The Rundown for October 20, 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

SPORTS
MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL

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

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

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

The Rundown for September 28, 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

SPORTS
NBA PLAYOFFS SCORE

EASTERN CONFERENCE FINALS
Miami – Boston

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Green Bay – NEW ORLEANS

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Rundown for October 19, 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

SPORTS
MLB
NATIONAL LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES SCORE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Rundown for October 14, 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

SPORTS
MLB
AMERICAN LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES SCORE

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

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

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

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

The Rundown for October 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 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 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)