The Rundown for February 20, 2020

DEMS DEBATE… Democratic presidential candidates gathered for a feisty ninth debate of the presidential campaign last night in Las Vegas. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders delivered strong performances, largely at the expense of billionaire candidate Mike Bloomberg. Amy Klobuchar and Pete Buttigieg clashed on several issues, including immigration.

GRENELL NAMED NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE DIRECTOR… President Trump has named ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell as the acting director of national intelligence. Grenell, a longtime Trump loyalist, sparked outrage among German politicians in 2018 when he expressed support for right-wingers in Europe. Grenell will succeed Joseph Maguire, who has served as the acting director of national intelligence since last summer’s resignation of Dan Coats.

EXPLOSIVE CLAIM IN ASSANGE HEARING… A lawyer representing Wikileaks founder Julian Assange delivered an explosive claim at a hearing in a British court yesterday ahead of next week’s extradition hearing. The lawyer said a witness will claim that President Trump offered Assange a pardon if he denied that Russia was involved in leaking emails damaging to Democrats during the 2016 election. The judge ruled the witness’s evidence would be admissible. Assange is facing 18 charges in the U.S. over leaked diplomatic cables. He faces up to 175 years in prison if found guilty.

PENTAGON POLICY OFFICIAL LEAVING… John Rood, who serves as the Pentagon’s top policy official, is stepping down at the end of the month. His departure comes a year after he warned against the Trump administration’s effort to block Ukraine’s military aid. The White House said James Anderson, the current senior official performing the duties of the deputy undersecretary of defense for policy, will take over for Rood until President Trump has chosen a permanent successor. Rood joined the Trump administration in January 2018.

COURT RULES AGAINST FLORIDA’S FELON VOTING LAW… A federal appeals court ruled yesterday that Florida cannot bar felons from voting over unpaid fines and fees related to their convictions. A three-judge panel on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit upheld a lower court’s preliminary ruling. A full trial on the case is scheduled to begin in April.

NORTH CAROLINA VOTER ID LAW ON HOLD… A North Carolina state appeals court panel has issued a temporary injunction against enacting the state’s law requiring a photo ID to vote. The three-judge panel of the North Carolina Court of Appeals ruled that the 2018 measure was enacted with an intent to discriminate against minorities. A federal court had already blocked its use in next month’s primary election.

NETFLIX PICKS UP ADAM McKAY COMEDY… Netflix is planning to stream Adam McKay’s new comedy feature “Don’t Look Up.” The film stars Jennifer Lawrence in the story about two low-level astronomers who must go on a giant media tour to warn mankind of an approaching asteroid that will destroy Earth. Production will begin in April for a release later this year.

RAPPER POP SMOKE FATALLY SHOT… Emerging rapper Pop Smoke, whose real name is Bashar Barakah Jackson, was fatally shot in a Los Angeles home yesterday. He was 20. Police reported that the shooting occurred after an unknown number of suspects entered the home in the Hollywood Hills. Pop Smoke’s debut mixtape, “Meet the Woo,” was released last year and featured the song “Welcome To The Party,” which was later remixed by Nicki Minaj. His second mixtape “Meet the Woo 2,” was released earlier this month. He was scheduled to kick off his “Meet the Woo” Tour starting March 2 in Washington, D.C.

N.Y. Rangers 6 – CHICAGO 3… Mika Zibanejad and each had a goal and an assist as the Rangers doubled up on the Blackhawks. Pavel Buchnevich added a goal and an assist.

DALLAS 3 – Arizona 2… Jamie Oleksiak netted a tie=breaking goal midway through the third period and the Stars made it stand in their win over the Coyotes. Corey Perry had a goal and an assist. Goalie Ben Bishop made 39 saves.

Boston 2 – EDMONTON 1 (OT)… David Pastrnak found the net at 1:14 of overtime to lift the Bruins over the Oilers. Pastrnak also assisted on Patrice Bergeron’s first-period goal.

COLORADO 3 – N.Y. Islanders 1… The Avalanche got goals from Joonas Donskoi, Andre Burakovsky and Gabriel Landeskog in downing the Islanders. Cale Makar had two assists. Pavel Francouz stopped 27 shots at goal.

Florida 4 – ANAHEIM 1… The Panthers cruised past the Ducks after spotting them an early goal. Mackenzie Weegar had a goal and an assist. Goalie Sergei Bobrovsky made 35 stops.

Minnesota 4 – VANCOUVER 3 (SO)… Alex Galchenyuk scored a tying goal late in the third period and added the winning goal in the shootout as the Wild outlasted the Canucks. Mats Zuccarello set up two goals.

Pittsburgh is at Toronto…
New Jersey hosts San Jose…
Montreal is at Washington…
Columbus hosts Philadelphia…
Winnipeg is at Ottawa…
St. Louis hosts Arizona…
Tampa Bay is at Vegas…
Los Angeles hosts Florida

#11 LOUISVILLE 90, Syracuse 66…
#12 Villanova 91, DePAUL 71…
GEORGIA 65, #13 Auburn 55…
#16 SETON HALL 74, #21 Butler 72…
#22 HOUSTON 76, Tulsa 43

Milwaukee is at Detroit…
Atlanta hosts Miami…
Charlotte is at Chicago…
Philadelphia hosts Brooklyn…
Memphis is at Sacramento…
Golden State hosts Houston

