The Rundown for September 15, 2020

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE… The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 6,550,629 and the nation’s death toll stands at 194,411, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University… A federal judge in Pennsylvania yesterday declared Governor Tom Wolf’s coronavirus restrictions unconstitutional. The ruling stems from a case brought on by four Pennsylvania counties, challenging executive orders that closed non-life sustaining businesses.

TRUMP-BIDEN DIFFER ON CLIMATE CHANGE… President Trump and his Democratic challenger Joe Biden expressed their differences yesterday over climate change’s role in Western wildfires. The blazes over the past month have killed 35 people in three states, destroyed thousands of homes and a half-dozen small towns, and charred more than 4 million acres. Trump insisted that the impact of the fires could be controlled through management programs that include removing dead leaves and trees that can “explode” from the forests. Biden on Monday called Trump a “climate arsonist” for failing to acknowledge the global warming’s role. Meanwhile, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration highlighted record heat in its global climate report released yesterday. The report found that this summer has been the hottest on record for the Northern Hemisphere and the month of August was the second-warmest in history for the entire globe, behind 2016. Scientists believe that “2020 is very likely to rank among the five-warmest years on record,” the NOAA said.

WATCHDOG TO INVESTIGATES BARR’S ACTIONS ON STONE CASE… The Justice Department’s Office of Inspector General has opened an investigation into Attorney General William Barr’s unusual intervention in the criminal case against President Trump’s longtime adviser Roger Stone. The investigation centers on Barr’s efforts in February to seek a lighter sentence after prosecutors and an acting U.S. attorney chosen by Barr had already recommended a sentence of seven to nine years in prison following Stone’s conviction on seven felony counts. Barr faced widespread backlash for what was perceived as a political maneuver.

HOUSE PANEL TO INVESTIGATE HHS… The House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis has launched an investigation into allegations that political appointees at the Department of Health and Human Services have sought to review and alter weekly scientific reports issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention about the coronavirus pandemic. Members on the committee are seeking voluntary testimony from seven officials at the Department of Health and Human Services, including Michael Caputo, the agency’s spokesman, and Paul Alexander, his senior adviser. The two have been accused of altering or halting the release of the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Reports. In some cases, emails from communications aides to CDC Director Robert Redfield and other senior officials openly complained that the agency’s reports would undermine President Trump’s optimistic messages about the pandemic. Caputo met severe backlash over a bizarre rant that he posted on social media yesterday. He warned that government scientists were engaging in “sedition” in their handling of the coronavirus pandemic and accused the CDC of conspiring to murder him. Caputo also claimed that armed, left-wing militants are being trained “all over the country” for armed revolt, among other conspiracies. During his rant, Caputo conceded he was having a tough time dealing with the media and that his mental health had failed.

WHISTLEBLOWER COMPLAINT TARGETS IMMIGRANT DETENTION CENTER… A whistleblower complaint filed by several legal advocacy groups on behalf of a nurse claims that immigrants in a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention center in Georgia are being subjected to horrific conditions and treatment, including “jarring medical neglect” and a high rate of hysterectomies among women. Negligence includes poor safety precautions surrounding Covid-19 and generally hazardous and unsanitary conditions, according to the complaint. The nurse, Dawn Wooten, has been employed for the past three years at the privately-operated Irwin County detention center.

DAIMLER SETTLES EMISSIONS-CHEATING CASE… German automaker Daimler AG and its U.S. subsidiary Mercedes-Benz yesterday reached a $1.5 billion settlement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Justice and California Air Resources Board over alleged emissions cheating. Daimler has reportedly agreed to pay $875 million in civil penalties and $70,300,000 in other penalties. It also agreed to recall and repair emissions systems in Mercedes-Benz diesel vehicles sold in the U.S. between 2009 and 2016 for a projected cost of $436 million and pay another $110 million to fund mitigation projects in California. The settlement stems from the discovery that Daimler manufactured, imported and sold more than 250,000 diesel vans and passenger cars with so-called “defeat devices” to circumvent emissions control software.

SALLY ARRIVING… Sally strengthened into a Category 2 hurricane yesterday and is expected to strike the Gulf Coast tonight into tomorrow morning. The storm is forecast to make landfall along the Mississippi/Alabama border. It is expected to bring up a storm surge of up to 11 feet and as much as two feet of rain. Hurricane warnings have been issued across eastern Louisiana, coastal Mississippi and Alabama, and the Florida Panhandle.

… FBI agents executed a search warrant yesterday afternoon at the Napierville, Illinois, home of Jerry Harris, who stars in the Netflix docuseries “Cheer.” Harris has been accused of soliciting sexually explicit photos and sex from minors, but not charges had been filed by last night. The investigation stems from information provided by a private company that dominates the cheerleading industry. The company, Varsity Brands, informed police in Florida and Texas last week that the 21-year-old Harris had been accused of “inappropriate sexual conduct.”

MACY’S PARADE TO BE VIRTUAL… The 94th annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade will be a virtual event due to the COVID-19 pandemic. According to New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, there will be a live parade and a re-imagined parade will be created for television and online viewing. Macy’s says the TV broadcast-only parade will be filmed over two days and have about 25 percent of the usual number of participants. The parade will air November 26 on NBC.


Pittsburgh 26 – N.Y. GIANTS 16
… Ben Roethlisberger found Ju Ju Smith-Schuster with two of his three touchdown passes and the Steelers fought their way past the Giants.

Tennessee 16 – DENVER 14… Stephen Gostkowski’s 25-yard field goal with 17 seconds remaining sent the Titans over the Broncos. Ryan Tannehill hit Mycole Pruitt and Jonnu Smith with 1-yard touchdown tosses.

CINCINNATI 3 – Pittsburgh 1
… Rookie Tyler Stephenson hit a tie-breaking two-run homer in the bottom of the seventh inning to power the Reds past the Pirates in the opener of a doubleheader.

CINCINNATI 9 – Pittsburgh 4… Mike Moustakas blasted a go-ahead three-run homer in the bottom of the fifth inning and the Reds completed a sweep of the twinbill. Brian Goodwin homered with a runner aboard and Joey Votto added a solo shot.

MILWAUKEE 2 – St. Louis 1… The Brewers scored twice in the bottom of the eighth inning to upend the Cardinals in the doubleheader opener. Keston Hiura’s sacrifice fly in the bottom of the eighth scored Avisail Garcia with the winning run after Ryan Braun stroked an RBI double.

St. Louis 3 – MILWAUKEE 2… The Cardinals eased past the Brewers after spotting them a two-run lead and claimed a split of the twinbill. Paul DeJong singled home Tommy Edman with a tie-breaking run in the top of the ninth inning.

SEATTLE 6 – Oakland 5… The Mariners rallied from five runs down in the fourth inning to edge the Athletics in the opener of a doubleheader. Tim Lopes doubled home the tying run and came around to score the go-ahead run on Kyle Lewis’ bases-loaded walk. Lewis also homered with a runner aboard. Luis Torrens and Jose Marmolejos added solo blasts.

Oakland 9 – SEATTLE 0… Mike Minor (1-5) tossed a complete-game two-hitter and the Athletics cruised past the Mariners in the nightcap. Mark Canha singled home a run and hit a two-run homer. Jake Lamb also went deep.

