The Rundown for November 27, 2020

CORONAVIRUS UPDATES… The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 12,879,762 and the nation’s death toll stands at 263,413, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University… Health officials fear that the rising number of deaths could reach levels initially seen in the spring, when the pandemic first hit the U.S. More than 2,300 deaths were reported on Wednesday, which marked a 57-percent increase over the 14-day average. Officials warn that daily deaths could double within a matter of days.

AMERICANS CELEBRATE THANKSGIVING… Americans marked a Thanksgiving Day holiday yesterday amid the ongoing pandemic. Nearly 6 million Americans traveled by air prior to the holiday despite political leaders and health officials discouraging travel or large gatherings. The number of air travelers is less than half of the same period last year. The traditional Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City was scaled back significantly. The route was reduced from 2-1/2 miles to one block and balloon handlers were replaced by specially rigged vehicles. Spectators were forbidden from lining the streets.

COURT BLOCKS NEW YORK COVID RESTRICTIONS… New York Governor Andrew Cuomo yesterday called Wednesday night’s Supreme Court decision blocking coronavirus restrictions imposed on religious gatherings “irrelevant.” The High Court voted 5-4 in favor of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn and two Orthodox Jewish congregations that had sought an injunction to block the restrictions from being enforced. Cuomo said the high court’s ruling would have no impact on the state’s virus control efforts because the red zone status for the area in question had expired last week.

TRUMP SAYS HE’LL LEAVE WHITE HOUSE IF BIDEN GETS EC VOTES… President Trump came as close as he has come to conceding the presidential election yesterday when he said he will leave the White House if the Electoral College votes for President-elect Joe Biden. Trump maintained it would be hard for him to concede under the current circumstances, however, and declined to say whether he would attend Biden’s inauguration. Biden won the election with 306 Electoral College votes to Trump’s 232. Electors are scheduled to meet on December 14 to formalize the outcome. Biden also leads Trump by more than 6 million in the popular vote tally.

MEXICO INVESTIGATES WAL-MART… Mexico’s anti-monopoly commission signaled yesterday that it has launched a formal investigation into Wal-Mart’s Mexican subsidiary. While the Federal Economic Competition Commission did not identify its target, Wal-Mart de Mexico told investors earlier this week that it has been notified that it is that target of an investigation. The commission has publicly revealed that it is looking into possible monopolistic practices in wholesale and retail goods distribution and sales.

ENTERTAINMENT
ALEX TREBEK DELIVERS RECORDED MESSAGE
… “Jeopardy!” yesterday day aired a Thanksgiving message that had been pre-recorded by former host Alex Trebek prior to his death earlier this month. Trebek succumbed to his battle with pancreatic cancer on November 8 at age 80. The final episodes that he recorded is scheduled to air the week of January 4, 2021.

MADS MIKKELSEN REPLACES JOHNNY DEPP IN NEST ‘BEASTS’ FILM… Danish actor Mads Mikkelsen has been tapped to replace Johnny Depp in the next “Fantastic Beasts” film. Warner Bros. The 55-year-old Mikkelsen is best known for his roles in the James Bond film “Casino Royale,” “Hannibal” and “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.” He will portray the dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald in the third “Fantastic Beasts” installment, which is currently in production outside London. Its release date is set for July 15, 2022.

SPORTS
NFL SCORES

Houston 41 – DETROIT 25
… Deshaun Watson passed for 318 yards and four touchdowns in leading the Texans (4-7) past the Lions (4-7). Will Fuller had six catches for 171 yards and two scores. Defensive end J.J. Watt returned a first-quarter interception 19 yards for a TD.

Washington 41 – DALLAS 16… Antonio Gibson rushed for 115 yards and three touchdowns as Washington (4-7) rolled past the Cowboys (3-8). Montez Sweat intercepted an Andy Daulton pass and returned it 15 yards for a score.

SUNDAY’S NFL SCHEDULE
the N.Y. Giants (3-7) are at Cincinnati (2-7-1)…
Atlanta (3-7) hosts Las Vegas (6-4)…
Arizona (6-4) is at New England (4-6)…
Jacksonville (1-9) hosts Cleveland (7-3)…
Carolina (4-7) is at Minnesota (4-6)…
Buffalo (7-3) hosts the L.A. Chargers (3-7)…
Miami (6-4) is at the N.Y. Jets (0-10)…
Indianapolis (7-3) hosts Tennessee (7-3)…
Baltimore (6-4) is at Pittsburgh (10-0)…
Denver (4-6) hosts New Orleans (8-2)…
San Francisco (4-6) is at the L.A. Rams (7-3)…
Tampa Bay (7-3) hosts Kansas City (9-1)…
Chicago (5-5) is at Green Bay (7-3)

MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL
Seattle (7-3) is at Philadelphia (3-6-1)

TODAY’S TOP 25 COLLEGE FOOTBALL SCHEDULE
No. 2 Notre Dame is at No. 19 North Carolina…
No. 13 Iowa State is at No. 17 Texas…
No. 15 Oregon is at Oregon State…
No. 24 Iowa hosts Nebraska

SATURDAY’S TOP 25 COLLEGE FOOTBALL SCHEDULE
No. 1 Alabama hosts No. 22 Auburn…
No. 3 Clemson hosts Pittsburgh…
No. 4 Ohio State is at Illinois…
No. 5 Texas A&M hosts LSU…
No. 6 Florida hosts Kentucky…
No. 8 Northwestern is at Michigan State…
No. 9 Georgia is at South Carolina…
No. 12 Indiana hosts Maryland…
No. 16 Wisconsin hosts Minnesota…
No. 18 USC hosts Colorado…
No. 20 Coastal Carolina is at Texas State…
No. 23 Oklahoma State hosts Texas Tech…
No. 25 Tulsa is at Houston

TOP 25 MEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL SCORES
No. 1 Gonzaga 102, Kansas 90…
No. 3 Villanova 83, Arizona State 74…
No. 8 Illinois 97, Chicago State 38…
No. 15 West Virginia 78, VCU 66

The Rundown for November 23, 2020

CORONAVIRUS UPDATES… The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 12,226,643 and the nation’s death toll stands at 256,745, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University… The pharmaceutical company Pfizer and its partner BioNTech have submitted an application for emergency authorization in the U.S. of their Covid-19 vaccine, which has been shown by tests to be 95 percent effective. Pfizer hopes to produce up to 50 million doses by the end of the year. A Food and Drug Administration vaccine advisory committee is set to meet on December 10 to discuss whether to authorize the vaccine… Los Angeles County has issued an order that restricts in-person dining at restaurants, breweries, wineries and bars for a minimum of three weeks. The order becomes effective Wednesday at 10 p.m.

BIDEN TO START NAMING CABINET APPOINTMENTS… President-elect Joe Biden will announce the first of his Cabinet appointments tomorrow and is planning for a scaled-down inauguration due to the coronavirus pandemic, his aides revealed yesterday. The New York Times and Bloomberg reported that former deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken will be Biden’s nominee for Secretary of State. Bloomberg also reported that Jake Sullivan, a former aide to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, will be named national security adviser.

TRUMP YET TO CONCEDE… President Trump has yet to concede the presidential election despite his legal team compiling a 2-34 record in post-election court challenges. He is facing mounting pressure by allies in his own party to accept the results and press on in serving Americans amid a pandemic. Maryland Governor Larry Hogan, former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and North Dakota Senator Kevin Cramer are among the most recent Republicans who have urged Trump to move on. Ron Klain, who is Biden’s choice as White House chief of staff, called on the General Services Administration to formally recognize Biden’s victory and unlock resources for the transition process. Meanwhile, the Trump campaign distance has apparently split from attorney Sidney Powell, whose recent public appearances have included incorrect statements about the voting process, baseless and wide-ranging conspiracy theories and a threat to “blow up” Georgia with a “biblical” court filing.

McMASTER WARNS AGAINST AFGHANISTAN WITHDRAWAL… President Trump’s former national security adviser H.R. McMaster warned yesterday that the Trump administration’s decision to withdraw troops from Afghanistan will empower the Taliban. The retired lieutenant general called the plan “abhorrent” The withdrawal of about 2,000 troops from Afghanistan would leave 2,500 U.S. troops in country. It was announced earlier this month after Trump fired Defense Secretary and named Christopher Miller as his replacement.

ARREST IN WISCONSIN MALL SHOOTINGS… Police in the Milwaukee suburb of Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, last night announced the arrest of a 15-year-old suspect in connection with Friday’s shootings that left eight people injured at a mall. Officers also found a firearm that the boy allegedly used during the incident, police said. Investigators say it appears the shootings were the result of a dispute between two groups rather than a random act. Authorities said four “innocent bystanders” suffered what were believed to be non-life threatening injuries.

