The Rundown for November 19, 2020

CORONAVIRUS UPDATES… The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 11,498,515 and the nation’s death toll stands at 250,180, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University… New York City Public Schools announced yesterday that it will be shutting down after the city reached a 3-percent testing positivity rate… Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers yesterday declared a state of emergency and said he would extend the state’s face mask mandate until 2021.

BIDEN PARTICIPATES IN HEALTH-CARE ROUNDTABLE… President-elect Joe Biden held a virtual roundtable with front-line healthcare workers yesterday. The workers called for more personal protective equipment, widespread testing, contract tracing and better economic support for Americans. Biden was also warned that hospitals nationwide are overflowing with coronavirus patients.

TRUMP CONTINUES LEGAL CHALLENGES… President Trump continued his legal challenges to the 2020 presidential elections with new filings yesterday. The Trump campaign has paid the state $3 million and filed a petition for a recount of ballots in Dane and Milwaukee counties. Trump’s campaign also filed an amended complaint in Pennsylvania seeking to block the state’s efforts to verify its election results. On Tuesday, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled officials in Philadelphia did not prevent observers from overseeing the counting of ballots. Officials in Georgia are expected to release tallies from a recount today and say results are not likely to overturn Biden’s 14,000-vote victory in the state.

FBI INVESTIGATING TEXAS AG… The FBI has launched an investigations into allegations that Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton illegally used his office to benefit a wealthy donor. Former members of Paxton’s staff accuse Paxton of committing bribery, abuse of office and other crimes in support of an Austin real estate developer. Seven senior lawyers in the attorney general’s office and the agency’s head of law enforcement claim Paxton hired an outside lawyer to investigate the developer’s allegations that the FBI improperly searched his home and offices last year.

PELOSI RE-ELECTED TO LEAD DEMS… Democrats yesterday re-elected Nancy Pelosi to lead the party as House speaker. Pelosi, along with House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer and House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn, ran unopposed. The three Democrats have held their positions in the House for the last 14 years. Last week, New York Democrat Chuck Schumer was re-elect as Senate minority leader while Republican Mitch McConnell of Kentucky won another term as the Senate majority leader.

GREEN BERET ADMITS SPYING FOR RUSSIA… A former Army Green Beret has pleaded guilty today to providing Russian intelligence operatives with U.S. national defense information. 45-year-old Peter Rafael Dzibinski Debbins allegedly participated in the conspiracy between December 1996 and January 2011. The former U.S. Army Ranger allegedly provided information about his chemical and Special Forces units. As part of his arrangement with the Russians, he was given a code name and signed a statement of cooperation.

ENTERTAINMENT
MICHAEL B. JORDAN IS PEOPLE’S SEXIEST
… Michael B. Jordan has been named People magazine’s “Sexiest Man Alive for 2020.” The 33-year-old actor is best known for his TV roles in “The Wire” and “Friday Night Lights,” as well as his work in such films as “Fruitvale Station,” “Creed,” “Black Panther” and “Just Mercy.” Last year’s Sexiest Man Alive was singer John Legend.

TORY LANEZ PLEADS NOT GUILTY… Rapper Tory Lanez pleaded not guilty yesterday to felony assault charges in the July shooting of hip-hop star Megan Thee Stallion. The 28-year-old Lanez entered the plea through his attorney and was not present in the courtroom. He was told to return for a hearing on January 20. If convicted, Lanez faces a maximum sentence of roughly 23 years. Lanez was charged in October with one count of assault with a semiautomatic firearm and one count of carrying a loaded, concealed firearm in a vehicle following a July incident in the Hollywood Hills.

SPORTS
NBA NEWS
… The Minnesota Timberwolves selected Anthony Edwards with the first pick of the 2020 NBA draft night. Edwards is a 6-5 guard who played his lone college season at Georgia. The Golden State Warriors chose Memphis center James Wiseman with the second choice, while guard LaMelo Ball went to the Charlotte Hornets at No. 3.

MLB NEWS… Major League Baseball has suspended New York Mets second-baseman Robinson Cano for the 2021 season following his second positive test for a performing-enhancing drug. The 38-year-old Cano was previously suspended for 80 games in 2018. The current suspension will cost him $24 million in salary and possibly harm his post-career election to the Hall of Fame. He is a lifetime .303 hitter with 334 career homers.

TONIGHT’S NFL SCHEDULE
Arizona (6-3) is at Seattle (6-3)

The Rundown for November 18, 2020

CORONAVIRUS UPDATES… The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 11,320,337 and the nation’s death toll stands at 248,227, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University… A Reuters analysis has found that 41 states have reported record increases in the number of cases so far this month, while 20 have seen a record rise in deaths and 26 reported record hospitalizations. In 25 states, test positivity rates were at least 10 percent for the week ending on Sunday. The World Health Organization considers a positivity rate above 5 percent to be concerning… Experts advising President-elect Joe Biden on the pandemic fear that the Trump administration’s delay in recognizing election results could be compromising the U.S. response to the virus. Yesterday, doctors and nurses from multiple medical associations published a letter urging the Trump administration to share critical COVID-19 data with Biden’s transition team to avoid unnecessary delays.

BIDEN APPOINTMENTS… President-elect Joe Biden yesterday announced the appointment of nine White House aides, including counselors and senior advisers. Biden’s campaign manager, Jen O’Malley Dillon, will become deputy chief of staff. Longtime adviser Steve Ricchetti will become counselor to the president. U.S. Congressman Cedric Richmond of Louisiana, who served as national co-chairman of Biden’s campaign, will become senior adviser to the president and director of the White House Office of Public Engagement. Mike Donilon, chief strategist for the campaign, will become a senior adviser to the president. Finally, Dana Remus, the campaign’s general counsel, will become counsel to the president. Biden began his appointments last Wednesday with the naming of Ron Klain as chief of staff. The president-elect is expected to nominate cabinet members by the end of the week.