MIAMI 6 – Philadelphia 2… Marlins starter Pablo Lopez (4-4) held the Phillies to a run on three hits over seven innings. Miguel Rojas and Starling Marte smacked solo homers. Jesus Aguilar doubled home two runs.

BALTIMORE 14 – Atlanta 1… DJ Stewart and Jose Iglesias belted three-run homers during a nine-run bottom of the third inning. Ryan Mountastle homered with the bases empty and produced a pair of run-scoring singles. Pat Valaika also hit a solo homer. Starter Jorge Lopez (2-0) limited Atlanta to a run on five hits over seven innings.

CHI. WHITE SOX 3 – Minnesota 1… Adam Engel singled home a tying run in the bottom of the eighth inning and scored on Tim Anderson’s double as the White Sox toppled the Twins. Five Chicago pitchers scattered eight hits.

SAN DIEGO 7 – L.A. Dodgers 2… The Padres broke the game open with a five-run bottom of the seventh inning. Jorge Ona sparked the uprising with an RBI single. Trent Grisham and Wil Myers both homered with the bases empty.

Pittsburgh (Josh Musgrove, 0-0) is at Cincinnati (Michael Lorenzen, 1-1)…
Miami (Sandy Alcantara, 2-1) hosts Boston (Tanner Houck, 0-0)…
Washington (Anibal Sanchez, 2-4) is at Tampa Bay (John Curtiss, 0-0)…
the N.Y. Yankees (Deivi Garcia, 1-1) host Toronto (Taijuan Walker, 2-2)…
the N.Y. Mets (Rick Porcello, 1-4) are at Philadelphia (Jake Arrieta, 3-4)…
Detroit (Matthew Boyd, 1-6) hosts Kansas City (Danny Duffy, 3-3)…
Atlanta (Bryse Wilson, 0-0) is at Baltimore (Tom Eshelman, 0-0)…
Milwaukee (Brett Anderson, 2-3) hosts St. Louis (Jack Flaherty, 3-1)…
Minnesota (Randy Dobnak, 6-3) is at the Chi. White Sox (Dane Dunning, 0-0)…
Houston (Jose Urquidy, 0-0) hosts Texas (Kyle Cody, 0-0)…
Cleveland (Carlos Carrasco, 2-4) is at the Chi. Cubs (Yu Darvish, 7-2)…
Colorado (Antonio Senzatela, 3-2) hosts Oakland (Sean Manaea, 4-2)…
the L.A. Dodgers (Tony Gonsolin, 0-0) are at San Diego (Zach Davies, 7-2)…
the L.A. Angels (Julio Teheran, 0-0) host Arizona (Madison Bumgarner, 0-0)…
San Francisco (Tyler Anderson, 2-3) is at Seattle (Ljay Newsome, 0-0)

(in Edmonton)
Dallas 3 – Vegas 2 (OT)… The Stars rallied from two goals down midway through the third period to eliminate the Golden Knights in five games and advance to the Stanley Cup Finals. They await the winner of the Tampa Bay-N.Y. Islanders series in the Eastern Conference semifinals. Denis Gurianov found the net 3:36 into overtime. Joel Kiviranta netted the tying goal with 3:47 left in regulation. John Klingberg assisted on two goals.

(in Toronto)
Tampa Bay vs. N.Y. Islanders in Game 5 with the Lightning leading 3-1


Denver Nuggets vs. L.A. Clippers in Game 7

The Rundown for September 14, 2020

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE… The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 6,519,554 and the nation’s death toll stands at 194,073, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University… A CNBC analysis has found that Covid-19 cases have been growing by at least 5 percent in 11 states. The states are Alaska, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

TRUMP SIGNS DRUG-PRICE EXECUTIVE ORDER… President Trump yesterday signed an executive order that aims to lower drug prices in the U.S. by instructing Medicare to not pay more for certain medicines than other nations. The order claims Americans finance much of the biopharmaceutical innovation to the benefit of foreign nations with nationalized public healthcare systems. According to the order, the U.S. government should also pay prices lower than smaller buyers.

WESTERN-STATE GOVERNORS CITE CLIMATE CHANGE IN BLAZES… The governors of Oregon, California and Washington agree that the fires burning across their states are the result of climate change. The National Interagency Fire Center reported that 94 large fires have burned 4.6 million acres on the West Coast as of yesterday. The fires are blamed for the deaths of at least 32 people. Oregon Governor Kate Brown noted during an appearance on CBS News’ “Face the Nation” that the fires sprung up amid a combination of poor weather conditions, “decades of mismanagement” of the country’s forests and the effects of climate change. Washington Governor Jay Inslee said climate change has created “apocalyptic” conditions in his state, where more than 500,000 acres have burned. California Governor Gavin Newsom urged, “This isn’t an intellectual debate. This isn’t about ideology. The proof is right in front of our eyes. The impacts of climate change simply cannot be denied.”

SALLY GAINING STRENGTH… Tropical Storm Sally strengthened off the west coast of Florida yesterday and is expected to become a category 2 hurricane on its way to the Gulf Coast. The National Hurricane Center said the storm was likely to approach the north-central Gulf Coast later today and tomorrow. Hurricane conditions were expected by tomorrow morning from Grand Isle, Louisiana, to Ocean Springs, Mississippi, including New Orleans.

GAS PRICES DOWN 2 CENTS… The average price for a gallon of regular-grade gasoline in the U.S. rose about 2 cents over the past three weeks to $2.26 per gallon, according to a nationwide survey of gas stations. The Lundberg Survey found the most expensive gas was in San Francisco, where it cost $3.38 per gallon. The cheapest gas was in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where a gallon cost $1.80.

… Big Sean’s new release, “Detroit 2,” sold 103,000 copies to debut atop the Billboard 200 album chart. Pop Smoke’s “Shoot for the Stars Aim for the Moon” finished second after selling 75,000 units. “Juice WRLD”’s “Legends Never Die” came in at No. 3 with 57,000 copies sold. 6ix9ine’s “TattleTales” opened at No. 4 on sales of 53,000 units. Taylor Swift’s “Folklore” dropped to No. 5 with 48,000 copies sold after topping the chart for its first six weeks.

‘TENET’ TOPS WEEKEND BOX OFFICE… “Tenet” brought in $6.7 million to debut atop the weekend box office. “The New Mutants” remained in second place after bringing in $2 million. “Unhinged” made $1.5 million to stay at No. 3. “The Broken Hearts Gallery” finished fourth with $1.1 million. “Bill & Ted Face the Music” capped the top five with $260,000.


Las Vegas 34 – CAROLINA 30… Josh Jacobs rushed for three touchdowns as the Raiders handled the Panthers.

BALTIMORE 38 – Cleveland 6… Lamar Jackson completed 20-of-25 passes for 275 yards and three touchdowns in the Ravens’ romp over the Browns.

Chicago 27 – Detroit 23… Mitchell Trubisky threw three fourth-quarter touchdown passes to rally the Bears past the Lions.

Green Bay 43 – MINNESOTA 34… Aaron Rodgers passed for 364 yards and four touchdowns in leading the Packers past the Vikings.

