The Rundown for April 6, 2021

CORONAVIRUS UPDATES… The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 30,777,338 and the nation’s death toll stands at 555,403, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University… White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said yesterday that the Biden administration is working with AstraZeneca to identify other facilities to produce its coronavirus vaccine after the contractor Emergent BioSolutions mixed up ingredients for two vaccines. AstraZeneca’s vaccine has yet to be approved in the U.S.

RULING HELPS DEMS BYPASS GOP FILIBUSTERS… A ruling yesterday by Senate parliamentarian Elizabeth MacDonough paved the way for Democrats to pass the Biden administration’s $2.25 trillion infrastructure plan. MacDonough ruled that Democrats can use special rules to avoid Republican filibusters to pass two more major pieces of legislation with simple majority votes instead of reaching a 67-vote threshold that would require at least 17 GOP votes. Senate Democrats used the same budget reconciliation strategy to pass Biden’s $1.9 trillion pandemic aid package last month.

BIDEN CONFIDENT IN RAISED CORPORATE TAX… President Joe Biden expressed confidence yesterday in his plan to increase corporate America’s tax bill. Biden says he’s not worried about the impact of his proposed 28-percent corporate rate on the economy because there’s no evidence that it would. “Here you have 51 or 52 corporations in the Fortune 500 that haven’t paid a single penny in taxes for three years,” Biden noted. The proposed increase to the corporate rate is part of the administration’s effort to fund its infrastructure proposal.

ARKANSAS GOVERNOR VETOES TRANS MINOR MEDICAL BILL… Arkansas Republican Governor Asa Hutchinson yesterday vetoed a bill that would have made his state the first to restrict gender-affirming medical care, such as puberty blockers, for transgender minors. Calling the bill “a vast government overreach,” Hutchinson said at a news conference that the law would create “new standards of legislative interference with physicians and parents as they deal with some of the most complex and sensitive matters involving young people.” The Arkansas Senate passed the bill last week, and Hutchinson said he expects that the General Assembly will “likely” override his veto with a simple majority.

CHAUVIN TRIAL… There was more dramatic testimony yesterday on Day 6 of the Derek Chauvin trial in Minneapolis. Chauvin is facing murder and manslaughter charges stemming from the death of George Floyd last May and prosecutors are attacking the defense’s claim that he was only doing what he was trained to do during his 19 years as a Minneapolis police officer. In yesterday’s testimony, Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo told the jury that Chauvin broke Minneapolis police department rules and its ethics code governing the “sanctity of life” with his conduct during the arrest of Floyd. Meanwhile, MPD Inspector Katie Blackwell, who headed the department’s training unit last year, said that kneeling on the neck, as Chauvin did to Floyd for nine minutes, is not allowed under department policy. She explained that only arms could be used as neck restraints and that Chauvin used an improvised position that was not part of his training. Also, the emergency-room doctor who treated Floyd testified that he theorized at the time that Floyd most likely died of asphyxiation.

ENTERTAINMENT
DMX VIGIL
… Supporters and family of the rapper DMX held a vigil last night outside the New York hospital where he remains on life support. The 50-year-old rapper, whose real name is Earl Simmons, was admitted to the hospital on Friday following a heart attack. DMX has released seven albums starting with his 1998 debut, “It’s Dark and Hell is Hot,” which debuted atop the Billboard 200 album chart. The three-time Grammy nominee also has acted in several movies.

WEINSTEIN APPEALS CONVICTION… Harvey Weinstein is appealing his conviction for sexual assault and rape. In their court filing yesterday, lawyers for the film producer laid out seven grounds for overturning the conviction. The 69-year-old producer of films such as “Pulp Fiction,” “Shakespeare in Love” and “Gangs of New York” is serving a 23-year prison sentence after being convicted in February 2020.

SPORTS
BAYLOR WINS MEN’S COLLEGE HOOPS TITLE
… Baylor built a big lead early and withstood several surges to put away previously unbeaten Gonzaga 86-70 in last night’s NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship final in Indianapolis. Baylor made 10 of 24 3-point attempts and had four starters score in double figures. Jared Butler pumped in 22 points on his way to being named the Final Four’s Most Outstanding Player. On the defensive end, the Bears held the Zags to 5-of-17 shooting from beyond the arc and forced 14 turnovers. Gonzaga was seeking to become the first team since Indiana in 1976 to cap an unbeaten season with a title-game victory.

