The Rundown for October 28, 2020

CORONAVIRUS UPDATES… The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 8,774,118 and the nation’s death toll stands at 226,613, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University… An internal Health and Human Services memo obtained by ABC News revealed that new COVID-19 cases and deaths posted double-digit increases in the past week in the U.S. The number of new cases reported nationally between October 20 and 26 increased 22.7 percent compared with the previous seven-day period. During the same period, recorded deaths increased 10.5 percent… The surge in new coronavirus cases continues to be felt on Wall Street. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 222.19 points, or 0.8 percent, while the S&P 500 slid 0.3 percent.

NOAA CHIEF SCIENTIST FIRED… Craig McLean, the acting chief scientist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, has been fired in response to an email he sent last month to NOAA employees who had been installed by the Trump administration. The email reminded employees of agency rules that prohibit changing research and data to fit a political agenda. The New York Times reported that Trump political appointees at the agency “have questioned accepted facts about climate change and imposed stricter controls on communications at the agency.” Newly appointed NOAA chief of staff and former White House policy adviser Dr. Erik Noble made the firing after McLean defended the email as an effort to maintain ethics across the NOAA.

JUDGE WON’T LET DOJ INTERVENE IN TRUMP DEFAMATION CASE… A federal judge yesterday denied the Justice Department’s attempt to intervene on President Trump’s behalf in a defamation lawsuit filed by a woman who alleges he sexually assaulted her in the mid-1990s. E. Jean Carroll accused the president of raping her in the dressing room of a Manhattan department store more than two decades ago. Trump denied the allegations and accused her of lying to sell books. Carroll then sued Trump last year in state court in New York for defamation, contending he harmed her reputation with his counterclaims.

PROTESTS IN PHILADELPHIA… There was a second night of protests in Philadelphia last night over the fatal police shooting of a Black man on Monday afternoon. Philadelphia police shot 27-year-old Walter Wallace Jr. after responding to a call about a man armed with a knife. 30 officers were injured during violent protests that followed. Wallace’s family has called for an end to any violence or looting.

ZETA TO ARRIVE TONIGHT… Tropical Storm Zeta is expected to make landfall south of New Orleans tonight as a Category 1 hurricane. The National Weather Service has issued hurricane warnings for parts of coastal Louisiana and Mississippi, and tropical storm watches and warnings are in effect between Louisiana and the Florida Panhandle. Coastal cities along the northern Gulf Coast were also placed under hurricane and storm surge watches.

… Jon Stewart has signed a long-term production deal for an hour-long current-affairs show on Apple TV+. The show will delve into “topics that are currently part of the national conversation” and Stewart’s own interests, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The series is expected to stream sometime next year and each episode will come with an accompanying podcast.

BLAKE SHELTON, GWEN STEFANI ENGAGED… “The Voice” coaches Blake Shelton and Gwen Stefani announced their engagement on social media yesterday. The singers have been dating since 2015 it will be the second marriage for both. Stefani was previously married to Gavin Rossdale and Shelton to Miranda Lambert. Shelton has been a coach on NBC’s music competition show since its inception in 2011. Stefani joined in 2014.

… The Dodgers eased past the Rays 3-1 in Arlington last night to capture the 2020 World Series in six games. The championship is the seventh in franchise history and first since 1988. Mookie Betts scored the tying run in the bottom of the sixth inning on Corey Seager’s infield grounder and homered in the eighth. Seven L.A. pitchers combined on a five-hitter. Seager was named the series MVP.

The Rundown for October 27, 2020

CORONAVIRUS UPDATES… The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 8,700,053 and the nation’s death toll stands at 225,696, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University… The rising number of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. and the lack of additional stimulus to aid businesses and citizens was blamed for yesterday’s worst day on Wall Street since September. The Dow Jones Industrial average was down 650.19 points, or 2.29 percent, by the end of the day after falling by as much as 890 points earlier. The S&P 500 was down about 1.86 percent and the Nasdaq Composite fell 1.64 percent.