BUFFALO 27 – N.Y. Jets 17… Josh Allen threw for two touchdowns and ran for another as the Bills topped the Jets.

Seattle 38 – ATLANTA 25… Russell Wilson completed 31 of 35 passes for 322 yards and four touchdowns as the Seahawks downed the Falcons.

NEW ENGLAND 21 – Miami 11… Cam Newton rushed for two touchdowns in his debut at quarterback for the Patriots.

WASHINGTON 27 – Philadelphia 17… Washington rolled past the Eagles after spotting them a 17-point lead. Peyton Barber ran for two touchdowns. Defensively, Washington recorded eight sacks.

JACKSONVILLE 27 – Indianapolis 20… Gardner Minshew’s third touchdown of the day was a 22-yarder to Keelan Cole in the fourth quarter and proved to be the difference in the win over the Colts.

L.A. Chargers 16 – CINCINNATI 13… Michael Badgley booted three field goals, including a 22-yarder that broke a fourth-quarter tie and sent the Chargers past the Bengals.

Arizona 24 – SAN FRANCISCO 20… Kyler Murray threw for 230 yards and a touchdown and ran for 91 yards and another score as the Cardinals overcome a pair of fourth-quarter deficits to beat the 49ers. DeAndre Hopkins had 14 catches for 151 yards.

NEW ORLEANS 34 – Tampa Bay 23… The Saints got past the Buccaneers to ruin Tom Brady’s debut as Tampa Bay’s quarterback. Drew Brees threw a pair of touchdown passes.

L.A. RAMS 20 – Dallas 17… Malcolm Brown rushed for a pair of touchdowns as the Rams held off the Cowboys.

Pittsburgh is at the N.Y. Giants…
Denver hosts Tennessee

SAN DIEGO 6 – San Francisco 0
… Mike Clevinger (3-2) limited the Padres to two hits in a seven-inning shutout to open the doubleheader. Wil Myers and Greg Garcia stroked two-run singles.

SAN DIEGO 3 – San Francisco 2… Wil Myers homered, Jurickson Profar singled home a run and the Padres edged the Giants to sweep the twinbill.

MIAMI 2 – Philadelphia 1… Rookie Sixto Sanchez (3-1) held the Phillies to a run on three hits over all seven innings and the Marlins clipped the Phillies in the doubleheader opener. Corey Dickerson and Starling Marte produced run-scoring singles in the bottom of the third inning.

MIAMI 8 – Philadelphia 1… Braxton Garrett (1-0) pitched three-hit ball over five innings in his major-league debut and the Marlins cruised past the Phillies to sweep the twinbill. Chad Wallach homered with a runner aboard. Miguel Rojas doubled home two runs.

Atlanta 8 – WASHINGTON 4… Adam Duvall and Ozzie Albies blasted two-run homers as the Braves doubled up on the Nationals. Travis D’Arnaud knocked in two runs.

N.Y. YANKEES 3 – Baltimore 1… Gleyber Torres clubbed a tie-breaking two-run double in the bottom of the eighth inning to send the Yankees past the Orioles.

Boston 6 – TAMPA BAY 3… Vazquez and Arroyo belted two-run homers to help power the Red Sox past the Rays. Martin Perez (3-4) allowed two runs on five hits over five innings.

KANSAS CITY 11 – Pittsburgh 0… Brad Keller (4-2) blanked the Pirates on four hits and got plenty of support in the Royals’ sixth straight win. Salvador Perez hit a solo homer and singled home a run. Hunter Dozier also went deep.

Chi. Cubs 12 – MILWAUKEE 0… Alec Mills (5-3) tossed the second no-hitter of the season and the Cubs dismantled the Brewers. Mills walked three and struck out five. David Bote homered with a runner aboard and lifted a sacrifice fly.

MINNESOTA 7 – Cleveland 5… The Twins got home runs from Nelson Cruz, Marwin Gonzalez, Ryan Jeffers and Josh Donaldson in downing the Indians to complete a series sweep.

CHI WHITE SOX 5 – Detroit 2… Yoan Moncada went 3-for-5 with an RBI as the White Sox downed the Tigers. Eloy Jimenez smacked a solo homer.

Cincinnati 10 – ST. LOUIS 5… The Reds used a hit batter, a walk and a wild pitch to push three runs across in the top of the seventh inning and put away the Cardinals. Brian Goodwin, Eugenio Suarez and pinch-hitter Aristides Aquino homered for Cincinnati.

TEXAS 6 – Oakland 3… Rougned Odor blasted a three-run homer and Jeff Mathis added a two-run shot in the Rangers’ win over the Athletics. Lance Lynn (3-1) allowed a run on three hits over seven innings and fanned 10.

TORONTO 7 – N.Y. Mets 3… Santiago Espinal smacked a two-run double during a five-run bottom of the sixth inning that carried the Blue Jays past the Mets. Lourdes Gurriel drilled a two-run homer. Hyun-Jin Ryu (4-1) held New York to a run on eight hits over six innings.

L.A. Angels 5 – COLORADO 3… Albert Pujols connected for his 660th career homer to move into fifth place on the all-time list. Jared Walsh had a couple of hits and an RBI for the Angels.

Seattle 7 – ARIZONA 3… Donovan Walton knocked in three runs to lead the Mariners past the Diamondbacks. Jose Marmolejos had two hits and an RBI.

L.A. DODGERS 8 – Houston 1… Dodgers got two-run homers from Mookie Betts and Chris Taylor in breezing past the Astros. A.J. Pollock opened the scoring with a solo shot in the bottom of the first inning.

Pittsburgh (Mitch Keller, 1-2; J.T. Brubaker, 1-1) is at Cincinnati (Trevor Bauer, 4-3; Anthony DeSclafani, 1-2) for a doubleheader…
Milwaukee (Josh Lindblom, 1-3; Corbin Burnes, 0-0) hosts St. Louis (Kwang-Hyun Kim, 0-0; Daniel Ponce de Leon, 0-0) for a doubleheader…
Philadelphia (Vince Velasquez, 0-0) is at Miami (Pablo Lopez, 3-4)…
Baltimore (Javier Lopez, 0-0) hosts Atlanta (Touki Toussaint, 0-0)…
Minnesota (Jose Berrios, 4-3) is at the Chi. White Sox (Dylan Cease, 5-2)…
Seattle (Nick Margevicius, 1-3) hosts Oakland (Mike Minor, 0-0)…
the L.A. Dodgers (Clayton Kershaw, 5-1) are at San Diego (Danielson Lamet, 2-1)

NBA PLAYOFFS SCORES (games in Orlando)…
Denver Nuggets 111 – L.A. Clippers 98
… The Nuggets erased a 19-point second-half deficit in taking down the Clippers to force tomorrow’s Game 7. Nikola Jokic had game-highs with 34 points and 14 rebounds. Jamal Murray added 21 points.

(in Toronto)
Tampa Bay 4 – N.Y. Islanders 1… The Lightning skated past the Islanders to take a 3-1 lead in the series. Blake Coleman and Ondrej Palat scored 12 seconds apart in the second period to give Tampa Bay the lead for good. Palat also assisted on Brayden Point’s third-period goal.

