The Rundown for January 17, 2020

SENATORS SWORN IN FOR TRUMP IMPEACHMENT TRIAL… All 100 members of the Senate were sworn in yesterday as jurors for the impeachment trial of President Trump. The trial is scheduled to begin on Tuesday. Trump is accused of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. He has denied wrongdoing and branded the case against him as a “hoax.” Senators will decide whether Trump is removed from office over charges brought by the House of Representatives.

UKRAINE GOVERNMENT TO INVESTIGATE YOVANOVITCH SURVEILLANCE… The Ukrainian government announced yesterday that it will launch an investigation into the alleged surveillance of former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch. The campaign was allegedly carried out by associates of President Trump. In a statement released yesterday, Ukraine’s Ministry of Internal Affairs said his government “took note of the possible illegal surveillance on the territory of Ukraine.” Yovanovitch was recalled from her position in May following what she has described as a smear campaign against her from Trump and his personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani. Earlier this week, House Democratic investigators released a trove of documents obtained from Lev Parnas, an associate of Giuliani’s. The documents implied that Parnas had access to people tracking Yovanovitch’s movements in Kyiv.

WATCHDOG SAYS TRUMP ADMINISTRATION BROKE THE LAW OVER UKRAINE… The nonpartisan government watchdog Government Accountability Office yesterday issued a legal opinion that the Trump administration broke the law by withholding defense aid to Ukraine. The issue centers on $214 million that was appropriated by Congress and allocated to the Department of Defense for security assistance. The GAO noted that the aid was later released to Ukraine only after a whistleblower complaint made the withheld money public.

TRUMP ADMINISTRATION SUED OVER FOOD-STAMP LAW… Washington, D.C. and New York City have joined 14 states in a lawsuit that challenges the Trump administration’s plans to impose new work requirements that would cut food stamps to hundreds of thousands of Americans. The suit accuses the administration of undermining the purpose of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and of violating the federal rule-making process. Last month, the U.S. Department of Agriculture introduced the new rule targeting childless, non-disabled adults between the ages of 18 and 49.

VIRGINIA FIREARM BAN UPHELD… A Virginia judge has rejected a request to block Governor Ralph Northam’s firearm ban at a gun-rights rally in Richmond’s Capitol Square on Monday. Lawyers for Virginia Citizens Defense League and Gun Owners of America unsuccessfully argued that the ban violated state law along with protesters’ right to arms, assembly and speech. Meanwhile, FBI agents yesterday arrested a former Canadian Armed Forces reservist and two other men who are linked to a violent white supremacist group and were believed to be heading to the pro-gun rally. The three men are facing federal charges of transporting a firearm and ammunition with intent to commit a felony. One of the defendants is also charged with “transporting and harboring aliens.”

ENTERTAINMENT
DEMI LOVATO TO PERFORM NATIONAL ANTHEM AT SUPER BOWL… Demi Lovato has signed on to perform the national anthem at the Super Bowl. The Grammy-nominated pop singer will perform prior to the February 2 game at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami. Jennifer Lopez and Shakira will headline the halftime show.

IN THEATERS… “Dolittle” centers on a physician who learns that he can talk to animals. Robert Downey Jr. and Antonio Banderas star in the PG film. Will Smith and Alexander Ludwig star in “Bad Boys for Life.” The R-rated film tells the story of Bad Boys Mike Lowrey and Marcus Burnett, who are back together for one last ride. In “The Wave,” an opportunistic insurance lawyer who thinks he’s in for the time of his life when he goes out on the town to celebrate an upcoming promotion with his co-worker instead gets dosed with a hallucinogen that completely alters his perception of the world. The R-rated sci-fi thriller stars Justin Long and Tommy Flanagan. “VHYes” follows a 12-year-old boy who accidentally records home videos and his favorite late-night shows over his parents’ wedding tape. Kerri Kenney and Thomas Lennon star in the unrated comedy.

SPORTS
NBA SCORES
Phoenix 121 – NEW YORK 98... The Suns took control with a big second quarter and rolled past the Knicks. Devin Booker pumped in 29 points. Deandre Ayton piled up 26 points and 21 rebounds. Ricky Rubio added 25 points and 13 assists.

MILWAUKEE 128 – Boston 123… The Bucks took a 19-point lead into the fourth quarter and hung on to down the Celtics. Giannis Antetokounmpo piled up 32 points and 17 boards. Kris Middleton added 23 points.

NEW ORLEANS 138 – Utah 132 (OT)… Brandon Ingram poured in a career-high 49 points to lead the Pelicans in their overtime win over the Jazz. Derrick Favors finished with 21 points and 11 rebounds.

L.A. CLIPPERS 122 – Orlando 95… Kawhi Leonard lit it up for 32 points in the Clippers’ rout of the Magic. Montrezl Harrell delivered 21 points off the bench.

Denver 134 – GOLDEN STATE 131 (OT)… The Nuggets outlasted the Warriors in a back-and-forth contest. Nikola Jokic scored a tying basket with 10.8 seconds left in regulation and finished with 23 points and 12 boards. Will Barton led all scorers with 31 points. Malik Beasley had 27 points off the bench.

TONIGHT’S NBA SCHEDULE
Washington is at Toronto…
Indiana hosts Minnesota…
Chicago is at Philadelphia…
Oklahoma City hosts Miami…
Cleveland is at Memphis…
San Antonio hosts Atlanta
Portland is at Dallas

NHL SCORES
BOSTON 4 – Pittsburgh 1… The Bruins cruised past the Penguins after spotting them an early goal. Karson Kuhlman and David Pastrnak each had two assists.

Calgary 2 – TORONTO 1 (SO)… Matthew Tkachuk scored the winning goal in the shootout as the Flames outlasted the Maple Leafs. Goalie David Rittich made 35 saves.

FLORIDA 4 – Los Angeles 3… The Panthers withstood a three-goal rally to edge the Kings. Brian Boyle’s third-period goal turned out to be the difference.

N.Y. Rangers 3 – N.Y. ISLANDERS 2… Chris Kreider scored a power-play goal with 25 seconds remaining to lift the Rangers over the Islanders. Alexandar Georgiev stopped 38 shots at goal.

Montreal 4 – PHILADELPHIA 1… Ilya Kovalchuk found the net twice to lead the Canadiens past the Flyers. Phillip Danault had three assists. Goalie Carey Price stopped 40 shots.

WASHINGTON 5 – New Jersey 2… Alex Ovechkin scored three goals in his 25th career hat trick to highlight the Capitals’ win over the Devils. Nicklas Backstrom assisted on two goals.

COLUMBUS 3 – Carolina 2… Nick Foligno’s goal with 1:41 remaining sent the Blue Jackets past the Hurricanes. Cam Atkinson had a goal and an assist. Goalie Elvis Merzlikins made 32 saves.

Vegas 4 – OTTAWA 2… Mark Stone and Paul Stastny each had a goal and an assist in leading the Golden Knights past the Senators. Marc-Andre Fleury made 35 stops at goal.

Anaheim 4 – NASHVILLE 2… Rickard Rakell scored a goal and assisted on another as the Ducks doubled up on the Predators. John Gibson made 33 stops at goal.

MINNESOTA 3 – Tampa Bay 2… The Wild held off the Lightning to end their four-game losing streak. Zach Parise, Joel Eriksson Ek and Ryan Suter scored for Minnesota.

