The Rundown for March 1, 2021

CORONAVIRUS UPDATES… The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 28,605,669 and the nation’s death toll stands at 513.091, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University… Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Rochelle Walensky approved the single-dose Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use in adults yesterday, making it the third such vaccine available in the U.S. The new vaccine should start getting delivered tomorrow and Biden administration officials hope it helps boost lagging vaccination rates among minorities. Johnson & Johnson says it plans to test the vaccine on infants, newborns and pregnant women.

STATE DEPARTMENT RE-STARTS TALIBAN TALKS… The State Department announced yesterday that U.S. negotiators have arrived in the Middle East to restart peace talks with the Taliban. Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad will meet with Afghan government officials and Taliban representatives in Afghanistan and Qatar. Khalilzad helped negotiate last year’s Doha agreement, calling for the Taliban to reduce violence and cut ties with terrorist organizations, among other demands. In exchange, U.S. forces would leave Afghanistan by May 2021.

IRAN NOT READY TO REVIVE NUCLEAR DEAL… Iran continues to demand that the U.S drop its unilateral sanctions before it will engage in talks to revive the 2015 nuclear deal. American diplomats say they are disappointed but remain ready to “re-engage in meaningful diplomacy.” The Trump administration imposed the sanctions in 2018 to force Iran to re-negotiate the accord. Iran refused and retaliated by abandoning its commitments. In trying to rejoin the agreement, the Biden administration insists Tehran must return to full compliance first.

CUOMO APOLOGIZES… New York Governor Andrew Cuomo apologized yesterday to the two women who have come forth with sexual harassment allegations against him. Cuomo said Sunday he was “truly sorry” if “some of the things I have said have been misinterpreted as an unwanted flirtation.” Earlier yesterday, Cuomo asked the New York state’s attorney general and chief judge to appoint an independent investigator to examine the allegations. New York Attorney General Tish James said she is prepared to lead the investigation.

TRUMP AT CPAC… Former President Donald Trump yesterday targeted disloyal Republicans, repeated his election-fraud lies and hinted at a 2024 during a final-day address at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Orlando, Florida. Trump called the Republicans who voted to him “grandstanders” and referred to Wyoming Republican Congresswoman Liz Cheney as a “warmonger.” Regarding his future plans, Trump asked supporters to contribute to his political action committees while plans are being made.

ENTERTAINMENT
GOLDEN GLOBES
… “The Crown” won Best TV Drama and “Schitt’s Creek” was honored as Best TV Comedy at last night’s Golden Globe Awards ceremony. “The Crown” stars Emma Corrin and Josh O’Connor won for Best Actress and Actor in a TV Drama, and their co-star Gillian Anderson won for Best Supporting Actress on TV. Catherine O’Hara took the Globe for Best Actress in a TV Comedy for “Schitt’s Creek” and “Ted Lasso” star Jason Sudeikis won for Best Actor in a TV Comedy. Anya Taylor-Joy won the prize for Best Actress in a TV Movie, Limited Series or Anthology Series for “The Queen’s Gambit, which was honored as the Best TV Movie, Limited Series or Anthology Series. Chloe Zhao won the Best Director of a Film award for “Nomadland,” which was honored as the Best Drama Film. The late Chadwick Boseman was named Best Actor in a Drama Film for “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” and Andra Day picked up the Best Actress in a Drama Film award for “The United States vs. Billie Holiday.”

MORGAN WALLEN REMAINS ATOP ALBUM CHART… Morgan Wallen’s “Dangerous: The Double Album” sold 89,000 copies in becoming the first country album to spend its initial seven weeks atop the Billboard 200 chart. Ariana Grande’s “Positions” finished second after selling 49,000 units. Pop Smoke’s “Shoot for the Stars Aim for the Moon” finished third on sales of 43,000 copies. Lil Durk’s “The Voice” dropped to fourth place after selling 38,000 units. Pooh Shiesty’s “Sheisty Season” remained at No. 5 with 37,000 copies sold.

SPORTS
NBA SCOREBOARD

MILWAUKEE 105 – L.A. Clippers 100… The Bucks closed with a 9-0 run to upend the Clippers for their fifth straight win. Giannis Antetokounmpo keyed the late surge and finished with 36 points and 14 rebounds.

BOSTON 111 – Washington 110… Jayson Tatum made back-to-back driving layups in the final 15 seconds and finished with 31 points in leading the Celtics past the Wizards. Kemba Walker added 21 points and Daniel Theis tossed in 20. Bradley Beal’s 46 points weren’t enough for Washington.