The Rundown for February 19, 2020

TRUMP GOES ON PARDON SPREE… President Trump went on an unexpected pardon spree yesterday. He took action to help out 11 high-profile people convicted in corruption scandals. Trump granted clemency to Trump commuted the 14-year prison sentence of former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich, who was convicted for trying to sell President Barack Obama’s vacated Senate seat for personal gain. Blagojevich was removed from office in 2009, the same year he appeared on the NBC reality show “The Apprentice” when Trump was host. Trump also pardoned former New York police commissioner Bernie Kerik, who was sentenced to four years imprisonment in 2010 after pleading guilty to eight felony charges, including tax fraud and lying to White House officials. In a separate case in 2006, Kerik pleaded guilty to accepting tens of thousands of dollars while working as city corrections commissioner but avoided jail time by agreeing to pay $221,000 in fines and avoided jail time. Former junk bond king Michael Milkin, who became infamous for his involvement in the financial scandals of the 1980s, also received a presidential pardon. President Trump also signed an executive order granting clemency for former San Francisco 49ers owner Eddie DeBartolo Jr., who was convicted in 1998 as part of a gambling fraud case against former Louisiana Governor Edwin Edwards. Also pardoned was former George W. Bush administration official David Safavian, who was convicted of perjury in 2006 as part of his involvement in the Jack Abramoff lobbying and corruption scandal.

JUDGES CALL EMERGENCY MEETING OVER WHITE HOUSE INTERFERENCE… The Federal Judges Association has called an emergency meeting to discuss President Trump and Attorney General Bill Barr’s intervention in the sentencing recommendation of former Trump advisor Roger Stone. District Judge Cynthia Rufe, who leads the association of around 1,100 life-term federal judges, announced the meeting following an open letter signed by more than 1,000 former Justice Department employees calling on Barr to resign over the Stone case. Last week, Trump expressed anger over the length of the sentence, prompting the Justice Department to withdraw the recommendation.

ROGER STONE TO BE SENTENCED THIS WEEK… A federal judge declared yesterday that former Trump advisor Roger Stone will be sentenced for multiple crimes this week but his punishment will be delayed until his request for a new trial is resolved. Last week, Stone’s lawyers requested a new trial after it was revealed the jury forewoman in Stone’s trial posted anti-Trump messages on social media. Stone was convicted in November of lying to Congress, obstructing a congressional inquiry and trying to block the testimony of a witness.

HOMELAND SECURITY FAST-TRACKS BORDER WALL… The Department of Homeland Security announced yesterday that it has issued waivers to bypass multiple federal statutes in order to build a long section of border wall between the U.S. and Mexico. A department spokesman said the waivers are part of an effort to construct 177 miles of wall along the border. Last week, the Defense Department asked to divert nearly $4 billion from its weapons programs to help build the wall. The request would shift $2 billion in defense appropriations and $1.6 billion in overseas contingency operations to fund the wall.

BOY SCOUTS FILES FOR CHAPTER 11… The Boy Scouts of America confirms yesterday that it has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy amid a flood of lawsuits over allegations of child sexual abuse spanning several decades. The bankruptcy is not expected to affect the organization’s programs. The Boy Scouts has offered apologies to anyone harmed and encouraged victims to come forward. The 110-year-old organization has been struck by a wave of lawsuits in states that have removed legal obstacles that prevented people from suing over old allegations of child sex abuse.

JURY DELIBERATING IN WEINSTEIN CASE… Jurors in Manhattan have begun deliberations in Harvey Weinstein’s rape trial. Weinstein is accused of raping a woman in a Manhattan hotel room in 2013 and forcibly performing oral sex on another woman, TV and film production assistant Mimi Haley, in 2006. Jurors will also be examining actress Annabella Sciorra’s account of a mid-1990s rape in considering whether Weinstein should be categorized as a sexual predator. Weinstein’s lawyers contend the acts were consensual.

OZZY OSBOURNE BATTLNE PARKINSON’S DISEASE… Ozzy Osbourne has canceled his North American tour in order to have further treatment for Parkinson’s disease. The 71-year-old Black Sabbath frontman revealed his diagnosis last month and plans to see doctors in Switzerland in April. Last April, Osbourne postponed a U.S. tour last April after a fall.

PHILADELPHIA 5 – Washington 1… Travis Konecny scored a goal and had two assists in leading the Flyers past the Capitals. Claude Giroux also set up two goals.

PITTSBURGH 5 – Toronto 2… Sidney Crosby scored a goal and assisted on three others as the Penguins skated past the Maple Leafs. Bryan Rust had a goal and two assists.

DETROIT 4 – Montreal 3… Andreas Athanasiou netted two of the Red Wings three unanswered goals in the third period in a come-from-behind win over the Canadiens. Anthony Mantha assisted on two goals.

OTTAWA 7 – Buffalo 4… Jean-Gabriel Pageau and Artem Anisimov scored two goals apiece as the Senators outshot the Sabres. Pageau also had two assists.

ST. LOUIS 3 – New Jersey 0… Goalie Jordan Binnington stopped all 17 shots in the Blues’ blanking of the Devils. Ivan Barbashev found the net twice.

Carolina 4 – NASHVILLE 1… Andrei Svechnikov’s second-period goal gave the Hurricanes the lead for good in their defeat of the Predators. Justin Williams had two assists.

WINNIPEG 6 – Los Angeles 3… The Jets scored three third-period goals on their way to doubling up on the Kings. Blake Wheeler netted two goals and had an assist. Nikolaj Ehlers added a goal and two assists. Mark Scheifele also assisted on two goals.

the N.Y. Rangers are at Chicago…
Dallas hosts Arizona…
Boston is at Edmonton…
Colorado hosts the N.Y. Islanders…
Florida is at Anaheim…
Vancouver hosts Minnesota

#1 Baylor 65, OKLAHOMA 54…
#5 Dayton 66, VCU 61…
#8 FLORIDA STATE 82, Pittsburgh 67…
#7 MARYLAND 76, Northwestern 67…
Illinois 62, #9 PENN STATE 56…
#10 Kentucky 79, LSU 76…
#15 Creighton 73, #19 MARQUETTE 65…
#17 WEST VIRGINIA 65, Oklahoma State 47


The Rundown for February 18, 2020

TALIBAN OFFICIAL SAYS PEACE DEAL IS FINALIZED… A Taliban official said yesterday that a peace deal with the U.S. to end more than 18 years of war has been finalized. Spokesman Suhail Shaheen told an Afghan television station that the two sides are prepared to sign a deal by the end of February. An Afghan government official confirmed the agreement but stopped short of calling it a done deal until t was signed. The U.S. has been negotiating an end to the war since July 2018. A deal was reportedly nearing completion last September, but negotiations collapsed after the Taliban took credit for the death of a U.S. soldier.