NCAA MEN’S BASKETBALL NEWS… Hubert Davis has been named the new head men’s basketball coach at the University of North Carolina. The 51-year-old Davis has served the past nine seasons as an assistant under his predecessor, Roy Williams, who announced his retirement last week after 18 seasons at North Carolina and 33 seasons as a head coach. Davis played for the Tar Heels under legendary coach Dean Smith from 1988 to 1992. The New York Knicks selected him in the first round of the NBA draft and he played for six organizations during his 12-year NBA career.

MLB SCORES
Minnesota 15 – DETROIT 6… Nelson Cruz unloaded a grand slam and added a solo homer as the Twins thrashed the Tigers. Starter Matt Shoemaker (1-0) allowed just a run on three hits over six innings.

Toronto 6 – TEXAS 2… Marcus Semien and Cavan Biggio slugged back-to-back homers in the top of the second inning to highlight the Blue Jays’ win over the Rangers. Steven Matz (1-0) limited Texas to a run on two hits over 6-1/3 innings.

Kansas City 3 – CLEVELAND 0… Three pitchers combined on a three-hitter as the Royals blanked the Indians. Starter Danny Duffy (1-0) allowed two hits over six innings. Whit Merrifield drove in all three Kansas City runs with a two-run homer and a sacrifice fly.

N.Y. YANKEES 7 – Baltimore 0… Jordan Montgomery (1-0) pitched four-hit ball over six innings and two pitchers provided hitless relief as the Yankees breezed past the Orioles. Giancarlo Stanton cracked a grand slam. Aaron Judge also went deep.

CINCINNATI 5 – Pittsburgh 3… The Reds fought their way past the Pirates after spotting them an early two-run lead. Mike Moustakas slugged a tying solo homer in the fifth and Nick Castellanos added a go-ahead homer in the seventh.

St. Louis 4 – MIAMI 1… Yadier Molina’s two-run double capped a three-run top of the first inning and the Cardinals coasted past the Marlins. Starter Daniel Ponce de Leon (1-0) surrendered a run on three hits over five innings.

PHILADELPHIA 5 – N.Y. Mets 3… The Phillies came up with all five runs in the bottom of the eighth inning to get past the Mets. A throwing error by New York third-baseman Luis Guillorme allowed Rhys Hoskins to score the go-ahead run. J.T. Realmuto and Michael Conforto stroked run-scoring singles.

BOSTON 11 – Tampa Bay 2… The Red Sox used a 16-hit attack to crush the Rays. J.D. Martinez belted a three-run homer. Nick Pivetta (1-0) pitched two-hit ball over five scoreless innings.

CHI. CUBS 5 – Milwaukee 3… Willson Contreras, Javier Báez and David Bote homered during a four-run bottom of the fourth inning that powered the Cubs past the Brewers. Contreras’ blast was a two-run shot.

L.A. ANGELS 7 – Houston 6… The Angels erased a 4-0 deficit on their way past the Astros. Anthony Rendon’s sacrifice fly capped a four-run bottom of the eighth inning.

L.A. Dodgers 10 – OAKLAND 3… Corey Seager and Zach McKinstry knocked in three runs apiece as the Dodgers ripped the Athletics. Wil Smith and Justin Turner hit solo homers. Starter Dustin May (1-0) held Oakland to two hits over six shutout innings.

Chi. White Sox 6 – SEATTLE 0… Carlos Rodon (1-0) and two White Sox relievers blanked the Mariners on three hits. Yasmani Grandal homered and singled home two runs.

San Francisco 3 – SAN DIEGO 2… Mike Yastrzemski came through with a tie-breaking pinch-hit solo homer in the top of the seventh inning and the Giants made it stand in edging the Padres. Darin Ruff and Evan Longoria homered for San Francisco.

Atlanta – WASHINGTON (ppd)… Major League Baseball postponed yesterday’s opener of the teams’ three-game series because of a coronavirus outbreak that involves 11 of Washington’s players. The game has been re-scheduled for today.

TODAY’S MLB SCHEDULE
Minnesota (J.A. Happ) is at Detroit (Casey Mize)…
Washington (Max Scherzer) hosts Atlanta (Drew Smyly)…
Houston (Zack Greinke) is at the L.A. Angels (Griffin Canning)…
the N.Y. Yankees (Gerrit Cole) host Baltimore (Dean Kremer)…
Pittsburgh (Trevor Cahill) is at Cincinnati (Wade Miley)…
Miami (Sandy Alcantara) hosts St. Louis (John Gant)…
the N.Y. Mets (Marcus Stroman) are at Philadelphia (Chase Anderson)…
Boston (Martin Perez) hosts Tampa Bay (Tyler Glasnow)…
Milwaukee (Freddy Peralta) is at the Chi. Cubs (Adbert Alzolay)…
Texas (Dane Dunning) hosts Toronto (Tanner Roark)…
Arizona (Luke Weaver) is at Colorado (German Marquez)…
Oakland (Chris Bassitt, 0-1) hosts the L.A. Dodgers (Clayton Kershaw, 0-1)…
the Chi. White Sox (Lucas Giolito) are at Seattle (James Paxton)…
San Diego (Yu Darvish) hosts San Francisco (Aaron Sanchez)

NBA SCOREBOARD
TORONTO 103 – Washington 101… Gary Trent Jr. beat the buzzer with a 3-pointer to cap the Raptors’ comeback from a 19-point second-half deficit in upending the Wizards. Pascal Siakam’s 22 points led six players in double figures.

