The Rundown for March 26, 2020

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE… The number of deaths in the U.S. due to the coronavirus rose to at least 928 yesterday as 223 fatalities were reported. More than 65,000 Americans have now tested positive test for the virus, with nearly half in New York. Medical experts expect the numbers will rise dramatically as more tests are administered and analyzed.

SENATE APPROVES STIMULUS PACKAGE… The Senate voted unanimously last night to approve a $2 trillion stimulus package aimed at providing relief from the coronavirus pandemic. The largest emergency aid package in U.S. history is now heading to the House for a vote. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer indicated yesterday that the House will begin considering the relief package at 9 a.m. tomorrow. The Senate proposal includes $250 billion for direct payments to individuals and families, $350 billion for small business loans, $250 billion for unemployment insurance benefits and $500 billion in loans for distressed companies.

TRAVEL HALTED FOR U.S. TROOPS… Defense Secretary Mark Esper has ordered a halt to travel for 60 days for all U.S. troops, their families and civilian employee to limit the spread of coronavirus. The move will affect 90,000 troops scheduled for deployment, according to the Pentagon. Exceptions will be made for medical purposes and for those aboard ships that are deployed for 14 days. In addition, it will not affect the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan.

JUDGE ISSUES ORDER OVER DAKOTA ACCESS PIPELINE… A federal judge yesterday ordered the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to conduct a full environmental review of the Dakota Access pipeline. The order comes nearly three years after the controversial pipeline began carrying oil. U.S. District Judge James Boasberg wrote that a more extensive review is necessary than the environmental assessment that was done. Boasberg ordered both parties to submit briefs on whether the pipeline should continue operating during the period of the new environmental review.

AMERICAN HOSTAGE IN IRAN DEAD… The family of retired Drug Enforcement Agency and FBI agent, private investigator and part-time CIA consultant Robert Levinson announced that he has died after being held hostage in Iran. Family members said they made the announcement based on information received from U.S. officials. Levinson had traveled to Kish Island, Iran, in 2007 to investigate cigarette smuggling and was meeting with U.S. fugitive Dawud Salahuddin when Iranian security officials detained them both. Salahuddin later said he never again saw Levinson after they were released. In 2014, Levinson’s family filed suit against Iran.

TONY AWARDS POSTPONED… The Tony Awards has become the latest cultural event to be postponed due to the coronavirus. The awards ceremony was scheduled to air live on CBS on Sunday, June 7, from New York City. The show will be rescheduled, but a new date will not be determined until Broadway reopens.

ELTON JOHN TO HOST LIVING-ROOM CONCERT… Elton John has signed on to host a living-room concert for coronavirus relief special broadcast this Sunday. Billie Eilish, Mariah Carey, Billie Joe Armstrong and Alicia Keys are among performers who have agreed to take part in delivering at-home performances. Each performance was filmed using the artists’ personal cell phones, cameras and audio equipment. The hour-long iHeart Living Room Concert for America will air commercial-free on Fox.

BASEBALL PLANS COMEBACK… Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred said during an ESPN interview yesterday that “nothing’s off the table” in terms of plans to return. Manfred said he’s hopeful the sport can begin preparing for a season at some point in May but there’s no way of knowing for certain when the sport will return. For the past couple weeks, MLB executives and the MLB Players Association have exchanged proposals over salary and service-time issues, as well as the proper way to return.

The Dallas Cowboys have agreed to a one-year deal with tight end Blake Bell.

The Kansas City Chiefs have re-signed defensive tackle Mike Pennel and fullback Anthony Sherman to one-year deals.

The Minnesota Vikings have signed free-agent wide receiver Tajae Sharpe to a one-year contract.

The New York Jets have agreed to terms with former Baltimore Ravens linebacker Patrick Onwuasor on a one-year contract.

The Philadelphia Eagles have agreed to a one-year deal with Cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman.

The Pittsburgh Steelers signed defensive tackle Cavon Walker, offensive tackle Jarron Jones and safety Tyree Kinnel from the XFL yesterday.

The Washington Redskins have agreed to terms with wide receiver Cody Latimer. Details were not announced.

The Rundown for March 13, 2020

ONGOING SHUTDOWNS OVER CARONAVIRUS… Efforts to contain the coronavirus continue as officials are calling off public gatherings, postponing sporting events and canceling classes at schools. As of yesterday morning, there had been more than 1,300 confirmed cases in the U.S. with at least 39 deaths of them fatal. The virus has infected more than 126,000 people worldwide and is blamed for more than 4,600 deaths. Doctors say the vast majority of cases are mild, and almost half of those infected have recovered. Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, conceded during testimony before the House oversight committee yesterday that government efforts have failed to provide Americans easy and accessible testing. President Trump drew condemnation from leaders of the European Union for not consulting them before announcing that he as barring travelers from 26 nations from entering the U.S.for 30 days. It was also revealed yesterday that the communications secretary for Brazil President Jair Bolsonaro tested positive for coronavirus just five days after he was among a group of officials who met with Trump.

U.S. LAUNCHES AIR STRIKES IN IRAQ… The Pentagon confirmed yesterday that U.S. forces launched airstrikes in Iraq against Iranian-backed Shia militia members blamed for a rocket attack that killed and wounded American and British troops Wednesday night at Iraq’s Camp Taji. Officials said multiple strikes by U.S. manned aircraft hit five locations and mainly targeted Kataib Hezbollah weapons facilities inside Iraq. Earlier yesterday, Defense Secretary Mark Esper announced that President Donald Trump had given him the authority to take whatever action he deemed necessary.

DOW FALLS AFTER FED INJECTION… The Federal Reserve Bank of New York yesterday took drastic steps in injecting more than $1.5 trillion into the markets amid investors’ fears of the coronavirus’ economic impact. The move brought immediate calm but it quickly gave way. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell nearly 10 percent in its worst drop since the 1987 stock market crash. The Dow was down 2,353 points at closing bell, while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq fell by over 9 percent.