PROSECUTORS CONSIDER MORE CHARGES AGAINST PARNAS… CNN reported yesterday that federal prosecutors are considering new charges against an associate of President Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani. The charges would center on Fraud Guarantee, a company co-founded by Lev Parnas that has been accused of misleading potential investors. The six-year-old company, which offers an insurance policy for companies to protect against fraud, reportedly paid Giuliani $500,000 at around the time that Parnas and his associate, Igor Fruman, launched a campaign to pressure Ukraine’s government to announce an investigation into Trump’s political rival Joe Biden and his son Hunter.

VIRGINIA DELAYS ASSAULT-WEAPON BAN… Virginia lawmakers dealt a blow to the state’s gun control advocates yesterday by voting to defer a proposed ban on sales of assault weapons. The proposal was part of a package of gun control measures sought by Governor Ralph Northam. The proposal called for a ban on the sales of some semiautomatic weapons as well as the possession of magazines with more than 12 rounds. Four Democratic legislators on the Virginia Senate Judiciary Committee joined Republicans in the 10-5 vote to defer a final decision until next year after the state’s crime commission has studied the issue.

BEZOS PLEDGES $10B TO FIGHT CLIMATE CHANGE… Amazon founder Jeff Bezos has announced plans to spend $10 billion of his own fortune in the fight against climate change. In an Instagram post yesterday, the world’s richest person said he’ll start giving grants this summer to scientists, activists and nonprofit groups. Bezos had faced criticism for not doing more to protect Earth. Last month, a group of 357 Amazon workers who referred to themselves collectively as Amazon Employees for Climate Justice posted complaints about environmental and other matters despite company rules forbidding workers from criticizing the company online.

QUARANTINED AMERICANS RETURN… More than 300 Americans who had been quarantined for two weeks aboard the coronavirus-affected Diamond Princess cruise ship returned to the U.S. yesterday. Among the passengers were 14 people who tested positive for the virus. According to the State Department, another 60 Americans remained in Japan for monitoring. The coronavirus outbreak is blamed for the deaths of 1,770 people in China and five in other countries.

RASCAL FLATTS MAKES ADDITIONS TO FAREWELL TOUR… Rascal Flatts has added new dates and additional opening acts for its planned farewell tour. Chase Rice and Chris Lane have joined Avenue Beat, Caylee Hammack, King Calaway, Matt Stell and Rachel Wammack as openers at different points during the tour. Most of the dates added will be in August and September. The tour ends October 30 in Nashville.

MARC MARON TO HOST NETFLIX SPECIAL… Actor, comedian and podcast host Marc Maron announced yesterday that he will host a new special that’s coming to Netflix next month. The 56-year-old Maron said his stand-up comedy special “End Times Fun” will premiere March 10. The special was filmed in Los Angeles last October. Maron says he will explore politics, celebrity status, religion, technology and more in the special.

CALGARY 6 – Anaheim 4… Andrew Maniapane scored two of his three goals during five-goal third period that carried the Flames past the Ducks. Matthew Tkachuk had a goal and an assist.

ARIZONA 2 – N.Y. Islanders 1… The Coyotes got goals from Clayton Keller and Conor Garland and held off the Islanders. Goalie Antti Raanta made 28 saves.

Florida 5 – SAN JOSE 3… Mike Hoffman’s second-period goal gave the Panthers the lead for good in their defeat of the Sharks. Aaron Ekblad set up two goals. Sergei Bobrovsky made 29 stops at goal.

VEGAS 3 – Washington 2… The Golden Knights took a three-goal lead into the third period and held on to top the Capitals. Max Pacioretty’s second-period goal proved to be the difference.

Tampa Bay 4 – COLORADO 3 (OT)… The Lightning recovered to outlast the Avalanche after letting a two-goal lead slip away. Nikita Kucherov netted the winning goal at 3:03 of overtime. Alex Killorn and Cameron Gaunce scored 16 seconds apart in the second period.

Washington is at Philadelphia…
Pittsburgh hosts Toronto…
Buffalo is at Ottawa…
Detroit hosts Montreal…
New Jersey is a St. Louis…
Nashville hosts Carolina…
Los Angeles is at Winnipeg

#3 KANSAS 91, Iowa State 71

HAMLIN WINS AT DAYTONA… Denny Hamlin captured his second straight win at Daytona yesterday and third overall by crossing the finish line 0.014 seconds ahead of Ryan Blaney. Hamlin joined six Hall of Fame drivers as winners of three or more Daytona 500s. The race featured a fiery crash late in the final lap that sent Ryan Newman to the hospital. Doctors last night called his injuries non-life-threatening.


The Rundown for February 17, 2020

FORMER JUSTICE DEPARTMENT OFFICIALS CALL FOR BARR TO RESIGN… More than 1,110 former Justice Department officials who have served in the administrations of both parties have joined in calling for Attorney General William Barr to resign. The group said Barr’s efforts to protect President Trump have damaged the Department of Justice’s reputation for integrity and the rule of law. The statement was released just a week after four career prosecutors withdrew from the case against former Trump advisor Roger Stone. Barr also ordered an examination of politically charged cases involving others close to Trump.

