The Rundown for October 23, 2020

CORONAVIRUS UPDATES… The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 8,404,743 and the nation’s death toll stands at 223,000, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University… Yesterday marked the seventh time in eight days that the U.S. added at least 50,000 cases. Wednesday’s 1,124 deaths was the highest daily count since September 15.

PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE… President Trump and his democratic rival Joe Biden faced off in their final debate last night in Nashville. The two were questioned about such topics as coronavirus response, the environment, the economy and immigration. The event at Belmont University was moderated by NBC News White House correspondent Kristen Welker.

FBI WARNS OF RUSSIAN HACKERS… The FBI warned yesterday that Russian hackers have targeted dozens of government computer networks in recent weeks. A joint advisory from the FBI and Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency said that a Russian state-sponsored hacking effort targeted dozens of state, local, territorial and/or tribal government, and aviation networks, successfully compromising at least two as of this month. The hackers accessed information related to network passwords, vendors and access badges. The advisory didn’t reveal the specific jurisdictions targeted by the cyberattacks. Officials emphasize that there’s no indication the efforts have disrupted the U.S. elections process.

SENATE PANEL CONFIRMS BARRETT… All 12 Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday voted to approve Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination to the Supreme Court after all 10 Democrats on the committee boycotted the meeting to protest a confirmation process they called a sham. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has scheduled a procedural vote for Sunday and a final vote for Monday. The 48-year-old Barrett has been a federal appeals court judge since 2017 and previously was a legal scholar the University of Notre Dame in Indiana. Her confirmation would give the top U.S. judicial body a 6-3 conservative majority, including three justices named by President Trump.

COLORADO WILDFIRE FORCES EVACUATIONS… Thousands of families were forced to evacuate yesterday after a wildfire burning in Grand County, Colorado, exploded from 19,000 acres to more than 125,000. The East Troublesome Fire raced through the town of Grand Lake and into the western portion of Rocky Mountain National Park, which closed to visitors. No damage assessments have been made available.

ENTERTAINMENT
TBS RENEWS ‘MIRACLE WORKERS’
… TBS announced yesterday that it has renewed the comedy anthology series “Miracle Workers” for a third season. Stars Daniel Radcliffe, Steve Buscemi, Geraldine Viswanathan and Karan Soni are returning for the new season, which will be set in the American Old West in 1844. Radcliffe will portray a small-town preacher who heads west on the Oregon Trail along with a wanted outlaw portrayed by Buscemi and a liberated prairie wife portrayed by Viswanathan.

JUDGE DISMISSES MICHAEL JACKSON SUIT… A Los Angeles County Superior Court judge has dismissed the lawsuit filed by a 42-year-old man who accuses Michael Jackson of abusing him as a child. James Safechuk, who had shared his accusations in the HBO documentary “Leaving Neverland,” had sued two corporations that Jackson owned. Judge Mark A. Young found that Safechuck failed to demonstrate that he had a relationship with the corporations that would have required them to protect him from Jackson.

SPORTS
NFL SCORE

PHILADELPHIA 22 – N.Y. Giants
21… Carson Wentz’ second touchdown pass of the game was an 18-yarder to Boston Scott with 40 seconds remaining and lifted the Eagles (2-4-1) over the Giants (1-6). Wentz passed for 359 yards on the night.

SUNDAY’S NFL SCHEDULE
Dallas (2-4) is at Washington (1-5)…
the N.Y. Jets (0-6) host Buffalo (4-2)…
Pittsburgh (5-0) is at Tennessee (5-0)…
New Orleans (3-2) hosts Carolina (3-3)…
Cleveland (4-2) is at Cincinnati (1-4-1)…
Atlanta (1-5) hosts Detroit (2-3)…
Green Bay (4-1) is at Houston (1-5)…
Las Vegas (3-2) hosts Tampa Bay (4-2)…
San Francisco (3-3) is at New England (2-3)…
Denver (2-3) hosts Kansas City (5-1)…
Jacksonville (1-5) is at the L.A. Chargers (1-4)…
Arizona (4-2) hosts Seattle (5-0)

MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL
Chicago (5-1) is at the L.A. Rams (4-2)

WORLD SERIES RESUMES TONIGHT… The Tampa Bay Rays and L.A. Dodgers return to the field tonight to battle it out in Game 3 of the 2020 World Series after splitting the first two games. Charlie Morton gets the start for the Rays and will be opposed by fellow righthander Walker Buehler. First pitch in Arlington is scheduled for 8:80 p.m. Eastern.

The Rundown for October 22, 2020

CORONAVIRUS UPDATES… The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 8,333,591 and the nation’s death toll stands at 222,063, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University… A Reuters analysis found that COVID-19-related deaths hit daily records in Iowa, Minnesota, Montana, Kansas, Hawaii and Wisconsin. Wisconsin, Illinois, Kentucky, Colorado and Ohio reported record daily increases in new infections… The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention yesterday altered the definition of what constitutes “close contact” to a person infected with COVID-19. The CDC updated the guidance to define close contact as being “within 6 feet of someone who has COVID-19 for a total of 15 minutes or more” over a 24-hour period. The agency previously defined close contact as being within 6 feet of a confirmed case for 15 consecutive minutes.

SENATE FAILS TO PASS RELIEF PACKAGE… The Senate yesterday failed to pass an updated “skinny” COVID-19 relief package. The 51-to-44 fell short of the 60 votes needed to pass. The bill was nearly identical to a measure the Senate unanimously rejected last month, when Democrats said it didn’t do enough to help Americans and businesses and was riddled with “poison pills.” Democrats have been seeking a larger relief package similar to the $2.2 trillion measure passed months ago by the House. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said earlier this week that she and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin are making progress on negotiations for the next package.

OBAMA CAMPAIGNS FOR BIDEN… Former president Barack Obama pulled no punches in Philadelphia yesterday at a campaign rally for Joe Biden. Obama hammered President Trump over his taxes, his character and his leadership style. The former president also warned that the failure to turn out and vote in the 2016 elections contributed to Trump’s victory. “I am asking you to remember what this country can be. What it is like when we treat each other with respect and dignity. What is it is like when our elected officials actually behave responsibly,” Obama said during his 30-minute speech at Lincoln Financial Field.

SENATE PANEL TO VOTE TODAY ON BARRETT NOMINATION… Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday vowed to call a vote today on Amy Coney Barrett’s Supreme Court nomination. Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham called the vote after Democrats on the committee threatened pledging to boycott a proceeding that they called “a sham.” They want Republicans to wait until after the November 3 presidential election before filling the vacancy created last month with the passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Should Barrett’s nomination advance to the full Senate, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell plans to hold a procedural vote on Sunday and a final vote the next day.

PURDUE PHARMA PLEADS GUILTY TO THREE FEDERAL CHARGES… The Justice Department announced yesterday that OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma pled guilty to three federal criminal charges as part of a settlement of more than $8 billion. The settlement follows expert testimony that OxyContin, a powerful prescription painkiller, helped drive an opioid epidemic. The agreement worked out by prosecutors does not release any of the company’s executives or owners from criminal liability amid an ongoing criminal investigation.