SANDERS WINS CALIFORNIA DEM PRIMARY… News outlets yesterday declared Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders the winner of California’s Democratic primary. Official numbers from the Super Tuesday contest have been delayed pending the final count of mail-in votes and provisional ballots. As of yesterday, Sanders was holding a 34.3-to-27.6-percent lead. He had claimed 184 delegates to former Vice President Joe Biden’s 144, with 81 delegates left to be allocated.

CHELSEA MANNING RELEASED FROM PRISON… Former intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning was released from prison yesterday. She had been in detention in Virginia since last May after refusing to testify in an inquiry into Wikileaks. Manning was found guilty in 2013 of charges including espionage for leaking secret military files to Wikileaks.

PROMOTERS SUSPEND CONCERT TOURS… Two dominant live entertainment promotion companies have announced that they are suspended all touring activities because of the coronavirus pandemic. Live Nation Entertainment and AEG Presents both said they would halt events beginning this weekend at least through the end of March. On Tuesday, AEG announced the postponement until October of both the Coachella and Stagecoach music festivals.

IN THEATERS… “Bloodshot” stars Vin Diesel and Eiza Gonzalez in the story about a slain soldier who is re-animated with superpowers. The film is rated PG-13… In “The Hunt,” 12 strangers wake up not knowing where they are or how they got there and soon discover that they’ve been chosen for a very specific purpose. Betty Gilpin and Hilary Swank star in the R-rated film.

NCAA CALLS OFF TOURNAMENTS; NHL SUSPENDS SEASON… The sporting world has undergone a complete shutdown due to the health threat posed by the coronavirus pandemic. Yesterday, the NHL announced that it was suspending its season but expressed hopes to resume. The league had 189 games and three and a half weeks remaining in its regular-season schedule. Later, the NCAA called off its men’s and women’s basketball tournaments as part of a complete cancellation of all remaining spring and winter championships. Major League Baseball, meanwhile, announced that it is suspending spring-training games and will delay the start of the 2020 regular season by at least two weeks. On Wednesday night, the NBA announced suspended its season “until further notice” after Utah Jazz player Rudy Gobert tested positive for the coronavirus. His teammate Donovan Mitchell reportedly also has been diagnosed with the virus.

The Rundown for February 5, 2020

TRUMP DELIVERS SOTU… President Trump made a partisan pitch to his supporters in his State of the Union last night. Trump addressed the nation on the eve of the impeachment verdict in the same room where he was impeached in December. Trump pressed Republican talking points and used the occasion to present right-wing talk-show host and golf partner Rush Limbaugh with the Medal of freedom. Democrats cringed during the president’s speech whenever he demonstrated what they considered to be blatant disregard for the truth. Following the speech, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi ripped up her copy of the speech. Earlier, Trump refused to shake her extended hand when he took the stage.

IOWA CAUCUSES… The Democratic National Committee continues to work with state party officials in reporting results from Monday’s Iowa caucuses. The delay has been blamed on the failure of an app to gather data from nearly 1,700 caucus sites across Iowa. As of last night, results had been gathered from 62 percent of precincts. According to the Iowa Democratic Party, Pete Buttigieg was first with 26.9 percent. Bernie Sanders was close behind at 25.1 percent. Elizabeth Warren was third on 18.3 percent. Joe Biden was running fourth on 15.6 percent.

E.U. CRITICIZES TRUMP LAND MINE DECISION… The European Union yesterday criticized President Trump’s decision to ease restrictions on the U.S. military’s use of anti-personnel land mines. The E.U. called the decision “completely unacceptable” and noted that the ban on such mines had “saved tens of thousands of people in the past twenty years.” Trump broke with NATO allies Britain and France when he lifted the ban on military use of the land mines outside of the Korean Peninsula.

VIRGINIA BLOCKS COASTAL OIL, GAS DEVELOPMENT… Lawmakers in Virginia yesterday passed a bill to block future oil and gas development off the state’s coastline, reflecting opposition to the Republican Trump administration’s efforts to open Atlantic waters to fossil fuel exploration. The bill passed by the Democrat-led state House of Delegates prohibits infrastructure such as pipelines or gathering systems in state waters that could be used to transport oil and gas drilled in federal waters to Virginia’s shores. It also repeals a state policy to explore for offshore oil and gas. A companion bill was approved in the state’s Senate last week, and the legislation is expected to be sent to Governor Ralph Northam shortly. The governor reportedly supports the bill.

MACY’S TO CLOSE 125 STORES… The department store chain Macy’s has announced plans to close 125 stores in “lower tier malls” and lay off 2,000 corporate workers over the next three years. The announcement comes a month after Macy’s said it would close 29 stores despite reporting strong store sales during the holiday shopping season. The company will also move its headquarters from Cincinnati to New York City. Macy’s hasn’t released a list of stores that will close, but they account for 20 percent of Macy’s locations and a combined $1.4 billion in annual sales.

BRIAN WILSON OPPOSES BEACH BOYS PERFORMANCE… Beach Boys founder Brian Wilson is urging fans to boycott a performance by a variation of the band at a convention for trophy hunters in Reno, Nevada. The band will be fronted by lead singer Mike Love when it performs at the Safari Club International Convention tonight. Wilson tweeted yesterday that he and former guitarist Al Jardine had nothing to do with the event.

SHANNEN DOHERTY IN CANCER BATTLE… Shannen Doherty announced yesterday that her breast cancer has returned and is now at stage 4. The 48-year-old actress was first diagnosed with cancer in 2015, and said she got the new diagnosis last year. She says she didn’t tell anyone about her recurrence because she wanted to prove that she could still work. Doherty is best known for her roles in the TV series “Beverly Hills 90210” and “Charmed.”

Milwaukee 120 – NEW ORLEANS 108… The Bucks shook off a slow start and cruised past the Pelicans. Giannis Antetokounmpo had game-highs with 34 points and 17 rebounds. Kris Middleton added 20 points.