New York 109 – DETROIT 90… Julius Randle scored 17 of his 25 points in the second half as the Knicks cruised past the Pistons. RJ Barrett added 21 points.

MIAMI 109 – Atlanta 99… The Heat made it six straight wins by fighting off the Hawks. Kendrick Nunn scored 24 points to lead a balanced scoring attack. Bam Adebayo had 16 points and 13 boards.

Memphis 133 – HOUSTON 84… Seven players scored in double figures as the Grizzlies dismantled the Rockets. Justise Winslow led the way with 20 points. Brandon Clarke powered his way to 16 points and 12 rebounds. The loss was Houston’s 11th in a row.

L.A. LAKERS 117 – Golden State 91… The Lakers jumped out to a 41-21 lead after the first quarter and never looked back in their blowout of the Warriors. LeBron James scored a game-high 19 points in only 24 minutes.

Phoenix 118 – MINNESOTA 99… Devin Booker scored 31 of his season-high 43 points in the third quarter as the Suns cruised past the Timberwolves. Deandre Ayton put up 22 points and 12 boards.

Charlotte 127 – SACRAMENTO 126… The Hornets came from eight points down with less than a minute remaining to topple the Kings. Malik Monk was fouled as he scored the tying basket with 1.4 seconds left and converted the decisive free throw. Terry Rozier brought Charlotte within range by knocking down a 3-pointer and three free throws. Monk finished with 21 points. P.J. Washington poured in a game-high 42 points. LaMelo Ball had 24 points and 12 assists.

TODAY’S NBA SCHEDULE
Dallas is at Orlando…
Philadelphia hosts Indiana…
Denver is at Chicago…
New Orleans hosts Utah…
Brooklyn is at San Antonio…
Houston hosts Cleveland…
Charlotte is at Portland

NHL SCOREBOARD
Boston 4 – N.Y. RANGERS 1… Charlie Coyle found the net twice and David Pastrnak set up two goals as the Bruins skated past the Rangers. Charlie McAvoy had a goal and an assist.

Philadelphia 3 – BUFFALO 0… Goalie Carter Hart stopped all 28 shots in the Flyers’ blanking of the Sabres. James van Riemsdyk had a goal and an assist as Philadelphia did all its scoring in the second period. Joel Farabee assisted on two goals.

NASHVILLE 3 – Columbus 1… Eeli Tolvanen’s second-period goal gave the Predators the lead for good in their win over the Blue Jackets. Juuse Saros made 28 saves at goal.

Washington 3 – NEW JERSEY 2… Alex Ovechkin netted a go-ahead goal in the second period and the Capitals hung on to top the Devils. Jakub Vrana had a goal and an assist. Tom Wilson set up two goals.

N.Y. ISLANDERS 2 – Pittsburgh 0… Rookie goalie Ilya Sorokin made 20 saves in his second shutout and the Islanders clipped the Penguins. Oliver Wahlstrom and Jean-Gabriel Pageau netted power-play goals.

CHICAGO 7 – Detroit 2… The Blackhawks scored five third-period goals to put away the Red Wings. Patrick Kane scored his 400th career goal and had two assists. Alex DeBrincat had a goal and three assists. Goalie Kevin Lankinen made 44 stops.

TODAY’S NHL SCHEDULE
Carolina is at Florida…
Ottawa hosts Calgary…
Vancouver is at Winnipeg…
Edmonton hosts Toronto…
Minnesota is at Vegas…
Anaheim hosts St. Louis…
Colorado is at San Jose

TOP 25 MEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL SCOREBOARD
No. 9 Iowa 73, No. 4 OHIO STATE 57….
BUTLER 73, No. 8 Villanova 61…
No. 12 HOUSTON 98, South Florida 52

MLB SPRING TRAINING SCORES
TAMPA BAY 9, Atlanta 7…
MINNESOTA 7, Boston 6…
Miami 6, HOUSTON 1…
DETROIT 10, Philadelphia 2…
Pittsburgh 6, BALTIMORE 4…
Toronto 6, N.Y. YANKEES 4…
Washington 4, ST. LOUIS 4 (tie)…
L.A. Angels 5, SAN FRANCISCO 2…
CLEVELAND 5, Cincinnati 1…
L.A. Dodgers 2, OAKLAND 1…
MILWAUKEE 7, CHI. WHITE SOX 2…
KANSAS CITY 3, Texas 2…
COLORADO 5, Arizona 2…
SEATTLE 5, San Diego 4

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