Buffalo 4 – DALLAS 1… Rasmus Dahlin netted a tie-breaking goal late in the second period and the Sabres scored twice more in the third to put away the Stars. Kyle Okposo had two assists.

COLORADO 4 – San Jose 0… Philipp Grubauer stopped all 27 shots as the Avalanched blanked the Sharks. Valeri Nichushkin scored the only goal Colorado needed in the first period.

VANCOUVER 3 – Arizona 1… The Lightning overcame an early one-goal deficit to cruise past the Coyotes. Elias Petterson assisted on two goals.

TODAY’S NHL SCHEDULE
Pittsburgh is at Detroit…
Carolina hosts Anaheim..
Tampa Bay is at Winnipeg

TOP 25 COLLEGE MEN’S BASKETBALL
#1 GONZAGA 104, Santa Clara 54…
WASHINGTON STATE 72, #8 Oregon 61…
#20 Colorado 68, ARIZONA STATE 61…
#22 MEMPHIS 60, Cincinnati 49…

SUNDAY’S NFL PLAYOFF SCHEDULE
Tennessee is at Kansas City in the AFC title game…
San Francisco hosts Green Bay in the NFC title game

MLB: BELTRAN STEPS DOWN AS METS MANAGER… The New York Mets have parted with manager Carlos Beltran prior to his first year with the team. Beltran has been the only player so far to be named in MLB’s investigation of the Houston Astros’ sign-stealing scandal. He becomes the third manager to lose his job as a result of the scandal. Houston fired AJ Hinch and the Boston Red Sox let Alex Cora go after he admitted to wrongdoing while a bench coach with the Astros.

The Rundown for January 15, 2020

HOUSE VOTES TODAY ON IMPEACHMENT CHARGES… The House is planning a vote for tomorrow to send formal impeachment charges against President Trump to the Senate. If passed, the trial could begin as early as Tuesday. Last month, Trump became only the third U.S. president to be impeached when the House found that he obstructed Congress and abused his power by pressuring Ukraine to announce an investigation into his Democratic rival Joe Biden. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi vowed, “The president and the senators will be held accountable,” and announced that she will appoint lawmakers who will act as prosecutors in the trial.

HOUSE RELEASES LEV PARNAS DOCUMENTS… The House Intelligence Committee last night released a new batch of impeachment inquiry evidence. Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani’s partner in Ukraine, Lev Parnas, turned over evidence in the form of documents that include Parnas’ handwritten notes, copies of text messages, and other correspondence. The documents indicate that Giuliani was acting with President Trump’s “knowledge and consent” in his communications with the Ukrainian government. Some of the most disturbing documents involve former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch, whose firing appears to have been part of a quid pro quo. The documents also reveal her movements in Ukraine were being tracked and that she was being threatened.

TRUMP’S EMBASSY CLAIMS DOUBTED… The Washington Post says government officials are increasingly skeptical of President Trump’s claims that Iranian general Qassem Soleimani was planning imminent attacks on several U.S. embassies across the Middle East. Trump used the claims to justify his assassination of Soleimani earlier this month but the Pentagon and embassy officials say they were never warned of the purported threat. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo denies that embassy staff wasn’t warned, and a State Department spokesman said the White House sent out a “worldwide security warning to every embassy.” The newspaper report concluded that “Trump’s statement was at best an unfounded theory and at worst a falsehood.”

TRUMP DIVERTING ADDITIONAL WALL FUNDING… President Trump is diverting an additional $7.2  billion in Pentagon funding to use in constructing his border-wall this year, according to a report in yesterday’s Washington Post. The money is reportedly coming from the cancellation of several military construction projects and would be enough to finish about 885 miles of barriers by early 2022. The diverted funds would bring the total amount of federal funds allocated to border fencing to $18.4 billion under Trump following his promise during the 2016 presidential campaign that Mexico would pay for it.

COURT BLOCKS WISCONSIN VOTER PURGE… A Wisconsin appeals court yesterday blocked an order that would immediately have removed as many as 209,000 names from the state’s voter registration rolls. The court sided with the bipartisan state elections commission in issuing the injunction while the court fight continues. It also put on hold a ruling from Monday in which a judge found the commission and its three Democratic members in contempt for not proceeding with removing the voters. Wisconsin’s presidential primary is on April 7 and analysts don’t expect the issue to be resolved before the presidential election.

TOYOTA ANNOUNCES RECALL… Toyota has announced that it is recalling nearly 700,000 vehicles due to a faulty fuel pump that could result in sudden stalling, and increase the risk of a crash. The automaker warned that defective fuel pumps could set off a warning light on the instrument panel when it malfunctions and cause a rough-running engine that could ultimately stall. Vehicles involved in the recall include certain 2018-2019 Lexus models and 2018-2019 Toyota 4Runners, Camrys, Highlanders, Land Cruisers, Sequoias, Siennas, Tacomas and Tundras. Some of Toyota’s 2019 Avalon and Corolla models are also affected by the recall. Owners can visit Toyota’s website to learn if their vehicles are affected.

ENTERTAINMENT
BILLIE EILISH TO PERFORM BOND THEME… Billie Eilish will write and perform the theme song for the upcoming James Bond film, “No Time To Die.” The 18-year-old singer wrote the piece with her brother Finneas O’Connell. She is the youngest artist ever to write and record a James Bond theme song. “No Time To Die” will feature Daniel Craig as agent 007 for the final time. It is set for release on April 8 in the U.S.

NETFLIX RENEWS ‘YOU’… Netflix is bringing back its hit drama series “You” for a third season in 2021. The streaming service has ordered 10 new episodes. The second season rose to No. 5 on Netflix’s top 10 list of its most popular series shortly after its December 26 premiere. Stars Penn Badgley and Victoria Pedretti have signed on to reprise their roles.

SPORTS
NBA SCORES
ATLANTA 123 – Phoenix 110… Trea Young scored 21 of his 36 points in the fourth quarter as the Hawks pulled away from the Suns. Kevin Huerter had 23 points and 15 rebounds. John Collins added 22 points and 10 boards.

Utah 118 – BROOKLYN 107… The Jazz built a 14-point halftime lead and coasted past the Nets. Joe Ingles scored 27 points to match a career high. Rudy Gobert finished with 22 points and 18 rebounds.

MILWAUKEE 128 – New York 102… The Bucks blew the game open with a big second quarter and never looked back in routing the Knicks. Giannis Antetokounmpo scored a game-high 37 points in just 21 minutes.

MEMPHIS 121 – Houston 110… The Grizzlies handled the Rockets to win their sixth in a row. They got 26 points from Ja Morant and 24 from Dillon Brooks.

Dallas 124 – GOLDEN STATE 97… Dwight Powell scored 21 points and Luka Doncic tossed in 20 as the Mavericks downed the Warriors. Boban Marjanovic delivered 13 points and 11 boards off the bench.

L.A. CLIPPERS 128 – Cleveland 103… Kawhi Leonard poured in 43 points to lead the Clippers in their dismantling of the Cavaliers. Lou Williams added 24 points off the bench.

TONIGHT’S NBA SCHEDULE
Detroit is at Boston…
Philadelphia hosts Brooklyn…
San Antonio is at Miami…
Oklahoma City hosts Toronto…
Washington is at Chicago…
Minnesota hosts Indiana…
Charlotte is at Denver…
Houston hosts Portland…
Dallas is at Sacramento…
the L.A. Lakers host Orlando

NHL SCORES
BUFFALO 4 – Vegas 2… Jack Eichel netted a tie-breaking goal in the third quarter and Chris Lazar added an empty-netter as the Sabres doubled up on the Golden Knights. Eichel also had an assist.

