The Rundown for July 31, 2020

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE… The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 4,493,661 and the nation’s death toll stands at 152,040, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University. Yesterday’s deaths included former Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain, who had been an outspoken critic of masks and attended a President Trump rally in Tulsa without wearing one… White House coronavirus task force member Dr. Anthony Fauci told CNN yesterday that it is impossible to know whether the U.S. is nearing the end of the pandemic or still in the early stages. He said the length of the pandemic will depend on how well Americans wear masks, socially distance and adhere to other guidelines.

ECONOMY POSTS RECORD DECLINE… The U.S. economy shrank by a shocking 32.9 percent annual rate in the second quarter—the biggest decrease since record-keeping began. The previous worst quarterly GDP plunge was a 10-percent decline in 1958. Meanwhile, the Labor Department announced that another 1.4 million workers filed jobless claims last week. It marked the 19th straight week that weekly jobless claims have topped a million.

FULL APPEALS COURT TO HEAR FLYNN CASE… The full Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit yesterday announced that it would reconsider a recent order dismissing the case against President Trump’s former national security adviser Michael Flynn. The review will begin with oral arguments on August 11. Last month, a three-judge panel ordered the case dropped, ruling that there was no reason to question the Department of Justice’s surprise decision to dismiss it. U.S. District Judge Emmett Sullivan appealed that decision and asked for a hearing before the full court. Flynn admitted that he lied to FBI investigators who had been asking him about conversations he had with Russian envoy Sergey Kislyak and pleaded guilty in December 2017.

MICHAEL COHEN FREE TO WRITE BOOK… The Justice Department is ending its efforts to prevent President Trump’s former attorney Michael Cohen from writing a tell-all book about Trump. Cohen, who had been serving the remainder of his three-year prison sentence under home confinement, was returned to prison early this month. He was released last week after the American Civil Liberties Union and a New York law firm filed suit alleging that Cohen’s rearrest amounted to retaliation for his plans to publish the book. The 53-year-old pleaded guilty in 2018 to charges of lying to a Senate committee about efforts to build a Trump Tower Moscow and coordinating hush-money payments to two women who claimed to have had extramarital affairs with Trump.

GHISLAINE MAXWELL DOCUMENTS RELEASED…. High-profile lawyer Alan Dershowitz and Prince Andrew are accused of taking part in Jeffrey Epstein’s alleged sex ring of underage girls in court documents unsealed yesterday. The more than 600 pages of unsealed documents stem from a defamation lawsuit between Epstein’s associate Ghislaine Maxwell and a woman who has stepped forward as a victim of sex trafficking. The victim, Virginia Giuffre, said she had sex with Dershowitz “on numerous occasions while she was a minor, not only in Florida but also on private planes, in New York, New Mexico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.” Testimony also reveals that Dershowitz, in order to gain immunity for himself against rape charges, arranged Epstein’s 2007 sweetheart plea deal in which he pleaded guilty to two felony prostitution charges. Giuffre remembers seeing Bill Clinton at Epstein’s private island in the Caribbean but the former president hasn’t been linked to improper behavior. He has denied visiting the island. Maxwell remains jailed after pleading guilty earlier this month to charges that include sex crimes, conspiracy and perjury.

JOHN LEWIS FUNERAL… Three former presidents came together yesterday in joining others who honored the late civil rights leader and U.S. congressman from Georgia John Lewis at his funeral in Atlanta. The event capped a week of memorial services for Lewis, who died two weeks ago at age 80 after battling prostate cancer. “He, as much as anyone in our history, brought this country a little bit closer to our highest ideals,” former President Barack Obama said of Lewis in delivering the eulogy. Former Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush also paid homage to Lewis.

L.A. CITY COUNCILMAN ACCUSED OF LEADING CRIMINAL ENTERPRISE… A Los Angeles city councilman is accused of leading a criminal enterprise and using his position at City Hall to enrich himself and his close associates. A federal grand jury yesterday returned a 34-count indictment against Jose Huizar as part of an ongoing corruption investigation. The 51-year-old Huizar was charged last month with one count of conspiracy to violate the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act. Prosecutors say he illegally accepted more than $800,000 in benefits from an unidentified Chinese billionaire who runs a multinational development firm and who owns a hotel in Huizar’s district. Huizar could face up to 30 years in federal prison if convicted on all charges. He is scheduled to appear via videoconference for his arraignment on Monday.

