The Rundown for January 29, 2021

CORONAVIRUS UPDATES… The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 25,756,351 and the nation’s death toll stands at 432,971, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University… The first cases of a more infectious COVID-19 variant that was first recorded in South Africa have been detected in the U.S. Health officials in South Carolina announced yesterday that two people in the state who have no history of international travel and live in different regions have contracted the variant… A report released yesterday by New York Attorney General Letitia James concluded that state health department underreported the Covid-19 death toll in nursing homes by as much as 50 percent. The 76-page report followed a months-long investigation by James’ office into allegations of patient neglect and other conduct that jeopardized the health and safety of residents and employees.

BIDEN SIGNS MORE EXECUTIVE ORDERS… President Joe Biden yesterday signed executive orders intended to expand Americans’ access to healthcare and protect women’s health and reproductive rights. The first order reopens enrollment to the Health Insurance Marketplace and strengthens parts of Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act. The second order protects women’s health rescinds the Trump administration’s ban on funding non-profit groups that provide abortion or reproductive rights counseling.

PELOSI CALLS OUT GOP LEADERS OVER CONGRESSWOMAN GREENE… House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called out Republican leadership yesterday for not publicly condemning GOP Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia for spreading vile conspiracy theories. Greene, who has claimed the Sandy Hook and Parkland school shootings were fake, was captured on video berating a student who survived. Pelosi wondered why House Republicans, instead of condemning Greene, put her on the Education and Labor Committee.

DEADLY NITROGEN LEAK IN GEORGIA… A liquid nitrogen leak at a Georgia poultry plant yesterday is being blamed for the deaths of at least six people. Nine other people, including four firefighters, were hospitalized with respiratory-related injuries after Hall County Fire Department responded to the hazmat incident. A shelter-in-place order was issued for a nearby elementary school.

GM TO PHASE OUT GAS, DIESEL VEHICLES… General Motors announced yesterday that it plans to phase out production of gasoline and diesel cars and SUVs by 2035 in favor of electric vehicles. The plan is part of the automaker’s longer-term goal to become carbon-neutral by 2040. The announcement prompted GM’s stock rose more than 4 percent.

… Tributes poured in from all over America yesterday to honor pioneering actress and civil-rights activist Cicely Tyson, who died of natural causes at age 96. Tyson rose to fame in television after landing the first recurring role for a Black woman in a drama series in 1963-64’s “East Side/West Side.” She later won two Emmys for her starring role in the 1974 TV movie “The Autobiography of Miss Jame Pittman” and had a memorable appearance in the 1977 mini-series “Roots.” Tyson launched her film career in 1957’s “Twelve Angry Men” and landed numerous roles into the mid-60s. After turning down roles in blaxpoitation films that were popular in the late 1960s, she earned a Best Actress Oscar nomination upon her return to the screen in the 1972 drama “Sounder.” She most recently appeared in a string of Tyler Perry films in the early to mid-2000s. On stage, Tyson won the Tony for best actress for her role as Carrie Watts in the 2013 revival of “A Trip to Bountiful.”

KRIS KRISTOFFERSON OFFICIALLY RETIRES… Singer-songwriter and actor Kris Kristofferson has officially announced his retirement. The 84-year-old Kristofferson quit performing last year but didn’t declare his career over until yesterday. Some of the entertainer’s best-known songs include “Me and Bobby McGee,” “Sunday Morning Coming Down” and “Why Me, Lord?” Kristofferson started acting in 1971, he began a side career as an actor. He won a Golden Globe award for his role in the 1976 film “A Star is Born” alongside Barbra Streisand He also went on to star such films as “Semi-Tough,” “Songwriter,” “Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid,” “Lone Star,” “Blade,” and “The Sailor Who Fell from Grace with the Sea.” In 1985, Kristofferson joined Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings to form the group The Highway Men. He is also a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame and received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.

HOUSTON 104 – Portland 101
… The Rockets shook off a terrible first quarter to fight their way past the Trail Blazers. Victor Oladipo pumped in 25 points. Christian Wood had 22 points and 12 rebounds. John Wall tossed in 20 points.

