Kremlin leader Vladimir Putin for his control over Russia, personally signed off on a National Enquirer report that smeared 2016 Republican presidential candidate Senator Ted Cruz of Texas and said Black Americans were “too stupid” to vote for him four years ago. Cohen also linked Jerry Falwell Jr.’s endorsement in 2016 to suppression of racy photos.
TOP ROCHESTER COPS RETIRING… Top Rochester Police Department leaders in Rochester are reportedly retiring amid ongoing criticism over their department’s handling of the suffocation death of Daniel Prude. Mayor Lovely Warren announced yesterday that police chief La’Ron Singletary, deputy chief Joseph M. Morabito and possibly other senior commanders are departing. Prude, a 41-year-old Black man, died several days after an encounter with police on March 23. Officers who found him running naked down the street put a hood over his head to stop him from spitting, then held him down for about 2 minutes until he stopped breathing. He died a week later after he was taken off life support.
DISNEY FACING BACKLASH OVER ‘MULAN’… Disney is facing widespread backlash over its decision to shoot its new live-action film “Mulan” in Xinjiang province, where the Chinese government is accused of committing serious human rights abuses. The film’s final credits include thanks to a government security agency thought to be responsible for the detention of about 1 million people – mostly Muslim Uighurs. Human-rights groups already had called for a boycott of the film after lead actress Liu Yifei expressed support for a crackdown on Hong Kong protesters demanding democracy.
‘KARDASHIANS’ ENDING… The E! reality show “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” is being brought to an end after 14 years and 20 seasons. The family announced on a social-media post yesterday that the final season “will air early next year in 2021.” The series, which was co-created by Ryan Seacrest, premiered in 2006.
Minnesota 7 – ST. LOUIS 3… Josh Donaldson went 2-for-3 with a three-run homer in leading the Twins past the Cardinals in the doubleheader opener. Miguel Sano added a two-run shot and Nelson Cruz homered with the bases empty.
ST. LOUIS 6 – Minnesota 4… The Cardinals scored five times in the bottom of the third inning on their way to claiming a split of the twinbill. Four of the runs came via a pair of walks, a hit batsman and a fielder’s choice.
Oakland 4 – HOUSTON 2… Robbie Grossman stroked a go-ahead RBI single in the top of the sixth inning and scored on Khris Davis’ double and the Athletics topped the Astros in the doubleheader opener. Davis’ solo homer in the third opened the scoring.
HOUSTON 5 – Oakland 4… Yuli Gurriel lifted a tie-breaking sacrifice fly in the top of the seventh and final inning as the Astros took the second game of the doubleheader and snapped their six-game losing streak.
PHILADELPHIA 6 – Boston 5… Alec Bohm came through with a two-run single in the bottom of the seventh and final inning to lift the Phillies over the Red Sox in the first game of a doubleheader. Bohm also homered with the bases empty and singled home a run.
Boston 5 – PHILADELPHIA 2… Bobby Dalbec’s fourth homer in as many games was a two-run shot in the top of the sixth inning and gave the Red Sox the lead for good in taking the second game of the twinbill.
TORONTO 2 – N.Y. Yankees 1… Jonathan Davis’ two-run homer in the bottom of the second inning provided all the offense the Blue Jays needed in handing the Yankees their fifth straight win. Five pitchers combined on a five-hitter.
WASHINGTON 5 – Tampa Bay 3… Carter Kieboom doubled home a run and Josh Harrison singled in another as the Nationals cruised past the Rays.
Kansas City 8 – CLEVELAND 6… The Royals came from behind to down the Indians and snap their seven-game skid. Maikel Franco skied a tie-breaking sacrifice fly in the top of the eighth inning and singled home a run. Whit Merrifield blasted a three-run homer for Kansas City.
PITTSBURGH 5 – Chi. White Sox 4… Pinch-runner Jason Martin scored the winning run on an error by White Sox catcher Yasmani Grandal in the bottom of the ninth inning.
Kevin Newman had a couple of hits, including an RBI single.
Miami 8 – ATLANTA 0… Marlins starter Sixto Sanchez (2-1) pitched three-hit ball over six innings and four relievers completed the shutout of the Braves. Garrett Cooper hit a two-run homer and singled home a run. Jorge Alfaro added a solo homer and run-scoring single. Matt Joyce also circled the bases.
Baltimore 11 – N.Y. METS 2… Rio Ruiz had a couple of hits, including a three-run homer, as the Orioles crushed the Mets. Ryan Mountcastle and D.J. Stewart added two-run blasts. Pat Velaika also went deep.
DETROIT 8 – Milwaukee 3… The Tigers scored the game’s first eight runs and coasted past the Brewers. Jeimer Candelario homered with a runner aboard and singled home two runs. Victor Reyes also delivered a two-run single. Spencer Turnbull (4-2) pitched three-hit ball over six shutout innings.
