The Rundown for February 8, 2021

CORONAVIRUS UPDATES… The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 27,004,716 and the nation’s death toll stands at 463,437, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University… Research published yesterday claims the faster-spreading coronavirus variant first detected in the U.K. is spreading fast in the U.S. The research by a network of scientists has yet to be peer-reviewed or published in a medical journal but its findings are consistent with last month’s Centers for Disease Control and Infection warning that the B.1.1.7 variant could become the dominant source of infection by next month. The variant has a “doubling rate of a little over a week and an increased transmission rate of 35-45 percent,” according to the study.

BIDEN SAYS U.S. WON’T LIFT IRAN SANCTIONS… President Joe Biden vowed in a CBS interview that aired yesterday that the U.S. will not lift economic sanctions on Iran to bring the country back to the 2015 nuclear agreement. Biden insisted that Tehran must first reverse its nuclear program. Earlier yesterday, Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said the U.S. must “completely lift” sanctions before his government would return to its commitments as part of the nuclear agreement. During a televised speech to air force commanders, Khamenei also said Iran may block nuclear inspections scheduled for later this month if the Biden administration doesn’t act fast. Iran ramped up its uranium enrichment program after former President Trump withdrew the U.S. from the deal.

DEMS TO UNVEIL RELIEF LEGISLATION… House Democrats hope to give millions of families at least $3,000 per child as part of legislation they are set to unveil today. The enhanced Child Tax Credit bill would advance a key provision in President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion Covid-19 relief package. The legislation would provide $3,600 per child under the age of six and $3,000 per child age six through 17 for a single year. The full benefit is available to single parents earning up to $75,000 annually and for couples earning up to $150,000.

CHICAGO REACHES TENTATIVE AGREEMENT WITH TEACHERS… Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot says city officials have reached a tentative agreement with the Chicago Teachers Union to resume in-person learning over the next several weeks, after union members review the deal and make it official. City officials and the union have been at odds over Covid-19 reopening plans. Mayor Lightfoot and school district officials say in-person learning is safe but union leaders have argued that teachers and students remain at risk if they return to the classroom too soon.

FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE GEORGE SCHULTZ DIES… George Shultz, who held four different cabinet-level jobs in serving three Republican presidents, died yesterday at his home in Stanford, California. He was 100. Shultz entered government in 1955 as an economist on President Eisenhower’s Council of Economic Advisers. He was labor secretary and director of the Office of Management and Budget in the Nixon administration. Schultz is best remembered as Secretary of State under President Reagan as the Cold War was winding down.

ENTERTAINMENT
JENNIFER LAWRENCE INJURED ON SET
… Actress Jennifer Lawrence was injured on the set of the upcoming Netflix film “Don’t Look Up.” The Adam McKay-directed film has been filming in Massachusetts since November. Lawrence was reportedly struck in or near her eye with flying debris while filming a scene that involved a special-effects explosion. The 30-year-old actress was rushed to the hospital but representatives say she is okay and will return to the set next week.

MORGAN WALLEN REMAINS ATOP ALBUM CHART… Morgan Wallen’s “Dangerous: The Double Album” sold 149,000 copies to remain atop the Billboard 200 chart for the fourth straight week. Lil Durk’s “The Voice” jumps jumped int second place after selling 86,000 units. Pop Smoke’s “Shoot for the Stars Aim for the Moon” dropped to third place on sales of 43,000 copies. The Weeknd’s “After Hours” stayed at No. 4 with 34,000 units sold. Juice WRLD’s “Legends Never Die” capped the top five with 30,000 copies sold.

SPORTS
BRADY LEADS BUCS TO SUPER BOWL VICTORY
… 43-year-old Tom Brady passed for 201 yards and three touchdowns in leading the Tampa Bay Buccaneers past the Kansas City Chiefs 31-9 in Super Bowl 55 on the Bucs’ home field. Brady was awarded his fifth Super Bowl MVP award after earning his seventh ring. Rob Gronkowski caught a pair of scoring strikes. Leonard Fournette ran 27 yards for a fourth-quarter TD.

NBA SCOREBOARD
Utah 103 – INDIANA 95… Donovan Mitchell scored 27 points and dished off 11 assists in leading the Jazz past the Pacers. Rudy Gobert powered his way to 16 points and as many boards.

Miami 109 – NEW YORK 103… All five starters scored in double figures as the Heat fought off the Knicks. Bam Adebayo led the way with 24 points and 11 rebounds. Jimmy Butler added 17 points and 10 boards.

CHARLOTTE 119 – Washington 97… The Hornets shook off a slow start to roll past the Wizards. Terry Rozier made five 3-pointers on his way to 26 points. Gordon Hayward tossed in 25 points.

PHOENIX 100 – Boston 91… Mikal Bridges scored 19 points to lead a balanced scoring attack and the Suns held off the Celtics. Deandre Ayton had 16 points and 11 rebounds.

Sacramento 113 – L.A. CLIPPERS 110… The Kings were too much in the fourth quarter in downing the Clippers for their fourth straight win. De’Aaron Fox scored a game-high 36 points. Buddy Hield added 22 points.

TODAY’S NBA SCHEDULE
Houston is at Charlotte…
Chicago hosts Washington…
Toronto is at Memphis…
Dallas hosts Minnesota…
Golden State is at San Antonio…
Phoenix hosts Cleveland…
Milwaukee is at Denver…
the L.A. Lakers host Oklahoma City

NHL SCOREBOARD
Philadelphia 7 – WASHINGTON 4… The Flyers scored three unanswered goals in the third period to blow past the Capitals after spotting them an early two-goal lead. Scott Laughton scored a goal in each period. Sean Couturier netted two goals and set up another.

Detroit 4 – FLORIDA 1… Marc Stall and Givani Smith found the net in the first period to provide the Red Wings with all the offense they needed in their win over the Panthers. Smith also assisted on Robby Fabbri’s third-period goal.

Carolina 6 – COLUMBUS 5… Jordan Staal scored a go-ahead power-play goal in the third period and Dougie Hamilton added what proved to be the decisive score as the Hurricanes topped the Blue Jackets. Stall also had two assists.

Chicago 2 – DALLAS 1 (OT)… Alex DeBrincat netted a power-play goal in the second period and added the game-winner at 2:56 of overtime as the Blackhawks outlasted the Stars. Goalie Malcolm Subban made 30 saves.

VEGAS 4 – Los Angeles 3… Chandler Stephenson scored a go-ahead goal on a power play early in the third period and the Golden Knights held on to edge the Kings. Stephenson also gave Vegas the lead with a second-period goal.

TODAY’S NHL SCHEDULE
the N.Y. Islanders are at the N.Y. Rangers…
Columbus hosts Carolina…
Edmonton is at Ottawa…
Toronto hosts Vancouver…
Tampa Bay is at Nashville…
St. Louis hosts Arizona

TOP 25 MEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL SCOREBOARD
No. 3 VILLANOVA 84, Georgetown 74…
INDIANA 67, No. 8 Iowa 65…
Valparaiso 74, No. 25 DRAKE 57

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