TRUMP FIRES ELECTION SECURITY DIRECTOR… President Trump announced on Twitter last night that he has fired Christopher Krebs as the director of the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency. Krebs has steadfastly defended the integrity of the 2020 presidential elections and repeatedly debunked Trump campaign allegations of widespread voter fraud. Trump called Krebs’ claims denying evidence of fraud “highly inaccurate.”

PA SUPREME COURT RULES AGAINST TRUMP… The Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled overwhelmingly yesterday in rejecting the Trump Campaign’s claim that Philadelphia violated state election law by not giving Republican observers “meaningful access” to watch the vote counting. Dissenters in the 5-2 vote were justices who preferred to rule the case as moot. The ruling weakens the Trump campaign’s to contest voting results in federal court and lowers its record to 1-25 in post-election lawsuits.

SENATE STALLS FED NOMINATION… The Trump administration’s nomination of Judy Shelton for the Federal Reserve’s board of governors stalled in the Senate yesterday. The effort failed yesterday by a 47-50 vote that included the opposition of GOP senators Susan Collins of Maine and Mitt Romney of Utah. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell switched his “yes” vote to “no,” which allows another vote later. Vice President-elect Kamala Harris returned to the chamber for the first time since the election and cast a key vote against.

TROOP WITHDRAWALS IN AFGHANISTAN, IRAQ… The Pentagon confirmed yesterday that the Trump administration has ordered troop withdrawals in Afghanistan and Iraq. Acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller said yesterday that the process will be complete by January 15 as part of efforts to reach a negotiated peace with the Taliban in Afghanistan. Miller’s public remarks were his first since replacing Mark Esper, who was abruptly fired last week. Some half of the 5,000 U.S. troops currently stationed in Afghanistan reportedly would be withdrawn, as would 500 of the 3,000 troops in Iraq. Some senior Pentagon officials are bewildered by the move and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg called it a “dumb idea.”

SENATE PANEL GRILLS TECH LEADERS… The Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday grilled Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey over their social media platforms’ mechanisms for handling the spread of misinformation during the 2020 election campaign. Both tech leaders said their companies took steps to curb misinformation as the election approached, but their efforts prompted GOP panel members to allege bias. Zuckerberg and Dorsey both said they didn’t want a repeat of the 2016 elections, in which Russian hackers made repeated efforts online and via social media to interfere and influence the vote in favor of Trump.

ENTERTAINMENT
CONAN LEAVING TBS
… Conan O’Brien is leaving TBS to launch a weekly variety series on HBO Max. He will continue to host his nightly talk show through the end of its 10th season in June 2021. O’Brien had been a writer on “Saturday Night Live” and “The Simpsons” before replacing David Letterman behind the desk on NBC’s “Late Night” in 2003. O’Brien landed at TBS after a failed stint as host of “The Tonight Show.”

DOLLY PARTON DONATION HELPED COVID-19 VACCINE… The Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville says a $1 million donation by Dolly Parton helped U.S. biotech firm Moderna develop their COVID-19 vaccine. Moderna’s vaccine trial and clinical research were a part of the Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s efforts to stop the virus. Parton previously announced the donation on social media last April.

LIL WAYNE FACES FEDERAL GUN CHARGE… Lil Wayne was charged in Florida yesterday with possessing a firearm as a convicted felon. Prosecutors say Authorities said the rapper has acknowledged owning the gold-plated handgun and ammunition that were discovered in a search his luggage aboard a private plane that landed in Miami on December 23. Wayne, whose real name is Dwayne Michael Carter, Jr., has a felony gun conviction from New York back in 2009. The federal offense he faces carries a potential sentence of up to 10 years in prison.

SPORTS
MLB NEWS
… The Chicago Cubs announced yesterday that Theo Epstein is stepping down as the team’s president of baseball operations. The 46-year-old Epstein will leave at the end of the week and is being replaced by general manager Jed Hoyer. Epstein ran the Cubs for nine years and in 2016 helped bring the franchise its first World Series title in 108 years. Epstein also helped build World Series winners with the Boston Red Sox 2004 and in 2007.

NBA NEWS… The Milwaukee Bucks have acquired free-agent guard Bogdan Bogdanovic as part of a sign-and-trade with the Sacramento Kings. The deal also brings guard Justin James to Milwaukee. In exchange, Sacramento gets guard Donte Divincenzo along with forwards D.J. Wilson and Ersan Ilyasova.

The Rundown for November 17, 2020

CORONAVIRUS UPDATES… The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 11,036,935 and the nation’s death toll stands at 246,214, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University… A second coronavirus vaccine in the U.S. has shown to have a high success rate. Moderna’s mRNA-1273 vaccine was 94.5 percent effective in preventing COVID-19 infection, according to interim data from a late-stage trial published yesterday. Last week, Pfizer announced that early data showed its vaccine is more than 90 percent effective… California governor Gavin Newsom announced yesterday that his state is “pulling the emergency brake” in moving 28 counties accounting for 94 percent of the state’s population back into the most restrictive purple tier. The move comes after the number of cases doubled over the past 10 days. Total hospitalizations and cases in intensive care units have shot up 48 and 39 percent, respectively, over the past two weeks.

TRUMP, ALLIES DROP SUITS… Voters in four states who had filed suit challenging Joe Biden’s win in the presidential election dropped their cases yesterday morning. Suits filed in Georgia, Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania federal courts were all backed by the law firm of a nationally known conservative attorney, James Bopp Jr. On Friday, a federal appellate court ruled that voters couldn’t bring some constitutional claims. Trump has refused to concede the election and continues to make false claims of widespread voter fraud with no evidence. His campaign and GOP allies have posted just a minor win in Pennsylvania among the 25 post-election lawsuits they have filed. The Trump campaign will be back in court today trying to overturn Biden’s victory in Pennsylvania. The campaign unsuccessfully argued to delay the trial yesterday after three of four attorneys on the team quit. Two previous sets of Trump lawyers stepped away from the case over the past week.