TORONTO 7 – New Jersey 4… Auston Matthews recorded his second career hat trick in leading the Maple Leafs past the Devils. John Tavares had a goal and two assists. Blake Coleman’s three goals weren’t enough for New Jersey.

TAMPA BAY 4 – Los Angeles 3 (SO)… Nikita Kucherov scored a tying goal with 1:15 left in regulation and Steven Stamkos added the game-winner in the shootout as the Lightning outlasted the Kings. Anthony Cirelli assisted on two goals.

N.Y. ISLANDERS 8 – Detroit 2… Brock Nelson found the net twice to lead the Islanders in their throttling of the Red Wings. Leo Komarov had a goal and an assist.

PITTSBURGH 7 – Minnesota 3… Sidney Crosby returned to the ice after a two month layoff and had a goal and three assists in the Penguins win over the Wild. Evgeni Malkin scored two goals and assisted on another.

COLUMBUS 3 – Boston 0… Elvis Merzlikins stopped all 34 shots in his second consecutive shutout and Blue Jackets clipped the Bruins. Alexander Wennberg scored the only goal Columbus needed in the first period.

Chicago 3 – OTTAWA 2 (OT)… The Blackhawks overcame the Senators after spotting them an early two-goal lead. Jonathan Toews assisted on both Chicago goals in regulation and netted the winning goal 42 seconds into overtime.

WINNIPEG 4 – Vancouver 0… Goalie Connor Hellebuyck made 41 saves in his fourth shutout of the season and the Jets skated pasted past the Canucks. Kyle Connor scored a pair of goals.

Dallas 3 – COLORADO 2 (OT)… The Stars came from two goals down to upend the Avalanche. Esa Lindell scored the winning goal at 1:54 of overtime. Jason Dickinson netted the tying goal with 5:23 left in regulation.

EDMONTON 4 – Nashville 2… Leon Draisaitl scored two power-play goals and had an assist in leading the Oilers past the Predators. Mike Smith stopped 30 shots at goal.

ARIZONA 6 – San Jose 3… Phil Kessel and Taylor Hall each had two goals and an assist in the Coyotes’ win over the Sharks. Conor Garland added a goal and two assists.

TODAY’S NHL SCHEDULE
Chicago is at Montreal…
St. Louis hosts Philadelphia

TOP 25 COLLEGE MEN’S BASKETBALL
CLEMSON 79, #3 Duke 72…
#6 Kansas 66, OKLAHOMA 52…
#7 San Diego State 64, FRESNO STATE 55…
#11 Louisville 73, PITTSBURGH 68…
#12 WEST VIRGINIA 81, TCU 49…
#13 DAYTON 79, VCU 65…
#14 VILLANOVA 79, DePaul 75…
WISCONSIN 56, #17 Maryland 64…
#21 OHIO STATE 80, Nebraska 68…
#23 Texas Tech 77, KANSAS STATE 63

MLB: ALEX CORA, RED SOX PART WAYS… The Boston Red Sox and manager Alex Cora have mutually agreed to part ways amid the ongoing sign-stealing scandal that has rocked Major League baseball. The 44-year-old Cora led Boston to a World Series win in 2018, just a year after he was a bench coach for the world-champion Houston Astros. Both teams were implicated in a scheme that used technology to steal opposing teams’ catchers’ signs. Astros manager A.J. Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow were fired after Major League Baseball suspended them for a year. Commissioner Rob Manfred says he won’t announce Cora’s punishment until MLB completes its investigation.

The Rundown for January 14, 2020

AG BARR: PENSACOLA SHOOTINGS A ‘TERRORIST ATTACK’… Attorney General William Barr yesterday called last month’s deadly shootings at a Naval airbase in Pensacola, Florida, “an act of terrorism.” The shootings killed three U.S. sailors and injured eight other Americans. Evidence gathered by investigators indicated gunman Lieutenant Mohammed Saeed al-Shamrani was motivated by “jihadist ideology.” Al-Shamrani was killed in an exchange of gunfire with sheriff’s deputies.

RUSSIA HACKED BURISMA… The New York Times reported yesterday that hackers from Russia’s military intelligence unit successfully targeted subsidiaries of the Ukrainian gas company Burisma, where ex-Vice President Joe Biden’s son served on the board. Russian military intelligence and “Fancy Bear” hackers started a phishing campaign in November and collected usernames and passwords from employees to breach the system, according to the report. It’s not clear what the hackers found, or what they were searching for.

TRUMP CAMPAIGN ADVISER PLEADS GUILTY… An informal adviser to Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign who was interviewed as part of the special counsel’s investigation into Russian meddling in the presidential election pleaded guilty yesterday to charges of child sex trafficking and possessing child pornography. 60- year-old George Nader was first charged in June 2019 with transporting and possessing pornographic images of children including some featuring toddler-age boys, baby goats and other farm animals. A month later\, prosecutors added a sex-trafficking charge, saying Nader had arranged the transport to his Washington home of a 14-year-old boy from the Czech Republic in February 2000. Nader served six months in prison after a 1991 guilty plea in Virginia to transporting child pornography. In 2003, the Prague Municipal Court in the Czech Republic convicted him of sexually abusing boys and expelled from the country after he served a year.

CORY BOOKER ENDS PRESIDENTIAL RUN… New Jersey Senator Cory Booker announced yesterday that he is ending his 2020 presidential run. The Democrat said in a statement that he no longer sees a path to the party nomination. Booker failed to qualify for tonight’s seventh primary debate in Des Moines, Iowa. He launched his campaign last February as the seventh Democrat to enter the party’s field.

PROSECUTORS WEEK TOP-END SENTENCE FOR CHRIS COLLINS… Federal prosecutors are seeking a top-end sentence of 46 to 57 months in prison for former Republican U.S. Congressman Chris Collins. The New York Republican resigned from Congress last September after pleading guilty to insider trading charges. He had been indicted in summer 2018 after investing in a pharmaceutical company that failed its clinical trial.

ENTERTAINMENT
ACADEMY AWARD NOMINATIONS… “Joker” collected 11 nominations to lead the field at this year’s Academy Awards. The film’s nods included best picture, best director and best actor for Joaquin Phoenix. “The Irishman,” “1917” and “Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood” each picked up 10 nominations, including best picture. Other best-picture nominees were “Little Women,” “Marriage Story,” “Jojo Rabbit,” “Ford v Ferrari” and “Parasite.”

RODDY RICCH TOPS ALBUM CHART… Roddy Ricch’s “Please Excuse Me For Being Antisocial” sold 97,000 copies in returning to No. 1 on the Billboard 200 album chart. Post Malone’s “Hollywood’s Bleeding” finished second after selling 65,000 units. Harry Styles’ “Fine Line” rosed to third place with 49,000 copies sold. The self-titled Jackboys album finished fourth with 47,000 units sold. The “Frozen II” soundtrack capped the top five with 42,000 copies sold.

SPORTS
COLLEGE FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP GAME… Top-ranked LSU rolled past Clemson 42-25 in last night’s NCAA College Football Championship Game in New Orleans. Heisman Trophy-winner Joe Burrow passed for 463 yards and five touchdowns. He also ran for a score. Ja’Marr Chase had nine catches for 221 yards and two TDs. Clyde Edwards-Helaire led the ground game with 110 yards rushing.

