The Rundown for September 28, 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

SPORTS
NBA PLAYOFFS SCORE

EASTERN CONFERENCE FINALS
Miami – Boston

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Green Bay – NEW ORLEANS

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Rundown for October 12, 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

MLB
AMERICAN LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES SCORE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Rundown for October 9, 2020

CORONAVIRUS UPDATES… The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 7,599,566, and the nation’s death toll stands at 212,651, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University… COVID-19 cases are on the rise in 31 states and Wisconsin set a single-day record for new cases yesterday. President Trump is facing mounting criticism for his handling of the pandemic and failure even to keep the White House safe. Trump angered may yesterday when he blamed his contracting the virus on Gold Star family members he met with at a September 27 event.

13 CHARGED IN PLOT TO KIDNAP MICHIGAN GOVERNOR… The FBI yesterday charged 13 people for their involvement in an alleged plot to kidnap Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, federal and state officials announced. According to a federal criminal complaint, the suspects were members of a gang called “Wolverine Watchmen” and were planning to overthrow several state governments that they “believe are violating the U.S. Constitution.” Whitmer responded to the arrests by criticizing President Trump for refusing to denounce white-supremacy and other hate groups that engage in violence.

TRUMP PULLS OUT OF SECOND DEBATE… President Trump announced yesterday that he was backing out of next Thursday’s scheduled debate with Democratic rival Joe Biden after it was changed to a virtual event to guard against the spread of COVID-19. Following Trump’s withdrawal, Biden agreed to host a solo televised town hall-style event instead. Trump, meanwhile, also said he wanted to resume campaign rallies.

PELOSI INVOKES 25TH AMENDMENT… House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced yesterday that she plans to introduce legislation related to the President Trump’s fitness to serve. She and Maryland Congressman Jamie Raskin are co-sponsors of legislation that would create a “Commission on Presidential Capacity” that would allow Congress to intervene under the 25th Amendment to the Constitution and remove the president from executive duties. The legislation brings into question Trump’s behavior since his COVID-19 diagnosis.

FORMER GOP FUNDRAISER CHARGED… The Justice Department has charged former deputy finance chairman of the Republican National Committee Elliott Broidy for his role in a covert scheme to lobby the Trump administration on behalf of undisclosed foreign entities. According to court filings, Broidy and two others agreed to work as agents for a foreign national from March 2017 to at least January 2018 for millions of dollars. He is charged with conspiracy to serve as an unregistered foreign agent. Federal prosecutors accuse Broidy and his associates of orchestrating “back-channel, unregistered campaigns to lobby the administration and DOJ” on two issues.

FEDERAL BUDGET REACHES $3.1T… The federal deficit hit a record $3.1 trillion at the end of the fiscal year 2020, according to a Congressional Budget Office estimate released yesterday. According to the CBO, the deficit is at its highest since 1945 and represents about 15.2 percent of gross domestic product. It was also three times the deficit recorded in fiscal year 2019.

DELTA EXPECTED TO ARRIVE TODAY… Hurricane Delta intensified into a Category storm yesterday is expected to strike the southwest Louisiana coast today with winds in excess of 100 mph. By last night, the hurricane was less than 300 miles south of Cameron, Louisiana. Maximum sustained winds reached 115 mph the storm was heading to the north-northwest at 12 mph. A National Weather Service meteorologist said Delta will be a “large storm that will extend 140 miles from its center,” with gusts reaching the Baton Rouge area.

ENTERTAINMENT
TORY LANEZ CHARGED IN MEGAN THEE STALLION SHOOTING
… Rapper/singer Tory Lanez has been charged in connection with the July shooting of rapper Megan Thee Stallion. Lanez is facing one count of assault with a semiautomatic firearm and one count of carrying a loaded, unregistered firearm in a vehicle. Charges included inflicting great bodily injury. If convicted, Lanez faces up to 22 years and 8 months in prison.

LINEUP FILLING OUT FOR INDEPENDENT-VENUE FUNDRAISER… Foo Fighters, Miley Cyrus and The Roots are among acts that have signed on to perform during the virtual Save Our Stages festival next weekend. The event was organized to raise awareness of the Save Our Stages Act, which is currently before Congress, and would help fund independent venues affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The performance will stream on the official YouTube page for the National Independent Venus Association, or NIVA.

SPORTS
MLB PLAYOFF SCORES

AMERICAN LEAGUE DIVISION SERIES
HOUSTON 11 – Oakland 6
(at Dodger Stadium in L.A)… The Astros erased an early three-run deficit to down the Athletics and claim the best-of-five series in four games. Michael Brantley homered with a runner aboard and Carlos Correa added a three-run shot during a five-run bottom of the fourth inning. Jose Altuve also homered with a runner aboard.

N.Y. YANKEES 5 – Tampa Bay 1 (in San Diego)… The Yankees cruised past the Rays to force today’s decisive Game 5. Starter Jordan Montgomery limited Tampa Bay to a run on three hits over four innings and three pitchers provided hitless relief the rest of the way. Luke Voit smacked a solo homer for New York and Greyber Torres added a two-run shot. It will be a matchup of righthanders today when the Yankees send Gerrit Cole to the mound, where he’ll be opposed by Rays starter Tyler Glasnow.

NATIONAL LEAGUE DIVISION SERIES
Atlanta 7 – MIAMI 0
(in Houston)… The Braves blanked the Marlins for the second straight game to complete a sweep of the NLDS and advance to the National League Championship series. Kyle Wright pitched three-hit ball over six innings and got help from three relievers. Travis D’Arnaud and Dansby Swanson drove in two runs apiece.

L.A. Dodgers 12 – SAN DIEGO 3 (in Arlington)… Will Smith went 5-for-6 with three RBIs and the Dodgers romped over the Padres to sweep the series. Cody Bellinger also knocked in three runs. Joc Pederson’s two-run single capped a five-run top of the third inning. Reliever Julio Urias came on in the second inning and pitched one-hit ball over five scoreless innings.

NFL SCORE
CHICAGO 20 – Tampa Bay 19… Cairo Santos’ 38-yard field goal with 1:17 remaining lifted the Bears (4-1) over the Buccaneers (3-2). Nick Foles found Jimmy Graham with a 12-yard touchdown pass.

SUNDAY’S NFL SCHEDULE
Carolina (2-2) is at Atlanta (0-4)…
Houston (0-4) hosts Jacksonville (1-3)…
Arizona (2-2) is at the N.Y. Jets (0-4)…
Pittsburgh (0-3) hosts Philadelphia (1-2-1)…
Minnesota (1-3) is at Seattle (4-0)
Baltimore (3-1) hosts Cincinnati (1-2-1)…
the L.A. Rams (3-1) are at Washington (1-3)…
Kansas City (4-0) hosts Las Vegas (2-2)…
Miami (1-3) is at San Francisco (2-2)…
Dallas (1-3) hosts the N.Y. Giants (0-4)…
Indianapolis (3-1) is at Cleveland (3-1)…

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

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

TODAY’S NBA FINALS SCHEDULE
the L.A. Lakers vs. Miami in Game 5 with the Lakers leading 3-1

The Rundown for October 7, 2020

CORONAVIRUS UPDATES… The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 7,497,847 and the nation’s death toll stands at 210,852, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University… President Trump’s top policy adviser Stephen Miller has tested positive for coronavirus. He is the latest official caught up in an outbreak at the White House that has seen at least 10 others test positive.