ENTERTAINMENT
GUILIANI NABBED IN ‘BORAT’ SEQUEL
… Sacha Baron Cohen’s “Borat” sequel scheduled for release tomorrow night on Amazon Prime captures President Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani in a compromising hotel room with an actress pretending to be a 15-year-old girl. Giuliani went to the hotel room thinking he was being interviewed about the Trump administration’s COVID-19 response and accepted the flirtatious girl’s invitation to join her in the bedroom, which is rigged with hidden cameras. Reviewers yesterday described the scene as “cringe-worthy.” Giuliani, who called the police after the incident was filmed last July, maintains his hands were down his pants because he was tucking in his shirt.

CARRIE UNDERWOOD WINS BIG AT CMT AWARDS… Carrie Underwood won Video of the Year and Female Video of the Year for “Drinking Alone” at last night’s CMT Awards show in Nashville. Luke Bryan won for Male Video of the Year for “One Margarita” and Chris Young won for Performance of the Year for “Drowning.” Dan + Shay scored the prize for Duo Video of the Year for “I Should Probably Go to Bed,” Old Dominion’s “One Man Band” won for Group Video of the Year and Gabby Barrett’s “I Hope” won for Breakthrough Video of the Year.

SPORTS
WORLD SERIES GAME 2

Tampa Bay
6 – L.A. DODGERS 4… Brandon Lowe homered twice and knocked in three runs to power the Rays past the Dodgers and even the 2020 World Series at a game apiece. Joey Wendle drove in Tampa Bay’s other three runs with a two-run double and a sacrifice fly. After a day off today, the series resumes tomorrow. Tampa Bay has announced Charlie Morton as its starter. L.A. counters with fellow righthander Walker Buehler.

PENN STATE BASKETBALL COACH RESIGNS… Penn State men’s basketball coach Pat Chambers has resigned following an internal investigation of new allegations of inappropriate conduct. The situation came to light earlier this summer when former starting guard Rasir Bolton claimed Chambers’ racially-insensitive and inappropriate comments were the reasons why he transferred to Iowa State in 2019. Chambers had a 148-150 record and failed to lead the program to an NCAA Tournament berth since being named Penn State’s coach in 2011.

The Rundown for October 21, 2020

CORONAVIRUS UPDATES… The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 8,270,573 and the nation’s death toll stands at 220,955, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University… A rise in COVID-19 cases in the Northeast has prompted officials in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut to urge their residents to not travel between the three states. California said announced major theme parks including Disneyland would not be opening anytime soon.

TRUMP HAS FOREIGN BANK ACCOUNTS… The New York Times reported yesterday that President Trump maintains a bank account in China, dealing a blow to the president’s warnings that his Democratic rival Joe Biden is soft on China. According to the report, Trump also has bank accounts in the United Kingdom and Ireland. The China account is operated by Trump International Hotels Management LLC, and paid $188,561 in taxes to the country between 2013 and 2015, according to the Times.

PARENTS OF 545 SEPARATED MINORS CAN’T BE FOUND… Lawyers representing migrant children at the U.S.-Mexico border say they have been unable to locate the parents of 545 minors. A court filing obtained by NBC News revealed that he Department of Homeland Security has deported the parents of two-thirds of those children to Central America without reuniting them with their children. The separations were made as part of the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” border policy until last year, when it was ended by executive order and a federal judge ordered separated families reunited.

FORMER RNC FUNDRAISER PLEADS GUILTY… Former Republican National Committee deputy finance chairman Elliott Broidy pleaded guilty yesterday to illegal lobbying for attempting to use his influence to end a federal investigation into a Malaysian bank engaged in money laundering. He admitted conspiring to accept millions after helping to secretly lobby the Trump administration on behalf of Malaysian and Chinese interests. Broidy, who was convicted in 2009 on public corruption and bribery charges in New York, has agreed to pay a $6.6 million fine and faces a prison sentence of up to five years.

JUSTICE DEPARTMENT SUES GOOGLE… The Justice Department has filed a massive antitrust lawsuit against Google, claiming the company uses its market power to outcompete rivals. Google already had to pay $9 million in fines after European regulators accused it of disadvantaging rivals. The Justice Department and Federal Trade Commission also have antitrust investigations into Amazon, Apple, and Facebook.

ENTERTAINMENT
TWO FINAL ‘FAST AND FURIOUS’ FILMS
… Universal Pictures announced plans yesterday for two final movies in the “Fast and Furious” franchise. The two additions follow “F9,” which is currently in post-production and premieres next Memorial Day. “F9” features a core cast led by Vin Diesel and includes newcomers John Cena, Helen Mirren, Cardi B and Ozuna.

SPENCER DAVIS DIES… British rocker Spencer Davis died Monday at a California hospital following treatment of pneumonia. He was 81. Davis co-founded the 1960s beat band The Spencer Davis Group, which bore his name but featured vocals by Steve Winwood. The group released its first No. 1 single, a cover of “Keep On Running,” in 1965. The Spencer Davis Group was also known for the songs “Gimme Some Lovin'” and “I’m a Man.” The group disbanded in 1969 but reunited and released two more albums in the 1970s. In more recent years, Davis performed as The Spencer Davis Group with new lineups.

SPORTS
WORLD SERIES GAME 1

L.A. DODGERS 8 – Tampa Bay 3
… The Dodgers cruised past the Rays in the 2020 World Series opener. Cody Bellinger opened the scoring with a two-run homer in the bottom of the fourth inning and Max Muncy knocked in two runs. Mookie Belts energized the victory with two stolen bases and a solo home run. Starter Clayton Kershaw allowed just a run on two hits over six innings. Lefthander Blake Snell gets the start for Tampa Bay in tonight’s Game 2. L.A. didn’t announce its starter. First pitch is set for 8:08 p.m.

The Rundown for October 20, 2020

CORONAVIRUS UPDATES… The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 8,210,849 and the nation’s death toll stands at 220,095, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University… An NBC analysis posted yesterday found that as many as 30 states and territories have seen Covid-19 cases increase more than 25 percent in the last two weeks, but only 21 states saw increases in testing at or above that level during the same period… New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and California Governor Gavin Newsom both announced yesterday that they would rely on in-house experts to review a federally approved COVID-19 vaccine before allowing it to be distributed to their state’s residents.

PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE TO MUTE MICS… As President Trump and his Democratic rival Joe Biden are preparing for Thursday night’s final presidential debate, organizers announced yesterday that microphones will be muted to prevent the debaters from interrupting each other. The Commission on Presidential Debates says Trump and Biden can each have two minutes of uninterrupted time to answer each debate topic. After those two minutes, the presidential candidates will participate in an open debate. The 90-minute-long event is being being broken down into six segments that are 15 minutes each, allowing nine minutes of open debate for each topic.

