The Rundown for April 1, 2021

CORONAVIRUS UPDATES… The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 30,459,874 and the nation’s death toll stands at 552,038, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University… A Centers for Disease Control report released yesterday claims COVID-19 is the primary or contributing cause of 377,883 deaths in the U.S. last year, leaving it behind only heart disease and cancer as the nation’s third-leading cause of death. The CDC also said that COVID-19 drove a nearly 16 percent increase in the overall U.S. mortality rate… The Wisconsin Supreme Court yesterday struck down Governor Tony Evers’ mask mandate, saying he exceeded his authority and violated the separation of powers by reissuing emergency orders during the pandemic. In its 4-to-3 decision, the court found that Evers effectively breached a statute that limits his emergency powers to 60 days without approval of the state legislature. Evers, a Democrat, declared a state of emergency last March, which the Republican-controlled legislature never extended beyond its statutory 60-day limit… A study published yesterday by the open-source medical journal JAMA Network Open found that Nursing home residents over the age of 90 are nearly three times as likely to die from COVID-19 as those age 65 to 70. Additionally, anyone with severe dementia, regardless of age, had up to a 90 percent higher risk for death from the virus compared with those with no cognitive impairment.

BIDEN UNVEILS INFRASTRUCTURE PLAN… President Joe Biden unveiled a two-part $2 trillion infrastructure proposal yesterday, promoting it as essential to the U.S.’ economic future. The president’s American Jobs Plan will place a focus on modernizing transportation infrastructure including roads, bridges and airports as well as confront climate change. The plan raises the corporate tax rate from 21 to 28 percent, which White House say would fund the infrastructure plan within 15 years. It also changes the tax code to close loopholes that allow companies to move profits overseas. Biden said he’ll discuss the components of his American Families Plan in “a few weeks.”

PENTAGON ISSUES NEW TRANSGENDER POLICY… The Pentagon yesterday issued new rules to replace Trump-era policies that largely banned transgender people from serving in the military. New department regulations allow transgender people who meet military standards to enlist and serve openly in their self-identified gender, and they will be able to get medically necessary transition-related care authorized by law. The new rules are being enacted following a two-month Pentagon review.

TRUMP ORG CFO RECORDS SUBPOENAED… The New York Times reported yesterday that Manhattan prosecutors investigating the Trump Organization’s finances have subpoenaed the bank records of the company’s longtime CFO Allen Weisselberg. The probe is reportedly centered on the Trump Organization’s valuation of certain properties in New York City and whether the company manipulated the figures to illegally gain tax benefits. Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. has also subpoenaed a new set of documents from the Trump Organization, along with expense ledgers and company records from JPMorgan Chase and Capital One.

4 DEAD IN CALIFORNIA SHOOTING… A shooting at a business complex in Orange, California, last night left a child and three adults dead. Police say the suspect was injured while exchanging gunfire with officers and is one of two people hospitalized with injuries. Police responding to the report of gunfire discovered the bodies prior to an officer-involved shooting on-scene. Investigators are looking into the relationship between the shooter and his victims.

ENTERTAINMENT
‘REAL HOUSEWIVES’ STAR INDICTED
… The Justice Department has indicted “Real Housewives of Salt Lake City” star Jennifer Shah and her assistant, Stuart Smith, for their alleged involvement in a nationwide telemarketing fraud scheme. Complaints filed in New York District Court allege the reality stars perpetrated a “business opportunity scheme” in which they sold several services, such as tax preparation and web design services, aimed to make the victims’ businesses more efficient and profitable. Shah and Smith allegedly earned profit shares per the terms of the fraudulent agreements. They are each charged with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, which carries a maximum sentence of 30 years imprisonment, and conspiracy to commit money laundering, which has a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison.

STARZ CANCELS ‘AMERICAN GODS’… Starz has cancelled the fantasy series “American Gods” after three seasons. The series is based on the Neil Gaiman novel of the same name and starred Ricky Whittle, Ian McShane and Emily Brown. The show’s Season 3 finale was last week. According to Entertainment Weekly, multi-platform viewership declined 65 percent from the first to third seasons.