ENTERTAINMENT
TAYLOR SWIFT WINS BIG AT AMA AWARDS
… Taylor Swift won Artist of the Year and Favorite Pop/Rock Female Artist at last night’s 2020 American Music Awards. Justin Bieber, Dan + Shay and the Weeknd were also three-time winners. The Weeknd’s wins included Favorite Soul/R&B Male Artist, Favorite Soul/R&B Album for “After Hours” and Favorite Soul/R&B Song for “Heartless.”

AC/DC TOPS ALBUM CHART… AC/DC’s “Power Up” sold 117,000 copies to debut atop the Billboard 200 albums chart. Future and Lil Uzi Vert’s “Pluto x Baby Pluto” opened in second place with 105,000 units sold. Chris Stapleton’s “Starting Over” debuted in third place on sales of 103,000 copies. Last week’s champ, Ariana Grande’s “Positions,” dropped to fourth place after selling 75,000 units. Pop Smoke’s “Shoot for the Stars Aim for the Moon” capped the top five with 53,000 copies sold.

SPORTS
NFL SCORES

NEW ORLEANS 24 – Atlanta 9
… Taysom Hill replaced the injured Drew Brees at quarterback and rushed for two touchdowns in leading the Saints (8-2) past the Falcons (3-7). Michael Thomas had nine catches for 104 yards.

WASHINGTON 20 – Cincinnati 9… Washington (3-7) rallied in the second half to get past the Bengals (2-7-1). Rookie running back Antonio Gibson ran for 94 yards and a score. The loss was especially painful for Cincinnati, which will be without rookie quarterback Joe Burrow for the rest of the season after he was carted off the field with a knee injury in the second quarter.

CAROLINA 20 – Detroit 0… The Panthers (4-6) recorded their first shutout since 2015 in blanking the Lions (4-7). P.J. Walker passed for 258 yards and a touchdown in his first NFL start. D.J. Moore had seven receptions for 127 yards.

CLEVELAND 22 – Philadelphia 17… Linebacker Sione Takitaki returned a second-quarter interception 50 yards to open the scoring and the Browns (7-3) held off the Eagles (3-6-1). Defensive end Olivier Vernon recorded three sacks of Philadelphia quarterback Carson Wentz, one of which went for a third-quarter safety.

Pittsburgh 27 – JACKSONVILLE 3… Terrell Edmunds and Minkah Fitzpatrick each had two interceptions as the Steelers (10-0) smothered the Jaguars (1-9). Ben Roethlisberger threw touchdown passes to Chase Claypool and Eric Ebron. Diontae Johnson had 12 catches for 111 yards.

HOUSTON 27 – New England 20… Deshaun Watson threw for two touchdowns and ran for another in the first half and the Texans (3-7) fought off the Patriots (4-6). Watson passed for 344 yards on the day.

Tennessee 30 – BALTIMORE 24 (OT)… Derrick Henry’s 29-yard touchdown run with 5:21 remaining in overtime lifted the Titans (7-3) over the Ravens (6-4). Henry finished with 133 yards on 28 carries. Ryan Tannehill had a pair of scoring tosses. Corey Davis finished with five receptions for 113 yards.

Dallas 31 – MINNESOTA 28… Andy Daulton’s 2-yard touchdown pass with 1:37 remaining sent the Cowboys (3-7) past the Vikings (4-6). Daulton also hit CeeDee Lamb and Ezekiel Elliott with scoring strikes. Elliott rushed for 103 yards.

DENVER 20 – Miami 13… Justin Simmons’ interception of a Ryan Fitzpatrick pass in the end zone with 1:03 left sealed the win as the Broncos (4-6) topped the Dolphins (6-4). Denver sacked Miami starting quarterback Tua Tagovailoa six times and knocked him out of the game earlier in the fourth quarter. Melvin Gordon rushed for a pair of touchdowns.

L.A. CHARGERS 34 – N.Y. Jets 28… Justin Herbert completed 37 of 49 passes for 366 yards and three touchdowns and the Chargers (3-7) handled the Jets (0-10). Keenan Allen hauled in a franchise-record 16 receptions for 145 yards and a score.

INDIANAPOLIS 34 – Green Bay 31 (OT)… The Colts (7-3) rallied from a 28-14 halftime deficit to outlast the Packers (7-3). Rodrigo Blankenship’s fourth field goal of the game came from 39 yards out with 7:10 to go in overtime. Philip Rivers threw touchdown passes to three different receivers.

Kansas City 35 – LAS VEGAS 31… Patrick Mahomes connected with Travis Kelce on a 22-yard touchdown pass with 28 seconds remaining to give the Chiefs (9-1) a last-minute win over the Raiders (6-4). Kelce finished with eight catches for 127 yards. Tyreek Hill had 11 receptions for 102 yards and a score. Clyde Edwards-Helaire ran for two TDs.

MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL
the L.A. Rams (6-3) are at Tampa Bay (7-3)

AP TOP 25 COLLEGE FOOTBALL RANKINGS… Alabama is the unanimous No. 1 in this week’s Associated Press college football poll. The Crimson Tide received all 62 first-place votes after beating Kentucky 63-3 on Saturday. The top eight teams in this week’s poll held their spots.

  1. Alabama
  2. Notre Dame
  3. Ohio State
  4. Clemson
  5. Texas A&M
  6. Florida
  7. Cincinnati
  8. BYU
  9. Miami
  10. Oregon
  11. Northwestern
  12. Indiana
  13. Georgia
  14. Oklahoma
  15. Iowa State
  16. Coastal Carolina
  17. Marshall
  18. Wisconsin
  19. USC
  20. Texas
  21. Oklahoma State
  22. Auburn
  23. Louisiana
  24. Tulsa
  25. North Carolina

The Rundown for November 20, 2020

CORONAVIRUS UPDATES… The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 11,710,084 and the nation’s death toll stands at 252,484, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University… The number of hospitalizations in the U.S. has jumped nearly 50 percent over the past two weeks… The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention yesterday urged Americans not to travel for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday in order to limit the spread of COVID-19… California is imposing a limited Stay-at-Home Order that goes into effect tomorrow. Non-essential work and gatherings must stop from 10 p.m.-5 a.m. in 41 counties representing over 94 percent of the state’s population. The order ends on the morning of December 21.

BIDEN CHOOSES TREASURY SECRETARY… President-elect Joe Biden revealed yesterday that he has made his choice for treasury secretary. Biden also said he has discussed a possible nationwide mask mandate with state governors during a call. The president-elect said wearing a mask was “not a political statement, it’s a patriotic duty” during remarks after the call with both Republican and Democratic state governors. He also urged the federal government to deliver financial relief to states so they can tackle the virus.

RECOUNT CONFIRMS BIDEN WIN IN GEORGIA… The recount of ballots in Georgia’s presidential race has confirmed Joe Biden beat President Trump by 12,284 votes and found no widespread fraud. Officials in the state are scheduled to certify the results by the end of the day. Trump’s reelection campaign yesterday dropped its bid to challenge Biden’s victory in Michigan. Instead, Trump has invited state Republican leaders to a meeting at the White House today. The Trump campaign also had lawsuits tossed in Maricopa County, Arizona, and Bucks County, Pennsylvania.

SCHUMER SAYS McCONNELL AGRESS TO NEGOTIATE… Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said yesterday that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has agreed to resume negotiations over a potential new Covid-19 relief bill. Congressional aides on both sides, however, warn that Schumer might have been overly optimistic. Democrats and Republicans are seeking to avoid a government shutdown on December 11.

742K NEW UNEMPLOYMENT FILINGS… Another 742,000 U.S. workers have filed for new unemployment benefits, according to figures released by the Labor Department. The number reflected an increase of 31,000 from the previous week and brought the unemployment rate at 4.3 percent. Most economists expected about 700,000 new claims. There are almost 6.4 million continuing claims, the report said.

ENTERTAINMENT
NBC’S CHRISTMAS SPECIAL FILLS OUT LINEUP
… Kelly Clarkson and Gwen Stefani have joined the list of performers on NBC’s 2020 Christmas in Rockefeller Center special. The network says Clarkson will perform with Brett Eldredge. Other performers include The Goo Goo Dolls, Meghan Trainor and Earth, Wind & Fire, Dolly Parton and the Radio City Rockettes. The special will air on December 2 at 8 p.m. Eastern.

BOBBY BROWN JR. FOUND DEAD… Police have confirmed that the son of R&B singer Bobby Brown was found dead in his Los Angeles home on Wednesday, police have confirmed. Police say there is no sign of four play in the death of 28-year-old Bobby Brown Jr. Officers responded to residence following the report of a “medical emergency.” Brown was the stepson of the late Whitney Houston.

SPORTS
NFL SCORE

SEATTLE 28 – Arizona 21
… Russell Wilson threw first-half touchdown passes to DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett and the Seahawks (7-3) held off the Cardinals (6-4). Carlos Hyde ran 2 yards for a third-quarter score.