HOUSTON 125 – Charlotte 110… The Rockets erased a 12-point deficit after the first quarter and breezed past the Hornets. James Harden lit it up for 40 points. Danuel House Jr. added 22 points.

DENVER 127 – Portland 99… The Nuggets held the Trail Blazers to 10 second-quarter points in opening up a 26-point halftime lead on their way to a blowout win. Nikola Jokic scored 29 points and grabbed 13 boards. Jamal Murray added 20 points.

L.A. LAKERS 129 – San Antonio 102… LeBron James made six of nine 3-point attempts and finished with 36 points in leading the Lakers past the Spurs. Kyle Kouzma came off the bench to score 18 points and pull down 12 rebounds.

Phoenix is at Detroit…
Toronto hosts Indiana…
Orlando is at Boston…
Brooklyn hosts Golden State…
Cleveland is at Oklahoma City…
Minnesota hosts Atlanta…
Memphis is at Dallas…
Utah hosts Denver…
Miami is at the L.A. Clippers

BOSTON 4 – Vancouver 0… Goalie Tuukka Rask stopped all 25 shots as the Bruins blanked the Canucks. Charlie Coyle had a goal and an assist. Charlie McAvoy assisted on two goals.

Colorado 6 – BUFFALO 1… The Avalanche scored four unanswered goals in the second period to put away the Sabres. Andre Burakovsky had a goal and three assists. Valeri Nichushkin added a goal and two assists.

TAMPA BAY 4 – Vegas 2… Steven Stamkos scored a tiebreaking goal midway through the third period and Alex Killorn added an empty-netter to push the Lightning past the Golden Knights. Brayden Point had a goal and an assist.

Montreal 5 – NEW JERSEY 4 (SO)… The Canadiens erased a three-goal deficit on their way past the Devils. Ilya Kovalchuk scored the lone goal in the shootout.

N.Y. ISLANDERS 4 – Dallas 3 (OT)… Anthony Beauvillier scored his second goal of the game 2:52 into overtime to lift the Islanders over the Stars. Jordan Eberle set up two goals.

WASHINGTON 4 – Los Angeles 2… Alex Ovechkin scored three straight goals in the third period to carry the Capitals past the Kings. He now has 40 goals on the season. John Carlson scored a goal and assisted on two others.

COLUMBUS 1 – Florida 0 (OT)… Zach Werenski scored the game’s only goal 1:54 into overtime and the Blue Jackets extended their points streak to nine games. Elvis Merzlikins made 32 saves at goal.

Anaheim 3 – OTTAWA 2 (SO)… Ondrej Kase and Rickard Rakell scored in the tiebreaker to send the Ducks past the Senators. Kase also netted a second-period goal.

ST. LOUIS 6 – Carolina 3… Zach Sandford and Brayden Schenn scored two goals apiece as the Blues doubled up on the Hurricanes. Ryan O’Reilly assisted on three goals.

MINNESOTA 3 – Chicago 2 (OT)… The Wild recovered to top the Blackhawks after blowing a two-goal third-period lead. Matt Dumba netted the game-winner with 2:39 left in overtime. Kevin Fiala scored twice in the second period.

Nashville 2 – WINNIPEG 1 (OT)… Mikael Granlund found the net at 1:11 of the overtime period to give the Predators a hard-fought win over the Jets. Nick Bonino tied the game with a first-period goal.

ARIZONA 3 – Edmonton 0… Goalie Antti Raanta made 30 saves in the Coyotes’ shutout of the Oilers. Lawson Crouse had a goal and an assist.

San Jose 3 – CALGARY 1… The Sharks rallied past the Flames after spotting them an early lead. Joe Thornton assisted on goals by Brent Burns and Kevin Labanc. Evander Kane also found the net. Aaron Dell stopped 30 shots at goal.

Toronto is at the N.Y. Rangers…
Chicago hosts Boston

#7 Duke 63, BOSTON COLLEGE 55…
#9 MARYLAND 56, Rutgers 51…
#11 Auburn 79, ARKANSAS 76…
#15 KENTUCKY 80, Mississippi State 72…
#22 Penn State 75, #16 MICHIGAN STATE 70

MLB NEWS… The Los Angeles Dodgers acquired 2018 American League MVP Mookie Betts and All-Star starting pitcher David Price from the Boston Red Sox yesterday in a three-way trade that also included the Minnesota Twins. The Red Sox ended up with Twins pitching prospect Brusdar Graterol and the Twins picked up Dodgers pitcher Kenta Maeda. In a separate deal, the Dodgers dealt outfielder Joc Pederson to the Los Angeles Angels for infielder Luis Rengifo.

The Rundown for January 22, 2020

IMPEACHMENT TRIAL UNDERWAY… The first full day of President Trump’s impeachment trial lasted 13 hours until nearly 2 a.m. Eastern before the Senate approved rules for the proceeding. The approval came in a party-line vote of 53-47 that delays the question of whether the Senate should subpoena witnesses and documents until next week. Prior to Senate Majority Mitch McConnell’s introduction of the rules resolution, Republicans defeated 11 amendments from Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer that were seeking to subpoena documents and witnesses. The trial resumes at 1 p.m. Eastern today.

TRUMP AT DAVOS… President Trump boasted about his administration’s economic achievements during his presentation yesterday to open the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Trump claimed that the U.S. “is winning” like never before in his keynote address. In touting his administration’s policies, Trump made no mention of his impeachment trial. Trump did reveal that the U.S. will join the One Trillion Trees Initiative in planting more trees to help offset carbon dioxide emissions.

TRUMP ADMINISTRATION TO EXPAND TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS… The Trump administration is planning to expand travel restrictions to seven additional countries. Belarus, Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan, Myanmar, Nigeria, Sudan and Tanzania are the countries being added but White House officials note the list isn’t final, according to reports. The countries are expected to have restrictions placed on specific types of visas, such as business or visitor visas. The expanded restrictions are expected to be introduced on Monday.