… Ellen DeGeneres has apologized to the staff of her daytime TV talk show following complaints of a difficult and unfair workplace. The apology came after Warner Bros. studio said “primary findings” revealed that an internal company investigation found some flaws in the show’s daily management. BuzzFeed News reported that one current and 10 former show employees complained about issues including being fired after taking medical or bereavement leave. One worker said she left because of comments about her race.

CINEMAX BRINGS BACK ‘WARRIOR’… Cinemax announced yesterday that it is bringing back the action-drama series “Warrior” for a second season in October. The series is based on writings by late actor and martial arts star Bruce Lee. It co-stars Olivia Cheng, Jason Tobin and Dianne Doan. The first season premiered in April 2019.

L.A. Dodgers 6 – ARIZONA 3
… The Dodgers got homers from A.J. Pollock, Cory Seager and Justin Turner in their defeat of the Diamondbacks.

San Diego 12 – SAN FRANCISCO 7 (10 innings)… The Padres came alive to score six runs in the top of the 10th inning and put away the Giants. Jurickson Profer stroked a two-run homer and singled home a run.

Chi. Cubs – CINCINNATI (ppd)… Rain in Cincinnati forced postponement of last night’s Cubs-Reds game. No makeup date has been announced.

N.Y. Yankees 8 – BALTIMORE 6
… Aaron Judge’s three-run homer in the top of the ninth inning lifted the Yankees over the Orioles after they had blown a three-run lead.

Cleveland 2 – MINNESOTA 0… Indians starter Shane Bieber (2-0) pitched three-hit ball over eight innings and struck out 13 before reliever James Karinchak completed the shutout. Francisco Lindor provided all the offense Cleveland needed with a two-run homer in the top of the third inning.

Kansas City 5 – DETROIT 3… Bubba Starling’s two-run double in the top of the eighth inning proved to be the difference in the Royals’ win over the Tigers.

Seattle 8 – L.A. ANGELS 5… Jose Marmolejos blasted a three-run homer in the top of the first inning and Shed Long’s leadoff homer sparked a five-run ninth that carried the Mariners past the Angels.

Washington 6 – TORONTO 4
… Michael A. Taylor homered with a runner aboard and Kurt Suzuki doubled home two runs for the Nationals.

Boston 4 – N.Y. METS 2… Christian Vazquez homered twice and drove in three runs as the Red Sox doubled up on the Mets.

ATLANTA 2 – Tampa Bay 1… Braves starter Max Fried (1-0) took a perfect game into the fifth inning and got help from four relievers on a four-hitter as the Braves edged the Rays.

St. Louis (Jack Flaherty, 1-0) is at Milwaukee (Brett Anderson, 0-0)…
Atlanta (Sean Newcomb, 0-0) hosts the N.Y. Mets (Rick Porcello, 0-1)…
San Diego (Garrett Richards, 0-0) is at Colorado (Jon Gray, 0-0)…
the Chi. Cubs (Yu Darvish, 0-1) host Pittsburgh (Trevor Williams 0-1)…
the L.A. Dodgers (Tony Gonsolin, 0-0) are at Arizona (Zac Gallen, 0-0)

Boston (Ryan Weber, 0-1) is at the N.Y. Yankees (Jordan Montgomery, 0-0)…
Baltimore (Alex Cobb, 1-0) hosts Tampa Bay (Blake Snell, 0-0)…
the Chi. White Sox (Dallas Keuchel, 1-0) are at Kansas City (Kris Bubic, 0-0)…
Minnesota (Dobnek, 0-1) hosts Cleveland (Mike Clevinger, 0-0)…
Houston (Lance McCulors Jr., 1-0) is at the L.A. Angels (Matt Andriese, 0-0)…
Seattle (Taijuan Walker, 0-1) hosts Oakland (Sean Manaea, 0-1)

Cincinnati (Luis Castillo, 0-0) is at Detroit (Spencer Turnbull, 0-0)…
San Francisco (TBD) hosts Texas (Mike Minor, 0-1)

The NBA’s 2019-2020 season resumed last night with a pair of games played in Orlando…

Utah 106 – New Orleans 104… Rudy Gobert knocked down two free throws with 6.9 seconds left and the Jazz held on to down the Pelicans. Gobert finished with 14 points and 12 rebounds. Mike Conley and Donovan Mitchell scored 20 points apiece.

