The Rundown for July 31, 2020

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE… The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 4,493,661 and the nation’s death toll stands at 152,040, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University. Yesterday’s deaths included former Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain, who had been an outspoken critic of masks and attended a President Trump rally in Tulsa without wearing one… White House coronavirus task force member Dr. Anthony Fauci told CNN yesterday that it is impossible to know whether the U.S. is nearing the end of the pandemic or still in the early stages. He said the length of the pandemic will depend on how well Americans wear masks, socially distance and adhere to other guidelines.

ECONOMY POSTS RECORD DECLINE… The U.S. economy shrank by a shocking 32.9 percent annual rate in the second quarter—the biggest decrease since record-keeping began. The previous worst quarterly GDP plunge was a 10-percent decline in 1958. Meanwhile, the Labor Department announced that another 1.4 million workers filed jobless claims last week. It marked the 19th straight week that weekly jobless claims have topped a million.

FULL APPEALS COURT TO HEAR FLYNN CASE… The full Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit yesterday announced that it would reconsider a recent order dismissing the case against President Trump’s former national security adviser Michael Flynn. The review will begin with oral arguments on August 11. Last month, a three-judge panel ordered the case dropped, ruling that there was no reason to question the Department of Justice’s surprise decision to dismiss it. U.S. District Judge Emmett Sullivan appealed that decision and asked for a hearing before the full court. Flynn admitted that he lied to FBI investigators who had been asking him about conversations he had with Russian envoy Sergey Kislyak and pleaded guilty in December 2017.

MICHAEL COHEN FREE TO WRITE BOOK… The Justice Department is ending its efforts to prevent President Trump’s former attorney Michael Cohen from writing a tell-all book about Trump. Cohen, who had been serving the remainder of his three-year prison sentence under home confinement, was returned to prison early this month. He was released last week after the American Civil Liberties Union and a New York law firm filed suit alleging that Cohen’s rearrest amounted to retaliation for his plans to publish the book. The 53-year-old pleaded guilty in 2018 to charges of lying to a Senate committee about efforts to build a Trump Tower Moscow and coordinating hush-money payments to two women who claimed to have had extramarital affairs with Trump.

GHISLAINE MAXWELL DOCUMENTS RELEASED…. High-profile lawyer Alan Dershowitz and Prince Andrew are accused of taking part in Jeffrey Epstein’s alleged sex ring of underage girls in court documents unsealed yesterday. The more than 600 pages of unsealed documents stem from a defamation lawsuit between Epstein’s associate Ghislaine Maxwell and a woman who has stepped forward as a victim of sex trafficking. The victim, Virginia Giuffre, said she had sex with Dershowitz “on numerous occasions while she was a minor, not only in Florida but also on private planes, in New York, New Mexico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.” Testimony also reveals that Dershowitz, in order to gain immunity for himself against rape charges, arranged Epstein’s 2007 sweetheart plea deal in which he pleaded guilty to two felony prostitution charges. Giuffre remembers seeing Bill Clinton at Epstein’s private island in the Caribbean but the former president hasn’t been linked to improper behavior. He has denied visiting the island. Maxwell remains jailed after pleading guilty earlier this month to charges that include sex crimes, conspiracy and perjury.

JOHN LEWIS FUNERAL… Three former presidents came together yesterday in joining others who honored the late civil rights leader and U.S. congressman from Georgia John Lewis at his funeral in Atlanta. The event capped a week of memorial services for Lewis, who died two weeks ago at age 80 after battling prostate cancer. “He, as much as anyone in our history, brought this country a little bit closer to our highest ideals,” former President Barack Obama said of Lewis in delivering the eulogy. Former Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush also paid homage to Lewis.

L.A. CITY COUNCILMAN ACCUSED OF LEADING CRIMINAL ENTERPRISE… A Los Angeles city councilman is accused of leading a criminal enterprise and using his position at City Hall to enrich himself and his close associates. A federal grand jury yesterday returned a 34-count indictment against Jose Huizar as part of an ongoing corruption investigation. The 51-year-old Huizar was charged last month with one count of conspiracy to violate the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act. Prosecutors say he illegally accepted more than $800,000 in benefits from an unidentified Chinese billionaire who runs a multinational development firm and who owns a hotel in Huizar’s district. Huizar could face up to 30 years in federal prison if convicted on all charges. He is scheduled to appear via videoconference for his arraignment on Monday.

ENTERTAINMENT
ELLEN DeGENERES APOLOGIZES FOR WORKPLACE HOSTILITY
… Ellen DeGeneres has apologized to the staff of her daytime TV talk show following complaints of a difficult and unfair workplace. The apology came after Warner Bros. studio said “primary findings” revealed that an internal company investigation found some flaws in the show’s daily management. BuzzFeed News reported that one current and 10 former show employees complained about issues including being fired after taking medical or bereavement leave. One worker said she left because of comments about her race.

CINEMAX BRINGS BACK ‘WARRIOR’… Cinemax announced yesterday that it is bringing back the action-drama series “Warrior” for a second season in October. The series is based on writings by late actor and martial arts star Bruce Lee. It co-stars Olivia Cheng, Jason Tobin and Dianne Doan. The first season premiered in April 2019.

SPORTS
MLB
NL
L.A. Dodgers 6 – ARIZONA 3
… The Dodgers got homers from A.J. Pollock, Cory Seager and Justin Turner in their defeat of the Diamondbacks.

San Diego 12 – SAN FRANCISCO 7 (10 innings)… The Padres came alive to score six runs in the top of the 10th inning and put away the Giants. Jurickson Profer stroked a two-run homer and singled home a run.

Chi. Cubs – CINCINNATI (ppd)… Rain in Cincinnati forced postponement of last night’s Cubs-Reds game. No makeup date has been announced.

AL
N.Y. Yankees 8 – BALTIMORE 6
… Aaron Judge’s three-run homer in the top of the ninth inning lifted the Yankees over the Orioles after they had blown a three-run lead.

Cleveland 2 – MINNESOTA 0… Indians starter Shane Bieber (2-0) pitched three-hit ball over eight innings and struck out 13 before reliever James Karinchak completed the shutout. Francisco Lindor provided all the offense Cleveland needed with a two-run homer in the top of the third inning.

Kansas City 5 – DETROIT 3… Bubba Starling’s two-run double in the top of the eighth inning proved to be the difference in the Royals’ win over the Tigers.

Seattle 8 – L.A. ANGELS 5… Jose Marmolejos blasted a three-run homer in the top of the first inning and Shed Long’s leadoff homer sparked a five-run ninth that carried the Mariners past the Angels.

INTERLEAGUE
Washington 6 – TORONTO 4
… Michael A. Taylor homered with a runner aboard and Kurt Suzuki doubled home two runs for the Nationals.

Boston 4 – N.Y. METS 2… Christian Vazquez homered twice and drove in three runs as the Red Sox doubled up on the Mets.

ATLANTA 2 – Tampa Bay 1… Braves starter Max Fried (1-0) took a perfect game into the fifth inning and got help from four relievers on a four-hitter as the Braves edged the Rays.

TODAY’S MLB SCHEDULE
NL
St. Louis (Jack Flaherty, 1-0) is at Milwaukee (Brett Anderson, 0-0)…
Atlanta (Sean Newcomb, 0-0) hosts the N.Y. Mets (Rick Porcello, 0-1)…
San Diego (Garrett Richards, 0-0) is at Colorado (Jon Gray, 0-0)…
the Chi. Cubs (Yu Darvish, 0-1) host Pittsburgh (Trevor Williams 0-1)…
the L.A. Dodgers (Tony Gonsolin, 0-0) are at Arizona (Zac Gallen, 0-0)

AL
Boston (Ryan Weber, 0-1) is at the N.Y. Yankees (Jordan Montgomery, 0-0)…
Baltimore (Alex Cobb, 1-0) hosts Tampa Bay (Blake Snell, 0-0)…
the Chi. White Sox (Dallas Keuchel, 1-0) are at Kansas City (Kris Bubic, 0-0)…
Minnesota (Dobnek, 0-1) hosts Cleveland (Mike Clevinger, 0-0)…
Houston (Lance McCulors Jr., 1-0) is at the L.A. Angels (Matt Andriese, 0-0)…
Seattle (Taijuan Walker, 0-1) hosts Oakland (Sean Manaea, 0-1)

INTERLEAGUE
Cincinnati (Luis Castillo, 0-0) is at Detroit (Spencer Turnbull, 0-0)…
San Francisco (TBD) hosts Texas (Mike Minor, 0-1)

NBA
The NBA’s 2019-2020 season resumed last night with a pair of games played in Orlando…

Utah 106 – New Orleans 104… Rudy Gobert knocked down two free throws with 6.9 seconds left and the Jazz held on to down the Pelicans. Gobert finished with 14 points and 12 rebounds. Mike Conley and Donovan Mitchell scored 20 points apiece.