SUNDAY’S NFL SCHEDULE
New England (4-5) is at Houston (2-7)…
New Orleans (7-2) hosts Atlanta (3-6)…
Tennessee (6-3) is at Baltimore (6-3)…
Washington (2-7) hosts Cincinnati (2-6-1)…
Pittsburgh (9-0) is at Jacksonville (1-8)…
Carolina (3-7) hosts Detroit (4-5)…
Philadelphia (3-5-1) is at Cleveland (6-3)…
Denver (3-6) hosts Miami (6-3)…
the N.Y. Jets (0-9) are at the L.A. Chargers (2-7)…
Minnesota (4-5) hosts Dallas (2-7)…
Green Bay (7-2) is at Indianapolis (6-3)…
Las Vegas (6-3) hosts Kansas City (8-1)

MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL
the L.A. Rams (6-3) are at Tampa Bay (7-3)

TOP 25 COLLEGE FOOTBALL SCORE
No. 25 Tulsa 30, Tulane 24 (2OT)

NBA NEWS… The Golden State Warriors announced yesterday that guard Klay Thompson has suffered a torn Achilles tendon and will miss the 2020-21 season. Thompson suffered the injury during a workout on Wednesday. The 30-year-old Thompson missed the entire 2019-20 season after tearing the ACL in his left knee during the 2018-19 NBA Finals.

The Rundown for November 12, 2020

CORONAVIRUS UPDATES… The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 10,392,702 and the nation’s death toll stands at 241,047, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University… The COVID Tracking Project said the 144,270 cases reported yesterday marked the first time the number of new cases nationally surpassed 140,000. There were 1,421 deaths reported yesterday… The number of positive tests recorded in Texas yesterday surpassed one million and measures have been adopted in New York and Ohio to combat upticks. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced a 10 p.m. curfew for bars, restaurants, gyms and bowling alleys starting tomorrow. Small social gatherings of more than 10 people at private homes will also be restricted in the state. Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced the institution of a statewide mask mandate following more than 50,000 new over the past two weeks.

VETERAN’S DAY… Americans honored the nation’s fallen soldiers yesterday at solemn services nationwide. President Trump, along with first lady Melania Trump, Vice President Mike Pence and second lady Karen Pence, visited Arlington National Cemetery yesterday for the traditional Veterans Day ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. President-elect Joe Biden and his wife, Jill Biden, were joined by Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney in honoring veterans at the Philadelphia Korean War Memorial.

BIDEN LEAD GROWING… Joe Biden’s lead over President Trump continues to widen as voting totals from three states keep coming in. Biden was closing in an a victory in Arizona, which would give him 20 more Electoral College votes than he needs to secure the victory. He is projected to tally 306 Electoral College to Trump’s 232. If voting results continue at the current rate, Biden would win the popular vote by more than 5 million. Yesterday, Trump met with senior White House advisor Jared Kushner, campaign manager Bill Stepien and campaign advisor Jason Miller as the campaign pursues multiple legal challenges in several states. President-elect Biden, meanwhile, has named Ron Klain as his incoming chief of staff. Klain previously served as chief of staff to Vice President Al Gore during the Clinton administration and Biden during his tenure as vice president under President Barack Obama. In Georgia, Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger announced that the state will conduct a full recount by hand of all ballots cast statewide in the presidential election. Biden’s lead over Trump has grown to more than 14,000. Georgia has until November 20 to certify its ballots from across the state. Raffensperger claims there is no evidence to support allegations by Trump and Georgia’s two GOP senators that widespread voter fraud gave Biden his lead. Trump is projected to win the race in North Carolina, where the counting of provisional ballots continues.

GOP SENATORS RELEASE FUNDING PLAN… Republican senators have unveiled their $1.4 trillion spending package to keep the government running through September 2021. They hope the package will lead to an agreement with their Democratic colleagues before funding ends on December 11. The package consists of a dozen spending bills, allocating billions to each of the 12 appropriations subcommittees, including $69.8 billion for Homeland Security, $696 billion for Defense, $96.3 billion for the Department of Health and Human Services and $23.3 billion for Agriculture. Democrats have criticized the plan for its lack of coronavirus relief funding.

WILDFIRES COSTLY TO INSURERS… Insurance and reinsurance industry losses due to the nation’s wildfires will total more than $8 billion, according to the insurance broker Aon. Economic losses from the fires could top $13 billion, the firm says. Wildfires scorched millions of acres, primarily in California, Oregon, Washington and Colorado.

ENTERTAINMENT
MAREN MORRIS WINS BIG AT CMA AWARDS
… Maren Morris was a three-time winner at last night’s CMA Awards show. In addition to winning Female Vocalist of the Year, Morris won Single of the Year for “The Bones” and she shared Song of the Year honors for the single with co-writers Jimmy Robbins and Laura Veltz. Luke Combs, who was up for six awards, won Male Vocalist of the Year and Album of the Year for “What You See Is What You Get.” Eric Church took the top overall prize by being named Entertainer of the Year. Miranda Lambert, who led the field with seven nominations, won Music Video of the Year for “Bluebird.”

CLINT BLACK, LISA HARTMAN BLACK BOOTED FROM ‘MASKED’… Clint Black and wife, Lisa Hartman Black, have been eliminated from Season 4 of FOX’s “The Masked Singer.” Rapper Busta Rhymes was the first costumed celebrity eliminated this season. Actor Mickey Rourke later took himself out of the competition, and TV icon Brian Austin Green, retired pro football player/sports commentator Mark Sanchez, talk-show host Wendy Williams and comedian Bob Saget were subsequently booted from the show. Ken Jeong, Jenny McCarthy, Nicole Scherzinger and Robin Thicke are the program’s judges, and Nick Cannon is the host.

SPORTS
NBA NEWS
… The Oklahoma City Thunder have promoted assistant Mark Daigneault to head coach. Daigneault replaces Billy Donovan, who has moved on to Chicago. The 35-year-old Daigneault spent last season on Billy Donovan’s staff and was head coach of the G League’s Oklahoma City Blue for five seasons. The Thunder open camp on December 1.

MLB NEWS… Starting pitcher Marcus Stroman announced on social media yesterday that he will accept a qualifying offer to remain a New York Met for the 2021 season. The 29-year-old righthander opted out last season over COVID-19 concerns. Stroman was acquired by the Mets from Toronto on July 28, 2019. He went 4-2 with a 3.77 ERA in 11 starts for New York, leaving his career record at 51-47 with 3.76 ERA.

NCAA FOOTBALL NEWS… Coronavirus concerns have forced postponement or cancellation of four of Saturday’s college football games involving ranked teams from the SEC. No. 1 Alabama’s game at LSU has been postponed due to cases in LSU’s program and is in danger of not being played at all… No. 5 Texas A&M at Tennessee is being rescheduled for Dec. 12 as the result of three active cases in the Texas A&M program… No. 12 Georgia at Missouri has been postponed due to positive tests in the Missouri program and may be rescheduled for December 19… No. 24 Auburn’s game at Mississippi State was postponed because of COVID-19 positive tests and contact tracing within the Bulldogs’ program. It has been tentatively rescheduled for December 12… No. 3 Ohio State at Maryland has been cancelled in response to an elevated number of COVID-19 cases within the Maryland program…. In the American Athletic Conference, Navy’s game at Memphis on Saturday was postponed because of positive tests at the Naval Academy.

TONIGHT’S NFL SCHEDULE
Indianapolis (5-3) is at Tennessee (6-2)

The Rundown for September 23, 2020

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE… The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 6,894,586 and the nation’s death toll stands at 200,724, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University… The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is advising against traditional trick-or-treating this year, calling it a higher risk activity. The agency is also discouraging “trunk-or-treat” events, where treats are handed out from trunks of cars lined up in large parking lots; crowded costume parties held indoors; and visiting indoor haunted houses, where people may crowd together and scream.

TOPICS CHOSEN FOR PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE… Moderator Chris Wallace has selected the topics for next Tuesday’s first 2020 presidential debate. The event will air live from Case Western Reserve University and Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland. Wallace announced that topics will include: The Trump and Biden Records; The Supreme Court; Covid-19; The Economy; Race and Violence in our Cities; and The Integrity of the Election. Critics complained that climate change wasn’t included in the discussion.

CIA ASSESSES PUTIN BEHIND BIDEN DISINFORMATION… The Washington Post reported yesterday that a top-secret CIA assessment has concluded that Russian President Vladimir Putin is “probably directing” a disinformation campaign designed to damage Joe Biden ahead of the 2020 U.S. presidential election. The report, later confirmed by NBC News, cited two unnamed sources who reviewed the assessment. The highly classified report builds upon intelligence gathered by the FBI and the NSA. It was published internally at the end of August.

REPUBLICANS HAVE VOTE TO FILL SUPREME COURT SEAT… Republicans appear to have the votes they need to support filling the Supreme Court seat left vacant by the passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Yesterday, Utah Senator Mitt Romney and his Republican colleague from Colorado, Corey Gardner, announced they would vote to fill the seat. President Trump vowed yesterday that he will announce his nominee on Saturday.