(in Edmonton)
Dallas vs. Vegas in Game 5 with the Stars leading 3-1

The Rundown for September 11, 2020

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE… The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 6,390,840 and the nation’s death toll stands at 191,612, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University… A new study from China’s Nanjing University published in PLOS Pathogens has found that “neutralizing” antibodies in the serum of recovered COVID-19 patients decline sharply within a month of hospital discharge. The study notes, however, that the finding doesn’t mean that immunity wanes in a month.

GOP STIMULUS BILL FAILS IN SENATE… The Republicans’ pandemic stimulus package failed to get the 60 votes it needed for passage in the Senate yesterday. The 52-47 vote was along party lines, with Democrats arguing that the bill did not include another round of stimulus checks sent directly to taxpayers and cut weekly federal jobless benefits in half to $300. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer specifically criticized the bill for leaving out funding for lower level governments, food assistance for children, eviction relief, and internet expansion in rural areas.

COURT RULES AGAINST TRUMP IN IMMIGRANT-CENSUS FIGHT… A federal court ruled yesterday that President Trump’s order to exclude undocumented immigrants from census numbers for apportioning congressional districts is unlawful. A three-judge panel for the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York was unanimous in its ruling that Trump’s executive memorandum violates the executive branch’s “constitutional responsibility to count the whole number of persons in each State and to apportion members of the House of Representatives among the States according to their respective numbers.” The ruling prohibits the Department of Commerce from reporting any information regarding undocumented immigrants in its census count that could be used to implement the president’s directive.

MICROSOFT WARNS OF HACKERS… Microsoft has released a warning that hackers connected to Russia, China and Iran are attempting to spy on people and groups involved with the US 2020 presidential election. The tech firm said that the same Russian group that hacked the 2016 Democratic campaign is part of the effort. The campaigns of President Trump as well as his Democratic challenger Joe Biden are among more than 200 organizations that have been targeted by Russian hackers from the Strontium group, Microsoft said in a statement.

WESTERN WILDFIRES… Authorities in California say at least 12 people have died and more than 3,900 structures have been destroyed in the 29 major wildfires burning throughout the state. Another dozen people were reported missing Wednesday in the area of the North Complex fire near Oroville. Fires in Oregon, meanwhile, have prompted the evacuation of more than 500,000 people statewide, which is more than 10 percent of the state’s 4.2 million population. Washington Governor Jay Inslee has declared a state of emergency to free up resources to battle blazes there. Yesterday, Inslee toured the town of Malden, where more than 80 percent of the homes were destroyed.

… Actress Diana Rigg, who played secret agent Emma Peel in the 1960s television series “The Avengers” and rose to international fame as a “Bond” girl, died of undisclosed causes yesterday, according to her agent. She was 82. Rigg played James Bond’s only wife, Tracy, opposite George Lazenby in the 1969 film “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.” More recently, and she portrayed Olenna Tyrell in “Game of Thrones,” earning Emmy nominations in 2013 and 2014.

‘SNL’ HEADING BACK TO THE STUDIO… “Saturday Night Live” is returning to the studio for its 46th season, which premieres October 3. The show ended live broadcasts after its March 7 episode amid the pandemic. “SNL” returned on April 11 for a virtual episode that was hosted by Tom Hanks following his battle with coronavirus. Two other virtual episodes, which aired on April 25 and May 9, featured Brad Pitt and Alec Baldwin, respectively. A special compilation of Mother’s Day-themed sketches aired on May 10.


KANSAS CITY 34 – Houston 20
… The defending Super Bowl-champion Chiefs rolled past the Texans in the NFL Kickoff Classic. Patrick Mahomes passed for 211 yards and three touchdowns. Clyde Edwards-Helaire rushed for 138 yards and a score. Kansas City now has won 10 straight dating back to last season.

Las Vegas is at Carolina…
Baltimore hosts Cleveland…
Detroit hosts Chicago…
Green Bay is at Minnesota…
Buffalo hosts the N.Y. Jets…
Seattle is at Atlanta…
New England hosts Miami…
Indianapolis is at Jacksonville…
Washington hosts Philadelphia…
the L.A. Chargers are at Cincinnati…
New Orleans hosts Tampa Bay…
Arizona is at San Francisco…
the L.A. Rams host Dallas

Pittsburgh is at the N.Y. Giants…
Tennessee is at Denver

ST. LOUIS 12 – Detroit 2
… Paul Goldschmidt, Rangel Ravelo, Yadier Molina, Tyler O’Neil and Lane Thomas all homered as the Cardinals pounded the Tigers in the doubleheader opener.

Detroit 6 – ST. LOUIS 3… Jorge Bonifacio’s two-run homer capped a five-run top of the seventh inning that gave the Tigers a split of the twinbill. Jeimer Candelario also went deep.

OAKLAND 3 – Houston 1… Sean Manaea (3-1) limited the Astros to a run on two hits over seven innings. Matt Olson homered with a runner aboard. Oakland extended its lead over Houston to 6-1/2 games in the AL West.

L.A. Angels 6 – TEXAS 2… Walsh belted a three-run homer in the top of the first inning and Mike Trout added a solo shot as the Angels cruised past the Rangers. Dylan Bundy (5-2) gave up two runs on four hits over 7-1/3 innings and struck out 12.

Atlanta 7 – WASHINGTON 6… The Braves rallied past the Nationals after spotting them an early 5-0 lead. Freddie Freeman blasted a pair of two-run homers. Ronald Acuna and Dansby Swanson also circled the bases.

Kansas City 11 – CLEVELAND 1… Brady Singer (2-4) took a ho-hitter into the eighth inning and got plenty of support as the Royals crushed the Indians. Maikel Franko hit a three-run homer and singled home two runs. Adalberto Mondesi added a three-run shot. Edward Oliveras also went deep.

Boston 4 – TAMPA BAY 3… Rookie Bobby Dalbec homered for the fifth straight game and the Red Sox held off the Rays. Rafael Devers drove in Boston’s other three runs with a two-run homer and run-scoring single.

MIAMI 7 – Philadelphia 6… The Marlins erased a 6-2 eighth-inning deficit to upend the Phillies in the opener of a seven-game series. Alfaro’s infield single scored Harrison with the winning run in the bottom of the ninth inning. Starling Marte slammed a game-tying three-run double in the eighth and finished with four RBIs.

SAN DIEGO 6 – San Francisco 1… Seven Padres pitchers combined to hold the Giants at bay. Mitch Moreland opened the scoring with a two-run double in the bottom of the first inning. Manny Machado and Jorge Ona hit solo homers.

ARIZONA 5 – L.A. Dodgers 2… The Diamondbacks got past the Dodgers after spotting them a two-run lead. Daulton Varsho tripled home Nick Ahmed with the tie-breaking run in the bottom of the sixth inning and scored on Carson Kelly’s two-run homer.

CHI. CUBS 8 – Cincinnati 5… The Cubs came from three runs down to top the Reds in a game delayed for hours by rain. Nico Horener’s two-run double sparked a five-run bottom of the fourth inning. Willson Contreras went 4-for-4 with an RBI and two runs scored.

