The Rundown for March 18, 2021

CORONAVIRUS UPDATES… The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 29,605,933 and the nation’s death toll stands at 538,052, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University… Age appears to play a role in COVID-19 reinfection, according to new findings published yesterday by the peer-reviewed medical journal The Lancet. Researchers in Denmark participating in what’s considered the first large-scale study of coronavirus reinfections found that people under the age of 65 were found to have about 80 percent protection from the virus after an initial infection. Those over 65 were left with only about 47 percent protection, the study concluded.

BIDEN RECOGNIZES ST. PATRICK’S DAY WITH IRISH PM… President Joe Biden recognized St. Patrick’s Day yesterday during a virtual meeting with Ireland Prime Minister Michael Martin. The two leaders also discussed plans to discuss how their nations can work together to fight COVID-19, cooperate on vaccines and improve diplomatic relations. U.S. and Irish involvement on the UN Security Council, their relationship with the European Union, trade and continued support of the “Good Friday agreement” with Northern Ireland were among other topics on the agenda.

VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN ACT PASSES… The House voted largely along party lines yesterday in passing legislation that reauthorizes the Violence Against Women Act, which lapsed in 2019. Only 29 Republicans joined Democrats in the 244-to-172 vote. The legislation provides grants to state and local governments for programs addressing domestic abuse, sexual assault, dating violence and stalking. It also closes the so-called boyfriend loophole to prevent dating partners convicted of domestic violence or abuse from buying or owning guns. Current law only applies the gun purchase restriction to spouses or formerly married partners convicted of abuse or under a restraining order.

REPORT WARNS OF DOMESTIC TERRORISM… In an unclassified report released yesterday by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and Departments of Homeland Security and Justice, officials warn that domestic extremists “will almost certainly” attempt to launch further attacks this year. The report claims extremists feel emboldened by the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. The Justice Department has accused several members of the so-called Oath Keepers group of conspiracy, spending months planning their part in the attack and coordinating to meet up with others.

IRS PUSHES BACK FILING DEADLINE… Internal Revenue Service Commissioner Chuck Rettig announced yesterday that the IRS is pushing back the official federal income tax filing deadline from April 15 to May 17. He said the move was made to accommodate those who’ve been going through a tough time during the pandemic. Rettig also urged taxpayers to check their individual state’s deadlines for instructions and potential delays of state income taxes.

TAI CONFIRMED AS TRADE REP… The Senate voted 98-0 yesterday to confirm Katherine Tai as the U.S. Trade Representative. The 46-year-old former Congressional staff attorney will advise President Joe Biden on existing trade tariffs and enforcing a new trade deal with Mexico and Canada, among other issues. Tai served as the chief trade counsel for the House of Representatives during negotiations on the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement in 2019. She also served in the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative under President Barack Obama.

ENTERTAINMENT
DISNEY TO REOPEN CALIFORNIA PROPERTIES
… Disneyland and Disney California Adventure Park in Anaheim, California, are planning to reopen at the end of April. Both properties will initially will open with limited capacities to California residents only. Walt Disney World in Florida reopened last July and increased capacity in November, but Disneyland has maintained tighter restrictions.

ANGELINA JOLIE ACCUSES BRAD PITT OF ABUSE… Actress Angelina Jolie alleges that Brad Pitt was abusive during their relationship in new documents filed as part of their ongoing divorce proceedings. Last week’s filing doesn’t detail the allegations but Jolie has boasted that she is willing to provide “proof and authority in support” of the claims. The filing says both Jolie and “minor children” are willing to testify.

SPORTS
NBA SCOREBOARD

DETROIT 116 – Toronto 112… Saddiq Bey scored 28 points and grabbed 12 rebounds as the Pistons topped the Raptors to end a four-game skid. Jerami Grant added 23 points. Norman Powell’s 43 points weren’t enough for Toronto.

Brooklyn 124 – INDIANA 115… The Nets shook off a rough start to rally past the Pacers. James Harden racked up 40 points, 10 boards and 15 assists. Six other players scored in double figures for Brooklyn.

Milwaukee 109 – PHILADELPHIA 105 (OT)… Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 10 of his 32 points in overtime and brought down 15 rebounds to lead the Bucks past the 76ers in a matchup of two Eastern Conference frontrunners. Donte DiVicenzo tossed in 20 points.

Sacramento 121 – WASHINGTON 119… De’Aaron Fox knocked down a jumper with less than a second remaining to send the Kings past the Wizards. His 28 points led six players in double figures.

CLEVELAND 117 – Boston 110… The Cavaliers came up big down the stretch in holding off the Celtics. They got 29 points from Collin Sexton and 25 from Darius Garland. Larry Nance Jr. finished with 18 points and 10 boards.