GEORGIA SEC OF STATE SAYS REPUBLICANS APPLIED PRESSURE OVER VOTING… Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger told the Washington Post that Republican lawmakers have pressured him to discredit absentee ballot votes in the state following Joe Biden’s victory there. Raffensperger said South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham was among those applying pressure. Graham allegedly questioned Georgia’s signature-matching law and suggested that Raffensperger find a way to toss out legal ballots.

BIDEN, HARRIS TALK ECONOMIC RECOVERY… President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris met with business and labor leaders yesterday before before publicly presenting their plans for managing the economy. During a speech in Delaware, Biden stressed the importance of harnessing the coronavirus pandemic, developing a fair tax structure and buying U.S.-made products. He warned of dire consequences if the Trump administration continues its refusal to coordinate with Biden’s transition team on the coronavirus pandemic and block briefings on national security, policy issues and vaccine plans. Harris stressed the impact of the pandemic on the economy.

HATE-CRIME MURDERS SPIKE… Annual data released yesterday by the FBI showed that hate-crime murders surged to a record high in 2019 and overall hate crime incidents also rose. Studies found 51 people were the victims of murder or non-negligent manslaughter motivated by hate in 2019, far surpassing the 24 people killed the year before. 2018 had already been the deadliest year on record for victims of hate crimes since the FBI began tracking the data in the early 1990s, according to the Anti-Defamation League.

CREW DOCKS AT SPACE STATION… The SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft delivered four astronauts to the International Space Station last night. The spacecraft docked at approximately 11:15 p.m. Eastern after launching from Florida’s Kennedy Space Center 27 hours earlier. NASA astronauts Michael Hopkins, Victor Glover and Shannon Walker arrived on the mission, as did Soichi Noguchi from Japan’s space agency. The crew is expected to spend about six months working on a variety of science experiments and conducting space walks to continue updates and repairs on the space station’s exterior.

ENTERTAINMENT
SINBAD RECOVERING FROM STOKE
… Comedian and actor Sinbad is recovering from a recent stroke, family members revealed yesterday. The condition of the 64-year-old entertainer was not disclosed. Sinbad is best known for his stand-up comedy specials, as well as his work on the TV sitcom “A Different World” and in films that include “Houseguest.”

2 DANCERS ELIMINATED… Olympic figure skater Johnny Weir and actress Skai Jackson were eliminated during last night’s “Dancing with the Stars” semi-finals. Weir had been partnered with pro dancer Britt Stewart for Season 29 of the competition series. Jackson danced with Alan Bersten. Actress Justina Machado, reality TV stars Nev Schulman and Kaitlyn Bristowe, and rapper Nelly have advance to next week’s finals.

SPORTS
MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL

Minnesota 19 – CHICAGO 13
… Kirk Cousins’ second touchdown pass to Adam Thielan came from 4 yards out and broke a fourth-quarter tie in carrying the Vikings (4-5) past the Bears (5-5). Cousins found Thielan with a 17-yard scoring toss in the first quarter. Justin Jefferson had eight receptions for 135 yards. Chicago led most of the third quarter after Cordarrelle Patterson returned the second-half kickoff 104 yards for a TD.

NFL NEWS… The New Orleans Saints are expected to be without quarterback Drew Brees indefinitely as he recovers from multiple rib fractures and a collapsed lung. Brees suffered two fractured ribs and the collapsed lung on his right side in Sunday’s win over the San Francisco 49ers and sustained three fractured left ribs in the previous week’s defeat of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

NBA NEWS… The Phoenix Suns have acquired All-Star guard Chris Paul in a blockbuster trade with the Oklahoma City Thunder. The deal brings Paul and Abdel Nader to Phoenix in exchange for Kelly Oubre Jr., Ricky Rubio, Ty Jerome, Jalen Lecque and a 2022 first-round pick. The 35-year-old Paul will be reunited with Suns coach Monty Williams, who coached the point guard for one season in New Orleans… ESPN reported that the New Orleans Pelicans were nearing completion of a deal to send guard Jrue Holiday to the Milwaukee Bucks in exchange for Eric Bledsoe, George Hill and “significant” draft compensation.

MLB NEWS… The San Diego Padres announced yesterday that pitcher Mike Clevinger is scheduled to undergo Tommy John surgery today and will miss the 2021 season. The announcement came after the team reached agreement with the righthander on a two-year, $11.5 million contract extension. San Diego acquired Clevinger from Cleveland on August 31, but he left with a sore elbow in his final start of the regular season and was not available for the playoffs.

The Rundown for November 13, 2020

CORONAVIRUS UPDATES… The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 10,526,906 and the nation’s death toll stands at 242,621, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University. There were 89,206 new cases and 400 deaths yesterday, with more states reporting record highs in daily cases. California has joined Texas as states with at least 1 million cases… Wearing a face mask doesn’t just protect other people from potentially getting infected with the coronavirus, it protects you too, according to updated guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention… Chicago mayor Lori Lightfoot has issued a stay-at-home advisory and Detroit stopped in-person schooling yesterday to combat outbreaks.

DEMS WANT TRUMP CONCESSION… Pressure is mounting on President Trump to concede the 2020 presidential election. Democratic leaders Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer yesterday called on Republicans to accept the election results so Congress can focus on passing a new coronavirus stimulus package. John Cornyn, Ron Johnson, James Lankford, Chuck Grassley and Lindsey Graham are among a growing number of Republican senators who are urging the Trump’ administration to allow President-Elect Joe Biden access to presidential daily intelligence briefings. Trump has been unsuccessfully challenging the outcome in courts, where his team is 0-12 in pressing its claims of widespread voter fraud. Biden has surpassed the 270 Electoral College votes required to become president and his lead in the popular vote has grown to more than 5.2 million votes. The Department of Homeland Security hit back at Trump’s voter-fraud claims yesterday with a strongly worded statement issued jointly by two committees. “There is no evidence that any voting system deleted or lost votes, changed votes, or was in any way compromised,” the statement noted. CNN and NBC declared Biden the winner in Arizona last night, raising his Electoral College total to 290.