HOUSE PASSES FUNDING BILL… The House voted 359-57 last night to pass a stopgap funding bill that keeps the government running through December 11. The legislation faces another shutdown threat in eight days if it fails in the Senate. The bill had been held up by questions about federal farm assistance until House Speaker Nancy Pelosi reached agreement with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Republicans.

ENTERTAINMENT
JOHN LENNON KILLER APOLOGIZES
… The man who fatally shot John Lennon 40 years ago has apologized to the late Beatle’s widow, Yoko Ono. 65—year-old Mark Chapman was convicted of shooting Lennon four times outside his New York Manhattan apartment in 1980. He was denied parole for the eleventh time following a hearing last month. Chapman said at the hearing that he killed Lennon for “glory” and was deserving of the death penalty.

FOUR SEASONS SINGER DIES… Tommy DeVito, a member of the 1960s doo-wop group Four Seasons, has died from COVID-19 complications. He was 92. DeVito, along with bandmates Frankie Valli, Bob Gaudio and Nick Massi, were best known for the song “Big Girls Don’t Cry.” Their story of growing up in New Jersey, complete with drug issues and run-ins with the mafia, inspired the 2005 Broadway hit, “Jersey Boys.”

SPORTS
NBA PLAYOFFS SCORE

WESTERN CONFERENCE FINALS
Denver 114 – L.A. Lakers 106… The Nuggets built an 18-point lead after three quarters and cruised past the Lakers to pull within 2-1 in the series. Jamal Murray pumped in 28 points. Jerami Grant added 26 points. Nikola Jokic finished with 33 points and 10 rebounds. Game 4 is tomorrow.

TODAY’S NBA SCHEDULE
EASTERN CONFERENCE FINALS
Boston vs. Miami in Game 4 with the Heat leading 2-1

MLB SCORES
ATLANTA 11 – Miami 1… The Braves rolled past the Marlins to clinch their third straight NL East title. Marcell Ozuna went 4-for-5 with a pair of homers and five RBIs. Freddie Freeman, Oscar Albies and Dansby Swanson also went deep.

CLEVELAND 5 – Chi. White Sox 3 (10 innings)… Jose Ramirez connected for a three-run homer in the bottom of the 10th inning as the Indians outlasted the White Sox to clinch a playoff spot. Cesar Hernandez added a solo shot for Cleveland.

PITTSBURGH 3 – Chi. Cubs 2… Jacob Stallings smacked a game-winning solo homer in the bottom of the ninth inning as the Pirates sunk the Cubs. Despite the loss, Chicago clinched a playoff spot after Philadelphia dropped both games of a doubleheader.

WASHINGTON 5 – Philadelphia 1… Austin Voth (1-5) allowed just a run on three hits in going the distance and the Nationals took the opener of the doubleheader. Brock Holt doubled home two runs during a four-run bottom of the third inning.

WASHINGTON 8 – Philadelphia 7… Yadiel Hernandez belted a walkoff two-run homer in the bottom of the eight inning to give the Nationals a sweep of the twinbill. Juan Soto cracked a three-run blast.

N.Y. Yankees 12 – TORONTO 1… The Yankees pounded out 15 hits in their pounding of the Blue Jays. Aaron Hicks tripled home a run and stroked a two-run single. Gerrit Cole (7-3) surrendered a run on five hits over seven innings.

Milwaukee 3 – CINCINNATI 2… Eric Sogard’s double in the top of the seventh inning scored Jedd Gyorko with a tie-breaking run and the Brewers made it stand in edging the Reds. Tyrone Taylor homered with the bases empty.

N.Y. METS 5 – Tampa Bay 2… The Mets got home runs from Robinson Cano, Pete Alonso and Guillermo Heredia in preventing the Rays from clinching the AL East title. Seth Lugo (3-3) gave up a run on four hits over 6-1/3 innings.

BOSTON 8 – Baltimore 3… Christian Vazquez belted a three-run homer to lead the Red Sox past the Orioles. Nick Pivetta (1-0) held Baltimore to a run on four hits over five innings.

MINNESOTA 5 – Detroit 4 (10 innings)… Max Kepler came through with a game-tying solo homer in the bottom of the eighth inning and added a game-winning RBI single in the 10th to send the Twins past the Tigers. Byron Buxton and Mitch Garver also homered for Minnesota.

St. Louis 5 – KANSAS CITY 0… Cardinals starter Austin Gober (1-1) pitched four-hit ball over six innings and three relievers completed the shutout of the Royals. Dylan Carlson went 3-for-4 with a two-run double.

ARIZONA 7 – Texas 0… Caleb Smith and reliever Riley Smith combined on a six-hitter and the Diamondbacks blanked the Rangers. Carson Kelly cracked a three-run homer.

Houston 6 – SEATTLE 1… Maldonado’s three-run homer capped a five-run top of the sixth inning that carried the Astros past the Mariners. Michael Brantley sparked the uprising with a leadoff homer.

L.A. Angels 4 – SAN DIEGO 2… Angels starter Griffin Canning (2-3) limited the Padres to a run on two hits and struck out 10 over six innings. Max Stassi went 4-for-4 with a pair of homers and three RBIs.

L.A. DODGERS 7 – Oakland 2… Corey Seager singled home a run and homered as the Dodgers cruised past the Athletics. Max Muncy added a two-run blast. AJ Pollock and Chris Taylor hit solo homers.

SAN FRANCISCO 5 – Colorado 2… Pinch-hitter Alex Dickerson led off the bottom of the seventh inning with a tie-breaking homer and Brandon Belt added a pinch-hit two-run double as the Giants put away the Mariners. Austin Slater homered to lead off the first.

TODAY’S MLB SCHEDULE
the L.A. Angels (Jaime Barria, 1-0) are at San Diego (Mike Clevinger, 3-2)…
Washington (Erick Fedde, 2-3) hosts Philadelphia (Zach Eflin, 3-2)…
Texas (Wes Benjamin, 1-1) is at Arizona (Alex Young, 2-4)…
Cleveland (Shane Bieber, 8-1) hosts the Chi. White Sox (Lucas Giolito, 4-3)…
the N.Y. Yankees (Masahiro Tanaka, 3-2) are at Toronto (Robbie Ray, 2-5)…
Seattle (Nick Margevicius, 1-3) hosts Houston (Zack Greinke, 3-2)…
Milwaukee (Adrian Houser, 1-5) is at Cincinnati (Trevor Bauer, 4-4)…
Pittsburgh (Trevor Williams, 1-8) hosts the Chi. Cubs (Kyle Hendricks, 6-4)…
Tampa Bay (Tyler Glasnow, 4-1) is at the N.Y. Mets (Michael Wacha, 1-3)…
Atlanta (Max Fried, 7-0) hosts Miami (Sixto Sanchez, 3-2)…
Baltimore (Dean Kremer, 1-0) is at Boston (Nathan Eovaldi, 3-2)…
Minnesota (Kenta Maeda, 5-1) hosts Detroit (Casey Mize, 0-2)…
St. Louis (Carlos Martinez, 0-2) is at Kansas City (Danny Duffy, 3-4)…
the L.A. Dodgers (Julio Urias, 3-0) host Oakland (Sean Manaea, 4-3)…
Colorado (Ryan Castellani, 1-3) is at San Francisco (TBD)

TODAY’S NHL STANLEY CUP FINAL SCHEDULE
Tampa Bay vs. Dallas in Game 3 with the series tied 1-1

NOTRE DAME HALTS FOOTBALL… Notre Dame announced yesterday that it is pausing all football-related activities after seven players tested positive for coronavirus out of the 94 tests performed Monday. 13 Fighting Irish players now are in isolation. Saturday’s game against Wake Forest has been postponed and schools are trying to reschedule the game for October 3.

The Rundown for September 17, 2020

A-LIST PREP LATE EDITION
Today is Thursday, September 17…
the 259th day of the year… 107 days remaining
47 days until the 2020 presidential election

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE… The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 6,625,560 and the nation’s death toll stands at 196,650, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University… Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Robert Redfield yesterday told a Senate committee that he believes face masks are “the most important, powerful public health tool we have” to fight COVID-19—and even better than a potential vaccine. Redfield also told the panel that most Americans probably wouldn’t be vaccinated against COVID-19 until summer or early autumn 2021.

BARR SEEKS FEDERAL CHARGES AGAINST PROTESTERS… The Wall Street Journal reported yesterday that Attorney General William Barr advised U.S. attorneys via a conference call to get aggressive in charging protesters who may have committed violent acts at demonstrations. Barr allegedly urged prosecutors to charge protesters with harsh federal crimes, such as impeding a law-enforcement officer or plotting to overthrow the U.S. government. In advising the prosecutors, Barr also predicted Black Lives Matter protests will intensify as the election nears. More than 200 people have been charged with federal crimes related to the protests this year. The FBI has previously said those people were mostly opportunists taking advantage of Black Lives Matter protests.

