The Rundown for December 10, 2020

CORONAVIRUS UPDATES… The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 15,381,450 and the nation’s death toll stands at 289,357, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University. There were 225,441 new cases and more than 3,000 deaths for the first time yesterday. The U.S. is averaging about 2,230 new death reports per day. California, Oklahoma, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and West Virginia have reported record-high hospitalizations.

ELECTION CERTIFICATIONS COMPLETE… West Virginia yesterday joined the 49 other states and the District of Columbia in certifying their presidential-election results. With the certifications complete, the 538 electors who make up the Electoral College are scheduled to meet Monday and cast their ballots. Congress will count their votes on January 6. Joe Biden is expected to receive 306 votes to President Trump’s 232.

TRUMP, 17 STATES JOIN TEXAS LAWSUIT… President Trump and 17 states he carried are joining Texas’ lawsuit against four swing states in what law experts say appears to be the last gasps of a dying administration. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton announced earlier this week that he would file the suit in the Supreme Court against Georgia, Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania over their voting processes. Biden won all four states and plaintiffs are waving off the filing as a publicity stunt. President Donald Trump filed a motion to intervene in the case “in his personal capacity” as a presidential candidate.

HOUSE PASSES FUNDING BILL… The House yesterday passed a short-term funding bill to avoid a government shutdown at the end of the week. The stopgap measure passed by a 343-67 vote. It would extend the funding deadline from tomorrow to December 18 after a previous extension at the end of September. Congress sought a one-week extension as lawmakers have struggled to agree to a new sweeping omnibus funding bill. An agreement on legislation has been held up by disagreements over immigration provisions, abortion language and other issues.

SENATE DEFENDS UAE WEAPONS SALES… The Senate yesterday defeated a pair of Democrat-led measures that would have blocked the Trump administration’s proposed sale of advanced military weapons to the United Arab Emirates. Twin votes centered on the transfers of F-35 stealth fighter jets and Reaper drones to the Gulf nation fell largely along party lines. A 46-50 vote failed to advance a resolution disapproving of the Reaper sales. A vote to block the F-35 sale failed 47-49. The proposed sale is valued at $23 billion.

FTC, STATES SUE TO BREAK UP FACEBOOK… The Federal Trade Commission, along with a bipartisan coalition of 48 state attorney generals led by New York’s Letitia James, are seeking to end the monopoly that they believe exists at Facebook. Both groups yesterday filed lawsuits to force a breakup of the social-media giant. The FTC accused Facebook of engaging in “a systematic strategy” to eliminate its competition and specifically asked a court to force the company sell off its Instagram and WhatsApp messaging services. James said at a press conference that Facebook “used its monopoly power to crush smaller rivals and snuff out competition, all at the expense of everyday users.”

ENTERTAINMENT
KEVIN HART, WESLEY SNIPES TO PLAY BROTHERS
… Kevin Hart and Wesley Snipes have signed on to play brothers in a new Netflix series. The 41-year-old Hart and 58-year-old Snipes will star in “True Story,” an eight-episode series about Kid, a world-famous comedian, and his wayward older brother, Carlton. The series follows Kid after a lost evening with Carlton threatens to destroy everything he has ever worked for.

GOOGLE SEARCH RESULTS… Google released its 2020 Year in Search yesterday, outlining the top trending topics of the year by category. “Coronavirus,” “Election Results,” and Kobe Bryant were the three most-searched phrases. Tom Hanks was the most-searched Hollywood star and ranked fifth in the most-searched people category. “Parasite,” “1917” and “Black Panther” were the three most-searched films. In the television-show category, “Tiger King,” “Big Brother Brasil” and “Money Heist” topped the list.

SPORTS
TOP 25 COLLEGE BASKETBALL SCORES

No. 2 BAYLOR 83, Stephen F. Austin 52…
No. 13 TEXAS 74, Texas State 53…
No. 13 (tie) WISCONSIN 73, Rhode Island 62…
No. 17 TEXAS TECH 51, Abilene Christian 44…
No. 19 RICHMOND 78, Northern Iowa 68…
No. 20 FLORIDA STATE 69, Indiana 67 (OT)
(*four games involving five ranked teams were cancelled due to Covid)

MLB NEWS… Major League Baseball umpire Brian O’Nora pleaded not guilty Tuesday to misdemeanor solicitation charges filed in Youngstown, Ohio, according to court records released yesterday. He and a dozen other men were arrested last Sunday as part of a prostitution sting. The 57-year old O’Nora was released on a $5,000 bond and is scheduled to make his next court appearance on March 3, 2021. O’Nora has umpired in the major leagues for more than 20 years and has officiated three All-Star Games, the 2008 American League Championship Series and the 2012 World Series.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL NEWS… LSU is adding to its list of self-imposed sanctions stemming from the NCAA’s investigation into improper booster payments to its football players by forgoing any bowl game this season. LSU is 3-5 with two games remaining on its schedule but could still have finished bowl-eligible due to pandemic-related waivers granted by the NCAA. Last month, LSU self-imposed a loss of eight scholarships over two years; a reduction in recruiting visits, evaluations and communication; and a ban of Cleveland Browns wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. from its football facilities for two years. Beckham, a former star at the school, gave $2,000 in cash to four LSU football players on the field after the team’s 42-25 victory over Clemson in the College Football Playoff National Championship game on January 13.

TONIGHT’S NFL SCHEDULE
New England (6-6) is at the L.A. Rams (8-4)

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