NBA SCORES
New Orleans 117 – DETROIT 110 (OT)… The Pelicans recovered to outlast the Pistons after letting a double-digit lead slip away in the fourth quarter. Jahlil Okafor had 25 points and 14 rebounds. Nicolo Melli tossed in 20 points.

INDIANA 101 – Philadelphia 95… The Pacers came up big in the second half to put away the 76ers. T.J. Warren and Malcolm Brogdon scored 21 points apiece.

BOSTON 113 – Chicago 101… The Celtics jumped out to a 14-point lead after the first quarter and remained in control of their victory over the Bulls. Jayson Tatum scored 21 points to lead six players in double figures.

Oklahoma City 117 – MINNESOTA 104… Danilo Gallinari pumped in a game-high 30 points as the Thunder handled the Timberwolves. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander racked up 20 points, a career-high 20 boards and 10 assists.

Orlando 114 – SACRAMENTO 112… The Magic held on at the end to get past the Kings. Nikola Vucevic had 26 points and 15 rebounds. Evan Fournier added 25 points.

PORTLAND 115 – Charlotte 112… The Trail Blazers got 30 points from Damian Lillard and 27 from CJ McCollum in downing the Hornets. Anthony Tolliver delivered 16 points and 11 boards off the bench.

L.A. LAKERS 128 – Cleveland 99… The Lakers shook off a slow start to rout the Cavaliers. LeBron James led all scorers with 31 points. Dwight Howard delivered 21 points and 15 rebounds off the bench.

TONIGHT’S NBA SCHEDULE
Phoenix is at Atlanta…
Brooklyn hosts Utah…
New York is at Milwaukee…
Memphis hosts Houston…
Dallas is at Golden State…
the L.A. Clippers host Cleveland

NHL SCORES
MONTREAL 2 – Calgary 0… Carey Price stopped all 31 shots in his second shutout of the season and the Canadiens snapped the Flames’ five-game winning streak. Jordan Weal scored the only goal Montreal needed in the first period.

N.Y. RANGERS 6 – N.Y. Islanders 2… Artemi Panarin scored two goals and assisted on thee others in leading the Rangers past the Islanders. Jesper Fast added a goal and two assists.

PHILADELPHIA 6 – Boston 5 (SO)… The Flyers rallied from three goals down in the second period to upend the Bruins. Travis Konecny netted the winning goal in the tie-breaker. Travis Sanheim’s second goal of the game tied it in the third period. Sean Couturier had a goal and two assists.

WASHINGTON 2 – Carolina 0… Alex Ovechkin scored a pair of first-period goals and the Capitals made them stand in their blanking of the Hurricanes. Goalie Ilya Samsonov made 23 saves.

ST. LOUIS 4 – Anaheim 1… The Blues cruised past the Ducks to win their ninth straight at home. Brayden Schenn set up two goals.

TODAY’S NHL SCHEDULE
Vegas is at Buffalo…
Toronto hosts New Jersey…
Los Angeles is at Tampa Bay…
the N.Y. Islanders host Detroit…
Minnesota is at Pittsburgh…
Columbus hosts Boston…
Chicago is at Ottawa…
Winnipeg hosts Vancouver…
Dallas is at Colorado…
Edmonton hosts Nashville…
San Jose is at Arizona

ASTROS GM, MANAGER FIRED AFTER SUSPENSIONS… The Houston Astros yesterday fired general manager Jeff Luhnow and manager A.J. Hinch for their roles in the sign-stealing scandal that surrounds the team’s 2017 World Series-winning team. The firings came after Major League Baseball suspended each of the men one year. An investigation was launched after Mike Fiers, who pitched for the Astros in 2017, claimed the team used a system of video monitoring in order to steal opposing teams’ pitching signs.

The Rundown for January 8, 2020

IRAN LAUNCHES MISSILE ATTACK… Iran launched more than a dozen ballistic missiles at two bases in Iraq that host U.S. military and coalition troops. The attacks at Ain al-Asad and Irbil bases caused unknown damage, the Pentagon said. Immediately after the attacks, Iran’s Revolutionary Guard warned the U.S. and its regional allies against retaliating. President Trump tweeted last night that “All is well” and said he would make a statement this morning.

McCONNELL VOWS GOP WILL SET RULES FOR IMPEACHMENT TRIAL… Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says he has enough support from his fellow Republicans to set the rules for President Trump’s impeachment trial. The announcement dealt a blow to Democrats, who argue that it won’t be a fair trial unless they’re able to call several White House officials and Trump’s former national security adviser John Bolton to testify. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer warned that Republicans know their constituents want a fair trial and vowed to force votes that put them on record.

PROSECUTORS WANT FLYNN JAILED… Prosecutors reversed course yesterday by urging a federal judge to sentence President Trump’s former national security adviser Michael Flynn to up to six months in jail. In their sentencing memo, prosecutors said Flynn has failed to accept responsibility for his actions and undermined a separate criminal case. The 61-year-old Flynn is scheduled to be sentenced on January 28, more than two years after pleading guilty to lying to federal investigators.

TRUMP INAUGURATION DONOR CHARGED… A major donor to President Trump’s inaugural committee has been charged with obstructing a federal investigation into illegal contributions made to the president’s inaugural fund. Imaad Zuberi, a Los Angeles-based venture capitalist, is accused of obstructing the probe into contributors to the inaugural fund. Zuberi allegedly backdated a $50,000 check and deleted emails. In a separate recent case, Zuberi pleaded guilty to failing to register as a foreign agent, campaign-finance violations and tax evasion.

CONGRESSMAN DUNCAN HUNTER RESIGNS… Republican U.S. Congressman Duncan Hunter of California, who pleaded guilty to corruption charges last month, has submitted his resignation letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and California Governor Gavin Newsom. The resignation is effective January 13. Hunter faces a maximum of five years in prison when he is sentenced on March 17. He and his wife were indicted last summer on five dozen criminal counts, including wire fraud, conspiracy and falsification of records. Hunter allegedly misused $250,000 in campaign funds for personal uses ranging from vacations to extramarital affairs to a plane ticket for his wife’s pet rabbit.

ENTERTAINMENT
WEINSTEIN CASE PROCEEDS… The judge presiding over the Harvey Weinstein sexual assault trial yesterday rejected a defense request for a “cooling-off period” and is pressing ahead with jury selection. Lawyers representing Weinstein requested a delay until after publicity generated by the new charges subsided. In refusing the postponement, Judge James Burke said he is confident the jury will understand that Weinstein is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

ROD STEWART TO TOUR… Rod Stewart has scheduled a 2020 North American summer tour that will feature special guest Cheap Trick. The 21-city tour kicks off on July 21 in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, and ends September 5 in Tinley Park, Illinois. Stewart says he’ll perform a number of his signature hits from throughout his career.

SPORTS
NBA SCORES
Detroit 115 – CLEVELAND 113… The Pistons rallied in the fourth quarter to get past the Cavaliers. Derrick Rose knocked down the winning jumper with 27 seconds left.

Portland 101 – TORONTO 99… Carmelo Anthony’s bucket with 4 seconds remaining lifted the Trail Blazers over the Raptors. Anthony led all scorers with 28 points. Hassan Whiteside grabbed 16 rebounds to go with his 14 points.

Oklahoma City 111 – BROOKLYN 103 (OT)… Chris Paul scored 20 of his 28 points after the third quarter as the Thunder outlasted the Nets. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander added 22 points. Steven Adams pulled down 18 boards.