SPORTS
PLAY BALL! IT’S MLB OPENING DAY
… Major League Baseball opens a full 162-game season today with a full slate of 15 games. The defending World Series-champion Los Angeles Dodgers, are the odds-on choice to defend their crown. San Diego, Atlanta and the N.Y. Mets are expected to contend for National League dominance. Last year’s American League-champion, the Tampa Bay Rays, drew Miami as an opening-day opponent. The Rays are expected to face a challenge from the N.Y. Yankees in the AL East, with the Chicago White Sox expected to be among the most-improved teams in the AL.

TODAY’S MLB OPENING-DAY SCHEDULE
Toronto (Hyun-Jin Ryu) is at the N.Y. Yankees (Gerrit Cole), 1:05 p.m. ET…
Detroit (Matthew Boyd) hosts Cleveland (Shane Bieber), 1:10 p.m. ET…
Baltimore (John Means) is at Boston (Nathan Eovaldi), 2:10 p.m. ET…
Milwaukee (Brandon Woodruff) hosts Minnesota (Kenta Maeda), 2:10 p.m. ET…
Pittsburgh (Chad Kuhl) is at the Chi. Cubs (Kyle Hendricks), 2:20 p.m. ET…
Philadelphia (Aaron Nola) hosts Atlanta (Max Fried), 3:05 p.m. ET…
Arizona (Madison Bumgarner) is at San Diego (Yu Darvish), 4:10 p.m. ET…
Colorado (German Marquez) hosts the L.A. Dodgers (Clayton Kershaw), 4:10 p.m. ET…
St. Louis (Jack Flaherty) is at Cincinnati (Luis Castillo), 4:10 p.m. ET…
Miami (Sandy Alcantara) hosts Tampa Bay (Tyler Glasnow), 4:10 p.m. ET…
Texas (Kyle Gibson) is at Kansas City (Brad Keller), 4:10 p.m. ET…
Washington (Max Scherzer) hosts the N.Y. Mets (Jacob deGrom), 7:09 ET…
the Chi. White Sox (Lucas Giolito) are at the L.A. Angels (Dylan Bundy), 10:05 ET…
Oakland (Chris Bassitt) hosts Houston (Zack Greinke), 10:07 ET…
San Francisco (Kevin Gausman) is at Seattle (Marco Gonzales), 10:10 ET

NBA SCOREBOARD
Portland 124 – DETROIT 101… The Trail Blazers pulled past the Pistons in the second half to win their fourth in a row. Damian Lillard had game-highs with 33 points and 10 assists. CJ McCollum added 24 points.

Miami 92 – INDIANA 87… The Heat were too much down the stretch in grinding out a win over the Pacers. Duncan Robinson scored 20 points to lead a balanced scoring attack.

Dallas 113 – BOSTON 108… The Mavericks withstood a fourth-quarter rally to top the Celtics. Luka Doncic led all scorers with 36 points. Jalen Brunson delivered 21 points off the bench.

BROOKLYN 120 – Houston 108… The Nets erased an 11-point halftime deficit to upend the Rockets and move into first place in the Eastern Conference. Kyrie Irving had 31 points and a season-high 12 assists. Joe Harris added 28 points.

Utah 111 – MEMPHIS 107… Mike Conley scored 12 of his 26 points in the fourth quarter to help the Jazz overtake the Grizzlies for their seventh straight win. Jordan Clarkson added 24 points off the bench and Bojan Bodanovic tossed in 23. Rudy Gobert brought down 12 rebounds.

MINNESOTA 102 – New York 101… The Timberwolves outscored the Knicks 22-9 over the final 7:29 to pull out the victory. Anthony Edwards scored 12 of his 24 points during the late run. Malik Beasley knocked down a go-ahead 3-pointer with 37 seconds left and finished with 20 points. Karl-Anthony Towns powered his way to 18 points and 17 boards.

OKLAHOMA CITY 113 – Toronto 103… The Thunder held the Raptors to 36 second-half points after trailing by eight at the half and snapped their three-game skid. Svi Mykhailiuk scored 10 of his 22 points down the stretch. Moses Brown finished with 20 points and 11 rebounds.

