The Rundown for March 16, 2020

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE… The number of confirmed cases of coronavirus in the U.S. has risen to at least 3,173 and the disease had resulted in at least 62 deaths, according to figures from state and local health agencies, governments and the CDC. Governors and mayors in states and cities nationwide have begun closing restaurants, bars, and schools. Travelers returning home from overseas trips were stuck in line for hours at major airports for screenings. Airports were overwhelmed by crowds as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended gatherings of 50 people or more should be canceled or postponed for the next eight weeks. Director of the National Institute of Infectious Disease Dr. Anthony Fauci said he would not rule out implementing a national lockdown in response to the outbreak.

FED CUTS RATES TO NEAR ZERO… The Federal Reserve yesterday cut interest rates to near zero and launched a massive $700 billion quantitative easing program to shelter the economy from the effects of the coronavirus. The Fed also slashed the rate of emergency lending at the discount window for banks by 125 bps to 0.25 percent and lengthened the term of loans to 90 days. Dow futures immediately plunged by 1,000 points as traders worried that the crisis response would still fall short.

PELOSI PREPARING THIRD CORONAVIRUS BILL… House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said yesterday that she has been in talks with Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin on a third legislative package in response to the spread of coronavirus. Pelosi’s announcement came a day after the House reached a deal with the Trump administration to pass the bipartisan Families First Coronavirus Response Act. Her newer package would be a stimulus bill targeting small and medium-sized businesses as well as specific industries that have been hit hard by the virus.

SPACEX LAUNCH ABORTED… Project managers aborted a scheduled SpaceX rocket launch yesterday after it experienced an engine power problem just before liftoff. The launch from Kennedy Space Center in Florida would have been the sixth carrying “Starlink” satellites, which SpaceX says will bring high-performance broadband internet to underserved areas. The launch has not yet been rescheduled.

GAS PRICES DROP… The average price for a gallon of regular-grade gasoline in the U.S. dropped 15 cents per gallon to $2.39 over the past three weeks, according to a nationwide survey of gas stations. The Lundberg Survey found that the most expensive gas was in Honolulu, where it $3.45 per gallon. Tulsa had the cheapest gas at $1.82 a gallon.

LIL UZI VERT TOPS ALBUM CHART… Lil Uzi Vert’s new release, “Eternal Atake,” sold 288,000 copies to top the Billboard 200 album chart. Jhené Aiko’s “Chilombo” debuted at No. 2 after selling 152,000 units. Bad Bunny’s “YHLQMDLG” slipped to third place on sales of 111,000 copies. Last week’s champ, Lil Baby’s “My Turn,” sold 104,000 unit to finish fourth. NCT 127’s “NCT #127” finished fifth with 87,000 copies sold.

BOX OFFICE SUFFERS DURING PANDEMIC… Movie-theater ticket sales dropped to their lowest levels in at least 20 years over the weekend amid the coronavirus pandemic. Receipts totaled about $55.3 million in U.S. and Canada theaters. That was the lowest total since 2000. More people went to the movies even on the weekend after the 9/11 attacks.

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE… “Onward” took in $10.5 million to remain atop a weak weekend box office. “I Still Believe” debuted in second place with $9.5 million. Another newcomer, “Bloodshot,” opened at No. 3 after taking in $9.3 million. “The Invisible Man” slipped to fourth place with $6 million. “The Hunt” capped the top five with $5.3 million.

The Rundown for March 13, 2020

ONGOING SHUTDOWNS OVER CARONAVIRUS… Efforts to contain the coronavirus continue as officials are calling off public gatherings, postponing sporting events and canceling classes at schools. As of yesterday morning, there had been more than 1,300 confirmed cases in the U.S. with at least 39 deaths of them fatal. The virus has infected more than 126,000 people worldwide and is blamed for more than 4,600 deaths. Doctors say the vast majority of cases are mild, and almost half of those infected have recovered. Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, conceded during testimony before the House oversight committee yesterday that government efforts have failed to provide Americans easy and accessible testing. President Trump drew condemnation from leaders of the European Union for not consulting them before announcing that he as barring travelers from 26 nations from entering the U.S.for 30 days. It was also revealed yesterday that the communications secretary for Brazil President Jair Bolsonaro tested positive for coronavirus just five days after he was among a group of officials who met with Trump.

U.S. LAUNCHES AIR STRIKES IN IRAQ… The Pentagon confirmed yesterday that U.S. forces launched airstrikes in Iraq against Iranian-backed Shia militia members blamed for a rocket attack that killed and wounded American and British troops Wednesday night at Iraq’s Camp Taji. Officials said multiple strikes by U.S. manned aircraft hit five locations and mainly targeted Kataib Hezbollah weapons facilities inside Iraq. Earlier yesterday, Defense Secretary Mark Esper announced that President Donald Trump had given him the authority to take whatever action he deemed necessary.

DOW FALLS AFTER FED INJECTION… The Federal Reserve Bank of New York yesterday took drastic steps in injecting more than $1.5 trillion into the markets amid investors’ fears of the coronavirus’ economic impact. The move brought immediate calm but it quickly gave way. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell nearly 10 percent in its worst drop since the 1987 stock market crash. The Dow was down 2,353 points at closing bell, while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq fell by over 9 percent.

SANDERS WINS CALIFORNIA DEM PRIMARY… News outlets yesterday declared Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders the winner of California’s Democratic primary. Official numbers from the Super Tuesday contest have been delayed pending the final count of mail-in votes and provisional ballots. As of yesterday, Sanders was holding a 34.3-to-27.6-percent lead. He had claimed 184 delegates to former Vice President Joe Biden’s 144, with 81 delegates left to be allocated.