MEMPHIS 119 – Minnesota 112… The Grizzlies were too much down the stretch in downing the Timberwolves. They got 28 points from Dillon Brooks and 25 from Ja Morant.

Sacramento 114 – PHOENIX 103… The Kings came from 21 points down in the third quarter to upend the Suns. De’Aaron Fox led the way with 27 points.

L.A. LAKERS 117 – New York 87… LeBron James pumped in 31 points to lead the Lakers in their rout of the Knicks. Four other players scored in double figures for Los Angeles.

TODAY’S NBA SCHEDULE
Toronto is at Charlotte…
Indiana hosts Miami…
San Antonio is at Boston…
Orlando hosts Washington…
Denver is at Dallas…
Atlanta hosts Houston…
Chicago is at New Orleans…
Utah hosts New York…
Milwaukee is at Golden State

NHL SCORES
TAMPA BAY 9 – Vancouver 2… The Lightning scored six second-period goals to blow away the Canucks. Carter Vergaeghe recorded a hat trick. Brayden Point had a goal and three assists.

Arizona 5 – FLORIDA 2… Taylor Hall netted a tie-breaking goal and had an assist as the Coyotes topped the Panthers for their fourth straight win. Oliver Ekman-Larsson had a goal and two assists.

N.Y. Islanders 4 – NEW JERSEY 3 (OT)… Anders Lee lit the lamp with 51 seconds left in overtime to send the Islanders past the Devils. Tom Kuhnhackl tied the game with 5:46 left in regulation.

WASHINGTON 6 – Ottawa 1… T.J. Oshie and Alex Ovechkin scored two goals apiece as the Capitals skated past the Senators.

CAROLINA 5 – Philadelphia 4 (OT)… The Hurricanes overcame an early two-goal deficit, then let a two-goal lead slip away before Dougie Hamilton scored the winning goal 1:56 into overtime.

N.Y. RANGERS 5 – Colorado 3… Artemi Panarin scored a goal and assisted on two others in leading the Rangers past the Avalanche. Ryan Strome added a goal and an assist. Goalie Igor Shesterkin stopped 29 shots in his NHL debut.

DETROIT 4 – Montreal 3… Filip Zadina scored a tie-breaking goal with 3:52 remaining and the Red Wings made it stand in their win over the Canadiens. Frans Nielsen scored twice for Detroit.

ST. LOUIS 3 – San Jose 2… David Perron’s goal early in the third period proved to be the difference in the Blues’ defeat of the Sharks. Jordan Binnington made 28 saves at goal.

Boston 6 – NASHVILLE 2… Danton Heinen scored a goal and had an assist for the Bruins. Patrice Bergeron found the net for the third straight game. Goalie Tuukka Rask stopped 33 shots.

Calgary 2 – CHICAGO 1… Elias Lindholm scored twice in the second period and the Flames held on to clip the Blackhawks. Matthew Tkachuk assisted on both goals. Cam Talbot made 31 saves.

Columbus 4 – ANAHEIM 3… Zach Werenski scored with 11 seconds left in the second period and with 1:33 left in the third to carry the Blue Jackets past the Ducks. Pierre-Luc Dubois had three assists.

Pittsburgh 4 – VEGAS 3… The Penguins opened with three straight goals before Brandon Tanev netted the winning in the third period. Dominik Kahun had a goal and an assist.

TODAY’S NHL SCHEDULE
Winnipeg is at Toronto…
Philadelphia hosts Washington…
Dallas is at Los Angeles

TOP 25 MEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL SCORES
#4 Baylor 57, #22 TEXAS TECH 52…
#12 MARYLAND 67, #11 Ohio State 55…
#13 LOUISVILLE 74, Miami (Fla.) 58…
#14 Kentucky 78, GEORGIA 69…
#16 Villanova 64, CREIGHTON 59…
BOSTON COLLEGE 60, #18 Virginia 53…
RUTGERS 72, #20 Penn State 61

NFL COACHING HIRES… The New York Giants have reportedly selected New England Patriots wide receivers coach Joe Judge to become the team’s next head coach. The 38-year-old Judge would replace Pat Shurmur, who was fired last week after two seasons… Baylor coach Matt Rhule has agreed on a seven-year contract to become the Carolina Panthers’ next coach. The 44-year-old Ruhle takes over a Carolina team that finished 5-11 in 2019. He will replace Ron Rivera, who was fired with four games left in the just-concluded regular season.

MLB NEWS: RED SOX INVESTIGATED FOR SIGN STEALING… Major League Baseball is investigating the Boston Red Sox for allegedly using their video replay room to steal signs from opposing pitchers and catchers during their 2018 World Series championship season. The Athletic cited three anonymous people who were with the team in reporting that Boston players would visit the replay room to decipher their opponents’ sign sequence and then relay the information to the dugout. Someone from the Red Sox dugout would then communicate with a baserunner, who would use body movements to relay pitch information to the batter. Red Sox manager Alex Cora, who guided Boston to the World Series title in his debut 2018 season, could also be facing discipline as part of MLB’s investigation of the 2017 Houston Astros for alleged sign stealing. Cora was the Astros’ bench coach that season.

The Rundown for January 2, 2020

EMBASSY CRISIS IN BAGHDAD OVER… The unrest at the U.S. embassy compound in Baghdad came to an end yesterday after Iran-backed militiamen withdrew after setting fire to the roof. Supporters of the Kataib Hezbollah militia left the compound after trapping diplomats inside. Protesters were angered by U.S. airstrikes that killed 25 fighters in retaliation for a rocket attack that killed an American contractor.

POMPEO POSTPONES UKRAINE TRIP... Rising tensions with Iran has prompted U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to delay Friday’s scheduled trip to Ukraine. Pompeo was wet to visit Kyiv as part of a tour that included stops in Belarus, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Cyprus. Pompeo was to meet with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and other high ranking officials.

MARIJUANA BECOMES LEGAL IN ILLINOIS… The sale of marijuana for recreational purposes became legal in Illinois yesterday to the excitement of thousands of consumers who formed long lines at dispensaries. The state became the 11th to legalize recreational cannabis. Some 43 stores in the state had received the necessary permits in time to sell recreational weed, according to the Chicago Tribune. On Tuesday, Governor JB Pritzker issued 11,017 pardons for people convicted of misdemeanor marijuana crimes in the state. Records of the pardoned crimes will be expunged in the coming months.

JUDGE ISSUES TEMPORARY INJUNCTION AGAINST GIG LAW… A federal judge has issued a temporary injunction against California’s gig-worker labor law that was scheduled to impact more than 70,000 independent truckers beginning yesterday. U.S. District Judge Roger Benitez scheduled a hearing for January 13, at which time he will decide whether to make the restraining order permanent. The law would make it harder for gig economy companies to qualify their workers as independent contractors rather than employees. California Governor Gavin Newsom signed the bill into law last September.

5 MISSING AFTER ALASKA CRAB BOAT SINKS… The Coast Guard announced yesterday that two people have been rescued but five people remain missing after a 130-foot crab fishing vessel from Dutch Harbor, Alaska, sank Tuesday night. Authorities say seven crew members were aboard the Scandies Rose when it went down after its captain issued a mayday distress call. A helicopter crew arrived and lifted two survivors from a life raft.

ENTERTAINMENT
MARIAH CAREY TOPS CHARTS AGAIN… Mariah Carey has become the first artist ever to top the Billboard charts in four decades. The singer’s version of the Christmas classic “All I Want For Christmas Is You” gave her a chart-topper on the Billboard Hot 100 in the 2020s after she recorded No. 1 songs in the 1990s, 2000s and 2010s. The Billboard Hot 100 data combines radio airplay, sales and streaming data.