L.A. Lakers 103 – L.A. Clippers 101… LeBron James scored the decisive bucket with 12.8 seconds remaining and finished with 34 points in the Lakers’ win. Anthony Davis led all scorers with 35 points.

TODAY’S NBA SCHEDULE IN ORLANDO
Orlando vs. Brooklyn…
Portland vs. Memphis…
Washington vs. Phoenix…
Boston vs. Milwaukee…
San Antonio vs. Sacramento…
Houston vs. Dallas

NHL STANLEY CUP QUALIFIERS BEGIN TOMORROW
the N.Y. Rangers vs. Carolina in Toronto…
Chicago vs. Edmonton in Edmonton…
Florida vs. the N.Y. Islanders in Toronto…
Montreal vs. Pittsburgh in Toronto…
Winnipeg vs. Calgary in Edmonton

The Rundown for July 30, 2020

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE… The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 4,426,982 and the nation’s death toll stands at 150,713, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University. Both California and Florida set new records for single-day coronavirus deaths yesterday… House Speaker Nancy Pelosi yesterday mandated the wearing of face masks in the U.S. House of Representatives, hours after Texas Republican Representative Louie Gohmert announced he tested positive for COVID-19. Gohmert, a vocal mask skeptic, was walking around without face covering at Tuesday’s House Judiciary Committee hearing.

U.S. REDUCES TROOPS IN GERMANY… The Trump administration announced a major repositioning of U.S. forces in Europe yesterday. Nearly 12,000 American troops are being removed from Germany and the headquarters of U.S. European Command is being moved from Germany to Belgium. The Pentagon said the moves were meant to deter Russia but President Trump later claimed they were in response to Germany not spending enough on its defense budget. According to the Pentagon, 6,400 of the U.S. troops stationed in Germany will return to the U.S. Another 5,400 will be moved to other locations in Europe that already house American troops, and troops from the U.S. will rotate into locations in southeastern Europe. There will remain 24,000 American troops in Germany. The decision triggered an onslaught of disapproval from Republicans, Democrats and former senior military officials, who said the move will benefit Russia, degrade U.S. national security and military readiness, cost U.S. taxpayers billions and undermine U.S. relations with Germany, NATO and Europe.

FEDS PULLING OUT OF PORTLAND… Oregon Governor Kate Brown and the Trump administration struck an agreement yesterday that will remove federal agents from downtown Portland following nightly clashes between law enforcement and demonstrators. Some federal officers guarding a U.S. courthouse that has been targeted during violent protests will leave today, Brown said. President Trump earlier this month sent agents from U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the U.S. Marshals Service to quell downtown Portland protests against racial injustice. The deployment appears only to have angered protesters, who grew in number from a couple hundred to 20,000.

JUDGE BLOCKS ‘PUBLIC CHARGE’ RULE… A federal judge yesterday ordered the Trump administration to stop enforcing a sweeping wealth test on people applying for green cards and visas throughout the national emergency over the coronavirus pandemic. Judge George Daniels of the U.S. District Court in Manhattan agreed with the attorneys general of New York, Connecticut and Vermont, who had argued that the rules discourage immigrants from seeking public assistance during the pandemic. The “public charge” rule took effect in February after the Supreme Court left it in place and urged the states to take their cases to lower courts.

HOUSE PANEL GRILLS TECH CEOs… Members of the House Judiciary Antitrust Subcommittee yesterday grilled CEOs of four of the world’s biggest tech companies as part of its ongoing investigation into competition in the digital market. The questioning fell along party lines. Republicans complained about an effort to silence conservative voices online. most Democrat asked about monopolized markets, other antitrust issues and data privacy.

ENTERTAINMENT
RAPPER MALIK B. DIES
… Rapper Malik Abdul Baset, who was best-known as a founder of The Roots has died of undisclosed causes, the group announced yesterday. He was 47. Performing under the name Malik B., he recorded with the band through the 1999 release of the Grammy-winning album “Things Fall Apart,” which sold more than a million copies in the U.S.

TRACY MORGAN SUED FOR DIVORCE… Actor/comedian Tracy Morgan has been sued for divorce by his wife of five years. He and Megan Wollover married in 2015 after a four-year relationship and have a daughter together. Morgan currently stars on the TBS comedy “The Last O.G.”

SPORTS
MLB
NL
CINCINNATI 12 – Chi. Cubs 7
… The Reds outslugged the Cubs to snap their four-game skid. Nick Castellanos unloaded a grand slam. Mike Moustakas and Nick Senzel also went deep.

Milwaukee 3 – PITTSBURGH 0… Brandon Woodruff (1-1) pitched one-hit ball and struck out 10 over 6-1/3 innings. Three relievers completed the shutout. Keston Hiura and Ben Gamel homered for Milwaukee.

SAN FRANCISCO 7 – San Diego 6… Mike Yastrzemski’s second solo homer of the night came in the bottom of the ninth inning and gave the Giants a walkoff win over the Padres. Donovan Solano homered in the eighth as San Francisco erased a 6-2 deficit.

AL
Chi. White Sox 4 – CLEVELAND 0
… Luis Robert stroked a two-run single as the White Sox scored all four runs in the top of the ninth inning to break a scoreless tie. The game featured a duel between Chicago starter Lucas Giolito and his counterpart Zach Plesac, but neither got a decision.

DETROIT 5 – Kansas City 4… JaCoby Jones slammed a go-ahead solo homer in the bottom of the seventh inning and the Tigers made it stand in edging the Royals.

N.Y. Yankees 9 – BALTIMORE 3… DJ LeMahieu, Aaron Judge and Aaron Hicks homered as the Yankees beat the Orioles for the 17th straight time.

SEATTLE 10 – L.A. Angels 7… Kyle Seager lifted a tie-breaking sacrifice fly in the bottom of the seventh inning and J.P. Crawford singled home two runs in the eighth to push the Mariners past the Angels. Dylan Moore’s three-run homer capped a five-run sixth.

INTERLEAGUE
Colorado 5 – OAKLAND 1
… German Marquez (1-1) limited the Athletics to a run on four hits over six innings. Charlie Blackmon had a couple of hits, including an RBI double.

TEXAS 7 – Arizona 4… The Rangers came up with five runs in the bottom of the eighth inning to upend the Diamondbacks. Joey Gallo belted a game-tying two-run homer.

Washington 4 – TORONTO 0 (10 innings)… Asdrubal Cabrera legged out a bases-clearing triple in the top of the 10th inning as the Nationals fought off the Blue Jays.

L.A. Dodgers 4 – HOUSTON 2 (13 innings)… Edwin Rios connected for a two-run homer in the top of the 13th inning and the Dodgers made it stand in outlasting the Astros after both teams scored in the 11th. Cory Seager also went deep for L.A.

BOSTON 6 – N.Y. Mets 5… Christian Vazquez hit a game-tying homer in the bottom of the seventh inning and added a two-run single during a three-run eighth as the Red Sox topped the Mets.

ATLANTA 7 – Tampa Bay 4… Freddie Freeman went 4-for-5 with a homer and three RBIs in leading the Braves past the Rays.

MINNESOTA 3 – St. Louis 0… Starter Rich Hill (1-0) got help from four relievers as the Twins blanked the Cardinals. The 40-year-old Hill pitched two-hit ball over five innings. Eddie Rosario homered for Minnesota.