AMERICANS CARRIED OFF CRUISE SHIP… Two planes chartered by the U.S. government carrying Americans from the quarantined cruise ship Diamond Princess left Japan yesterday. Some 400 Americans were aboard the ship, which quarantined earlier this month due to coronavirus infections. At least 40 US citizens are infected and will receive medical treatment in Japan.

AVALANCHE KILLS 2 SNOWMOBILERS… Search and rescue crews in Colorado have recovered the bodies of two snowmobilers who were killed over the weekend in an avalanche. According to the Eagle County Sheriff’s Office, three snowmobilers became caught in an avalanche they may have triggered Saturday night just north of Vail. Officials say two of the snowmobilers were killed when they were carried into a gully by the avalanche and where deeply buried in snow. The third snowmobiler was able to extract himself from the snow before contacting the authorities.

1 DEAD, 3 INJURED IN BIKER-GANG SHOOTOUT… A shootout between rival motorcycle gangs last night at a bar in Midland, Texas, left one person dead and three others injured. One of the three injured victims taken to a local hospital was listed in critical condition. Police believe multiple suspected gang members were involved.

JACKSON, MISSISSIPPI PREPARES FOR FLOODING… Hundreds of people in Jackson, Mississippi, have evacuated their homes as the Pearl River continues to rise. The river, which runs east of downtown Jackson, reached its third-highest level on record yesterday morning at 36.38 feet. The river is expected to crest at 38 feet today, which could leave many homes flooded in 6 feet of water. Governor Tate Reeves declared a state of emergency on Saturday as law-enforcement officers went door to door in affected areas.

RODDY RICCH TOPS ALBUM CHART… Roddy Ricch’s “Please Excuse Me for Being Antisocial” sold 79,000 units to top the Billboard 200 chart for a fourth non-consecutive week. Post Malone’s “Hollywood’s Bleeding” jumped into second place after selling 52,000 copies. Eminem’s “Music to Be Murdered By” remained in third place after selling 51,000 units. Green Day’s “Father of All…” debuted at No. 4 on sales of 48,000 copies. Billie Eilish’s “When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?” sold 45,000 units to finish fifth.

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE… “Sonic the Hedgehog” took in $57 million to debut atop the weekend box office. Last week’s champ, “Birds of Prey,” finished second with $17.1 million. “Fantasy Island” opened in third place with $12.4 million. Another newcomer, “The Photograph,” made $12.2 to finish fourth. “Bad Boys for Life” capped the top five with $11.3 million.

NBA ALL-STAR GAME… Kawhi Leonard scored a game-high 30 points on his way to winning the MVP award and Team LeBron topped Team Giannis 157-155 in last night’s NBA All-Star Game. LeBron James and Chris Paul added 20 points apiece. The regular season resumes Thursday.

PITTSBURGH 5 – Detroit 1… Patric Hornqvist scored two goals and had an assist as the Penguins skated past the Red Wings. Sidney Crosby added a goal and an assist.

Boston 3 – N.Y. RANGERS 1… The Bruins got goals from Charlie McAvoy, Charlie Coyle and Patrice Bergeron in their win over the Rangers. Goalie Jaroslav Halak made 25 saves.

Edmonton 4 – CAROLINA 3 (OT)… Josh Archibald’s second goal of the game came a 3:57 of overtime and lifted the Oilers over the Hurricanes. Leon Draisaitl had a goal and two assists.

Anaheim 5 – VANCOUVER 1… Adam Henrique found the net twice to lead the Ducks past the Canucks. John Gibson stopped 37 shots at goal.

OTTAWA 4 – Dallas 3 (OT)… Artem Anisimov found the net a 3:48 of overtime to send the Senators past the Stars. Brady Tkachuk and Jean-Gabriel Pageau each had a goal and an assist.

NEW JERSEY 4 – Columbus 3 (SO)… The Devils overcame an early two-goal deficit to outlast the Blue Jackets. Nikita Gusev and Jesper Bratt scored in the shootout. Joey Anderson had a goal and an assist.

NASHVILLE 2 – St. Louis 1… Kyle Turris netted a tie-breaking goal with 2:12 remaining and the Predators made it stand in edging the Blues. Goalie Pekka Rinne made 38 saves.

BUFFALO 5 – Toronto 2… The Sabres scored three goals over a 91-second span of the third period to put away the Maple Leafs. Jack Eichel scored the go-ahead goal. Rasmus Ristolainen assisted on two goals.

WINNIPEG 3 – Chicago 2… Nathan Beaulieu’s first goal of the season came early in the third period and proved to be the difference in the Jets’ defeat of the Blackhawks. Mason Appleton had a goal and an assist.

Anaheim is at Calgary…
Arizona hosts the N.Y. Islanders…
Florida is at San Jose…
Vegas hosts Washington…
Tampa Bay is at Colorado

#4 San Diego State 72, BOISE STATE 55…
#15 Villanova 76, TEMPLE 56…
#17 OREGON 80, Utah 62…
#21 Iowa 58, MINNESOTA 55

The Rundown for February 14, 2020

SENATE VOTES TO CURB TRUMP’S WAR POWERS… The Senate yesterday approved a bipartisan resolution to limit President Trump’s war powers when it comes to Iran. Eight Republicans joined Democrats in the 55-45 vote, which fell short of the two-thirds needed to override a presidential veto. The resolution would ban the president from ordering any new offensive strikes against Iran. It would still allow the president to order strikes in self -defense against an imminent attack.