TROOPS ARMED HEAVILY TO CONFRONT LAFAYETTE SQUARE PROTESTERS… An Army National Guard major claims federal officials considered deploying a heat ray that makes human skin feel like it’s burning on peaceful protesters in Lafayette Square in June. Federal troops also amassed thousands of rounds of ammunition as they prepared to clear the crowd to enable a photo op for President Trump holding a Bible. Major Adam DeMarco made the claims in written House testimony and described himself as one of the senior National Guard officials on the scene.

ROMNEY OPPOSES BIDEN INVESTIGATION… Utah Republican Senator Mitt Romney came out against the Senate GOP-led investigation into Democratic nominee Joe Biden’s ties with Ukraine. Romney called the investigation a “political exercise” from the get-go. The probe has been led by Wisconsin Republican Senator Ron Johnson, who has vowed to release a report summarizing his investigation in the coming weeks.

HHS SPOKESMAN TAKES LEAVE… Department of Health and Human Services top spokesman Michael Caputo has voluntarily taken a 60-day leave of absence in order to “focus on his health and well-being of his family,” according to an HHS statement released yesterday. Caputo’s leave comes days after he posted a bizarre Facebook rant filled with false claims, including “deep state” scientists want America to be sick, the CDC is guilty of “sedition” and leftists are gearing up for a post-election armed revolt. He apologized for the rant on Tuesday.

SALLY MAKES LANDFALL… Hurricane Sally made landfall near Gulf Shores, Alabama, yesterday morning as a Category 2 storm but weakened later in the day to tropical depression strength. The National Hurricane Center said last night that the center of the storm was about 30 miles south-southeast of Montgomery, Alabama. There was a tropical storm warning in effect for the Okaloosa-Walton County, Florida, line eastward to Indian Pass, Florida. Forecasters said Sally could produce as many as 30 inches of rain in some areas between Florida and western Alabama.

ENTERTAINMENT
JIM CARREY TO PLAY BIDEN ON ‘SNL’
… Jim Carrey has signed on to play former Vice President Joe Biden on “Saturday Night Live” when the show returns for its 46th season on October 3. NBC says the show will be performed before a “limited in-studio audience.” Three new featured players have joined the cast of the new season. They are: Lauren Holt, a comedian who has been a house performer at the Upright Citizens Brigade theater in Los Angeles; Punkie Johnson, a comedian and writer whose credits include the shows “Space Force and Corporate”; and Andrew Dismukes a stand-up comic and ‘SNL’ staff writer since season 43. Alec Baldwin has agreed to return and portray against Carrey’s Biden in the five consecutive episodes that will precede the 2020 election. Former cast member Maya Rudolph will return as Kamala Harris and current cast member Beck Bennett will continue to play Mike Pence.

BONNAROO OFFERING VIRTUAL EVENT… The Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival will feature new and archived performances in a virtual event that will stream on YouTube September 24-26. A complete schedule will be announced later. Archival performances include Alabama Shakes from 2015, Beastie Boys from 2009, Dave Matthews and Friends from 2004, Jack White from 2014, James Brown from 2003, Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit from 2016, Metallica from 2008, My Morning Jacket from 2011, Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats from 2016, Nile Rogers and Chic from 2018, Run the Jewels from 2015, Tears for Fears from 2015, The White Stripes from 2007 and The XX from 2017.

ABC CANCELS ‘UNITED WE FALL’… ABC announced yesterday that it is canceling the family comedy “United We Fall” after just one season. The series starred Will Sasso and Christina Vidal who try to raise their two children amid family differences. The series premiered in July and ran for eight episodes.

SPORTS
MLB SCORES
St. Louis 4 – MILWAUKEE 2
… The Cardinals rallied past the Brewers in the doubleheader opener after spotting them a two-run lead. Tyler O’Neil lifted a sacrifice fly and homered. Brad Miller also went deep. Adam Wainwright (5-1) allowed two first-inning runs on four hits over seven innings.

MILWAUKEE 6 – St. Louis 0… Four pitchers combined on a two-hitter as the Brewers blanked the Cardinals to claim a split of the doubleheader. Ryan Braun’s 350th career homer was a three-run shot. Jacob Nottingham homered with a runner aboard.

Washington 4 – TAMPA BAY 2 (10 innings)… Rookie Luis García belted a two-run homer in the top of the 10th inning to send the Nationals past the Rays. Asdrubal Cabrera homered with a runner aboard in the sixth.

Oakland 3 – COLORADO 1… Mike Fiers (6-2) held the Rockies to a run on seven hits over six innings. Jake Lamb had a couple of hits and knocked in a run

L.A. Dodgers 7 – SAN DIEGO 5… The Dodgers held off the Padres to become the first team in the pandemic-shortened season to clinch a berth in the expanded playoffs. AJ Pollock and Chris Taylor hit solo homers. Will Smith drove in three runs.

MIAMI 8 – Boston 4… Jorge Alfaro connected for a pair of two-run homers and the Marlins doubled up on the Red Sox. Garrett Cooper also homered with a runner on.

CINCINNATI 1 – Pittsburgh 0… Reds starter Luis Castillo limited the Pirates to three hits and struck out 10 over seven innings. Shogo Akiyama singled home Jose Garcia with the game’s only run in the bottom of the fifth inning.

N.Y. YANKEES 13 – Toronto 2… Kyle Higashioka slugged three of the Yankees’ seven home runs and drove in five runs to lead the rout of the Blue Jays. DJ LeMahieu homered twice. Luke Voit and Clint Frazier also went deep.

N.Y. Mets 5 – PHILADELPHIA 4… The Mets came from four runs down in the fourth inning to upend the Phillies. Andres Gimenez singled home pinch-runner Amed Rosario with the go-ahead run in the top of the ninth inning. J.D. Davis hit a two-run homer.

Kansas City 4 – DETROIT 0… Brady Singer (3-4) pitched two-hit ball over six innings and three relievers completed the shutout of the Tigers. Salvador Perez drilled a two-run homer and doubled home a run.

BALTIMORE 5 – Atlanta 1… Orioles starter Keegan Akin (1-1) limited the Braves to three hits over five scoreless innings and fanned nine. Renato Nunes gapped a two-run double.

Minnesota 5 – CHI. WHITE SOX 1… Byron Buxton and Miguel Sano connected for two runs homers as the Twins cooled off the White Sox. Eddie Rosario added a solo shot.

Texas 1 – HOUSTON 0… Kyle Gibson (2-5) tossed a complete-game four-hitter in outdueling counterpart Lance McCullers and the Rangers edged the Astros. Joey Gallo’s double in the top of the ninth inning scored Leody Taveras and broke a scoreless tie.

CHI. CUBS 3 – Cleveland 2 (10 innings)… Javier Lopez singled home Ian Happ with the winning run in the bottom of the 10th inning as the Cubs outlasted the Indians. Cameron Maybin went 2-for-3 with an RBI single.

Arizona 9 – L.A. ANGELS 6… Kole Calhoun blasted a two-run homer and David Peralta added a solo shot as the Diamondbacks rolled past the Angels. Nick Ahmed and Daulton Varsho stroked two-run singles.

San Francisco 9 – SEATTLE 3… The Giants used a 15-hit attack to crush the Mariners. Brandon Belt hit a two-run homer and Evan Longoria followed with a solo shot in the top of the fourth inning. Alex Dickerson went 3-for-5 with an RBI and two runs scored.

TODAY’S MLB SCHEDULE
Tampa Bay (Blake Snell, 4-1; Trevor Richards, 0-0) is at Baltimore (Alex Cobb, 1-4; Dean Kremer, 1-0) for a doubleheader…
Miami (Jose Urena, 0-1) hosts Boston (Nathan Eovaldi, 2-2)…
Minnesota (Kenta Maeda, 5-1) is at the Chi. White Sox (Dallas Keuchel, 6-2)…
Seattle (Nick Margevicius, 1-3) hosts San Francisco (Tyler Anderson, 2-3)…
Arizona (Alex Young, 2-3) is at the L.A. Angels (Griffin Canning, 0-3)…
Pittsburgh (Seven Brault, 0-3) hosts St. Louis (Dakota Hudson, 3-2)…
the N.Y. Mets (Seth Lugo, 2-3) are at Philadelphia (Aaron Nola, 5-3)…
the N.Y. Yankees (Masahiro Tanaka, 2-2) host Toronto (Chase Anderson, 0-1)…
Cleveland (Shane Bieber, 7-1) is at Detroit (Casey Mize, 0-1)…
Houston (Framber Valdez, 3-3) hosts Texas (Jordan Lyles, 1-4)…
the L.A. Dodgers (Julio Urias, 3-0) are at Colorado (Kyle Freeland, 2-1)

MLB PLAYOFF PICTURE… Major League Baseball announced an expanded postseason format in 2020, which will include eight teams in each league. The top two teams in each division qualify, and the two teams with the next-best records in each league make it as Wild Cards. All ties will be resolved mathematically, without tiebreaker games.