CHELSEA MANNING RELEASED FROM PRISON… Former intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning was released from prison yesterday. She had been in detention in Virginia since last May after refusing to testify in an inquiry into Wikileaks. Manning was found guilty in 2013 of charges including espionage for leaking secret military files to Wikileaks.

PROMOTERS SUSPEND CONCERT TOURS… Two dominant live entertainment promotion companies have announced that they are suspended all touring activities because of the coronavirus pandemic. Live Nation Entertainment and AEG Presents both said they would halt events beginning this weekend at least through the end of March. On Tuesday, AEG announced the postponement until October of both the Coachella and Stagecoach music festivals.

IN THEATERS… “Bloodshot” stars Vin Diesel and Eiza Gonzalez in the story about a slain soldier who is re-animated with superpowers. The film is rated PG-13… In “The Hunt,” 12 strangers wake up not knowing where they are or how they got there and soon discover that they’ve been chosen for a very specific purpose. Betty Gilpin and Hilary Swank star in the R-rated film.

NCAA CALLS OFF TOURNAMENTS; NHL SUSPENDS SEASON… The sporting world has undergone a complete shutdown due to the health threat posed by the coronavirus pandemic. Yesterday, the NHL announced that it was suspending its season but expressed hopes to resume. The league had 189 games and three and a half weeks remaining in its regular-season schedule. Later, the NCAA called off its men’s and women’s basketball tournaments as part of a complete cancellation of all remaining spring and winter championships. Major League Baseball, meanwhile, announced that it is suspending spring-training games and will delay the start of the 2020 regular season by at least two weeks. On Wednesday night, the NBA announced suspended its season “until further notice” after Utah Jazz player Rudy Gobert tested positive for the coronavirus. His teammate Donovan Mitchell reportedly also has been diagnosed with the virus.

The Rundown for March 12, 2020

TRUMP ANNOUNCED TRAVEL BAN OVER CORONAVIRUS… During an address from the Oval Office last night, President Trump announced plans to sharply restrict travel to the U.S. from 26 European countries to combat the spreading public health crisis that has engulfed his presidency. Trump said the plan would be in effect over the next 30 days. Afterward, administration officials explained that the ban will apply only to foreign nationals and not to American citizens who had been screened before entering the country.

SENATORS SEEK EMERGENCY DECLARATION… Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and other senators are preparing to ask President Trump to issue an emergency declaration for the coronavirus pandemic. The formal declaration would let the Federal Emergency Management Agency use more than $40 billion from the Disaster Relief Fund to assist local state government in their response to the coronavirus. Democratic Senator Patty Murray of Washington tried to pass by unanimous consent a bill that would “allow Americans to earn paid sick leave time so they can address their own health needs and the health needs of their families.” The bill failed when it was opposed by Republican Senator Lamar Alexander of Tennessee.

HEALTH OFFICIALS BRIEF HOUSE PANEL… Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, warned members of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform yesterday that the coronavirus spread is going to get worse. Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told lawmakers that the role of local agencies is becoming more important as more states report cases. Redfield said 31 people have died from the coronavirus in the U.S. Of the deaths, 23 were in Washington, there were two each in California and Florida, and there has been one death each in New Jersey and South Dakota. The World Health Organization declared yesterday that the global coronavirus crisis is now a pandemic. Meanwhile, Reuters reported that information from dozens of meetings at the Department of Health and Human Services about the novel coronavirus has been withheld due to a White House order to keep top-level discussions classified. Officials said the classified meetings have limited the government’s ability to respond to the pandemic.

SENATE OVERTURNS STUDENT-LOAN PROTECTION REVISAL… The Senate yesterday overturned an Education Department policy to reverse student loan protections. 10 Republicans joined Democrats in the 53-to-42 vote. The rule designed by Education Secretary Betsy DeVos would have revised the “borrower defense” rule enacted by the Obama administration and restricted available actions by students who were misled by colleges engaged in misrepresentation or misconduct. The House passed a resolution of disapproval of the revised rules last month by a vote of 231 to 180, with six Republican members voting with Democrats.

SUPREME COURT ALLOWS ‘REMAIN IN MEXICO’ MIGRANT POLICY… The Supreme Court ruled in favor of the Trump administration yesterday in allowing the controversial “Remain in Mexico” policy to remain in place along the southern border. The policy, officially called the Migrant Protection Protocols, requires asylum seekers to wait in Mexico prior to their appearance in U.S. immigration court. Officials say that about 60,000 migrants have been sent back across the border since the MPP was first implemented in January 2019. The Supreme Court has yet to issue a final ruling on the legality of the MPP program itself. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in California briefly had blocked the policy last month, finding that it violates federal law.

CARTEL CRACKDOWN RESULTS IN ARRESTS, SEIZURES… U.S. authorities say they have arrested more than 250 people and seized 600 kilograms of illegal narcotics as part of a broader crackdown that targets the Mexican drug cartel known as the Cartel de Jalisco Nueva Generacion. Last month, federal prosecutors filed criminal charges against the daughter of the cartel’s recognized leader, Nemesio Oseguera Cervantes, better known as “El Mencho,” and extradited his son to the U.S. to stand trial. The cartel’s No. 2 in command, Ruben Oseguera Gonzalez aka “Menchito,” has also been extradited to the U.S. from Mexico to face drug trafficking and firearm charges in Washington, D.C.

WEINSTEIN SENTENCED TO 23 YEARS IN PRISON… Disgraced Hollywood film producer Harvey Weinstein was sentenced to 23 years in prison yesterday after offering a plea for mercy. The 67-year-old Miramax co-founder was convicted last month of raping a once-aspiring actress in a New York City hotel room in 2013 and forcibly performing oral sex on former TV and film production assistant Mimi Haleyi at his apartment in 2006. He faced a minimum of five years and a maximum of 29 years in prison.