L.A. Lakers 103 – L.A. Clippers 101… LeBron James scored the decisive bucket with 12.8 seconds remaining and finished with 34 points in the Lakers’ win. Anthony Davis led all scorers with 35 points.

Orlando vs. Brooklyn…
Portland vs. Memphis…
Washington vs. Phoenix…
Boston vs. Milwaukee…
San Antonio vs. Sacramento…
Houston vs. Dallas

the N.Y. Rangers vs. Carolina in Toronto…
Chicago vs. Edmonton in Edmonton…
Florida vs. the N.Y. Islanders in Toronto…
Montreal vs. Pittsburgh in Toronto…
Winnipeg vs. Calgary in Edmonton

The Rundown for July 27, 2020

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE… The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 4,233,927 and the nation’s death toll stands at 146,934, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University… Florida surpassed New York in total cases after reporting more than 9,000 new cases yesterday. More than one-third of the cases reported in the state have been among people between the ages of 15 and 34, with outbreaks in jails, farms and nursing homes, the Florida Department of Health department reported.

KUDLOW TALKS CORONAVIRUS RELIEF PACKAGE… White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said yesterday that the next federal coronavirus relief package will include direct stimulus payments and an extension on the federal eviction moratorium. During an appearance on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Kudlow said $1 trillion package that Republicans are scheduled to introduce today will include a $1,200 stimulus check, temporary and reduced unemployment benefits, funds to help schools reopen, $16 billion in funding for testing and tax incentives for companies to rehire employees. White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows later confirmed that the White House and Senate Republicans have reached “an agreement in principle” on the bill.

PROTESTS TURN VIOLENT… Ongoing demonstrations against systemic racism and police brutality turned violent in several cities over the weekend. Protesters continue to square off against federal agents outside a courthouse in Portland, Oregon, and police in Seattle reported the arrest of at least 45 people on Saturday night for assaults on officers, obstruction and failure to disperse. Twenty-one Seattle officers were injured in clashes with protesters. A march against police violence turned deadly in Austin, Texas, on Saturday night when a 28-year-old man was fatally shot by a person who had driven aggressively through a crowd.

THE LATE JOHN LEWIS HONORED… The late civil rights leader and U.S. congressman from Georgia John Lewis was honored at services that included a vigil at the Alabama state Capitol in Montgomery last night. Yesterday morning, Lewis’ body was carried by horse-driven carriage across the rose petal-covered Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama, 55 years after he was clubbed there by police officers trying to halt a 1965 peace march. Lewis died on July 17 at age 80 following a battle with pancreatic cancer.

HANNA STRIKES TEXAS… Hanna, the first hurricane of the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season, brought high winds and more than a foot of rain to part of the Texas Gulf Coast yesterday. She made landfall on Padre Island and near Port Mansfield as a Category 1 hurricane on Saturday but was downgraded to a tropical storm. Officials report flooded streets, widespread power outages and destroyed boats.

… Legendary actress Olivia de Havilland died Saturday, her representatives confirmed yesterday. She was 104. De Havilland was nominated for five Oscars and won best actress honors for 1947’s “To Each His Own” and 1950’s “The Heiress.” She earned a Best Supporting Actress nomination for her portrayal of Melanie “Mellie” Hamilton in the 1939 classic “Gone with the Wind.”

JUICE WRLD REMAINS TOP ALBUM CHART… Juice WRLD’s “Legends Never Die” sold 162,000 copies to remain atop the Billboard 200 album chart. Pop Smoke’s “Shoot for the Stars Aim for the Moon” stayed in second place after selling 138,000 units. The Chicks’ (formerly the Dixie Chicks) first album since 2006, “Gaslighter,” debuted at No. 3 after selling 84,000 copies. The original Broadway cast recording of “Hamilton: An American Musical” slipped into fourth place on sales of 78,000 units. Lil Baby’s “My Turn” capped the top five with 57,000 copies sold.

San Francisco 3 – L.A. DODGERS 1
… The Giants held off the Dodgers to claim a split of the four-game series.

Miami 11 – PHILADELPHIA 6… Brian Anderson and Miguel Rojas connected for three-run homers to help power the Marlins past the Phillies.

Pittsburgh 5 – ST. LOUIS 1… Colin Moran and Jose Osuna homered for the Pirates. Starter Mitch Keller limited the Cardinals to a run on two hits over five innings.