SUPREME COURT REJECTS PENNSYLVANIA-BALLOT STAY… The Supreme Court yesterday rejected an emergency stay request filed by Republicans in Pennsylvania, paving the way for election officials in the state to count absentee ballots received as late as the Friday after Election Day so long as they are postmarked by November 3. Republicans had argued that it is up to the state’s legislature — not the court — to set rules for how elections are conducted. Pennsylvania and Wisconsin are the only two swing states where officials can’t begin processing and counting the millions of absentee ballots until Election Day, likely delaying complete results for several days. In a third crucial swing state, Michigan, clerks can begin processing ballots only the day before Election Day.

JUSTICE DEPARTMENT INDICTS RUSSIANS FOR CYBERCRIMES… The Justice Department yesterday announced grand jury indictments of six Russian intelligence officers for cybercrimes. Federal prosecutors in Pittsburgh accused the men of developing malware that brought down the computers in two Pennsylvania hospitals and infected computers in 60 physician offices and 18 community satellite facilities. The men are allegedly members of the Russian security agency GRU and were operating out of a Moscow military unit. They are also accused of disrupting the power grid in Ukraine, interfering in the French election and crashing computer systems around the world.

MYSTERIOUS ATTACKS ON U.S. DIPLOMATS EXPAND… The New York Times reported yesterday that mysterious attacks on U.S. diplomats in Cuba and China have been reported in other countries, including Russia. The attacks involve disturbing sounds that produce an array of alarming symptoms, from memory loss to migraines. According to the report, the Trump administration has been less than transparent about the attacks, particularly the incidents in China and Russia. The Times said the State Department has withheld “basic” information on cases from Congress and “ignored outside medical diagnoses.”

ENTERTAINMENT
JEFF BRIDGES BATTLING CANCER
… Oscar-winning actor Jeff Bridges revealed on social media yesterday that he’s battling cancer. The 70-year-old Bridges said he had been diagnosed with lymphoma and is starting treatment. He praised his team of doctors and said the prognosis is good.

POP SMOKE TOPS ALBUM CHART… Pop Smoke’s “Shoot for the Stars, Aim for the Moon” sold 67,000 copies in reclaiming the top spot on the Billboard 200 chart. Last week’s champ, 21 Savage and Metro Boomin’s “Savage Mode II,” slipped into second place with 66,000 units sold. Juice WRLD’s “Legends Never Die” jumped into third place on sales of 45,000 copies. Lil Baby’s “My Turn” rose to fourth place after selling 38,000 units. Machine Gun Kelly’s “Tickets to My Downfall” finished fifth with 35,000 copies sold.

SPORTS
MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL

Kansas City 26 – BUFFALO 17
… Patrick Mahomes found Travis Kelce with a pair of touchdown tosses and became the fastest quarterback in NFL history to reach 90 career passing scores in leading the Chiefs (5-1) past the Bills (4-2). Clyde Edwards-Helaire led the ground game with 161 yards rushing.

Arizona 38 – DALLAS 10… Kyler Murray threw a pair of touchdown passes and ran for a score as the Cardinals (4-2) rolled past the Cowboys (2-4). Christian Kirk was on the receiving end of both scoring tosses. Kenyon Drake rushed for 164 yards and two touchdowns.

WORLD SERIES OPENS TONIGHT… The Los Angeles Dodgers and Tampa Bay Rays meet in Arlington, Texas, tonight for Game 1 of the 2020 World Series. Both teams entered the postseason as their respective league’s top seed. The National League-champion Dodgers have reached the World Series three times in four years but haven’t won since 1988. The American League-champion Rays have reached Fall Classic for only the second time, with its only previous appearance in 2008. Lefthander Clayton Kershaw gets the opening-day assignment for Los Angeles. Righthander Tyler Glasnow takes the mound for Tampa Bay. First pitch is set for 8:09 p.m. Eastern.

The Rundown for September 28, 2020

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE… The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 7,113,666 and the nation’s death toll stands at 204,750, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University… Almost half the U.S. is reporting increased numbers of new Covid-19 cases as health experts warn of a potential coronavirus surge in the fall and winter. The number of new coronavirus cases has increased by at least 10 percent from the week before in 21 states. The states are: Alabama, Alaska, Colorado, Idaho, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oregon, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Washington state, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

N.Y. TIMES OBTAINS TRUMP TAXES… The New York Times reported disturbing details about Donald Trump’s finances yesterday after obtaining the president’s tax returns going back decades. The report noted that Trump paid no federal income taxes in 10 of 15 years beginning in 2000 because he reported extensive losses. Trump paid just $750 in federal income taxes for 2016, the year he was elected president. The Times also found that Trump used the $427.4 million he was paid for “The Apprentice” to fund his other businesses, mostly his golf courses, and was putting more cash into his businesses than he was taking out. Times staffers warned that more bombshells are forthcoming. At a White House briefing yesterday, Trump denied the Times’ allegations and claimed that he pays “a lot” in federal income taxes. However, he refused to answer how much he has paid and walked out as reported shouted questions.

TRUMP FORMER CAMPAIGN MANAGER TAKEN BY POLICE… President Trump’s former campaign manager Brad Parscale was taken from his Fort Lauderdale home by police yesterday afternoon after his wife reported that he was armed, had barricaded himself in his home and was threatening to harm himself. Fort Lauderdale Police Chief Karen Dietrich called the encounter at Parscale’s home “brief” and said he went willingly with police under Florida’s Baker Act, which allows police to detain a person who is potentially a threat to himself or others. Parscale, who made himself highly visible as campaign manager, was demoted in July following a poorly attended rally in Tulsa.

BIDEN SEEKS TO HOLD OFF BARRETT NOMINATION… During a speech in his Wilmington, Delaware, hometown yesterday, Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden implored Senate Republicans not to act on President Trump’s nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court until after the American people finish selecting their next president. The former vice president argued that since voters have already begun voting, it’s crucial to hold off on any consideration of a Supreme Court nominee until the election results are known. Biden also noted the proximity of the nomination to an upcoming case before the Supreme Court that challenges the Affordable Care Act and warned that Barrett’s vote could leave Americans without health care.

GAS PRICES DROP A PENNY… The average price of regular-grade gas in the U.S. fell a penny over the past two weeks to $2.25 per gallon, according to a nationwide survey of gas stations released yesterday. The Lundberg Survey found that the most expensive gas was in the San Francisco Bay Area, where it cost $3.27 per gallon. The cheapest gas was in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where a gallon cost $1.77.

ENTERTAINMENT
TAYLOR SWIFT TOPS ALBUM CHART
… Taylor Swift’s “Folklore” sold 87,000 copies in returning to the top spot on the Billboard 200 album chart for a seventh nonconsecutive week. Pop Smoke’s “Shoot for the Stars Aim for the Moon” remained in second place after selling 75,000 units. YoungBoy Never Broke Again’s “Top” dropped from first to third place on sales of 63,000 copies. Alicia Keys’ new release, “Alicia,” opened in fourth place after selling 62,000 units. Juice WRLD’s “Legends Never Die” slipped to No. 5 on sales of 51,000 copies.