Baltimore – N.Y. YANKEES (ppd)… Rain in New York forced postponement of last night’s Orioles-Yankees game. It will be made up today as part of a doubleheader.

Philadelphia (Aaron Nola, 4-3; Spencer Howard, 1-2) is at Miami (Nick Neidert, 0-0; Trevor Rogers, 1-0) for a doubleheader…
the N.Y. Yankees (Gerrit Cole, 4-3; Masahiro Tanaka, 1-2) host Baltimore (Alex Cobb, 1-3; Keegan Akin, 0-0) for a doubleheader…
the N.Y. Mets (Jacob deGrom, 3-1) are at Toronto (Chase Anderson, 0-0)…
Washington (Erick Fedde, 1-3) hosts Atlanta (Josh Tomlin, 2-2)…
Oakland (Mike Fiers, 2-2) is at Texas (Jordan Lyles, 1-4)…
Tampa Bay (Blake Snell, 3-1) hosts Boston (Andrew Triggs, 0-2)…
Pittsburgh (Steven Brault, 0-2) is at Kansas City (Kris Bubic, 0-5)…
Milwaukee (Brandon Woodruff, 2-3) hosts the Chi. Cubs (Jon Lester, 2-2)…
Detroit (Casey Mize, 0-1) is at the Chi. White Sox (Lucas Giolito, 4-2)…
Minnesota (Kenta Maeda, 4-1) hosts Cleveland (Shane Bieber, 7-0)…
Cincinnati (Luis Castillo, 1-5) is at St. Louis (Adam Wainwright, 4-0)…
Colorado (German Marquez, 2-5) hosts the L.A. Angels (Griffin Canning, 0-3)…
San Francisco (Johnny Cueto, 2-0) is at San Diego (Garrett Richards, 2-2)…
Arizona (Caleb Smith, 0-0) hosts Seattle (Yusei Kikuchi, 2-2)

NBA PLAYOFFS SCORES (games in Orlando)…

L.A. Lakers 110 – Houston 100… The Lakers eliminated the Rockets in Game 5 and await the winner of the L.A. Clippers-Denver series the Western Conference finals. Anthony Davis scored 29 points and grabbed 12 rebounds. LeBron James added 16 points and 15 boards.


Toronto vs. Boston in Game 7

the L.A. Clippers vs. Denver in Game 5 with the Clippers leading 3-1

Vegas 3 – Dallas 2
(OT)… Alexander Radulov found the net 31 seconds into the overtime period to give the Golden Knights a 2-1 lead in the series. Jamie Oleksiak opened the scoring with a first-period goal. Goalie Anton Khudobin made 38 saves. Game 4 is tomorrow.

(in Toronto)
Tampa Bay vs. N.Y. Islanders in Game 3 with the Lightning leading 2-0.

July 22, 2020

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE… The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 3,902,058 and the death toll stands at 142,066, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University… President Trump warned during a White House briefing that the pandemic in the U.S. will probably “get worse before it gets better.” Florida recorded a new high for hospitalizations yesterday, as an additional 518 hospital admissions were reported. The 9,440 new cases reported marked the first time in seven days that the state’s total was below 10,000.

HOUSE PASSES DEFENSE BILL… The House yesterday passed a $741 billion annual defense spending bill by a bipartisan 295-to-125 vote. The bill is expected to pass in the Senate but faces a possible veto by President Trump, who has object to its provision calling for the removal of Confederate leaders’ names from U.S. military bases. The bill also includes a 3 percent pay raise for U.S. troops.

BIDEN UNVEILS ECONOMIC PLAN… Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden yesterday unveiled a $775 billion economic plan that would build thousands of new child-care centers nationwide and include new tax credits for children, seniors and disabled Americans. The plan offers $8,000 in tax credits for most families with one child and $16,000 for those with two or more children. It would also expand after-school, weekend and summer care programs for children and provide free pre-kindergarten education.

OHIO HOUSE SPEAKER ARRESTED… Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder was arrested by FBI agents at his rural farm. Yesterday for his role in a $60 million bribery scheme allegedly involving state officials and associates. Householder, a Republican, represents a district east of Columbus. He and four others were each charged with “conspiracy to participate, directly or indirectly, in the conduct of an enterprise’s affairs through a pattern of racketeering activity,” which carries a maximum of 20 years in prison. The charges are related to a law passed last year that bailed out two Ohio nuclear power plants while gutting subsidies for renewable energy and energy efficiency. According to a federal complaint, Householder and his associates conducted a years-long bribery campaign to build support for Householder’s bid to become House speaker and help get the nuclear bailout law passed.

14 WOUNDED IN CHICAGO SHOOTINGS… A mass shooting targeting people attending a funeral in Auburn Gresham community of Chicago left at least 14 people wounded. Witnesses say occupants inside a black vehicle opened fire at attendees gathered at a funeral home for a solemn ceremony to remember a victim of gun violence. Police reported that at least 60 shell casings were found at the scene.

… HBO announced yesterday that actress, comedian and singer Bridget Everett has signed on to star in a new comedy series. “Somebody Somewhere” follows a story inspired by Everett’s life growing up in Kansas. Everett plays a woman who is “a true Kansan on the surface” but secretly struggles “to fit the hometown mold.” She recently co-starred in the HBO series “Camping.”

MADDOW INTERVIEW OF MARY TRUMP SETS MSNBC RECORD… Rachel Maddow’s one-hour interview with President Trump’s niece Mary Trump last Thursday was the most-watched regularly-scheduled show ever on MSNBC. According to the Nielsen Company, 5.2 million people tuned in to view the discussion about Mary Trump’s memoir about her uncle’s family. “Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man” pre-sold nearly 1 million copies and first-week sales figures are due later this week.

… The NFL’s protocol for thorough COVID-19 testing this season will cost “about $75M,” Sports Business Daily reported yesterday. According to the report, BioReference Laboratories will be charging a flat fee covering up to 120 tests per team per day, with extra tests available at $125 each. The teams will pay 1/32nd of the total fee, and they will individually pay for any extra tests that they require.

The Rundown for July 20, 2020

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE… The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 3,763,395 and the death toll stands at 140,477, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University. Florida yesterday recorded its fifth straight day of more than 10,000 new cases and reported a record number of 2,700 hospitalizations within a week. Texas Governor Greg Abbott said yesterday that the Navy has sent teams of medical and support professionals to support hospitals in Harlingen, Del Rio, Eagle Pass and Rio Grande City. Meanwhile, the Washington Post reported that the Trump administration is pushing back against bipartisan efforts to ramp up funding for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for coronavirus contact tracing and testing. White House officials argue that there is sufficient funding still remaining from the March stimulus law. Specifics of the bill are expected to be unveiled next week.

TRUMP WON’T COMMIT TO ELECTION RESULTS… President Trump yesterday declined to commit to accepting the results of the 2020 election. During an interview on “Fox News Sunday,” Trump told show host Chris Wallace that he will “have to see” about the results and made the baseless claim that mail-in voting will “rig the election.” During the interview, Trump also defended his administration’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, belittled political rival Joe Biden and discredited National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Dr. Anthony Fauci.

