The Rundown for February 3, 2021

CORONAVIRUS UPDATES… The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 26,427,398 and the nation’s death toll stands at 446,733, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University… The White House has announced plans to start shipping coronavirus vaccines next week directly to retail pharmacies alongside ongoing deliveries to states. The Biden administration’s COVID-19 response coordinator, Jeff Zients, said the program will launch on February 11 and will make 1 million doses available to 6,500 stores. As supply grows, the program could expand to as many as 40,000 stores, he said.

DEM SENATORS ADVANCE COVID RELIEF PACKAGE… Senate Democrats yesterday took the first step to securing the passage of President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion Covid relief package. They voted 50-49 to advance the budget reconciliation process in the Senate, where they would only 51 votes instead of the normal 60 vote supermajority for passage. The vote was along party lines, with Pennsylvania Republican Senator Pat Toomey absent.

TRUMP IMPEACHMENT BRIEFS PREVIEW ARGUMENTS… House impeachment managers yesterday accused former President Trump of being “singularly responsible” for inciting the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol last month. In their filing briefs, lawmakers claimed Trump’s call for action during a pre-insurrection rally was a “betrayal” that can’t go unpunished. Trump’s legal team argued his speech was protected by the First Amendment and a Senate conviction would be unconstitutional.

SENATE CONFIRMATIONS… The Senate yesterday confirmed Alejandro Mayorkas as Department of Homeland Security director. The 61-year-old Mayorkas, the first Latino and immigrant to hold the position, will oversee a 240,000-employee department responsible for border security, immigration enforcement, cybersecurity and disaster readiness and relief, among other missions. Earlier yesterday, the Senate confirmed Pete Buttigieg as transportation secretary, making him the first openly gay U.S. Cabinet secretary. The 39-year-old Buttigieg served as the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, and ran unsuccessfully for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination.

BEZOS STEPPING DOWN AT AMAZON… Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos announced yesterday that he plans to step down at the end of the third fiscal quarter. Bezos, whose company made him the richest man in the world, will become executive chair of the company’s board. Andy Jassy, the CEO of the company’s profitable online hosting business Amazon Web Services, will take over as Amazon’s CEO.

TWO FBI AGENTS FATALLY SHOT… Two FBI agents were fatally shot and three others were wounded during a shootout yesterday morning in Sunrise, Florida. The agents reportedly came under fire as they executed the federal court-ordered search warrant as part of a violent crimes against children case. The of the warrant was fatally shot after barricaded himself inside an apartment. Two of the injured FBI agents were taken to the hospital and are in stable condition, while the third injured agent was not hospitalized, officials said.

SIX MORE WEEKS OF WINTER… Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow on Groundhog Day yesterday that predicted there will be six more weeks of winter. Yesterday’s annual gathering in Gobbler’s Knob, Pennsylvania, usually attracts around 30,000 people but was live-streamed due to the pandemic. Phil hadn’t seen his shadow the past two years.

ENTERTAINMENT
RAPPER SILENTO ARRESTED FOR MURDER
… Authorities in Atlanta have announced the arrest of rapper Silento in the fatal shooting of his cousin last month. The rapper, whose real name is Ricky Lamar Hawk, is being held without bond. Police say evidence from security camera videos led to the arrest but have not detailed a motive. Silento rose to prominence in 2015 when his debut single, “Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae),” led to a viral dance.

JEN RICHARDS JOINS ‘CLARICE’ CAST… Actress and transgender activist Jen Richards has joined the cast of the “Silence of the Lambs” sequel series “Clarice.” Richards will play a character who intersects with Clarice Starling (Rebecca Breeds) and discusses the “complicated legacy” of Buffalo Bill, a serial killer portrayed by Ted Levine in the 1991 film “The Silence of the Lambs.” Richards will also serve as a consultant. The series co-stars Devyn A. Tyler, Lucca De Oliveira, Kal Penn and Nick Sandow and premieres February 11 on CBS and CBS All Access.

SPORTS
NBA SCOREBOARD
Toronto 123 – ORLANDO 108
… Fred VanVleet poured in a franchise record 54 points in leading the Raptors past the Magic. VanVleet made 11 of 14 3-point attempts. Norman Powell added 23 points.