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE… “Tenet” took in another $3.4 million to remain atop the weekend box office for a fourth weekend. “The New Mutants” made $1.1 million to stay in second place. “Unhinged” finished third with $1 million. The 2020 re-release of “Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back” took in $908,000 to finish fourth. “Infidel” capped the top five with $745,000.

SPORTS
NBA PLAYOFFS SCORE

EASTERN CONFERENCE FINALS
Miami – Boston

NFL SCORES
INDIANAPOLIS 36 – N.Y. Jets 7… Philip Rivers threw his 400th career touchdown pass and the Colts (2-1) cruised past the Jets (0-3). Defensively, Xavier Rhodes and T.J. Carrie returned interceptions for touchdowns.

Carolina 21 – L.A. CHARGERS 16… Joey Sligh booted five field goals to 31 yards and the Panthers (1-2) took advantage of three turnovers in downing the Chargers (1-2).

SEATTLE 38 – Dallas 31… Russell Wilson’s fifth touchdown pass of the day was a 29-yarder to DK Metcalf with 1:47 remaining and lifted the Seahawks (3-0) over the Cowboys (1-2). Tyler Locket hauled in three TD tosses.

Detroit 26 – ARIZONA 23… Matt Prater booted a 39-yard field goal as time expired and the Lions topped the Cardinals (2-1) to snap an 11-game losing streak. Matt Stafford passed for 270 yards and two scores.

Tampa Bay 28 – DENVER 10… Tom Brady passed for 297 yards and three touchdowns in leading the Buccaneers (2-1) past the Broncos (0-3). Defensively, Shaq Barrett had two sacks, including one for a safety.

Chicago 30 – ATLANTA 26… The Bears (3-0) came from 16 points down in the final 6-1/2 minutes to upend the Falcons (0-3). Nick Foles relieved starting quarterback Mitchell Trubisky in the third quarter and threw three touchdown passes. Allen Robinson had 20 catches for 123 yards and a TD.

San Francisco 36 – N.Y. GIANTS 9… The 49ers (2-1) rolled past the Giants (0-3) despite playing without a half-dozen injured starters. Backup QB Nick Mullens passed for 343 yards and a score.

NEW ENGLAND 36 – Oakland 20… Rex Burkhead ran for a score and hauled in two touchdown passes as the Patriots (2-1) downed the Raiders (2-1). Sony Michel rushed for 117 yards.

PITTSBURGH 28 – Houston 21… The Steelers (3-0) held the Texans (0-3) scoreless in the second half of a come-from-behind win. Ben Roethlisberger threw a pair of touchdown passes. James Connor ran for 109 yards and a score.

BUFFALO 35 – L.A. Rams 32… The Bills (3-0) rallied to get past the Rams (2-1) after blowing a 25-point lead. Josh Allen threw 3 yards to tight end Tyler Kroft with 15 seconds remaining for the winning score. Kroft caught two of Allen’s four TD tosses.

Tennessee 31 – MINNESOTA 20… Stephen Gostkowski booted his sixth field goal of the game from 55 yards out with 1:44 remaining and the unbeaten Titans (3-0) kept the Vikings winless (0-3). Derrick Henry rushed for 119 yards and two touchdowns.

CLEVELAND 34 – Washington 20… The Browns (2-1) scored 17 unanswered points in the fourth quarter to put away Washington (1-2). The victory gave them their first winning record since 2014. Baker Mayfield passed for two touchdowns and Nick Chubb rushed for a pair of scores.

Cincinnati 23 – PHILADELPHIA 23 (tie, OT)… A scoreless overtime period left the Bengals Eagles tied and with identical 0-2-1 records. Cincinnati rooked QB Joe Burrow tossed a pair of touchdown passes to Tee Higgins in regulation. Philadelphia QB Carson Wentz dove into the end zone for the tying score in the final minute.

Green Bay – NEW ORLEANS

MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL
Kansas City (2-0) is at Baltimore (2-0)

MLB POSTSEASON SET… It took until yesterday’s final day of the pandemic-shortened season to complete major league baseball’s playoff picture. The two final spots remaining were in the National League and ended up going to the St. Louis Cardinals and Milwaukee Brewers. The Cardinals played their way into the postseason with a 5-2 win over the Brewers, but Milwaukee gained entry after the Philadelphia Phillies were blanked 5-0 by Tampa Bay and the San Francisco Giants fell 5-4 to San Diego.

MLB WILD-CARD SCHEDULE
AL (best of three beginning tomorrow)
N.Y. Yankees are at Cleveland…
Minnesota hosts Houston…
the Chi. White Sox are at Oakland…
Tampa Bay hosts Toronto

NL (best of three beginning Wednesday)
St. Louis is at San Diego
the Chi. Cubs host Miami
Milwaukee is at the L.A. Dodgers…
Atlanta hosts Cincinnati

OTHER MLB SCORES FROM YESTERDAY
KANSAS CITY 3 – Detroit 1…
Miami 5 – N.Y. YANKEES 0…
TEXAS 8 – Houston 4…
WASHINGTON 15 – N.Y. Mets 5…
Baltimore 7 – TORONTO 5…
Chi. Cubs 10 – CHI. WHITE SOX 8…
Cincinnati 5 – MINNESOTA 3 (10 innings)…
OAKLAND 6 – Seattle 2…
CLEVELAND 8 – Pittsburgh 6…
ARIZONA 11 – Colorado 3…
L.A. DODGERS 5 – L.A. Angels 0…
Boston 9 – ATLANTA 1

TODAY’S NHL STANLEY CUP FINAL SCHEDULE
Tampa Bay vs. Dallas in Game 6 with the Lightning leading 3-2

The Rundown for October 19, 2020

CORONAVIRUS UPDATES… The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 8,154,206 and the nation’s death toll stands at 219,672, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University… Former Food and Drug Administration commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb warned during an appearance on CNN’s “Face the Nation” yesterday that the current wave of new coronavirus infections is likely to be the “biggest wave” the nation experiences before a vaccine. Dr, Gottlieb’s comments came as hospitalizations are rising in 42 states, and 45 states have expanding epidemics.

CONGRESS SEEKS STIMULUS PACKAGE… House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said during an appearance on ABC’s “This Week” yesterday that a deal on any new stimulus package must be reached by tomorrow if Congress is to pass legislation by Election Day. She added that she and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin had considerable differences on a potential package that is set to cost between $1.8 trillion and $2.2 trillion. Meanwhile Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said yesterday that the Senate will vote Wednesday on a Republican-backed $500 billion coronavirus stimulus bill.

MICHIGAN GOVERNOR BLASTS TRUMP RHETORIC… Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer said during an appearance on NBC’s “Meet the Press yesterday that President Trump’s criticism of her at a rally was “incredibly disturbing” after he called her “dishonest” and drew shouts of “lock her up” from the crowd. Whitmer, who was targeted an alleged kidnapping plot that was uncovered by the FBI earlier this month, accused Trump of inciting domestic terrorism with his rhetoric. At a rally in Michigan on Saturday, Trump slammed her support for restrictions to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus.