SUPREME COURT DOESN’T FAST-TRACK OBAMACARE CHALLENGE… The Supreme Court yesterday rejected a motion that sought to fast-track the repeal of the Affordable Care Act in its entirety. The rejection means the case probably won’t be decided until after the 2020 election. It also spares Republicans seeking to dismantle Obamacare possible negative coverage in an election year.

CORONAVIRUS REACHES U.S... The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has confirmed the first case of coronavirus in the U.S. The diagnosis was made on a traveler who returned to Seattle from China. The patient was reported to be in good condition. Chinese health officials say the disease has killed at least six people and sickened more than 300.

ALICIA KEYS TO TOUR… Alicia Keys announced yesterday that she will embark on a 2020 world tour in support of her upcoming eponymous album, which is scheduled for release next month. The world tour kicks off on June 5 in Dublin, Ireland. In the meantime, Keys is set to host Sundays 62nd annual Grammy Awards on Sunday.

OZZY OSBOURNE BATTLING PARKINSON’S… Rocker Ozzy Osbourne has confirmed that he is battling Parkinson’s disease. The 71-year-old Black Sabbath frontman made the announcement during an appearance yesterday morning on ABC’s “Good Morning America.” Osbourne said he has a “mild form” and found out about it after suffering a fall last February.

L.A. Clippers 110 – DALLAS 107… The Clippers went on an 8-0 run spanning the two-minute mark to take the lead for good in their win over the Mavericks. Kawhi Leonard scored 36 points and brought down 11 rebounds.

Philadelphia is at Toronto…
Detroit hosts Sacramento…
Oklahoma City is at Orlando…
New York hosts the L.A. Lakers…
Memphis is at Boston…
Miami hosts Washington…
the L.A. Clippers are at Atlanta…
Chicago hosts Minnesota…
Denver is at Houston…
Phoenix hosts Indiana…
San Antonio is at New Orleans…
Golden State hosts Utah

BOSTON 3 – Vegas 2… Jake DeBrusk and David Krejci scored third-period goals to rally the Bruins past the Golden Knights. Krejci also assisted on Jeremy Lauzon’s goal in the first period.

N.Y. Islanders 4 – N.Y. RANGERS 2… Josh Bailey scored a goal and had two assists as the Islanders doubled up on the Rangers. Thomas Greiss made 40 saves at goal.

CAROLINA 4 – Winnipeg 1… Justin Williams found the net twice in leading the Hurricanes past the Jets. Teuvo Teravainen had a goal and two assists.

PHILADELPHIA 3 – Pittsburgh 0… Goalie Brian Elliott needed to stop only 19 shots in the Flyers’ blanking of the Penguins. Jakub Voracek and James van Riemsdyk scored first-period goals.

Florida 4 – CHICAGO 3… The Panthers withstood a third-period rally in holding off the Blackhawks. Frank Vatrano lit the lamp twice as Florida scored all four goals in the second period.

Winnipeg is at Columbus…
Minnesota hosts Detroit

#3 KANSAS 81, Kansas State 60…
#4 SAN DIEGO STATE 72, Wyoming 55…
#8 DUKE 89, Miami (Fla.) 59…
#9 VILLANOVA 76, #13 Butler 61…
#15 KENTUCKY 89, Georgia 79…
#17 Maryland 77, NORTHWESTERN 66…
TCU 65, #18 Texas Tech 54…
#21 Illinois 79, PURDUE 62

MLB NEWS: JETER, WALKER TO BE ENSHRINED… Shortstop Derek Jeter and outfielder Larry Walker were elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame yesterday. Jeter received all but one of the 397 votes cast by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America in his first year of eligibility. The 14-time All-Star with the New York Yankees was named American League Rookie of the Year in 1996 and finished in the top 10 of AL MVP balloting eight times. Walker spent his 17-year career with the Montreal Expos, Colorado Rockies and St. Louis Cardinals. He was the 1997 National League MVP after batting .366 with 9 homers and 130 RBIs for Colorado. He also won NL batting crowns in 1998 (.363) and 1999 (.372). Defensively Walker won seven Gold Gloves during his career.

WORD OF THE DAY… CANARD… (keh–NARD)… noun… 1) A false or unfounded report or story; a fabrication… …After being taken in by the old CANARD about alligators in the sewers, the tourists studiously avoided manhole covers in New York.

BOND, COMMON BOND… What do these 3 things have in common: RUSTY BURRELL–DOUG LLEWELYN–JOSEPH WAPNER? (They were the original stars of The People’s Court)


USELESS TRIVIA… What New York political heavyweight was Miss America in 1945?… (Bess Myerson)

PHOBIA DU JOUR… Uranophobia… Fear of heaven.

The Rundown for January 17, 2020

SENATORS SWORN IN FOR TRUMP IMPEACHMENT TRIAL… All 100 members of the Senate were sworn in yesterday as jurors for the impeachment trial of President Trump. The trial is scheduled to begin on Tuesday. Trump is accused of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. He has denied wrongdoing and branded the case against him as a “hoax.” Senators will decide whether Trump is removed from office over charges brought by the House of Representatives.

UKRAINE GOVERNMENT TO INVESTIGATE YOVANOVITCH SURVEILLANCE… The Ukrainian government announced yesterday that it will launch an investigation into the alleged surveillance of former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch. The campaign was allegedly carried out by associates of President Trump. In a statement released yesterday, Ukraine’s Ministry of Internal Affairs said his government “took note of the possible illegal surveillance on the territory of Ukraine.” Yovanovitch was recalled from her position in May following what she has described as a smear campaign against her from Trump and his personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani. Earlier this week, House Democratic investigators released a trove of documents obtained from Lev Parnas, an associate of Giuliani’s. The documents implied that Parnas had access to people tracking Yovanovitch’s movements in Kyiv.

WATCHDOG SAYS TRUMP ADMINISTRATION BROKE THE LAW OVER UKRAINE… The nonpartisan government watchdog Government Accountability Office yesterday issued a legal opinion that the Trump administration broke the law by withholding defense aid to Ukraine. The issue centers on $214 million that was appropriated by Congress and allocated to the Department of Defense for security assistance. The GAO noted that the aid was later released to Ukraine only after a whistleblower complaint made the withheld money public.

