The Rundown for November 26, 2020

CORONAVIRUS UPDATES… The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 12,772,653 and the nation’s death toll stands at 262,222, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University… There more than 2,000 deaths reported yesterday for the first time since May… the nation’s leading infectious diseases expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, made a “final plea” yesterday for Americans to follow COVID-19 guidelines this Thanksgiving.

STATE DEPARTMENT ANNOUNCES TRANSITION UNDERWAY… The State Department has informed White House staff that the transition process has begun and a team is supporting the turnover to the incoming Biden administration. The news comes after weeks of Trump campaign legal challenges to the election results. President-elect Joe Biden yesterday called for an end to the “grim season of division” in a Thanksgiving speech. He said Americans were at war with coronavirus, not each other.

TRUMP PARDONS FLYNN… President Trump announced yesterday that he has “granted a Full Pardon” to his former national security adviser Michael Flynn. Flynn pleaded guilty twice to lying to the FBI during its investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential campaign about his conversations with then-Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak during the presidential transition. At the time, Trump tweeted that he fired Flynn because he had lied to Vice President Mike Pence.

MANHATTAN DA SEEKS TO CHARGE MANAFORT… The Manhattan District Attorney is once again seeking mortgage fraud charges against President Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort after failing twice in lower courts. Last month, an intermediate appeals court upheld a judge’s decision to dismiss the case on double jeopardy grounds. Last December, a trial court found that the state charges against Manafort mirrored the federal case that led to his 7-1/2-year sentence for misleading the U.S. government about lucrative foreign lobbying work, hiding millions of dollars from tax authorities and encouraging witnesses to lie on his behalf. The 71-year-old Manafort was released to home confinement in May because of concerns about the coronavirus less than a year into his sentence.

UNEMPLOYMENT NUMBERS RISE… Data released by the Labor Department yesterday found that the number of Americans seeking unemployment aid rose last week for a second straight week to 778,000 amid the ongoing pandemic. Prior to the coronavirus spread, weekly jobless claims hovered around 225,000. Consumers increased their spending last month by just 0.5 percent, the weakest rise since the pandemic was declared.

ENTERTAINMENT
MACY’S DAY PARADE KICKS OF THANKSGIVING
… For many American families, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade will kick off today’s holiday celebrations. The parade will feature its usual assortment of balloons, dancers and floats. Events include performances from the Broadway casts of “Ain’t Too Proud,” “Hamilton,” “Mean Girls” and “Jagged Little Pill,” a musical built around the music of Alanis Morissette. The Broadway performances were pre-taped.

JOHNNY DEPP DENIED APPEAL IN DEFAMATION CASE… Johnny Depp has been denied in his High Court appeal of a British court’s ruling that he assaulted his ex-wife Amber Heard. Depp had unsuccessfully sued a tabloid for libel over a 2018 article labelling him a “wife beater.” The judge who dismissed Depp’s appeal said it lacked a “reasonable prospect of success” and ordered the actor to pay the defendant’s legal fees totaling almost $850,000.

SPORTS
TODAY’S NFL SCHEDULE

Houston (3-7) is at Detroit (4-6)…
Dallas (3-7) hosts Washington (3-7)

NFL NEWS… Today’s scheduled game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens has been moved to Sunday due to positive coronavirus tests in the Ravens organization. Team officials announced on Monday that “multiple members” of the organization had tested positive. Over the next two days, running backs Mark Ingram II and J.K. Dobbins, defensive tackle Brandon Williams and outside linebacker Pernell McPhee were placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list, meaning they either tested positive for COVID-19 or had been identified as close contacts of someone who tested positive. Ingram and Dobbins had tested positive for the virus, Ravens head coach John Harbaugh said.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL NEWS… University of Alabama football coach Nick Saban has tested positive for COVID-19 and will not coach Saturday’s game against Auburn. The 69-year-old Saban reportedly received the positive test yesterday morning and is showing “very mild symptoms.” Offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian will take over in the interim.

TOP 25 MEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL SCORES
No. 3 Villanova 76, BOSTON COLLEGE 67…
No. 4 VIRGINIA 89, Towson 54…
No. 5 IOWA 97, North Carolina Central 67…
No. 7 WISCONSIN 77, Eastern Illinois 67…
No. 8 ILLINOIS 122, North Carolina A&T 60…
No. 10 KENTUCKY 81, Morehead State 45…
No. 13 MICHIGAN STATE 83, Eastern Michigan 67…
No. 14 TEXAS TECH 101, Northwestern State 58…
No. 15 WEST VIRGINIA 79, South Dakota State 71…
No. 16 NORTH CAROLINA 79, Charleston 60…
No. 17 HOUSTON 89, Lamar 45…
No. 18 Arizona State 94, Rhode Island 88…
No. 19 TEXAS 91, Texas Rio Grande Valley 55…
No. 23 OHIO STATE 94, Illinois State 67…
No. 24 RUTGERS 86, Sacred Heart 63

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