NUMBER OF FREQUENT MOVIE-GOERS DROPS… A detailed report released yesterday by the Motion Picture Association found that frequent movie-going slipped in 2019 and there were fewer tickets sold across all age groups. However, the number of occasional moviegoers. In 2019, there were 11 million such moviegoers in North America who were responsible for 47 percent of all ticket sold, according to the report. That compares to 12 percent and 49 percent of all tickets sold in 2018. The number of infrequent moviegoers, or those that go only once a year, increased from 10 percent to 11 percent. The number of occasional moviegoers, defined as those who go to a theater less than once a month, made gains, increasing from 53 percent to 54 percent while non-moviegoers fell from 25 percent to 24 percent.

NBA SUSPENDS SEASON… The NBA announced last night that it is suspending its season “until further notice” after Utah Jazz player Rudy Gobert tested positive for the coronavirus. The diagnosis prompted the postponement of Utah’s game at Oklahoma City just before tip-off last night. The New Orleans Pelicans’ game at Sacramento was also postponed because one of the referees scheduled to work the game had worked Utah’s game Monday night.

PHILADELPHIA 124 – Detroit 106… Joel Embiid returned from a shoulder strain to score 30 points and grab 14 rebounds in leading the 76ers past the Pistons. Al Horford added 20 points and 10 boards.

New York 136 – ATLANTA 131 (OT)… The Knicks recovered to outlast the Hawks after blowing a 23-point lead. Julius Randle pumped in 33 points. RJ Barrett added 26 points.

Charlotte 109 – MIAMI 98… The Hornets rolled past the Heat after trailing by 18 points entering the second quarter. Devonte Graham scored a game-high 30 points.

DALLAS 113 – Denver 97… The Mavericks held the Nuggets to 12 fourth-quarter points in a come-from-behind victory. Boban Marjanovic had 31 points and 17 boards. Luka Doncic tossed in 28 points.

Chicago is at Orlando…
Milwaukee hosts Boston…
Memphis is at Portland…
Golden State hosts Brooklyn…
Houston is at the L.A. Lakers

CHICAGO 6 – San Jose 2… Patrick Kane found the net twice as the Blackhawks skated past the Sharks. Alex DeBrincat assisted on three goals.

Winnipeg 4 – EDMONTON 2… Kyle Connor scored a tie-breaking goal 2 9seconds into the third period and added an empty-netter as the Jets doubled up on the Oilers. Blake Wheeler had a goal and an assist.

St. Louis 4 – ANAHEIM 2… Zach Sanford netted the go-ahead goal with 2:47 left in the second period and Alex Pietrangelo added the finishing empty-netter in the Blues’ win over the Ducks. Adam Henrique had a goal and an assist.

COLORADO 3 – N.Y. Rangers 2 (OT)… Cale Makar’s goal at 2:50 of overtime sent the Avalanche past the Rangers. Gabriel Landeskog set up two goals.

LOS ANGELES  3 – Ottawa 2… The Kings scored back-to-back power-play goals in the third period to upend the Senators. Martin Frk scored the game-winner with 4:41 remaining. Gabriel Vilar/di tied the game 6:07 earlier.

Nashville is at Toronto…
Montreal hosts Buffalo…
Philadelphia is at Tampa Bay…
New Jersey hosts Carolina…
Detroit is at Washington…
Columbus hosts Pittsburgh…
Vegas is at Minnesota…
Dallas hosts Florida…
the N.Y. Islanders are at Calgary…
Arizona hosts Vancouver

The Rundown for March 11, 2020

BIDEN EXTENDS LEAD WITH PRIMARY WINS… Former vice president Joe Biden extended his lead over Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders yesterday in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination. Biden won primaries in Idaho, Michigan, Mississippi and Missouri. Results from contests in North Dakota and Washington were considered too close to call as of earlier this morning, but Sanders was leading in both races. The most count had Biden collecting 823 of the 1,991 delegates he needs to win the nomination. Sanders had 663 delegates.

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE… President Trump said yesterday that the coronavirus outbreak would “go away” and urged Americans to remain calm. He made the comments as the number of cases in the U.S. surpassed 800. Washington Governor Jay Inslee warned of tens of thousands more cases without “real action” and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo deployed National Guard troops in the hard-hit New York City suburb of New Rochelle. Trump met with his top economic officials but didn’t disclose what was addressed.

APPEALS COURT GIVES HOUSE ACCESS TO MUELLER REPORT… A federal appeals court yesterday decided to let House Democrats access to redacted or deleted versions of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s 448-page report on Russian election interference. The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals voted 2-1 to uphold a lower court decision. Two of the judges rejected the Justice Department’s argument that impeachment is not the kind of court case where grand jury materials are usually available and said courts should not “micromanage” the House’s need for information in the context of an impeachment probe. The Justice Department is expected to file additional appeals and the case could still face Supreme Court review.

ST. PAUL TEACHERS STRIKE… School teachers in St. Paul, Minnesota, went on strike yesterday after negotiations with the school district failed to produce an agreement. The St. Paul Federation of Educators, which represents 3,600 teachers and support staff, says a reduction in new employees has been a sticking point in talks. Union officials on Sunday said no progress had been made on adding mental health, multilingual and special education supports or expanding restorative practices to address racial disparities. The district said adding mental health teams the union wants would cost $30 million per year.

UN CLIMATE REPORT WARNS OF CLIMATE CHANGE… A UN climate report released yesterday warns “time is fast running out” to avert the worst impacts of climate change. The report by the UN’s World Meteorological Organization cites unprecedented heat waves, fires and floods over the past year as well as soaring levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Carbon dioxide levels once again hit a record in 2019. The five warmest years on record worldwide occurred over the most recent five years.