BROOKLYN 114 – New York 112… Jeff Green’s two free throws with 3.7 seconds remaining lifted the Nets over the Knicks. Green finished with 23 points. Kyrie Irving erupted to score 40 points after James Harden left the game early with hamstring tightness.

DALLAS 111 – Utah 103… The Mavericks fought off the Stars for their fifth straight win. They got 31 points from Luka Doncic and 23 from Dorian Finney-Smith. Jalen Brunson delivered 20 points off the bench.

MINNESOTA 116 – Sacramento 106… D’Angelo Russell returned following knee surgery to score 25 points in leading the Timberwolves past the Kings. Karl-Anthony Towns powered his way to 23 points and 13 rebounds.

Detroit 132 – OKLAHOMA CITY 108… The Pistons jumped out to an 11-point lead after the first quarter and cruised past the Thunder. Jerami Grant scored 21 points against his former team. Six other players scored in double figures for Detroit.

Cleveland 125 – SAN ANTONIO 101… Darius Garland pumped in a career-high 37 points to lead the Cavaliers in their rout of the Spurs. Collin Sexton added 22 points. Isaiah Hartenstein came off the bench to score 16 points and grab 12 boards.

Phoenix 133 – HOUSTON 130… Devin Booker scored 18 of his game-high 36 points in the fourth quarter to help the Suns hold off the Rockets. Deandre Ayton had 17 points and 11 rebounds. Mikal Bridges tossed in 20 points.

TODAY’S NBA SCHEDULE
Chicago is at Indiana…
Atlanta hosts New Orleans…
Philadelphia is at Boston…
Toronto hosts the L.A. Lakers…
Memphis is at Miami…
Denver hosts Detroit…
Milwaukee is at Golden State…
the L.A. Clippers host Portland

NHL SCOREBOARD
MONTREAL 3 – Edmonton 2 (OT)… Eric Staal made the most of his Montreal debut by scoring the game-winner at 4:02 of overtime in the Canadiens’ come-from-behind win over the Oilers. Josh Anderson and Tomas Tatar netted back-to-back goals in the third-period to erase a two-goal deficit.

WINNIPEG 4 – Ottawa 3… Pierre-Luc Dubois found the net twice to lead the Jets past the Senators. Andrew Copp set up two goals.

Philadelphia 3 – BOSTON 2 (OT)… Travis Sanheim’s goal 3:08 into overtime sent the Flyers past the Bruins. Sean Couturier tied the game with a power-play goal early in the third period.

Vegas 6 – ST. LOUIS 1… The Golden Knights blew away the Blues with a four-goal second period. Alec Martinez netted a pair of goals. William Carrier had a goal and an assist. Goalie Robin Lehner made 31 saves.

Colorado 5 – MINNESOTA 4… The Avalanche scored four unanswered goals in the second period and held off the Wild to extend their points streak to 15 games. Nathan MacKinnon had a goal and an assist. Samuel Girard assisted on two goals.

Toronto 5 – CALGARY 3… Auston Matthews’ second goal of the night came on a third-period power play and gave the Maple Leafs the lead for good in their win over the Flames. John Tavaras had a goal and an assist.

Arizona 5 – LOS ANGELES 2… Michael Bunting’s hat trick carried the Coyotes over the Kings. Adin Hill stopped 36 shots at goal.

TODAY’S NHL SCHEDULE
Buffalo is at New Jersey…
the N.Y. Islanders host Washington…
Pittsburgh is at the N.Y. Rangers…
Philadelphia hosts Boston…
Florida is at Carolina…
Columbus hosts Tampa Bay…
Nashville is at Detroit…
Chicago hosts Dallas…
Anaheim is at San Jose

NFL NEWS… The New York Jets ended months of speculation yesterday by trading quarterback Sam Darnold to the Carolina Panthers for three draft picks. The Jets get a sixth-rounder in the 2021 draft later this month and a second-rounder and fourth-rounder in 2022. Darnold, the No. 3 overall draft pick out of USC in 2018, regressed the passed two seasons after showing considerable improvement over the course of his rookie season. Darnold threw 45 touchdown passes and 39 interceptions during his three seasons in New York and the Jets went 13-25 with him as a starter.