CHI. CUBS 9 – Milwaukee 1… Tyler Chatwood allowed just a run on three hits over six innings. Willson Contreras doubled home a run and homered.

Arizona 4 – SAN DIEGO 3… The Diamondbacks did all their scoring in their final two at-bats to edge the Padres. Ketel Marte lifted a go-ahead sacrifice fly in the top of the ninth inning.

Atlanta 14 – N.Y. METS 1… Dansby Swanson and Ozzie Albies both had three hits with a homer and three RBIs as the Braves blasted the Mets.

TAMPA BAY 6 – Toronto 5
(10 innings)… Kevin Kiermaier lined a two-run triple in the bottom of the 10th inning to lift the Rays over the Blue Jays.

CLEVELAND 9 – Kansas City 2… Jose Ramirez went 3-for-5 with two homers and four RBIs to lead the Indians in their romp over the Royals.

Baltimore 7 – BOSTON 4… Rio Ruiz and Anthony Santander blasted two-run homers for the Orioles.

Seattle 7 – HOUSTON 6… Kyle Lewis’ tie-breaking two-run single in the top of the eighth inning proved to be the difference in the Mariners’ win over the Astros.

Minnesota 14 – CHI. WHITE SOX 2… Jake Cave unloaded a grand slam for the Twins. Nelson Cruz went 4-for-5 with two homers and seven RBIs.

OAKLAND 6 – L.A. Angels 4… The Athletics put up five runs in the bottom of the first inning and coasted past the Angels.

N.Y. Yankees 3 – WASHINGTON 2
… Gleyber Torres homered with a runner aboard in the top of the seventh inning and singled home a tie-breaking run in the eighth for the Yankees.

Detroit 3 – CINCINNATI 2… C.J. Cron connected for a tie-breaking two-run homer in the top of the ninth inning and the Tigers held on to edge the Reds.

Colorado 5 – TEXAS 2… Trevor Story homered twice and knocked in three runs for the Rockies.

Arizona (Luke Weaver) is at San Diego (Joey Lucchesi)…
Cincinnati (Wade Miley) hosts the Chi. Cubs (Jon Lester)…
Milwaukee (Adrian Houser) is at Pittsburgh (Steven Brault)

the L.A. Angels (Griffin Canning) are at Oakland (Chris Bassitt)…
Cleveland (Aaron Civale) hosts the Chi. White Sox (Dylan Cease)…
Kansas City (Mike Montgomery) is at Detroit (Michael Fulmer)…
Houston (Josh James) hosts Seattle (Kendall Graveman)

Toronto (Trent Thornton) is at Washington (Anibal Sanchez)…
Tampa Bay (Tyler Glasnow) hosts Atlanta (Mike Foltynewicz)…
the N.Y. Yankees (J.A. Happ) are at Philadelphia (Jake Arrieta)…
Miami (Pablo Lopez) hosts Baltimore (Asher Wojciechowski)…
the N.Y. Mets (Michael Wacha) are at Boston (Josh Osich)

The Rundown for July 24, 2020

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE… The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 4,034,102 and the death toll stands at 144,242, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University… President Trump announced yesterday that the Jacksonville, Florida, component of the Republican National Convention is being cancelled due to surging coronavirus cases in the state. Trump said he’ll appear in telerallies and online events rather than at a large gathering. The event was scheduled for August 25 to August 27… The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention yesterday released guidelines for school re-openings. Students should wear masks, wash their hands frequently and socially distance, the CDC urged.

JOHN LEWIS TO LIE IN STATE… House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell announced yesterday that civil rights icon and U.S. Congressman from Georgia John Lewis will lie in state at the Capitol Rotunda next week. The public will be invited to pay their respects 6 p.m to 10 p.m. Monday and 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Tuesday. Lewis died Friday after a battle with Stage 4 pancreatic cancer.

FEDERAL USE OF FORCE INVESTIGATED… Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz announced yesterday that he’s opening an investigation into the use of force by federal law enforcement agents on protesters in Portland and Washington, D.C. A referral from the U.S. Attorney’s office in Oregon prompted the probe, Horowitz said. Federal law enforcement officials arrived in Portland earlier this month to quell Black Lives Matter protests in the city. More than 40 protesters reportedly have been grabbed off the street by unidentified officers in unmarked vehicles.