‘AVENGER’ ACTRESS CHARGED IN MURDER OF MOTHER… An actress who had a small role in “Captain America: The First Avenger” was arrested Tuesday in Olathe, Kansas, and charged with second-degree murder in the fatal stabbing her mother. Police found the body of the 68-year-old mother inside her home on December 20 after responding to a call of an armed disturbance. Authorities say the case remains under investigation.

SPORTS
NBA SCORES
Orlando 122 – WASHINGTON 101… D.J. Augustin pumped in a season-high 25 points as the Magic cruised past the Wizards. Nicola Vucevic totaled 20 points and 12 rebounds.

NEW YORK 117 – Portland 93… The Knicks used a big fourth quarter to put away the Trail Blazers for their third straight win. Mitchell Robinson came off the bench to make all 11 field-goal attempts on his way to 22 points. Julius Randle added 22 points and 13 boards.

MILWAUKEE 106 – Minnesota 104… The Bucks held on at the end to get past the short-handed Timberwolves. Giannis Antetokounpo had game-highs with 32 points and 17 rebounds.

L.A. LAKERS 117 – Phoenix 107… The Lakers jumped out to a 43-17 lead and withstood a second-half rally to down the Suns. LeBron James racked up 31 points, 13 boards and 12 assists. Anthony Davis added 26 points and 11 rebounds.

TODAY’S NBA SCHEDULE
Charlotte is at Cleveland…
Indiana hosts Denver…
Toronto is at Miami…
Minnesota hosts Golden State…
Utah is at Chicago…
Dallas hosts Brooklyn…
Oklahoma City is at San Antonio…
Sacramento hosts Memphis…
Detroit is at the L.A. Clippers

FORMER NBA COMMISSIONER DAVID STERN DIES… Former NBA Commissioner David Stern died yesterday after suffering a brain hemorrhage last month. He was 77. Stern served as commissioner of the NBA from 1984 through 2014 and was subsequently named the league’s commissioner emeritus. He was the NBA’s longest-serving commissioner.

NHL SCORE
DALLAS 4 – Nashville 2… The Stars overcame an early two-goal deficit to cruise past the Predators in the Winter Classic at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas. Mattias Janmark tied the game early in the third period with the first of three straight Dallas goals. A little more than 4 minutes later, Alexander Radulov and Andrej Sekera found the net over a minute-and-a-half span. John Klingberg assisted on two goals.

TODAY’S NHL SCHEDULE
Columbus is at Boston…
Buffalo hosts Edmonton…
Tampa Bay is at Montreal…
the N.Y. Islanders host New Jersey….
San Jose is at Pittsburgh…
Ottawa hosts Florida…
Toronto is at Winnipeg…
Calgary hosts the N.Y. Rangers…
Anaheim is at Arizona…
Colorado hosts St. Louis…
Chicago is at Vancouver…
Vegas hosts Philadelphia

COLLEGE FOOTBALL BOWL SCORES
#18 Minnesota 31, #12 Auburn 24 in the Outback Bowl…
#13 Alabama 35, #14 Michigan 16 in the Citrus Bowl…
#6 Oregon 28, #8 Wisconsin 27 in the Rose Bowl…
#5 Georgia 26, #7 Baylor 14 in the Sugar Bowl

TODAY’S COLLEGE FOOTBALL BOWL SCHEDULE
#21 Cincinnati plays Boston College in the Birmingham Bowl…
Tennessee plays Indiana in the Gator Bowl

TOP 25 MEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL SCORES
#13 SAN DIEGO STATE 61, Fresno State 52…
#24 WICHITA STATE 75, East Carolina 69

MLB NEWS
DON LARSEN DIES… Don Larsen, who pitched the only perfect game in World Series history, died yesterday in in Hayden, Idaho, of esophageal cancer. He was 90. Larsen played for seven teams over a 14-year career while posting a lifetime 81-91 record but made history on October 8, 1956, while with the New York Yankees. In Game 5 of the World Series, retired all 27 Brooklyn Dodgers batters and the Yankees went on to win that series in seven games.

The Rundown for January 1, 2020

A-LIST PREP LATE EDITION
Today is Wednesday, January 1… HAPPY NEW YEAR!
the 1st day of the year… 365 days remaining

U.S. SENDING TROOPS TO BAGHDAD… The Defense Department has announced that it is sending additional forces to Baghdad to protect the American embassy from attacks by Iraqi Shiite militia supporters. Yesterday, protesters breached the embassy’s main gate, lit fires and threw bricks while chanting “death to America.” The demonstrations were prompted by airstrikes in Iraq and Syria that targeted the Iran-backed militia group Kataib Hezbollah, according to Pentagon officials.

TRUMP WINERY FIRES EMPLOYEES OVER IMMIGRATION STATUS… The Trump Winery in Virginia reportedly has fired at least seven employees were over their immigration status. The firings came almost a year after the Trump Organization promised to end its reliance on undocumented workers at its properties. The Washington Post noted that the firings came after the annual harvest at the vineyard and during the winter downtime. The terminated employees were reportedly part of a small group that worked the vineyard year-round and were separate from the legal immigrants that have worked at Trump Winery on seasonal work visas.

FEDERAL ATTORNEY TO EXAMINE BEVIN PARDONS… A federal attorney is looking into former Kentucky governor Matt Bevin’s pardons of more than 600 convicts on his way out of office. Convicted rapists, murderers and child molesters were among those who received pardons and sentence reductions from Bevin. U.S. Attorney Russell Coleman wants to know whether any of the convicts pardoned committed federal crimes. The Louisville Courier Journal has reported that the FBI is looking into the pardons as well.

CHIEF JUSTICE ROBERTS WARNS OF DISINFORMATION… U.S. Chief Justice John Roberts used the final day of 2019 to express concern about disinformation amplified by the internet and social media. Roberts warned that Americans “have come to take democracy for granted, and civic education has fallen by the wayside.” His comments come as U.S. legislators and officials have raised concerns about the persistence of foreign propaganda and false news aimed at sowing discord in the U.S. political system in the lead-up to the 2020 election. U.S. intelligence agencies and an inquiry by former Special Counsel Robert Mueller found that Russia engaged in a campaign of hacking and propaganda to push the 2016 presidential race toward Republican President Donald Trump.

CONSUMER CONFIDENCE DROPS… The Conference Board reported yesterday that U.S. consumer confidence took a slight dip in December due to decreasing expectations of job prospects and other economic factors. The business organization’s consumer confidence index fell from 126.8 in November to 126.5 in December, coming in below expectations and representing a marginal loss. The index uses a baseline of 100 as where confidence stood in 1985. While consumers expressed greater confidence about their present situation, they felt less confident about the near future, researchers found.

ENTERTAINMENT
SPACEY AGREES TO SETTLE LAWSUIT… Kevin Spacey has agreed to settle a lawsuit brought by an anonymous massage therapist who died after he alleged he was sexually assaulted by the actor. Lawyers representing the plaintiff filed a notice of death in court after he died, which gave the accuser’s estate 90 days to be substituted in the case. On Monday, Spacey’s attorneys and the plaintiff’s son filed a stipulation to dismiss the case with prejudice, which prevents the claims from being refiled. Another Spacey accuser, Norwegian actor Ari Behn, died by suicide on Christmas day.