HOUSE DEMS WANT PORTLAND INVESTIGATION… House Democrats are calling for the Inspectors General of the Department of Justice and Department of Homeland Security to open investigations into reports that federal law enforcement agents have been unlawfully arrested protesters in Portland, Oregon. Reports claim that federal law enforcement agents began using unmarked vehicles to nab protesters last Tuesday. A joint letter signed by several congress members warns that “The Attorney General of the United States does not have unfettered authority to direct thousands of federal law enforcement personnel to arrest and detain American citizens exercising their First Amendment rights.” Co-signers of the letter include House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler, Homeland Security Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson and Oversight and Reform Committee Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney. Yesterday, Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler said on CNN’s “State of the Union” that the presence of federal troops and enforcement officers is actually leading to “more violence and more vandalism.”

WHISTLEBLOWER ALLEGES POMPEO COVER-UP… A whistleblower who has complained about alleged misconduct by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was blocked from pursuing the issue by top department officials who were covering for Pompeo, according to a copy of the complaint released yesterday. The whistleblower, a State Department employee, also promised new evidence to support allegations against Pompeo. The State Department admitted that it redacted large sections of the four-page report it released following a lawsuit filed by the watchdog group American Oversight. The State Department said its redactions were necessary due to an “ongoing investigation.”

GUNMAN OPENS FIRE AT FEDERAL JUDGE’S HOME… The 20-year-old son of a federal judge was fatally shot and the judge’s husband was critically wounded after a gunman opened fire at the family’s home in New Brunswick, New Jersey, yesterday afternoon. Authorities say the gunman approached the house dressed as a delivery driver and began shooting after the husband opened the door. Judge Esther Salas of the U.S. District Court for New Jersey in Newark was reportedly in the basement at the time and was not injured. Salas most recently has been presiding over an ongoing lawsuit brought by Deutsche Bank investors who claim the company made false and misleading statements about its anti-money laundering policies and failed to monitor “high-risk” customers including convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.

GUNMAN OPENS FIRE AT FEDERAL JUDGE’S HOME…  The 20-year-old son of a federal judge was fatally shot and the judge’s husband was critically wounded after a gunman opened fire at the family’s home in New Brunswick, New Jersey, yesterday afternoon. Authorities say the gunman approached the house dressed as a delivery driver and began shooting after the husband opened the door. Judge Esther Salas of the U.S. District Court for New Jersey in Newark was reportedly in the basement at the time and was not injured. Salas most recently has been presiding over an ongoing lawsuit brought by Deutsche Bank investors who accuse the company about making false and misleading statements about its anti-money laundering policies and failing to monitor “high-risk” customers including convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.

SHOOTINGS IN PEORIA… Authorities in Peoria, Illinois, say 13 people were shot at a gathering of almost 200 people early yesterday. Police say that there were multiple shooters involved in what appeared to be the “result of a dispute between groups of people,” but the suspects have not been identified. The victims’ injuries were described as non-life-threatening.

… Juice WRLD’s “Legends Never Die” sold 497,000 copies to debut atop the Billboard 200 albums chart. Last week’s champ, Pop Smoke’s “Shoot for the Stars Aim for the Moon,” dropped into second place with 110,000 units sold. The original Broadway cast recording of “Hamilton: An American Musical” dropped to No. 3 with 95,000 copies sold. Lil Baby’s “My Turn” finished fourth after selling 58,000 units. Post Malone’s “Hollywood’s Bleeding” remained at No. 5 on sales of 34,000 copies.

LINKIN PARK DOESN’T WANT SONG IN TRUMP VIDEO… Linkin Park announced yesterday that it has issued a cease and desist letter over the use of one of the band’s songs in a video promoted by President Trump and White House due to a copyright violation. The version of the song “In The End” used in the video was a cover that featured Jung Youth, complained separately over the weekend. Twitter removed the video due to a copyright violation. Earlier this month, Neil Young objected to Trump playing several of his songs during a July 4 event at Mount Rushmore.

… The NFL is meeting some resistance as it plans to open training camp this week. Drew Brees, Russell Wilson and other high-profile players went on social media yesterday to question the league’s plans for the 2020 season. Players are demanding that owners listen to medical experts as they finalize safety protocols. The players’ union and owners continue to negotiate proposals.

The Rundown for July 16, 2020

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE… The number of coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached
3,497,847 and the nation’s death toll stands at 137,402, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University… Alabama Governor Kay Ivey yesterday announced a state-wide mask mandate after an “alarming” increase in cases and hospitalizations. The order begins today and remains in effect until at least July 31. In neighboring Georgia, Governor Brian Kemp yesterday voided orders by at least 15 local governments across the state that required people to wear masks in public places… Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt, who has steadfastly refused to issue a mask mandate, announced yesterday that he has tested positive. Last night, Tulsa city councilors voted 7-2 to approve a face-covering ordinance that will take effect as soon as Mayor G.T. Bynum signs it… Walmart yesterday announced that customers will be required to wear masks at all locations starting on Monday.

WHITE HOUSE ROLLS BACK ENVIRONMENTAL LAWS… The White House yesterday finalized its rollback of the National Environmental Policy Act. The Trump administration has removed the rule requiring the government to consider climate change before proceeding on a project and is allowing industry involvement in reviewing the environmental impacts of their projects. The White House says the changes will speed up environmental reviews.

SHAKEUP IN TRUMP CAMPAIGN… President Trump announced a shakeup of his 2020 campaign team yesterday. Bill Stepien, who previously worked as campaign chairman for former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and had served as deputy press secretary for Trump’s re-election campaign earlier this year, is replacing Brad Parscale as campaign manager, with Parscale staying on as a senior adviser. The shakeup comes as Trump appears to be falling behind presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden, with two polls yesterday listing Biden ahead by double digits.

CHIEF JUSTICE GINSBURG RELEASED FROM HOSPITAL… Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was discharged from Johns Hopkins Hospital yesterday after being admitted on Tuesday with a possible infection. The 87-year-old had complained of fever and chills. The High Court completed its most recent term last week and won’t be back in session until October.

TWITTER HACKED… A Twitter hack yesterday forced the social-media platform to disable verified accounts. Politicians, celebrities and other prominent figures were targeted in the hack, which appeared to be part of an apparent Bitcoin scam. Twitter says it is investigating the attack amid reports that hackers paid a Twitter insider for help.

… Organizers announced the cancellation of the 2021 Rose Parade yesterday due to the coronavirus pandemic. Since its inception in 1891, the New Years Day parade has been held annually except in the wartime years of 1942, 1943 and 1945. The status of the Rose Bowl college football game that traditionally follows the parade is pending.

SHOWTIME ENDS ‘KIDDING’… Showtime is pulling the plug on the Jim Carrey dramedy “Kidding” after two seasons. The final episode aired in March. Carrey played the star of a children’s television program who is trying to cope with a stressful personal life. The show co-starred Frank Langella, Judy Greer, Catherine Keener and Justin Kirk.

… ESPN reported last night that the Tennessee Titans have reached agreement on a four-year contract with star running back Derrick Henry. The deal is worth a reported $50 million. Henry led the NFL with 1,540 yards rushing last season. It was his second straight season of at least 1,000 yards.