The Rundown for March 29, 2021

CORONAVIRUS UPDATES… The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 30,262,380 and the nation’s death toll stands at 549,395, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University… A report released yesterday by the White House COVID-19 team warns of a rise in new COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and instances of variants. The number of new people who tested positive was up 9 percent last week and there was a 2-percent increase in hospitalizations. The 8,337 cases of the British B.1.1.7 variant was up from 5,567 last week. The number of cases linked to the South African B.1.351 variant jumped from 180 to 266.

BIDEN PRESSES FOR GUN CONTROL BILL… President Joe Biden yesterday expressed confidence that the Senate would pass a “rational” gun control bill. “The only gun control legislation that’s ever passed is mine,” the president told reporters. “It’s going to happen again.” Biden was a Senator when Congress passed an assault weapons ban in 1994, but it expired in 2005. As president, Biden has unsuccessfully called on the Senate to pass two gun-control bills passed in the House and has considered taking executive action after two deadly mass shootings over the past two weeks left 18 people dead.

4 DEAD IN NASHVILLE FLOODING… Recovery efforts are underway in Nashville following a flash flood that killed at least four people and prompted the rescue of at least 130 others. The more than 7 inches of rain that fell on parts of the Nashville metro area was the city’s second-highest amount on record. Rain let up into yesterday morning but flood warnings remain in place for the Cumberland River at Nashville and other waterways in central and west Tennessee. Mayor John Cooper last night announced he had declared a state of emergency to help get local and federal resources to recover from the devastation.

ALASKA HELICOPTER CRASH KILLS 5… A helicopter crash at a glacier near Anchorage left five people and a survivor hospitalized in serious but stable condition. According to a statement issued yesterday by Alaska State Troopers, searchers had found the crash site and survivor late Saturday night after the chopper was reported overdue. The helicopter was ferrying skiers who had been on a backcountry tour, the statement said.

GAS PRICES UP A NICKEL… The average price for a gallon of regular-grade gas in the U.S. jumped a nickel over the past two weeks to $2.94, according to a nationwide survey of gas stations released yesterday. The Lundberg Survey noted that the price of gas is up 77 cents per gallon since November 20 and is at the highest point since May 2019. The most expensive gas was in the San Francisco Bay Area, where it cost $3.94 a gallon in the San Francisco Bay Area. Baton Rouge, Louisiana, had the cheapest gas at $2.54 a gallon.

ENTERTAINMENT
ALABAMA SHAKES DRUMMER ARRESTED
… The Limestone County, Alabama, Sheriff’s Office has confirmed that Alabama Shakes drummer Steve Johnson was arrested last on charges that include willful torture, willful abuse and cruelly beating or otherwise willfully maltreating a child under the age of 18. Arraignment was set for April 7. The 35-year-old Johnson is currently halfway serving two months probation for violating a protection order filed by his ex-wife. Johnson pleaded guilty through a misdemeanor charge. The Alabama Shakes’ 2012 debut album “Boys & Girls” produced the hit song “Hold On,” which earned three Grammy nominations. Their follow up album, 2015’s “Sound & Color,” won four Grammys. The band is on hiatus while lead singer and guitarist Brittany Howard pursues a solo career.

JUSTIN BIEBER TOPS ALBUM CHART… Justin Bieber’s new release, “Justice,” sold 154,000 copies to debut atop the Billboard 200 album chart. Another newcomer, Lana Del Rey’s “Chemtrails Over the Country Club,” opened at No. 2 with 75,000 units sold. Morgan Wallen’s “Dangerous: The Double Album” sold 66,000 copies in dropping to third place after topping the chart for its first 10 weeks. Pop Smoke’s “Shoot for the Stars Aim for the Moon” slipped to No. 4 after selling 40,000 units. Dua Lipa’s “Future Nostalgia” fell two spots into fifth place with 36,000 copies sold.