AMERICAN LEAGUE EAST
The Rays lead the Yankees by three games for the division title and lead the A’s by a half-game for the AL’s second seed. Tampa Bay is one game behind the White Sox for the top AL seed and has a magic number of four to clinch a postseason berth

The Yankees are 1-1/2 games ahead of the Blue Jays for the division’s No. 2 playoff berth and hold the AL’s fifth seed.

The Blue Jays trail the division-leading Rays by 4 1/2 games and are 1-1/2 games behind the Yankees for the division’s No. 2 playoff berth.

The Orioles are five games back of the Indians for the AL’s No. 8 playoff spot.

AMERICAN LEAGUE CENTRAL
The White Sox lead the division by two games over the Twins and six games over the Indians, and lead the Rays by one game for the top seed in the AL. The A’s are 1-1/2 games back. Chicago’s magic number is three for a postseason berth

The Twins lead the Indians by four games for second place in the AL Central, trailing the White Sox by two games for the division lead. They hold the AL’s No. 4 playoff seed. Minnesota’s magic number is five for a postseason berth

The Indians are in third place in the AL Central, four games behind the Twins and six games behind the White Sox. They currently hold the eighth and final AL playoff seed.

The Tigers are 4 1/2 games behind the Indians for the eighth and final AL playoff spot, a half-game behind the Orioles and Mariners.

AMERICAN LEAGUE WEST
The A’s are 6 1/2 games ahead of the Astros for the division lead and 1 1/2 games behind the White Sox for the top AL playoff seed. Oakland’s magic for a postseason berth is four.

The Astros are 6 1/2 games behind the A’s for the division lead but two games ahead of the Mariners for the second guaranteed playoff spot in the AL West.

The Mariners are two games behind the Astros for the AL West’s second playoff spot and are four games behind the Indians for the eighth and final playoff spot.

The Angels are 6 1/2 games behind the Indians for the eighth and final playoff spot.

NATIONAL LEAGUE EAST
The Braves lead the division by 2-1/2 games over the Marlins and are a game behind the Cubs for the NL’s second seed.

The Marlins are 2-1/2 games behind the Braves for the division lead, and are 1-1/2 games ahead of the Phillies for the division’s second guaranteed playoff spot.

The Phillies are four games behind the first-place Braves and 1-1/2 games behind the Marlins for the division’s second guaranteed playoff spot.

The Mets are 3-1/2 games behind the Giants for the eighth and final playoff spot.

The Nationals are 5-1/2 games behind the Giants for the eighth and final playoff spot.

NATIONAL LEAGUE CENTRAL
The Cubs lead the division by 5-1/2 games over the Cardinals and hold the No. 2 NL playoff seed.

The Cardinals trail the Cubs by 5-1/2 games for the division lead and lead the Reds by a half-game for the NL Central’s second guaranteed playoff berth.

The Reds are tied with the Cardinals for the division’s second guaranteed playoff spot, and they are also a half-game behind the Giants for the eighth and final playoff spot, with the Brewers a half-game and Rockies a game behind.

The Brewers are a game behind the Reds and one game behind the Cardinals for the division’s second guaranteed playoff spot. They are also 1-1/2 games behind the Giants for the eighth and final playoff spot.

NATIONAL LEAGUE WEST
The Dodgers became the first team to clinch a postseason spot. They lead the Padres by 3-1/2 games in the division race and lead the Cubs by five games for the NL’s best record.

The Padres trail the Dodgers by 3-1/2 games for the division lead and lead the Giants by 6-1/2 games for the NL West’s second guaranteed playoff spot. San Diego’s magic number is three for postseason berth.

The Giants are a half-game ahead of the Reds and 1-1/2 games ahead of the Brewers and Reds for the NL’s No. 8 playoff seed.

The Rockies trail the Giants by two games for the eighth and final NL playoff berth.

TODAY’S NBA PLAYOFF SCHEDULE (games in Orlando)
Boston vs. Miami in Game 2 with the Heat leading 1-0

TODAY’S NHL STANLEY CUP PLAYOFF SCHEDULE
EASTERN CONFERENCE FINALS
(in Toronto)
Tampa Bay vs. the N.Y. Islanders in Game 6 with the Lightning leading 3-2

BIG TEN FOOTBALL HOPES TO OPEN PLAY NEXT MONTH… Big Ten Conference administrators announced yesterday that they will attempt to play football games next month after reversing its decision to call off the fall season due to the coronavirus pandemic. The league’s schedule is likely to be announced this week and is expected to be an eight-game, conference-only slate beginning the weekend of October 24. An all-inclusive championship week and ninth game is scheduled for December 19. Under the plan, the two division winners will play each other in the conference title game per normal, with the second- through seventh-place teams from each division facing off. Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez, who leads the conference’s scheduling subcommittee, noted that the conference will try to avoid having teams play each other twice and said it’s not been determined where the additional championship week games will be played.

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 13, 2020

PELOSI TALKS SUBPOENAS… House Speaker Nancy Pelosi yesterday left open the possibility of subpoenaing witnesses for President Trump’s impeachment. Pelosi says the decision depends on whether the Senate pursues testimony for its trial. Appearing on ABC News’ “This Week,” the Speaker said she will decide tomorrow during a caucus meeting whether to send articles of impeachment to the Senate as early as this week. Pelosi added the House could also file new articles of impeachment based on the Senate’s actions.

OFFICIALS NOT AWARE OF IRAQI GENERAL’S PLOTS… Secretary of Defense Mark Esper admitted during an appearance on CNN’s “State of the Union” yesterday that he hadn’t seen evidence to support President Trump’s claim that Iranian general Qassem Soleimani was “actively planning” imminent attacks on four American embassies before Soleimani was fatally targeted by a U.S. airstrike last week. The claim has also been challenged by security adviser Robert O’Brien, who conceded on ABC’s “This Week” that it was unclear whether embassies or U.S. military bases would be targeted. Some members of Congress say intelligence briefings did not mention threats to embassies.

SAUDI SERVICE MEMBERS EXPELLED… Federal officials say more than a dozen Saudi service members training at U.S. bases will be expelled. The expulsions follow the investigation into last month’s deadly shooting by a Saudi national that killed three people and wounded eight others at Naval Air Station Pensacola. Some of the Saudis being expelled are accused of having ties to extremist movements and a number are accused of possessing child pornography.

SHOOTER WOUNDS 5 AT COLORADO PARTY… Police in Colorado are on the lookout for a gunman who opened fire Saturday night and wounded five people attending a party at an apartment complex in Aurora. The wounded are all expected to survive. Three of those wounded were juveniles over the age of 16, and two of them were females, officials said.

WEEKEND WEATHER DEADLY… Winter weather that turned deadly over the weekend is blamed for at least 10 deaths. Fatalities were reported in Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana and Alabama. A tornado brought 100-mph winds to east Texas. In the Northeast, about 50 million people were under wind advisories and more than 145,000 homes were without power in eight states. The biggest outages were reported in New York, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

ENTERTAINMENT
OSCAR NOMINATIONS ANNOUNCED THIS MORNING… Nominations for the 92nd Academy Awards will be announced this morning. The nominations will be read by Issa Rae and John Cho and live-streamed beginning at 8:18 a.m. Eastern on Oscar.com, Oscars.org and the academy’s digital social platforms. A second wave of nominees will begin at 8:30 a.m. Eastern and be carried live on “Good Morning America.” This year’s Academy Award ceremony is scheduled for February 9.

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE… “1917” took in $36.5 million to top the weekend box office following its wide release. “Star Wars: Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker” slipped into second place with $15 million. “Jumanji: The Next Level” dropped one spot to No. 3 after bringing in $14 million. “Like a Boss” debuted in fourth place with $10 million. “Just Mercy” made $9.75 million to cap the top five.

SPORTS
NFL DIVISIONAL-ROUND PLAYOFF SCORES
KANSAS CITY 51 – Houston 31… The Chiefs erased a 24-0 second-quarter deficit to roll past the Texans and advance to take on Tennessee in next Sunday’s AFC title game. Patrick Mahomes passed for 321 yards and five touchdowns. He also gained 53 yards on the ground. Travis Kelce had 10 receptions for 134 yards and three scores.

Green Bay 28 – SEATTLE 23… The Packers built a 21-3 halftime lead and held on to down the Seahawks and move on to battle San Francisco next Sunday for the NFC title. Aaron Rodgers found Davante Adams eight times for 160 yards and two touchdowns. Aaron Jones ran for a pair of second-quarter scores.

NBA SCORES
Utah 127 – WASHINGTON 116… The Jazz handled the Wizards and extended their winning streak to nine games. Bojan Bogdanovic scored a game-high 31 points. Rudy Gobert finished with 21 points and 14 rebounds.

NEW YORK 124 – Miami 121… The Knicks rallied in the fourth quarter to upend the Heat. Julius Randle led the way with 26 points. RJ Barrett added 23 points.