BARRETT SWORN IN AS SUPREME COURT JUSTICE… Amy Coney Barrett was sworn in as a Supreme Court judge by Justice Clarence Thomas last night following her confirmation in the Senate by a 52-48 vote. Barrett’s confirmation just 30 days after she was nominated by President Trump to fill the vacancy left by the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Trump spoke at a White House ceremony and called the confirmation a “momentous day” for America. Democrats had attacked the nomination process as well as Barrett’s qualifications and voting record. They noted that with eight months to go in former President Obama’s term, Senate Republicans prevented a replacement for the late Antonin Scalia from being nominated until after the 2016 presidential election. Democrats insist it’s hypocritical of the GOP to push through a nomination just eight days before Americans return to the polls to vote for a president.

HIGH COURT RULES AGAINST WISCONSIN BALLOT EXTENSION… The Supreme Court voted 5-3 yesterday in ruling that Wisconsin’s mail-in ballots have to be received by Election Day to be counted. An appeals court had sided with state Democrats who wanted to count ballots that arrived up to six days after Election Day if they were postmarked by November 3. They argued that the extension was necessary due to the pandemic and potential postal delays. Justices Elena Kagan, Sonia Sotomayor and Stephen Breyer dissented from the ruling.

TRUMP, BIDEN CAMPAIGN IN PENNSYLVANIA… With the 2020 presidential campaign heading into its final week, President Trump and his democratic rival Joe Biden visited the swing state of Pennsylvania yesterday. At his third and final stop of the day, Trump declared at a rally in Martinsburg, “We win Pennsylvania, we win the whole ballgame.” Biden met with volunteers and spoke to reporters in the city of Chester, near Philadelphia. He criticized Trump for his handling of the coronavirus pandemic. “The bottom line is, Donald Trump is the worst possible president, the worst possible person to lead us through this pandemic,” Biden said.

90K EVACUATED IN CALIFORNIA WILDFIRE… A wind-whipped wildfire that broke out yesterday near Irvine, California, has forced the evacuation of 90,000 people. As of last night, the Silverado Fire had burned more than 8,000 acres with zero containment. Two firefighters were severely injured battling the blaze. The utility company Southern California Edison admits that its equipment might be to blame for the fire.

… “Cheer” coach Monica Aldama was eliminated from Season 29 of “Dancing with the Stars” in last night’s show. Aldama partnered with professional dancer Valentin Chmerkovskiy for the ABC competition series. Still in the running are “The Bachelorette’ alum Kaitlyn Bristowe, “Selling Sunset” star Chrishell Stause, actresses Skai Jackson and Justina Machado, reality TV stars Jeannie Mai and Nev Schulman, Backstreet Boys singer A.J. McLean, rapper Nelly and Olympic figure skater Johnny Weir.

TAYLOR SWIFT HAS ANOTHER MILLION SELLER… Billboard announced yesterday that Taylor Swift’s latest album, “Folklore,” has become the first album of 2020 to sell a million copies in the U.S. The album, released on July 24, is also Swift’s eighth studio album to sell more than a million copies in the U.S. Her holiday extended play, 2007’s “The Taylor Swift Holiday Collection,” also surpassed a million in sales. “Folklore” features such songs as “Cardigan” and “The 1.”


L.A. RAMS 24 – Chicago 10
… Jared Goff threw touchdown passes to Josh Reynolds and Gerald Everett in leading the Rams (5-2) past the Bears (5-2). Defensively, L.A. picked off two Nick Foles passes.

WORLD SERIES RESUMES TONIGHT… Following yesterday’s off-day, the Los Angeles Dodgers and Tampa Bay Rays meet tonight in Game 6 of the 2020 World Series. The Dodgers lead the series 3-2 and will seek to close out their first championship since 1988. L.A. will send rookie righthander Tony Gonsolin to the mound. Tampa Bay counters with lefthander Blake Snell. First pitch is set for 8:08 p.m. Eastern.

The Rundown for October 26, 2020

CORONAVIRUS UPDATES… The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 8,633,174 and the nation’s death toll stands at 224,215, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University… An outbreak in the Northeast has resulted in New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Rhode Island and Vermont report a doubling of cases in the past four weeks compared with the previous four weeks. At least 35 states reported more new Covid-19 cases in the last week than the week prior. In Texas, El Paso County is responding to a surge in Covid-19 cases by instituting a curfew between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. The Texas Division of Emergency Management is establishing an alternate care site in El Paso to expand hospital capacity… White House Chief of Staff seemed to concede defeat in the battle to contain the coronavirus but said the administration would instead focus on treatments and vaccines. “We are not going to control the pandemic,” Meadows said during an appearance on CNN’s “State of the Union. “We are going to control the fact that we get vaccines, therapeutics and other mitigation areas.”

