CORONAVIRUS UPDATES… The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 33,886,713 and the nation’s death toll stands at 607,392, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University… Health officials said yesterday that Johnson & Johnson’s coronavirus vaccine may pose a “small possible risk” of a rare but potentially dangerous Guillain–Barré syndrome. Regulators have said that chances for developing the rare neurological condition appear to be three to five times higher among those receiving doses of J&J’s vaccine compared with the general population in the U.S.
BIDEN DISCUSSES GUN VIOLENCE STRATEGY… President Joe Biden met with U.S. police chiefs and elected officials at the White House yesterday as part of his effort to address a continuing nationwide surge in gun violence. Biden discussed strategy with Attorney General Merrick Garland and New York City Democratic mayoral nominee Eric Adams, along with mayors and police chiefs from major cities. Adams advocated for a “joint gang and guns” task forces.
HAITI PRESIDENT KILLERS HAD BEEN U.S. INFORMANTS… CNN reported yesterday that several men accused in last week’s assassination of Haiti President Jovenel Moïse had previously served as informants for U.S. law enforcement agencies. One of the men was an informant for the Drug Enforcement Administration, according to the report. Christian Emmanuel Sanon and two other Florida residents of Haitian descent are accused of being ringleaders of a plot to install Sanon as president of Haiti. Authorities say 26 people pulled off the attack, with 19 now in custody and the others killed during a police raid.
TEXAS DEMS BLOCK VOTER-RESTRICTION EFFORT… More than 50 Democrats in the Texas state legislature bolted to Washington, D.C., yesterday in a bid to block Republican-led voting restrictions. The Texas House of Representatives was expected to approve the sweeping new restrictions in a special legislative session later this week but now lacks enough members for a quorum. Last month, Texas Democrats already successfully derailed voter-suppression legislation by walking out of the Texas Capitol.
CONDO COLLAPSE DEATH TOLL AT 94… The death toll from last month’s partial collapse of a condominium building in Surfside, Florida, rose to 94. Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava announced on Day 19 of the search effort that 83 of the 94 victims have been identified and 80 next of kin have been notified. Twenty-two people remain “potentially unaccounted” for, and 222 have been accounted for, she said.
DRAKE BELL SENTENCED… Actor Drake Bell was sentenced yesterday to two years of probation and 200 hours of community service, weeks after pleading guilty to child endangerment. The 35-year-old former “Josh and Drake” star actor must also register as a sex offender in the state of Ohio. Bell’s victim had accused him of forcing her to perform oral sex on him after a December 2017 concert in Cleveland. Prosecutors presented evidence that Bell sent the young girl “inappropriate social media messages” and had established a “relationship” with her before they met at the concert.
ACTOR CHARLIE ROBINSON DIES… Actor Charlie Robinson, who was best known for playing Mac the court clerk in the 1980s sitcom “Night Court,” died Sunday after a battle with cancer, family members announced yesterday. He was 75. Robinson also appeared in “Home Improvement,” “NCIS,” and other television shows during his 50-year career.
MLB ALL-STAR GAME TONIGHT… National League manager Dave Roberts and his American League counterpart Kevin Cash have announced starting pitchers and lineups for tonight’s 91st All Star Game in Denver. Angels superstar Shohei Ohtani has emerged as a major attraction as he becomes the first player in the history of an event dating back to 1933 to serve as both a position player (he was voted in by the fans as the AL’s starting designated hitter) and a pitcher (he was voted in by his peers as one of the seven starters on the AL roster). Max Scherzer of the Washington Nationals will start on the mound for the National League. It will be his fourth All Star Game start.
NATIONAL LEAGUE STARTING LINEUP…
Fernando Tatis Jr., SS (San Diego)
Max Muncy, DH (L.A. Dodgers)
Nolan Arenado, 3B (St. Louis)
Freddie Freeman, 1B (Atlanta)
Nick Castellanos, RF (Cincinnati)
Jesse Winker, LF (Cincinnati)
J.T. Realmuto, C (Philadelphia)
Bryan Reynolds, CF (Pittsburgh)
Adam Frazier, 2B (Pittsburgh)
AMERICAN LEAGUE STARTING LINEUP…
Shohei Ohtani, DH (L.A. Angels)
Vladimir Guerrero Jr., 1B (Toronto)
Xander Bogaerts, SS (Boston)
Aaron Judge, RF (N.Y. Yankees)
Rafael Devers, 3B (Boston)
Marcus Semien, 2B (Toronto)
Salvador Perez, C (Kansas City)
Teoscar Hernández, LF (Toronto)
Cedric Mullins, CF (Baltimore)
ALONSO WINS HOME RUN DERBY… New York Mets slugger outlasted Trey Mancini of the Baltimore Orioles to defend his Home Run Derby crown last night at Coors Field in Denver. The event’s headliner, Shohei Ohtani of the Los Angeles Angels, was eliminated in a power-packed first-round duel with the Washington Nationals’ Juan Soto.