BROOKLYN 124 – L.A. Clippers 120… Kyrie Irving scored eight straight points during a fourth-quarter run and finished with a game-high 39 points as the Nets held off the Clippers. Kevin Durant tossed in 28 points. James Harden finished with 23 points and 14 assists.

INDIANA 134 – Memphis 116… The Pacers built a 21-point halftime lead and coasted past the Grizzlies. Domantas Sabonis had game-highs with 32 points and 13 rebounds. Malcolm Brogdon added 23 points. Myles Turner had 22 points and 11 boards.

Portland 132 – WASHINGTON 121… The Trail Blazers jumped out to a 40-23 lead after the first quarter and cruised past the Wizards. Damian Lillard pumped in 32 points. Gary Trent Jr. tossed in 26 points.

UTAH 117 – Detroit 105… The Jazz took control with a big first half and held off the Pistons. Donovan Mitchell led the way with 32 points. Mike Conley added 20 points.

Boston 111 – GOLDEN STATE 107… The Celtics were too much in the fourth quarter and eased past the Warriors in a back-and-forth contest. Jayson Tatum scored 27 points to lead five players in double figures.

TODAY’S NBA SCHEDULE
Philadelphia is at Charlotte…
Milwaukee hosts Indiana…
Dallas is at Atlanta…
Cleveland hosts the L.A. Clippers…
Washington is at Miami…
Chicago hosts New York…
Houston is at Oklahoma City…
San Antonio hosts Minnesota…
Phoenix is at New Orleans…
Sacramento hosts Boston

NHL SCOREBOARD
Dallas 6 – COLUMBUS 3… Joe Pavelski netted the Stars’ first two goals and added two assists in the thrashing of the Blue Jackets. Jamie Benn had a goal and two assists.

MONTREAL 5 – Vancouver 3… Tyler Toffoli netted back-to-back second-period goals and had an assist as the Canadiens skated past the Canucks. Josh Anderson also found the net twice.

Carolina 4 – CHICAGO 3 (SO)… The Hurricanes recovered to outlast the Blackhawks after blowing an early two-goal lead. Andrei Svechnikov netted the lone goal in the tiebreaker. Warren Foegele had a goal and an assist.

ST. LOUIS 4 – Arizona 3… Ryan Reilly’s third-period goal proved to be decisive as the Blues edged the Coyotes. Vince Dunn scored a goal and set up another.

WINNIPEG 3 – Calgary 2… The Jets scored all three goals in the first period and held on to top the Flames. Trevor Lewis opened the scoring 6:40 in and Derek Forbort found the net 30 seconds later.

COLORADO 2 – Minnesota 1… The Avalanche got goals from Logan O’Connor and Valeri Nichushkin in holding off the Wild. Goalie Philipp Grubauer made 27 saves.

EDMONTON 4 – Ottawa 2… The Oilers scored three unanswered goals in the first period and never looked back in doubling up on the Senators. Jesse Puljujarvi netted a pair of goals.

Anaheim 3 – LOS ANGELES 1… Calvin Petersen stopped 40 shots at goal and the Ducks fought off the Kings. Danton Heinen, David Backes and Nicolas Deslauriers found the net.

TODAY’S NHL SCHEDULE
Dallas is at Columbus…
Montreal hosts Vancouver…
Carolina is at Chicago…
St. Louis hosts Arizona…
Calgary is at Winnipeg…
Colorado hosts Minnesota…
Ottawa is at Edmonton…
Los Angeles hosts Anaheim

TOP 25 MEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL SCOREBOARD
No. 2 Baylor 83, No. 6 TEXAS 69…
No. 8 IOWA 84, Michigan State 78…
MISSISSIPPI 52, No. 11 Tennessee 50…
No. 12 Illinois 75, INDIANA (OT) 71…
No. 17 West Virginia 76, IOWA STATE 72…
No. 19 WISCONSIN 72, Penn State 56…
No. 23 KANSAS 74, Kansas State 51…
MARYLAND 61, No. 24 Purdue 60

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