The Rundown for September 1, 2020

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE… The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 6,030,782 and the nation’s death toll stands at 183,596, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University… The House subcommittee on economic and consumer policy yesterday opened an investigation into federal contracts negotiated by White House trade adviser Peter Navarro in response to the cancelation of a ventilator contract with Netherland-based Royal Philips. Philips announced yesterday announced a partial termination of a $646 million contract it signed in April with the Department of Health and Human Services. The contract ordered 2,500 ventilators by the end of May and 43,000 ventilators by the end of 2020. Philips say it will instead provide only 12,300 bundled ventilator configurations to the national stockpile by the end of August.

BIDEN SPEAKS IN PITTSBURGH… Speaking at a campaign rally in Pittsburgh yesterday, Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden accused President Trump of “stoking violence in our cities.” Biden vowed to make the country safer and cited his record as vice president when violent crime fell 15 percent in the U.S. while the murder rate is up 26 percent now under Trump. Biden said he sought to help end “violence in every form it takes,” including “unwarranted police shooting,” and excessive force. He also said that he wanted to make clear that the “senseless violence of looting and burning and destruction of property” was not protesting, but lawlessness and should be prosecuted.

APPEALS COURT WEAKENS CONGRESSIONAL SUBPOENAS… An appeals court yesterday weakened the power of U.S. House investigative committees to demand in-person testimony by ruling that the lawmakers have no authority to issue subpoenas without first passing a law permitting it. The 2-1 decision by the District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals stems from the Trump administration’s dismissal of legal summonses by House lawmakers. Trump’s private attorney and former White House Counsel Don McGahn defied a subpoena to testify in May 2019 about possible obstruction of justice in the investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi criticized the ruling and warned that it threatens Congress’ ability “to conduct oversight on behalf of the American people.”

MICHAEL FLYNN LOSES BID FOR CASE DISMISSAL… The U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia yesterday rejected a bid by former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn to have his criminal case immediately dismissed. The ruling also rejected Flynn’s request for a new judge. Flynn twice pleaded guilty lying to FBI agents in January 2017 about his conversations with Russia’s ambassador to the U.S., Sergei Kisliyak, but the Justice Department declared in May that it wanted to abandon the prosecution and set Flynn free. Attorney General William Barr claimed that Flynn’s false statements to the FBI weren’t material to any open investigation and were therefore not a violation of the law.

MORE POLICE PRESENCE IN PORTLAND… State police and law enforcement from neighboring suburbs were sent to Portland, Oregon, yesterday as part of Governor Kate Brown’s plan to allow for peaceful protest while cracking down on lawlessness. The extra law-enforcement presence follows weekend clashes between President Trump supporters and counter-demonstrators that included in a fatal shooting. Unrest continued in the city last night and police declared a riot. Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler warned on Sunday that violence could escalate, as members of the right-wing Patriot Prayer militia group are seeking to avenge the killing of one of their its supporters.

… Cast members Will Smith, Tatyana Ali, Karyn Parsons, Joseph Marcell, Daphne Maxwell Reid, Alfonso Ribeiro and DJ Jazzy Jeff have reportedly signed on to participate in a “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” reunion special for HBO Max. The show will be taped on September 10 and air it close to Thanksgiving, according to the network. “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” ran from 1990-1996 on NBC. The story centers on a boy from Philadelphia whose mother sends him to live with his rich aunt and uncle in stuffy Bel-Air, California.

MORE CHARGES FOR RON JEREMY… Los Angeles County prosecutors yesterday filed an additional 20 sexual assault charges going back to 2004 against adult film star Ron Jeremy. The 67-year-old has pleaded not guilty to the new charges as well as to earlier charges filed in June. The new charges include eight rapes of 12 women and participating in lewd conduct with a 15-year-old girl. The charges followed a two-year sheriff’s investigation.


San Diego acquired RHP Mike Clevinger, OF Greg Allen and a player to be named later from Cleveland in exchange for for C Austin Hedges, 1B/OF Josh Naylor, RHP Cal Quantrill, SS Gabriel Arias, IF Owen Miller and LHP Joey Cantillo; the Padres also acquired RHP Taylor Williams from Seattle for a player to be named later…

Cincinnati acquired RHP Archie Bradley from Arizona for OF Stuart Fairchild and UTL Josh VanMeter. The Reds also acquire OF Brian Goodwin from Angels for LHP Packy Naughton and a PTBN or cash…

Oakland acquired LHP Mike Minor from Texas for two players to be named later…

Miami acquired OF Starling Marte from Arizona for LHP Caleb Smith, RHP Humberto Mejía and a player to be named later…

Philadelphia acquired RHP David Phelps from Milwaukee for three players to be named later…

Toronto acquired LHP Robbie Ray and cash from Arizona for LHP Travis Bergen. The Blue Jays also acquired IF/OF Jonathan Villar from Miami for a player to be named later and RHP Ross Stripling from the L.A. Dodgers for two PTBN…

Colorado acquired OF Kevin Pillar and cash from Boston for a player to be named later or cash and international bonus pool money…

the N.Y. Mets acquired RHP Miguel Castro from Baltimore for Kevin Smith and a player to be named later or cash. The Mets also acquired C Robinson Chirinos, 1B/3B Todd Frazier and cash from Texas for two players to be named later…

the Chi. Cubs acquired Josh Osich from Boston for a player to be named later or cash and Andrew Chafin and cash from Arizona for a player to be named later or cash. The Cubs also acquired OF Cameron Maybin from Detroit for IF Zack Short.