TODAY’S MLB SCHEDULE…
NL

the Chi. Cubs (Yu Darvish) are at Cincinnati (Luis Castillo)…
Arizona (Robbie Ray) hosts the L.A. Dodgers (Ross Stripling)…
San Diego (Nelson Lamet) is at San Francisco (TBA)

AL
Cleveland (Shane Bieber) is at Minnesota (Jose Berrios)…
Seattle (Marco Gonzalez) hosts the L.A. Angels (Dylan Bundy)…
the N.Y. Yankees (J.A. Happ) are at Baltimore (John Means)…
Detroit (Ivan Nova) hosts Kansas City (Brady Singer)

INTERLEAGUE
Washington (Erick Fedde) is at Toronto (Hyun-Jin Ryu)…
the N.Y. Mets (Steven Matz) host Boston (Martin Perez)…
Atlanta (Max Fried) hosts Tampa Bay (Ryan Yarbrough)

DODGER RELIEVER JOE KELLY SUSPENDED… Major League Baseball has handed L.A. Dodgers reliever Joe Kelly an eight-game suspension for his role in a benches-clearing incident that occurred in Houston on Tuesday night. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts was issued a one-game suspension and Houston Astros manager Dusty Baker was fined an undisclosed amount. Kelly, who threw a fastball behind Alex Bregman’s head and then taunted Carlos Correa on the way back to the dugout, plans to appeal his suspension.

NBA REGULAR SEASON RESUMES TODAY… The 2019-20 NBA season resumes tonight with a doubleheader in Orlando, Florida. The New Orleans Pelicans meet the Utah Jazz at 6:30 p.m. Eastern, followed by the Lakers-Clippers to follow at 9 p.m. Eastern. Both games air on TNT. The NBA announced yesterday that of the 344 players tested for COVID-19 on the NBA campus since test results were last announced on July 20, zero have returned confirmed positive tests.

NHL STANLEY CUP QUALIFIERS BEGIN SATURDAY

The Rundown for July 29, 2020

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE… The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 4,349,313 and the nation’s death toll stands at 149,235, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University… White House health advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci warned of early signs that indicate a possible outbreak in Indiana, Ohio, Tennessee and Kentucky. Higher positivity rates are at the center of his concern, Fauci said during an appearance on ABC’s “Good Morning America”… The American Federation of Teachers, which represents 1.7 million school employees, has authorized its members to strike if schools decide to reopen without proper safety plans in place.

TRUMP CAMPAIGN ACCUSED OF SIPHONING $170M… A non-partisan nonprofit ethics watchdog group has accused President Trump’s reelection campaign of illegally concealing nearly $170 million worth of campaign spending. In yesterday’s 81-page filing with the Federal Elections Commission, the Campaign Legal Center claims Trump’s reelection campaign and campaign committee hid the money by running it through “pass-through” vendors linked to campaign leadership. According to the complaint, firms run by former campaign manager Brad Parscale and associates have essentially served as “clearing houses” that paid subcontractors and vendors without revealing where donor money actually went. Payments have not been reported in disclosure records as being paid by the campaign.

CONGRESS PANEL QUESTIONS WILLIAM BARR… Attorney General faced more than five hours of questioning from members of the House Judiciary Committee yesterday. Subjects included the Justice Department’s handling of cases involving Trump associates, the federal response to protests and election integrity. In his opening remarks, committee chairman Jerrold Nadler accused Barr of enabling the failings of President Trump and said his tenure “has been marked by a persistent war” against the Justice Department’s “professional core in an apparent attempt to secure favors for the president.” Attorney General William Barr hesitated when asked on Tuesday whether it was proper for an American president to accept foreign interference in an election, claiming at first that it depended on the type of assistance given. In one of the more heated exchanges, Rhode Island Democrat David Cicilline struggled to get Barr to admit that it would be “not appropriate” for the president to solicit or accept foreign assistance in an election. Barr also refused to answer Louisiana Democrat Cedric Richmond’s question about whether a sitting president can move a U.S. election.

TRUMP ADMINISTRATION TO DENY DACA REQUESTS… The Trump administration announced yesterday that it will deny all new Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals requests and limit renewal periods for current recipients. The decision follows a June 18 Supreme Court ruling the Trump administration couldn’t rescind DACA because in doing so it did not consider the effect on the people presently in the U.S. as part of the program. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf issued a memorandum urging Congress to react.

BIDEN RELEASES RACIAL-EQUITY PLAN… Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden yesterday unveiled a plan to advance racial equity in the rebuilding of the economy. The plan, “Build Back Better by Advancing Racial Equality Across the American Economy,” would help families buy their first homes and build wealth by creating a new tax credit of up to $15,000, Biden said. The former vice president also said that he would invest in affordable housing, and call for more accurate, non-discriminatory credit scoring. The plan also calls for creating a new Small Business Opportunity Fund and legislation that requires the Federal Reserve to report data and trends on racial economic gaps and commit to a “real-time” payment system.

ENTERTAINMENT
EMMY NOMINATIONS
… HBO’s “Watchmen” received 26 nominations to lead the field for the 72nd Primetime Emmy Awards. The show’s nods included Limited Series, Outstanding Cast for a Limited Series, Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie for Regina King and Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie for Jeremy Irons. Amazon’s “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” picked up 20 nominations. Netflix’s “Ozark” and HBO’s “Succession” each had 18 nods. The Emmy Awards show is set to air September 20 live on ABC. Jimmy Kimmel will host the ceremony for the third time.

CHAINSMOKERS CONCERT ORGANIZERS FACE PENALTIES… New York Governor Andrew Cuomo vowed yesterday that local officials could face “civil fines and potential criminal liability” over a packed weekend concert featuring The Chainsmokers in the Hamptons on Saturday night. The “drive-in” charity gig drew a crowd of 2,000 people and they disrespected fellow New Yorkers by defying social distancing restrictions, Cuomo said. Organizers insist they followed Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines for the show, despite footage that indicated otherwise.

SPORTS
MLB
MARLINS, PHILLIES GAMES SUSPENDED
… Major League Baseball has suspended Miami Marlins games through Sunday and Philadelphia Phillies games until Friday amid a coronavirus outbreak that infected half the Marlins’ team. Infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci said the season could be in jeopardy.

NL
Chi. Cubs 8 – CINCINNATI 5
… Javier Baez homered twice and drove in three runs to lead the Cubs past the Reds.

PITTSBURGH 8 – Milwaukee 6… The Pirates erased a 6-2 deficit after 6-1/2 innings to top the Brewers. Adam Frazier blasted a tie-breaking two-run homer in the bottom of the eighth inning.

San Diego 5 – SAN FRANCISCO 3… Fernando Tatis Jr. hit a three-run homer and Wil Meyers added a two-run shot to send the Padres past the Giants.

AL
CLEVELAND 4 – Chi. White Sox 3
… Francisco Lindor and Bradley Zimmer each homered and knocked in two runs as the Indians held on to edge the White Sox in the doubleheader opener.

CLEVELAND 5 – Chi. White Sox 3… Carlos Santana belted a three run homer and Oscar Mercado singled in two runs to give the Tribe a sweep of the twinbill.

DETROIT 4 – Kansas City 3… The Tigers powered their way past the Royals after spotting them a three-run lead. Jonathan Schoop and Christin Smart connected for two-run homers in the bottom of the third inning.

L.A. Angels 10 – SEATTLE 2… The Angels got home runs from Anthony Rendon, Max Stassi and Albert Pujols in their pounding of the Mariners.

INTERLEAGUE
Toronto 5 – WASHINGTON 1
… The Blue Jays scored three unearned runs on their way to handing the Nationals their fourth loss in five games. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. homered with the base empty.

TAMPA BAY 5 – Atlanta 2… Yoshi Tsutsugo stroked a two-run single as the Rays scored all five runs in the bottom of the third inning in downing the Braves.

N.Y. Mets 8 – BOSTON 3… J.D. Davis homered with a runner aboard as the Mets dealt the Red Sox their fourth straight loss.

MINNESOTA 6 – St. Louis 3… Jorge Polanco drilled a two-run homer to cap a five-run bottom of the second inning and Josh Donaldson added a solo shot in the third as the Twins doubled up on the Cardinals.

Arizona 4 – TEXAS 1… Righthander Merrill Kelly took a no-hitter into the seventh inning and the Diamondbacks cruised past the Rangers. Arizona opened with a three-run top of the first.

L.A. Dodgers 5 – HOUSTON 2… The Dodgers got past the Astros in a feisty contest that featured a bench-clearing incident after L.A. reliever Joe Kelly was accused of throwing at Houston batters Alex Bregman and Carlos Correa in the bottom of the sixth inning. The Dodgers scored all five runs in the fifth.

