CORONAVIRUS UPDATES… The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 32,557,606 and the nation’s death toll stands at 579,276, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University… President Joe Biden has come out in favor of a World Trade Organization proposal to waive intellectual property protections for COVID-19 vaccines so that vaccine-strapped countries can manufacture their own vaccines… A federal judge has vacated the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s nationwide eviction moratorium amid the COVID-19 pandemic, possibly leaving many Americans in danger of being houseless. The CDC imposed the ban in September, and President Joe Biden had extended it until July 2021, but District Judge Dabney Friedrich questioned the health agency’s authority over the country… The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention projected yesterday that COVID-19 cases and deaths will reach another peak in May and July before declining amid rising vaccination rates. Figures will then decline through September, according to CDC modeling, which took into account various vaccination rates and mitigation levels… The pharmaceutical company Moderna reported yesterday that a booster shot of its coronavirus vaccine strengthens immune response against two worrying coronavirus variants. A booster dose formulated specifically to match the B.1.351 variant first seen in South Africa was even more effective, the company said.

FACEBOOK BOARD OKAYS TRUMP BAN… The Facebook Oversight Board ruled yesterday that former President Donald Trump will remain banned from the social media platform. Trump was banned indefinitely from the social-media platform following his posts related to the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. The Oversight Board was tasked with reviewing Facebook’s decision, which it said was mostly correct. However, the board said Facebook should not have made the ban indefinite, meaning the company will have to make a decision at some point.

AMERICAN STUDENTS CONVICTED OF KILLING ITALIAN COP… Two American college students have been convicted of murdering an Italian police officer in an alleged drug deal gone wrong. A jury in Rome found 21-year-old Finnegan Lee Elder and 20-year-old Gabriel Natale-Hjorth guilty of fatally stabbing Vice Brigadier Mario Cerciello Rega in July 2019. They were both given life sentences in prison. Police alleged Elder and Natale-Hjorth, who were 19 and 18 at the time of their arrest, stabbed Rega as he attempted to recover a stolen backpack from them.

LIZ CHENEY SAYS REPUBLICAN PARTY AT A ‘TURNING POINT’… Wyoming Republican Congresswoman Liz Cheney said in a Washington Post op-ed published yesterday that the Republican Party is at a “turning point” and must decide whether to accept or reject Donald Trump’s lies about the 2020 election. Cheney blamed the lies for sparking the January 6 Capitol attack and warned that they could provoke violence again. Cheney’s future in the House leadership is in jeopardy, as Republicans are planing a vote to remove her as conference chair as early as next week.

SOUTH CAROLINA HOUSE APPROVES FIRING SQUAD… The South Carolina House voted yesterday to add a firing squad to the state’s execution methods amid a lack of lethal-injection drugs. Representatives voted 66 to 43 on a bill that requires condemned inmates to choose either being shot or electrocuted if lethal injection drugs aren’t available. The state is one of only nine to still use the electric chair and will become only the fourth to allow a firing squad.

ENTERTAINMENT
JOHN DAVID WASHINGTON LANDS SCI-FI ROLE
… Golden Globe- and SAG-nominated actor John David Washington is on board to star in the upcoming sci-fi film “True Love.” Little is known about the film other than it is set in the near future. Washington is best known for his work in the film “BlacKkKlansman.” In the past year he has starred in the sci-fi action pic “Tenet” as well as the Netflix drama “Malcolm And Marie.”

‘LOKI’ TO PREMIERE JUNE 9… Disney+ announced yesterday that its Marvel series “Loki” will premiere on June 9, which is two days ahead of its announced schedule. The series will follow Loki as he falls into hot water with the Time Variance Authority after taking the Tesseract in “Avengers: Endgame.” Tom Hiddleston stars in the series. Co-stars include Owen Wilson, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Sophia Di Martino, Wummi Mosaku and Richard E. Grant.

SPORTS
MLB SCORES

NATIONAL LEAGUE
ST. LOUIS 4 – N.Y. Mets 1
… Paul DeJong homered with a runner aboard and Paul Goldschmidt added a solo shot as the Cardinals downed the Mets in the doubleheader opener.

