The Rundown for September 24, 2020

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE… The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 6,943,071 and the nation’s death toll stands at 201,930, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University… Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious diseases expert, told a Senate panel yesterday that he believes the U.S. will have enough doses of a coronavirus vaccine to distribute to every American by April. Fauci’s testimony before the Senate appropriations subcommittee is more optimistic than the late summer/early fall 2021 prediction offered last week by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Robert Redfield… Missouri Governor Mike Parson and his wife have both tested positive for COVID-19, according to state health officials. Parson, an outspoken critic of mask mandates, decided to get tested after experiencing symptoms.

BREONNA TAYLOR PROTESTS… There was outrage in the streets of several cities last night following the announcement that no Louisville police officers were charged for the death of Breonna Taylor. Taylor, an EMT, was fatally shot in her own home on March 13 when three plainclothes Louisville police officers executed a “no-knock” warrant at the wrong address. No officers were charged directly with her death. One of the officers involved was indicted on first-degree wanton endangerment charges. Two officers were shot last night at a protest and a suspect has reportedly been taken into custody.

TRUMP WON’T COMMIT TO PEACEFUL POWER TRANSFER… President Trump yesterday refused to commit to a peaceful transfer of power if he looses the November 3 election. When asked for the commitment by reporter Brian Karem, Trump responded, “Well, we’re going to have to see what happens, you know that. I’ve been complaining very strongly about the ballots, and the ballots are a disaster.” Pressed by Karem, Trump continued, “Get rid of the ballots and you’ll have a very peaceful — there won’t be a transfer, frankly, there will be a continuation.” Utah Republican Senator Mitt Romney was among many who criticized the remarks. “Fundamental to democracy is the peaceful transition of power; without that, there is Belarus,” Romney posted on Twitter. “Any suggestion that a president might not respect this Constitutional guarantee is both unthinkable and unacceptable.”

TRUMP APPOINTS INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY WATCHDOG… President Trump has appointed Allen Souza as the next inspector general of the intelligence community. Souza, a former aid to Republican Congressman Devin Nunes, will be tasked with investigating Trump’s national security staff. Legal experts likened the move to foxes guarding hen houses, since Nunes was the House Intelligence Committee Chairman who accepted “dirt” from a Ukraine official who then was sanctioned by the U.S. for being an active Russian asset. Souza replaces Michael Atkinson, who was fired in April for turning over to Congress a 2019 Ukraine whistleblower complaint.

ERIC TRUMP TO BE DEPOSED… A New York state judge has given President Trump’s son Eric until October 7 to sit for a deposition in the attorney general’s fraud investigation. The investigation centers on whether the Trump Organization improperly inflated certain assets to obtain tax benefits it otherwise would not have been entitled to receive. Eric Trump, who is executive vice president of the company, previously abruptly canceled an interview with New York Attorney General Letitia James in July and the Trump Organization refused to comply with subpoenas last month.

REPUBLICAN REPORT FINDS NO BIDEN WRONGDOING… The Senate Homeland Security and Finance committees found no wrongdoing by Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden in their investigation into his son’s relationship with a Ukrainian energy company. Their report released yesterday found that Hunter Biden had “cashed in” on his father’s name to close lucrative business deals around the world and also concluded that his work for Burisma Holdings had given the appearance of a conflict of interest since his father was U.S. vice-president at the time. Wisconsin Republican Senator Ron Johnson, who boasted for weeks that the report would prove Joe Biden’s “unfitness for office.” Instead, it merely spread disinformation U.S. intelligence officials have traced to Russia.

CALIFORNIA GOVERNOR SIGNS GAS-CAR BAN… California Governor Gavin Newsom yesterday signed an executive order that will ban the sale of new gasoline-powered cars in California by 2035. “We don’t need to drill things or extract things in order to advance our economic goals and advance our mobility needs,” the governor said at a press conference. The order aims to reduce the state’s carbon emissions and combat climate change, Newsom emphasized. The order does no prohibit Californians from owning cars that run on gasoline or from reselling them.

ENTERTAINMENT
ELTON JOHN TO RESUME TOUR
… Elton John announced yesterday that he plans to resume his “Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour” in North America on January 19, 2022. The tour kicks off in New Orleans and also includes stops in Houston, Detroit, New York City, Miami, Toronto and Montreal. John’s global tour will officially return on September 1, 2021 in Berlin.

DISNEY POSTPONES FILM RELEASES… Disney has postponed three major fall film releases. Marvel’s “Black Widow,” along with Steven Spielberg’s “West Side Story” and Kenneth Branagh’s “Death on the Nile” will be shelved for several months, the studio announced. Disney has kept the late November release date of Pixar’s “Soul.”

SPORTS
NBA PLAYOFFS SCORE

EASTERN CONFERENCE FINALS
Miami 112 – Boston 109
… The Heat turned away a fourth-quarter rally to down the Celtics and take a 3-1 lead in the series. 20-year-old rookie Tyler Herro came off the bench to score a game-high 37 points. Jimmy Butler added 24 points and Goran Dragic tossed in 22. Bam Adebayo had 20 points and 12 rebounds.