TURNOVER CONTINUES AT DHS… The continuing turnover atop the Department of Homeland Security continues to alarm defense analysts. Yesterday, Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency Assistant Director Bryan Ware and DHS Assistant Secretary International Affairs Valerie Boyd both resigned. CISA’s director, Christopher Krebs, expects to be fired, according to Reuters.

5 AMERICANS KILLED ON PEACEKEEPING MISSION… Five Americans were among seven international peacekeepers killed when their helicopter crashed in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula yesterday. The crash also left one American peacekeeper injured. The cause “appears to be mechanical in nature,” officials said. The peacekeepers are part of the international mission that oversees the enforcement of the 1978 peace treaty between Egypt and Israel.

ETA RETURNS… Eta returned to the U.S. as a tropical storm yesterday morning near Cedar Key, Florida, before turning north and bringing heavy rain and dangerous flooding to the Carolinas and Virginia. The storm is blamed for the deaths of at least six people, including five in North Carolina. Flash flood warnings remain in effect across a large portion of North Carolina with flash flood watches in effect along the mid-Atlantic coast, from South Carolina to Virginia.

ENTERTAINMENT
THE WEEKND TO PERFORM AT SUPER BOWL HALFTIME
… Grammy-winning singer The Weeknd has been chosen as the halftime performer at Super Bowl 55. The game is scheduled for February 7 in Tampa, Florida, and will air on CBS. In making the announcement yesterday, the NFL called the singer “one of today’s most compelling and significant artists of a generation.” Jennifer Lopez and Shakira headlined last year’s halftime show.

VetsAid LINEUP GROWS… Gwen Stefani, her fiance Blake Shelton, Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam, Jon Bon Jovi and other performers have signed on to appear during the virtual VetsAid festival from Joe Walsh. VetsAid 2020: Home for the Holidays is scheduled for December 12. Other performers include Ryan Bingham, Alice Cooper, Kenny ‘Babyface’ Edmonds, Vince Gill, James Hetfield and Tim McGraw.

SPORTS
NFL SCORE

Indianapolis 34 – TENNESSEE 17
… The Colts (6-3) scored 21 unanswered points in the second half to roll past the Titans (6-3). Nyheim Hines caught a Philip Rivers touchdown pass and ran for a score. Rivers completed 29 of 39 passes for 308 yards. Michael Pittman Jr. had seven receptions for 101 yards.

SUNDAY’S NFL SCHEDULE
Washington (2-6) is at Detroit (3-5)…
Green Bay (6-2) hosts Jacksonville (1-7)…
Tampa Bay (6-3) is at Carolina (3-6)….
the N.Y. Giants (2-7) host Philadelphia (3-4-1)…
Houston (2-6) is at Cleveland (5-3)…
Arizona (5-3) hosts Buffalo (7-2)…
the L.A. Chargers (2-6) are at Miami (5-3)…
Las Vegas (5-3) hosts Denver (3-5)…
San Francisco (4-5) is at New Orleans (6-2)…
the L.A. Rams (5-3) host Seattle (6-2)…
Cincinnati (2-5-1) is at Pittsburgh (8-0)…
New England (3-5) hosts Baltimore (6-2)

MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL
Minnesota (3-5) is at Chicago (5-4)

JOSE ABREU NAMED AL MVP… Chicago White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu has been named 2020 American League Most Valuable Player. The 33-year-old Abreu becomes the first White Sox player to win the award since Frank Thomas in 1994. He also becomes the oldest AL MVP since 38-year-old Dennis Eckersley won the award in 1992. Abreu played in all 60 regular-season games and led the AL with 76 hits and 60 RBIs. His 19 homers were second in the league behind Luke Voit’s 22 for the New York Yankees.

IVY LEAGUE CANCELS WINTERS SPORTS… The Ivy League announced yesterday that it has cancelled winter sports, including basketball, for the 2020-21 season. The decision to become the first Division I conference not to participate in winter sports came after days of talks among conference presidents. The basketball season was to start in 12 days.

THE MASTERS UNDERWAY… Wet conditions led to more than two dozen golfers posting under-par scores on yesterday’s first round of the 2020 Masters. Play was delayed three hours by rain and some golfers will be finishing their first rounds this morning. Paul Casey leads the field at 7 under after posting a bogey-free 65. Xander Schauffele, Justin Thomas and Webb Simpson follow at 5 under.

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 November 11, 2020

CORONAVIRUS UPDATES… The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 10,242,754 and the nation’s death toll stands at 239,618, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University. There were 128,181 new cases and new 1,347 deaths yesterday. The number of new cases for the three-week period ending Monday nearly doubled to 1.9 million from the previous 21-day tally of 1.07 million and projections call for the U.S. to reach 20 million cases by Christmas if the virus keeps infecting people at the current rate. Yesterday’s hospitalizations reached a record-high 61,964.

BIDEN MOVES FORWARD… President-elect Joe Biden vowed yesterday that nothing would stop the transfer of power in the U.S. government. Speaking in Delaware, Biden responded to President’s Trump’s refusal to concede last week’s election results. “I just think it’s an embarrassment, quite frankly. How can I say this tactfully? I think it will not help the president’s legacy.” A Reuters poll released yesterday found that 80 percent of Americans believe Biden won, including 60 percent of Republicans. 72 percent of Americans believe Trump should concede, according to the poll. President Trump continued his efforts to retain power by filing lawsuits in several states, asserting unsupported claims of widespread fraud. The refusal to concede is hampering Biden’s attempts to launch a new pandemic plan of action. The president-elect’s transition team has been prevented from meeting with officials heading Operation Warp Speed and other Trump administration coronavirus efforts. The Washington Post reported yesterday that agency head across the federal government have been instructed not to cooperate with Biden’s transition team until President Trump finally accepts his loss. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday became the most recent world leaders to congratulate Biden for his victory.