AMERICANS VOTING EARLY… An Associated Press tally has found more people already have voted early than 2016’s early and absentee voting totals. As of yesterday, Americans cast 58.6 million ballots to surpass the 58 million who used early and absentee voting processes in 2016. Twenty-five percent of those are new or infrequent voters, according to the political data firm L2. Experts predict 150 million Americans will turn out to vote this election.

SENATE REPUBLICANS ADVANCE BARRETT NOMINATION… Senate Republicans yesterday advanced Amy Coney Barrett’s Supreme Court nomination in a procedural vote that broke a Democratic filibuster. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has scheduled a final vote for today. Barrett is expected to get the 51 of 53 Republican votes she needs to fill the seat vacated by the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Her confirmation would give conservatives a 6-3 ideological majority on the High Court. Democrats have argued that the seat on the court should have been left to the winner of the presidential election.

STATE DEPARTMENT SUSPENDS DIVERSITY PROGRAMS… The U.S. State Department confirmed yesterday that it has suspended employee training programs related to diversity and inclusion but affirmed its commitment to fostering a more diverse workplace. A temporary pause in the programs followed last month’s executive order by President Trump that directed federal agencies to end programs deemed “divisive” by the White House. The executive order forbid the teaching by federal agencies of “divisive concepts” including that the U.S. is “fundamentally racist or sexist.”

ZETA ON APPROACH… Tropical Storm Zeta formed east of Mexico yesterday morning and could be at or near hurricane strength when it reaches the Gulf Coast on Wednesday. Forecasters say Zeta could bring storm surge, rainfall and high winds to areas from Louisiana to the Florida Panhandle. It is the 27th named storm of the 2020 Atlantic Hurricane season, tying 2005 as the most active hurricane season on record. If it makes landfall in Louisiana, Zeta would become the fifth named storm to do so this year, setting a record.

… Taylor Swift’s “Folklore” sold 77,000 copies to reclaim the top spot on the Billboard 200 chart for an eighth nonconsecutive week. Last week’s champ, Pop Smoke’s “Shoot for the Stars Aim for the Moon” slipped into second place after selling 66,000 units. 21 Savage and Metro Boomin’s “Savage Mode II” dropped into third place on sales of 47,000 copies. Tom Petty’s 1994 album “Wildflowers” sold 44,000 units to re-enter chart at No. 5 after its deluxe reissue on October 16.

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE… The Liam Neeson thriller “Honest Thief” took in $2.3 million to remain atop the weekend box office. “The War with Grandpa” stayed in second place after taking in $1.8 million. “Tenet” finished third with $1.3 million. “The Empty Man” made $1.2 million to finish fourth. “The Nightmare Before Christmas” came in fifth with $577,000.

L.A. Dodgers 4 – TAMPA BAY 2
… Solo homers by Joc Pederson and Max Muncy were the difference as the Dodgers held off the Rays to take a 3-2 lead in the series. Clayton Kershaw allowed two runs on five hits over 5-2/3 innings. L.A. will try to wrap up the series in Game 6 tomorrow.

Buffalo 18 – N.Y. JETS 10
… The Bills (5-2) rallied past the Jets (0-7) after spotting them a 10-point lead. Tyler Bass booted six field goals to 53 yards.

Green Bay 35 – HOUSTON 20… Devante Adams had 13 receptions for 196 yards and hauled in two of Aaron Rodgers’ four touchdown passes as the Packers (5-1) rolled past the Texans (1-6). Rodgers passed for 283 yards.

WASHINGTON 25 – Dallas 3… Antonio Gibson rushed for 128 yards and a touchdown as Washington (2-5) handled the Cowboys (2-5). Kyle Allen threw touchdown passes to Terry McLaurin and Logan Thomas.