HOUSE PASSES ERA MEASURE… The House yesterday passed a measure that removes a deadline attached to the Equal Rights Amendment in 1982. The measure is intended to provide legal support to states that have recently approved legislation that enshrines the EPA into the U.S. Constitution. When Congress approved the ERA in 1972, it allowed 10 years for approval from at least 38 states to add a constitutional amendment. Only 35 states had approved the proposal by 1982, but Nevada, Illinois and Virginia have ratified it over the past three years. Opponents unsuccessfully argued that the last three states to approve the measure lacked legal standing because the deadline passed 38 years ago. Five Republicans voted with Democrats in yesterday’s passage.

JOHN KELLY SIDES WITH VINDMAN… Former White House Chief of Staff John Kelly has sided more strongly with former National Security Council aide Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman and his decision to report President Trump’s call with Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky last July. The call allegedly included a quid pro quo that was at the heart of Trump’s impeachment. During a speech at Drew University on Wednesday night, Kelly said what Vindman heard was an “illegal order” and left him no choice but to tell his superiors. Vindman and his twin brother, an NSC attorney, were fired Friday. The firing appeared to be punishment for Vindman’s testimony against Trump during the impeachment inquiry. Kelly also criticized Trump’s immigration policies and warned that “If you only watch Fox News because it’s reinforcing what you believe, you are not an informed citizen.”

INDICTMENT CHARGES HUAWEI WITH RACKETEERING, THEFT… A superseding indictment filed by the U.S. government yesterday accuses Chinese telecommunications equipment manufacturer Huawei Technologies and two of its U.S. subsidiaries with racketeering and conspiracy to steal trade secrets. The indictment also includes new allegations about Huawei and its subsidiaries’ involvement in projects in countries subject to sanctions, including Iran and North Korea. The concealed effort involved arranging shipment of Huawei technology and services to the sanctioned countries, prosecutors say. Huawei already faces charges for allegedly stealing intellectual property from U.S. firms through a combination of cyberattacks, espionage and other means.

CORONAVIRUS CASES REACH 15 IN U.S... U.S. health officials confirmed yesterday that the number of coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 15 after diagnosing a second new case in less than 24 hours. The Centers for Disease Control says the newest coronavirus patient is among a group of people under federal quarantine at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland in Texas. JBSA is one of four sites housing U.S. citizens evacuated from China’s Hubei province on February 7 aboard planes chartered by the State Department.

HBO RENEWS ‘AVENUE 5’… HBO announced yesterday that it is renewing the sci-fi comedy series “Avenue 5” for a second season. The announcement came as the series is midway through its nine-episode first season after premiering last month. The series stars Hugh Laurie, Josh Gad, Zach Woods, Rebecca Front and Suzy Nakamura in the story about a space cruise ship that gets knocked off course, extending a scheduled eight-week journey into a three-year return to Earth.

IN THEATERS… “Downhill” stars Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Will Ferrell in the story about a married couple that barely escapes an avalanche during a family ski vacation in the Alps and reevaluates their lives and feelings for each other. The comedy is rated R… Liam Neeson and Lesley Manville star in “Ordinary Love.” The R-rated romance drama provides a look into a middle-aged couple after the wife is diagnosed with breast cancer… “What About Love” tells the story of two young lovers whose parents learn from the joyful experience of their kids and find their love again. Sharon Stone and Iain Glen star in the unrated film… In “Sonic the Hedgehog,” a small-town police officer finds a small blue hedgehog and must help I defeat an evil genius who wants to do experiments with it. Jim Carrey and Ben Schwarz star in the PG film.

Oklahoma City 123 – NEW ORLEANS 118… Dino Gallinari scored 29 points to lead six players in double figures and the Thunder fought off the Pelicans. Dennis Schroder delivered 22 points off the bench.

BOSTON 141 – L.A. Clippers 133 (2 OT)… Jayson Tatum scored a game-high 39 points and Marcus Smart added 31 as the Celtics outgunned the Clippers. Gordon Hayward had 21 points and 13 rebounds.

NBA ALL-STAR GAME SUNDAY… Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker has replaced the injured Damian Lillard in Sunday’s NBA All-Star Game in Chicago. Lillard is plagued by a groin strain he suffered on Wednesday.

BUFFALO 4 – Columbus 3 (OT)… Rookie Victor Olofsson netted a pair of goals, including the game-winner 2:44 into overtime, to send the Sabres past the Blue Jackets. Jack Eichel had a goal and two assists.

Dallas 3 – TORONTO 2… Tyler Seguin’s power-play goal early in the third period snapped his 17-game goal drought and proved to be the difference in the Stars’ win over the Maple Leafs. Goalie Ben Bishop made 27 saves.

TAMPA BAY 3 – Edmonton 1… The Lightning skated past the Oilers for their ninth straight win. Yanni Gourde scored a tie-breaking shorthanded goal in the second period.

Philadelphia 6 – FLORIDA 2… James van Riemsdyk scored a goal and assisted on two others in leading the Flyers past the Panthers. Justin Braun set up three goals.

NEW JERSEY 4 – Detroit 1… Wayne Simmonds scored twice as the Devils did all their scoring in the third period to put away the Red Wings. Damon Severson had two assists.

OTTAWA 3 – Arizona 2… The Coyotes edged the Coyotes to snap their six-game home winless streak. They got goals from Vladislav Namestnikov, Brady Tkachuk and Nick Paul. Marcus Hogberg stopped 32 shots at goal.

NASHVILLE 5 – N.Y Islanders 0… Craig Smith recorded a hat trick as the Predators cruised past the Islanders. Goalie Juuse Saros stopped all 31 shots.

N.Y. Rangers 4 – MINNESOTA 3 (SO)… The Rangers came from two goals down in the third period to outlast the Wild. Mika Zibanejad and Artemi Panarin scored in regulation and in the shootout. Zibanejad netted the tying goal with 1:06 left in the third period.