TOP MILITARY LEADERS QUARANTINING… Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Mark Milley and several members of the Pentagon’s senior leadership are quarantining after a top Coast Guard official tested positive for coronavirus. A defense spokesman explained that the Pentagon is “conducting additional contact tracing and taking appropriate precautions to protect the force and the mission” in response to Coast Guard vice commandant testing positive on Monday. The announcement raised major national security questions amid the White House outbreak.

TRUMP HALTS ECONOMIC-AID NEGOTIATIONS… President Trump declared yesterday that he is ending negotiations with Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Democratic leaders over a new pandemic economic aid package until after the November 3 elections. Trump also said he wants the GOP-controlled Senate to focus on confirming his Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett. The president blamed Pelosi for the failure to reach an agreement on the relief package, while the house speaker accused the president of holding the country hostage, lying about negotiations and having a disdain for science. She questioned whether the president’s drug treatments have impacted his thinking. News of Trump’s announcement prompted markets to dive. The Dow Jones Industrial average fell more than 600 points and closed down 1.3 percent, or 376 points. The S&P 500 dropped 1.4 percent, and the Nasdaq Composite finished down 1.6 percent.

FED CHAIR WARNS OF ECONOMIC HARDSHIP… Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell warned during yesterday’s National Association for Business Economics annual meeting that the U.S. must pursue economic recovery from the pandemic recession. The rise in Covid-19 infections is a major risk, Powell noted, and a second wave of coronavirus could “more significantly limit economic activity, not to mention the tragic effects on lives and well-being.” Powell renewed his call for Congress to provide additional support for the U.S. economy and cautioned that “Weakness feeds on weakness.”

TOP DOJ OFFICIALS DIRECTED BORDER POLICIES… The New York Times cited handwritten notes and the results of a two-year watchdog’s investigation in reporting yesterday that Attorney General Jeff Sessions and former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein directed the Trump administration’s border family separation policy in 2018. The two pushed the policies of prosecuting immigrants suspected of illegal crossings and separating mothers from children as young as infants. A Justice Department Inspector General’s 86-page draft report noted that Sessions publicly distanced himself from the policy but refused to sit for an interview with the investigators. The DOJ has repeatedly passed along responsibility for the policies to the Department of Homeland Security.

DELTA STRENGTHENS INTO HURRICANE… Delta strengthened into a Category 4 hurricane yesterday as it continued its approach to the Gulf Coast. The storm had maximum sustained winds of 145 mph and remain at least as powerful today as it moves from waters off southern Mexico into the northwest Caribbean Sea. It is expected to make landfall in the U.S. between Friday night and Saturday morning.

ENTERTAINMENT
EDDIE VAN HALEN DIES
… Legendary rock guitarist Eddie Van Halen died yesterday at a Los Angeles hospital after a long battle with cancer. He was 65. Van Halen moved with his family from the Netherlands to Southern California when he was seven and as a teen he started performing in bands with his older brother. Alex. The two added vocalist David Lee Roth and bassist Michael Anthony to form the band Van Halen in 1974. The band rose to stardom in 1978 with its self-titled debut album.

SINGER JOHNNY NASH DIES… Singer Johnny Nash, who crossed over from reggae into pop and performed the 1972 hit “I Can See Clearly Now,” died of natural causes at his home in Houston, Texas, yesterday. He was 80. In addition to his own success as a singer-songwriter, actor, producer, and record label executive, Nash is credited with helping launch the career of his friend Bob Marley.

2 MORE MOVIE RELEASES PUSHED BACK… Movie studios and theaters continue to reel from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, as two expected blockbuster films announced pushed-back premiere dates yesterday. “The Batman,” starring Robert Pattinson as the caped crusader, is set for release on March 4, 2022, instead of October 1, 2021. The highly-anticipated remake of “Dune” has been pushed back from December 18, 2020, to October 1, 2021. On the bright side, the fourth installment of the “Matrix” franchise has been moved up from April 1, 2022 to December 22, 2021.

SPORTS
NBA FINALS SCORE

L.A. Lakers 102 – Miami
96… The Lakers fought off the Heat to take a 3-1 lead in the NBA Finals. LeBron James had game-highs with 28 points and 12 rebounds. Anthony Davis added 22 points. L.A. will try to wrap up its first championship in 10 years Friday in Game 5.

MLB PLAYOFF SCORES
AMERICAN LEAGUE DIVISION SERIES
Houston 5 – OAKLAND 2
(at Dodger Stadium in L.A)…. George Springer homered twice and drove in three runs to lead the Astros past the Athletics for a 2-0 lead in the series. Martin Maldonado also went deep for Houston. Framber Valdez allowed just two runs on five hits over seven innings. The Astros send righthander Jose Urquidy to the mound today in Game 3. Oakland counters with lefthander Jesus Luzardo.

TAMPA BAY 7 – N.Y. Yankees 5 (in San Diego)… The Rays held off the Yankees to even the series at a game apiece. Mike Zunino and Manuel Margot belted two-run homers. Austin Meadows added a solo shot. It will be a matchup of righthanders in Game 3 today when Tampa Bay sends Charlie Morton to the mound, where he’ll face Masahiro Tanaka.

NATIONAL LEAGUE DIVISION SERIES OPENERS
Atlanta 9 – Miami 5 (in Houston)… The Braves erased an early 4-1 deficit to top the Marlins. Travis d’Arnaud blasted a three-run homer and Dansby Swanson added a two-run shot during a six-run bottom of the seventh inning. Ronald Acuna homered to lead off the first. Atlanta will try to make it two straight today when it sends Ian Anderson to the mound. He’ll be opposed by fellow righthander Pablo Lopez.

L.A. Dodgers 5 – San Diego 1 (in Arlington)… Starter Walker Buehler and four relievers combined on a three-hitter and the Dodgers cruised past the Padres. Corey Seager lifted a go-ahead sacrifice fly to spark a four-run top of the sixth inning. Lefthander Clayton Kershaw takes the hill for Los Angeles today. San Diego hasn’t announced its starter.

The Rundown for October 6, 2020

CORONAVIRUS UPDATES… The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 7,455,184 and the nation’s death toll stands at 210,155, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University… The outbreak appears to be intensifying in the Midwest and Rocky Mountain region. Cases have risen about 14 percent in North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin and more than 20 percent in Montana.

