The Rundown for December 29, 2020

CORONAVIRUS UPDATES… The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 19,300,726 and the nation’s death toll stands at 334,830, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University… Surging cases and strained hospitals have left California Governor Gavin Newsom leaning toward a three-week renewal of mandatory constraints on gatherings and business activities in hardest-hit areas. The governor is expected to announce his decision today. As in many parts of the country, hospitalizations in California spiked amid holiday-season travel. A Reuters tally found that more than 118,000 coronavirus patients were being treated in U.S. hospitals across the country as of Sunday night.

HOUSE OVERRIDES TRUMP DEFENSE-BILL VETO… The House yesterday voted to override President Trump’s veto of the annual defense spending bill. After the Senate passed the National Defense Authorization Act with a veto-proof majority, Trump opposed the bill because it did not repeal the law giving social media companies legal immunity for what their users post and because it called for the renaming of military bases honoring Confederate leaders. 109 Republicans joined Democrats in the 322-87 House vote in advancing the bill to the Senate, where a final vote is expected this week.

HOUSE VOTES TO RAISE STIMULUS PAYMENTS… The House yesterday passed a measure to raise direct stimulus payments to $2,000. The passage came less than a day after President Trump signed a $900 billion COVID-19 relief package that called for $600 payments. The Caring for Americans with Supplemental Help, or CASH Act, passed in a 275-134 floor vote brought by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. The bill now heads to the Senate.

BIDEN SAYS TRANSITION BEING STONEWALLED… President-elect Joe Biden yesterday accused the White House of stonewalling his transition team, especially in matters of defense. Key Defense Department political appointees reportedly were reportedly directing career staffers to withhold critical information from the Biden team. Information included details about the SolarWinds cyberattack blamed on Russia. During a brief address in Wilmington, Delaware, Biden also complained that the Trump administration has purposely gutted key policy teams that oversee defense and national security.

REPUBLICANS SUE PENCE OVER ELECTORS… Texas Congressman Louie Gohmert and several other Republicans are suing Vice President Mike Pence in an improbable bid to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election. The suit asks a federal court to declare Pence legally authorized to pick pro-Trump electors on January 6, when the Electoral College is scheduled to certify the winner. Pence, as vice president, presides over the procedural task. Meanwhile, other Republicans are urging Trump to accept defeat gracefully. Republican Congressman Denver Riggleman of Virginia yesterday reacted to news of the lawsuit against Pence by tweeting, “This is NUTS.”

ENTERTAINMENT
LORI LOUGHLIN RELEASED FROM PRISON
… Actress Lori Loughlin was released yesterday from a federal prison in Dublin, California. She served two months for her role in the 2019 college-admissions cheating scandal that saw some 50 people hit with federal bribery charges. The 56-year-old Loughlin, who was best known as Aunt Becky on the sitcom “Full House,” admitted to paying $500,000 to get her two daughters into the University of Southern California on rowing scholarships. Loughlin’s husband, designer Mossimo Giannulli, received a five-month sentence over the USC bribe and is scheduled to be released in April.

‘BOSS BABY’ SEQUEL RELEASED PUSHED BACK… Universal announced yesterday that the theater release date for the sequel “The Boss Baby: Family Business” is being pushed back from March 26, 2021 to September 17, 2021. Voice star Alec Baldwin returns, as do Lisa Kudrow and Jimmy Kimmel. The original “Boss Baby,” released in 2017, grossed more than $500 million worldwide.

SPORTS
MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL
..
Buffalo 38 – NEW ENGLAND 9
… Josh Allen completed 27 of 36 passes for 320 yards and hit Stefon Diggs with three of his four touchdown passes as the Bills (12-3) routed the Patriots (6-9). Diggs finished with nine catches for 145 yards. Buffalo swept the season series with New England for the first time since 1999.

NBA SCORES
ATLANTA 128 – Detroit 120
… Trae Young scored a game-high 29 points in leading the Hawks past the Pistons. Six other players scored in double figures for Atlanta.

Memphis 116 – BROOKLYN 111 (OT)… The Grizzlies outlasted the Nets despite losing Ja Morant in the first half due to an ankle injury. Kyle Anderson scored a career-high 28 points. Dillon Brooks added 24 points.

Utah 110 – OKLAHOMA CITY 109… Donovan Mitchell laid in the go-ahead basket with 7 seconds left and the Jazz held on to edge the Thunder. Mitchell and Michael Conley scored 20 points apiece. Conley also grabbed 10 rebounds. Bojan Bogdanovic led Utah with 23 points.

DENVER 124 – Houston 111… The Nuggets built an early double-digit lead and cruised past the short-handed Rockets. All five starters scored in double figures led by Jamal Murray’s 21 points. Nikola Jokic racked up 19 points, 18 assists and 12 boards.

Portland 115 – L.A. LAKERS 107… The Trail Blazers used a fourth-quarter surge to rally past the Lakers. Damian Lillard scored 21 of his 31 points in the second half. CJ McCollum had 20 points and 11 assists.

TODAY’S NBA SCHEDULE
New York is at Cleveland…
Detroit hosts Golden State…
Boston is at Indiana…
Philadelphia hosts Toronto…
Chicago is at Washington…
Miami hosts Milwaukee…
Orlando is at Oklahoma City…
Phoenix hosts New Orleans…
Minnesota is at the L.A. Clippers…
Sacramento hosts Denver

TOP 25 COLLEGE BASKETBALL SCORES
No. 1 GONZAGA 88, Northern Arizona 58…
Maryland 70, No. 6 WISCONSIN 64…
No. 21 MINNESOTA 81, Michigan State 56

TODAY’S COLLEGE FOOTBALL BOWL SCHEDULE
No. 18 Miami plays Oklahoma State in the Cheez-It Bowl…
No. 20 Texas plays Colorado in the Alamo Bowl

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