San Antonio 106 – CHICAGO 99… After trailing by as many as 23 points in the first half, the Spurs bombed the Bulls 39-19 in the fourth quarter to pull out the victory. They scored 17 straight points at one point during the rally. Jakob Poeltl led a balanced scoring attack with 20 points and collected 16 rebounds.

Golden State 108 – HOUSTON 94… The Warriors used a dominant second quarter to build a 24-point halftime lead and coasted past the Rockets. Jordan Poole came off the bench to score 23 points. Draymond Green had 16 points, 12 boards and 10 assists. The loss was Houston’s 18th in a row, setting a franchise record.

MEMPHIS 89 – Miami 85… Ja Morant dribbled the length of the court to lay in a tie-breaking basket with 1.2 seconds left and Kyle Anderson added a steal and two free throws as the Grizzlies fought off the Heat. Morant, Anderson and scored 13 points apiece. Jonas Valanciunas gathered 12 rebounds.

DENVER 129 – Charlotte 104… Michael Porter Jr. had game-highs with 28 points and 13 boards in leading the Nuggets past the Hornets. Will Barton added 23 points. Nikola Jokic finished with 12 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists.

DALLAS 105 – L.A. Clippers 89… Luka Doncic poured in 42 points as the Mavericks pulled away from the Clippers. Kristaps Porzingis had 13 boards to go with his 11 points.

TODAY’S NBA SCHEDULE
Utah is at Washington…
Atlanta hosts Oklahoma City…
Orlando is at New York…
Phoenix hosts Minnesota…
New Orleans is at Portland…
the L.A. Lakers host Charlotte

NHL SCOREBOARD
Vancouver 3 – OTTAWA 2 (SO)… The Canucks recovered to outlast the Senators after letting an early two goal lead slip away. Adam Gaudette scored the winning goal in the shootout. Bo Horvat had a goal and an assist.

N.Y. RANGERS 9 – Philadelphia 0… Mika Zibanejad scored three goals and assisted on three others during a seven-goal second period as the Rangers crushed the Flyers. Pavel Buchnevich had two goals and two assists. Goalie Alexandar Georgiev stopped all 26 shots.

WINNIPEG 4 – Montreal 3 (OT)… The Jets outlasted the Canadiens after blowing a pair of two-goal leads. Nikolaj Ehlers found the net 55 seconds into overtime. Kyle Connor scored twice in regulation.

Edmonton 7 – CALGARY 3… Connor McDavid’s power-play goal sparked a four-goal third period that carried the Oilers over the Flames. McDavid also assisted on two goals. Tyson Barrie had four assists and Leon Draisaitl added three.

VEGAS 5 – San Jose 4… The Golden Knights scored four straight in the third period to erase a two-goal deficit and held off the Sharks. Ryan Reaves’ first goal of the season gave Vegas the lead for good. Shea Theodore had a goal and two assists.

LOS ANGELES 4 – St. Louis 1… The Kings scored three unanswered goals in the first period and never looked back in skating past the Blues. Trevor Moore had a goal and an assist. Jaret Anderson-Dolan set up two goals.

TODAY’S NHL SCHEDULE
Pittsburgh is at New Jersey…
Buffalo hosts Boston…
Philadelphia is at at the N.Y. Islanders…
Carolina hosts Columbus…
Chicago is at Tampa By…
Florida hosts Nashville…
Dallas is at Detroit…
Edmonton hosts Winnipeg…
Minnesota is at Colorado…
Anaheim hosts Arizona

NCAA TOURNAMENT OPENS TODAY… The NCAA men’s basketball championship gets underway today with four play-in games to fill out the brackets and finalize Saturday’s first-round matchups. Today’s play opens with Texas Southern playing Mount St. Mary’s for a 16 seed in the East Regional, with the winner to play top-seeded Michigan. Drake and Wichita State battle for an 11 seed in the West Regional, with the winner advancing to take on sixth-seeded USC. Norfolk State takes on Appalachian State for a 16 seed in the West, with the winner to face top-seeded Gonzaga. UCLA and Michigan State close out the day with a contest to determine the 11 seed in the East. The winner moves on to play sixth-seeded BYU.

MLB SPRING TRAINING SCORES (opening day is April 1)…
OAKLAND 10, Kansas City 5…
L.A. Dodgers 4, CHI. WHITE SOX 3…
San Francisco 11, COLORADO 8…
BALTIMORE 5, Atlanta 2…
St. Louis 4, HOUSTON 4 (tie)…
PHILADELPHIA 2, Detroit 0…
BOSTON 9, Minnesota 1…
MIAMI 3, N.Y. Mets 2…
Tampa Bay 10, PITTSBURGH 9…
N.Y. Yankees 1, TORONTO 0…
TEXAS 3, Arizona 0…
CINCINNATI 12, Cleveland 7…
CHI. CUBS 8, San Diego 2…
L.A. Angels 7, SEATTLE 4

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