DETROIT 107 – L.A. Lakers 92… The Pistons held the Lakers to 14 fourth-quarter points in pulling away for the victory. Blake Griffin scored 23 points to lead a balanced scoring attack. Wayne Ellington added 20 points.

L.A. Clippers 109 – MIAMI 105… The Clippers went on a 20-2 third-quarter run to erase an 18-point deficit and withstood a fourth-quarter rally in topping the Heat. Nicolas Batum scored 18 points to lead six players in double figures. Serge Ibaka grabbed 13 boards to go with his 10 points.

PHOENIX 114 – Golden State 93… The Suns came alive in the second half to put away the Warriors. Seven players scored in double figures, led by Miles Bridges’ 20 points. Deandre Ayton had 12 points and 13 rebounds.

Indiana is at Charlotte…
Washington hosts Atlanta…
Cleveland is at New York…
Toronto hosts Sacramento…
Milwaukee is at New Orleans…
Orlando hosts the L.A. Clippers…
Philadelphia is at Minnesota…
Oklahoma City hosts Brooklyn…
Denver is at San Antonio…
Utah hosts Dallas

BOSTON 4 – Pittsburgh 1… Patrice Bergeron netted a pair of goals in leading the Bruins past the Penguins. Pittsburgh managed only 17 shots on goal.

N.Y. Rangers 3 – BUFFALO 2 (OT)… Alexis Lefreniere scored at 2:47 of overtime to lift the Rangers over the Sabres. Artemi Panarin had a goal and an assist.

Philadelphia 3 – NEW JERSEY 1… Michael Raffi and Claude Giroux netted third-period goals to send the Flyers past the Devils. Erik Gustafsson had two assists. Goalie Carter Hart made 33 saves.

WASHINGTON 6 – N.Y. Islanders 3… Conor Sheary found the net twice as the Capitals doubled up on the Islanders. Zdeno Chara and John Carlson both had a goal and an assist.

CAROLINA 1 – Tampa Bay 0 (OT)… Martin Necas scored at 1:12 of overtime to give the Hurricanes a hard-fought win over the Lightning. Petr Mrazek stopped all 32 shots at goal.

COLUMBUS 3 – Florida 2 (SO)… Alexandre Texier scored the lone goal in the shootout to push the Blue Jackets past the Panthers. Mikko Koivu and Max Domi scored in regulation.

MONTREAL 4 – Calgary 2… The Canadiens did all their scoring in the first two periods and came within 1:18 of shutting out the Flames. Jonathan Drouin and Jesperi Kotkaniemi both had two assists.

MINNESOTA 5 – Los Angeles 3… Five different players found the net as the Wild skated past the Kings. Jonas Brodin set up two goals.

DALLAS 7 – Detroit 3… Denis Gurianov had a goal and two assists to lead the Stars in their spanking of the Red Wings. Miro Heiskanen assisted on three goals.

COLORADO 3 – San Jose 0… Nazem Kadri broke a scoreless tie midway through the third period and added a power-play goal as the Avalanche buried the Sharks. Goalie Philipp Grubauer stopped 24 shots in the shutout.

ARIZONA 3 – Anaheim 2… Christian Dvorak put the Coyotes on the board with a second period goal and added the decisive power-play goal with 4:26 remaining in the win over the Ducks.

Toronto 4 – EDMONTON 3… The Maple Leafs recovered to edge the Oilers after blowing a two-goal lead. Auston Matthews scored a tie-breaking power-play goal with 6:23 left. Jason Spezza scored a goal and assisted on another.

VANCOUVER 4 – Ottawa 1… Brock Boeser netted two goals and had an assist as the Canucks cruised past the Senators. Elias Pettersson added a goal and an assist. Goalie Braden Holtby made 36 saves.

VEGAS – St. Louis (PPD)… Last night’s game between the Golden Knights and Blues was postponed after a Vegas player and member of the coaching staff entered the league’s COVID-19 protocols.

Columbus is at Chicago

No. 1 Gonzaga 90, SAN DIEGO 62…
No. 6 Houston 83, TULANE 60…
No. 15 KANSAS 59, TCU 52

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