TRUMP ADMINISTRATION SUED OVER FOOD-STAMP LAW… Washington, D.C. and New York City have joined 14 states in a lawsuit that challenges the Trump administration’s plans to impose new work requirements that would cut food stamps to hundreds of thousands of Americans. The suit accuses the administration of undermining the purpose of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and of violating the federal rule-making process. Last month, the U.S. Department of Agriculture introduced the new rule targeting childless, non-disabled adults between the ages of 18 and 49.

VIRGINIA FIREARM BAN UPHELD… A Virginia judge has rejected a request to block Governor Ralph Northam’s firearm ban at a gun-rights rally in Richmond’s Capitol Square on Monday. Lawyers for Virginia Citizens Defense League and Gun Owners of America unsuccessfully argued that the ban violated state law along with protesters’ right to arms, assembly and speech. Meanwhile, FBI agents yesterday arrested a former Canadian Armed Forces reservist and two other men who are linked to a violent white supremacist group and were believed to be heading to the pro-gun rally. The three men are facing federal charges of transporting a firearm and ammunition with intent to commit a felony. One of the defendants is also charged with “transporting and harboring aliens.”

DEMI LOVATO TO PERFORM NATIONAL ANTHEM AT SUPER BOWL… Demi Lovato has signed on to perform the national anthem at the Super Bowl. The Grammy-nominated pop singer will perform prior to the February 2 game at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami. Jennifer Lopez and Shakira will headline the halftime show.

IN THEATERS… “Dolittle” centers on a physician who learns that he can talk to animals. Robert Downey Jr. and Antonio Banderas star in the PG film. Will Smith and Alexander Ludwig star in “Bad Boys for Life.” The R-rated film tells the story of Bad Boys Mike Lowrey and Marcus Burnett, who are back together for one last ride. In “The Wave,” an opportunistic insurance lawyer who thinks he’s in for the time of his life when he goes out on the town to celebrate an upcoming promotion with his co-worker instead gets dosed with a hallucinogen that completely alters his perception of the world. The R-rated sci-fi thriller stars Justin Long and Tommy Flanagan. “VHYes” follows a 12-year-old boy who accidentally records home videos and his favorite late-night shows over his parents’ wedding tape. Kerri Kenney and Thomas Lennon star in the unrated comedy.

Phoenix 121 – NEW YORK 98... The Suns took control with a big second quarter and rolled past the Knicks. Devin Booker pumped in 29 points. Deandre Ayton piled up 26 points and 21 rebounds. Ricky Rubio added 25 points and 13 assists.

MILWAUKEE 128 – Boston 123… The Bucks took a 19-point lead into the fourth quarter and hung on to down the Celtics. Giannis Antetokounmpo piled up 32 points and 17 boards. Kris Middleton added 23 points.

NEW ORLEANS 138 – Utah 132 (OT)… Brandon Ingram poured in a career-high 49 points to lead the Pelicans in their overtime win over the Jazz. Derrick Favors finished with 21 points and 11 rebounds.

L.A. CLIPPERS 122 – Orlando 95… Kawhi Leonard lit it up for 32 points in the Clippers’ rout of the Magic. Montrezl Harrell delivered 21 points off the bench.

Denver 134 – GOLDEN STATE 131 (OT)… The Nuggets outlasted the Warriors in a back-and-forth contest. Nikola Jokic scored a tying basket with 10.8 seconds left in regulation and finished with 23 points and 12 boards. Will Barton led all scorers with 31 points. Malik Beasley had 27 points off the bench.

Washington is at Toronto…
Indiana hosts Minnesota…
Chicago is at Philadelphia…
Oklahoma City hosts Miami…
Cleveland is at Memphis…
San Antonio hosts Atlanta
Portland is at Dallas

BOSTON 4 – Pittsburgh 1… The Bruins cruised past the Penguins after spotting them an early goal. Karson Kuhlman and David Pastrnak each had two assists.

Calgary 2 – TORONTO 1 (SO)… Matthew Tkachuk scored the winning goal in the shootout as the Flames outlasted the Maple Leafs. Goalie David Rittich made 35 saves.

FLORIDA 4 – Los Angeles 3… The Panthers withstood a three-goal rally to edge the Kings. Brian Boyle’s third-period goal turned out to be the difference.

N.Y. Rangers 3 – N.Y. ISLANDERS 2… Chris Kreider scored a power-play goal with 25 seconds remaining to lift the Rangers over the Islanders. Alexandar Georgiev stopped 38 shots at goal.

Montreal 4 – PHILADELPHIA 1… Ilya Kovalchuk found the net twice to lead the Canadiens past the Flyers. Phillip Danault had three assists. Goalie Carey Price stopped 40 shots.

WASHINGTON 5 – New Jersey 2… Alex Ovechkin scored three goals in his 25th career hat trick to highlight the Capitals’ win over the Devils. Nicklas Backstrom assisted on two goals.

COLUMBUS 3 – Carolina 2… Nick Foligno’s goal with 1:41 remaining sent the Blue Jackets past the Hurricanes. Cam Atkinson had a goal and an assist. Goalie Elvis Merzlikins made 32 saves.

Vegas 4 – OTTAWA 2… Mark Stone and Paul Stastny each had a goal and an assist in leading the Golden Knights past the Senators. Marc-Andre Fleury made 35 stops at goal.

Anaheim 4 – NASHVILLE 2… Rickard Rakell scored a goal and assisted on another as the Ducks doubled up on the Predators. John Gibson made 33 stops at goal.

MINNESOTA 3 – Tampa Bay 2… The Wild held off the Lightning to end their four-game losing streak. Zach Parise, Joel Eriksson Ek and Ryan Suter scored for Minnesota.

Buffalo 4 – DALLAS 1… Rasmus Dahlin netted a tie-breaking goal late in the second period and the Sabres scored twice more in the third to put away the Stars. Kyle Okposo had two assists.