TRUMP RETURNS TO WHITE HOUSE… President Trump was discharged from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center and returned to the White House last night after three days of treatment for COVID-19. Upon arriving at the White House, Trump removed his mask and posed for pictures. The severity of Trump’s illness has been left to speculation, although doctors have been treating him with a steroid, dexmethasone, that is normally used only in the most severe cases.

WHITE HOUSE WON’T CONDUCT CONTACT TRACING… The New York Times reported yesterday that the White House will not conduct contact tracing of guests and staff members who attended a Rose Garden reception on September 26 despite at least a dozen attendees having tested positive for COVID-19 in the 10 days since. The reception was organized to honor Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s Supreme Court nomination. Public health experts that it was irresponsible to organize such a closely packed gathering where few people wore masks.

SOUTH CAROLINA ABSENTEE BALLOT REQUIREMENT REINSTATED… The Supreme Court yesterday granted a request from South Carolina Republicans to reinstate the state’s witness-signature requirement on absentee ballots pending appeal. According to the court’s order, any ballots cast before it had acted, and received within two days of the order, cannot be rejected for failing to comply with the witness requirement. Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito and Neil Gorsuch indicated they would not have counted those ballots.

STATE DEPARTMENT SANCTIONS UKRAINIAN DISINFORMER… The State Department has revoked the visa of a former Ukrainian diplomat who has helped Republicans spread baseless conspiracy theories about the Biden family and foreign meddling in 2016. Andrii Telizhenko had been accused of intentionally spreading Russian disinformation. In mid-September, the Treasury Department sanctioned another ally of President Trump’s attorney Rudy Giuliani for his alleged work as an “active Russian agent” who is part of Moscow’s interference in the 2020 campaign.

DELTA BECOMES HURRICANE… Tropical Storm Delta formed in the southern Caribbean Sea yesterday and strengthened into a hurricane. The storm is expected to make landfall Friday morning somewhere between the Louisiana-Texas border to the west and the Alabama-Georgia border to the east. It would be the third hurricane to hit the Gulf Coast so far this season.

ENTERTAINMENT
ANNE HECHE ELIMINATED ON ‘DANCING’
… Actress Anne Heche was eliminated from Season 29 of “Dancing with the Stars” in last night’s episode. Heche had teamed up with Keo Motsepe for the ABC competition series. Still in the running are “Cheer” coach Monica Aldama, “The Bachelorette” alum Kaitlyn Bristowe, “Selling Sunset” star Chrishell Stause, retired NFL player Vernon Davis, actresses Skai Jackson and Justina Machado, reality TV stars Jeannie Mai and Nev Schulman, Backstreet Boys singer A.J. McLean, actor Jesse Metcalfe, rapper Nelly and Olympic figure skater Johnny Weir.

PADDY CONSIDINE TO STAR IN ‘THRONES’ PREQUEL… Actor Paddy Considine has landed the leading role in the upcoming HBO “Game of Thrones” prequel. Considine, whose credits include “Hot Fuzz,” “The Borne Ultimatum” and “Peaky Blinders,” will play Viserys Targaryen in “House of the Dragon.” The series is based on George R.R. Martin’s Fire and Blood anthology on the Targaryen family and is set 300 years before the “Game of Thrones.” The premiere is set for sometime in 2022.

SPORTS
MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL…
GREEN BAY 30 – Atlanta 16
… Aaron Rodgers hit Robert Tonyan with three of his four touchdown passes and the Packers (4-0) cruised past the Falcons (0-4). Rodgers completed 27 of 32 passes for 327 yards.

NFL NEWS… The Houston Texans have fired head coach and general manager Bill O’Brien following the team’s 0-4 start. The Texans named Romeo Crennel interim head coach. O’Brien 52-48 at Houston since taking over in 2014.

MLB PLAYOFF SCORES
AMERICAN LEAGUE DIVISION SERIES OPENERS
Houston 10 – OAKLAND 5
… Carlos Correa went 3-for-5 with a pair of homers and four RBIs in leading the Astros past the Athletics at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles. Alex Bregman also went deep for Houston, which pounded out 15 hits. Oakland will try to even the series today when it sends Sean Manaea to the mound. He’ll be opposed by fellow lefthander Framber Valdez.

N.Y. Yankees 9 – TAMPA BAY 3… Giovani Stanton unloaded a grand slam to cap a five-run top of the ninth inning and put away the Rays in San Diego. Clint Frazier, Kyle Higashioka and Aaron Judge smacked solo homers for New York. It will be a matchup of righthanders today when Tampa Bay sends Tyler Glasnow against Yankee rookie Deivi Garcia.

TODAY’S NATIONAL LEAGUE DIVISION SERIES OPENERS…
Miami (Sandy Alcantara) vs. Atlanta (Max Fried) in Houston…
the L.A. Dodgers (Walker Buehler) vs. San Diego (Zach Davies) in Arlington

TODAY’S NBA FINALS SCHEDULE
the L.A. Lakers vs. Miami in Game 4 with the Lakers leading 2-1

The Rundown for October 5, 2020

CORONAVIRUS UPDATES… President Trump made a public appearance yesterday as the passenger in an SUV that drove along well-wishers who gathered outside Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. The move excited some of his supporters but was widely viewed as propaganda that put at risk staff who accompanied him. At least 10 people in Trump’s family, circle of advisers and recent contacts have recently tested positive. Conflicting information from the White House leaves questions about the president’s condition. Dr. Sean P. Conley admitted yesterday that Trump’s condition had been worse than previously disclosed. He said the president’s blood oxygen levels had dropped in prior days and that he had run a high fever on Friday morning. Trump’s doctors are monitoring the condition of his lungs after he received supplemental oxygen on Thursday and Friday, but declined yesterday to provide details of what they had seen. The 74-year-old Trump was flown to Walter Reed on Friday. Meanwhile, the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 7,420,799 and the nation’s death toll stands at 209,821, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University… New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has announced plans to close schools and all non-essential businesses starting Wednesday in nine zip codes in Brooklyn and Queens where coronavirus rates have spiked.

BIDEN HOLDS DOUBLE-DIGIT LEAD IN TWO POLLS… A pair of polls released yesterday show Democrat Joe Biden has opened his widest lead in a month in the presidential race. A Reuters/Ipsos poll found the Biden held a 51-percent to 41-percent lead among voters. Biden held a 53-percent to 39-percent advantage in a NBC/Wall Street Journal survey. In both polls, Biden has been given low marks for his handling of the coronavirus pandemic and his performance in last week’s presidential debate. A CBS poll found Trump and Biden even in Ohio, with Biden opening a lead in Pennsylvania.

APPEALS COURT SIDES WITH IMMIGRANT CHILDREN… An appeals court yesterday upheld a ban on the Trump administration policy of detaining immigrant children in hotel rooms before expelling them under rules adopted during the coronavirus pandemic. Border agents since March have placed at least 577 unaccompanied children in hotel rooms and expelled them before they could request asylum or other immigration protections. The Trump administration claimed it was expelling most people crossing the border due to public health considerations. Immigrant advocates successfully argued that the administration was using the coronavirus as a pretext to restrict immigration.