SAN ANTONIO 120 – Sacramento 106… The Spurs built a 16-point halftime lead on their way handing the Kings their first loss in five games. All five starters scored in double figures, led by DeMar DeRozan’s 26 points. Jakob Poeltl grabbed 14 boards to go with his 12 points.

Milwaukee 112 – L.A. LAKERS 97… The Bucks fought off the short-handed Lakers to win for the first time in four tries. Giannis Antetokounmpo had 25 points and 10 rebounds. He and his two brothers shared the court for 52 seconds late in the fourth quarter. Thanasis Antetokounmpo is Giannis’ teammate with the Bucks, while Kostas Antetokounmpo is a Lakers reserve.

PHOENIX 121 – Chicago 116… The Suns got a season-high 45 points from Devin Booker in holding off the Bulls. Chris Paul totaled 19 points and 14 assists.

TODAY’S NBA SCHEDULE
Philadelphia is at Cleveland…
Detroit hosts Washington…
Charlotte is at Brooklyn…
Miami hosts Golden State…
Orlando is at New Orleans…
San Antonio hosts Atlanta…
Denver is at the L.A. Clippers

NHL SCOREBOARD
BUFFALO 6 – Philadelphia 1… The Sabres cruised past the Flyers to end the NHL’s longest losing streak at 18 games. Brandon Montour netted a pair of goals. Steven Fogarty had a goal and an assist. Jacob Bryson set up two goals. Goalie Linus Ullmark made 31 saves.

Toronto 3 – WINNIPEG 1… Auston Matthews opened the scoring early in the first period with his NHL-leading 24th goal and assisted on Zach Hyman’s goal six minutes later to lead the Maple Leafs past the Jets. Mitchell Marner had two assists. Jack Campbell stopped 26 shots at goal.

COLORADO 9 – Arizona 3… Joonas Donskoi scored three of the Avalanche’s five first-period goals and had an assist in the thrashing of the Coyotes. Gabriel Landeskog netted two goals and assisted on another. Mikko Rantanen added a goal and two assists.

Los Angeles 4 – VEGAS 2… The Kings doubled up on the Golden Knights to notch their first win after three straight losses. Andreas Athanasiou had a goal and an assist. Goalie Cal Petersen stopped 40 shots.

SAN JOSE 4 – Minnesota 2… The Sharks continued their strong play defensively in downing the Wild. Rudolfs Balcers and Ryan Donato scored second-period goals. Nikolai Knyzhov netted his first career goal and Evander Kane had an empty-netter in the third.

TODAY’S NHL SCHEDULE
Pittsburgh is at Boston…
Buffalo hosts the N.Y. Rangers…
Washington is at the N.Y. Islanders…
Tampa Bay hosts Columbus…
Detroit is at Florida…
Ottawa hosts Montreal…
Carolina is at Chicago…
Nashville hosts Dallas…
Minnesota is at Vegas

The Rundown for July 23, 2020

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE… The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 3,970,906 and the death toll stands at 143,190, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University. California recorded a record-high 12,804 new cases yesterday to surpass New York as the nation’s leader… Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Minnesota Governor Tim Waltz have issued executive orders mandating the wearing of masks. Ohio’s mandate begins today at 6 p.m. and requires everyone over the age of 10 to wear a mask in public places. Minnesotans must wear masks at all indoor public areas beginning Saturday… Democratic senators Bob Menendez of New Jersey and Ben Cardin of Maryland yesterday introduced legislation that addresses the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on communities of color. The COVID-19 Health Disparities Action Act would require the Trump administration to develop an action plan to address the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 to provide targeted testing, contact tracing and outreach efforts directed at communities of color… Senate Republicans announced last night that they have “reached a fundamental agreement” with the White House on a coronavirus relief bill that they hope to release today. House Democrats have passed a $3.4 trillion bill and pressuring the GOP-led Senate to move quickly on new aid as cases and deaths rise.