Colorado 8 – OAKLAND 3… The Rockies made it three straight wins with their defeat of the Athletics. Sam Hilliard homered with a runner aboard.

TODAY’S MLB SCHEDULE…
NL

the Chi. Cubs (Kyle Hendricks, 1-0) are at Cincinnati (Sonny Gray, 1-0)…
Pittsburgh (Joe Musgrove, 0-1) hosts Milwaukee (Brandon Woodruff, 0-1)…
San Diego (Chris Paddack, 1-0) is at San Francisco (Johnny Cueto)

AL
the N.Y. Yankees (Gerrit Cole, 1-0) are at Baltimore (Asher Wojciechowski)…
Detroit (Matthew Boyd, 0-1) hosts Kansas City (Danny Duffy, 0-1)…
the Chi. White Sox (Lucas Giolito, 0-1) are at Cleveland (Zach Plesac)…
Seattle (Justin Dunn) hosts the L.A. Angels (Andrew Heaney)

INTERLEAGUE
Washington (Max Scherzer, 0-1) is at Toronto (Hyun-Jin Ryu)…
Atlanta (Mike Soroka) hosts Tampa Bay (Charlie Morton, 0-1)…
N.Y. Mets (Jacob deGrom) are at Boston (Nathan Eovaldi, 1-0)…
Texas (Lance Lynn, 1-0) hosts Arizona (Madison Bumgarner, 0-1)…
the L.A. Dodgers (Dustin May) are at Houston (TBA)…
Minnesota (Rich Hill) hosts St. Louis (TBA)…
Colorado (German Marquez, 0-1) is at Oakland (Frankie Montas)

NFL… Former All-Pro defensive tackle Dana Stubblefield was found guilty of rape by force, oral copulation by force and false imprisonment yesterday by a jury in Santa Clara County, California. The 49-year-old Stubblefield, who played for the San Francisco 49ers in seven of his 11 years in the NFL, is facing 15 years to life in prison. Prosecutors accused Stubblefield of committing the crimes at gunpoint against a 31-year-old woman with developmental disabilities in 2015.

NBA REGULAR SEASON RESUMES TOMORROW

NHL STANLEY CUP QUALIFIERS BEGIN SATURDAY

The Rundown for July 28, 2020

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE… The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 4,290,263 and the nation’s death toll stands at 148,011, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University… Health officials say outbreaks in Arizona, Florida and Texas appear to be slowing down as more people practice social distancing and states mandate face masks… Pharmaceutical company Pfizer and German partner BioNTech announced yesterday that they are ready to start a combined Phase 2/3 global trial of a coronavirus vaccine candidate. The trial will enroll up to 30,000 participants between the ages of 18 and 85 at about 120 clinical sites around the world, including in 39 states in the U.S.

SENATE REPUBLICANS UNVEIL RELIEF PLAN… Senate Republicans yesterday unveiled their $1 trillion pandemic relief plan. The proposal includes $100 billion for schools and stimulus payments of up to $1,200 to most Americans. The faces stiff opposition as it heads to the floor for debate. Democrats have called it “totally inadequate” and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said it was “too little, too late.”

TRUMP ADMINISTRATION SEEKS SOCIAL MEDIA REGULATION… The Trump administration is urging the Federal Communications Commission to develop plans to regulate social media platforms. Yesterday, the Commerce Department sent the FCC a petition for rulemaking and asks the agency for clarification on a rule that provides online companies immunity from legal liability for the actions of their users. The petition also asks whether the rule protects social media’s content moderation decisions, the conditions under which content moderation and editorial decisions shape content to a degree that the law no longer protects them and what obligations social media companies have to disclose their moderation practices.

PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE MOVED… The first 2020 U.S. presidential debate has been moved to Cleveland after the University of Notre Dame announced yesterday that it was withdrawing as host due to the health precautions it might entail. The September 29 event will be co-hosted by Case Western Reserve University and the Cleveland Clinic. The debate between Republican incumbent President Donald Trump and Democratic challenger former Vice President Joe Biden will be held in the university’s Samson Pavilion.

6 MAYORS WANT FEDS OUT OF THEIR CITIES… Mayors of six major cities joined yesterday in asking Congress to halt the deployment of federal forces to their cities. The mayors of Portland, Chicago, Seattle, Albuquerque, New Mexico; Kansas City, Missouri; and Washington, D.C., say in a letter they sent to leaders of both parties in the House and Senate that the move has escalated tensions. Federal agents in Portland, Oregon, have drawn national attention for nabbing demonstrators in unmarked cars, beating military veterans, and tear-gassing activist mothers.

ENTERTAINMENT
‘ELLEN DeGENERES SHOW’ INTERNALLY INVESTIGATED
… “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” is the subject of an internal investigation by WarnerMedia following numerous accounts of workplace problems. Variety reported that executives from show producer Telepictures and distributor Warner Bros. Television sent a memo to staffers last week saying they have engaged WBTV-owner WarnerMedia’s employee relations group and a third party firm, who will interview current and former staffers about their experiences on set. Former employees of DeGeneres’s series have reportedly accused its producers of fostering an environment filled with “racism, fear and intimidation.”

ROBERT PLANT TO RELEASE ANTHOLOGY… Former Led Zeppelin frontman Robert Plant is planning to release an anthology set featuring 30 songs from his 11-album career as a solo artist. “Digging Deep: Subterranea” is scheduled for release on October 2. The anthology includes collaborations with Patty Griffin, Jimmy Page, Phil Collins, Buddy Miller, Nigel Kennedy and Richard Thompson, among others.

SPORTS
MLB

Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred informed owners yesterday that there are currently no plans to cancel or pause the just-underway 2020 regular season. Instead, teams will “redouble health directives” and “reinforce on-field behavior prohibitions.” Concern was raised yesterday after at least 14 players and coaches for the Miami Marlins tested positive following a weekend series with the Phillies. The outbreak forced postponement of last night’s Miami-Baltimore and Philadelphia-N.Y. Yankees games.

NL
SAN DIEGO 6 – Arizona 2
… Fernando Tatis Jr.’s bases-clearing triple highlighted a five-run bottom of the fourth inning for the Padres.

Chi. Cubs 8 – CINCINNATI 7… The Cubs built a 7-0 lead after 5-1/2 innings and hung on to edge the Reds. Anthony Rizzo belted his third homer.

Milwaukee 6 – PITTSBURGH 5 (11 innings)… Eric Sogard doubled home Brock Holt with the go-ahead run in the top of the 11th inning and the Brewers made it stand in a rain-delayed win. Ryan Braun’s two-run game-tying double capped a four-run ninth.

AL
OAKLAND 3 – L.A. Angels 0
… Chris Bassitt and five relievers combined on the shutout. Mark Canha homered for the Athletics.

Kansas City 14 – DETROIT 6… Maikel Franco belted two of the Royals’ six home runs in their pounding of the Tigers. Whit Merrifield, Jorge Soler, Salvador Perez and Brett Phillips also went deep.

HOUSTON 8 – Seattle 5… Alex Bregman’s 100th career homer was a three-run shot that helped power the Astros past the Mariners. Jose Altuve added a solo shot.

CLEVELAND – Chi. White Sox (ppd)… Rain in Cleveland forced postponement of last night’s Indians-White Sox game. It will be made up as part of a doubleheader today.

INTERLEAGUE
Toronto 4 – WASHINGTON 1
… Teoscar Hernandez drilled two of the Blue Jays’ four solo homers in the win over the Nationals.

TAMPA BAY 14 – Atlanta 5… Hunter Renfroe homered twice and knocked in four runs as the Rays romped over the Braves. Jose Martinez, Joey Wendle and Mike Zunino also circled the bases.

N.Y. Mets 7 – BOSTON 4… The Mets got home runs from Michael Conforto, Pete Alonso and Dominic Smith in downing the Red Sox. Michael Wacha allowed just a run on five hits over five innings.

N.Y. Yankees – PHILADELPHIA (ppd)… Last night’s Yankees-Phillies game was postponed due to COVID-19 fears.

MIAMI – Baltimore (ppd)… Last night’s Marlins-Orioles game was postponed due to COVID-19 fears.