N.Y. Mets 7 – ST. LOUIS 2… The Mets earned a split of the twinbill and ended the Cardinals’ winning streak at six games. Tomás Nido hit a two-run homer and Jonathan Villar homered with the bases empty.

COLORADO 6 – San Francisco 5… Charlie Blackmon and Raimel Tapia stroked two-run singles as the Rockies scored all six runs in the bottom of the fourth inning and held off the Giants.

MIAMI 8 – Arizona 0… Five pitchers combined on a five-hitter and the Marlins rolled past the Diamondbacks. Adam Duvall belted a three-run homer and singled home a run.

Atlanta 5 – WASHINGTON 3… Marcell Ozuna unloaded a grand slam in the top of the third inning to power the Braves past the nationals. William Contreras also went deep.

PHILADELPHIA 5 – Milwaukee 4… Didi Gregorius connected for his eighth career grand slam during a five-run bottom of the first inning and the Phillies hung on to edge the Brewers.

CHI. CUBS 6 – L.A. Dodgers 5… Matt Duffy and Anthony Rizzo produced run-scoring singles in the bottom of the 11th inning to lift the Cubs over the Dodgers. Joc Pederson lifted a game-tying sacrifice fly in the 10th. Jake Marisnick hit a two-run homer.

SAN DIEGO 4 – Pittsburgh 2… Jake Cronenworth punched a game-tying two-run single in the bottom of the sixth inning and the Padres made it stand in their win over the Pirates. Victor Caratini homered to lead off the third.

AMERICAN LEAGUE
Baltimore 6 – SEATTLE 0
… Orioles starter John Means pitched the third no-hitter of the season in blanking the Mariners. He retired all 27 batters he faced but lost his perfect game when Sam Haggerty reached base on a third-strike wild pitch in the third inning. Trey Mancini blasted a three-run homer and Pat Valaika added a solo shot for Baltimore.

N.Y. YANKEES 6 – Houston 3… Giovanni Stanton homered with a runner aboard and doubled home two runs to lead the Yankees past the Astros.

Detroit 6 – BOSTON 5 (10 innings)… Jeimer Candelario hit a three-run homer in the top of the 10th inning and the Tigers escaped with a win. Jacoby Jones cracked a two-run single.

Texas 3 – MINNESOTA 1… Nick Solak ran home on a wild pitch to break a tie in the bottom of the sixth and Andy Ibañez followed with a sacrifice fly as the Rangers clipped the Twins.

Cleveland 5 – KANSAS CITY 4… Josh Naylor’s homer to lead off the top of the ninth inning sent the Indians past the Royals. Jose Ramirez’ solo homer tied the game in the eighth. Eddie Rosario lined a two-run double.

Tampa Bay 3 – L.A. ANGELS 1… Brandon Lowe provided all the offense the Rays needed with a three-run homer in the top of the seventh inning.

Toronto 9 – OAKLAND 4… The Blue Jays came up with five runs in the top of the eighth inning to put away the Athletics. Vladimir Guerrero, Teoscar Hernández and Randal Grichuk knocked in two runs apiece.

INTERLEAGUE
CINCINNATI 1 – Chi. White Sox 0
(10 innings)…. Jesse Winker singled home Tucker Barnhart with the game’s only run in the bottom of the 10th inning.

TODAY’S MLB SCHEDULE
NATIONAL LEAGUE
Milwaukee (Brandon Woodruff, 2-0) is at Philadelphia (Zack Wheeler, 2-2)…
St. Louis (John Gant, 2-2) hosts the N.Y. Mets (Taijuan Walker, 1-1)…
Atlanta (Drew Smyly, 0-2) is at Washington (John Lester, 0-0)…
Miami (Pablo Lopez, 0-2) hosts Arizona (Madison Bumgarner, 3-2)

AMERICAN LEAGUE
Houston (Lance McCullers Jr., 2-1) is at the N.Y. Yankees (Gerrit Cole, 4-1)…
Boston (Nathan Eovaldi, 4-2) hosts Detroit (Spencer Turnbull, 1-2)…
Texas (Jordan Lyles, 1-2) is at Minnesota (Michael Pineda, 2-1)…
Kansas City (Danny Duffy, 4-1) hosts Cleveland (Triston McKenzie, 0-1)…
Toronto (Hyun Jin Ryu, 1-2) is at Oakland (Mike Fiers, 0-1)…
the L.A. Angels (Andrew Heaney, 1-2) host Tampa Bay (Josh Fleming, 1-3)

NBA SCOREBOARD (regular season concludes May 16)…
Boston 132 – ORLANDO 96… Kemba Walker scored a season-high 32 points to lead the Celtics in their rout of the Magic.