Miami 5 – N.Y. Mets 3
… Miguel Rojas singled home a go-ahead run in the top of the sixth inning as the Marlins topped the Mets. Garrett Cooper and Brian Anderson hit solo homers for Miami.

Baltimore 4 – TORONTO 3 (11 innings)… Jose Iglesias and Bryan Holaday stroked run-scoring doubles in the top of the 11th inning as the Orioles outlasted the Blue Jays. Iglesias opened the scoring with an RBI single in the first.

Seattle 2 – L.A. ANGELS 1… Marco Gonzalez allowed just a run on four hits in a complete-game effort and the Mariners clipped the Angels. Jose Marmolejos’ homer in the sixth proved to be the difference.

St. Louis 7 – CINCINNATI 5… Paul DeJong unloaded a grand slam in the top of the fourth inning and the Cardinals held off the Reds. Paul Goldschmidt went 3-for-3 with an RBI.

Tampa Bay 5 – N.Y. Yankees 3… Tyler Glasnow (2-1) pitched two-hit ball over six scoreless innings as the Rays topped the Yankees. Ji-Man Choi and Kevin Kiermaier homered for Tampa Bay.

Philadelphia 8 – WASHINGTON 6… Rhys Hoskins smacked a solo homer and doubled home two runs as the Phillies got past the Nationals. Jean Segura gapped a bases-clearing double. Jay Bruce homered with the bases empty.

Atlanta 6 – BOSTON 3… Austin Riley delivered the big blow with a bases-loaded triple in the top of the fifth inning and the Braves doubled up on the Red Sox. Austin Duvall homered. Max Fried (6-0) allowed two runs on five hits over five innings.

MILWAUKEE 6 – Pittsburgh 5… Orlando Arcia delivered a pinch-hit tie-breaking RBI single in the bottom of the eighth inning to push the Brewers past the Pirates. Keston Hiura homered. Ben Gamel went 3-for-3 and knocked in a run.

KANSAS CITY 2 – Cleveland 1… Maikel Franco and Bubba Starling produced RBI singles in the bottom of the eighth inning to lift the Royals over the Indians.

Chi. White Sox 8 – MINNESOTA 5… Rookie Luis Robert homered in the top of the seventh to tie the game and doubled home the go-ahead run to spark a three-run ninth-inning rally. Jose Abreu lined a two-run double.

San Diego 6 – COLORADO 0… Five Padres pitchers combined in the shutout of the Rockies. Wil Myers homered. Fernando Tatis Jr. provided all the offense San Diego needed with a two-run triple in the top of the third inning.

St. Louis (Kwang-Hyun Kim, 0-0) is at Cincinnati (Sonny Gray, 5-1)…
Miami (Elieser Hernandez, 0-0) hosts Toronto (Julian Merryweather, 0-0)…
Washington (Patrick Corbin, 2-2) is at Philadelphia (Aaron Nola, 3-2)…
Pittsburgh (Chad Kuhl, 1-1) hosts the Chi. Cubs (Jon Lester, 2-1)…
Tampa Bay (Trevor Richards, 0-0) is at the N.Y. Yankees (Masahiro Tanaka, 0-0)…
Boston (Ryan Weber, 0-0) hosts Atlanta (Ian Anderson, 0-0)…
the N.Y. Mets (Franklyn Kilome, 0-0) are at Baltimore (Asher Wojciechowski, 1-3)…
Milwaukee (Adrian Houser, 1-3) hosts Detroit (Michael Fulmer, 0-0)…
Cleveland (Zach Plesac, 1-1) is at Kansas City (Matt Harvey, 0-0)…
Minnesota (Michael Pineda, 0-0) hosts the Chi. White Sox (Dallas Keuchel, 5-2)…
Texas (Luis Garcia, 0-0) is at Houston (Framber Valdez, 3-2)…
Colorado (Jon Gray, 2-3) hosts San Francisco (Kevin Gausman, 1-2)…
Arizona (Alex Young, 1-1) is at the L.A. Dodgers (Julio Urias, 0-0)

NBA PLAYOFFS SCORES (games in Orlando)…
Miami 115 – Milwaukee 104
… The Heat overcame an early double-digit deficit to top the Bucks in an Eastern Conference semifinal opener. Jimmy Butler scored 14 of his 40 points in the fourth quarter. Goran Dragic added 27 points. Game 2 is tomorrow.

Oklahoma City 104 – Houston 100… The Thunder came up big in the second half to beat the Rockets and force Game 7 of the Western Conference first-round series. Chris Paul pumped in 15 of his 28 points in the fourth quarter. Dino Gallinari tossed in 25 points. Game 7 is tomorrow.


Boston vs. Toronto in Game 2 with the Celtics leading 1-0

Denver vs. Utah in Game 7

Tampa Bay 3 – Boston 2 (2OT)… Victor Hedman found the net with 5:50 remaining in the second overtime and the Lightning eliminated the Bruins in Game 5 to advance to the Eastern Conference finals for the fourth time in six seasons. Brayden Point and Kevin Shattenkirk each had two assists. Tampa Bay awaits the winner of the Philadelphia-N.Y. Islanders series.

Colorado 6 – Dallas 3… The Avalanche opened with a five-goal first period and never looked back in downing the Stars to pull within 3-2 in the series. Andre Burakovsky scored two goals and assisted on another. Nathan Mackinnon and Mikko Rantenan each had a goal and an assist. Game 6 is tomorrow.


Philadelphia vs. the N.Y. Islanders in Game 5 with the Islanders leading 3-1

Vegas vs. Vancouver for Game 5 with the Golden Knights leading 3-1

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.

… 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.

… 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.

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.