TODAY’S MLB SCHEDULE…
NL

the Chi. Cubs (Alec Mills) are at Cincinnati (Tyler Mahle)…
Pittsburgh (Derek Holland) hosts Milwaukee (Josh Lindblom)…
San Diego (Zach Davies) is at San Francisco (Jeff Samardzija)

AL
the Chi. White Sox (Dylan Cease; Carlos Rodon) are at Cleveland (Aaron Civale; Adam Plutko) for a doubleheader…
Detroit (TBD) hosts Kansas City (TBD)…
the L.A. Angels (Patrick Sandoval) are at Seattle (Justus Sheffield)…

INTERLEAGUE
Toronto (Tanner Roark) is at Washington (Austin Voth)…
Tampa Bay (Yonny Chorinos) hosts Atlanta (Kyle Wright)…
the N.Y. Yankees (J.A. Happ) are at Philadelphia (Jake Arrieta)…
Texas (Kyle Gibson) hosts Arizona (Merrill Kelly)…
N.Y. Mets (TBD) are at Boston (Matt Hall)…
Minnesota (Homer Bailey) hosts St. Louis (Carlos Martinez)…
the L.A. Dodgers (Walker Buehler) are at Houston (Framber Valdez)…
Oakland (Daniel Mengden) hosts Colorado (Antonio Senzatela)….

NBA REGULAR SEASON RESUMES THURSDAY

NHL STANLEY CUP QUALIFIERS BEGIN SATURDAY

The Rundown for July 27, 2020

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE… The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 4,233,927 and the nation’s death toll stands at 146,934, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University… Florida surpassed New York in total cases after reporting more than 9,000 new cases yesterday. More than one-third of the cases reported in the state have been among people between the ages of 15 and 34, with outbreaks in jails, farms and nursing homes, the Florida Department of Health department reported.

KUDLOW TALKS CORONAVIRUS RELIEF PACKAGE… White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said yesterday that the next federal coronavirus relief package will include direct stimulus payments and an extension on the federal eviction moratorium. During an appearance on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Kudlow said $1 trillion package that Republicans are scheduled to introduce today will include a $1,200 stimulus check, temporary and reduced unemployment benefits, funds to help schools reopen, $16 billion in funding for testing and tax incentives for companies to rehire employees. White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows later confirmed that the White House and Senate Republicans have reached “an agreement in principle” on the bill.

PROTESTS TURN VIOLENT… Ongoing demonstrations against systemic racism and police brutality turned violent in several cities over the weekend. Protesters continue to square off against federal agents outside a courthouse in Portland, Oregon, and police in Seattle reported the arrest of at least 45 people on Saturday night for assaults on officers, obstruction and failure to disperse. Twenty-one Seattle officers were injured in clashes with protesters. A march against police violence turned deadly in Austin, Texas, on Saturday night when a 28-year-old man was fatally shot by a person who had driven aggressively through a crowd.

THE LATE JOHN LEWIS HONORED… The late civil rights leader and U.S. congressman from Georgia John Lewis was honored at services that included a vigil at the Alabama state Capitol in Montgomery last night. Yesterday morning, Lewis’ body was carried by horse-driven carriage across the rose petal-covered Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama, 55 years after he was clubbed there by police officers trying to halt a 1965 peace march. Lewis died on July 17 at age 80 following a battle with pancreatic cancer.

HANNA STRIKES TEXAS… Hanna, the first hurricane of the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season, brought high winds and more than a foot of rain to part of the Texas Gulf Coast yesterday. She made landfall on Padre Island and near Port Mansfield as a Category 1 hurricane on Saturday but was downgraded to a tropical storm. Officials report flooded streets, widespread power outages and destroyed boats.

ENTERTAINMENT
OLIVIA de HAVILAND DIES
… Legendary actress Olivia de Havilland died Saturday, her representatives confirmed yesterday. She was 104. De Havilland was nominated for five Oscars and won best actress honors for 1947’s “To Each His Own” and 1950’s “The Heiress.” She earned a Best Supporting Actress nomination for her portrayal of Melanie “Mellie” Hamilton in the 1939 classic “Gone with the Wind.”

JUICE WRLD REMAINS TOP ALBUM CHART… Juice WRLD’s “Legends Never Die” sold 162,000 copies to remain atop the Billboard 200 album chart. Pop Smoke’s “Shoot for the Stars Aim for the Moon” stayed in second place after selling 138,000 units. The Chicks’ (formerly the Dixie Chicks) first album since 2006, “Gaslighter,” debuted at No. 3 after selling 84,000 copies. The original Broadway cast recording of “Hamilton: An American Musical” slipped into fourth place on sales of 78,000 units. Lil Baby’s “My Turn” capped the top five with 57,000 copies sold.

SPORTS
MLB
NL
San Francisco 3 – L.A. DODGERS 1
… The Giants held off the Dodgers to claim a split of the four-game series.

Miami 11 – PHILADELPHIA 6… Brian Anderson and Miguel Rojas connected for three-run homers to help power the Marlins past the Phillies.

Pittsburgh 5 – ST. LOUIS 1… Colin Moran and Jose Osuna homered for the Pirates. Starter Mitch Keller limited the Cardinals to a run on two hits over five innings.

CHI. CUBS 9 – Milwaukee 1… Tyler Chatwood allowed just a run on three hits over six innings. Willson Contreras doubled home a run and homered.

Arizona 4 – SAN DIEGO 3… The Diamondbacks did all their scoring in their final two at-bats to edge the Padres. Ketel Marte lifted a go-ahead sacrifice fly in the top of the ninth inning.

Atlanta 14 – N.Y. METS 1… Dansby Swanson and Ozzie Albies both had three hits with a homer and three RBIs as the Braves blasted the Mets.

AL
TAMPA BAY 6 – Toronto 5
(10 innings)… Kevin Kiermaier lined a two-run triple in the bottom of the 10th inning to lift the Rays over the Blue Jays.

CLEVELAND 9 – Kansas City 2… Jose Ramirez went 3-for-5 with two homers and four RBIs to lead the Indians in their romp over the Royals.

Baltimore 7 – BOSTON 4… Rio Ruiz and Anthony Santander blasted two-run homers for the Orioles.

Seattle 7 – HOUSTON 6… Kyle Lewis’ tie-breaking two-run single in the top of the eighth inning proved to be the difference in the Mariners’ win over the Astros.

Minnesota 14 – CHI. WHITE SOX 2… Jake Cave unloaded a grand slam for the Twins. Nelson Cruz went 4-for-5 with two homers and seven RBIs.

OAKLAND 6 – L.A. Angels 4… The Athletics put up five runs in the bottom of the first inning and coasted past the Angels.

INTERLEAGUE
N.Y. Yankees 3 – WASHINGTON 2
… Gleyber Torres homered with a runner aboard in the top of the seventh inning and singled home a tie-breaking run in the eighth for the Yankees.

Detroit 3 – CINCINNATI 2… C.J. Cron connected for a tie-breaking two-run homer in the top of the ninth inning and the Tigers held on to edge the Reds.

Colorado 5 – TEXAS 2… Trevor Story homered twice and knocked in three runs for the Rockies.

TODAY’S MLB SCHEDULE
NL
Arizona (Luke Weaver) is at San Diego (Joey Lucchesi)…
Cincinnati (Wade Miley) hosts the Chi. Cubs (Jon Lester)…
Milwaukee (Adrian Houser) is at Pittsburgh (Steven Brault)

AL
the L.A. Angels (Griffin Canning) are at Oakland (Chris Bassitt)…
Cleveland (Aaron Civale) hosts the Chi. White Sox (Dylan Cease)…
Kansas City (Mike Montgomery) is at Detroit (Michael Fulmer)…
Houston (Josh James) hosts Seattle (Kendall Graveman)

INTERLEAGUE
Toronto (Trent Thornton) is at Washington (Anibal Sanchez)…
Tampa Bay (Tyler Glasnow) hosts Atlanta (Mike Foltynewicz)…
the N.Y. Yankees (J.A. Happ) are at Philadelphia (Jake Arrieta)…
Miami (Pablo Lopez) hosts Baltimore (Asher Wojciechowski)…
the N.Y. Mets (Michael Wacha) are at Boston (Josh Osich)

The Rundown for July 24, 2020

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE… The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 4,034,102 and the death toll stands at 144,242, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University… President Trump announced yesterday that the Jacksonville, Florida, component of the Republican National Convention is being cancelled due to surging coronavirus cases in the state. Trump said he’ll appear in telerallies and online events rather than at a large gathering. The event was scheduled for August 25 to August 27… The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention yesterday released guidelines for school re-openings. Students should wear masks, wash their hands frequently and socially distance, the CDC urged.

