The Rundown for September 16, 2020

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE… The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 6,606,561 and the nation’s death toll stands at 195,942, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University… The U.S.’ response to the pandemic has lowered the nation’s image to a record low in six countries. A poll released yesterday found that Britain, France, Germany, Japan, Canada and Australia never have viewed the U.S. so unfavorably.

TRUMP STRUGGLES WITH ANSWERS AT TOWN HALL… President Trump struggled to answer tough questions about his coronavirus response, health care plans and the nation’s racial injustice last night at a town hall hosted by ABC News in Philadelphia. Trump declared before socially-distanced undecided voters that the COVID-19 pandemic has been his biggest challenge president and expressed doubt more could have been done to reduce its impact. He also blamed current U.S. problems on Democratic leadership.

GOVERNMENT DEPORTS WITNESS IN ASSAULT INVESTIGATION… The U.S. government on Friday night deported a key witness in investigation of sexual assault and harassment at an El Paso immigrant detention center overseen by Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The 35-year-old woman, who had been held in the facility for about a year, told lawyers about a “pattern and practice” of abuse there. She claimed guards systematically assaulted her and other detainees in areas that were not visible to security cameras. Department of Homeland Security and Justice Department inspectors general last month launched an investigation into the allegations. At least two more women have since come forward with similar assault allegations.

JUDGE RULES DHS ACTING SECRETARY SERVING UNLAWFULLY… A federal judge in Maryland has ruled that Chad Wolf is likely unlawfully serving as acting secretary of the Department of Homeland Security and temporarily barred the Trump administration from enforcing new asylum restrictions on members of two immigration advocacy groups. In issuing her ruling on Friday, Judge Paula Xinis wrote that the two groups are “likely to demonstrate (former acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin) McAleenan’s appointment was invalid under the agency’s applicable order of succession, and so he lacked the authority to amend the order of succession to ensure Wolf’s installation as Acting Secretary.” Subsequently, she ruled, Wolf didn’t have the authority to impose the asylum rules that are being challenged. There is no indication that Wolf and his top deputy, Ken Cuccinelli, will be leaving their leadership roles but they are facing greater scrutiny.

LOUISVILLE SETTLES WITH BREONNA TAYLOR FAMILY… The city of Louisville, Kentucky, yesterday agreed to pay $12 million and settle a wrongful-death lawsuit filed by the family of Breonna Taylor, a Black woman fatally shot dead by police in a botched raid on her apartment in March. Mayor Greg Fischer promised that the settlement will be accompanied by reforms of the Louisville Metro Police Department, including a requirement that commanders approve search warrants before they are put to a judge. Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron is investigating police actions in the shooting amid calls for the officers involved to be arrested.

SALLY APPROACHES SLOWLY… Sally slammed the Gulf Coast with flood waters last night as it crawled toward a potential landfall between the Florida Panhandle and Mobile Bay. The National Hurricane Center said earlier this morning that the storm strengthened into a Category 2 hurricane with winds topping 100 mph. Landfall was expected later this morning along the Alabama-Florida coastline.

… Rapper Cardi B has reportedly filed for divorce from fellow musician husband Offset after nearly three years of marriage. Neither performer has issued a statement, but their legal names are listed in the filing in Fulton County Superior Court. Reports indicate Cardi wants the divorce to be as amicable as possible and seeks joint custody of the couple’s 2-year-old son.

CHADWICK BOSEMAN LAID TO REST… A death certificate made public yesterday revealed that actor Chadwick Boseman was laid to rest on September 3 near his hometown of Anderson, South Carolina. The actor died last month at age 43 following a four-year battle with colon cancer. According to the death certificate, he is buried at Welfare Baptist Church Cemetery in Belton, South Carolina.

NBA PLAYOFF SCORE (games in Orlando)

Miami 117 – Boston 114
(OT)… The Heat erased a 14-point fourth-quarter deficit and outlasted the Celtics in the Eastern Conference finals opener. Goran Dragic led a balanced scoring attack with 29 points. Jae Crowder added 22 points. Jimmy Butler tossed in 20 points. Game 2 is tomorrow.

Denver Nuggets 104 – L.A. Clippers 89
… The Nuggets pulled away in the second half to down the Clippers and advance to take on the L.A. Lakers in the Western Conference Finals beginning tomorrow. Jamal Murray poured in 40 points. Nikola Jokic totaled 16 points, 22 rebounds and 13 assists.

(in Toronto)
N.Y. Islanders 2 – Tampa Bay 1 (2OT)… Jordan Eberle scored on a two-on-one break 12:30 into the second overtime and the Islanders avoided elimination with the Game 5 victory. Ryan Pulock opened the scoring with a first-period goal. Game 6 is tomorrow.

CAPS HIRE LAVIOLETTE AS NEW HEAD COACH… The Washington Capitals have hired Peter Laviolette as their next head coach. He replaces Todd Reirden, who was fired just three days after the Capitals were eliminated by the New York Islanders in the playoffs. The 55-year-old Laviolette was dismissed as head coach of the Nashville Predators in January after leading the team to the Stanley Cup Finals in 2016-17 season.

MACKINNON WINS LADY BYING TROPHY… Colorado Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon has been awarded the Lady Byng trophy as the player who “exhibited the best type of sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct combined with a high standard of playing ability” over the past season. Voting was conducted by the Professional Hockey Writers Association. Finalists in the voting included Ryan O’Reilly of the St. Louis Blues and Auston Matthews of the Toronto Maple Leafs.