The Rundown for July 13, 2020

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE… The number of conformed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 3,304,942 and the nation’s death toll stands at 135,205, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University. Florida’s 15,300 new cases yesterday were a daily high for any state during the pandemic. Arizona, Texas and California have also been hard-hit. There was good news in New York City, where health officials reported zero coronavirus-related deaths for the first time since the pandemic hit.

GRAHAM TO ALLOW MUELLER TO TESTIFY… Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham announced on Twitter yesterday that he will allow Democrats to bring in former special counsel Robert Mueller to testify about his investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. Graham, a Republican from South Carolina, had denied Democrats’ previous attempts to bring Mueller before the committee but apparently changed his mind after reading an op-ed Mueller wrote in Saturday’s Washington Post. Mueller defended his office’s prosecution of former President Trump adviser Roger Stone and emphasized that he is still a convicted felon and “rightly so” even after President Trump’s commuted his sentence.

21 INJURED AFTER BLAST ABOARD NAVY SHIP… The Navy says 17 sailors and four civilians were injured yesterday after an explosion caused a three-alarm fire aboard the USS Bonhomme Richard as it was docked at Naval Base San Diego for routine maintenance. The hospitalized sailors were reported to be in stable condition and mostly suffering from either heat exhaustion or smoke inhalation. San Diego Fire Chief Colin Stowell said that the fire would “more than likely” burn the ship to the water.

FEDERAL EXECUTION SCHEDULED FOR TODAY… The first federal execution since 2003 is scheduled for today following yesterday’s decision by the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals to overturn a lower court ruling staying the execution of a man convicted of murdering a family of three. 47-year-old Daniel Lewis Lee of Yukon, Oklahoma, is scheduled to die by lethal injection at 4 p.m. at a federal prison in Indiana. He was convicted in Arkansas of the 1996 killings of a husband, wife and their 8-year-old daughter. Lee’s family tried to delay the execution by arguing that they would be put at high risk for coronavirus if they had to travel to attend the execution and vowed to appeal to the Supreme Court.

GAS PRICES DOWN 2 CENTS… The average price for a gallon of regular-grade gasoline in the U.S. rose by 2 cents over the past two weeks, according to a nationwide survey of gas stations released yesterday. The highest average price found that the most expensive gas was in the San Francisco Bay Area, where it cost $3.20 per gallon. The cheapest gas was in Houston, where a gallon costs $1.79 on average.

… Singer and actor Benjamin Keough, the son of Lisa Marie Presley and the grandson of Elvis and Priscilla Presley, died yesterday from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound in Calabasas, California. He was 27. Keough was the son of musician Danny Keough and the sister of actress Riley Keough.

POP SMOKE TOPS ALBUM CHART… Pop Smoke’s posthumous release, “Shoot for the Stars Aim for the Moon” sold 251,000 copies to top the Billboard 200 album chart. The original Broadway soundtrack to “Hamilton” shot into second place on sales of 102,000 units. Last week’s champ, Lil Baby’s “My Turn,” dropped into third place after selling 62,000 copies. DaBaby’s “Blame It On Baby” sold 36,000 units to finish fourth. Post Malone’s “Hollywood’s Bleeding” capped the top five with 36,000 copies sold.

… The Washington Redskins are expected to announce a new nickname at a press conference this morning. The nickname has been criticized for years as racially insensitive and the franchise announced earlier this month that it would be conducting a thorough review. Team owner Dan Snyder famously told USA Today in 2013 to “put it in all caps” that he would never change the name. Meanwhile, major league baseball’s Atlanta Braves have informed season-ticket holders that that they will not be changing their nickname but will take a further look at the future of the tomahawk chop.

The Rundown for July 9, 2020

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE… More than 60,000 new coronavirus cases were recorded yesterday to set a daily high and raise the number of confirmed cases in the U.S. to 3,055,004, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University. The nation’s death toll stands at 132,309. More than three dozen states have shown increases over the past week and health officials say hospitalizations and patients in intensive care have also risen significantly. California Governor Gavin Newsom blamed people who have ignored or defied precautions for yesterday’s record-setting 11,694 new cases. New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy yesterday issued an executive order requiring face coverings outdoors where social distancing is not possible. In New York City, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced a plan for 1.1 million students in the nation’s largest public school district to return to classes in September, attending only two or three days a week and learning online in between. Meanwhile, President Trump threatened to hold back federal money if school districts don’t bring their students back in the fall and complained that his own public health officials’ safety guidelines are impractical and too expensive.

FEDERAL AGENTS TO COMBAT CRIME IN KANSAS CITY… Attorney General William Barr announced yesterday that the Department of Justice is sending federal law enforcement to Kansas City, Missouri, to combat a recent surge in violent crime. The city has recorded a 40-percent surge in homicides compared with 2019. Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas said he was caught off-guard by the announcement but said he would not oppose the initiative.

SUPREME COURT DECISIONS… The Supreme Court handed down a pair of major decisions on religion and employers yesterday. Justices voted 7-2 to allow employers to opt out of birth control coverage under the Affordable Care Act if they have religious or moral objections to birth control. The High Court also decided that religious school teachers are not covered by the federal government’s fair employment laws and threw out two discrimination lawsuits brought by teachers against their employers.

NEW YORK AG CALLS FOR POLICE REFORM… New York Attorney General Letitia James called for sweeping reforms of the New York Police Department in a new report released yesterday. Among other proposals, James recommends that New York City’s mayor give up sole control over the city police commissioner’s hiring. She urged the creation of a commission with representatives from the mayor, City Council, public advocate and comptroller who would oversee hiring and promotion of senior New York Police Department officials. The commission would have final say on the department’s budget and officer discipline. The Attorney General’s Office issued the report after receiving 1,300 complaints concerning police conduct during protests that erupted following the Memorial Day killing of George Floyd.

EXECUTION IN TEXAS… A 45-year-old man convicted in the 1993 fatal shooting an 82-year-old man was executed by lethal injection in Texas last night. Billy Joe Wardlow was put to death at the state penitentiary in Huntsville for the killing of Carl Cole at his home in Cason, about 130 miles east of Dallas. Wardlow was 18 at the time of the slaying, and his attorneys argued that his brain was still developing at the time.

… The band formerly known as Lady Antebellum has filed a trademark lawsuit over its new name, Lady A. In a suit filed in Tennessee District Court, Lady A seeks a ruling that would allow it to use the name without infringing on the trademark rights of Anita White, a Seattle-based blues singer who has been using the name for decades. The band claims it had been in negotiations with White but talks fell apart after she demanded $10 million dollars to allow them the new name.

SEARCH FOR NAYA RIVERA… A search-and-rescue effort extended into last night after former “Glee” actress Naya Rivera was reported missing at a Southern California lake. Authorities at Piru Lake in Ventura County say the search began after Rivera’s 4-year-old son was found floating alone on a rented boat three hours after the actress had rented it. The child was said to be unharmed and told investigators that he and his mother were swimming, but his mother never got back into the boat.

… Amazon yesterday became the latest company to announce that it is removing Washington Redskins merchandise from its website while the team considers a name change. Sellers were reportedly given 48 hours to remove the items. Nike, Walmart, Target and Dick’s Sporting Goods previously announced they were pulling Redskins merchandise.