WEINSTEIN WISHED DEATH UPON JENNIFER ANISTON… Unsealed court documents reviewed by Variety yesterday revealed that Harvey Weinstein urged that “Jen Aniston should be killed” in response to a reporter’s question about an allegation that Weinstein had groped the actress. Weinstein made the comment in an October 2017 email that was part of 1,000 pages of documents unsealed in advance of Weinstein’s sentencing today. A representative for Aniston said the groping allegation was not true. A jury last month convicted the 67-year-old Weinstein on a first-degree criminal sexual act charge and third-degree rape. He faces a minimum of five years and a maximum of 29 years in prison.

COACHELLA POSTPONED… The Coachella music festival is being postponed over concerns over the coronavirus. The event in the Southern California desert is being pushed back six months to the weekends of October 9-11 and October 16-18. Rage Against the Machine, Frank Ocean and Travis Scott had been set as headliners.

Boston 114 – INDIANA 111… The Celtics turned away a late rally to down the Pacers and clinch a playoff spot. All five starters scored in double figures led by Jayson Tatum’s 30 points. Gordon Hayward had 27 points and 10 rebounds. Daniel Theis added 20 points.

WASHINGTON 122 – New York 115… The Wizards rallied past the Knicks in the second half after trailing by 14 at the break. Bradley Beal scored a game-high 40 points.

CHICAGO 108 – Cleveland 103… Coby White scored 20 points in his first career start and the Bulls fought off the Cavaliers. Chicago had four other players score in double figures.

HOUSTON 117 – Minnesota 111… The Rockets overcame the Timberwolves in the second half and snapped their four-game skid. James Harden scored a game-high 37 points. Russell Westbrook added 27 points.

Orlando 120 – MEMPHIS 115… Terrance Ross came off the bench to score 18 of his 24 points in the fourth quarter and lead the Magic past the Grizzlies. Fellow reserve Michael Carter-Williams tossed in 20 points. Nikola Vucevic finished with 19 points and 11 boards.

SAN ANTONIO 119 – Dallas 109… The Spurs came up big in the fourth quarter to surge past the Mavericks. LaMarcus Aldridge scored 24 points in his return from injury. DeMar DeRozan had 13 points and 12 assists.

PORTLAND 121 – Phoenix 105… All five starters scored in double figures as the Trail Blazers handled the Suns. Damian Lillard dropped in 25 points. CJ McCollum and Trevor Ariza scored 22 points apiece. Carmelo Anthony had 21 points.

L.A. Clippers 131 – GOLDEN STATE 107… The Clippers built a 34-point lead through three quarters and coasted past the Warriors. Kawhi Leonard pumped in 23 points before sitting out the fourth quarter.

Brooklyn 104 – L.A. LAKERS 102… Spencer Dinwiddie knocked down a go-ahead jumper with 28.2 seconds left and the Nets held on to down the Lakers. Dinwiddie finished with a team-high 23 points. Caris LeVert added 22 points.

Detroit is at Philadelphia…
Atlanta hosts New York…
Charlotte is at Miami…
Oklahoma City hosts Utah…
Denver is at Dallas…
Sacramento hosts New Orleans

TORONTO 2 – Tampa Bay 1… Auston Matthews netted a tie-breaking goal in the third period and the Maple Leafs made it stand in their win over the Lightning. William Nylander opened the scoring in the first period. Mitch Marner assisted on both goals. Goalie Frederik Andersen made 32 saves.

Nashville 4 – MONTREAL 2… The Predators scored all four goals in the second period on their way past the Canadiens. Filip Forsberg scored two goals and assisted on another. Roman Josi had two assists.

Pittsburgh 5 – NEW JERSEY 2… Evgeni Malkin found the net twice in the third period and had an assist as the Penguins put away the Devils. Kris Letang added a goal and an assist.

Boston 2 – PHILADELPHIA 0… Goalie Tuukka Rask stopped all 36 shots as the Bruins blanked the Flyers to end their nine-game winning streak. Boston got goals from Matt Grzelcyk and Patrice Bergeron.

Carolina 5 – DETROIT 2… Justin Williams scored a go-ahead goal in the third period and Sebastian Aho added short-handed and power-play goals as the Hurricanes put away the Red Wings. Jake Gardiner had three assists.

N.Y. Rangers 4 – DALLAS 2… Kaapo Kakko’s two second-period goals proved to be the difference as the Rangers doubled up on the Stars. Mika Zibanejad netted his 10th goal in five games and reached 40 for the season.

ANAHEIM 5 – Ottawa 2… The Ducks opened with four unanswered goals in the first period and never looked back in their defeat of the Senators. Nicolas Deslauriers scored three straight goals, with the final two coming 32 seconds apart. Ryan Miller made 40 saves at goal.

VANCOUVER 5 – N.Y. Islanders 4 (SO)… J.T. Miller scored the lone goal in the tie-breaker to lift the Canucks over the Islanders. Tyler Toffoli had a goal and an assist. Thatcher Demko stopped 45 shots at goal. The loss was New York’s seventh in a row.

San Jose is at Chicago…
Edmonton hosts Winnipeg…
St. Louis is at Anaheim…
Colorado hosts the N.Y. Rangers…
Ottawa is at Los Angeles

#2 Gonzaga 84, Saint Mary’s 66 (West Coast Conference final)

The Rundown for March 10, 2020

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE… There were 423 coronavirus cases and 19 deaths nationwide as of yesterday afternoon, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Meanwhile, scientists at Johns Hopkins University of Medicine list the number of cases at 607 and deaths at 22. The CDC said 75,000 COVID-19 tests are available at 78 state and local public health labs in all 50 states. Research has thus far revealed that people with pre-existing conditions or over the age of 80 are most susceptible. President Trump announced yesterday that he would introduce a payroll tax cut and ensure assistance is available to hourly workers throughout the pandemic. Trump, who has referred to the virus spread as the “Democrats’ new hoax,” is scheduled to hold a press conference today and reveal further details about action being taken. Meanwhile, Florida Republican Matt Gaetz became one of four GOP members of Congress to announce they are in self-quarantine after coming in contact with a person diagnosed with the virus at last month’s Conservative Political Action Conference. Gaetz joins Senator Ted Cruz of Texas and congressmen Paul Gosar of Arizona and Doug Collins of Georgia.