SPORTS
NCAA MEN’S BASKETBALL CHAMPIONSHIP SCOREBOARD (Sweet 16; winners meet tomorrow in the Elite 8)…
(1) Gonzaga 83, (5) Creighton 65…
(6) USC 82, (7) Oregon 68

EAST REGION
(1) Michigan 76, (4) Florida State 58…
(11) UCLA 88, (2) Alabama 78 (OT)

TODAY’S NCAA MEN’S BASKETBALL CHAMPIONSHIP SCHEDULE (Elite 8)
WEST REGION
(2) Houston vs. (12) Oregon State, 7:15 p.m. ET…

SOUTH REGION
(1) Baylor vs. (3) Arkansas, 9:57 p.m. ET

NCAA WOMEN’S BASKETBALL CHAMPIONSHIP SCOREBOARD (third round; winners meet tomorrow in the quarterfinals)…
HEMISFAIR REGION
(1) South Carolina 76, (5) Georgia Tech 65…
(6) Texas 64, (2) Maryland 61

ALAMO REGION
(1) Stanford 89, (5) Missouri State 62…
(2) Louisville 60, (6) Oregon 42

TODAY’S WOMEN’S BASKETBALL CHAMPIONSHIP SCHEDULE (quarterfinals)…
(1) Connecticut vs. (2) Baylor, 7 p.m. ET…
(3) Arizona vs. (4) Indiana, 9 p.m. ET

NBA SCOREBOARD
Phoenix 101 – CHARLOTTE 97 (OT)… Devin Booker scored a game-high 35 points as the Suns outlasted the Hornets in a back-and-forth contest. Deandre Ayton had 14 points and as many rebounds.

Portland 122 – TORONTO 117… CJ McCollum scored seven of his team-high 23 points in the final two minutes to lead the Trail Blazers past the Raptors. Damian Lillard added 22 points and dished off 11 assists. Five other players scored in double figures for Portland.

DENVER 126 – Atlanta 102… The Nuggets shook off a slow start to roll past the Hawks. Jamychal Green delivered 20 points off the bench to lead a balanced scoring attack.

L.A. LAKERS 96 – Orlando 93… The short-handed Lakers held on down the stretch to top the Magic. Dennis Schroder pumped in 24 points. Kyle Kuzma finished with 21 points and 11 boards.

TODAY’S NBA SCHEDULE
Indiana is at Washington…
Boston hosts New Orleans…
Minnesota is at Brooklyn…
New York hosts Miami…
Toronto is at Detroit…
Houston hosts Memphis…
Dallas is at Oklahoma City…
San Antonio hosts Sacramento…
Cleveland is at Utah…
Golden State hosts Chicago…
Milwaukee is at the L.A. Clippers

NHL SCOREBOARD
WASHINGTON 5 – N.Y. Rangers 4… The Capitals scored the game’s first four goals and held on to edge the Rangers. Tom Wilson netted two second-period goals. T.J. Oshie scored the decisive goal and had two assists.

DETROIT 4 – Columbus 1… The Red Wings scored three unanswered goals in the third period to put away the Blue Jackets. Michael Rasmussen sparked the surge with a tie-breaking goal.

Anaheim 3 – ST. LOUIS 2 (OT)… The Ducks rallied past the Blues after spotting them a two-goal second-period lead. Josh Manson scored the game-winning goal at 1:42 of overtime. Max Jones had two assists.

New Jersey 1 – BOSTON 0… Goalie Mackenzie Blackwood stopped all 40 shots in his first shutout of the season and the Devils clipped the Bruins. Kyle Palmieri netted the game’s lone goal late in the first period.

Florida 4 – DALLAS 1… Jonathan Huberdeau found the net twice in the first period and had an assist as the Panthers skated past the Stars. Chris Driedger made 33 saves at goal.

Nashville 3 – CHICAGO 2… The Predators recovered to top the Blackhawks after blowing a two-goal third-period lead. Roman Josi scored the game-winner with 6:33 remaining. Viktor Arvidsson had a goal and an assist.

TODAY’S NHL SCHEDULE
Philadelphia is at Buffalo…
Pittsburgh hosts the N.Y. Islanders…
Edmonton is at Toronto…
Colorado hosts Anaheim…
Winnipeg is at Calgary…
Vegas hosts Los Angeles…
Minnesota is at San Jose

MLB SPRING TRAINING SCORES (opening day is Thursday)…
TAMPA BAY 16, Atlanta 5…
BOSTON 8, Minnesota 3…
PHILADELPHIA 6, N.Y. Yankees 2…
MIAMI 10, N.Y. Mets 2…
Pittsburgh 2, BALTIMORE 1…
WASHINGTON 11, St. Louis 3…
TORONTO 4, Detroit 4 (tie)…
TEXAS 12, Chi. Cubs 8…
MILWAUKEE 7, Cincinnati 1…
CHI. WHITE SOX 7, Arizona 4…
Oakland 9, SAN FRANCISCO 3…
CLEVELAND 3, San Diego 3 (tie)…
Kansas City 6, COLORADO 3…
L.A. ANGELS 6, L.A. Dodgers 5