TRUMP PRESSURED GEORGIA SENATORS OVER VOTING… The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported yesterday that the Trump administration pressured Georgia senators Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue to call for the resignation of Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger amid baseless voter-fraud allegations in the state. The senators issued a joint statement Monday condemning last week’s presidential election as an “embarrassment” and calling for Raffensperger to resign, accusing him of “mismanagement and lack of transparency.” Had they not complied, according to the report, Trump would would have attempted to alienate them from their voting base ahead of their January 5 runoff elections.

FORMER FBI DIRECTOR DEFENDS TRUMP-RUSSIA INVESTIGATION… Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe told the Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday that the bureau had reason to believe President Donald Trump was a threat to national security. McCabe offered the testimony as part of a GOP effort to examine the FBI’s investigation into Trump’s Russia links. McCabe cited Trump’s decision to fire then-FBI Director James Comey in May 2017 after he refused to close an investigation into Trump’s then-national security adviser, Michael Flynn. “It became pretty clear to us that he did not want us to continue investigating what the Russians had done,” McCabe testified.

DEPARTURES ALARM PENTAGON LEADERSHIP… The Trump administration’s sweeping changes atop the Defense Department’s civilian leadership structure has left senior Pentagon officials alarmed. James Anderson, the Pentagon’s acting undersecretary of defense for policy, resigned yesterday, a day after President Trump fired Defense Secretary Mark Esper. Anderson is being replaced by Anthony Tata, who was passed over on an appointment last year over Islamophobic tweets. Tata also has pushed “deep state cabal” conspiracy theories. Retired Navy Vice Admiral Joseph Kernan is being replaced as the under secretary of defense for intelligence by Ezra Cohen-Watnick, who was on the staff of former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn and took a Pentagon job earlier this year. Replacing Chief of Staff to the Defense Secretary Jen Stewart is Kash Patel, a former staffer for California Congressman Devin Nunes, who opposed the probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election and potential links between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin.

ENTERTAINMENT
‘THE UMBRELLA ACADEMY’ RETURNS FOR SEASON 3
… Netflix announced yesterday that it is bringing back “The Umbrella Academy” for a third season. “The Umbrella Academy” is based on the comic book series written by Gerard Way and illustrated by Gabriel Bá. The series centers on a dysfunctional family of sibling superheroes who attempt to prevent an apocalypse. Ellen Page, Tom Hopper, David Castañeda, Emmy Raver-Lamperman, Robert Sheehan, Aidan Gallagher, Justin H. Min, Ritu Arya and Colm Feore will return for the 10-episode third season.

CNN WINS ELECTION-WEEK CABLE NEWS RATINGS… CNN edged Fox among total viewers during election week, averaging 5.9 million viewers to Fox’s 5.7 million. CNN attracted 13.5 million viewers to President-elect Joe Biden’s speech on Saturday night after the presidential race was called. The Fox broadcast drew 9 million.

SPORTS
MLB NEWS
… The Miami Marlins’ Don Mattingly was named National League Manager of the Year yesterday. The award comes after the Marlins went 31-29 in the shortened season and advanced to the playoffs for the first time since 2003. Mattingly becomes the fifth former Most Valuable Player to be named Manager of the Year.

NBA NEWS… ESPN reported last night that the Phoenix Suns have had discussions about acquiring All-Star point guard Chris Paul from the Oklahoma City Thunder. Oklahoma City is trying to move Paul and his two-year, $85.5 million contract as part of a rebuilding effort. Paul averaged 17.6 points and 6.7 assists last season and was named second-team All-NBA.

The Rundown for October 30, 2020

CORONAVIRUS UPDATES… The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 8,943,577 and the nation’s death toll stands at 228,636, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University… Yesterday’s 83,757 new cases set a new single-day high in the U.S. Over the past week, 41 states had at least 10 percent more new cases compared with the previous week.

TRUMP, BIDEN CAMPAIGN IN TAMPA… President Trump and Democratic rival Joe Biden campaigned in Tampa, Florida, yesterday as the 2020 presidential campaign heads into the final weekend before Election Day. Speaking at an indoor event where many of the thousands of people attending weren’t wearing masks, Trump downplayed the coronavirus pandemic and mocked his opponent. Biden later appeared at a “drive-in” rally and criticized Trump for holding what he termed a “super-spreader event.” He also attacked the president’s ongoing claims that the country had moved past the worst days of the pandemic, despite rising cases nationwide. The U.S. Elections Project at the University of Florida said yesterday that more than 80 million Americans have cast ballots in the U.S. presidential election.

SUPREME COURT KEEPS N.C. BALLOT DEADLINE INTACT… The Supreme Court yesterday rejected a second challenge to the extension of North Carolina’s deadline to count mail-in ballots. Republicans sought to block the state election board’s decision to extend the deadline to count mail-in ballots until November 13. Earlier this week, the Supreme Court also allowed Pennsylvania to extend its deadline to receive mail-in ballots to November 6, but rejected a similar extension in Wisconsin.

CYBERATTACKS TARGET HEALTHCARE SYSTEM… Intelligence officials are warning that cybercriminals are targeting U.S. healthcare system by unleashing a wave of data-scrambling extortion attempts to disable hospital information systems. The FBI and two federal agencies warned that the attacks could hurt patient care just as nationwide cases of COVID-19 are spiking. The cyberattacks involve ransomware, which scrambles data into gibberish that can only be unlocked with software keys they victims are forced to pay for. Security experts say the attacks have victimized at least five U.S. hospitals this week.

MILLIONS IN THE DARK FOLLOWING ZETA… More than 2 million homes and businesses in Louisiana, Georgia, Alabama, North Carolina and Oklahoma were without power yesterday in the wake of Hurricane Zeta. Georgia had the most outages with 632,542. The storm was blamed for the deaths of three people as of last night. It was still packing gusty winds as it moved northeast toward North Carolina and Virginia.