CINCINNATI 4 – Pittsburgh 1
… The Reds cruised past the Pirates for their fourth straight win. Tucker Barnhart smacked a solo homer.

Boston 2 – MIAMI 0… Red Sox starter Tyler Houck (1-0) pitched two-hit ball over five innings in his major-league debut and three relievers completed the blanking of the Marlins.

TAMPA BAY 6 – Washington 1… Manuel Margot and Kevin Kermaier delivered two-run singles during a four-run bottom of the fifth inning and the Rays breezed past the Nationals. Nate Lowe homered and drew a bases-loaded walk.

N.Y. YANKEES 20 – Toronto 6… DJ LeMahieu and Luke Voit each homered and knocked in five runs as the Yankees walloped the Blue Jays. Aaron Hicks, Gary Sanchez and Clint Frazier also went deep.

PHILADELPHIA 4 – N.Y. Mets 1… Adam Haseley lined a two-run double and Didi Gregorius homered with a runner aboard in the Phillies’ win over the Mets. Jake Arrieta (4-4) allowed a run on eight hits before leaving with a leg injury after 5-1/3 innings.

DETROIT 6 – Kansas City 0… Tigers starter Matthew Boyd (2-6) limited the Royals to two hits over 5-2/3 innings and got help from three relievers in the shutout. Miguel Cabrera and Willi Castro hit solo homers for Detroit.

Atlanta 5 – BALTIMORE 1… Adam Duvall matched a franchise record with his 10th homer in September and the Braves rolled past the Orioles. Freddie Freeman had three hits, including a pair of RBI doubles.

MILWAUKEE 18 – St. Louis 3… Daniel Vogelbach went 3-for-4 with a solo homer and four RBIs to lead the Brewers in their romp over the Cardinals. Keston Hiura blasted a solo homer and drew a bases-loaded walk. Christian Yelich and Ryan Braun also went deep.

CHI. WHITE SOX 6 – Minnesota 2… Dane Dunning (2-0) held the Twins to a run on three hits over seven innings and the White Sox extended their winning streak to six games. James McCann doubled home a run and homered. Tim Anderson also went deep with the bases empty.

HOUSTON 4 – Texas 1… Alex Gregman stroked a tie-breaking two-run single in the bottom of the seventh inning as the Astros topped the Rangers. George Springer and Martin Maldonado homered. Jose Urquidy (1-1) gave up a run on three hits over seven innings.

CHI. CUBS 6 – Cleveland 5… Indians reliever Nick Wittgren hit Willson Contreras and Cameron Maybin with back-to-back pitches to force home the winning run in the bottom of the ninth inning. Javier Baez homered for Chicago.

COLORADO 3 – Oakland 1… Antonio Senzatela (4-2) surrendered a run on six hits in his first career complete game and the Rockies tripped the Athletics. Elias Diaz belted a go-ahead two-run homer in the bottom of the fifth inning.

L.A. Dodgers 3 – SAN DIEGO 1… Tony Gonsolin (1-1) held the Padres to a run on four hits over seven innings and the Dodgers clipped the Padres. Edwin Rios homered. Justin Turner went 3-for-4 with an RBI.

Arizona 9 – L.A. ANGELS 8… The Diamondbacks recovered to beat the Angels after blowing a pair of seven-run leads. David Peralta smacked a decisive solo homer in the top of the eighth inning. Kole Calhoun homered twice and drove in five runs. Carson Kelly and Daulton Varsho also went deep.

San Francisco – SEATTLE (ppd)… Poor air quality in Seattle caused by the West Coast wildfires forced postponement of last night’s Giants-Mariners game. The game will be made up on tomorrow in San Francisco.

St. Louis (Adam Wainwright, 4-1; Austin Gomber, 0-0) is at Milwaukee (Brandon Woodruff, 2-3; Eric Lauer, 0-0) for a doubleheader…
Houston (Lance McCullers, 3-2) hosts Texas (Kyle Gibson, 1-5)…
Washington (Austin Voth, 0-0) is at Tampa Bay (Josh Fleming, 0-0)…
Colorado (German Marquez, 2-5) hosts Oakland (Mike Fiers, 5-2)…
the L.A. Dodgers (Dustin May, 1-1) are at San Diego (Joey Lucchesi, 0-0)…
the Chi. Cubs (Jon Lester, 2-2) host Cleveland (Aaron Civale, 3-5)…
Pittsburgh (J.T. Brubaker, 1-1) is at Cincinnati (Luis Castillo, 2-5)…
Miami (Trevor Rogers, 1-1) hosts Boston (Chris Mazza, 1-1)…
Toronto (Tanner Roark, 2-1) is at the N.Y. Yankees (Gerrit Cole, 5-3)…
Philadelphia (Aaron Nola, 5-3) hosts the N.Y. Mets (Jacob deGrom, 4-1)…
Kansas City (Brady Singer, 2-4) is at Detroit (Tarik Skubal, 1-2)…
Baltimore (Keegan Akin, 0-0) hosts Atlanta (Cole Hamels, 0-0)…
Minnesota (Jake Odorizzi, 0-0) is at the Chi. White Sox (Lucas Giolito, 4-2)…
the L.A. Angels (Dylan Bundy, 5-2) host Arizona (Caleb Smith, 0-0)…
San Francisco (Drew Smyly, 0-0) is at Seattle (Nick Margevicius, 1-3)

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