TOOMEY TO LEAVE SENATE SEAT… Republican Senator Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania has announced that he won’t seek re-election for a third term in 2022. The 58-year-old Toomey has fiercely opposed government regulations and taxation but hasn’t aligned himself with President Trump. Toomey is scheduled to make an announcement this morning.

CALIFORNIA WILDFIRES… Fire officials in California reported yesterday that 8,200 wildfires have burned “well over” 4 million acres throughout the state. The acreage burned is more than twice the previous record set two years ago and there are still two months remaining in the 2020 fire season. The blazes have destroyed more than 8,454 structures and are blamed for at least 31 deaths.

ENTERTAINMENT
MACHINE GUN KELLY TOPS ALBUM CHART
… Machine Gun Kelly’s “Tickets to My Downfall” sold 126,000 copies to top the Billboard 200 album chart. SuperM’s “Super One: The 1st Album” opened in second place on sales of 104,000 units. Joji’s “Nectar” finished in third place with 92,000 copies sold. Pop Smoke’s “Shoot for the Stars Aim for the Moon” slipped to fourth place on sales of 71,000 units. Deftones’ “Ohms” capped the top five with 43,000 copies sold.

REGAL CINEMAS MIGHT CLOSE… The company that owns Regal Cinemas says it might have to temporarily close its theaters amid the ongoing pandemic. Regal is the second-largest cinema chain in the U.S. behind only AMC. The movie industry was delivered a separate blow over the weekend after producers announced that the latest James Bond film, “No Time to Die,” would be delayed until spring 2021.

SPORTS
NBA FINALS GAME 3

Miami 115 – L.A. Lakers 104
… Jimmy Butler piled up 40 points, 11 rebounds and 13 assists in leading the Heat past the Lakers. Miami, which played without starters Gam Adebayo and Goran Dragic, will try to bring the series even in tomorrow’s Game 4.

SUNDAY’S NFL SCHEDULE
Baltimore 31 – WASHINGTON 17
… Lamar Jackson threw for two touchdowns and ran 50 yards for a score in leading the Ravens (3-1) past Washington (1-3). Mark Andrews caught both of Jackson’s TD tosses.

CAROLINA 31 – Arizona 21… The Panthers (2-2) built a three-touchdown lead and coasted past the Cardinals (2-2). Teddy Bridgewater ran for a scored and threw two touchdown passes.

TAMPA BAY 38 – L.A. Chargers 31… The Buccaneers (3-1) rallied in the second half to top the Chargers (1-3). Tom Brady passed for 369 yards and hit five different receivers with touchdown tosses.

New Orleans 35 – DETROIT 29… The Saints (2-2) erased an early 14-point deficit to get past the Lions (1–3). Drew Brees threw two touchdown passes to Tre’Quan Smith 2:19 apart in the second quarter. Latavius Murray ran for two scores.

Minnesota 31 – HOUSTON 23… Dalvin Cook rushed for 130 yards and two touchdowns as the Vikings (1-3) held off the Texans (0-4). Adam Thielen caught eight Kirk Cousins passes for 114 yards and a score.

Cleveland 49 – DALLAS 38… The Browns (3-1) built a 41-14 third-quarter lead and coasted past the Cowboys (1-3). Baker Mayfield threw two touchdown passes and Kareem Hunt ran for a pair of scores.

Seattle 31 – MIAMI 23… Russell Wilson ran for two touchdowns, Chris Carson ran for two more and the Seahawks (4-0) topped the Dolphins (1-3). DK Metcalf had four receptions for 106 yards.

CINCINNATI 33 – Jacksonville 25… Joe Mixon rushed for 151 yards and two touchdowns as the Bengals (1-3) fought off the Jaguars (1-2-1). Mixon also caught a Joe Burrow scoring pass.

L.A. RAMS 17 – N.Y. Giants 9… Jared Goff connected with Cooper Kupp on a 55-yard touchdown pass with 6:56 remaining to seal the Rams’ (3-1) win over the Giants (0-4).

Buffalo 30 – LAS VEGAS 23… Josh Allen threw a pair of touchdown passes and ran for a score as the Bills (4-0) held off the Raiders (2-2). Stefon Diggs had six receptions for 115 yards.

Indianapolis 19 – CHICAGO 11… The Colts (3-1) rode their defense to a victory over the Bears (3-1). Philip Rivers hit Mo Alie-Cox with a 13-yard touchdown pass in the first quarter.

Philadelphia 25 – SAN FRANCISCO 20… The Eagles (1-3-1) grinded out a win over the injury-struck 49ers (2-2). Carson Wentz ran 11 yards for a score and found T Fulgham with a 42-yard touchdown pass. Alex Singleton returned an interception 30 yards for a TD.

MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL
Atlanta (0-3) is at Green Bay (3-0)

TODAY’S MLB PLAYOFF SCHEDULE
AMERICAN LEAGUE DIVISION SERIES OPENERS…
Houston (Zack Greinke) is at Oakland (Jesus Luzardo)…
Tampa Bay (Blake Snell) hosts the N.Y. Yankees (Gerrit Cole)

The Rundown for October 2, 2020

TRUMP TESTS POSITIVE FOR CORONAVIRUS… President Trump announced last night that he and First lady Melania Trump have tested positive for COVID-19. The announcement followed the discovery that senior advisor Hope Hicks had tested positive after spending several days traveling with the president this week without wearing a mask. Trump has consistently played down concerns about the coronavirus and claimed that he wasn’t vulnerable to the disease. Experts have questioned the health and safety protocols at the White House since the start of the pandemic wondered why more wasn’t being done to protect the commander in chief. Meanwhile, the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 7,277,759 and the nation’s death toll stands at 207,789, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University.

HOUSE APPROVES DEMS’ RELIEF BILL… The House yesterday approved the Democrats’ $2.2 trillion coronavirus pandemic economic relief bill by a 214-to-207 vote. No Republicans voted for the bill and 18 Democrats voted against it. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has been in daily talks with Treasury this week but the two have failed to reach agreement on a bipartisan plan.

JUDGE BLOCKS LAW-ENFORCEMENT REPORT… A federal judge as stopped next month’s expected release of a report from a presidential commission created to study American law enforcement. Judge John Bates ruled that the commission, comprised solely of current and former law enforcement officials, lacked the diversity necessary to address issues plaguing policing. The ruling marked a win for the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, which brought a lawsuit against both the commission and Attorney General William Barr. LDF argued that the government had violated the Federal Advisory Committee Act, which requires transparency and “fairly balanced” membership on advisory committees. “None of the 18 commissioners appointed to “study a broad range of issues regarding law enforcement and the criminal justice system,” and then make recommendations to the president through the report, have any background in “criminal defense, civil rights, or community organization,” Bates noted in his decision.