CRUISE SHIPS DEALING WITH CORONAVIRUS… The Grand Princess cruise ship arrived in port at Oakland, California, yesterday after forced to idle for days off the coast of California. The 3,500 people aboard included 21 confirmed coronavirus patients. Officials say it will take up to three days to unload passengers. American passengers will be transported to military bases in California, Texas and Georgia for testing and a 14-day quarantine. Passengers from 55 other countries will be flown home. The more than 3,000 people aboard a separate Princess Cruises ship, the Caribbean Princess, remain anchored off the coast of Florida. The ship was scheduled to dock in Grand Cayman yesterday but was issued a “no sail order” from the U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention pending test results of two crew members who had transferred from the Grand Princess. The Caribbean Princess was originally scheduled to return to Fort Lauderdale last Wednesday following a 10-day trip to the Panama Canal.

WALL STREET TAKES BEATING… Wall Street took another staggering hit yesterday as markets plummeted amid falling oil stocks and concern about the coronavirus. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down 2,000.70 points, or 7.74 percent, while the S&P 500 slid 7.6 percent and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 7.29 percent. There was a 15-minute halt in morning trading after the drop set off a built-in safety mechanism designed to avert a free fall. It was the first time the safety mechanism stopped trading since December 2008 financial crisis.

DEM CANDIDATES PREPARE FOR TODAY’S PRIMARIES… The two Democratic Party presidential hopefuls campaigned in Michigan yesterday ahead of today’s primaries there and in five other states today. Former Vice President Joe Biden and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders are vying for the state’s 125 delegates. Other nominations today are in Washington, Missouri, Mississippi, Idaho and North Dakota. Biden has spurted ahead of Sanders in the delegate count and his hoping to deal a finishing blow today.

MONTANA GOVERNOR TO RUN FOR U.S. SENATE… Montana Governor Steve Bullock announced yesterday that he will run for the U.S. Senate currently held by incumbent Republican Steve Daines in November. The two-term governor touted his record of job creation and infrastructure in his campaign announcement. Since he took office, Montana’s economy has posted the nation’s sixth-fastest weekly wage growth, high school graduation rates improved and healthcare was expanded to 90,000 Montanans.

ACTOR MAX VON SYDOW DIES… Family members announced yesterday that Swedish-born actor Max von Sydow died Sunday of natural causes at age 90. Von Sydow earned Academy Award nominations as Best Actor for 1989’s “Pelle the Conqueror” and as Best Supporting Actor for 2012’s “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close.” His other film credits include “The Exorcist,” “Hannah and Her Sisters” and “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.” Von Sydow’s television credits include Showtime’s “The Tudors” and in HBO’s “Game of Thrones.”

LED ZEPPELIN PREVAILS IN COPYRIGHT DISPUTE… An appeals court yesterday ruled in favor of Led Zeppelin in its long-running copyright dispute over the 1971 song “Stairway to Heaven.” The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a 2016 verdict that the band did not unlawfully copy the Spirit song “Taurus” in creating the song. The initial verdict was delivered by a California jury in June 2016.

ATLANTA 143 – Charlotte 138 (2OT)… De’Andre Hunter knocked down three free throws to break a tied with 13.3 seconds remaining in the second overtime and Cam Reddish added two more as the Hawks put away the Hornets. Hunter finished with 13 points and 11 rebounds. Trae Young led Atlanta with 31 points and 16 assists.

DENVER 109 – Milwaukee 95… The Nuggets jumped out to a 15-point lead after the first quarter and rallied in the fourth to bury the Bucks. All five starters scored in double figures, led by Jamal Murray’s 21 points. Paul Millsap had 20 points and 10 boards.

Toronto 101 – UTAH 92… The Raptors got big games from Serge Ibaka and Pascal Siakam in powering their way past the Jazz. Ibaka had 27 points and 13 rebounds. Siakam added 27 points and 11 boards. Kyle Lowry tossed in 21 points.

Boston is at Indiana…
Washington hosts New York…
Cleveland is at Chicago…
Houston hosts Minnesota…
Orlando is at Memphis…
San Antonio hosts Dallas…
Phoenix is at Portland…
Golden State hosts the L.A. Clippers…
Brooklyn is at the L.A. Lakers

BUFFALO 3 – Washington 2 (SO)… The Sabres recovered to outlast the Capitals after blowing a two-goal third-period lead. Dominik Kahun’s goal in the seventh round of the tie-breaker was the difference. Victor Olofsson and Jack Eichel scored in regulation for Buffalo.

WINNIPEG 4 – Arizona 2… The Jets came from two goals down in the second period to double up on the Coyotes. Cody Eskin scored the go-ahead goal in the third period and had an assist. Tucker Poolman also had a goal and an assist. Nikolaj Ehlers scored one goal and assisted on two others.

Florida 2 – ST. LOUIS 1… Brett Connolly scored early in the third period to break a tie and the Panthers held on to edge the Blues. Mike Hoffman evened the score with a second-period goal. Aleksi Saarela set up both scores. Goalie Chris Driedger stopped 26 shots.

Vegas 3 – EDMONTON 2 (OT)… Jonathan Marchessault tied the game with a third-period goal and assisted on Shea Theodore’s game-winner at 2:12 of overtime as the Golden Knights prevailed in a matchup of teams vying for the Pacific Division title. Nicolas Roy put Vegas on the board with a power-play goal in the first period.