COLORADO 4 – San Jose 0… Philipp Grubauer stopped all 27 shots as the Avalanched blanked the Sharks. Valeri Nichushkin scored the only goal Colorado needed in the first period.

VANCOUVER 3 – Arizona 1… The Lightning overcame an early one-goal deficit to cruise past the Coyotes. Elias Petterson assisted on two goals.

Pittsburgh is at Detroit…
Carolina hosts Anaheim..
Tampa Bay is at Winnipeg

#1 GONZAGA 104, Santa Clara 54…
WASHINGTON STATE 72, #8 Oregon 61…
#20 Colorado 68, ARIZONA STATE 61…
#22 MEMPHIS 60, Cincinnati 49…

Tennessee is at Kansas City in the AFC title game…
San Francisco hosts Green Bay in the NFC title game

MLB: BELTRAN STEPS DOWN AS METS MANAGER… The New York Mets have parted with manager Carlos Beltran prior to his first year with the team. Beltran has been the only player so far to be named in MLB’s investigation of the Houston Astros’ sign-stealing scandal. He becomes the third manager to lose his job as a result of the scandal. Houston fired AJ Hinch and the Boston Red Sox let Alex Cora go after he admitted to wrongdoing while a bench coach with the Astros.

The Rundown for January 15, 2020

HOUSE VOTES TODAY ON IMPEACHMENT CHARGES… The House is planning a vote for tomorrow to send formal impeachment charges against President Trump to the Senate. If passed, the trial could begin as early as Tuesday. Last month, Trump became only the third U.S. president to be impeached when the House found that he obstructed Congress and abused his power by pressuring Ukraine to announce an investigation into his Democratic rival Joe Biden. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi vowed, “The president and the senators will be held accountable,” and announced that she will appoint lawmakers who will act as prosecutors in the trial.

HOUSE RELEASES LEV PARNAS DOCUMENTS… The House Intelligence Committee last night released a new batch of impeachment inquiry evidence. Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani’s partner in Ukraine, Lev Parnas, turned over evidence in the form of documents that include Parnas’ handwritten notes, copies of text messages, and other correspondence. The documents indicate that Giuliani was acting with President Trump’s “knowledge and consent” in his communications with the Ukrainian government. Some of the most disturbing documents involve former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch, whose firing appears to have been part of a quid pro quo. The documents also reveal her movements in Ukraine were being tracked and that she was being threatened.

TRUMP’S EMBASSY CLAIMS DOUBTED… The Washington Post says government officials are increasingly skeptical of President Trump’s claims that Iranian general Qassem Soleimani was planning imminent attacks on several U.S. embassies across the Middle East. Trump used the claims to justify his assassination of Soleimani earlier this month but the Pentagon and embassy officials say they were never warned of the purported threat. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo denies that embassy staff wasn’t warned, and a State Department spokesman said the White House sent out a “worldwide security warning to every embassy.” The newspaper report concluded that “Trump’s statement was at best an unfounded theory and at worst a falsehood.”

TRUMP DIVERTING ADDITIONAL WALL FUNDING… President Trump is diverting an additional $7.2  billion in Pentagon funding to use in constructing his border-wall this year, according to a report in yesterday’s Washington Post. The money is reportedly coming from the cancellation of several military construction projects and would be enough to finish about 885 miles of barriers by early 2022. The diverted funds would bring the total amount of federal funds allocated to border fencing to $18.4 billion under Trump following his promise during the 2016 presidential campaign that Mexico would pay for it.

COURT BLOCKS WISCONSIN VOTER PURGE… A Wisconsin appeals court yesterday blocked an order that would immediately have removed as many as 209,000 names from the state’s voter registration rolls. The court sided with the bipartisan state elections commission in issuing the injunction while the court fight continues. It also put on hold a ruling from Monday in which a judge found the commission and its three Democratic members in contempt for not proceeding with removing the voters. Wisconsin’s presidential primary is on April 7 and analysts don’t expect the issue to be resolved before the presidential election.

TOYOTA ANNOUNCES RECALL… Toyota has announced that it is recalling nearly 700,000 vehicles due to a faulty fuel pump that could result in sudden stalling, and increase the risk of a crash. The automaker warned that defective fuel pumps could set off a warning light on the instrument panel when it malfunctions and cause a rough-running engine that could ultimately stall. Vehicles involved in the recall include certain 2018-2019 Lexus models and 2018-2019 Toyota 4Runners, Camrys, Highlanders, Land Cruisers, Sequoias, Siennas, Tacomas and Tundras. Some of Toyota’s 2019 Avalon and Corolla models are also affected by the recall. Owners can visit Toyota’s website to learn if their vehicles are affected.

BILLIE EILISH TO PERFORM BOND THEME… Billie Eilish will write and perform the theme song for the upcoming James Bond film, “No Time To Die.” The 18-year-old singer wrote the piece with her brother Finneas O’Connell. She is the youngest artist ever to write and record a James Bond theme song. “No Time To Die” will feature Daniel Craig as agent 007 for the final time. It is set for release on April 8 in the U.S.

NETFLIX RENEWS ‘YOU’… Netflix is bringing back its hit drama series “You” for a third season in 2021. The streaming service has ordered 10 new episodes. The second season rose to No. 5 on Netflix’s top 10 list of its most popular series shortly after its December 26 premiere. Stars Penn Badgley and Victoria Pedretti have signed on to reprise their roles.

ATLANTA 123 – Phoenix 110… Trea Young scored 21 of his 36 points in the fourth quarter as the Hawks pulled away from the Suns. Kevin Huerter had 23 points and 15 rebounds. John Collins added 22 points and 10 boards.

Utah 118 – BROOKLYN 107… The Jazz built a 14-point halftime lead and coasted past the Nets. Joe Ingles scored 27 points to match a career high. Rudy Gobert finished with 22 points and 18 rebounds.