San Antonio 105 – TORONTO 104… The Spurs came from 18 points down to stun the Raptors. DeMar DeRozan scored 25 points to lead a balanced scoring attack.

MEMPHIS 122 – Golden State 102… The Grizzlies pulled away in the second half to throttle the Warriors. Jonas Valanciunas piled up 31 points and 19 boards.

BROOKLYN 108 – Atlanta 86… Kyrie Irving returned from injury after two months and scored 21 points in the Nets’ win over the Hawks. Five other players scored in double figures for Brooklyn.

DENVER 114 – L.A. Clippers 104… The Nuggets used a big second quarter to build a double-digit lead and maintained it in the second half. Nikola Jokic finished with 20 points and 15 rebounds.

PHOENIX 100 – Charlotte 92… The Suns came up big in the fourth quarter to fight off the Hornets. Kelly Oubre Jr. racked up 25 points and 15 boards.

TODAY’S NBA SCHEDULE
New Orleans is at Detroit…
Indiana hosts Philadelphia…
Chicago is at Boston…
Minnesota hosts Oklahoma City…
Orlando is at Sacramento…
Portland hosts Charlotte…
Cleveland is at the L.A. Lakers

NHL SCORES
Vancouver 4 – Minnesota 1… Bo Horvat scored a tie-breaking goal in the second period and added an empty-netter to lead the Canucks past the Wild. J.T. Miller assisted on two goals.

Buffalo 5 – DETROIT 1… Evan Rodrigues scored back-to-back goals 2:21 apart early in the first period and the Sabres cruised past the Red Wings. Curtis Lazar had two assists.

Nashville 1 – WINNIPEG 0… Juuse Saros stopped all 28 shots in his first shutout of the season as the Predators clipped the Jets. Kyle Turris netted the game’s only goal in the first period.

Pittsburgh 4 – ARIZONA 3 (SO)… Bryan Rust and Teddy Blueger scored in the shootout to send the Penguins past the Coyotes. Brandon Tanev netted the tying goal with 3:02 remaining in regulation.

FLORIDA 8 – Toronto 4… Jonathan Huberdeau had a goal and an assist on his way to becoming the Panthers’ franchise leader in career points with 420. Vincent Trocheck had a goal and two assists for Florida.

NEW JERSEY 3 – Tampa Bay 1… The Devils skated past the Lightning and ended their 10-game winning streak. Travis Zajac’s goal midway through the second period gave New Jersey the lead for good. Goalie Louis Domingue made 26 saves.

TODAY’S NHL SCHEDULE
Calgary is at Montreal…
the N.Y. Rangers host the N.Y. Islanders…
Boston is at Philadelphia…
Washington hosts Carolina…
Anaheim is at St. Louis

TOP 25 MEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL SCORES
PURDUE 71, #8 Michigan State 42…
MINNESOTA 75, #19 Michigan 67…
#21 Memphis 68, SOUTH FLORIDA 64…
#23 Wichita State 89, CONNECTICUT 86 (2OT)…
OREGON STATE 82, #24 Arizona 65…
#25 COLORADO 91, Utah 52

COLLEGE FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP GAME TONIGHT… Top-ranked LSU takes on third-ranked Clemson tonight in the college football championship game. Both teams are 14-0 heading into the contest. Kickoff from the Superdome in New Orleans is scheduled for 8 p.m. Eastern. The game airs on ESPN.

The Rundown for January 10, 2020

HOUSE VOTES TO LIMIT TRUMP MILITARILY… The House last night passed a resolution that limits President Trump’s power to strike Iran militarily. The 224-194 vote was largely along political lines. The resolution directs the president to end military hostilities with Iran without specific authorization from Congress and unless the U.S. faces an “imminent armed attack.” As a “concurrent resolution,” the measure does not need Trump’s signature.

PELOSI SAYS SHE’LL PASS ALONG IMPEACHMENT ARTICLES ‘SOON’… House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said yesterday that she expects to pass along to the Senate the two articles of impeachment against President Trump “soon,” but first wants to learn more about Republicans’ plans for the trial. Pelosi has angered Republicans by withholding the articles after the House convicted Trump on abuse of power and obstruction of Congress charges last month. Earlier this week, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced plans to approve Senate trial rules without the help of Democrats.

TRUMP SAYS CLIMATE CHANGE ‘NOT A HOAX’… President Trump declared yesterday that he is a “big believer” in climate change and that it is “not a hoax.” The surprise announcement came after administration officials introduced a plan to overhaul the 50-year-old National Environmental Policy Act. The administration’s plan would effectively roll back regulations that require federal agencies to consider climate change when approving infrastructure projects, such as highways or oil and gas pipelines.

WATCHDOG: TRUMP HAS ADDED $4.7T TO NATIONAL DEBT… The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget revealed yesterday that legislation signed by President Trump has added $4.7 trillion to the national debt since Trump took office in January 2017. The federal budget watchdog estimates the debt figure based on a time window starting in 2017 and ending in 2029. The $4.7 trillion is on top of the existing $17.2 trillion already held by the public, and $9.2 trillion the U.S. is expected to borrow over the next decade. The committee said the additional debt under Trump is split evenly between tax and spending policy changes. The report also said the president and Congress share the responsibility for growing the debt.

IRAN BLAMED FOR UKRAINIAN CRASH… U.S. officials believe the Ukrainian jetliner that crashed on Wednesday was shot down by Iran following the country’s missile attacks on U.S. targets. All 176 people on board were killed when the Ukrainian International Airlines plane crashed soon after takeoff from Tehran’s airport. The plane was believed to have been mistakenly targeted. Officials report U.S. intelligence picked up signals of a radar being turned on and U.S. satellites detected two surface-to-air missile launches.

ENTERTAINMENT
BUCK HENRY DIES… Family members have confirmed that comedy legend Buck Henry died Wednesday in Los Angeles after suffering a heart attack. He was 89. Henry earned Academy Award nominations as co-writer of the 1967 film “The Graduate” and as co-director of 1978’s “Heaven Can Wait.” He was co-creator of the television series “Get Smart” and was a frequent guest and host of “Saturday Night Live.”

IN THEATERS… “1917” expands nationally this weekend. The R-rated film tells the World War I story about two young British soldiers who are tasked with delivering a message deep in enemy territory in an effort to stop 1,600 men, and one of the soldiers’ brothers, from walking straight into a deadly trap. Dean-Charles Chapman, George MacKay, Daniel Mays and Colin Firth star… “Just Mercy” centers on world-renowned civil rights defense attorney Bryan Stevenson, who works to free a wrongly condemned death row prisoner. Michael B. Jordan and Brie Larson star in the PG-13 film… In “Like a Boss,” two friends with very different ideals start a beauty company together. The R-rated comedy stars Rose Byrne and Tiffany Haddish… “Underwater” stars Kristen Stewart and T.J. Miller in the story about a crew of aquatic researchers who work to get to safety after an earthquake devastates their subterranean laboratory. It’s rated PG-13… Ana de Armas and Rosamund Pike star in “The Informer.” In the R-rated drama, an ex-convict working undercover intentionally gets himself incarcerated again in order to infiltrate the mob at a maximum-security prison.

SPORTS
NBA SCORES
PHILADELPHIA 109 – Boston 98… The 76ers shook off a slow start to cruise past the Celtics. Jamal Richardson led the way with 29 points.

Cleveland 115 – DETROIT 112 (OT)… Kevin Love knocked down a tie-breaking 3-pointer with 37.9 seconds remaining and the Cavaliers made it stand in their win over the Pistons. Tristan Thompson piled up 35 points and 14 rebounds.

MINNESOTA 116 – Portland 102… The Timberwolves outscored the Trail Blazers 31-13 in the second quarter and retained control. Andrew Wiggins pumped in 23 points.

OKLAHOMA CITY 113 – Houston 92... The Thunder jumped out to a 16-point lead after the first quarter and coasted past the Rockets. Dino Gallinari scored 23 points and grabbed 11 boards. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander tossed in 20 points.

TODAY’S NBA SCHEDULE
Atlanta is at Washington…
New York hosts New Orleans…
Miami is at Brooklyn…
Memphis hosts San Antonio…
Indiana is at Chicago…
Phoenix hosts Orlando…
Charlotte is at Utah…
Dallas hosts the L.A. Lakers…
Milwaukee is at Sacramento…
the L.A. Clippers host Golden State

NHL SCORES
BOSTON 5 – Winnipeg 4… David Pastrnak recorded a hat trick and extended his point streak to 12 games in leading the Bruins past the Jets. His third goal came in the third quarter and proved to be the difference.

Edmonton 4 – MONTREAL 2… Alex Chiasson netted a tie-breaking goal in the third period as the Oilers came from behind to down the Canadiens.

TAMPA BAY 4 – Arizona 0… Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped all 25 shots in the Lightning’s blanking of the Coyotes. Nikita Kucherov scored two goals.