TEXAS GOVERNOR LIMITS ABSENTEE-BALOT DROP-OFF SITES… Texas Governor Greg Abbott issued an order yesterday that limits each county in the state to a single site for dropping off absentee ballots. The order will close more than a dozen satellite locations in at least two counties: Harris, which includes Houston, had opened 12 sites to collect early mail ballots, while Travis, which includes Austin, had four. Voting rights advocates said the order was a textbook example of voter suppression. Abbott said the order was aimed at preventing election fraud.

FIRST LADY EXPRESSES FRUSTRATION IN TAPES… Secretly recorded audio captured First Lady Melania Trump expressing her frustration at being criticized for her husband’s policy of separating families who illegally crossed the southern border while at the same time needing to perform traditional first lady duties, such as preparing for Christmas. The audio was recorded in the summer of 2018 by Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, a former friend and senior adviser to the first lady who wrote a book about their relationship. In one complaint, the first lady says, “I’m working … my a** off on the Christmas stuff, that you know, who gives a f*** about the Christmas stuff and decorations? But I need to do it, right?” The tapes were played exclusively last night CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360.”

ENTERTAINMENT
‘COPS’ RESUMES PRODUCTION
… The TV show “Cops: has resumed production just three months after it was cancelled amid widespread protests against police brutality. The Hollywood Reporter says the Paramount Network has restarted filming in Spokane, Washington, with plans to air in the international markets where the show has not been cut from the air. The Spokane County sheriff’s office has confirmed its involvement.

AC/DC REUNITING… The rock band AC/DC has announced that it is reuniting. Members Angus Young (lead guitar) Brian Johnson (lead vocals) Cliff Williams (bass guitar) Phil Rudd (drums) and Stevie Young (rhythm guitar) are planning a new album and tour, although dates have yet to be announced. The band’s co-founder Malcolm Young died in 2017 at age 64. In 2016, Williams retired and Johnson quit because he was suffering hearing issues. A year earlier, Rudd pleaded guilty to charges of threatening to kill his personal assistant and possession of illegal drugs in New Zealand. He ultimately served eight months of home detention for the offenses. AC/DC was founded in 1973. Its last album was 2014’s “Rock or Bust.” The band toured through 2016 to support it.

SPORTS
MLB PLAYOFFS…
AMERICAN LEAGUE WILD-CARD GAME 3 SCORE

OAKLAND 6 – Chi. White Sox 4
… The Athletics overcame an early three-run deficit to top the White Sox and advance to take on Houston in the AL Division Series beginning Monday in Oakland. Sean Murphy’s two-run homer sparked a four-run bottom of the fourth inning. Chad Pinder delivered a go-ahead two-run single in the fifth.

NATIONAL LEAGUE WILD-CARD GAME 2 SCORES
ATLANTA 5 – Cincinnati 0
… Starter Ian Anderson pitched two-hit ball over six innings and the Braves held the Reds scoreless for the second straight game in sweeping the series. Marcell Ozuna and Adam Duvall put the game away with two-run homers in the bottom of the eighth inning. Atlanta awaits the winner of the Chicago Cubs-Miami series in the National League Division Series.

L.A. DODGERS 3 – Milwaukee 0… The Dodgers blanked the Brewers to complete a sweep of the series. They await the winner of the San Diego-St. Louis series in the National League Division Series. Starter Clayton Kershaw held the Padres to three hits over eight innings and struck out 12. Mookie Betts stroked a two-run double as L.A. scored all three runs in the bottom of the fifth inning.

SAN DIEGO 11 – St. Louis 9… The Padres came from four runs down in the fourth inning to slug their way past the Cardinals and even the series at a game apiece. Fernando Tatis and Wil Meyers both homered twice and combined to drive in nine runs. Righthander Jack Flaherty (4-3) takes the mound for St. Louis in today’s Game 3. San Diego hadn’t announced a starter.

Miami – CHI. CUBS (ppd)… A forecast of rain forced postponement of yesterday’s Marlins-Cubs game. It has been rescheduled for today. Miami will try to finish off a sweep today when it sends Sixto Sanchez (3-2) to the mound. Yu Darvish (8-3) takes the hill for Chicago in a matchup of righthanders. A Game 3 would be played tomorrow.

NFL SCORE
Denver 37 – N.Y. JETS 28
… The Broncos handled the Jets in a game that featured two teams with 0-3 records going in. Melvin Gordon ran 43 yards for his second touchdown run with 1:48 remaining to seal the win. Tim Patrick hauled in six Brett Rypien passes for 113 yards and a score.

SUNDAY’S NFL SCHEDULE
the L.A. Chargers (1-2) are at Tampa Bay (2-1)…
Dallas (1-2) hosts Cleveland (2-1)…
Baltimore (2-1) is at Washington (1-2)…
Carolina (1-2) hosts Arizona (2-1)…
Indianapolis (2-1) is at Chicago (3-0)…
Dallas (1-2) hosts New Orleans (2-1)…
Seattle (3-0) is at Miami (1-2)…
Houston (0-3) hosts Minnesota (0-3)…
Jacksonville (1-2) is at Cincinnati (0-2-1)…
the L.A. Rams (2-1) host the N.Y. Giants (0-3)…
New England (2-1) is at Kansas City (3-0)…
Las Vegas (2-1) hosts Buffalo (3-0)…
Philadelphia (0-2-1) is at San Francisco (2-1)

MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL
Atlanta (0-3) is at Green Bay (3-0)

The Rundown for September 30, 2020

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE… The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 7,186,527 and the nation’s death toll stands at 205,895, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University… The New York Times reported yesterday that the Trump administration applied immense pressure to force the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to produce more evidence that supported President Trump’s efforts to send kids and teachers back to school in person before the election. Olivia Troye, a member of Vice President Mike Pence’s staff who left her job last month, claims that she was repeatedly asked to instruct the CDC to write more reports that showed a decline in virus cases among young people… Thousands of K-5 and K-8 students in New York City returned to classrooms yesterday for the first time since schools were closed earlier this year. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo vowed he won’t hesitate to close them again if cases surge… Disney announced yesterday that it was laying off 28,000 of its theme-park employees in California and Florida due to the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE… President Trump engaged with Democratic nominee Joe Biden in a chaotic first debate in Cleveland last night. Trump spoke at will in responses to moderator Chris Wallace’s questions and while interrupting Biden’s answers. The most fierce exchanges occurred during discussion about Trump’s leadership on the coronavirus pandemic, the economy and taxes. The insults made it tough for either candidate to push through their agenda. Biden called Trump a “clown” and a “racist” and told him: “You’re the worst president America has ever had.” Trump responded: “There’s nothing smart about you, Joe.” Earlier yesterday, Biden and his running mate, Kamala Harris, released their 2019 tax returns. Biden’s returns, posted on his campaign website, show that he and his wife, Jill, made $944,737 in taxable income last year and paid $299,346 in federal income taxes—a 31 percent tax rate. In contrast, Trump paid no federal income taxes for 10 of the past 15 years, and paid just $750 in 2016 and 2017, according to returns obtained by the New York Times. The second of three scheduled debates is scheduled for October 15 in Miami. It will be moderated by C-SPAN political editor Steve Scully.

