The Rundown for February 25, 2021

CORONAVIRUS UPDATES… The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 28,334,981 and the nation’s death toll stands at 505,808, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University… A Food and Drug Administration review released yesterday found that Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose vaccination is safe and approximately 66 percent effective in preventing moderate to severe COVID-19. It still requires FDA approval to become the third COVID-19 vaccine in the U.S. and the first that requires just one dose.

SENATE PANEL SUPPORTS CIA DIRECTOR NOMINEE… Former U.S. ambassador to Russia and Jordan William Burns received bipartisan support as Central Intelligence Agency director during his confirmation hearing yesterday. Burns told the Senate Intelligence Committee that addressing challenges posed by China will be his top priority. The nominee said he would also prioritize technology, people and partnerships. Burns promised to keep politics out of the CIA, deliver honest information and “get to the bottom” of the mysterious illnesses suffered by American diplomats who served in Cuba. Meanwhile, members of the Senate finance committee questioned Department of Health and Human Services director nominee Xavier Becerra about his past stances on Medicare for All and abortion rights.

BIDEN NOMINATES 3 TO USPS BOARD… President Joe Biden yesterday announced three nominees to fill vacancies on the U.S. Postal Service Board of Governors. The nominees are: Ron Stroman, the former deputy postmaster general who resigned under the previous administration; Anton Hajjar, the former general counsel of American Postal Workers Union; and Amber McReynolds, CEO of the National Vote at Home Institute. One more vacancy will remain on the board, which will have jurisdiction over embattled Postmaster General Louis DeJoy. The USPS is facing growing public outcry over delayed mail, including calls for DeJoy’s removal.

BANNON FINANCIAL RECORDS SUBPOENAED… The Manhattan district attorney’s office has subpoenaed financial records from Steve Bannon, who served as chief strategist to former President Donald Trump. The subpoenas are part of an investigation centered on Bannon’s crowd-funded “We Build the Wall” campaign to erect a wall along the border with Mexico. Bannon was pardoned by Trump but he is exposed to state charges in New York and New Jersey.

WATER COMING BACK ON IN TEXAS… The number of Texans who having to boil their drinking water fell to 3 million yesterday as crews scramble to repair homes and businesses damaged by last week’s brutal winter storm. Some 5 million customers were without potable water. 13,000 people are still without any running water, according to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. The commission reported that water-service disruptions affected 14.4 million Texans on Saturday.

ENTERTAINMENT
‘FRASIER’ RETURNING
… A revival of the popular and long-running sitcom “Frasier” is coming to the new streaming service Paramount+. Kelsey Grammer has signed on to reprise the titular role and serve as an executive producer. Grammer’s character appeared not only in his namesake show but also in “Cheers” and “Wings.”

SPRINGSTEEN OFF THE HOOK… A judge dismissed Bruce Springsteen’s DWI and reckless driving charges yesterday after the legendary rocker instead pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of consuming alcohol in a public park. Springsteen was fined $540 and immediately assured the judge that he could afford to pay it. Springsteen was arrested in November after an officer spotted him taking a shot of tequila in New Jersey’s Gateway National Recreation Area before boarding his motorcycle. He admitted to downing two shots with a group of fans.

SPORTS
NBA SCOREBOARD

Golden State 111 – INDIANA 107… The Warriors came on strong down the stretch to get past the Pacers. Stephen Curry led the way with 24 points. Draymond Green grabbed 11 rebounds to go with his 12 points.

ATLANTA 127 – Boston 112… The Hawks built a 23-point halftime lead and coasted past the Celtics. Danilo Gallinari delivered 38 points off the bench and Trae young finished with 33. John Collins had 14 points and 11 boards.

CLEVELAND 112 – Houston 96… The Cavaliers pulled away late to hand the Rockets their ninth straight loss. Jarrett Allen matched a career high with 26 points and pulled down 18 rebounds. Collin Sexton tossed in 23 points.

MIAMI 116 – Toronto 108… The Heat continued their recovery from a poor start by fighting off the Raptors. Jimmy Butler scored a game-high 27 points and dished off 10 assists.

CHICAGO 133 – Minnesota 126 (OT)… Seven players scored in double figures as the Bulls outlasted the Timberwolves for their fifth win in six games. Zach LaVine led all scorers with 35 points. Coby White added 20 points.

NEW ORLEANS 128 – Detroit 118… Zion Williams finished with 32 points in leading the Pelicans past the Pistons. Brandon Ingram added 27 points. Steven Adams had 14 points and 15 boards.

OKLAHOMA CITY 102 – San Antonio 99… Lu Dort’s 3-pointer as time expired sent the Thunder past the Spurs. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander poured in a career-high 42 points.

Charlotte 124 – PHOENIX 121… Malik Monk scored 20 of his 29 points in the second quarter and the Hornets held off the Suns. LaMelo Ball tossed in 20 points.

UTAH 114 – L.A. Lakers 89… Rudy Gobert and Jordan Clarkson scored 18 points apiece to lead a balanced scoring attack and the Jazz rolled past the Lakers. Donovan Mitchell had 13 points and 10 rebounds.

TODAY’S NBA SCHEDULE
Dallas is at Philadelphia…
Brooklyn hosts Orlando…
Sacramento is at New York…
Memphis hosts the L.A. Clippers…
Washington is at Denver…
Milwaukee hosts New Orleans

NHL SCOREBOARD
TAMPA BAY 3 – Carolina 0… Goalie Sergei Vasilevskiy stopped all 25 shots as the Lightning blanked the Hurricanes. Ross Colton provided all the offense Tampa Bay needed with a first-period goal.

Dallas 3 – FLORIDA 0… Anton Khudobin made 43 saves in his second shutout of the season and the Stars skated past the Panthers to end a six-game skid. John Klingberg found the net 53 seconds into the contest.

PHILADELPHIA 4 – N.Y. Rangers 3… The Flyers withstood Chris Kreider’s three goals to edge the Rangers. Shayne Gostisbehere scored a goal and assisted on another. Claude Giroux set up three goals.

TORONTO 2 – Calgary 1 (OT)… William Nylander netted the tying goal with 1:28 left in regulation and added the winning goal at 1:06 of overtime to lead the Maple Leafs past the Flames.

ARIZONA 4 – Anaheim 3 (SO)… The Coyotes came from three goals down in the third period to stun the Ducks. Conor Garland and Christian Dvorak scored in the shootout. Phil Kessel netted the tying goal with 3:21 remaining in regulation.

Minnesota 6 – COLORADO 2… Nico Sturm found the net twice and the Wild cruised past the Avalanche. Nick Foligno, Ryan Hartman and Mats Zuccarello each had a goal and an assist.

Los Angeles 2 – ST. LOUIS 1… Alex Iafallo and Andreas Athanasiou netted second-period goals and the Kings hung on to edge the Blues. Calvin Petersen made 35 stops at goal.

TODAY’S NHL SCHEDULE
Boston is at the N.Y. Islanders…
Washington hosts Pittsburgh…
Carolina is at Tampa Bay…
Florida hosts Dallas…
Chicago is at Columbus…
Ottawa hosts Calgary…
New Jersey is at Buffalo…
Detroit hosts Nashville…
Montreal is at Winnipeg…
Vancouver hosts Edmonton

TOP 25 MEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL SCOREBOARD
No. 20 ARKANSAS 81, No. 6 Alabama 66…
No. 11 Florida State 88, MIAMI 71…
No. 13 CREIGHTON 77, DePaul 53…
North Carolina State 68, No. 15 VIRGINIA 61…
No. 25 Tennessee 70, VANDERBILT 58

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