Pittsburgh 27 – TENNESSEE 24… The Steelers (6-0) built a 17-point halftime lead and held off the Titans (5-1) in a battle of teams that entered the game unbeaten. Ben Roethlisberger found Diontae Johnson with a pair of touchdown passes but was intercepted three times.

NEW ORLEANS 27 – Carolina 24… Wil Lutz kicked a tie-breaking 43-yard field goal in the fourth quarter and the Saints (4-2) made it stand in beating the Panthers (3-4). Drew Brees completed 29 of 36 passes for 287 yards.

Cleveland 37 – CINCINNATI 34… Baker Mayfield’s fifth touchdown pass of the day was a 24-yarder to Donovan Peoples-Jones with 11 seconds remaining and gave the Browns (5-2) a come-from-behind win over the Bengals (1-5-1). Harrison Bryant had two scoring receptions.

Detroit 23 – ATLANTA 22… Matthew Stafford’s 24-yard touchdown pass to T.J. Hockenson on the last play of the game lifted the Lions (3-3) over the Falcons (1-6). Stafford passed for 340 yards on the day. Kenny Goladay rushed for 114 yards.

Tampa Bay 45 – LAS VEGAS 20… Tom Brady was 30-of-45 for 369 yards and threw touchdown passes to four different receivers in leading the Buccaneers (5-2) past the Raiders (3-3). Scott Miller had six catches for 109 yards and a TD.

San Francisco 33 – NEW ENGLAND 6… Jeff Wilson rushed for 112 yards and three touchdowns and the 49ers (4-3) hammered the Patriots (2-4). Brandon Aiyuk had six catches for 115 yards.

L.A. CHARGERS 39 – Jacksonville 29… Justin Herbert threw for 347 yards and three touchdowns to lead the Chargers (2-4) past the Jaguars (1-6). He also led the ground game with 66 yards and a TD. Keenan Allen had 10 receptions for 125 yards.

Kansas City 43 – DENVER 16… The Chiefs (6-1) came up big defensively and on special teams in beating the Broncos (2-4) for the 10th straight time. Byron Pringle returned a kickoff 102 yards for a touchdown on a snow-covered field and Daniel Sorenson returned an interception 50 yards for a score. Patrick Mahomes passed for 200 yards and a TD.

ARIZONA 37 – Seattle 34 (OT)… The Cardinals (5-2) came alive in the second half to outlast the Seahawks (5-1). Zane Gonzalez kicked a game-winning field goal with 15 seconds left in overtime. His 44-yarder tied the game with 2 seconds left in regulation. Kyler Murray hit Christian Kirk with two of his three touchdown passes. Deandre Hopkins had 10 catches for 103 yards and a score. Defensively, Arizona intercepted Russell Wilson three times.

Chicago (5-1) is at the L.A. Rams (4-2)

The Rundown for October 23, 2020

CORONAVIRUS UPDATES… The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 8,404,743 and the nation’s death toll stands at 223,000, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University… Yesterday marked the seventh time in eight days that the U.S. added at least 50,000 cases. Wednesday’s 1,124 deaths was the highest daily count since September 15.

PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE… President Trump and his democratic rival Joe Biden faced off in their final debate last night in Nashville. The two were questioned about such topics as coronavirus response, the environment, the economy and immigration. The event at Belmont University was moderated by NBC News White House correspondent Kristen Welker.

FBI WARNS OF RUSSIAN HACKERS… The FBI warned yesterday that Russian hackers have targeted dozens of government computer networks in recent weeks. A joint advisory from the FBI and Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency said that a Russian state-sponsored hacking effort targeted dozens of state, local, territorial and/or tribal government, and aviation networks, successfully compromising at least two as of this month. The hackers accessed information related to network passwords, vendors and access badges. The advisory didn’t reveal the specific jurisdictions targeted by the cyberattacks. Officials emphasize that there’s no indication the efforts have disrupted the U.S. elections process.

SENATE PANEL CONFIRMS BARRETT… All 12 Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday voted to approve Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination to the Supreme Court after all 10 Democrats on the committee boycotted the meeting to protest a confirmation process they called a sham. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has scheduled a procedural vote for Sunday and a final vote for Monday. The 48-year-old Barrett has been a federal appeals court judge since 2017 and previously was a legal scholar the University of Notre Dame in Indiana. Her confirmation would give the top U.S. judicial body a 6-3 conservative majority, including three justices named by President Trump.