MILWAUKEE 128 – New York 102… The Bucks blew the game open with a big second quarter and never looked back in routing the Knicks. Giannis Antetokounmpo scored a game-high 37 points in just 21 minutes.

MEMPHIS 121 – Houston 110… The Grizzlies handled the Rockets to win their sixth in a row. They got 26 points from Ja Morant and 24 from Dillon Brooks.

Dallas 124 – GOLDEN STATE 97… Dwight Powell scored 21 points and Luka Doncic tossed in 20 as the Mavericks downed the Warriors. Boban Marjanovic delivered 13 points and 11 boards off the bench.

L.A. CLIPPERS 128 – Cleveland 103… Kawhi Leonard poured in 43 points to lead the Clippers in their dismantling of the Cavaliers. Lou Williams added 24 points off the bench.

Detroit is at Boston…
Philadelphia hosts Brooklyn…
San Antonio is at Miami…
Oklahoma City hosts Toronto…
Washington is at Chicago…
Minnesota hosts Indiana…
Charlotte is at Denver…
Houston hosts Portland…
Dallas is at Sacramento…
the L.A. Lakers host Orlando

BUFFALO 4 – Vegas 2… Jack Eichel netted a tie-breaking goal in the third quarter and Chris Lazar added an empty-netter as the Sabres doubled up on the Golden Knights. Eichel also had an assist.

TORONTO 7 – New Jersey 4… Auston Matthews recorded his second career hat trick in leading the Maple Leafs past the Devils. John Tavares had a goal and two assists. Blake Coleman’s three goals weren’t enough for New Jersey.

TAMPA BAY 4 – Los Angeles 3 (SO)… Nikita Kucherov scored a tying goal with 1:15 left in regulation and Steven Stamkos added the game-winner in the shootout as the Lightning outlasted the Kings. Anthony Cirelli assisted on two goals.

N.Y. ISLANDERS 8 – Detroit 2… Brock Nelson found the net twice to lead the Islanders in their throttling of the Red Wings. Leo Komarov had a goal and an assist.

PITTSBURGH 7 – Minnesota 3… Sidney Crosby returned to the ice after a two month layoff and had a goal and three assists in the Penguins win over the Wild. Evgeni Malkin scored two goals and assisted on another.

COLUMBUS 3 – Boston 0… Elvis Merzlikins stopped all 34 shots in his second consecutive shutout and Blue Jackets clipped the Bruins. Alexander Wennberg scored the only goal Columbus needed in the first period.

Chicago 3 – OTTAWA 2 (OT)… The Blackhawks overcame the Senators after spotting them an early two-goal lead. Jonathan Toews assisted on both Chicago goals in regulation and netted the winning goal 42 seconds into overtime.

WINNIPEG 4 – Vancouver 0… Goalie Connor Hellebuyck made 41 saves in his fourth shutout of the season and the Jets skated pasted past the Canucks. Kyle Connor scored a pair of goals.

Dallas 3 – COLORADO 2 (OT)… The Stars came from two goals down to upend the Avalanche. Esa Lindell scored the winning goal at 1:54 of overtime. Jason Dickinson netted the tying goal with 5:23 left in regulation.

EDMONTON 4 – Nashville 2… Leon Draisaitl scored two power-play goals and had an assist in leading the Oilers past the Predators. Mike Smith stopped 30 shots at goal.

ARIZONA 6 – San Jose 3… Phil Kessel and Taylor Hall each had two goals and an assist in the Coyotes’ win over the Sharks. Conor Garland added a goal and two assists.

Chicago is at Montreal…
St. Louis hosts Philadelphia

CLEMSON 79, #3 Duke 72…
#6 Kansas 66, OKLAHOMA 52…
#7 San Diego State 64, FRESNO STATE 55…
#11 Louisville 73, PITTSBURGH 68…
#13 DAYTON 79, VCU 65…
#14 VILLANOVA 79, DePaul 75…
WISCONSIN 56, #17 Maryland 64…
#21 OHIO STATE 80, Nebraska 68…
#23 Texas Tech 77, KANSAS STATE 63

MLB: ALEX CORA, RED SOX PART WAYS… The Boston Red Sox and manager Alex Cora have mutually agreed to part ways amid the ongoing sign-stealing scandal that has rocked Major League baseball. The 44-year-old Cora led Boston to a World Series win in 2018, just a year after he was a bench coach for the world-champion Houston Astros. Both teams were implicated in a scheme that used technology to steal opposing teams’ catchers’ signs. Astros manager A.J. Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow were fired after Major League Baseball suspended them for a year. Commissioner Rob Manfred says he won’t announce Cora’s punishment until MLB completes its investigation.

The Rundown for January 14, 2020

AG BARR: PENSACOLA SHOOTINGS A ‘TERRORIST ATTACK’… Attorney General William Barr yesterday called last month’s deadly shootings at a Naval airbase in Pensacola, Florida, “an act of terrorism.” The shootings killed three U.S. sailors and injured eight other Americans. Evidence gathered by investigators indicated gunman Lieutenant Mohammed Saeed al-Shamrani was motivated by “jihadist ideology.” Al-Shamrani was killed in an exchange of gunfire with sheriff’s deputies.

RUSSIA HACKED BURISMA… The New York Times reported yesterday that hackers from Russia’s military intelligence unit successfully targeted subsidiaries of the Ukrainian gas company Burisma, where ex-Vice President Joe Biden’s son served on the board. Russian military intelligence and “Fancy Bear” hackers started a phishing campaign in November and collected usernames and passwords from employees to breach the system, according to the report. It’s not clear what the hackers found, or what they were searching for.

TRUMP CAMPAIGN ADVISER PLEADS GUILTY… An informal adviser to Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign who was interviewed as part of the special counsel’s investigation into Russian meddling in the presidential election pleaded guilty yesterday to charges of child sex trafficking and possessing child pornography. 60- year-old George Nader was first charged in June 2019 with transporting and possessing pornographic images of children including some featuring toddler-age boys, baby goats and other farm animals. A month later\, prosecutors added a sex-trafficking charge, saying Nader had arranged the transport to his Washington home of a 14-year-old boy from the Czech Republic in February 2000. Nader served six months in prison after a 1991 guilty plea in Virginia to transporting child pornography. In 2003, the Prague Municipal Court in the Czech Republic convicted him of sexually abusing boys and expelled from the country after he served a year.