Washington 3 – COLORADO 2… Tom Wilson and T.J. Oshie scored back-to-back goals in the third period to lift the Capitals over the Avalanche. Lars Eller had two assists.

VEGAS 6 – St. Louis 5 (OT)… Jonathan Marchessault scored his second goal of the game on a power play at 2:30 of overtime to give the Golden Knights a hard-fought win over the Blues. Max Pacioretty had two goals and an assist.

Calgary 6 – ANAHEIM 0… Mikael Backlund and Mark Jankowski netted two goals apiece as the Flames breezed past the Ducks. Goalie Cam Talbott made 44 saves in the shutout.

Montreal is a Pittsburgh…
Columbus hosts the N.Y. Rangers…
San Jose is a Winnipeg…
Carolina hosts New Jersey

#17 OREGON 68, #16 Colorado 60…
INDIANA 89, #21 Iowa 77


The Rundown for February 13, 2020

BARR TO TESTIFY BEFORE HOUSE PANEL… Attorney General William Barr has agreed to testify to the House Judiciary Committee on March 31. Democrats on the panel want to know about Barr’s apparent intervention in the sentencing of President Trump’s former adviser Roger Stone. Justice Department prosecutors recommended a seven- to nine-year sentence for Stone following his conviction last year on charges of lying to congressional investigators and threatening a witness. Within hours of Trump tweeting that the sentence was too severe, the Justice Department rebuked its prosecutorial team and issued a revised recommendation calling for a lighter sentence. The four prosecutors assigned to Stone’s case abruptly withdrew on Tuesday. Meanwhile, a federal judge yesterday denied Stone’s request for a new trial.

HOUSE DEMS PROBE TAXPAYER SPENDING ON TRUMP… House Democrats are concerned that President Trump is profiting from taxpayer dollars and want the Secret Service to reveal how much money it has spent at Trump’s properties. House Oversight and Reform Committee Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney and Congresswoman Jackie Speier have demanded documents and contracts following a Washington Post the Secret Service paid Trump-owned companies more than $471,000 for stays on dates between January 2017 and April 2018. The report found the Secret Service was charged a $650 rate numerous times in 2017 and a $396.15 rate numerous times in 2018 to stay at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort. Taxpayers were also charged $17,000 per month for the Secret Service to use a three-bedroom cottage at Trump National Golf Club Bedminster. The Government Accountability Office has found federal agencies spent roughly $13.6 million on four trips Mr. Trump took to Mar-a-Lago from February 3 through March 5, 2017. The costs include $10.6 million for operating government aircraft and boats, and $3 million for “temporary duty costs of government personnel supporting the president’s travel.”

DEVAL PATRICK ENDS PRESIDENTIAL BID… Former Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick became the most recent Democrat pull out of the 2020 presidential race yesterday. Patrick announced his withdrawal following a disappointing performance in New Hampshire in Tuesday’s primary. Patrick had skipped the Iowa caucuses and was banking on strong finishes in New Hampshire and South Carolina.

FORD ANNOUNCES RECALL… Ford announced yesterday that it has recalled nearly 230,000 vehicles in the U.S., Canada and Mexico due to a possible suspension problem that could increase the risk of a crash. The automaker said the recall affects 2013-18 Ford Flexes, Ford Taurus Police Interceptor Sedans, Ford Taurus SHO and Lincoln MKT vehicles. More than 211,200 of the vehicles are located in the U.S.

WHITE SUPREMACY PROPAGANDA RISES… A report released yesterday by the Anti-Defamation League found that incidents of white supremacist material being spread across the U.S. rose by 120 percent in 2019. It was the second year that the circulation of racist and nationalist posters and banners more than doubled, the report noted. One Texas-based group was responsible for two-thirds of all propaganda. University campuses were frequent targets, the ADL found, with all but seven out of 50 states reporting incidents of banners, posters and flyers.

RICK MORANIS TO SHRINK AGAIN… Rick Moranis is returning to the big screen in a franchise he helped build. The actor has signed on to appear in Disney’s upcoming reboot of “Honey, I Shrunk the Kids.” “Shrunk” will star Josh Gad as the son to Moranis’ character, Wayne Szalinski. Moranis starred in the 1989 original as a scientist whose children stumble upon one of his experiments in their family’s home and end up shrinking themselves down to the size of bugs. The film spawned a 1992 theatrical sequel, “Honey, I Blew Up the Kid,” as well as 1997’s straight-to-DVD “Honey, We Shrunk Ourselves.” Moranis appeared in all three. Moranis last appearance in a live-action theatrical film was 1994’s “Little Giants.”

PAULA KELLY DIES… Actress, singer and dancer Paula Kelly died Sunday of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, family members have confirmed. She was 77. Kelly earned an Emmy Award nomination in 1994 for her work on the first season of the sitcom “Night Court.” On the big screen, she co-starred with Chita Rivera and Shirley MacLaine in the 1969 musical comedy-drama film “Sweet Charity.” Her TV credits also include “Santa Barbara,” “Mission: Impossible,” “Kojak” and “The Golden Girls.”

CLEVELAND 127 – Atlanta 105… The Cavaliers built a big lead early and cruised past the Hawks to snap their 12-game home losing streak. Tristan Thompson scored 27 points and brought down 11 rebounds. Larry Nance Jr. added 23 points.

ORLANDO 116 – Detroit 112 (OT)… The Magic recovered to outlast the Pistons after letting a big lead early slip away. They got 25 points from Aaron Gordon and 21 from Markelle Fultz.

Washington 114 – NEW YORK 96… The Wizards pulled away in the second half to down the Knicks. Bradley Beal scored a game-high 30 points.