COLORADO WILDFIRE FORCES EVACUATIONS… Thousands of families were forced to evacuate yesterday after a wildfire burning in Grand County, Colorado, exploded from 19,000 acres to more than 125,000. The East Troublesome Fire raced through the town of Grand Lake and into the western portion of Rocky Mountain National Park, which closed to visitors. No damage assessments have been made available.

… TBS announced yesterday that it has renewed the comedy anthology series “Miracle Workers” for a third season. Stars Daniel Radcliffe, Steve Buscemi, Geraldine Viswanathan and Karan Soni are returning for the new season, which will be set in the American Old West in 1844. Radcliffe will portray a small-town preacher who heads west on the Oregon Trail along with a wanted outlaw portrayed by Buscemi and a liberated prairie wife portrayed by Viswanathan.

JUDGE DISMISSES MICHAEL JACKSON SUIT… A Los Angeles County Superior Court judge has dismissed the lawsuit filed by a 42-year-old man who accuses Michael Jackson of abusing him as a child. James Safechuk, who had shared his accusations in the HBO documentary “Leaving Neverland,” had sued two corporations that Jackson owned. Judge Mark A. Young found that Safechuck failed to demonstrate that he had a relationship with the corporations that would have required them to protect him from Jackson.


21… Carson Wentz’ second touchdown pass of the game was an 18-yarder to Boston Scott with 40 seconds remaining and lifted the Eagles (2-4-1) over the Giants (1-6). Wentz passed for 359 yards on the night.

Dallas (2-4) is at Washington (1-5)…
the N.Y. Jets (0-6) host Buffalo (4-2)…
Pittsburgh (5-0) is at Tennessee (5-0)…
New Orleans (3-2) hosts Carolina (3-3)…
Cleveland (4-2) is at Cincinnati (1-4-1)…
Atlanta (1-5) hosts Detroit (2-3)…
Green Bay (4-1) is at Houston (1-5)…
Las Vegas (3-2) hosts Tampa Bay (4-2)…
San Francisco (3-3) is at New England (2-3)…
Denver (2-3) hosts Kansas City (5-1)…
Jacksonville (1-5) is at the L.A. Chargers (1-4)…
Arizona (4-2) hosts Seattle (5-0)

Chicago (5-1) is at the L.A. Rams (4-2)

WORLD SERIES RESUMES TONIGHT… The Tampa Bay Rays and L.A. Dodgers return to the field tonight to battle it out in Game 3 of the 2020 World Series after splitting the first two games. Charlie Morton gets the start for the Rays and will be opposed by fellow righthander Walker Buehler. First pitch in Arlington is scheduled for 8:80 p.m. Eastern.

The Rundown for October 22, 2020

CORONAVIRUS UPDATES… The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 8,333,591 and the nation’s death toll stands at 222,063, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University… A Reuters analysis found that COVID-19-related deaths hit daily records in Iowa, Minnesota, Montana, Kansas, Hawaii and Wisconsin. Wisconsin, Illinois, Kentucky, Colorado and Ohio reported record daily increases in new infections… The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention yesterday altered the definition of what constitutes “close contact” to a person infected with COVID-19. The CDC updated the guidance to define close contact as being “within 6 feet of someone who has COVID-19 for a total of 15 minutes or more” over a 24-hour period. The agency previously defined close contact as being within 6 feet of a confirmed case for 15 consecutive minutes.

SENATE FAILS TO PASS RELIEF PACKAGE… The Senate yesterday failed to pass an updated “skinny” COVID-19 relief package. The 51-to-44 fell short of the 60 votes needed to pass. The bill was nearly identical to a measure the Senate unanimously rejected last month, when Democrats said it didn’t do enough to help Americans and businesses and was riddled with “poison pills.” Democrats have been seeking a larger relief package similar to the $2.2 trillion measure passed months ago by the House. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said earlier this week that she and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin are making progress on negotiations for the next package.