MARIAH CAREY’S TWITTER ACCOUNT HACKED… Hackers appeared to take over Mariah Carey’s Twitter account yesterday. Tweets from the account made reference to a group that previously hacked Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey’s account sent from Carey’s handle. Among the more than 50 tweets posted were inappropriate references to other celebrities and calls to follow certain accounts. The tweets started being deleted around 20 minutes after they began appearing.

SPORTS
NBA SCORES
INDIANA 115 – Philadelphia 97… Domantas Sabonis scored 23 points and grabbed 10 rebounds in leading the Pacers past the 76ers.

Boston 109 – CHARLOTTE 92… Jayson Tatum scored 24 points to lead a balanced scoring attack as the Celtics cruised past the Hornets. Kemba Walker added 22 points and Gordon Hayward tossed in 21.

L.A. Clippers 105 – SACRAMENTO 87… Paul George had 21 points and 11 boards to lead the short-handed Clippers in their win over the Kings.

TORONTO 117 – Cleveland 97… The Raptors took control with a big second quarter and rolled past the Cavaliers. Kyle Lowrie pumped in 24 points.

HOUSTON 130 – Denver 104… The Rockets built a double-digit lead early and never looked back in their blowout of the Nuggets. James Harden scored a game-high 35 points.

SAN ANTONIO 117 – Golden State 113 (OT)… DeMar DeRozan scored 24 points to lead five players in double figures and the Spurs outlasted the Warriors. LaMarcus Aldridge had 17 points and 12 rebounds.

OKLAHOMA CITY 106 – Dallas 101… Chris Paul knocked down a go-ahead basket with 40.9 seconds remaining and the Thunder held on to top the Mavericks. Danilo Gallinai and Dennis Schroder scored 20 points apiece.

TODAY’S NBA SCHEDULE
Orlando is at Washington…
New York hosts Portland…
Minnesota is at Milwaukee…
the L.A. Lakers host Phoenix

NHL SCORES
NEW JERSEY 3 – Boston 2 (SO)… Damon Severson scored in the sixth round of the shootout to win it for the Devils.

N.Y. Islanders 4 – WASHINGTON 3… Casey Cizikas netted two goals and Tom Kuhnhackl scored the tie-breaker for the Islanders.

VEGAS 5 – Anaheim 2… The Golden Knights got a pair of goals from Jonathan Marchessault in skating past the Ducks.

Toronto 4 – MINNESOTA 1… Auston Matthews and William Nylander each had a goal and an assist for the Maple Leafs.

Tampa Bay 6 – BUFFALO 4… The Lightning scored three unanswered goals in the third period to upend the Sabres. Alex Killorn scored two goals and assisted on another.

COLUMBUS 4 – Florida 1… Zach Werenski recorded his first career hat trick as the Blue Jackets skated past the Panthers. Elvis Merzlikins stopped shots at goal.

CAROLINA 3 – Montreal 1… Erik Haula had a goal and an assist for the Hurricanes. Goalie Petr Mrazek made 30 saves.

DETROIT 2 – San Jose 0… Goalie Jonathan Bernier stopped all 34 shots as the Red Wings blanked the Sharks. Tyler Bertuzzi netted tho only goal Detroit needed early in the second period.

Winnipeg 7 – COLORADO 4… Kyle Connor scored three goals as the Jets outshot the Avalanche.

Chicago 5 – CALGARY 3… The Blackhawks opened with four straight goals and coasted past the Flames. Patrick Kane scored two goals and had two assists.

EDMONTON 7 – N.Y. Rangers 5… James Neal scored three goals and assisted on another as the Oilers held off the Rangers. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins had a goal and three assists.

ARIZONA 3 – St. Louis 1… Phil Kessel scored a tie-breaking goal in the third period as the Coyotes fought off the Blues. Antti Raanta made 38 saves at goal.

LOS ANGELES 5 – Philadelphia 3… The Kings scored four unanswered goals in the first period and cruised past the Flyers. Adrian Kempe had a goal and an assist.

TODAY’S NHL SCHEDULE
Nashville is at Dallas in the Winter Classic at the Cotton Bowl

COLLEGE FOOTBALL BOWL SCORES
Kentucky 37, Virginia Tech 30 in the Belk Bowl…
Arizona State 20, Florida State 14 in the Sun Bowl…
#23 Navy 20, Kansas State 17 in the Liberty Bowl…
Wyoming 38, Georgia State 17 in the Arizona Bowl…
Texas 38, #11 Utah 10 in the Alamo Bowl

TODAY’S COLLEGE FOOTBALL BOWL SCHEDULE
#12 Auburn plays #18 Minnesota in the Outback Bowl…
#13 Alabama plays #14 Michigan in the Citrus Bowl…
#6 Oregon plays #8 Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl…
#5 Georgia plays #7 Baylor in the Sugar Bowl

TOP 25 MEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL SCORES
#2 DUKE 88, Boston College 49…
#11 Butler 60, St. John’s 58…
#18 FLORIDA STATE 70, Georgia Tech 58

The Rundown for November 15, 2019

AP: SECOND EMBASSY STAFFER OVERHEARD TRUMP-UKRAINE PHONE CALL… The Associated Press reported yesterday that a second U.S. embassy staffer in Kyiv overheard the phone call in which President Trump discussed the need for Ukraine leaders to pursue “investigations” with U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland. Acting U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine William Taylor described the July 26 call to congress during Wednesday’s televised impeachment hearing. The call centered on Trump’s desire to pressure Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate Trump’s political rival Joe Biden and his son Hunter. Impeachment hearings continue today with former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch as the sole witness.

TRUMP SEEKS TO WITHHOLD TAX RETURNS… President Trump yesterday appealed to the Supreme Court to reverse a lower court ruling that ordered his accounting firm to release eight years of his tax returns to New York prosecutors. The Manhattan District Attorney’s office is seeking the returns as part of a criminal investigation into Trump and the Trump Organization. Trump’s lawyers claim the U.S. Constitution protects the president from being subjected to any criminal process while he is in office.

DANGEROUS MATERIALS EXCLUDED FROM SAFETY REVIEW… A federal appeals court ruled yesterday that the Trump administration unlawfully excluded millions of tons of dangerous materials in public use from a safety review. The Environmental Protection Agency must consider dangers posed by asbestos, lead and other toxins regardless of whether they’re still being manufactured, the three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said. Congress mandated the safety review as the first step toward enacting potential new regulations to protect the public.

REPORT: GIULIANI INVESTIGATION WIDER THAN PREVIOUSLY KNOWN… The federal investigation of President Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani is wider than was previously known, Bloomberg reported yesterday. The investigation covers possible campaign finance violations, foreign bribery and a failure to register as a foreign agent. One official claimed the probe could include bribery of foreign officials or conspiracy and presents a serious threat to Trump’s presidency.

MATT BEVIN CONCEDES IN KENTUCKY GOVERNOR’S RACE… Kentucky’s incumbent Republican governor Matt Bevin conceded defeat to Democratic rival Andy Beshear yesterday. Beshear narrowly won a November 5 election, prompting Bevin to organize a recanvass of the vote. Bevin offered his concession when the recanvassing showed no change in results.

2 DEAD, 3 INJURED IN HIGH SCHOOL SHOOTING… Two people were killed and three others were injured at Saugus High School north of Los Angeles yesterday after a 16-year-old student opened fire on a crowded quad. Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva said the gunfire broke out at 7:30 a.m., when students at the school were scheduled to be in their first-period classes. The body of the suspect was found on campus with a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.