ENTERTAINMENT
SCARLETT JOHANSSON, COLIN JOST MARRY
… Scarlett Johansson and Colin Jost announced yesterday that they married last weekend in an intimate ceremony. The actress and “Saturday Night Live” star got engaged in 2019 after dating two years. The 34-year-old Johansson was previously married to actor Ryan Reynolds and journalist Romain Dauriac. She and Dauriac share a daughter who was born in 2014. This is the first marriage for the 38-year-old Jost, who is the co-anchor of “SNL’s” Weekend Update.

PAUL RUDD KIND TO VOTERS… Actor Paul Rudd spent yesterday morning handing out blueberry-and-cream cookies to early voters in Brooklyn. Rudd joined people who were lined up in the rain and then out cookies as voters left the polls. Last month, the 51-year-old Rudd appeared in a public service announcement last month, urging New Yorkers to wear a mask.

SPORTS
NFL SCORE

Atlanta 25 – CAROLINA 17
… Todd Gurley’s 3-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter sealed the win as the Falcons (2-6) grinded out a win over the Panthers (3-5). Quarterback Matt Ryan ran 13 yards for a second-quarter score. Younghoe Koo booted four field goals to 37 yards.

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

MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL
Tampa Bay (5-2) is at the N.Y. Giants (1-6)

MLB NEWS… The Chicago White Sox are bringing back Tony La Russa as manager. The 76-year-old La Russa is the third-winningest manager in baseball history, a three-time World Series champion and a four-time winner of the Manager of the Year Award. The Hall-of-Famer hasn’t managed since leading St. Louis to a World Series title in 2011. His first managing job came with the White Sox in 1979… Milwaukee Brewers are parting ways with outfielder Ryan Braun after 14 seasons. The team has opted to pay him a $4 million buyout rather than the $15 million they would have owed him otherwise. While with the Brewers, the 36-year-old Braun was a six-time All-Star who was honored with the as the 2007 Rookie of the Year Award and the 2011 Most Valuable Player Award.

CLEMSON QB TREVOR LAWRENCE TESTS POSITIVE FOR COVID… Clemson star quarterback and Heisman Trophy candidate Trevor Lawrence has tested positive for COVID-19 and will not play in tomorrow’s game against Boston College. Lawrence, who is the potential No. 1 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, has suffered mild symptoms, according to Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney.

The Rundown for October 28, 2020

CORONAVIRUS UPDATES… The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 8,774,118 and the nation’s death toll stands at 226,613, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University… An internal Health and Human Services memo obtained by ABC News revealed that new COVID-19 cases and deaths posted double-digit increases in the past week in the U.S. The number of new cases reported nationally between October 20 and 26 increased 22.7 percent compared with the previous seven-day period. During the same period, recorded deaths increased 10.5 percent… The surge in new coronavirus cases continues to be felt on Wall Street. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 222.19 points, or 0.8 percent, while the S&P 500 slid 0.3 percent.

NOAA CHIEF SCIENTIST FIRED… Craig McLean, the acting chief scientist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, has been fired in response to an email he sent last month to NOAA employees who had been installed by the Trump administration. The email reminded employees of agency rules that prohibit changing research and data to fit a political agenda. The New York Times reported that Trump political appointees at the agency “have questioned accepted facts about climate change and imposed stricter controls on communications at the agency.” Newly appointed NOAA chief of staff and former White House policy adviser Dr. Erik Noble made the firing after McLean defended the email as an effort to maintain ethics across the NOAA.

JUDGE WON’T LET DOJ INTERVENE IN TRUMP DEFAMATION CASE… A federal judge yesterday denied the Justice Department’s attempt to intervene on President Trump’s behalf in a defamation lawsuit filed by a woman who alleges he sexually assaulted her in the mid-1990s. E. Jean Carroll accused the president of raping her in the dressing room of a Manhattan department store more than two decades ago. Trump denied the allegations and accused her of lying to sell books. Carroll then sued Trump last year in state court in New York for defamation, contending he harmed her reputation with his counterclaims.

PROTESTS IN PHILADELPHIA… There was a second night of protests in Philadelphia last night over the fatal police shooting of a Black man on Monday afternoon. Philadelphia police shot 27-year-old Walter Wallace Jr. after responding to a call about a man armed with a knife. 30 officers were injured during violent protests that followed. Wallace’s family has called for an end to any violence or looting.

ZETA TO ARRIVE TONIGHT… Tropical Storm Zeta is expected to make landfall south of New Orleans tonight as a Category 1 hurricane. The National Weather Service has issued hurricane warnings for parts of coastal Louisiana and Mississippi, and tropical storm watches and warnings are in effect between Louisiana and the Florida Panhandle. Coastal cities along the northern Gulf Coast were also placed under hurricane and storm surge watches.

ENTERTAINMENT
JON STEWART TO HOST CURRENT-AFFAIRS SHOW
… Jon Stewart has signed a long-term production deal for an hour-long current-affairs show on Apple TV+. The show will delve into “topics that are currently part of the national conversation” and Stewart’s own interests, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The series is expected to stream sometime next year and each episode will come with an accompanying podcast.

BLAKE SHELTON, GWEN STEFANI ENGAGED… “The Voice” coaches Blake Shelton and Gwen Stefani announced their engagement on social media yesterday. The singers have been dating since 2015 it will be the second marriage for both. Stefani was previously married to Gavin Rossdale and Shelton to Miranda Lambert. Shelton has been a coach on NBC’s music competition show since its inception in 2011. Stefani joined in 2014.

SPORTS
DODGERS WIN WORLD SERIES
… The Dodgers eased past the Rays 3-1 in Arlington last night to capture the 2020 World Series in six games. The championship is the seventh in franchise history and first since 1988. Mookie Betts scored the tying run in the bottom of the sixth inning on Corey Seager’s infield grounder and homered in the eighth. Seven L.A. pitchers combined on a five-hitter. Seager was named the series MVP.