JOHN LEWIS TO LIE IN STATE… House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell announced yesterday that civil rights icon and U.S. Congressman from Georgia John Lewis will lie in state at the Capitol Rotunda next week. The public will be invited to pay their respects 6 p.m to 10 p.m. Monday and 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Tuesday. Lewis died Friday after a battle with Stage 4 pancreatic cancer.

FEDERAL USE OF FORCE INVESTIGATED… Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz announced yesterday that he’s opening an investigation into the use of force by federal law enforcement agents on protesters in Portland and Washington, D.C. A referral from the U.S. Attorney’s office in Oregon prompted the probe, Horowitz said. Federal law enforcement officials arrived in Portland earlier this month to quell Black Lives Matter protests in the city. More than 40 protesters reportedly have been grabbed off the street by unidentified officers in unmarked vehicles.

MICHAEL COHEN TO BE RELEASED FROM PRISON…. President Trump’s former personal lawyer Michael Cohen is expected to be released from prison today after a judge yesterday ordered him freed. U.S. District Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein found that the Justice Department had ordered him back to prison earlier this month as retaliation against him for planning to release a book critical of Trump before November’s election. In ordering Cohen’s release, the judge found his First Amendment rights had been violated. The 53-year-old Cohen sued federal prison officials and Attorney General William Barr on Monday, claiming he was imprisoned for writing the book: “Disloyal: The True Story of Michael Cohen, Former Personal Attorney to President Donald J. Trump.” Cohen pleaded guilty on August 21, 2018, to eight counts including campaign finance violations, tax fraud, and bank fraud. He was sentenced to three years in federal prison on December 12, 2018, and was furloughed in May.

JUDGE RULES FEDS CAN’T ARREST PROTEST OBSERVERS… A federal judge yesterday issued a temporary restraining order that prevents federal officers from arresting legal observers and journalists at the Black Lives Matter protests in Portland unless a crime has been committed. U.S. District Court Judge Michael Simon’s order will remain in place for 14 days. It also allows journalists to ignore dispersal orders from authorities.

ENTERTAINMENT
TAYLOR SWIFT RELEASES ALBUM
… Taylor Swift made a surprise announcement yesterday when she revealed that she would be releasing a new album at midnight. “Folklore” contains 16 tracks and features Bon Iver, Aaron Dessner of The National and frequent collaborator Jack Antonoff. Swift also said she would release the music video for the song “Cardigan.”

LUKE COMBS RESCHEDULES TOUR… Luke Combs has rescheduled the remaining dates of his “What You See is What You Get” tour. He announced yesterday that the tour will resume June 22, 2021, in Albuquerque. Combs launched the tour in February and it was supposed to run into December. The coronavirus pandemic prompted the tour’s postponement.

SPORTS
MLB
INTERLEAGUE

WASHINGTON 4 – N.Y. Yankees 1… The World Series-champion Nationals opened major league baseball’s abbreviated 60-game season by downing the Yankees in a game called in the sixth inning due to rain. Starter Gerrit Cole allowed a run on one hit over five innings. Giovanni Stanton homered with a runner aboard in the top of the first inning and single home a run in the fifth.

NL
L.A. DODGERS 8 – San Francisco 1
… Enrique Hernandez lined a two-run single during a five-run bottom of the seventh inning and added a two-run homer in the eighth as the Dodgers pulled away from the Giants. Dustin May got the start for the Dodgers after scheduled starter Clayton Kershaw complained of stiffness in his back and will begin the season on the 10-day injured list.

TODAY’S MLB SCHEDULE…
NL

Atlanta (Mike Soroka) is at the N.Y. Mets (Jacob deGrom)…
the Chi. Cubs (Kyle Hendricks) host Milwaukee (Brandon Woodruff)…
Miami (Sandy Alcantara) is at Philadelphia (Aaron Nola)…
St. Louis (Jack Flaherty) hosts Pittsburgh (Joe Musgrove)…
Arizona (Madison Bumgarner) is at San Diego (Chris Paddack)…
the L.A Dodgers (Ross Stripling) hosts San Francisco (Jeff Samardzija)

AL
Toronto (Hyun-Jin Ryu) is at Tampa Bay (Charlie Morton)…
Cleveland (Shane Bieber) hosts Kansas City (Danny Duffy)…
Baltimore (Tommy Milone) is at Boston (Nathan Eovaldi)…
the Chi. White Sox (Lucas Giolito) host Minnesota (Jose Barrios)…
Seattle (Marco Gonzalez) is at Houston (Justin Verlander)…
Oakland (Frankie Montas) hosts the L.A. Angels (Andrew Heaney)

INTERLEAGUE
Detroit (Matthew Boyd) is at Cincinnati (Sonny Gray)…
Texas (Lance Lynn) hosts Colorado (German Marquez)

MLB EXPANDS PLAYOFFS FOR 2020 SEASON… Major League Baseball owners and players agreed yesterday to expand the playoffs from 10 teams to 16 teams for the 2020 season. As reported by ESPN, all second-place teams in the six divisions will now qualify for the playoffs. The seventh and eighth playoff teams in each league will be determined by best record. The first round of the playoffs, scheduled for September 29-October 2, will be four three-game series in each league with all games played at the higher seed’s home stadium. The rest of the rounds will be their customary length: The two division series in each league will be five-game series, while the American League and National League Championship Series and World Series will be seven-game series.

The Rundown for July 23, 2020

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE… The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 3,970,906 and the death toll stands at 143,190, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University. California recorded a record-high 12,804 new cases yesterday to surpass New York as the nation’s leader… Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Minnesota Governor Tim Waltz have issued executive orders mandating the wearing of masks. Ohio’s mandate begins today at 6 p.m. and requires everyone over the age of 10 to wear a mask in public places. Minnesotans must wear masks at all indoor public areas beginning Saturday… Democratic senators Bob Menendez of New Jersey and Ben Cardin of Maryland yesterday introduced legislation that addresses the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on communities of color. The COVID-19 Health Disparities Action Act would require the Trump administration to develop an action plan to address the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 to provide targeted testing, contact tracing and outreach efforts directed at communities of color… Senate Republicans announced last night that they have “reached a fundamental agreement” with the White House on a coronavirus relief bill that they hope to release today. House Democrats have passed a $3.4 trillion bill and pressuring the GOP-led Senate to move quickly on new aid as cases and deaths rise.

TRUMP SENDING FEDERAL AGENTS TO MORE CITIES… President Trump yesterday said his administration is sending a “surge” of federal law enforcement officials to combat violence in Chicago and Albuquerque, The action is part of the Justice Department’s controversial Operation Legend. Officers from the FBI, U.S. Marshals Service, Drug Enforcement Administration, and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives will be sent to the cities. On Tuesday, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said she would push back against the deployment of federal officers in the city. Attorneys representing the State of Oregon yesterday argued for a restraining order against federal agents deployed to quell protests in Portland. Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum, who accuses federal agents of arresting protesters without probable cause, whisking them away in unmarked cars and using excessive force. Democratic mayors of 15 cities have condemned the use of the agents in a letter to Attorney General William Barr.

HOUSE VOTES TO REMOVE CONFEDERATE STATUES… The House voted yesterday to pass legislation that would require the removal of statues of people who served the Confederacy or otherwise defended slavery. The 305-to-113 vote carried the support of every house Democrat, 72 Republicans and one libertarian. The legislation calls for statues of individuals who voluntarily served the Confederacy to be removed from display in the Capitol complex and would order states to replace such statues from the National Statuary Hall Collection. It also calls for the removal of statues of John C. Calhoun, Charles Ayock and James P. Clarke for defending slavery, segregation and white supremacy.

