The Rundown for January 20, 2021

CORONAVIRUS UPDATES… The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 24,247,006 and the nation’s death toll stands at 401,586, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University… An interim report released yesterday by a World Health Organization investigative panel concluded that the world was not prepared for the pandemic and blamed China and the WHO for reacting too slowly to contain the outbreak a year ago… A University of Arizona researcher has found that the coronavirus variant identified in the U.K. may have originated in the U.S. At least 100 cases of the variant have so far been identified in almost two dozen states. Health officials are confident that existing COVID-19 vaccines will be effective in blocking it.

BIDEN, HARRIS REMEMBER PANDEMIC VICTIMS… U.S. President-elect Joe Biden delivered an emotional farewell to his home state of Delaware yesterday before traveling to Washington, D.C., where he will be inaugurated today as the nation’s 46th president. Biden last night led a national memorial observance to honor American lives lost during the coronavirus pandemic. He joined with Vice President-elect Kamala Harris and their families near the reflecting pool at the Lincoln Memorial as about 400 lights were switched on, each representing 1,000 Americans who have died. Biden stressed that remembering is an important part of the healing process.

JUSTICE DEPARTMENT ENDS SENATOR BILL BURR INVESTIGATION… The Justice Department has ended its lengthy investigation into Senator Richard Burr’s stock transactions at the outset of the pandemic and won’t file charges. The Republican from North Carolina was accused of trading on private knowledge when he sold off $1.7 million in stock before markets before a market-induced market crash. Burr, who had been briefed about the virus in its early stages, stepped down as chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee when the investigation was launched. He is set to retire from the Senate in 2022.

DNI NOMINEE COMMITS TO KHASHOGGI ASSESSMENT… President-elect Joe Biden’s director of national intelligence nominee, Avril Haines, has announced her intention to release an unclassified assessment of who murdered American journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Haines made the commitment after being pressed on the issue by Democratic Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon. The CIA concluded that the grisly 2018 murder was ordered by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in response to Khashoggi’s criticism of Saudi Arabia’s royal family.

CONSPIRACY CHARGES IN CAPITOL ATTACK… Prosecutors yesterday filed conspiracy charges against three members of the so-called the militant right-wing extremist group Oath Keepers. The three are accused of planning and coordinating the January 6 assault on the U.S. Capitol. Messages they exchanged indicated they searched for lawmakers once they were inside the buildings and intended to stop Congress from certifying the presidential election.

ENTERTAINMENT
SUPER BOWL ENTERTAINMENT LINEUP SET
… Eric Church and Jazmine Sullivan will pair up to sing the national anthem at Super Bowl LV in Tampa Bay. H.E.R. will perform “America the Beautiful” as part of the event’s pregame lineup. The Weeknd was selected in November to headline the Pepsi Super Bowl LV halftime show. Viewers from around the world will tune in on February 7 to watch.

SECRET SERVICE INVESTIGATED JOHN MULANEY JOKE… The U.S. Secret Service opened an investigation into comedian John Mulaney over jokes believed to be made about President Donald Trump on “Saturday Night Live” last year, according to records obtained by The Associated Press. The 38 said last month that he had been investigated for referencing Julius Caesar in the joke. The file obtained by the AP confirmed that the Secret Service contacted NBC but did not interview the comedian in its inquiry

SPORTS
NBA SCOREBOARD

DENVER 119 – Oklahoma City 101… Nikola Jokic scored 27 points and grabbed 12 rebounds in leading the Nuggets past the Thunder. Six other players scored in double figures for Denver.

UTAH 118 – New Orleans 102… The Jazz cruised past the Pelicans for their sixth straight win. Donovan Mitchell scored 28 points to lead a balanced scoring attack.

TODAY’S NBA SCHEDULE
Brooklyn is at Cleveland…
Indiana hosts Dallas…
Boston is at Philadelphia…
Atlanta hosts Detroit…
Miami is at Toronto…
Minnesota hosts Orlando…
Phoenix is at Houston…
Golden State hosts San Antonio…
Sacramento is at the L.A. Clippers…
Portland hosts Memphis

NHL SCOREBOARD
New Jersey 4 – N.Y. RANGERS 3… Jack Hughes scored two goals and assisted on another during a three-goal second-period that carried the Devils past the Rangers.

PHILADELPHIA 3 – Buffalo 0… Goalie Brian Elliott stopped all 40 shots as the Flyers blanked the Sabres. Travis Konecny netted his fourth goal in four games.

FLORIDA 5 – Chicago 4 (OT)… Frank Vatano found the net 2:50 into overtime to send the Panthers past the Blackhawks. Carter Verhaeghe netted two goals.

PITTSBURGH 5 – Washington 4 (OT)… Sidney Crosby’s goal 1:11 into overtime lifted the Penguins over the Capitals. Crosby assisted on two goals. Teddy Blueger had a goal and an assist.

Winnipeg 4 – OTTAWA 3 (OT)… The Jets overcame a pair of two-goal deficits to outlast the Senators. Nikolaj Ehlers scored the winning goal in overtime.

DETROIT 3 – Columbus 2 (OT)… Tyler Bertuzzi netted the game-winner 15 seconds into overtime as the Red Wings topped the Blue Jackets. Dylan Larkin set up two goals.

Colorado 3 – LOS ANGELES 2… The Avalanche took a 3-0 lead into the third period and held on to edge the Kings. Nathan MacKinnon assisted on two goal to reach 500 career points. Devon Toews and Mikko Rantanen scored power-play goals.

TODAY’S NHL SCHEDULE
Edmonton is at Toronto…
St. Louis hosts San Jose…
Minnesota is at Anaheim…
Vancouver hosts Montreal…
Arizona is at Vegas

TOP 25 COLLEGE BASKETBALL SCORES
FLORIDA 75, No. 6 Tennessee 49…
No. 3 VILLANOVA 76, Seton Hall 74…
No. 7 MICHIGAN 87, Maryland 63…
Purdue 67, No. 15 OHIO STATE 65…
No. 18 Alabama 105, LSU 75…
No. 19 MISSOURI 81, South Carolina 70…
No. 22 ILLINOIS 79, Penn State 65

MLB NEWS… Hall of Fame pitcher Don Sutton, whose 324 wins rank fourth on major league baseball’s all-time list, died Monday night at his home in Rancho Mirage, California, after a battle with cancer, his son announced yesterday. He was 75. Sutton was an L.A. Dodger for 16 of his 23 seasons. The four-time All-Star also played for the Milwaukee Brewers, Oakland Athletics and California Angels. He was known for his endurance and never missed a turn in the rotation in 756 big league starts.

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