LOS ANGELES 3 – Colorado 1… Austin Wagner and Mikey Anderson scored first-period goals and the Kings skated past the Avalanche. Alex Iafallo also found the net.

Tampa Bay is at Toronto…
Montreal hosts Nashville…
Pittsburgh is at New Jersey…
Philadelphia hosts Boston…
Carolina is at Detroit…
Dallas hosts the N.Y. Rangers…
the N.Y. Islanders are at Vancouver…
Anaheim hosts Ottawa

#2 GONZAGA 81, San Francisco 77 (West Coast Conference Tournament semifinal)…
Saint Mary’s 51, #14 BYU 50 (West Coast Conference Tournament semifinal)

The Rundown for March 9, 2020

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE… Data supplied by state and local health agencies, governments and the CDC yesterday revealed that the number of coronavirus cases in the U.S. has topped 550. The virus has killed at least 21 patients spanning 32 states and Washington, D.C. Vermont, Virginia and Connecticut announced their first cases yesterday. On Saturday, Hawaii and Utah announced residents had tested positive. Two Princess cruise ships have been quarantined at sea with patients and stranded passengers. The Grand Princess cruise, with 21 coronavirus patients, is scheduled to dock in Oakland, California, today. The Regal Princess is been forced to remain off the coast of South Florida until two of its crew members have been tested for the virus. Health officials warn that the number of positive case is expected to rise as more testing is done. Anthony Fauci, head of the infectious diseases unit at the National Institutes of Health, said during an appearance on NBC’s “Meet the Press” yesterday that there should be 400,000 more tests available by today and four million by the end of the week.

TRUMP, PENCE WON’T ATTEND ST. PATRICK’S DAY LUNCH… President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence have declined an invitation to attend Thursday’s annual bipartisan St. Patrick’s Day luncheon on Capitol Hill. It would mark the first time in the more than 30 years of the event that neither the president nor vice president joined House and Senate lawmakers at the event. The White House said Trump decided not to attend due to his strained relationship with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

OIL PRICES PLUNGE… U.S. oil prices crashed as much as 27 percent to a four-year low of $30 a barrel yesterday in response to Saudi Arabia’s declared price war against Russia. Crude was recently trading down 22 percent to $32 a barrel. Brent crude also plunged 22 percent to $35 a barrel. Both oil contracts are on track for their worst day since 1991, according to Refinitiv. Russia split from OPEC on Friday in refusing to comply with OPEC’s efforts to cut production amid the coronavirus outbreak.

4 DEAD IN MURDER-SUICIDE… Houston-area authorities are investigating the deaths of four people at a home in Fort Bend County early yesterday morning. Sheriff’s deputies responding to a call for a welfare check discovered the bodies of two adults and two teenagers. Investigators believe a 48-year-old man killed his wife, two teen sons and two dogs before turning the gun on himself and killing himself. Victims were identified as the suspect’s 49-year-old wife and their 13- and 16-year-old sons.

OKLAHOMA WILDFIRE… Fire officials in Oklahoma said yesterday that a wildfire on the state’s panhandle is 50-percent contained. The 412 Fire has burned more than 29,000 acres and an undetermined number of buildings. On Saturday, residents of the towns of Beaver and Forgan in Beaver County were asked to evacuate.

LIL BABY TOPS ALBUM CHART... Lil Baby’s new release, “My Turn,” sold 197,000 copies to top the Billboard 200 album chart. Bad Bunny’s “YHLMDLG” debuted in second place with 179,000 units sold. Last week’s champ, BTS’ “Map of the Soul: 7” dropped to third place after selling 84,000 copies sold. James Taylor’s “American Standard” finished fourth on sales of 82,000 units. Roddy Ricch’s “Please Excuse Me or Being Antisocial” remained at No. 5 after selling 63,000 copies.

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE… “Onward” took in $40 million to open atop the weekend box office. “The Invisible Man” slipped into second place after bringing in $15.1 million. “The way Back” made $8.5 million to finish third. “Sonic the Hedgehog” slid into fourth place with $8 million. “The Call of the Wild” capped the top five with $7 million.

BROOKLYN 110 – Chicago 107… The Nets hung on down the stretch to top the Bulls.
Spencer Dinwiddie pumped in 24 points. Caris LeVert and Joe Harris added 23 points apiece.

New Orleans 120 – MINNESOTA 107… Jrue Holiday lit it up for a season-high 37 points in leading the Pelicans past the Timberwolves. Zion Williamson added 23 points.

L.A. Lakers 112 – L.A. CLIPPERS 103… The Lakers were too much in the second half and beat the Clippers for the first time in seven tries. Anthony Davis led the way with 30 points. LeBron James tossed in 28 points. Avery Bradley added 24 points.

Oklahoma City 105 – BOSTON 104… Dennis Schroder made a go-ahead layup off a steal with 8.5 seconds remaining and finished with 27 points as the Thunder edged the Celtics. Chris Paul led all scorers with 28 points.

PHOENIX 140 – Milwaukee 131… Devin Booker scored 20 of his 36 points in the first quarter as the Suns built a 19-point lead on their way past a Bucks team that played without the injured Giannis Antetokounmpo. Ricky Rubio had 25 points, 13 rebounds and as many assists. Aaron Baynes added 24 points and Mikal Bridges tossed in 21.

Miami 100 – WASHINGTON 89… The Heat spurted past the Wizards in the fourth quarter to end their four-game road losing streak. Bam Adebayo had 27 points and 14 boards. Duncan Robinson added 23 points.

Indiana 112 – DALLAS 109… Victor Oladipo scored the game’s final six points in helping push the Pacers past the Mavericks. Domantas Sabonis racked up 20 points and 17 rebounds.

