The Rundown for March 23, 2021

CORONAVIRUS UPDATES… The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 29,867,689 and the nation’s death toll stands at 542,888, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University… Data compiled by Johns Hopkins University shows seven-day average of daily new coronavirus cases is up by at least 5 percent in 27 states. There is good news on the vaccination front, where the number of shots being given per day has reached about 2.5 million… Trial results have shown that the coronavirus vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford is 79 percent effective in preventing symptomatic illness and 100 percent effective against severe disease and hospitalization. The safety and efficacy analysis was based on 32,449 participants in a phase 3 trial. Several countries have temporarily suspended use of the shot in response to reports of blood clots in some vaccinated people but AstraZeneca says an independent data safety monitoring board identified no safety concerns.

10 DEAD IN BOULDER SHOOTING… 10 people were fatally shot in Boulder, Colorado, yesterday afternoon after a gunman opened fire in a grocery store. The suspected shooter was later taken into custody and treated for injuries at a local hospital. Authorities did not immediately identify the suspect and say they don’t know the motive. The dead included 51-year-old Boulder Police Officer Eric Talley, an 11-year-old veteran.

SENATE CONFIRMS LABOR SECRETARY… The Senate confirmed the last of President Joe Biden’s nominees yesterday by approving Boston Mayor Marty Walsh as Secretary of Labor. The 68-to-29 vote makes Walsh the first former union leader to run the Labor Department in more than 40 years. The Senate last week confirmed Xavier Becerra as Health and Human Services secretary, Katherine Tai as U.S. Trade Representative, Isabel Guzman as the leader of the Small Business Administration and Deb Haaland as interior secretary.

FED CHIEF SAYS ECONONY IS ‘MUCH IMPROVED’… Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell says the economy is “much improved” since the first coronavirus relief legislation was enacted a year ago but the recovery is still “far from complete.” In prepared congressional testimony, Powell warned that the country is still facing major economic challenges. Powell and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen are scheduled to testify today before the House Financial Services Committee in an oversight hearing.

NORTH KOREAN NATIONAL EXTRADITED TO U.S… The Justice Department announced yesterday that a businessman arrested in Malaysia in 2019 has become the first North Korean national to be extradited to the U.S. 55-year-old Mun Chol Myong will stand trial for money laundering. He made his first appearance in a Washington, D.C., federal court yesterday and faced charges of conspiring with others to launder more than $1.5 million through the U.S. financial system between April 2013 and November 2018 in an effort to evade sanctions. The court documents also accuse him of being a member of North Korea’s primary intelligence organization, the Reconnaissance General Bureau.

ENTERTAINMENT
FOREST WHITAKER LANDS NEXT ROLE
… Forest Whitaker has joined the cast of the upcoming Netflix crime drama film “Havoc.” He’ll play alongside Tom Hardy in the story about a bruised detective who fights his way through a criminal underworld in order to save a politician’s estranged son. Whitaker currently stars as real life gangster Bumpy Johnson in Epix’s “Godfather of Harlem.”

KENNY CHESNEY STADIUM-TOUR UPDATE… Kenny Chesney is calling off his Chillaxification Tour. The stadium tour was originally scheduled for last year but was postponed a year due to the pandemic. Instead of touring in 2021, Chesney plans to perform in stadiums next year under a new name and with different opening acts. The tour kicks off in Tampa and ends 17 shows later in Foxborough, Massachusetts.

SPORTS
NBA SCOREBOARD

Sacramento 119 – CLEVELAND 105… The Kings handled the Cavaliers to cap a 10-day road trip. De’Aaron Fox pumped in 30 points. Tyrese Haliburton added a career-high 28 points.

Oklahoma City 112 – MINNESOTA 103… The Thunder shot 56.8 percent from beyond the arc in downing the Timberwolves. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander led the way with 31 points. Moses Brown grabbed 17 rebounds.

Charlotte 100 – SAN ANTONIO 97… The Hornets held on at the end to top the Spurs. They got 27 points from Gordon Mayward and 24 from Terry Rozier. P.J. Washington pulled down 13 boards to go with his 10 points.

Utah 120 – CHICAGO 95… Donovan Mitchell scored 30 points to lead the Jazz in their romp over the Bulls. Rudy Gobert added 21 points, 10 rebounds and nine blocks.

HOUSTON 117 – Toronto 99… The Rockets pulled away in the fourth quarter to get past the Raptors and end their 20-game losing streak. All five starters scored in double figures, led by Jaesean Tate’s 22 points. Sterling Brown added 20 points. John Wall racked up 19 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists.

MEMPHIS 132 – Boston 126 (OT)… Jae Morant scored 29 points and Dillon Brooks added 24 as the Grizzlies outlasted the Celtics. Jonas Valanciunas finished with 16 points and 19 boards.