ENTERTAINMENT
TAYLOR SWIFT BLOCKED FROM PERFORMING OLD HITS… Singer Taylor Swift says her former label chief Scott Borchetta and his partner Scooter Braun are trying to prevent her from performing her old songs at the American Music Awards and won’t let her use her recordings in a Netflix documentary. The singer announced on her social media accounts yesterday that the two would allow her to use her old songs only if she agreed not to re-record them in the future. “This is WRONG,” Swift told her fans in online posts. “Neither of these men had a hand in the writing of those songs. They did nothing to create the relationship I have with my fans. So this is where I’m asking for your help.”

IN THEATERS… “Charlie’s Angels” centers on three women who get called into action and put their lives on the line when a young systems engineer blows the whistle on a dangerous technology. Kristen Stewart, Maoni Scott and Ella Balinski star in the PG-13 film… “The Good Liar” tells the story about a con man who tries to swindle a rich widow and ends up in a cat-and-mouse game. The R-rated film stars Helen Mirren and Ian McKellen… “Ford V Ferrari” tells the story of American car designer Carroll Shelby and driver Ken Miles, who battle corporate interference, the laws of physics and their own personal demons to build a revolutionary race car for Ford and challenge Ferrari at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1966. Christian Bale and Matt Damon star in the PG-13 film.

SPORTS
NBA SCORES
Miami 108 – CLEVELAND 97… The Heat built a 24-point halftime lead and coasted past the Cavaliers. Kendrick Nunn scored 23 points. Bam Adebayo had 16 points and 15 rebounds.

NEW ORLEANS 132 – L.A. Clippers 127… Jrue Holiday pumped in 36 points and came up big defensively with three steals down the stretch as the Pelicans got past the Clippers. Derrick Favors had 20 points and as many rebounds.

MILWAUKEE 124 – Chicago 115… Giannis Antetokounmpo racked up 38 points and 15 boards in leading the Bucks past the Bulls. Eric Bledsoe added 31 points.

NEW YORK 106 – Dallas 103… Marcus Morris knocked down a tie-breaking 3-pointer with 13.2 seconds remaining and the Knicks held on to down the Mavericks. Morris finished with a team-high 20 points. Julius Randle had 17 points and 10 rebounds.

PHOENIX 128 – Atlanta 112… The Suns shook off a slow start to cruise past the Hawks. Kelly Oubre Jr. led the way with 30 points. Devin Booker tossed in 27 points and Dario Saric added 23.

DENVER 101 – Brooklyn 93… The Nuggets erased a 12-point halftime deficit on their way past the Nets. Paul Milsap and Nikola Jokic scored 18 points apiece to lead seven players in double figures. Jokic also had 10 boards.

TONIGHT’S NBA SCHEDULE
Detroit is at Charlotte…
Orlando hosts San Antonio…
Indiana is at Houston…
Oklahoma City hosts Philadelphia…
New Orleans is at Memphis…
Minnesota hosts Washington…
Boston is at Golden State…
the L.A. Lakers host Sacramento

NHL SCORES
Carolina 5 – BUFFALO 4 (OT)… Dougie Hamilton found the net at 2:28 of overtime to lift the Hurricanes over the Sabres. Teuvo Teravainen had a goal and two assists.

TAMPA BAY 9 – N.Y. Rangers 3… Alex Killorn scored two goals and assisted on another as the Lightning walloped the Rangers. Nikita Kucherov had a goal and three assists.

Winnipeg 4 – FLORIDA 3… Mark Scheifele scored a goal and had two assists as the Jets edged the Panthers. Patrik Laine assisted on three goals.

MINNESOTA 3 – Arizona 2… Jordan Greenway deflected in the decisive goal in the third period as the Wild clipped the Coyotes. Zach Parise had a goal and an assist.

EDMONTON 6 – Colorado 2… Connor McDavid scored three goals and assisted on three others as the Oilers skated past the Avalanche. Leon Draisaitl piled up five assists.

Dallas 4 – VANCOUVER 2… Tyler Seguin netted a tie-breaking goal late in the second period and had an assist as the Stars doubled up on the Canucks.

San Jose 5 – ANAHEIM 3… The Sharks scored three third-period goals to put away the Ducks. They got a pair of goals from Tomas Hertl.

LOS ANGELES 3 – Detroit 2 (OT)… Alex Iafallo lit the lamp 23 seconds into overtime to send the Kings past the Red Wings. Adrian Kempe scored the tying goal with 1:48 left in regulation.

TONIGHT’S NHL SCHEDULE
Boston is at Toronto…
New Jersey hosts Pittsburgh…
Montreal is at Washington…
Columbus hosts St. Louis…
Philadelphia is at Ottawa

NFL SCORE
CLEVELAND 21 – Pittsburgh 7… baker Mayfield ran for a touchdown and threw for two others in leading the Browns (4-6) past the Steelers (5-5).

SUNDAY’S NFL SCORES
Dallas (5-4) is at Detroit (3-5-1)…
Indianapolis (5-4) hosts Jacksonville (4-5)…
Buffalo (6-3) is at Miami (2-7)…
Minnesota (7-3) hosts Denver (3-6)…
New Orleans (7-2) is at Tampa Bay (3-6)…
Washington (1-8) hosts the N.Y. Jets (2-7)…
Atlanta (2-7) is at Carolina (5-4)…
Baltimore (7-2) hosts Houston (6-3)…
Arizona (3-6-1) is at San Francisco (8-1)…
Oakland (5-4) hosts Cincinnati (0-8)…
New England (8-1) is at Philadelphia (5-4)…
the L.A. Rams (5-4) host Chicago (4-5)

MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL
Kansas City (6-4) is at the L.A. Chargers (4-6)

SATURDAY’S TOP 25 COLLEGE FOOTBALL SCHEDULE
#1 LSU is at Mississippi…
#2 Ohio State is at Rutgers…
#3 Clemson hosts Wake Forest…
#4 Georgia is at #12 Auburn…
#5 Alabama is at Mississippi State…
#6 Oregon hosts Arizona…
#7 Utah hosts UCLA…
#8 Minnesota is at #20 Iowa…
#9 Penn State hosts Indiana…
#10 Oklahoma is at #13 Baylor…
#11 Florida is at Missouri…
#14 Wisconsin is at Nebraska…
#15 Michigan hosts Michigan State…
#16 Notre Dame hosts Navy…
#17 Cincinnati is at South Florida…
#18 Memphis is at Houston…
#19 Texas is at Iowa State…
#21 Boise State hosts New Mexico…
#22 Oklahoma State hosts Kansas…
#24 Kansas State hosts West Virginia…
#25 Appalachian State is at Georgia State

TOP 25 MEN’S COLLEGE HOOPS SCORES
#3 Michigan State 76, #12 Seton Hall 73 in the Gavitt Tipoff…
#15 FLORIDA 66, Towson 60…
#18 SAINT MARY’S 81, Long Beach State 63…
#19 ARIZONA 87, San Jose State 39

MLB NEWS… Outfielders Cody Bellinger of the Los Angeles Dodgers and Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angels were named winners of the National League and American League Most Valuable Player awards, respectively, yesterday. The 24-year-old Bellinger, who batted .305 with 47 home runs and 115 RBIs, collected 19 of 30 first-place votes. The 28-year-old Trout batted .291 with 45 homers and 104 RBIs in winning the award for the third time.