COLORADO WILDFIRES… A Colorado wildfire has forced the evacuation of almost 3,000 people in Boulder County. The CalWood fire, which began Saturday, consumed nearly 9,000 acres by yesterday. Authorities believe a large number of homes were destroyed. Meanwhile, the Cameron Peak fire, which started in mid-August and is burning west of Fort Collins, has grown to 318 square miles and was 62-percent contained yesterday.

HIKER MISSING FOR 2 WEEKS FOUND ALIVE… A hiker who was missing in Zion National Park for nearly two weeks has been found alive. 38-year-old Holly Courtier, who hadn’t been seen since entering the park on October 6, was found by search and rescue teams that had acted on a tip. Authorities said Courtier was reunited with her family and left the park in good condition.

ENTERTAINMENT
ACTOR ZACHERY TY BRYAN ARRESTED
… Actor Zachery Ty Bryan, who is best known for playing Brad Taylor on the 1990s sitcom “Home Improvement,” was arrested in Oregon Friday on a felony charge of strangulation and misdemeanor charges for assault and interfering with making a police report. The 39-year-old Bryan was taken into custody after officers responded to reports of a physical dispute at an apartment complex. The assault victim was reportedly a 27-year-old woman.

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE… The Liam Neeson thriller “Honest Thief” took in $3.7 million to debut atop the weekend box office. Last week’s champ, “The War with Grandpa,” slipped to second place with $2.5 million. “Tenet” made $1.6 million to finish third. “The Nightmare Before Christmas” brought in $1.3 million for a fourth-place finish. “Hocus Pocus” capped the top five with $756,000.

SPORTS
MLB
NATIONAL LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES SCORE

L.A. DODGERS 4 – Atlanta 3
(in Arlington)… The Dodgers edged the Braves in Game 7 to complete their comeback from 2-0 and 3-1 deficits to capture the National League pennant. They will battle the Tampa Bay Rays in the World Series beginning tomorrow in Arlington. Kiké Hernandez delivered a pinch-hit game-tying solo homer in the bottom of the sixth inning and Cody Bellinger added a go-ahead blast in the seventh. Will Smith tied the game with a two-run single in the third.

NFL SCORES
Chicago 23 – CAROLINA 16
… Nick Foles threw a touchdown pass and ran for a score as the Bears (5-1) held off the Panthers (3-3).

Baltimore 30 – PHILADELPHIA 28… The Ravens (5-1) withstood a fourth-quarter rally to down the Eagles (1-4-1). Lamar Jackson threw for a score and rushed for 108 yards and a TD.

Atlanta 40 – MINNESOTA 23… Matt Ryan found Julio Jones with two of his four touchdown passes and the Falcons (1-5) rolled past the Vikings (1-5). Jones had eight catches for 137 yards.

PITTSBURGH 38 – Cleveland 7… James Conner ran for 101 yards and a score in leading the Steelers (5-0) past the Browns (5-2). Minkah Fitzpatrick returned an interception 33 yards for a touchdown.

TENNESSEE 42 – Houston 36 (OT)… Derrick Henry took a direct snap and ran 5 yards for the winning score in overtime as the Titans (5-0) outlasted the Texans (1-5). Henry ran for 212 yards and two scores on the day. A.J. Brown caught two of Ryan Tannehill’s four touchdown passes. Anthony Firkser had eight receptions for 113 yards and a score.

INDIANAPOLIS 31 – Cincinnati 27… Philip Rivers passed for 371 yards and three touchdowns in leading the Colts (4-2) past the Bengals (1-4-1). Marcus Johnson had five catches for 108 yards.

N.Y. GIANTS 20 – Washington 19… The Giants (1-5) stopped a two-point conversion attempt with 43 seconds left to preserve their win over Washington (1-5). Tae Crowder’s 43-yard fumble return for a fourth-quarter touchdown proved to be the difference.

Denver 18 – NEW ENGLAND 12… Brandon McManus booted six field goals to 54 yards and the Broncos (2-3) held off the Patriots (2-3). Phillip Lindsay rushed for 101 yards.

Detroit 34 – JACKSONVILLE 16… Dandre Swift rushed for 116 yards and two touchdowns as the Lions (2-3) handled the Jaguars (1-5). Kenny Golladay caught four Matthew Stafford passes for 105 yards.

MIAMI 24 – N.Y. Jets 0… Ryan Fitzpatrick thew touchdown passes to three different receivers and the Dolphins (3-3) blanked the Jets (0-6).

TAMPA BAY 38 – Green Bay 10… The Buccaneers (4-2) cruised past the Packers (4-1) after spotting them an early 10-point lead. Tom Brady threw a pair of touchdown passes. Ronald Jones ran for 113 yards and two scores.

SAN FRANCISCO 24 – L.A. Rams 16… Jimmy Garoppolo threw three first-half touchdown passes and the 49ers (3-3) hung on to down the Rams (4-2). George Kittle had seven catches for 109 yards and a score.

MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL
Kansas City (4-1) is at Buffalo (4-1)…
Dallas (2-3) hosts Arizona (3-2)

The Rundown for October 15, 2020

CORONAVIRUS UPDATES… The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 7,916,118, and the nation’s death toll stands at 216,734, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University… The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention yesterday offered good news in its forecast about coronavirus vaccines. The CDC promised some vaccines by the end of the year in a posting on its coronavirus website. Vaccines are being developed and tested under the auspices of the National Institutes of Health. The Food and Drug Administration will give any emergency use authorization or approval.

BARRETT COMPLETES TESTIMONY AT CONFIRMATION HEARINGS… Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett completed her questioning yesterday on the third day of her four-day Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing. She maintained her platform of fairness and open-mindedness but avoided questions aimed at specific issues. Notably, she dodged questioning from Senator and vice-presidential candidate Kamala Harris on voting rights, COVID-19 and climate change. She told Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy that it was an “open question” whether Trump could pardon himself and added that the top U.S. judicial body “can’t control” whether a president obeys its decisions. Under questioning by Nebraska Republican Senator Ben Sasse, Barrett couldn’t name the five freedoms protected by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution (They are: freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, the right to assembly and the right to petition the government). The hearings conclude today with testimony of witnesses.

TRUMP, BIDEN TO HOST TOWN HALLS… President Trump and his Democratic challenger Joe Biden will be hosting separate town halls tonight in lieu of their cancelled second presidential debate. ABC last week agreed to air Biden’s town hall from Philadelphia with ABC News political analyst George Stephanopoulos as moderator. Yesterday, NBC agreed to broadcast a competing Trump town hall from Miami, moderated by “Today” host Savannah Guthrie. A final debate between Trump and Biden is scheduled for next Thursday in Nashville.