U.S.-CHINA TENSIONS ESCALATE… U.S.-China tensions heightened yesterday after the State Department ordered China to close its consulate in Houston and the FBI accused China’s San Francisco consulate of harboring a military-linked fugitive. The Houston consulate must be shut down by tomorrow, the State Department said, as punishment for Beijing allegedly “stealing” intellectual property. Later, federal prosecutors claimed a scientific researcher charged last month with visa fraud remains holed up at the San Francisco consulate. Tang Juan allegedly lied about her connection to the Chinese military in order to obtain entry into the U.S.

ARREST IN FLORIDA MURDERS OF 3… Authorities in Polk County, Florida, have announced the arrests of three people in connection with the fatal shootings of three Florida men who’d gone fishing together on Friday night. 26-year-old Tony “TJ” Wiggins is being held on charges of first-degree murder; tampering with evidence; possession of a firearm by a convicted felon; and possession of ammunition by a convicted felon. His 27-year-old girlfriend and 21-year-old brother have been arrested on charges of accessory after the fact of a capital felony.

ENTERTAINMENT
SINGER/ACTRESS ANNIE ROSS DIES
… Jazz singer and actress Annie Ross, who was best remembered for her song “Twisted,” died at her home in Manhattan on Tuesday of complications from emphysema and heart disease, her former manager confirmed yesterday. She was 89. As an actress, she had memorable roles in two Robert Altman films, 1992’s “The Player” and 1993’s “Short Cuts.” Her film credits included “Superman III” and “Throw Momma From the Train.” Ross was named a Jazz Master in 2010 by the National Endowment for the Arts.

HBO RENEWS ‘PERRY MASON’… HBO announced yesterday that it is renewing the drama series “Perry Mason” for a second season. The series stars Matthew Rhys as the titular defense attorney in 1930s Los Angeles. Juliet Rylance, Chris Chalk, Shea Whigham, Tatiana Maslany and John Lithgow were among the first season’s cast.

SPORTS
MLB OPENS ABBREVIATED 2020 SEASON
… Major League Baseball’s 2020 60-game shortened season gets underway tonight with a pair of games. The World Series-champion Washington Nationals host the New York Yankees in the opener. Max Scherzer gets the start for the Nationals; he’ll be opposed by Gerrit Cole in a matchup of righthanders. First pitch is set for 7:08 p.m. Eastern. The later game features the Los Angeles Dodgers hosting their longtime rival San Francisco Giants. Lefthander Clayton Kershaw will make his ninth opening-day start in 10 years for the Dodgers. He’ll be opposed by Giants’ righthander Johnny Cueto. Gametime is 10:08 p.m. Eastern. Both games air on ESPN… The Dodgers made headlines with agreeing to a 12-year $365 million contract with Mookie Betts. The contract carries him through the 2032 season. L.A. obtained the 27-year-old centerfielder over the winter in a trade that sent outfielder Alex Verdugo and shortstop Jeter Downs to the Boston Red Sox. Betts batted .295 with 29 homers and 80 RBIs for the Red Sox last season. He was voted the 2018 AL MVP when he hit .346 with 32 homers and 80 RBIs. Betts has won four straight Gold Glove awards and three Silver Sluggers in the last four years.

July 22, 2020

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE… The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 3,902,058 and the death toll stands at 142,066, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University… President Trump warned during a White House briefing that the pandemic in the U.S. will probably “get worse before it gets better.” Florida recorded a new high for hospitalizations yesterday, as an additional 518 hospital admissions were reported. The 9,440 new cases reported marked the first time in seven days that the state’s total was below 10,000.

HOUSE PASSES DEFENSE BILL… The House yesterday passed a $741 billion annual defense spending bill by a bipartisan 295-to-125 vote. The bill is expected to pass in the Senate but faces a possible veto by President Trump, who has object to its provision calling for the removal of Confederate leaders’ names from U.S. military bases. The bill also includes a 3 percent pay raise for U.S. troops.

BIDEN UNVEILS ECONOMIC PLAN… Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden yesterday unveiled a $775 billion economic plan that would build thousands of new child-care centers nationwide and include new tax credits for children, seniors and disabled Americans. The plan offers $8,000 in tax credits for most families with one child and $16,000 for those with two or more children. It would also expand after-school, weekend and summer care programs for children and provide free pre-kindergarten education.

OHIO HOUSE SPEAKER ARRESTED… Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder was arrested by FBI agents at his rural farm. Yesterday for his role in a $60 million bribery scheme allegedly involving state officials and associates. Householder, a Republican, represents a district east of Columbus. He and four others were each charged with “conspiracy to participate, directly or indirectly, in the conduct of an enterprise’s affairs through a pattern of racketeering activity,” which carries a maximum of 20 years in prison. The charges are related to a law passed last year that bailed out two Ohio nuclear power plants while gutting subsidies for renewable energy and energy efficiency. According to a federal complaint, Householder and his associates conducted a years-long bribery campaign to build support for Householder’s bid to become House speaker and help get the nuclear bailout law passed.

14 WOUNDED IN CHICAGO SHOOTINGS… A mass shooting targeting people attending a funeral in Auburn Gresham community of Chicago left at least 14 people wounded. Witnesses say occupants inside a black vehicle opened fire at attendees gathered at a funeral home for a solemn ceremony to remember a victim of gun violence. Police reported that at least 60 shell casings were found at the scene.

ENTERTAINMENT
HBO ORDERS BRIDGET EVERETT COMEDY SERIES
… HBO announced yesterday that actress, comedian and singer Bridget Everett has signed on to star in a new comedy series. “Somebody Somewhere” follows a story inspired by Everett’s life growing up in Kansas. Everett plays a woman who is “a true Kansan on the surface” but secretly struggles “to fit the hometown mold.” She recently co-starred in the HBO series “Camping.”

MADDOW INTERVIEW OF MARY TRUMP SETS MSNBC RECORD… Rachel Maddow’s one-hour interview with President Trump’s niece Mary Trump last Thursday was the most-watched regularly-scheduled show ever on MSNBC. According to the Nielsen Company, 5.2 million people tuned in to view the discussion about Mary Trump’s memoir about her uncle’s family. “Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man” pre-sold nearly 1 million copies and first-week sales figures are due later this week.

SPORTS
NFL COVID TESTING COSTLY
… The NFL’s protocol for thorough COVID-19 testing this season will cost “about $75M,” Sports Business Daily reported yesterday. According to the report, BioReference Laboratories will be charging a flat fee covering up to 120 tests per team per day, with extra tests available at $125 each. The teams will pay 1/32nd of the total fee, and they will individually pay for any extra tests that they require.

The Roundup for July 21, 2020

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE… The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 140,905 and the death toll stands at 3,829,920, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University… Florida’s largest teacher’s union yesterday filed a lawsuit against Governor Ron DeSantis and several others in his administration over their efforts to fully reopen schools. The suit filed by the Florida Education Association claims the administration is violating the state constitution in failing to make public schools “safe and secure”… A study published yesterday in the medical journal The Lancet found that a potential coronavirus vaccine being developed by Oxford University, its partner AstraZeneca and two other groups has produced a strong immune response in an early-stage human trial… President Trump appeared to reverse course yesterday by tweeting a photo of himself wearing a face mask and referring to mask-wearing as “patriotic.” The president had steadfastly remained mask-free for the nearly three months since the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended wearing masks in public.

TRUMP TO SEND FEDERAL AGENTS TO MORE CITIES… President Trump announced yesterday that will send federal law enforcement agents to more U.S. cities this week to quell ongoing protests targeting racism and police brutality. A federal crackdown has begun in Portland, Oregon, where unidentified agents have clashed with protesters and rounded them up in unmarked vehicles. State and local leaders in Oregon, as well as members of Congress, have called for Trump to remove the secret police forces.

SUPREME COURT DENIES DEMS IN SEARCH FOR TRUMP TAXES… The Supreme Court yesterday denied a request from congressional Democrats to issue a ruling that would expedite their efforts to obtain President Trump’s tax records. Democrats asked the High Court to finalize its ruling earlier this month that sent the case back to a lower court. The denial means the case won’t reach the lower court any sooner than August 3. Democratic lawmakers have been seeking the records since last year, when Trump’s personal attorney, Michael Cohen, testified that he’d manipulated the value of the president’s assets for personal gain.