Portland 141 – CLEVELAND 105… Damian Lillard scored a game-high 32 points as the Trail Blazers blew out the Cavaliers. Enes Kanter had 18 points and 13 rebounds.

ATLANTA 135 – Phoenix 103… The Hawks bombed the Suns 38-15 in the fourth quarter to win going away. Clint Capela scored 18 points to lead seven players in double figures.

Sacramento 104 – INDIANA 93… The Kings kept their playoff hopes alive by downing the Pacers. Marvin Bagley III scored 31 points and grabbed 12 boards.

Philadelphia 135 – HOUSTON 115… The 76ers cruised past the Rockets for their sixth straight win. Joel Embiid scored 34 points in just 25 minutes.

MILWAUKEE 135 – Washington 134… The Bucks held on down the stretch to get past the Wizards. Jrue Holiday led the way with 29 points. Giannis Antetokounmpo added 23 points.

Memphis 139 – MINNESOTA 135… Ja Morant scored 37 points and dished off 10 assists as the Grizzlies held off the Timberwolves. Kyle Anderson tossed in 20 points.

DENVER 113 – New York 97… Nikola Jokic scored 24 of his 32 points in the first quarter as the Nuggets built a big lead early and coasted past the Knicks. Jokic also brought down 12 rebounds. Austin Rivers delivered 24 points off the bench.

UTAH 126 – San Antonio 94… The Jazz jumped out to a 12-point lead after the first quarter and never looked back in their romp over the Spurs. They got 30 points from Jordan Clarkson and 24 from Bojan Bogdanovic.

TODAY’S NBA SCHEDULE
Chicago is at Charlotte…
Dallas hosts Brooklyn…
Washington is at Toronto…
Detroit hosts Memphis…
Atlanta is at Indiana…
Golden State hosts Oklahoma City…
the L.A. Lakers are at the L.A. Clippers

NHL SCOREBOARD (regular season concludes Saturday)…
OTTAWA 5 – Montreal 1… Nick Paul had a goal and an assist for the Senators. Erik Brannstrom assisted on three goals.

Washington 4 – N.Y. RANGERS 2… T.J. Oshie’s three goals carried the Capitals past the Rangers in a fight-filled game. Dmitry Orlov set up three goals.

COLUMBUS 4 – Nashville 2… Mikhail Grigorenko netted a tie-breaking goal in the third period and the Blue Jackets prevented the Predators from clinching a playoff spot.

TAMPA BAY 6 – Dallas 2… Defenseman Erik Cernak scored a goal and assisted on two others as the Lightning skated past the Stars. Brayden Point and Alex Killorn each had a goal and an assist.

Anaheim 3 – ST. LOUIS 2 (SO)… Haydn Fleury found the net in the third period and added the decisive goal in the shootout. Max Jones also scored for the Ducks.

Vegas 3 – MINNESOTA 2 (OT)… Alex Pietrangelo scored at 1:53 of overtime to lift the Golden Knights over the Wild. Goalie Marc-Andre Fleury made 26 saves.

Winnipeg 4 – CALGARY 0… Jets goalie Connor Hellebuyck stopped all 32 shots in shutting out the Flames. Adam Lowry and Blake Wheeler scored two goals apiece.

SAN JOSE 3 – Colorado 2… Tomas Hertl scored twice for the Sharks and Erik Karlsson added the decisive goal on a power play midway through the third period. Evander Kane assisted on all three goals.

Los Angeles 4 – ARIZONA 2… The Kings got a pair of goals from Gabriel Vilardi in eliminating the Coyotes from playoff contention. Anze Kopitar had an assist to reach 1,000 career points.

TODAY’S NHL SCHEDULE
the N.Y. Rangers are at Boston…
the N.Y. Islanders host New Jersey…
Buffalo is at Pittsburgh…
Toronto hosts Montreal…
Chicago is at Carolina…
Edmonton hosts Vancouver

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