EARLY VOTING TURNOUT SHATTERING RECORDS… Early voting records are already being broken as the U.S. closes within three weeks of the presidential election. Voters waited in long lines yesterday to cast their ballots in Texas, Virginia, Georgia and Tennessee. Early voting is already underway in 18 other states. More than 14.9 million votes have been cast so far, shattering records from 2016.

TENNESSEE ABORTION LAW RULED UNCONSTITUTIONAL… A federal judge yesterday struck down Tennessee’s 48-hour waiting period law for abortions as unconstitutional. The 2015 law requires women to make two trips to an abortion clinic, first for mandatory counseling and then for the abortion at least 48 hours later. In his ruling, U.S. District Judge Bernard Freidman found that the law serves no legitimate purpose while placing a substantial burden on women who seek abortions in the state.

ENTERTAINMENT
SHOWTIME REVIVES ‘DEXTER’
… Showtime announced yesterday that it is reviving “Dexter” for a limited series. Michael C. Hall returns to star in the serial-killer drama. Production on 10 new episodes is scheduled to begin in early 2021 and the premiere is set for late 2021. The original series ran from 2006 to 2013 on the cable network.

‘YELLOWSTONE’ SEASON 3 COMING TO PEACOCK… Season 3 of “Yellowstone” arrives on the Peacock November 22. The streaming service already has the show’s first two seasons. The third season, which is cable’s most-watched series of 2020, ended in August on Paramount Network and continues to air on the channel. Kevin Costner stars in the series as John Dutton, who controls the largest, contiguous ranch in the U.S.

SPORTS
MLB
AMERICAN LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES SCORE

HOUSTON 4 – Tampa Bay 3
(in San Diego)… The Astros held off the Rays in Game 4 to avoid a series sweep. George Springer blasted a tie-breaking two-run homer in the bottom of the fifth inning. Jose Altuve homered in the first with the bases empty. Starter Zack Greinke gave up two runs on five hits over six innings. Neither team announced a starter for today’s Game 5.

NATIONAL LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES SCORE
L.A. Dodgers 15 – ATLANTA 3
(in Arlington)… The Dodgers erupted to score 11 runs in the top of the first inning and coasted past the Braves to pull within 2-1 in the series. The 11 runs are the most ever scored in a single inning by a team in the history of Major League Baseball postseason play. Joc Pederson blasted a three-run homer and Max Muncy unloaded a grand slam. Edwin Rios, Cody Bellnger and Corey Seager smacked solo homers. Starter Julio Urias allowed just a run on three hits over five innings. Righthander Bryse Wilson takes the mound for Atlanta today’s Game 4. L.A. sends lefthander Clayton Kershaw to the mound after back spasms made him a scratch for Game 2.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL NEWS… University of Alabama head football coach Nick Saban announced yesterday that he had tested positive for the coronavirus. The 68-year-old Saban said he has no symptoms. Offensive coordinator, Steve Sarkisian, will take over in Saban’s absence.

The Rundown for October 14, 2020

CORONAVIRUS UPDATES… The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 7,852,022, and the nation’s death toll stands at 215,818, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University… Drug maker Eli Lilly has halted a clinical trial for a coronavirus antibody treatment due to a “potential safety concern,” the New York Times reported yesterday. The government-sponsored trial was tested on hundreds of hospitalized COVID-19 patients. On Monday, Johnson & Johnson paused its coronavirus vaccine trial because of an illness in a patient. Last month, AstraZeneca halted its vaccine trial after two participants had adverse side effects.

BARRETT HEARING… Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett maintained she was agenda-free yesterday during a second day questioning by members of the Senate Judiciary Committee. She declined to preview how she would rule on such issues as Roe v. Wade or Obamacare and did not commit to recusing herself from a potential Trump v. Biden case that might emerge from the presidential election. California Senator and vice-presidential candidate Kamala Harris criticized Republicans for rushing to confirm Barrett rather than passing additional legislation to address the coronavirus pandemic portrayed Barrett as a threat to the Affordable Care Act. Rhode Island Senator Sheldon Whitehouse asked no questions but used a chart to identify the use of dark money in politics.

NO CHARGES IN DOJ UNMASKING INVESTIGATION… The Justice Department has ended its investigation into whether former Obama administration officials improperly sought to uncover the identities of individuals described in national security documents without finding any evidence of wrongdoing, according to a report yesterday in the Washington Post. President Trump had used the practice of “unmasking” to support his claims that his political opponents and critics should be arrested. Right-wing media portrayed the practice as political conspiracy. Former U.S. Attorney John Bash, who conducted the investigation launched by Attorney General William Barr, resigned from the Justice Department last week.

HIGH COURT DECISION ENDS CENSUS COUNTING… The Supreme Court ruled yesterday that the Trump administration can immediately end counting for the 2020 U.S. census a month earlier than originally scheduled. The decision put on hold a lower court ruling that ordered the once-in-a-decade population count to continue until October 31. The Trump administration argued in its appeal that the count must be finished immediately to allow the Census Bureau enough time to meet the congressionally mandated December 31 deadline. The nationwide population tabulation, conducted once every 10 years, determines how many seats in the House of Representatives and Electoral College each state receives. Civil rights groups had argued that ending the counting early will produce an undercount.

VIRGINIA GOVERNOR TARGETED IN ANTI-GOVERNMENT PLOT… Anti-government gangmembers accused of plotting to kidnap Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer also discussed kidnapping Virginia Governor Ralph Northam, according to an FBI agent’s testimony at yesterday’s court hearing. Special Agent Richard Trask said the plot to kidnap Northam was discussed during a June meeting in Ohio that drew members of anti-government groups from “four or five” states. Trask also discussed methods used in the investigation leading to charges against six men last week.

ENTERTAINMENT
ACTRESS CONCHATA FERRELL DIES
… Actress Conchata Ferrell died yesterday of complications following a cardiac arrest. She was 77. Ferrell earned Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series Emmy nominations in 2005 and 2007 for her portrayal of housekeeper Berta on “Two and a Half Men.” She also received an Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Drama Series nomination in 1992 for her role as Susan Bloom on “L.A. Law.” Her television credits included ”Good Times,” “E/R,” “Grace and Frankie,” “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and “BJ and The Bear.” Her more recent credits included Netflix’s “The Ranch.”

NEW ALLEGATIONS AGAINST ‘CHEER’ STAR… In a new court filing yesterday, federal prosecutors say “Cheer” star Jerry Harris “exploited and violated” at least 10 boys. The new allegations were part of the government’s motion for pretrial detention. The 21-year-old Harris rose to fame earlier this year in the Netflix docuseries chronicling the cheerleading team at Navarro College in Corsicana, Texas. He was arrested and charged last month with one count of producing child pornography for allegedly soliciting nude photos from minors. Harris is currently being held in a Chicago jail.