The Rundown for October 27, 2020

CORONAVIRUS UPDATES… The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 8,700,053 and the nation’s death toll stands at 225,696, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University… The rising number of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. and the lack of additional stimulus to aid businesses and citizens was blamed for yesterday’s worst day on Wall Street since September. The Dow Jones Industrial average was down 650.19 points, or 2.29 percent, by the end of the day after falling by as much as 890 points earlier. The S&P 500 was down about 1.86 percent and the Nasdaq Composite fell 1.64 percent.

BARRETT SWORN IN AS SUPREME COURT JUSTICE… Amy Coney Barrett was sworn in as a Supreme Court judge by Justice Clarence Thomas last night following her confirmation in the Senate by a 52-48 vote. Barrett’s confirmation just 30 days after she was nominated by President Trump to fill the vacancy left by the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Trump spoke at a White House ceremony and called the confirmation a “momentous day” for America. Democrats had attacked the nomination process as well as Barrett’s qualifications and voting record. They noted that with eight months to go in former President Obama’s term, Senate Republicans prevented a replacement for the late Antonin Scalia from being nominated until after the 2016 presidential election. Democrats insist it’s hypocritical of the GOP to push through a nomination just eight days before Americans return to the polls to vote for a president.

HIGH COURT RULES AGAINST WISCONSIN BALLOT EXTENSION… The Supreme Court voted 5-3 yesterday in ruling that Wisconsin’s mail-in ballots have to be received by Election Day to be counted. An appeals court had sided with state Democrats who wanted to count ballots that arrived up to six days after Election Day if they were postmarked by November 3. They argued that the extension was necessary due to the pandemic and potential postal delays. Justices Elena Kagan, Sonia Sotomayor and Stephen Breyer dissented from the ruling.

TRUMP, BIDEN CAMPAIGN IN PENNSYLVANIA… With the 2020 presidential campaign heading into its final week, President Trump and his democratic rival Joe Biden visited the swing state of Pennsylvania yesterday. At his third and final stop of the day, Trump declared at a rally in Martinsburg, “We win Pennsylvania, we win the whole ballgame.” Biden met with volunteers and spoke to reporters in the city of Chester, near Philadelphia. He criticized Trump for his handling of the coronavirus pandemic. “The bottom line is, Donald Trump is the worst possible president, the worst possible person to lead us through this pandemic,” Biden said.

90K EVACUATED IN CALIFORNIA WILDFIRE… A wind-whipped wildfire that broke out yesterday near Irvine, California, has forced the evacuation of 90,000 people. As of last night, the Silverado Fire had burned more than 8,000 acres with zero containment. Two firefighters were severely injured battling the blaze. The utility company Southern California Edison admits that its equipment might be to blame for the fire.

ENTERTAINMENT
MONICA ALDAMA BOOTED ON ‘DANCING’
… “Cheer” coach Monica Aldama was eliminated from Season 29 of “Dancing with the Stars” in last night’s show. Aldama partnered with professional dancer Valentin Chmerkovskiy for the ABC competition series. Still in the running are “The Bachelorette’ alum Kaitlyn Bristowe, “Selling Sunset” star Chrishell Stause, actresses Skai Jackson and Justina Machado, reality TV stars Jeannie Mai and Nev Schulman, Backstreet Boys singer A.J. McLean, rapper Nelly and Olympic figure skater Johnny Weir.

TAYLOR SWIFT HAS ANOTHER MILLION SELLER… Billboard announced yesterday that Taylor Swift’s latest album, “Folklore,” has become the first album of 2020 to sell a million copies in the U.S. The album, released on July 24, is also Swift’s eighth studio album to sell more than a million copies in the U.S. Her holiday extended play, 2007’s “The Taylor Swift Holiday Collection,” also surpassed a million in sales. “Folklore” features such songs as “Cardigan” and “The 1.”

SPORTS
MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL

L.A. RAMS 24 – Chicago 10
… Jared Goff threw touchdown passes to Josh Reynolds and Gerald Everett in leading the Rams (5-2) past the Bears (5-2). Defensively, L.A. picked off two Nick Foles passes.

WORLD SERIES RESUMES TONIGHT… Following yesterday’s off-day, the Los Angeles Dodgers and Tampa Bay Rays meet tonight in Game 6 of the 2020 World Series. The Dodgers lead the series 3-2 and will seek to close out their first championship since 1988. L.A. will send rookie righthander Tony Gonsolin to the mound. Tampa Bay counters with lefthander Blake Snell. First pitch is set for 8:08 p.m. Eastern.

The Rundown for October 26, 2020

CORONAVIRUS UPDATES… The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 8,633,174 and the nation’s death toll stands at 224,215, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University… An outbreak in the Northeast has resulted in New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Rhode Island and Vermont report a doubling of cases in the past four weeks compared with the previous four weeks. At least 35 states reported more new Covid-19 cases in the last week than the week prior. In Texas, El Paso County is responding to a surge in Covid-19 cases by instituting a curfew between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. The Texas Division of Emergency Management is establishing an alternate care site in El Paso to expand hospital capacity… White House Chief of Staff seemed to concede defeat in the battle to contain the coronavirus but said the administration would instead focus on treatments and vaccines. “We are not going to control the pandemic,” Meadows said during an appearance on CNN’s “State of the Union. “We are going to control the fact that we get vaccines, therapeutics and other mitigation areas.”

AMERICANS VOTING EARLY… An Associated Press tally has found more people already have voted early than 2016’s early and absentee voting totals. As of yesterday, Americans cast 58.6 million ballots to surpass the 58 million who used early and absentee voting processes in 2016. Twenty-five percent of those are new or infrequent voters, according to the political data firm L2. Experts predict 150 million Americans will turn out to vote this election.

SENATE REPUBLICANS ADVANCE BARRETT NOMINATION… Senate Republicans yesterday advanced Amy Coney Barrett’s Supreme Court nomination in a procedural vote that broke a Democratic filibuster. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has scheduled a final vote for today. Barrett is expected to get the 51 of 53 Republican votes she needs to fill the seat vacated by the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Her confirmation would give conservatives a 6-3 ideological majority on the High Court. Democrats have argued that the seat on the court should have been left to the winner of the presidential election.