INDIANA 118 – Milwaukee 111… The Pacers took a 23-point lead into halftime and held on to top the Bucks. All five starters scored in double figures, led by T.J. Warren’s 35 points. Malcolm Brogdon finished with 17 points and 13 assists.

BROOKLYN 101 – Toronto 91… Caris LeVert led a balanced scoring attack with 20 points and the Nets dealt the Raptors their first home loss in 16 games. Jarrett Allen grabbed 13 boards to go with his 10 points.

MEMPHIS 111 – Portland 104… Brandon Clarke came off the bench to lead all scorers with 27 points as the Grizzlies handled the Trail Blazers. Ja Morant added 20 points. Jonas Valanciunas had 12 points and 18 rebounds.

Charlotte 115 – MINNESOTA 108… The Hornets erased a 16-point halftime deficit to upend the Timberwolves. Devonte Graham led the way with 28 points. Malik Monk added 25 points off the bench. Miles Bridges tossed in 20 points.

DALLAS 130 – Sacramento 111… Luka Doncic scored 33 points and brought down 12 boards in his return after missing seven games with a sprained ankle as the Mavericks cruised past the Kings. Kristaps Porzingis added 27 points and 13 boards.

UTAH 116 – Miami 101… The Jazz rallied in the second half to get past the Heat. Donovan Mitchell dropped in 26 points. Bojan Bogdanovic tossed in 22 points. Jordan Clarkson delivered 21 points off the bench.

PHOENIX 112 – Golden State 106… The Suns got 27 points from Devin Booker in holding off the Warriors. Phoenix had four other players score in double figures.

L.A. Lakers 120 – DENVER 116  (OT)… Anthony Davis scored seven of his 33 points in the overtime period to push the Lakers past the Nuggets. LeBron James racked up 32 points, 12 rebounds and 14 assists.

Oklahoma City is at New Orleans…
Boston hosts the L.A. Clippers

BOSTON 4 – Montreal 1… David Pastrnak scored the Bruins’ first three goals in their win over the Canadiens. Brad Marchand assisted on three goals.

LOS ANGELES 5 – Calgary 3... Tyler Toffoli and Austin Wagner scored 39 seconds apart in the second period and the Kings added three more goals in the third to put away the Flames. Goalie Cal Petersen made 35 saves.

VANCOUVER 3 – Chicago 0… Jacob Markstrom stopped all 49 shots in the Canucks’ blanking of the Blackhawks. Brandon Sutter scored one goal and assisted on two others.

Columbus is at Buffalo…
Toronto hosts Dallas…
Edmonton is at Tampa Bay…
Florida hosts Philadelphia…
Detroit is at New Jersey…
Ottawa hosts Arizona…
the N.Y Islanders are at Nashville…
Minnesota hosts the N.Y. Rangers…
Washington is at Colorado…
Vegas hosts St. Louis…
Calgary is at Anaheim

#3 Kansas 58, #14 WEST VIRGINIA 49…
GEORGIA TECH 64, #5 Louisville 58…
#23 Creighton 87, #10 SETON HALL 82…
#11 AUBURN 95, Alabama 91…
#15 VILLANOVA 72, #18 Marquette 71…
#19 BUTLER 66, Xavier 61…
#20 Houston 62, SOUTH FLORIDA 58

The Rundown for February 12, 2020

SANDERS WINS NEW HAMPSHIRE… Senator Bernie Sanders prevailed over Mayor Pete Buttiegieg and Senator Amy Klobuchar in yesterday’s Democratic primary in New Hampshire. Sanders got 26 percent of the vote, while Buttigieg was two points behind and Klobuchar finished third with 20 percent. Elizabeth Warren finished fourth with just over 9 percent. Two more Democratic candidates announced they were dropping out of the race yesterday. Colorado Senator Michael Bennet, a late addition to the race, and Andrew Yang announced they were ending their bids.

ROGER STONE CASE PROSECUTORS QUIT… Four federal prosecutors who built the case against former President Trump adviser Roger Stone resigned yesterday after the Justice Department said it planned to reduce the amount of prison time it would seek. Stone, who was convicted on seven counts of lying to Congress, obstruction and witness tampering, was facing a recommended a sentence of seven to nine years. Trump declared in a tweet yesterday that the recommendation was “disgraceful” and called it “very horrible and unfair.” Hours later, the Justice Department announced that it would seek a reduction. Trump told reporters he did not speak to the Justice Department about it. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer sent a letter to Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz calling for an investigation into the Justice Department’s actions.

JUDGE DISMISSES LAWSUIT SEEKING PRESIDENTIAL RECORDS… A judge yesterday dismissed a lawsuit filed by historians and watchdog groups that sought to prevent the White House from destroying, misfiling or omitting records of President Trump’s calls and meetings with foreign leaders. U.S. District Judge Amy Jackson said that in order that White House records are to be preserved, Congress to change the Presidential Records Act. The lawsuit was filed in May by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, the National Security Archive at George Washington University and the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations. The three groups claimed that Trump’s July 25 phone call with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky revealed record-keeping practices that were “specifically designed to conceal the president’s abuse of his power.” The call was at the center of Congress’ impeachment inquiry.

PHILIPPINES TO ABANDON U.S. SECURITY PACT… The Philippines has reportedly decided to scrap a major security pact that has allowed the U.S. to rotate forces through Philippine military bases since 1999. The agreement also has given the U.S. a key strategic foothold near the disputed South China Sea and allowed for hundreds of joint exercises each year. Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte said during a fiery speech on Monday night that talks have fallen apart with President Trump. Duterte also accused the U.S. of meddling in Philippine affairs.

HOUSE PANEL PASSES D.C.-STATE BILL… The House Oversight Committee yesterday approved a bill to make the nation’s capital the 51st state. The bill is now on its way to the House floor for a full vote. The bill passed in committee over the objections of Republicans, who introduced amendments to impose restrictions on abortion and gun control on the proposed state. The bill has 220 co-sponsors and is expected to pass the in the Democratic-led House.