DEM CONGRESSIONAL LEADERS WARN FBI ABOUT RUSSIAN INFLUENCE… Politico reported yesterday that Democratic congressional leaders are demanding a briefing on foreign efforts to target members of Congress as part of an influence campaign. In a letter they sent to FBI Director Christopher Wray, the Democrats express concerns that an investigation led by Wisconsin Republican Senator Ron Johnson “has become a vehicle for ‘laundering’ a foreign influence campaign to damage Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, according to two people familiar with the demand.” The letter was signed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff and Senate Intelligence Committee ranking member Mark Warner.

SUSPECTED SHOOTER AT JUDGE’S HOUSE FOUND DEAD… Authorities confirmed yesterday that the man suspected in the fatal shooting of a federal judge’s 20-year-old son and the wounding of her husband at their North Brunswick Township, New Jersey, home on Sunday afternoon has been found dead of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound. The suspect, Roy Den Hollander, represented himself as an “anti-feminist” and “men’s rights” attorney. Investigators say he had posted taunts and insults about U.S. District Judge Esther Salas on his website. Judge Salas was in the basement at the time of the shootings and was not injured. Her husband, 63-year-old Mark Anderl, was listed in stable condition after undergoing surgery.

ENTERTAINMENT
FOX NEWS PERSONALITIES NAMED IN HARASSMENT SUIT
… Two women are alleging they were sexually harassed by men they worked with on the set of Fox News. Anchors Ed Henry, Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity and Howard Kurtz, along with contributor Gianno Caldwell, were named in a lawsuit filed yesterday in federal court. Former Fox News staffer Jennifer Eckhart and one frequent on-air guest Cathy Areu claim they were harassed individually by Henry, who was fired at Fox earlier this month following a complaint about “willful sexual misconduct in the workplace.” Eckhart, who claims Henry violently raped her, is suing him and the network for violating sex trafficking laws and human rights laws and gender-motivated violence. Areu says she was harassed by the other defendants and cites violations of human rights laws and gender-motivated violence in her suit.

DENZEL WASHINGTON, JULIA ROBERTS REUNITE… Denzel Washington and Julia Roberts have signed on to star in the upcoming Netflix family drama “Leave the World Behind.” Roberts plays the mother of a family that rents a house over a long weekend gone terribly wrong. Washington portrays the home owner. The story is based on the upcoming Rumaan Alam novel. Washington and Roberts previously worked together in the 1993 legal thriller “The Pelican Brief.”

SPORTS
DR. FAUCI GETS FIRST-PITCH HONORS
… The Washington Nationals announced yesterday that Dr. Anthony Fauci will throw the first pitch when major league baseball opens its 2020 regular season on Thursday night. The Nationals host the New York Yankees in the season opener. Dr. Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, is a hard-rooting Nationals fan who has been wearing a face mask with the team’s logo throughout the pandemic. The team says it is honoring him as “a true champion for our country during the COVID-19 pandemic and throughout his distinguished career.”

The Rundown for July 20, 2020

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE… The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 3,763,395 and the death toll stands at 140,477, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University. Florida yesterday recorded its fifth straight day of more than 10,000 new cases and reported a record number of 2,700 hospitalizations within a week. Texas Governor Greg Abbott said yesterday that the Navy has sent teams of medical and support professionals to support hospitals in Harlingen, Del Rio, Eagle Pass and Rio Grande City. Meanwhile, the Washington Post reported that the Trump administration is pushing back against bipartisan efforts to ramp up funding for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for coronavirus contact tracing and testing. White House officials argue that there is sufficient funding still remaining from the March stimulus law. Specifics of the bill are expected to be unveiled next week.

TRUMP WON’T COMMIT TO ELECTION RESULTS… President Trump yesterday declined to commit to accepting the results of the 2020 election. During an interview on “Fox News Sunday,” Trump told show host Chris Wallace that he will “have to see” about the results and made the baseless claim that mail-in voting will “rig the election.” During the interview, Trump also defended his administration’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, belittled political rival Joe Biden and discredited National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Dr. Anthony Fauci.

HOUSE DEMS WANT PORTLAND INVESTIGATION… House Democrats are calling for the Inspectors General of the Department of Justice and Department of Homeland Security to open investigations into reports that federal law enforcement agents have been unlawfully arrested protesters in Portland, Oregon. Reports claim that federal law enforcement agents began using unmarked vehicles to nab protesters last Tuesday. A joint letter signed by several congress members warns that “The Attorney General of the United States does not have unfettered authority to direct thousands of federal law enforcement personnel to arrest and detain American citizens exercising their First Amendment rights.” Co-signers of the letter include House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler, Homeland Security Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson and Oversight and Reform Committee Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney. Yesterday, Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler said on CNN’s “State of the Union” that the presence of federal troops and enforcement officers is actually leading to “more violence and more vandalism.”

WHISTLEBLOWER ALLEGES POMPEO COVER-UP… A whistleblower who has complained about alleged misconduct by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was blocked from pursuing the issue by top department officials who were covering for Pompeo, according to a copy of the complaint released yesterday. The whistleblower, a State Department employee, also promised new evidence to support allegations against Pompeo. The State Department admitted that it redacted large sections of the four-page report it released following a lawsuit filed by the watchdog group American Oversight. The State Department said its redactions were necessary due to an “ongoing investigation.”

GUNMAN OPENS FIRE AT FEDERAL JUDGE’S HOME… The 20-year-old son of a federal judge was fatally shot and the judge’s husband was critically wounded after a gunman opened fire at the family’s home in New Brunswick, New Jersey, yesterday afternoon. Authorities say the gunman approached the house dressed as a delivery driver and began shooting after the husband opened the door. Judge Esther Salas of the U.S. District Court for New Jersey in Newark was reportedly in the basement at the time and was not injured. Salas most recently has been presiding over an ongoing lawsuit brought by Deutsche Bank investors who claim the company made false and misleading statements about its anti-money laundering policies and failed to monitor “high-risk” customers including convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.

GUNMAN OPENS FIRE AT FEDERAL JUDGE’S HOME…  The 20-year-old son of a federal judge was fatally shot and the judge’s husband was critically wounded after a gunman opened fire at the family’s home in New Brunswick, New Jersey, yesterday afternoon. Authorities say the gunman approached the house dressed as a delivery driver and began shooting after the husband opened the door. Judge Esther Salas of the U.S. District Court for New Jersey in Newark was reportedly in the basement at the time and was not injured. Salas most recently has been presiding over an ongoing lawsuit brought by Deutsche Bank investors who accuse the company about making false and misleading statements about its anti-money laundering policies and failing to monitor “high-risk” customers including convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.

SHOOTINGS IN PEORIA… Authorities in Peoria, Illinois, say 13 people were shot at a gathering of almost 200 people early yesterday. Police say that there were multiple shooters involved in what appeared to be the “result of a dispute between groups of people,” but the suspects have not been identified. The victims’ injuries were described as non-life-threatening.

ENTERTAINMENT
JUICE WRLD TOPS ALBUM CHART
… Juice WRLD’s “Legends Never Die” sold 497,000 copies to debut atop the Billboard 200 albums chart. Last week’s champ, Pop Smoke’s “Shoot for the Stars Aim for the Moon,” dropped into second place with 110,000 units sold. The original Broadway cast recording of “Hamilton: An American Musical” dropped to No. 3 with 95,000 copies sold. Lil Baby’s “My Turn” finished fourth after selling 58,000 units. Post Malone’s “Hollywood’s Bleeding” remained at No. 5 on sales of 34,000 copies.

LINKIN PARK DOESN’T WANT SONG IN TRUMP VIDEO… Linkin Park announced yesterday that it has issued a cease and desist letter over the use of one of the band’s songs in a video promoted by President Trump and White House due to a copyright violation. The version of the song “In The End” used in the video was a cover that featured Jung Youth, complained separately over the weekend. Twitter removed the video due to a copyright violation. Earlier this month, Neil Young objected to Trump playing several of his songs during a July 4 event at Mount Rushmore.

SPORTS
NFL PLAYERS QUESTION SAFETY PROTOCOLS
… The NFL is meeting some resistance as it plans to open training camp this week. Drew Brees, Russell Wilson and other high-profile players went on social media yesterday to question the league’s plans for the 2020 season. Players are demanding that owners listen to medical experts as they finalize safety protocols. The players’ union and owners continue to negotiate proposals.