The Rundown for July 7, 2020

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE… The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 2,938,624 and the nation’s death toll stands at 130,306, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University. National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Dr. Anthony Fauci noted yesterday that the average age of new coronavirus patients has dropped by roughly 15 years compared with only a few months ago. During a Q&A discussion with National Institutes of Health Director Dr. Francis Collins, Fauci said that the resurgence of cases in the U.S. is an extension of the original outbreak, not a second wave.

TREASURY DEPT. DISCLOSES PPP LOAN RECIPIENTS… The Treasury Department yesterday released names of more than 650,000 companies that received loans under the Paycheck Protection Program. Loans totaling $521 billion were intended to help companies to pay their employees amid the pandemic. Much of the money ended up in the hands of restaurants, small businesses and organizations, but some of the beneficiaries were called into question. They included groups that opposed government spending and taxes, companies with ties to lawmakers and their families, Washington, D.C., strategy firms and Kanye West’s fashion brand.

PIPELINES GET SHUT DOWN… Work on the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines was brought to a halt by two court rulings yesterday. The Supreme Court denied the Trump administration’s request to allow for construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline to continue in upholding a lower court’s decision that blocked a key environmental permit. A federal judge in Washington ordered the Dakota Access pipeline shut down for additional environmental review. Pipeline owner Energy Transfer announced plans to appeal. Yesterday’s rulings came a day after backers announced they were pulling out of the $8 billion Atlantic Coast gas pipeline in the Southeast.

ONLINE-ONLY CLASSES THREATEN INTERNATIONAL-STUDENT VISAS… International students in the U.S. on student visas must leave the U.S. or face possible deportation if their college or university switches to online-only classes in the fall because of the coronavirus pandemic. In announcing the policy, Immigration and Customs Enforcement announced that students on F-1 and M-1 visas “may not take a full online course load and remain in the United States.” Students on F1 visas who attend schools that provide a mixture of online and in-person classes will be permitted to take some online courses.

STATE OF EMERGENCY IN GEORGIA… Georgia Governor Brian Kemp declared a state of emergency yesterday following a 4th of July weekend in which the shootings of 30 residents left five people dead. The order authorizes the deployment of 1,000 Georgia National Guard troops at state buildings and increases law-enforcement patrols. The Guardsmen will be assigned to protect state buildings, including the Capitol, the governor’s mansion and the headquarters for the Department of Public Safety.

… Country music star Charlie Daniels died yesterday after suffering a hemorrhagic stroke. He was 83. Daniels, who was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame and the Grand Ole Opry, was best known for his song “The Devil Went Down to Georgia.” Prior to achieving fame, Daniels was a session musician best known for his work with Bob Dylan, Ringo Starr and Leonard Cohen.

DISNEY ANNOUNCES KAEPERNICK DOCUMENTARY SERIES… The Walt Disney Co. announced yesterday that it is entering a partnership between ESPN Films and Colin Kaepernick for an exclusive documentary series on the former NFL player’s football career and racial activism. According to ESPN, the series will tell “scripted and unscripted stories that explore race, social injustice and the quest for equity.” Disney will carrie the project across all its platforms, including Walt Disney Television, ESPN, Hulu, Pixar and The Undefeated.

… Major League Baseball announced yesterday that its 2020 regular season will get underway with a pair of games on July 23. The defending World Series-champion Washington Nationals will host the New York Yankees in the opener and the San Francisco Giants visit the rival Los Angeles Dodgers in the nightcap. A full slate of 14 games will be played the next day.

CHIEFS EXTEND MAHOMES… The Kansas City Chiefs announced yesterday that they have reached agreement with Super Bowl MVP quarterback Patrick Mahomes on a 10-year contract extension that binds him with the team through the 2031 season. The deal is worth a reported $450 million. ESPN reported that the extension includes a $140 million injury guarantee and no-trade clause.

The Rundown for July 3, 2020

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE… The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 2,739,879 and the nation’s death toll stands at 128,740, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University. Florida reported a daily-high record yesterday and there have also been surges in Texas, Arizona and California. Texas Governor Greg Abbott yesterday issued an executive order mandating that all Texans wear face masks if they live in a county with more than 20 cases. He also deputized local governments and courts the authority to impose restrictions on gatherings of more than 10 people.

DEMS CRITICIZE TRUMP AFTER RUSSIA-BOUNTY BRIEFING… CIA Director Gina Haspel led a group of intelligence officials in briefing House and Senate leaders on emerging reports that Russia has been paying Taliban militants bounties for dead American soldiers. Afterward, Democrats in the “Gang of Eight” criticized President Trump for not acting on the intelligence. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer issued a joint statement declaring that any threats against U.S. troops “must be pursued relentlessly” and criticized Trump for “being soft” on Russian President Vladimir Putin.

GHISLAINE MAXWELL ARRESTED… FBI agents yesterday arrested British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell on charges she helped lure at least three girls as young as 14 to be sexually abused by the late financier Jeffrey Epstein. She is also charged with perjury relating to alleged lies told in her deposition. The 58-year-old Maxwell has faced multiple, years-old accusations that she helped Epstein scout young girls for abuse. Maxwell was arrested in Bradford, New Hampshire, where she was living on a wooded estate she purchased for $1 million last December.

GEOFFREY BERMAN TO TESTIFY BEFORE HOUSE PANEL… Geoffrey Berman, who was forced out of his job as U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, will testify before the House Judiciary Committee next Thursday. Berman will discuss his removal, which came suddenly under suspicious circumstances. He had led the prosecutions of several President Trump associates before being ousted by Attorney General William Barr.

SUPREME COURT DENIES CURBSIDE VOTING IN ALABAMA… The Supreme Court voted 5-4 yesterday to block a lower court order allowing local officials to offer curbside voting in the July 14 runoff and loosen absentee ballot requirements in three of the state’s largest counties during the COVID-19 pandemic. The three counties are where plaintiffs in the lawsuit live. Groups that filed suit to make voting more accessible vowed to get the voting rules changed by the general election in November.

… Hugh Downs, who became one of television’s most familiar faces during a seven-decade career in broadcast news, died yesterday of natural causes. He was 99. Downs co-anchored NBC’s “Today” show from 1962 to 1971 and co-hosted the ABC evening newsmagazine “20/20” until his official retirement in 1999. He continued doing voice-over duties for a number of documentary films and specials through the 2000s.

CONAN MOVES SHOW TO COMEDY CLUB… Conan O’Brien is moving his late-night talk show to the Los Angeles comedy club where he got his start doing improv in 1987. O’Brien will start broadcasting from the Largo at the Coronet starting on Monday after filming from his home using an iPhone since march. He will continue to interview celebrity guests through Zoom and no audience will be present.

… The Washington Redskins are facing increasing pressure to change their name. Yesterday, FedEx, which has naming rights to the stadium the team plays in, formally requested that the franchise adopt a new nickname. Later in the day, removed all official team gear from the site. Team owner Dan Snyder has adamantly opposed changing the team’s name, despite it being considered an offensive racial slur toward the Native Americans.