MICHAEL COHEN TO BE RELEASED FROM PRISON…. President Trump’s former personal lawyer Michael Cohen is expected to be released from prison today after a judge yesterday ordered him freed. U.S. District Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein found that the Justice Department had ordered him back to prison earlier this month as retaliation against him for planning to release a book critical of Trump before November’s election. In ordering Cohen’s release, the judge found his First Amendment rights had been violated. The 53-year-old Cohen sued federal prison officials and Attorney General William Barr on Monday, claiming he was imprisoned for writing the book: “Disloyal: The True Story of Michael Cohen, Former Personal Attorney to President Donald J. Trump.” Cohen pleaded guilty on August 21, 2018, to eight counts including campaign finance violations, tax fraud, and bank fraud. He was sentenced to three years in federal prison on December 12, 2018, and was furloughed in May.

JUDGE RULES FEDS CAN’T ARREST PROTEST OBSERVERS… A federal judge yesterday issued a temporary restraining order that prevents federal officers from arresting legal observers and journalists at the Black Lives Matter protests in Portland unless a crime has been committed. U.S. District Court Judge Michael Simon’s order will remain in place for 14 days. It also allows journalists to ignore dispersal orders from authorities.

… Taylor Swift made a surprise announcement yesterday when she revealed that she would be releasing a new album at midnight. “Folklore” contains 16 tracks and features Bon Iver, Aaron Dessner of The National and frequent collaborator Jack Antonoff. Swift also said she would release the music video for the song “Cardigan.”

LUKE COMBS RESCHEDULES TOUR… Luke Combs has rescheduled the remaining dates of his “What You See is What You Get” tour. He announced yesterday that the tour will resume June 22, 2021, in Albuquerque. Combs launched the tour in February and it was supposed to run into December. The coronavirus pandemic prompted the tour’s postponement.


WASHINGTON 4 – N.Y. Yankees 1… The World Series-champion Nationals opened major league baseball’s abbreviated 60-game season by downing the Yankees in a game called in the sixth inning due to rain. Starter Gerrit Cole allowed a run on one hit over five innings. Giovanni Stanton homered with a runner aboard in the top of the first inning and single home a run in the fifth.

L.A. DODGERS 8 – San Francisco 1
… Enrique Hernandez lined a two-run single during a five-run bottom of the seventh inning and added a two-run homer in the eighth as the Dodgers pulled away from the Giants. Dustin May got the start for the Dodgers after scheduled starter Clayton Kershaw complained of stiffness in his back and will begin the season on the 10-day injured list.


Atlanta (Mike Soroka) is at the N.Y. Mets (Jacob deGrom)…
the Chi. Cubs (Kyle Hendricks) host Milwaukee (Brandon Woodruff)…
Miami (Sandy Alcantara) is at Philadelphia (Aaron Nola)…
St. Louis (Jack Flaherty) hosts Pittsburgh (Joe Musgrove)…
Arizona (Madison Bumgarner) is at San Diego (Chris Paddack)…
the L.A Dodgers (Ross Stripling) hosts San Francisco (Jeff Samardzija)

Toronto (Hyun-Jin Ryu) is at Tampa Bay (Charlie Morton)…
Cleveland (Shane Bieber) hosts Kansas City (Danny Duffy)…
Baltimore (Tommy Milone) is at Boston (Nathan Eovaldi)…
the Chi. White Sox (Lucas Giolito) host Minnesota (Jose Barrios)…
Seattle (Marco Gonzalez) is at Houston (Justin Verlander)…
Oakland (Frankie Montas) hosts the L.A. Angels (Andrew Heaney)

Detroit (Matthew Boyd) is at Cincinnati (Sonny Gray)…
Texas (Lance Lynn) hosts Colorado (German Marquez)

MLB EXPANDS PLAYOFFS FOR 2020 SEASON… Major League Baseball owners and players agreed yesterday to expand the playoffs from 10 teams to 16 teams for the 2020 season. As reported by ESPN, all second-place teams in the six divisions will now qualify for the playoffs. The seventh and eighth playoff teams in each league will be determined by best record. The first round of the playoffs, scheduled for September 29-October 2, will be four three-game series in each league with all games played at the higher seed’s home stadium. The rest of the rounds will be their customary length: The two division series in each league will be five-game series, while the American League and National League Championship Series and World Series will be seven-game series.