FLORIDA 5 – Vancouver 2… The Panthers got two goals from Noel Acciari in topping the Canucks. Sergei Bobrovsky made 30 saves at goal.

N.Y. RANGERS 6 – New Jersey 3… Tony DeAngelo recorded his first career hat trick and assisted on two goals as the Rangers doubled up on the Devils. Artemi Panarin contributed a goal and two assists.

ST. LOUIS 5 – Buffalo 1… Alexander Steen found the net twice and had an assist as the Blues breezed past the Sabres. Robert Thomas and Tyler Bozak each had a goal and an assist.

Nashville 5 – CHICAGO 2… The Predators handled the Blackhawks to give coach John Hynes his first win since taking over. Goalie Pekka Rinne made 29 saves and scored an empty-net goal.

CALGARY 2 – Minnesota 1… Johnny Gaudreau scored a go-ahead goal in the second period and the Flames held off the Wild. Goalie Cam Talbot stopped 42 shots.

Los Angeles 5 – VEGAS 2… The Kings scored four unanswered goals in the first period and never looked back in their win over the Golden Knights. Jack Campbell stopped 44 shots at goal.

Dallas 3 – ANAHEIM 0… Ben Bishop made 27 saves in his 33rd career shutout as the Stars made it six straight wins. Roope Hintz had a goal and an assist.

SAN JOSE 3 – Columbus 1… Kevin Labanc had a goal and an assist to lead the Sharks in their defeat of the Blue Jackets.

TODAY’S NHL SCHEDULE
Ottawa is at Detroit…
Carolina hosts Arizona…
Pittsburgh is at Colorado

TOP 25 MEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL SCORES...
#1 Gonzaga 94, SAN DIEGO 50…
#8 MICHIGAN STATE 74, Minnesota 58…
#9 OREGON 74, Arizona 73 (OT)…
#19 MICHIGAN 84, Purdue 78…
#23 WICHITA STATE 76, #21 Memphis 67

SATURDAY’S NFL SCHEDULE
Minnesota is at San Francisco in the NFC Divisional Playoffs…
Baltimore hosts Tennessee in the AFC Divisional Playoffs

SUNDAY’S NFL SCHEDULE
Houston is at Kansas City in the AFC Divisional Playoffs…
Green Bay hosts Seattle in the NFC Divisional Playoffs

The Rundown for January 7, 2020

BOLTON SAYS HE’S PREPARED TO TESTIFY… Former National Security Adviser John Bolton announced yesterday that he is “prepared to testify” if the Senate issues him a subpoena for President Trump’s impeachment trial. The announcement defies Trump’s repeated efforts to block most senior aides and advisers from testifying in the House inquiry into his dealings with the government of Ukraine. Bolton’s willingness to cooperate is likely to put the spotlight on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who has consistently refused to commit to calling witnesses to testify at the trial.

HOUSE TO VOTE ON WAR POWERS RESOLUTION… House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says the House will vote this week on a “War Powers Resolution” aimed at setting limits on President Trump’s military actions against Iran. Pelosi sent a letter to Democratic members of Congress explaining that the resolution “reasserts Congress’ long-established oversight responsibilities by mandating that if no further congressional action is taken, the administration’s military hostilities with regard to Iran cease within 30 days.” The Trump administration is deploying thousands of additional troops to the Middle East after last week’s airstrike that killed Iranian commander Qassem Soleimani.

ESPER DENIES IRAQ PULLOUT… Defense Secretary Mark Esper denies that U.S. troops are pulling out of Iraq. The denial came in response to a letter by Brigadier General William H Seely, head of the US military’s task force in Iraq, who wrote that the U.S. would be “repositioning forces in the coming days and weeks” after Iraq’s government had called for them to leave. Esper insists there has been “no decision whatsoever to leave.”

DEFENSE SECRETARY’S CHIEF OF STAFF STEPPING DOWN… Eric Chewning intends to step down as chief of staff to Defense Secretary Mark Esper at the end of the month. He’ll become the most recent high-profile civilian to leave the Pentagon. Chewning will be replaced by Jen Stewart, the top Republican staffer on the House Armed Services Committee and a former top adviser to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs.

DRONE FLIGHTS INVESTIGATED… The FBI, FAA and U.S. Air Force have joined forces to investigate the mysterious swarms of drones that have been reported in the skies over Colorado, Nebraska and Kansas. Authorities in the three states have received more than 30 reports of the flights since mid-December. Several of the reports noted the drones were flying in formation, but the military and local companies have denied responsibility.

ENTERTAINMENT
WEINSTEIN HIT WITH LOS ANGELES RAPE, SEXUAL-ASSAULT CHARGES… Film producer Harvey Weinstein was charged with rape and sexual assault in Los Angeles yesterday while he was appearing in a New York court in a separate case. The Los Angeles County district attorney’s office said the charges are related to the alleged sexual assault of two women over two days in 2013. If convicted, Weinstein could face up to 28 years in prison.

‘JACKBOYS’ TOPS ALBUM CHART… The Travis Scott-led “Jackboys” project sold 154,000 copies to top the Billboard 200 album chart. Roddy Ricch’s “Please Excuse Me for Being Antisocial” jumped into second place after selling 74,000 units. Post Malone’s “Hollywood Bleeding” rose to third place on sales of 64,000 copies. Last week’s champ, Harry Styles’ “Fine Line,” slipped to fourth place with 54,000 units sold. The “Frozen II” soundtrack capped the top five after selling 46,000 copies.

SPORTS
NBA SCORES
PHILADELPHIA 120 – Oklahoma City 113… Josh Richardson scored 23 points to lead six players in double figures and the 76ers topped the Thunder to snap their five-game skid. Ben Simmons had 17 points and 15 rebounds.

Indiana 115 – CHARLOTTE 104… T.J. Warren pumped in 30 of his 36 points in the second half to lead the Pacers past the Hornets. Domantas Sabonis had 18 points and 12 boards.

WASHINGTON 99 – Boston 94… The Wizards got 27 points from Ish Smith in surprising the Celtics. Four other players scored in double figures for Washington.

ORLANDO 101 – Brooklyn 89… Markelle Fultz scored seven straight points during a 15-1 fourth-quarter run and finished with a career-high 25 points in the Magic’s win over the Nets.

Denver 123 – ATLANTA 115… Nikola Jokic poured in 47 points as the Nuggets downed the Hawks. Will Barton added 28 points.

Utah 128 – NEW ORLEANS 126… The Jazz held on down the stretch to top the Pelicans for their sixth straight win. Bojan Bogdanovic led the way with 35 points. Joe Ingles tossed in 22 points. Rudy Gobert pulled down 19 rebounds to go with his nine points.

SAN ANTONIO 126 – Milwaukee 104… The Spurs knocked down 19 3-pointers on their way past the Bucks. DeMar DeRozan scored a game-high 25 points.

DALLAS 118 – Chicago 110… Luka Doncic piled up 38 points, 10 assists and 11 boards in his 11th triple-double of the season and the Mavericks handled the Bulls.

SACRAMENTO 111 – Golden State 98… The Kings built a double-digit halftime lead and coasted past the Warriors. D’Aaron Fox and Buddy Hield scored 21 points apiece.

TODAY’S NBA SCHEDULE
Detroit is at Cleveland…
Toronto hosts Portland…
Oklahoma City is at Brooklyn…
Memphis hosts Minnesota…
Sacramento is at Phoenix…
the L.A. Lakers host New York

NHL SCORES
Edmonton 6 – TORONTO 4… Connor McDavid scored a goal and had three assists in leading the Oilers past the Maple Leafs. A Chiasson and Leon Draisaitl each had a goal and an assist.

Winnipeg 3 – MONTREAL 2… Nikolaj Ehlers scored a short-handed goal and had an assist as the Jets held off the Canadiens. Blake Wheeler assisted on two goals.

N.Y. ISLANDERS 1 – Colorado 0… Goalie Semyon Varlamov stopped all 32 shots in the Islanders’ shutout of the Avalanche. Anders Lee scored the game’s only goal at 6:54 of the third period.

Columbus 4 – LOS ANGELES 2… Scott Harrington and scored in the second period to give the Blue Jackets the lead for good in their win over the Kings. Elvis Merzlikins made 37 saves at goal.

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

NHL NEWS… The Nashville Predators fired head coach Peter Laviolette and assistant coach Kevin McCarthy yesterday. No interim coach or new head coach was immediately named. Laviolette took over as coach in 2014 and his teams went 248-143-60, reaching the Stanley Cup Final in 2017. Laviolette also reached the finals with the Carolina Hurricanes and Philadelphia Flyers. He won the Cup with Carolina in 2006.

TOP 25 MEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL SCORES
#17 West Virginia 55, OKLAHOMA STATE 41

COLLEGE FOOTBALL BOWL SCORE
Louisiana 27, Miami (OH) 17 in the LendingTree Bowl