CORY BOOKER ENDS PRESIDENTIAL RUN… New Jersey Senator Cory Booker announced yesterday that he is ending his 2020 presidential run. The Democrat said in a statement that he no longer sees a path to the party nomination. Booker failed to qualify for tonight’s seventh primary debate in Des Moines, Iowa. He launched his campaign last February as the seventh Democrat to enter the party’s field.

PROSECUTORS WEEK TOP-END SENTENCE FOR CHRIS COLLINS… Federal prosecutors are seeking a top-end sentence of 46 to 57 months in prison for former Republican U.S. Congressman Chris Collins. The New York Republican resigned from Congress last September after pleading guilty to insider trading charges. He had been indicted in summer 2018 after investing in a pharmaceutical company that failed its clinical trial.

ACADEMY AWARD NOMINATIONS… “Joker” collected 11 nominations to lead the field at this year’s Academy Awards. The film’s nods included best picture, best director and best actor for Joaquin Phoenix. “The Irishman,” “1917” and “Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood” each picked up 10 nominations, including best picture. Other best-picture nominees were “Little Women,” “Marriage Story,” “Jojo Rabbit,” “Ford v Ferrari” and “Parasite.”

RODDY RICCH TOPS ALBUM CHART… Roddy Ricch’s “Please Excuse Me For Being Antisocial” sold 97,000 copies in returning to No. 1 on the Billboard 200 album chart. Post Malone’s “Hollywood’s Bleeding” finished second after selling 65,000 units. Harry Styles’ “Fine Line” rosed to third place with 49,000 copies sold. The self-titled Jackboys album finished fourth with 47,000 units sold. The “Frozen II” soundtrack capped the top five with 42,000 copies sold.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP GAME… Top-ranked LSU rolled past Clemson 42-25 in last night’s NCAA College Football Championship Game in New Orleans. Heisman Trophy-winner Joe Burrow passed for 463 yards and five touchdowns. He also ran for a score. Ja’Marr Chase had nine catches for 221 yards and two TDs. Clyde Edwards-Helaire led the ground game with 110 yards rushing.

New Orleans 117 – DETROIT 110 (OT)… The Pelicans recovered to outlast the Pistons after letting a double-digit lead slip away in the fourth quarter. Jahlil Okafor had 25 points and 14 rebounds. Nicolo Melli tossed in 20 points.

INDIANA 101 – Philadelphia 95… The Pacers came up big in the second half to put away the 76ers. T.J. Warren and Malcolm Brogdon scored 21 points apiece.

BOSTON 113 – Chicago 101… The Celtics jumped out to a 14-point lead after the first quarter and remained in control of their victory over the Bulls. Jayson Tatum scored 21 points to lead six players in double figures.

Oklahoma City 117 – MINNESOTA 104… Danilo Gallinari pumped in a game-high 30 points as the Thunder handled the Timberwolves. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander racked up 20 points, a career-high 20 boards and 10 assists.

Orlando 114 – SACRAMENTO 112… The Magic held on at the end to get past the Kings. Nikola Vucevic had 26 points and 15 rebounds. Evan Fournier added 25 points.

PORTLAND 115 – Charlotte 112… The Trail Blazers got 30 points from Damian Lillard and 27 from CJ McCollum in downing the Hornets. Anthony Tolliver delivered 16 points and 11 boards off the bench.

L.A. LAKERS 128 – Cleveland 99… The Lakers shook off a slow start to rout the Cavaliers. LeBron James led all scorers with 31 points. Dwight Howard delivered 21 points and 15 rebounds off the bench.

Phoenix is at Atlanta…
Brooklyn hosts Utah…
New York is at Milwaukee…
Memphis hosts Houston…
Dallas is at Golden State…
the L.A. Clippers host Cleveland

MONTREAL 2 – Calgary 0… Carey Price stopped all 31 shots in his second shutout of the season and the Canadiens snapped the Flames’ five-game winning streak. Jordan Weal scored the only goal Montreal needed in the first period.

N.Y. RANGERS 6 – N.Y. Islanders 2… Artemi Panarin scored two goals and assisted on thee others in leading the Rangers past the Islanders. Jesper Fast added a goal and two assists.

PHILADELPHIA 6 – Boston 5 (SO)… The Flyers rallied from three goals down in the second period to upend the Bruins. Travis Konecny netted the winning goal in the tie-breaker. Travis Sanheim’s second goal of the game tied it in the third period. Sean Couturier had a goal and two assists.

WASHINGTON 2 – Carolina 0… Alex Ovechkin scored a pair of first-period goals and the Capitals made them stand in their blanking of the Hurricanes. Goalie Ilya Samsonov made 23 saves.

ST. LOUIS 4 – Anaheim 1… The Blues cruised past the Ducks to win their ninth straight at home. Brayden Schenn set up two goals.

Vegas is at Buffalo…
Toronto hosts New Jersey…
Los Angeles is at Tampa Bay…
the N.Y. Islanders host Detroit…
Minnesota is at Pittsburgh…
Columbus hosts Boston…
Chicago is at Ottawa…
Winnipeg hosts Vancouver…
Dallas is at Colorado…
Edmonton hosts Nashville…
San Jose is at Arizona

ASTROS GM, MANAGER FIRED AFTER SUSPENSIONS… The Houston Astros yesterday fired general manager Jeff Luhnow and manager A.J. Hinch for their roles in the sign-stealing scandal that surrounds the team’s 2017 World Series-winning team. The firings came after Major League Baseball suspended each of the men one year. An investigation was launched after Mike Fiers, who pitched for the Astros in 2017, claimed the team used a system of video monitoring in order to steal opposing teams’ pitching signs.