TEXAS 7 – L.A. Angels 1… The Rangers won for the first time in seven games and ended the Angels’ five-game winning streak. Lance Lynn (5-2) allowed just a run on four hits over seven innings. Elvis Andrus smacked a solo homer.
CHI. CUBS 3 – Cincinnati 0… Alec Mills (4-3) limited the Reds to four hits over six innings and three Cubs relievers kept them scoreless the rest of the way. David Bote legged out a two-run triple in the bottom of the second inning and Javier Baez added an RBI triple in the third.
SAN DIEGO 14 – Colorado 5… The Padres mounted five-run rallies in the bottoms of the first two innings and rolled past the Rockies. Wil Myers unloaded a grand slam and homered with the base empty. Austin Nola ripped a three-run homer.
SAN FRANCISCO 6 – Seattle 5… The Giants overcame a 5-1 third-inning deficit to edge the Mariners. Darin Ruf delivered a tie-breaking pinch-hit homer in the bottom of the seventh inning. Mauricio Dubon blasted a two-run homer. Alex Dickerson also went deep.
L.A. Dodgers 10 – ARIZONA 9 (10 innings)… Gavin Lux’s second homer of the game was a three-run blast that capped a four-run top of the 10th inning and pushed the Dodgers past the Diamondbacks. Lux also had a solo shot and RBI single. Arizona came up just short with a three-run bottom of the 10th.
TODAY’S MLB SCHEDULE…
Milwaukee (Corbin Burnes, 0-0) is at Detroit (Matthew Boyd, 1-5)…
Cleveland (Carlos Carrasco, 2-3) hosts Kansas City (Danny Duffy, 2-2)…
the N.Y. Yankees (Deivi Garcia, 0-0) are at Toronto (Tanner Roark, 2-1)…
Pittsburgh (J.T. Brubaker, 0-0) hosts the Chi. White Sox (Dane Dunning, 0-0)…
Miami (Pablo Lopez, 3-3) is at Atlanta (Tommy Milone, 0-0)…
the N.Y. Mets (Rick Porcello, 1-4) host Baltimore (Jorge Lopez, 0-0)…
the L.A. Angels (Julio Teheran, 0-0) are at Texas (Kyle Cody, 0-0)…
San Diego (Zach Davies, 5-2) hosts Colorado (Anthony Senzatela, 3-1)…
Cincinnati (Trevor Bauer, 3-3) is at the Chi. Cubs (Yu Darvish, 7-1)…
Oakland (Jesus Luzardo, 2-2) hosts Houston (Luis Garcia, 0-0)…
the L.A. Dodgers (Clayton Kershaw, 5-1) are at Arizona (Taylor Clarke, 0-0)…
San Francisco (Tyler Anderson, 1-3) hosts Seattle (Nick Margevicius, 1-2)
NBA PLAYOFFS SCORES (games in Orlando)…
EASTERN CONFERENCE SEMIFINALS
Miami 103 – Milwaukee 94… The Heat shook off a slow start to eliminate the Bucks in Game 5 and advance to take on the winner of the Boston-Toronto series in the Eastern Conference finals. Jimmy Butler and Goran Dragic scored 17 points apiece to lead a balanced scoring attack. Butler also grabbed 10 rebounds. Milwaukee played without Giannis Antetokounmpo, who suffered an ankle sprain in Game 4.
WESTERN CONFERENCE SEMIFINALS
L.A. Lakers 112 – Houston 102… Rajon Rondo sparked a fourth-quarter surge that carried the Lakers past the Rockets and put them up 2-1 in the series. Rondo scored eight straight points during a 10-0 run that proved decisive and finished with 21 points. LeBron James led all scorers with 36 points. Anthony Davis had 26 points and 15 boards. Game 4 is tomorrow.
TODAY’S NBA PLAYOFFS SCHEDULE…
EASTERN CONFERENCE SEMIFINALS
Toronto vs. Boston in Game 6 with the Celtics leading 3-2
WESTERN CONFERENCE SEMIFINALS
the L.A. Clippers vs. Denver in Game 4 with the Clippers leading 2-1
NHL STANLEY CUP PLAYOFF SCORE…
WESTERN CONFERENCE FINALS (in Edmonton)
Vegas 3 – Dallas 0… Goalie Robin Lehner stopped all 24 shots and the Golden Knights blanked the Stars to even the Western Conference finals at a game apiece. Paul Stastny had a goal and an assist as the Golden Knights scored all three goals in the second period. Game 3 is tomorrow.
TODAY’S NHL STANLEY CUP PLAYOFF SCHEDULE…
EASTERN CONFERENCE FINALS (in Toronto)
Tampa Bay vs. the N.Y. Islanders in Game 2 with the Lightning leading 1-0