STATE DEPARTMENT SUSPENDS DIVERSITY PROGRAMS… The U.S. State Department confirmed yesterday that it has suspended employee training programs related to diversity and inclusion but affirmed its commitment to fostering a more diverse workplace. A temporary pause in the programs followed last month’s executive order by President Trump that directed federal agencies to end programs deemed “divisive” by the White House. The executive order forbid the teaching by federal agencies of “divisive concepts” including that the U.S. is “fundamentally racist or sexist.”

ZETA ON APPROACH… Tropical Storm Zeta formed east of Mexico yesterday morning and could be at or near hurricane strength when it reaches the Gulf Coast on Wednesday. Forecasters say Zeta could bring storm surge, rainfall and high winds to areas from Louisiana to the Florida Panhandle. It is the 27th named storm of the 2020 Atlantic Hurricane season, tying 2005 as the most active hurricane season on record. If it makes landfall in Louisiana, Zeta would become the fifth named storm to do so this year, setting a record.

ENTERTAINMENT
TAYLOR SWIFT TOPS ALBUM CHART
… Taylor Swift’s “Folklore” sold 77,000 copies to reclaim the top spot on the Billboard 200 chart for an eighth nonconsecutive week. Last week’s champ, Pop Smoke’s “Shoot for the Stars Aim for the Moon” slipped into second place after selling 66,000 units. 21 Savage and Metro Boomin’s “Savage Mode II” dropped into third place on sales of 47,000 copies. Tom Petty’s 1994 album “Wildflowers” sold 44,000 units to re-enter chart at No. 5 after its deluxe reissue on October 16.

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE… The Liam Neeson thriller “Honest Thief” took in $2.3 million to remain atop the weekend box office. “The War with Grandpa” stayed in second place after taking in $1.8 million. “Tenet” finished third with $1.3 million. “The Empty Man” made $1.2 million to finish fourth. “The Nightmare Before Christmas” came in fifth with $577,000.

SPORTS
WORLD SERIES GAME 5…
L.A. Dodgers 4 – TAMPA BAY 2
… Solo homers by Joc Pederson and Max Muncy were the difference as the Dodgers held off the Rays to take a 3-2 lead in the series. Clayton Kershaw allowed two runs on five hits over 5-2/3 innings. L.A. will try to wrap up the series in Game 6 tomorrow.

NFL SCORES
Buffalo 18 – N.Y. JETS 10
… The Bills (5-2) rallied past the Jets (0-7) after spotting them a 10-point lead. Tyler Bass booted six field goals to 53 yards.

Green Bay 35 – HOUSTON 20… Devante Adams had 13 receptions for 196 yards and hauled in two of Aaron Rodgers’ four touchdown passes as the Packers (5-1) rolled past the Texans (1-6). Rodgers passed for 283 yards.

WASHINGTON 25 – Dallas 3… Antonio Gibson rushed for 128 yards and a touchdown as Washington (2-5) handled the Cowboys (2-5). Kyle Allen threw touchdown passes to Terry McLaurin and Logan Thomas.

Pittsburgh 27 – TENNESSEE 24… The Steelers (6-0) built a 17-point halftime lead and held off the Titans (5-1) in a battle of teams that entered the game unbeaten. Ben Roethlisberger found Diontae Johnson with a pair of touchdown passes but was intercepted three times.

NEW ORLEANS 27 – Carolina 24… Wil Lutz kicked a tie-breaking 43-yard field goal in the fourth quarter and the Saints (4-2) made it stand in beating the Panthers (3-4). Drew Brees completed 29 of 36 passes for 287 yards.

Cleveland 37 – CINCINNATI 34… Baker Mayfield’s fifth touchdown pass of the day was a 24-yarder to Donovan Peoples-Jones with 11 seconds remaining and gave the Browns (5-2) a come-from-behind win over the Bengals (1-5-1). Harrison Bryant had two scoring receptions.

Detroit 23 – ATLANTA 22… Matthew Stafford’s 24-yard touchdown pass to T.J. Hockenson on the last play of the game lifted the Lions (3-3) over the Falcons (1-6). Stafford passed for 340 yards on the day. Kenny Goladay rushed for 114 yards.

Tampa Bay 45 – LAS VEGAS 20… Tom Brady was 30-of-45 for 369 yards and threw touchdown passes to four different receivers in leading the Buccaneers (5-2) past the Raiders (3-3). Scott Miller had six catches for 109 yards and a TD.

San Francisco 33 – NEW ENGLAND 6… Jeff Wilson rushed for 112 yards and three touchdowns and the 49ers (4-3) hammered the Patriots (2-4). Brandon Aiyuk had six catches for 115 yards.

L.A. CHARGERS 39 – Jacksonville 29… Justin Herbert threw for 347 yards and three touchdowns to lead the Chargers (2-4) past the Jaguars (1-6). He also led the ground game with 66 yards and a TD. Keenan Allen had 10 receptions for 125 yards.

Kansas City 43 – DENVER 16… The Chiefs (6-1) came up big defensively and on special teams in beating the Broncos (2-4) for the 10th straight time. Byron Pringle returned a kickoff 102 yards for a touchdown on a snow-covered field and Daniel Sorenson returned an interception 50 yards for a score. Patrick Mahomes passed for 200 yards and a TD.

ARIZONA 37 – Seattle 34 (OT)… The Cardinals (5-2) came alive in the second half to outlast the Seahawks (5-1). Zane Gonzalez kicked a game-winning field goal with 15 seconds left in overtime. His 44-yarder tied the game with 2 seconds left in regulation. Kyler Murray hit Christian Kirk with two of his three touchdown passes. Deandre Hopkins had 10 catches for 103 yards and a score. Defensively, Arizona intercepted Russell Wilson three times.

MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL
Chicago (5-1) is at the L.A. Rams (4-2)