MILWAUKEE 140 – Indiana 113… A Bucks team playing without the injured Giannis Antetokounmpo bombed the Pacers 48-26 in the first period and never looked back in the blowout win. Jrue Holiday scored a game-high 28 points and dished off 14 assists. Khris Middleton added 25 points and Pat Connaughton tossed in 20.

L.A. CLIPPERS 119 – Atlanta 110… The Clippers came from 22 points down in the second half to hand the Hawks their first loss in nine games. Kawhi Leonard scored 25 points. Terance Mann added 21 points and fellow reserve Luke Kennard had 20.

TODAY’S NBA SCHEDULE
Denver is at Orlando…
New York hosts Washington…
the L.A. Lakers are at New Orleans…
Miami hosts Phoenix…
Philadelphia is at Golden State…
Portland hosts Brooklyn

NBA NEWS… Elgin Baylor, an 11-time All-Star during his 14 seasons at forward with the Lakers from 1958 to 1971, died of natural causes in Los Angeles yesterday. He was 86. After being named Rookie of the Year and All-Star Game MVP in 1958-59, Baylor went on to average 27.4 points and 13.5 rebounds per game in his career. He became an NBA executive following his playing days and was a longtime general manager of the L.A. Clippers.

NHL SCOREBOARD
N.Y. RANGERS 5 – Buffalo 3… Chris Kreider’s second goal of the game broke a third-period tie and the Rangers went on to hand the Sabres their 14th straight loss. Adam Fox had a goal and two assists. Artemi Panarin set up three goals.

Carolina 3 – COLUMBUS 0… Goalie Alex Nedeljkovic stopped all 19 shots as the Hurricanes blanked the Blue Jackets. Jesper Fest had a goal and an assist.

OTTAWA 2 – Calgary 1… Chris Tierney scored with 2:35 remaining to lift the Senators over the Flames. Ryan Dzingel opened the scoring with first-period goal. Mike Reilly assisted on both scores. Filip Gustavsson made 35 saves at goal in his first NHL start.

N.Y. Islanders 2 – PHILADELPHIA 1 (OT)… Anthony Beauvillier wrapped around the winning goal 3:41 into overtime as the Islanders outlasted the Flyers. Oliver Wahlstrom netted a tying goal early in the third period. Goalie Ilya Sorokin stopped 36 shots.

MINNESOTA 2 – Anaheim 1… The Wild got goals from Ryan Suter and Nick Bjugstad in edging the Ducks. Goalie Cam Talbot made 24 stops.

Winnipeg 4 – VANCOUVER 0… Goalie Connor Hellebuyck made 22 saves in his first shutout of the season and the Jets skated past the Canucks. Adam Lowry found the net twice for Winnipeg.

Colorado 5 – ARIZONA 1… The Avalanche breezed past the Coyotes for their seventh straight win. Mikko Rantanen scored his 18th goal of the season.

VEGAS 5 – St. Louis 1… Mark Stone scored two goals and assisted on another to lead the Golden Knights past the Blues. Jonathan Marchessault had a goal and an assist.

SAN JOSE 2 – Los Angeles 1… Ryan Donato netted a tie-breaking goal early in the third period and the Sharks made it stand it topping the Kings. Martin Jones saved 41 shots at goal.

TODAY’S NHL SCHEDULE
Calgary is at Ottawa…
Minnesota hosts Anaheim…
Edmonton is at Montreal…
Pittsburgh hosts Buffalo…
Winnipeg is at Vancouver…
San Jose hosts Los Angeles

NCAA MEN’S BASKETBALL CHAMPIONSHIP SCOREBOARD (2nd round)…
WEST REGION
(1) Gonzaga 87, (8) Oklahoma 71
… The Zags play Creighton in the Sweet 16 on Sunday…
(5) Creighton 72, (13) Ohio 58
(7) Oregon 95, (2) Iowa 80… The Ducks take on USC in the Sweet 16 on Sunday…
(6) USC 85, (3) Kansas 51

EAST REGION
(11) UCLA 67, (14) Abilene Christian 47… The Bruins advance to battle Alabama in the Sweet 16 on Sunday…
(2) Alabama 96, (10) Maryland 77
(1) Michigan 86, (8) LSU 78… Next up for the Wolverines is Florida State in the Sweet 16 on Sunday…
(4) Florida State 71, (5) Colorado 53

MLB SPRING TRAINING SCORES (opening day is April 1)…
OAKLAND 4, Arizona 4…
Milwaukee 6, CLEVELAND 3…
KANSAS CITY 9, San Diego 9…
CHI. WHITE SOX 7, San Francisco 2…
L.A. ANGELS 15, Chi. White Sox 7…
COLORADO 5, Texas 4…
MINNESOTA 4, Atlanta 2…
PITTSBURGH 6, Baltimore 5…
Boston 10, TAMPA BAY 4…
HOUSTON 5, N.Y. Mets 4…
MIAMI 7, St. Louis 2…
Philadelphia 4, N.Y. YANKEES 9…
TORONTO 4, Detroit 3…
SEATTLE 7, L.A. Dodgers 3

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