Orlando 126 – HOUSTON 106… D.J. Augustin came off the bench and scored 24 points as the Magic dealt the Rockets their fourth straight loss. Aaron Gordon had 19 points and 14 boards.

CLEVELAND 132 – San Antonio 129 (OT)… Andre Drummond had 28 points and 17 rebounds in his return from a leg injury as the Cavaliers outlasted the Spurs. Collin Sexton added 26 points. Five other players scored in double figures for Cleveland.

NEW YORK 96 – Detroit 84… The Knicks held the Pistons to 13 fourth-quarter points to pull away with the win. Julius Randle scored 22 points and grabbed 12 boards.

Toronto 118 – SACRAMENTO 113… Pascal Siakam scored 11 of his 23 points in the final 2-1/2 minutes as the Raptors fought off the Kings. Nick Powell scored a game-high 31 points and Kyle Lowry added 30.

Charlotte is at Atlanta…
Denver hosts Milwaukee…
Toronto is at Utah

Carolina 6 – PITTSBURGH 2… Morgan Geekie netted two goals and assisted on another in his NHL debut and the Hurricanes skated past the Penguins. Justin Williams also scored twice for Carolina.

DETROIT 5 – Tampa Bay 4 (SO)… Robby Fabbri’s goal in the shootout sent the Red Wings past the Lightning and ended Detroit’s 16-game regular-season losing streak to Tampa Bay. Tyler Bertuzzi and Anthony Mantha each had a goal and three assists.

Vegas 5 – CALGARY 3… The Golden Knights recovered to beat the Flames after blowing a three-goal second-period lead. Shea Theodore scored a tie-breaking goal with 1:10 remaining and Jonathan Marchessault added an empty-netter. Nick Holden had a goal and an assist.

St. Louis 2 – CHICAGO 0… Goalie Jake Allen stopped all 29 shots in his second shutout of the season and the Blues clipped the Blackhawks. Jaden Schwartz assisted on goals by Robert Bertuzzo and Alex Pietrangelo.

Minnesota 5 – ANAHEIM 4 (OT)… Kevin Fiala’s second goal of the game came off a power play at 4:01 of overtime and gave the Wild a hard-fought win over the Ducks. Alex Galchenyuk had a goal and an assist.

Columbus 2 – VANCOUVER 1… Emil Bemstrom and Eric Robinson scored second-period goals and the Blue Jackets hung on to down the Canucks. Elvis Merzlikins stopped 26 shots at goal.

Colorado 4 – SAN JOSE 3… Nathan Mackinnon and Gabriel Landeskog each had a goal and two assists as the Avalanche fought off the Sharks. J.T. Compher set up two goals.

Washington 0 sat Buffalo…
Winnipeg hosts Arizona…
Florida is at St. Louis…
Edmonton hosts Vegas…
Colorado is at Los Angeles

#9 MARYLAND 83, #25 Michigan 70…
#16 MICHIGAN STATE 80, #19 Ohio State 69…
#23 ILLINOIS 78, #18 Iowa 76…
#21 HOUSTON 64, Memphis 57

The Rundown for March 6, 2020

SENATE PASSES CORONAVIRUS BILL… The Senate voted 96-1 yesterday to pass an $8.3 billion bill aimed at controlling the spread of the coronavirus and help develop vaccines. Republican Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky was the lone senator to oppose the bill. The House on Wednesday approved its version of the legislation in a 415-2 vote. Meanwhile, the Trump administration conceded that it won’t be able to meet its promised timeline of having a million coronavirus tests available by the end of the week. Health officials continue to focus on Washington state, where there have been 39 confirmed or presumptive positive cases, including 10 of the nation’s 11 fatalities from the virus. The Northshore Public School District, where 26 schools have been affected via direct or indirect exposure to the virus, announced it is closing for as long as two weeks in an effort to limit the outbreak. Facebook and Amazon have both urged Seattle-based workers to stay at home following infections at both companies. In California, where the only death outside Washington has been recorded, the San Francisco-bound Grand Princess Cruise ship that carried the elderly victim is being held off the coast until all other passengers are tested. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said yesterday that the number of confirmed cases in his state has doubled to 22.

ELIZABETH WARREN ENDS PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN… Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren announced yesterday that she is suspending her Democratic presidential nomination bid. He announcement came two days after her failure to win a single state primary on Super Tuesday, including the one in her home state. Warren followed-up her third-place finish in the Iowa caucuses by finishing fourth in both New Hampshire and Nevada and fifth in South Carolina.

INTERNATIONAL COURT APPROVES INVESTIGATION OF U.S. WAR CRIMES… The International Criminal Court has authorized an investigation into alleged U.S. war crimes in Afghanistan. The court rejected a previous inquiry but an appeals chamber yesterday said the rejection was based on a misunderstanding of the court’s rules and allowed the investigation to proceed. Last year, the Trump administration revoked the U.S. visa of the court’s chief prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, citing “unjust investigation and prosecution.”

WELLS FARGO A ‘RECKLESS MEGABANK,” SAYS HOUSE PANEL… The House financial services committee released a report yesterday accusing Wells Fargo of operating a “reckless megabank” that continued abusing customers even after major scandals and punishment. The panel reached the conclusion following a year-long examination of the bank’s response to five consent orders from federal regulators. Committee Chairwoman Maxine Waters said the inquiry showed an institution run by “an ineffective board and management.” Last month, the bank agreed to pay a $3 billion fine to settle investigations by the Justice Department and Securities and Exchange Commission. Investigators found that bank workers opened millions of customer accounts without permission. Former CEO John Stumpf was ordered to pay a $17.5 million fine for his role in the scandals.