SPORTS
MLB
AMERICAN LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES SCORE

Tampa Bay 5 – HOUSTON
2 (in San Diego)… The Rays downed the Astros to take a commanding 3-0 lead in the series. Joey Wendle stroked a two-run single and Hunter Renfroe added a two-run double as the Rays scored all five runs in the top of the sixth inning. Starter Ryan Yarbrough allowed two runs on three hits over five innings and four relievers shut the door. Tampa Bay sends Tyler Glasnow to the mound today as seeks to complete a series sweep. Zack Greinke gets the start for Houston in a matchup of righthanders. Gametime is 8:40 p.m. Eastern.

NATIONAL LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES SCORE
Atlanta 8 – L.A. DODGERS
7 (in Arlington)… The Braves withstood a four-run Dodger rally in the bottom of the ninth inning to escape with the victory and open a 2-0 lead in the series. Freddie Freeman homered with a runner aboard and knocked in a run with an infield single. Ozzie Albies went 3-for-4 with a solo homer and sacrifice fly. Atlanta sends righthander Kyle Wright to the mound for today’s Game 3. He’ll be opposed by L.A. lefty Julio Urias. First pitch is set for 6:05 p.m. Eastern.

NFL SCORE
TENNESSEE 42 – Buffalo 16
… Ryan Tannehill found Jonnu Smith with two of his three touchdown passes as the Titans (4-0) rolled past the Bills (4-1) in a matchup of teams entering the contest unbeaten. Derrick Henry rushed for a pair of scores.

NFL NEWS… The New York Jets have released two-time All-Pro running back Le’Veon Bell after less than two seasons with the team. Bell signed a four-year, $52 million contract with the Jets that included $27 million guaranteed during the 2019 offseason. Now, the former All-Pro running back will be subject to waivers, and if he is not claimed, he will be free to sign with another team.

The Rundown for October 13, 2020

CORONAVIRUS UPDATES… The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 7,803,884, and the nation’s death toll stands at 214,063, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University… Johnson & Johnson announced yesterday that it is pausing its clinical trial for a coronavirus vaccine after a study participant came down with an “unexplained illness.” The trial involves 60,000 patients.

SECRET SERVICE TRIPS LUCRATIVE FOR TRUMP… The U.S. Secret Service has spent $238,000 at the President Trump’s properties while protecting his children while they travel, the Washington Post reported yesterday. According to the report, rooms were charged at an average of $630 per night when agents accompanied Ivanka Trump on more than a dozen spring trips to the Trump golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey, while the state was under strict stay-at-home orders. The report was part of the Post’s ongoing investigation into Trump using taxpayer dollars to benefit his own private businesses.

JUDGE BARRETT HEARINGS UNDERWAY… Judge Amy Coney Barrett vowed to fulfill her duties “faithfully and impartially” yesterday on the first of her four days of Supreme Court nomination hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Republicans insisted that Barrett was well-qualified despite her holding no bench higher than appellate court. Democratic senators called Barrett’s conservative views a threat to the Obamacare healthcare law during a deadly pandemic and called out Republican hypocrisy in the efforts to approve her before the November 3 presidential election.

REPUBLICANS MUST MOVE ‘ILLEGAL’ BALLOT BOXES… California state officials issued a cease-and-desist order yesterday to prevent the Republican Party from setting up unofficial and illegal ballot drop boxes. GOP officials have acknowledged setting up the boxes. The order issued by Attorney General Xavier Becerra gives the GOP until tomorrow to remove all boxes.

DELTA BRINGS RAIN NORTHWARD… The aftermath of Hurricane Delta brought heavy rain to mid-Atlantic and Northeast states yesterday. The storm is blamed for four deaths in Louisiana and Florida since making landfall as a Category 2 hurricane. More than 140,000 people remained without power yesterday in Louisiana, Texas and Mississippi.

ENTERTAINMENT
JESSE METCALFE ELIMINATED FROM ‘DANCING’
… Actor Jesse Metcalfe was eliminated from Season 29 of “Dancing with the Stars” last night. He had been partnered with professional dancer Sharna Burgess in the competition. Still in the running are “Cheer” coach Monica Aldama, “The Bachelorette’ alum Kaitlyn Bristowe, “Selling Sunset” star Chrishell Stause, retired NFL player Vernon Davis, actresses Skai Jackson and Justina Machado, reality TV stars Jeannie Mai and Nev Schulman, Backstreet Boys singer A.J. McLean, rapper Nelly and Olympic figure skater Johnny Weir.

THE WANTED’S TOM PARKER BATTLING BRAIN TUMOR… Tom Parker, a member of the popular U.K. boy band The Wanted, has been diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor. The 32-year-old Parker acknowledged in an interview with OK! Magazine that he had been diagnosed with stage 4 glioblastoma. He said the diagnosis came six weeks ago after he had suffered a pair of seizures.

SPORTS
MLB
AMERICAN LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES SCORE

TAMPA BAY 4 – Houston 2
(in San Diego)… The Rays cruised past the Astros to take a 2-0 lead in the series. Starter Charlie Morton pitched five-hit ball over five scoreless innings. Manuel Margot slugged a three-run homer in the bottom of the first inning. Mike Zunino added a solo shot in the seventh. Tampa Bay will try to make it three straight today when they send lefthander Ryan Yarbrough to the mound. He’ll be opposed by Houston righthander Jose Urquidy. Gametime is 8:40 p.m. Eastern.

NATIONAL LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES SCORE
Atlanta 5 – L.A. DODGERS 1
(in Arlington)… The Braves came up with four runs in the top of the ninth inning to put away the Dodgers in the National League Championship Series opener. Austin Riley smacked a go-ahead solo homer. Ozzie Albies added a two-run blast. The win was potentially costly for Atlanta, as left fielder Adam Duvall left the game early with an injury to his left oblique. Righthander Ian Anderson takes the mound for the Braves today. Lefthander Clayton Kershaw gets the start for the Dodgers. First pitch is set for 6:05 p.m. Eastern.

MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL
NEW ORLEANS 30 – L.A. Chargers 27
(OT)… The Saints (3-2) rallied after halftime to outlast the Chargers (1-4). Taysom Hill came in at quarterback for New Orleans and ran 9 yards for a game-tying score with 52 seconds left in regulation. Drew Brees passed for 325 yards and a score. Emmanuel Sanders had 12 catches for 122 yards.

TODAY’S NFL SCHEDULE
Buffalo (4-0) is at Tennessee (3-0)

The Rundown for October 12, 2020

CORONAVIRUS UPDATES… The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 7,761,637, and the nation’s death toll stands at 214,767, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University… President Trump’s physician has cleared him to return to an active schedule, but has not said whether the president has produced a negative coronavirus test. Twitter yesterday flagged a Trump tweet in which he claimed he was now “immune” to COVID-19 following treatment. The social media noted that the tweet “violated Twitter rules about spreading misleading and potentially harmful information.”