FLYNN LAWYER BRIEFED TRUMP ON FLYNN CASE… The federal judge overseeing the prosecution of former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn indicated yesterday that he isn’t ready to allow the Justice Department to drop the case. U.S. District Court Judge Emmett Sullivan questioned Flynn’s lead attorney, Sidney Powell, about her contacts with President Trump and whether she had urged him or Attorney General William Barr to take any actions to influence the decision to abandon the case. Powell initially cited potential executive privilege concerns in refusing to answer, but then revealed that she briefed Trump on the case within the last two weeks and requested that he not issue a pardon. Flynn twice pleaded guilty to charges that he lied to FBI agents in January 2017 about his conversations with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak in the weeks before Trump’s inauguration. The Justice Department informed Sullivan in May that it wanted to end the prosecution after Attorney General William Barr decided that Flynn’s false statements to the FBI were not material to any open investigation and were therefore not a violation of the law.

KENTUCKY AG TO RELEASE BREONNA TAYLOR GRAND JURY RECORDING… Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron announced yesterday that he will comply with a judge’s order and release a recording of the grand jury proceedings in the Breonna Taylor case today. Judge Ann Bailey Smith ordered the release on Monday following a legal complaint filed by an anonymous grand juror. Cameron said the recording will show that prosecutors presented a “thorough and complete case to the grand jury.” According to the complaint, the grand jury was not given an option of charging Louisville Metro Police Sergeant Jonathan Mattingly and Detective Myles Cosgrove in the March 26 fatal shooting of Taylor. Prosecutors presented only possible charges for Detective Brett Hankison, who was fired in June and charged on Monday with three counts of wanton endangerment.

STATE OF EMERGENCY IN THREE CALIFORNIA COUNTIES… California Governor Gavin Newsom has declared states of emergency in three Northern California counties amid uncontrolled wildfires. The orders were issued in Napa, Sonoma and Shasta counties, where the Glass and Zogg fires have consumed tens of thousands of acres. The Glass Fire has prompted the evacuations of nearly 40,000 residents in Napa and Sonoma counties.

ENTERTAINMENT
‘BORAT’ RETURNS
… Amazon Studios has purchased international rights to the sequel of the 2006 film “Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan.” Sacha Baron Cohen returns to star as Kazakstan journalist film, which will premiere late October on Amazon Prime. The film is set for a late October release.

DOLLY PARTON CHRISTMAS… The Dolly Parton Christmas musical “Christmas on the Square” is set for a November 22 release on Netflix. Christine Baranski and Jennifer Lewis also star in the story about a rich woman who returns to her small hometown with the intention of selling land to a mall developer just before Christmas. Parton also released the song, “Christmas on the Square” from her holiday album “A Holly Dolly Christmas,” which will be released on Friday.

SPORTS
MLB PLAYOFFS

AMERICAN LEAGUE WILD-CARD GAME 1 SCORES

Houston 4 – MINNESOTA 1
… Michael Brantley’s two-run single capped a three-run top of the ninth inning that carried the Astros past the Twins. Reliever Framber Valezz pitched two-hit ball over five scoreless innings. Houston hasn’t announced its starter in today’s Game 2. Minnesota sends righthander Jose Berrios (5-4) to the mound.

Chi. White Sox 4 – OAKLAND 1… Jose Abreu homered with a runner aboard, Adam Engel and Yasmani Grandal added solo homers and the White Sox cruised past the Athletics. Chicago starter Lucas Giolito surrendered a run on two hits over seven innings. Lefthander Dallas Keuchel (6-2) gets the start for Chicago today. Righthander Chris Bassitt (5-2) to the mound.

TAMPA BAY 3 – Toronto 1… Blake Snell took a no-hitter into the sixth inning and the Rays held off the Blue Jays. Manuel Margo belted a two-run homer. Righthander Tyler Glasnow (5-1) takes the mound for Tampa Bay today. He’ll be opposed by Toronto lefthander Hyun-Jin Ryu (5-2).

N.Y. Yankees 12 – CLEVELAND 3… Aaron Judge, Greyber Torres and Brett Gardner hit two-run homers as the Yankees walloped the Indians. Torres also singled home a run and was 3-for-3 on the day. New York will send Carlos Carrasco (3-4) to the mound, where he’ll be opposed by Masahiro Tanaka (3-3).

TODAY’S NATIONAL LEAGUE WILD-CARD OPENERS
Cincinnati (Trevor Bauer, 5-4) is at Atlanta (Max Fried, 4-0)…
the Chi. Cubs (Kyle Hendricks, 3-3) host Miami (Sandy Alcantara, 1-0)…
St. Louis (Kwang-Hyun Kim, 1-0) is at San Diego (Dinelson Lamet, 3-1)…
the L.A. Dodgers (Walker Buehler, 1-0) host Milwaukee (Josh Lindblom, 2-4)

NBA FINALS OPEN TONIGHT… The Miami Heat and Los Angeles Lakers take the court in Orlando tonight in Game 1 of the 2020 NBA Finals. Both teams have gone 12-3 in the postseason. After entering the playoffs as the Eastern Conference’s fifth seed, the Heat eliminated Indiana, Milwaukee and Boston. The Lakers, who were the Western Conference’s top seed, dispatched of Portland, Houston and Denver. Miami is led by the trio of Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo and Goran Dragic. L.A. relies on the tandem of Anthony Davis and LeBron James.

TENNESSEE TITANS SUSPEND ACTIVITIES… The Tennessee Titans have suspended all in-person club activities after three Tennessee Titans players and five personnel members tested positive for COVID-19. The team’s facilities will be closed until Saturday. ESPN reported that the Minnesota Vikings, who played the Titans on Sunday, also have positive tests. It’s not known whether the Titans will play Sunday’s scheduled game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

The Rundown for September 29, 2020

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE… The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 7,148,009 and the nation’s death toll stands at 205,069, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University… The worldwide death toll from the coronavirus passed a million yesterday just nine months after the first reported fatality in China. Public health experts believe the actual toll is much higher than what has been recorded… Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s leading disease expert, is concerned about the full re-opening of bars and restaurants in Florida. Fauci told ABC’s “Good Morning America” yesterday that the U.S. is “not in a good place” for the upcoming winter season as cases continue to rise in most states. Fauci emphasized that he is urging people take a common-sense approach toward public health and is not calling for a shutdown.

PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE TONIGHT… President Trump and his Democratic rival, Joe Biden, square off tonight in their first debate of the 2020 presidential campaign. The event at Case Western Reserve University and the Cleveland Clinic, airs from 9 to 10:30 p.m. ET. Polls have been indicating that Biden currently holds a 10-point advantage nationally among both registered and likely voters. Bombshell reports about about Trump’s taxes, the upcoming Supreme Court confirmation fight and Trump’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic are expected to be among topics discussed tonight.