EXECUTION IN ALABAMA… A man convicted in the 2004 fatal shootings of three Birmingham police officers was executed in Alabama last night after the U.S. Supreme Court lifted its temporary stay to further review his case. Lawyers representing 44-year-old Nathaniel Woods sought a stay of execution for their client on the grounds that other death row inmates in Alabama who chose nitrogen hypoxia as their method of execution received temporary reprieves but not those who selected lethal injection. Woods’ roommate at the time of the slayings admitted to shooting the officers and Woods was accused of setting up an ambush. The confessed triggerman, Kerry Spencer, maintained until the end that Woods was in the wrong pace at the wrong time and had nothing to do with the crime.

R. KELLY PLEADS NOT GUILTY… R&B singer R. Kelly pleaded not guilty in a Chicago courtroom yesterday to 13 sexual abuse charges, including allegations involving a new accuser. The new alleged victim was added to a federal indictment. Prosecutors said during yesterday’s hearing that they had seized more than 100 electronic devices, such as smartphones, iPads and hard drives, after executing a search warrant. The judge in the case has set a trial date for October 13.

IN THEATERS… “The Way Back” tells the story about a failed high-school basketball phenom who seeks redemption after agreeing to coach at his alma mater. Ben Affleck and Janina Gavankar star in the R-rated film. The animated feature “Onward,” two teenage elf brothers living in a suburban fantasy world embark on a quest to discover whether there is still magic out there. It’s rated PG.

Denver 114 – CHARLOTTE 112… Jamal Murray’s 13-foot baseline jumper with 5.1 seconds remaining capped a fourth-quarter rally the lifted the Nuggets over the Hornets. Murray’s 18 points led seven Denver players in double figures.

L.A. Clippers 120 – HOUSTON 105… The Clippers jumped out to a 23-point halftime lead and never looked back in their pounding of the Rockets. Kawhi Leonard led a balanced scoring attack with 25 points. Ivica Zubac had 17 points and 12 rebounds.

Philadelphia 125 – SACRAMENTO 108… Tobias Harris powered his way to 28 points and 14 rebounds to lead the short-handed 76ers past the Kings. Shake Milton added 20 points.

Toronto 121 – GOLDEN STATE 112… The Raptors fought their way past the Warriors in a matchup of teams plagued by injuries. Norman Powell pumped in a career-high 37 points. Kyle Lowry scored 26 points and dished off 10 assists. The loss spoiled the return of Stephen Curry, who scored 23 points in 27 minutes for Golden State after missing 58 games with a fractured left hand.

Atlanta is at Washington…
Brooklyn hosts San Antonio…
Oklahoma City is at New York…
Boston hosts Utah…
Indiana is at Chicago…
Minnesota hosts Orlando…
Miami is at New Orleans…
Dallas hosts Memphis…
Portland is at Phoenix…
the L.A. Lakers host Milwaukee

Pittsburgh 4 – BUFFALO 2… Patric Hornqvist netted a pair of goals as the Penguins doubled up on the Sabres. Evegeni Malkin had two assists. The loss was Buffalo’s fifth in a row.

TAMPA BAY 4 – Montreal 0... Goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped all 32 shots in the Lightning’s blanking of the Canadiens. Victor Hedman found the net twice for Tampa Bay.

Boston 2 – FLORIDA 1 (OT)… Torey Krug’s goal at 4:08 of overtime sent the Bruins past the Panthers for their fourth straight win. Patrice Bergeron tied the game with a first-period goal.

N.Y. RANGERS 6 – Washington 5 (OT)… Mika Zibanejad matched a franchise record with five goals, including the game-winner 33 seconds into overtime, to carry the Rangers past the Capitals. Artemi Panarin set up three goals.

PHILADELPHIA 4 – Carolina 1… The Flyers skated past the Hurricanes for their eighth straight win. Scott Laughton assisted on two goals. Carter Hart made 28 stops at goal.

OTTAWA 4 – N.Y. Islanders 3… Matthew Barzal scored a goal and assisted on two others in leading the Senators past the Islanders. Goalie Craig Anderson made 37 saves.

NASHVILLE 2 – Dallas 0… Predators goalie Juuse Saros turned away 33 shots in shutting out the Stars. Nashville got goals from Filip Forsberg and Matt Duchene,

CHICAGO 4 – Edmonton 3… Alex DeBrincat lit the lamp twice and the Blackhawks held off the Oilers for their fourth straight win. Adam Bogvist had two assists.

LOS ANGELES 1 – Toronto 0 (SO)… Anze Kopitar and Adrian Kempe scored in the shootout to send the Kings past the Maple Leafs. Jonathan Quick made 36 saves in the shutout.

Minnesota 3 – SAN JOSE 2… Zach Parise assisted on Alex Galchenyuk’s game-tying goal in the second period and added a go-ahead goal 3 minutes later as the Wild edged the Sharks. Goalie Alex Slalock stopped 40 shots.

St. Louis is at New Jersey…
Detroit hosts Chicago…
Vegas is at Winnipeg…
Calgary hosts Arizona…
Colorado is at Vancouver…
Anaheim hosts Toronto

#5 SAN DIEGO STATE 73, Air Force 60 (Mountain West Championship Quarterfinal)…
#13 OREGON 90, California 56…
#19 OHIO STATE 71, #23 Illinois 63…
CONNECTICUT 77, #21 Houston 71…
#25 MICHIGAN 82, Nebraska 58

WORD OF THE DAY… PANTHEON… (PAN–thee–ahn)… noun… 1) A group of illustrious persons.
In the PANTHEON of inspirational sports heroes, none shines brighter than Lance Armstrong.

BOND, COMMON BOND… What do these 3 things have in common: WILLY–ORCA–MOBY DICK?… (They are all Whales)


USELESS TRIVIA… Who is Buck Rogers’ girlfriend?… (Wilma Deering)

PHOBIA DU JOUR… Tachophobia… Fear of speed.