TRUMP SENDING FEDERAL AGENTS TO MORE CITIES… President Trump yesterday said his administration is sending a “surge” of federal law enforcement officials to combat violence in Chicago and Albuquerque, The action is part of the Justice Department’s controversial Operation Legend. Officers from the FBI, U.S. Marshals Service, Drug Enforcement Administration, and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives will be sent to the cities. On Tuesday, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said she would push back against the deployment of federal officers in the city. Attorneys representing the State of Oregon yesterday argued for a restraining order against federal agents deployed to quell protests in Portland. Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum, who accuses federal agents of arresting protesters without probable cause, whisking them away in unmarked cars and using excessive force. Democratic mayors of 15 cities have condemned the use of the agents in a letter to Attorney General William Barr.

HOUSE VOTES TO REMOVE CONFEDERATE STATUES… The House voted yesterday to pass legislation that would require the removal of statues of people who served the Confederacy or otherwise defended slavery. The 305-to-113 vote carried the support of every house Democrat, 72 Republicans and one libertarian. The legislation calls for statues of individuals who voluntarily served the Confederacy to be removed from display in the Capitol complex and would order states to replace such statues from the National Statuary Hall Collection. It also calls for the removal of statues of John C. Calhoun, Charles Ayock and James P. Clarke for defending slavery, segregation and white supremacy.

U.S.-CHINA TENSIONS ESCALATE… U.S.-China tensions heightened yesterday after the State Department ordered China to close its consulate in Houston and the FBI accused China’s San Francisco consulate of harboring a military-linked fugitive. The Houston consulate must be shut down by tomorrow, the State Department said, as punishment for Beijing allegedly “stealing” intellectual property. Later, federal prosecutors claimed a scientific researcher charged last month with visa fraud remains holed up at the San Francisco consulate. Tang Juan allegedly lied about her connection to the Chinese military in order to obtain entry into the U.S.

ARREST IN FLORIDA MURDERS OF 3… Authorities in Polk County, Florida, have announced the arrests of three people in connection with the fatal shootings of three Florida men who’d gone fishing together on Friday night. 26-year-old Tony “TJ” Wiggins is being held on charges of first-degree murder; tampering with evidence; possession of a firearm by a convicted felon; and possession of ammunition by a convicted felon. His 27-year-old girlfriend and 21-year-old brother have been arrested on charges of accessory after the fact of a capital felony.

ENTERTAINMENT
SINGER/ACTRESS ANNIE ROSS DIES
… Jazz singer and actress Annie Ross, who was best remembered for her song “Twisted,” died at her home in Manhattan on Tuesday of complications from emphysema and heart disease, her former manager confirmed yesterday. She was 89. As an actress, she had memorable roles in two Robert Altman films, 1992’s “The Player” and 1993’s “Short Cuts.” Her film credits included “Superman III” and “Throw Momma From the Train.” Ross was named a Jazz Master in 2010 by the National Endowment for the Arts.

HBO RENEWS ‘PERRY MASON’… HBO announced yesterday that it is renewing the drama series “Perry Mason” for a second season. The series stars Matthew Rhys as the titular defense attorney in 1930s Los Angeles. Juliet Rylance, Chris Chalk, Shea Whigham, Tatiana Maslany and John Lithgow were among the first season’s cast.

SPORTS
MLB OPENS ABBREVIATED 2020 SEASON
… Major League Baseball’s 2020 60-game shortened season gets underway tonight with a pair of games. The World Series-champion Washington Nationals host the New York Yankees in the opener. Max Scherzer gets the start for the Nationals; he’ll be opposed by Gerrit Cole in a matchup of righthanders. First pitch is set for 7:08 p.m. Eastern. The later game features the Los Angeles Dodgers hosting their longtime rival San Francisco Giants. Lefthander Clayton Kershaw will make his ninth opening-day start in 10 years for the Dodgers. He’ll be opposed by Giants’ righthander Johnny Cueto. Gametime is 10:08 p.m. Eastern. Both games air on ESPN… The Dodgers made headlines with agreeing to a 12-year $365 million contract with Mookie Betts. The contract carries him through the 2032 season. L.A. obtained the 27-year-old centerfielder over the winter in a trade that sent outfielder Alex Verdugo and shortstop Jeter Downs to the Boston Red Sox. Betts batted .295 with 29 homers and 80 RBIs for the Red Sox last season. He was voted the 2018 AL MVP when he hit .346 with 32 homers and 80 RBIs. Betts has won four straight Gold Glove awards and three Silver Sluggers in the last four years.