TRUMP 2016 CAMPAIGN ACCUSED OF DETERRING BLACK VOTERS… An investigation by Channel 4 News in London has found that Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential election campaign sought to deter millions of Black voters in battleground states from casting their ballots. According to the investigation, the voters were targeted in negative Hillary Clinton ads posted on Facebook. A leaked database of voter profiles used by the Trump campaign revealed how the “dark” ads identified Black voters who were likely to vote for Clinton. The strategy was reportedly orchestrated through Cambridge Analytica, the data analysis firm that gained unauthorized access to tens of millions of Facebook profiles.

DEMS UNVEIL RELIEF PLAN… House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said yesterday that Democratic lawmakers have unveiled a new, $2.2 trillion coronavirus relief bill. She called the bill a compromise measure that reduces the costs of the economic aid. According to Pelosi, the legislation “includes new funding needed to avert catastrophe for schools, small businesses, restaurants, performance spaces, airline workers and others.” She hasn’t said when Democrats would vote on the proposal.

NORTHERN CALIFORNIA WILDFIRES… Evacuations continued in two Northern California counties yesterday, where the Glass Fire has consumed 36,236 acres and is 0 percent contained. More than 68,000 people have been forced out of their homes in Napa and Sonoma counties. A separate fire in Shasta County has claimed the lives of at least three people, authorities reported.

ENTERTAINMENT
HBO EXTENDS ‘REAL TIME WITH BILL MAHER’
… HBO announced yesterday that it has renewed “Real Time with Bill Maher” for two more seasons. The deal keeps the topical talk show on the network through 2022. HBO praised the show for giving “audiences an unparalleled platform for debate, comedy, and social discourse.” Each episode features an opening monologue, followed by round-table discussions with guests and interviews.

CAROL BASKIN BOOTED FROM ‘DANCING’… “Tiger King” alum and animal activist Carole Baskin was eliminated from Season 29 of “Dancing with the Stars” last night. She had teamed up with professional dancer Pasha Pashkov for the competition. Following Baskin’s departure, remaining competitors include “Cheer” coach Monica Aldama, “The Bachelorette” alum Kaitlyn Bristowe, “Selling Sunset” star Chrishell Stause, retired NFL player Vernon Davis, actresses Anne Heche, Skai Jackson and Justina Machado, reality TV stars Jeannie Mai and Nev Schulman, Backstreet Boys singer A.J. McLean, actor Jesse Metcalfe, rapper Nelly and Olympic figure skater Johnny Weir.

SPORTS
LIGHTNING WIN STANLEY CUP

Tampa Bay 2 – Dallas 0… The Lightning clipped the Stars in Game 6 to capture the franchise’s second-ever Stanley Cup. Tampa Bay got goals from Brayden Point and Blake Coleman. Goalie Sergei Vasilevskiy stopped all 24 shots.

MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL
Kansas City 34 – BALTIMORE 20
… Patrick Mahomes passed for 385 yards and hit four different receivers with scoring tosses in leading the Chiefs (3-0) past the Ravens (2-1). The victory was Kansas City’s 12th straight in the regular season and ended Baltimore’s 14-game regular-season winning streak.

MLB POSTSEASON OPENS TODAY… Major League Baseball postseason gets underway today with four American League wild-card games. National League wild-card games begin tomorrow.

the Houston Astros (Zack Greinke, 3-3) are at Minnesota (Kenta Maeda, 6-1)…
Oakland (Jesus Luzardo, 3-2) hosts the Chi. White Sox (Lucas Giolito, 4-3)…
Toronto (Matt Shoemaker, 0-1) is at Tampa Bay (Blake Snell, 4-2)…
Cleveland (Shane Bieber, 8-1) hosts the N.Y. Yankees (Gerrit Cole, 7-3)

The Rundown for September 25, 2020

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE… The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 6,975,087 and the nation’s death toll stands at 202,738, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University… Results of a new study published in the Washington Post yesterday found that the Covid-19 virus is continuing to mutate throughout the course of the pandemic. Experts believe it is probably becoming more contagious, as coronavirus cases in the U.S. are again rising. The study did not find that mutations of the virus have made it more lethal or changed its effects.

SENATE COMMITS TO PEACEFUL TRANSITION… The Senate yesterday unanimously passed a resolution reaffirming its commitment to a peaceful transition of power following President Trump’s refusal to do so if he loses the election. The measure was authored by Democratic Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia and warns ”that there should be no disruptions by the President or any person in power to overturn the will of the people of the United States.” Yesterday morning, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell tweeted, “The winner of the November 3rd election will be inaugurated on January 20th. There will be an orderly transition just as there has been every four years since 1792.”

PROTESTS CONTINUE… Protests continued for a second night last night in major cities throughout the U.S. following Wednesday’s grand jury decision that no officers would be charged directly in the death of Breonna Taylor. The 26-year-old EMT was fatally shot by three Louisville Metro Police Department officers who executed a no-knock search warrant and entered her apartment. Unlawful assembly was declared in Louisville. New York City and Philadelphia were among other cities hosting major events.

BIDEN RACKS UP ENDORSEMENTS… Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden yesterday picked up the endorsement of a group of 489 retired generals and admirals, as well as former national security officials and diplomats. Those signing a letter of endorsement included former CIA and FBI Director William Webster as well as former defense secretaries William Perry, William Cohen, Chuck Hagel, Leon Panetta and Ash Carter. The signees described themselves as Democrats, Republicans and Independents who believe Biden’s positions “are rooted in sound judgement, through understanding and fundamental values.” Former Secretary of the Coast Guard Secretary Admiral Paul Zukunft said he signed the letter due to an “insurgency” on Americans’ constitutional rights that has occurred under the Trump administration.

TRUMP BOOED WHILE VISITING GINSBURG CASKET… President Trump was loudly booed yesterday while visiting the casket of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg outside the Supreme Court. Trump, accompanied by first lady Melania Trump, stood behind a column as the public jeered his appearance and began chanting, “Vote him out!” The casket will be moved today to the Capitol building where Ginsburg will lie in state.

FEDERAL INMATE EXECUTED… The U.S. government executed a 40-year-old man convicted in the 1999 murders of a married couple in Texas. Christopher Vialva became the seventh federal inmate to be executed this year after he was administered a lethal injection at the U.S. Penitentiary in Terre Haute, Indiana. Vialva’s attorneys were unsuccessful in their appeal to the Supreme Court earlier this week.

ENTERTAINMENT
CHRIS ROCK TO HOST ‘SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE’ PREMIERE
… NBC announced yesterday that comedian and actor Chris Rock will host “Saturday Night Live” on its October 3 46th annual season premiere. Rock stars in the fourth season of the FX series “Fargo,” which centers on Midwest mob bosses in the 1950s. Rapper Megan Thee Stallion has agreed to serve as musical guest of the “SNL” premiere.

