The Rundown for January 6, 2021

CORONAVIRUS UPDATES… The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 21,045,468 and the nation’s death toll stands at 357,166, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University… Arizona currently has the highest rate of COVID-19 infections per capita of anywhere in the world, according to a graph created by 91-DIVOC, which used data collected by Johns Hopkins University… Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas and Virginia all reported record COVID-19 hospitalizations Monday, according to an ABC News analysis of data from The COVID Tracking Project.

DEMS ON WAY TO SWEEP IN GEORGIA RUNOFFS… Democrats won one race and were on their way to winning another in yesterday’s U.S. Senate runoff races in Georgia. Raphael Warnock, the senior pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, defeated Kelly Loeffler to become was the first Black senator from Georgia. In the other race, Jon Ossoff was leading incumbent David Perdue and his campaign released a statement expressing confidence in a victory. An Ossoff win would leave the Senate split 50/50, with tiebreakers going to Vice President Kamala Harris.

PENCE DROPS BAD NEWS ON TRUMP… The New York Times and CNN reported yesterday that Vice President Mike Pence has informed President Trump that he does not have the authority to block certification of President-elect Joe Biden’s win today when Congress meets to count electoral votes. Trump has insisted that Pence “has the power” to change the results of the November 3 election and has warned the vice president that it would be politically “damaging” for Pence to refuse to block certification. On Monday, Pence hinted to Trump supporters in Georgia that they might be surprised by the outcome of today’s session.

INVESTIGATORS SAY RUSSIA ‘LIKELY’ BEHIND HACKS… The office of the U.S. Director of National Intelligence confirmed yesterday that Russia was “likely” behind the string of hacks that gained access to several federal agencies. The office, along with the FBI, the National Security Agency, and Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency inside the Department of Homeland Security, in a joint statement, said the hackers’ goal appeared to be collecting intelligence, rather than any destructive acts. According to the statement, “fewer than 10” agencies that were hacked. Prior to the statement, people close to the investigation believed Russia was behind the attacks but President Trump urged that it could have been China.

KENOSHA OFFICER NOT CHARGED IN JACOB BLAKE SHOOTING… The Kenosha County, Wisconsin, district attorney yesterday declined to charge police officer Rusten Sheskey for the shooting of Jacob Blake in an incident that sparked three days of deadly protests last August. Blake, a 29-year-old Black man, survived the shooting but was paralyzed from the waist down. Sheskey, a White police officer, shot Blake seven times in the back after police responded to the report of a domestic incident at a residence.

ENTERTAINMENT
DR. DRE ON THE MEND AFTER BRAIN ANEURYSM
… Dr. Dre is stable and lucid after suffering a brain aneurysm. The 55-year-old music mogul, born Andre Young, was rushed to the intensive care unit of a Los Angeles hospital on Monday. He expressed thanks to the hospital staff and well-wishers in a social-media post yeserday. Dre was scheduled to appear today at a hearing in his divorce from estranged wife Nicole Young.

GRAMMYS POSTPONED DUE TO COVID… This year’s Grammy Awards ceremony is being pushed back from January 31 to March 14 due to the coronavirus pandemic. Organizers haven’t announced plans for the rescheduled event, nor have they confirmed that Trevor Noah will remain as host. Beyoncé leads the field of nominees with nine nominations.

SPORTS
NBA SCORES

BROOKLYN 130 – Utah 96… The Nets jumped out to a 35-14 lead after the first quarter and never looked back in their thrashing of the Jazz. Kyrie Irving pumped in 29 points. Caris LaVert delivered 24 points off the bench. Jarrett Allen finished with 19 points and 18 boards.

L.A. Lakers 94 – MEMPHIS 92… The Lakers held on at the end to escape with a win over the Grizzlies. LeBron James and Anthony Davis scored 26 points apiece and both were double digits in rebounds.

DENVER 123 – Minnesota 116… Seven players scored in double figures as the Nuggets fought off the Timberwolves in a back-and-forth contest. DeAngelo Russell scored 33 points and dished off 11 assists. Juancho Hernangomez tossed in 25 points.

San Antonio 116 – L.A. CLIPPERS 113… The Spurs built a 19-point halftime lead and barely hung on on to top the Clippers and end their four-game skid. Patty Mills came off the bench to knock down eight 3-pointers on his way to 27 points. Dejounte Murray added 21 points.

Chicago 111 – PORTLAND 108… The Bulls erased a 20-point lead in upending the Trail Blazers. Coby White scored 21 points to lead a balanced scoring attack and brought down 10 rebounds. Ollie Porter Jr. Finished with 19 points and 13 boards.

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

TOP 25 COLLEGE BASKETBALL SCORE
No. 4 TEXAS 78, Iowa State 72…
No. 6 Kansas 93, TCU 64…
MISSISSIPPI STATE 78, No. 13 Missouri 63…
No. 23 MICHIGAN STATE 68, No. 15 Rutgers 45…
No. 18 TEXAS TECH 82, Kansas State 71…
No. 19 CLEMSON 74, North Carolina State 70 (OT)

DeVONTA SMITH WINS HEISMAN… Alabama senior DeVonta Smith became the first wide receiver to win the Heisman Trophy as college football’s best player last night. The award presentation was part of a virtual ceremony. Smith had 105 receptions for 1,641 yards and 20 touchdowns on the season. The three other finalists were all quarterbacks. They included Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence, Florida’s Kyle Trask and Smith’s teammate, Mac Jones.

NFL NEWS… Quarterback Peyton Manning, defensive back Charles Woodson, wide receiver Calvin Johnson and defensive end Jared Allen lead the list of 15 finalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Class of 2021. All four former players are in their first year of eligibility. As many as five finalists will be chosen for induction later this month. The ceremony for the Class of 2021 is scheduled for the week of August 5-9. Because last year’s event was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic, The Class of 2020 is scheduled to be enshrined at a separate ceremony the same week.

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