JUSSIE SMOLLETT INDICTED… Actor Jussie Smollett was indicted in Cook County, Illinois, yesterday on six counts of disorderly conduct for allegedly making false reports to police about an assault last year. The indictment follows a six-month investigation by a special prosecutor. Smollett, who appeared in the Fox series “Empire,” told police that on January 29, 2019, he was confronted in Chicago home by two masked attackers who poured a chemical substance on him, wrapped a rope around his neck and made threatening comments. Questions about Smollett’s story led to the arrest of two men who were allegedly paid to perform a fake attack.

JANET JACKSON TO TOUR… Janet Jackson has announced plans to tour in summer. The North American leg of the Black Diamond world tour begins June 24 in Miami and ends August 23 in Tacoma, Washington. The 53-year-old singer will be promoting her upcoming album “Black Diamond, which is scheduled for release this year.

PHILADELPHIA 110 – L.A. Clippers 103… The 76ers topped the Clippers in a back-and-forth affair. Ben Simmons racked up 26 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists. Joel Embiid also had 26 points. Tobias Harris had 17 points and 12 boards.

WASHINGTON 126 – Chicago 114… The Wizards built an early double-digit lead and retained control in downing the Bulls. Bradley Beal scored 30 points to lead seven players in double figures. Zach LaVine’s 41 points weren’t enough for Chicago.

NEW ORLEANS 138 – Portland 117… Rookie Zion Williamson scored a game-high 31 points in leading the Pelicans past the Trail Blazers. J.J. Redick fired in 20 points off the bench.

San Antonio 114 – OKLAHOMA CITY 106… The Spurs limited the Thunder to 14 first-quarter points and held them off the rest of the way to snap their five-game skid. LaMarcus Aldridge and Dejounte Murray scored 25 points apiece. Aldridge also gathered 14 rebounds. Paddy Mills came off the bench to contribute 20 points.

HOUSTON 116 – Boston 105… The Rockets came up big in the second half to put away the Celtics. James Harden poured in 42 points. Russell Westbrook had 36 points and 10 boards.

Atlanta is at Cleveland…
Orlando hosts Detroit…
Washington is at New York…
Indiana hosts Milwaukee…
Toronto is at Brooklyn…
Memphis hosts Portland…
Charlotte is at Minnesota…
Dallas hosts Sacramento…
Miami is at Utah…
Phoenix hosts Golden State…
the L.A. Lakers are at Denver

BUFFALO 3 – Detroit 2… Sam Reinhart netted a tie-breaking goal 57 seconds into the third period and the Sabres made it stand in edging the Red Wings. Marcus Johansson had a goal and an assist.

TORONTO 3 – Arizona 2… Kasperi Kapanen found the net 3:43 into overtime to lift the Maple Leafs over the Coyotes. Zach Hyman scored twice in regulation.

Florida 5 – NEW JERSEY 3… Michael Matheson and Mark Pysyk each had a goal and an assist in the Panthers’ defeat of the Devils. Noel Acciari scored one goal and assisted on another.

N.Y. ISLANDERS 5 – Philadelphia 3… The Islanders recovered to beat the Flyers after blowing a three-goal lead in the second period. Ryan Pulock netted a go-ahead goal with 41 seconds remaining. Leo Komarov had a goal and an assist. Matthew Barzal set up three goals.

Tampa Bay 2 – PITTSBURGH 1 (OT)… Yanni Gourde wristed in the game-winning goal 2:45 into overtime as the Lightning outlasted the Penguins. Mikhail Sergachev scored a tying goal on a second-period power play. Goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy made 35 saves.

MINNESOTA 4 – Vegas 0… Goalie Alex Stalock stopped all 26 shots in the Wild’s blanking of the Golden Knights. Kevin Fiala scored a goal and had two assists.

N.Y. Rangers 4 – WINNIPEG 1… Chris Kreider scored back-to-back goals to open the scoring and the Rangers cruised past the Jets. Mika Zibanejad had a goal and an assist. Igor Shesterkin made 42 saves at goal.

DALLAS 4 – Carolina 1… Jamie Benn scored the Stars’ final two goals in the victory over the Hurricanes. Denis Gurianov scored a tie-breaking goal on a second-period power play. Miro Heiskanen had two assists.

COLORADO 3 – Ottawa 0… Goalie Philipp Grubauer stopped 34 shots in his second shutout of the season and the Avalanche breezed past the Senators. Mikko Rantanen scored the only goal Colorado needed with 41 seconds left in the first period. Valeri Nichushkin and Gabriel Landeskog also found the net.

EDMONTON 5 – Chicago 3… Kailer Yamamoto scored a pair of goals to help the Oilers pull away from the Blackhawks. Leon Draisaitl had a goal and three assists. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins added a goal and an assist.

St. Louis – ANAHEIM (ppd)… Last night’s Blues-Ducks game was postponed with 7:50 left in the first period when St. Louis defenseman Jay Bouwmeester collapsed on the bench. Bouwmeester suffered the medical emergency while grabbing a drink of water. He appeared to be awake and alert as emergency medical personnel transported him out of the arena to a hospital.

Montreal is at Boston…
Los Angeles hosts Calgary…
Vancouver hosts Chicago

#4 SAN DIEGO STATE 82, New Mexico 59…
#6 DAYTON 81, Rhode Island 67…
#9 MARYLAND 72, Nebraska 70…
#12 Kentucky 78, VANDERBILT 64…
#13 Penn State 88, PURDUE 76…
Michigan State 70, #22 ILLINOIS 69…
#25 LSU 82, Missouri 78