LIV TYLER LEAVES ‘LONE STAR’… Actress Liv Tyler has left the Fox first-responder drama “911: Lone Star” after one season. She reportedly asked to be released from her multi-year contract due to pandemic-related concerns about traveling back and forth from her home in Britain to the U.S. where the show is filmed. Tyler’s character, Emergency Medical Services Captain Michelle Blake, is not expected to be recast or killed off.

SPORTS
NBA PLAYOFFS SCORE

WESTERN CONFERENCE FINALS
L.A. Lakers 114 – Denver 108
… The Lakers fought off the Nuggets to take a 3-1 lead in the series. Anthony Davis scored a game-high 34 points. LeBron James added 26 points. Game 5 is tomorrow.

TODAY’S NBA PLAYOFFS SCHEDULE
EASTERN CONFERENCE FINALS

Boston vs. Miami in Game 5 with the Heat leading 3-1

MLB SCORES
PITTSBURGH 7 – Chi. Cubs 0
… Chad Kuhl (2-3) pitched two-hit ball over seven innings and got help from two relievers in the blanking of the Pirates. Adam Frazier, Colin Moran, Josh Bell and Bryan Reynolds all hit home runs for Pittsburgh.

Colorado 5 – SAN FRANCISCO 4 (11 innings)… Raimel Tapia’s sacrifice fly in the top of the 11th inning scored Garrett Hampson with the tie-breaking run and the Rockies held on to outlast the Giants. Tapia also singled home a run.

N.Y. Mets 3 – WASHINGTON 2… The Mets held off the Nationals to keep their playoff hopes alive. Robinson Chirinos drove in all three runs with a two-run homer and infield single.

CLEVELAND 5 – Chi. White Sox 4… Cesar Hernandez singled home two runs and Jose Ramirez added a two-run double in the top of the seventh inning as the Indians came from behind to top the White Sox. The victory gave Cleveland a sweep of the four-game series.

TORONTO 4 – N.Y. Yankees 1… The Blue Jays cruised past the Yankees to clinch a playoff spot. Hyun-Jin Ryu (5-2) scattered five hits over seven shutout innings. Vladimir Guerrero homered. Alejandro Kirk stroked a two-run double.

Miami 4 – ATLANTA 2… Jon Berti went 3-for-4 with a two-run double and Jose Aguilar homered for the Marlins in their win over the Braves.

Baltimore 13 – BOSTON 1… The Orioles pounded out 18 hits in their dismantling of the Red Sox. Jose Iglesias, Pat Valaika and Austin Hays homered. Hanser Alberto lifted a sacrifice fly and doubled home two runs.

Houston 12 – TEXAS 4… George Springer and Jose Altuve blasted three-run homers in the Astros’ romp over the Rangers. Alex Bregman and Josh Reddick added two-run shots.

KANSAS CITY 8 – Detroit 7… Salvador Perez belted a three-run homer in the bottom of the first inning, Maikel Franco added a solo blast and the Royals downed the Tigers. Adalberto Mondesi went 4-for-4 with a two-run single.

ST. LOUIS 4 – Milwaukee 2… Dylan Carlson homered with a runner aboard and lined a run-scoring double in leading the Cardinals past the Brewers. Kwang-Hyun Kim (3-0) allowed a run on five hits over five innings.

L.A. DODGERS 5 – Oakland 1… Corey Seager homered and lifted a sacrifice fly for the Dodgers. Six pitchers combined on a three-hitter.

TODAY’S MLB SCHEDULE
St. Louis (Jack Flaherty, 4-2; Daniel Ponce de Leon, 0-3) is at Milwaukee (TBD; TBD) for a doubleheader…
Arizona (Zac Gallen, 2-2; Taylor Clarke, 2-0) hosts Colorado (Antonio Senzatela, 5-2; Antonio Santos, 0-0) for a doubleheader…
San Diego (Danielson Lamet, 3-1; Chris Paddack, 4-4) is at San Francisco (TBD; TBD) for a doubleheader…
Atlanta (Kyle Wright, 2-4) hosts Boston (Chris Mazza, 1-2)…
Baltimore (TBD) is at Toronto (TBD)…
Washington (Max Scherzer, 4-4) hosts the N.Y. Mets (Rick Porcello, 1-6)…
Philadelphia (Vince Velasquez, 1-1) is at Tampa Bay (Charlie Morton, 2-2)…
the N.Y. Yankees (Sandy Alcantara, 3-2) host Miami (J.A. Happ, 2-2)…
Pittsburgh (Mitch Keller, 1-1) is at Cleveland (Carlos Carrasco, 3-4)….
Kansas City (Brad Keller, 4-3) hosts Detroit (Spencer Turnbull, 4-3)…
Houston (Jose Urquidy, 1-1) is at Texas (Kyle Cody, 1-1)…
Minnesota (Jose Berrios, 5-3) hosts Cincinnati (Tyler Mahle, 2-2)…
the Chi. Cubs (Yu Darvish, 7-3) are at the Chi. White Sox (TBD)…
the L.A. Dodgers (Clayton Kershaw, 6-2) host the L.A. Angels (Andrew Heaney, 4-3)…
Seattle (Yusei Kikuchi, 2-4) is at Oakland (Chris Bassitt, 5-2)

NFL SCORE
Miami 31 – JACKSONVILLE 13
… Ryan Fitzpatrick threw for a pair of touchdowns and ran for another as the Dolphins (1-2) handled the Jaguars (1-2). In beating Jacksonville, Fitzpatrick became the first NFL quarterback to notch six wins over the same opponent with six teams.

SUNDAY’S NFL SCHEDULE
Chicago (2-0) is at Atlanta (0-2)…
Buffalo (2-0) hosts the L.A. Rams (2-0)…
Washington (1-1) is at Cleveland (1-1)…
Minnesota (0-2) hosts Tennessee (2-0)…
Oakland (2-0) is at New England (1-1)…
the N.Y. Giants (0-2) host San Francisco (1-1)…
Cincinnati (0-2) is at Philadelphia (0-2)…
Pittsburgh (2-0) hosts Houston (0-2)…
the N.Y. Jets (0-2) are at Indianapolis (1-1)…
Carolina (0-2) is at the L.A. Chargers (1-1)…
Denver (0-2) hosts Tampa Bay (1-1)…
Detroit (0-2) is at Arizona (2-0)…
Seattle (2-0) hosts Dallas (1-1)…
Green Bay (2-0) is at New Orleans (1-1)

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

TODAY’S NHL STANLEY CUP FINAL SCHEDULE
Tampa Bay vs. Dallas in Game 4 with the Lightning leading 2-1

PAC-12 TO PLAY FOOTBALL… The Pac-12 Conference announced yesterday that it will play a seven-game conference football season beginning November 6. The conference said men’s and women’s basketball can begin November 25 while other winter sports can begin in line with their respective NCAA seasons. No fans will be allowed to attend Pac-12 games taking place on campuses.