TODAY’S NBA PLAYOFFS SCHEDULE
WESTERN CONFERENCE FINALS

the L.A. Lakers vs. Denver in Game 4 with the Lakers leading 2-1

NHL STANLEY CUP FINAL SCORE
Tampa Bay 5 – Dallas 2
… The Lightning skated past the Stars to take a 2-1 lead in the series. Victor Hedman scored a goal and assisted on two others. Nikita Kucherov, Ondrej Palat and Brayden Point each had a goal and an assist. Game 4 is tomorrow.

MLB SCORES
L.A. Angels 5 – SAN DIEGO 2
… The Angels scored four runs in the top of the second inning to erase an early 2-0 deficit and cruised past the Padres. They got homers from Justin Upton, Anthony Bemboom and Shohei Ohtani. David Fletcher went 3-for-4 with an RBI.

Philadelphia 13 – WASHINGTON 3… Bryce Harper homered twice and the Phillies also got round-trippers from Andrew McCutchen, Didi Gregorius and Andrew Knapp in their pounding of the Nationals.

CLEVELAND 3 – Chi. White Sox 2… Jordan Luplow’s homer in the bottom of the ninth inning lifted the Indians over the White Sox. Carlos Santana also went deep for Cleveland.

ARIZONA 7 – Texas 3… The Diamondbacks rolled past the Rangers after spotting them a three-run lead. Wyatt Mathisen connected for his first two career homers. Tim Locastro also circled the bases.

TORONTO 14 – N.Y. Yankees 1… The Blue Jays pounded out 16 hits and took advantage of four errors in their rout of the Yankees. Danny Jensen went 4-for-4 with a homer and three RBIs.

CINCINNATI 6 – Milwaukee 1… Eugenio Suarez belted a three-run homer, Joey Votto added a two-run blast and Winker connected for a solo shot in the Reds’ win over the Brewers. Trevor Bauer (5-4) held Milwaukee to a run on four hits and struck out 12 in eight innings.

SEATTLE 3 – Houston 2… The Mariners held off the Astros to keep their playoff hopes alive. Nick Margevicius (2-3) pitched three-hit ball over six scoreless innings. Ty France doubled home a run and added an RBI single.

PITTSBURGH 2 – Chi. Cubs 1… Adam Frazier and Ke’Bryan Hayes hit back-to-back homers leading off the bottom of the first inning and the Pirates held on to clip the Cubs. Trevor Williams (2-8) allowed a run on three hits over 5-2/3 innings.

ATLANTA 9 – Miami 4… Dansby Swanson cracked a three-run homer to cap a five-run bottom of the fourth inning that carried the Braves past the Marlins. Adeiny Hechavarria knocked in two runs with a pair of singles.

Tampa Bay 8 – N.Y. METS 5… The Rays downed the Mets to clinch their first NL East title in 10 years. Randy Arozarena hit a pair of solo homers. Joey Wendle and Brandon Lowe also went deep.

BOSTON 9 – Baltimore 1… The Red Sox put away the Orioles with a six-run bottom of the third inning. Rafael Devers capped the uprising with a bases-clearing double. Kevin Plawecki went 3-for-4 and drove in two runs. Nathan Eovaldi (4-2) scattered seven hits over six shutout innings.

MINNESOTA 7 – Detroit 6… The Twins hung on to edge the Tigers and take over first place in the AL Central. Jake Cave homered twice and knocked in three runs. Eddie Rosario homered with a runner aboard.

KANSAS CITY 12 – St. Louis 3… Salvador Perez and Franchy Cordero both homered twice and drove in five runs to lead the Royals in their romp over the Cardinals. Danny Duffy (4-4) gave Up a run on six hits over 5-2/3 innings.

Oakland 6 – L.A. DODGERS 4… Ramon Laureano blasted a tie-breaking two-run homer in the top of the ninth inning to send the Athletics past the Dodgers. Laureano also knocked in a run with an infield single.

SAN FRANCISCO 7 – Colorado 2… Evan Longoria smacked a solo homer and Mauricio Dubon added a three-run shot as the Giants breezed past the Rockies. Brandon Belt went 3-for-3 with an RBI.

TODAY’S MLB SCHEDULE
the Chi. Cubs (Alec Mills, 5-4) are at Pittsburgh (Chad Kuhl, 1-3)…
San Francisco (Kevin Gausman, 3-3) hosts Colorado (Chi Chi Gonzalez, 0-2)…
the N.Y. Mets (David Peterson, 5-2) are at Washington (Patrick Corbin, 2-6)…
Cleveland (Zach Plesac, 4-2) hosts the Chi. White Sox (Dallas Keuchel, 6-2)…
the N.Y. Yankees (Jeff Montgomery, 2-2) are at Toronto (Hyun-Jin Ryu, 4-2)…
Atlanta (Ian Anderson, 3-1) hosts Miami (Pablo Lopez, 5-4)…
Baltimore (Alex Cobb, 1-5) is at Boston (Martin Perez, 3-4)…
Kansas City (Kris Bubic, 1-6) hosts Detroit (Michael Fulmer, 0-2)…
Houston (Cristian Javier, 4-2) is at Texas (Lance Lynn, 6-2)…
St. Louis (Kwang-Hyun Kim, 2-0) hosts Milwaukee (Corbin Burnes, 4-0)…
Oakland (Mike Fiers, 6-2) is at the L.A. Dodgers (Walker Buehler, 1-0)

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