FAUCI DISPUTES APPEARANCE IN TRUMP CAMPAIGN AD… Dr. Anthony Fauci, the U.S.’ top infectious diseases expert, said President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign used distorted video of him in an ad without consent. Dr. Fauci said he was captured out of context with footage of him saying “I can’t imagine that anybody could be doing more” to suggest he was praising the president’s response to the pandemic. However, Dr. Fauci says he was discussing the broader effort, including by the White House coronavirus task force.

BARRETT CONFIRMATION HEARINGS BEGIN TODAY… Four days of Senate confirmation hearings for President Trump’s pick to fill a vacant Supreme Court seat begin today. The selection of Amy Coney Barrett to replace the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has become politically controversial. Democrats argue that the vacancy shouldn’t be filled until after the election so that voters have a say. Barrett’s nomination would give conservatives a 6-3 majority on the Supreme Court.

JAIME HARRISON SETS FUNDRAISING RECORD… Democratic challenger Jaime Harrison of South Carolina raised a record $57 million in the third quarter of 2020 in his bid to unseat U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham. The amount raised is easily the most a Senate candidate has ever brought in for a quarter, topping the $38.1 million raised by former Democratic Representative Beto O’Rourke during his unsuccessful 2018 U.S. Senate bid in Texas. Recent polls have shown Harrison and Graham are running a tight race.

GAS PRICES DROP A PENNY… The average price for a gallon of regular-grade gasoline in the U.S. fell half a penny over the past two weeks to just under $2.25 per gallon, according to a nationwide survey of gas stations released yesterday. The Lundberg Survey found that the most expensive gas was in the San Francisco Bay Area, where it cost $3.36 per gallon. The cheapest gas was in Houston, where a gallon cost $1.78.

ENTERTAINMENT
21 SAVAGE & METRO BOOMIN TOP ALBUM CHART
… 21 Savage & Metro Boomin’s “Savage Mode II” sold 171,000 copies to debut atop the Billboard 200 album chart. BLACKPINK’s “The Album” finished second with 110,000 units sold. Pop Smoke’s “Shoot for the Stars Aim for the Moon” jumped one spot to No. 3 on sales of 68,000 units. YG’s “My Life 4Hunnid” finished fourth on sales of 64,000 units. Bryson Tiller’s “Anniversary” at No. 5 with 57,000 copies sold.

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE… “The War with Grandpa” took in $3.6 million to top the weekend box office. “Tenet” slid into second place with $2.1 million. “Hocus Pocus” finished third with $1.1 million. “The New Mutants” made $685,000 to finish fourth. “Unhinged” capped the top five with $660,000.

SPORTS
LAKERS WIN NBA TITLE
… The Los Angeles Lakers captured their 17th NBA title last night with a 106-93 win over the Miami Heat in Game 6 of the NBA Finals. The title is their first since 2010 and ties them with Boston for the most ever. The Lakers built a 28-point halftime lead and never looked back. LeBron James led the way with 28 points, 14 rebounds and 10 assists. Anthony Davis added 19 points and 15 boards.

MLB
AMERICAN LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES SCORE

TAMPA BAY 2 – Houston 1
(in San Diego)… The Rays held off the Astros in Game 1 of the American League Championship Series. Starter Blake Snell allowed a run on six hits over five innings in outdueling counterpart Framber Valdez. Randy Arozarena smacked a game-tying solo homer in the bottom of the fourth inning. Mike Zunino’s fifth-inning single scored Willy Adames with the decisive run. Tampa Bay’s Charlie Morton will face Houston’s Lance McCullers in a matchup of righthanders today in Game 2. First pitch is set for 4:07 p.m. Eastern.

NATIONAL LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES OPENS TODAY… The Atlanta Braves meet the L.A. Dodgers in Arlington today to open the National League Championship Series. Both teams are unbeaten in the postseason. The Braves swept Cincinnati in the Wild-Card round and Miami in the NLDS. Atlanta will send lefthander Max Fried to the mound where he’ll be opposed by L.A. righthander Walker Buehler. Gametime is 8:08 p.m. Eastern.

NFL SCORES
HOUSTON 30 – Jacksonville 14
… DeShaun Watson threw touchdown passes to three different receivers as the Texans (1-4) pounded the Jaguars (1-4).

Arizona 30 – N.Y. JETS 10… Kyler Murray passed for 380 yards and a touchdown as the Cardinals (3-2) rolled past the Jets (0-5). Deandre Hopkins had six catches for 131 yards and a score.

PITTSBURGH 38 – Philadelphia 29… Ben Roethlisberger hit Chase Claypool with three touchdown passes as the Steelers (4-0) handled the Eagles (1-3-1). Claypool had seven receptions for 110 yards.

Carolina 23 – ATLANTA 16… Teddy Bridgewater threw for 313 yards and two touchdowns in leading the Panthers (3-2) past the Falcons (0-5). Robby Anderson had eight receptions for 112 yards. After the game, Atlanta announced the firings of head coach Dan Quinn and General Manager Thomas Dimitroff.

Las Vegas 40 – KANSAS CITY 32… Derek Carr threw three touchdown passes and Josh Jacobs rushed for two scores as the Raiders (3-2) shocked the Chiefs (4-1). Henry Ruggs III had a 72-yard TD reception in the second quarter.

L.A. Rams 30 – WASHINGTON 10… Jared Goff had two scoring tosses and a touchdown run to lead the Rams (4-1) past Washington (1-4). Robert Woods hauled in a 56-yard scoring pass.

BALTIMORE 27 – Cincinnati 3… The Ravens (4-1) rode their defense to an easy win over the Bengals (0-3-1). Patrick Queen returned a fumble 53 yards for a touchdown. Lamar Jackson threw TD passes to Marquise Brown and Mark Andrews.

Miami 43 – SAN FRANCISCO 17… Ryan Fitzpatrick completed 22 of 28 passes for 350 yards and three touchdowns and the Dolphins (2-3) crushed the injury-riddled 49ers (2-3). Preston Williams had four receptions for 106 yards and a score.

DALLAS 37 – N.Y. Giants 34… Greg Zeurlein booted a 34-yard field goal as time expired to lift the Cowboys (2-3) over the Giants (0-5). It was a costly win for Dallas, as quarterback Dak Prescott was carted off the field in the third quarter with a fractured right ankle and underwent season-ending surgery last night.

CLEVELAND 32 – Indianapolis 23… The Browns (4-1) came up with a pair of big plays defensively in fighting off the Colts (3-1). They recorded a fourth-quarter safety and Ronnie Harrison returned an interception 47 yards for a touchdown. Baker Mayfield threw two touchdown passes.

SEATTLE 27 – Minnesota 26… Russell Wilson’s second touchdown pass to DK Metcalf came from 6 yards out with 15 seconds remaining and gave the Seahawks (5-0) a come-from-behind win over the Vikings (1-4). Will Dissly also caught a Wilson scoring toss.

MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL
Denver (1-3) is at New England (2-2)…
New Orleans (2-2) hosts the L.A. Chargers (1-3)

TUESDAY’S NFL SCHEDULE
Buffalo (4-0) is at Tennessee (3-0)