OBAMA CAMPAIGNS FOR BIDEN… Former president Barack Obama pulled no punches in Philadelphia yesterday at a campaign rally for Joe Biden. Obama hammered President Trump over his taxes, his character and his leadership style. The former president also warned that the failure to turn out and vote in the 2016 elections contributed to Trump’s victory. “I am asking you to remember what this country can be. What it is like when we treat each other with respect and dignity. What is it is like when our elected officials actually behave responsibly,” Obama said during his 30-minute speech at Lincoln Financial Field.

SENATE PANEL TO VOTE TODAY ON BARRETT NOMINATION… Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday vowed to call a vote today on Amy Coney Barrett’s Supreme Court nomination. Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham called the vote after Democrats on the committee threatened pledging to boycott a proceeding that they called “a sham.” They want Republicans to wait until after the November 3 presidential election before filling the vacancy created last month with the passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Should Barrett’s nomination advance to the full Senate, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell plans to hold a procedural vote on Sunday and a final vote the next day.

PURDUE PHARMA PLEADS GUILTY TO THREE FEDERAL CHARGES… The Justice Department announced yesterday that OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma pled guilty to three federal criminal charges as part of a settlement of more than $8 billion. The settlement follows expert testimony that OxyContin, a powerful prescription painkiller, helped drive an opioid epidemic. The agreement worked out by prosecutors does not release any of the company’s executives or owners from criminal liability amid an ongoing criminal investigation.

… Sacha Baron Cohen’s “Borat” sequel scheduled for release tomorrow night on Amazon Prime captures President Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani in a compromising hotel room with an actress pretending to be a 15-year-old girl. Giuliani went to the hotel room thinking he was being interviewed about the Trump administration’s COVID-19 response and accepted the flirtatious girl’s invitation to join her in the bedroom, which is rigged with hidden cameras. Reviewers yesterday described the scene as “cringe-worthy.” Giuliani, who called the police after the incident was filmed last July, maintains his hands were down his pants because he was tucking in his shirt.

CARRIE UNDERWOOD WINS BIG AT CMT AWARDS… Carrie Underwood won Video of the Year and Female Video of the Year for “Drinking Alone” at last night’s CMT Awards show in Nashville. Luke Bryan won for Male Video of the Year for “One Margarita” and Chris Young won for Performance of the Year for “Drowning.” Dan + Shay scored the prize for Duo Video of the Year for “I Should Probably Go to Bed,” Old Dominion’s “One Man Band” won for Group Video of the Year and Gabby Barrett’s “I Hope” won for Breakthrough Video of the Year.


Tampa Bay
6 – L.A. DODGERS 4… Brandon Lowe homered twice and knocked in three runs to power the Rays past the Dodgers and even the 2020 World Series at a game apiece. Joey Wendle drove in Tampa Bay’s other three runs with a two-run double and a sacrifice fly. After a day off today, the series resumes tomorrow. Tampa Bay has announced Charlie Morton as its starter. L.A. counters with fellow righthander Walker Buehler.

PENN STATE BASKETBALL COACH RESIGNS… Penn State men’s basketball coach Pat Chambers has resigned following an internal investigation of new allegations of inappropriate conduct. The situation came to light earlier this summer when former starting guard Rasir Bolton claimed Chambers’ racially-insensitive and inappropriate comments were the reasons why he transferred to Iowa State in 2019. Chambers had a 148-150 record and failed to lead the program to an NCAA Tournament berth since being named Penn State’s coach in 2011.

The Rundown for October 21, 2020

CORONAVIRUS UPDATES… The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 8,270,573 and the nation’s death toll stands at 220,955, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University… A rise in COVID-19 cases in the Northeast has prompted officials in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut to urge their residents to not travel between the three states. California said announced major theme parks including Disneyland would not be opening anytime soon.

TRUMP HAS FOREIGN BANK ACCOUNTS… The New York Times reported yesterday that President Trump maintains a bank account in China, dealing a blow to the president’s warnings that his Democratic rival Joe Biden is soft on China. According to the report, Trump also has bank accounts in the United Kingdom and Ireland. The China account is operated by Trump International Hotels Management LLC, and paid $188,561 in taxes to the country between 2013 and 2015, according to the Times.

PARENTS OF 545 SEPARATED MINORS CAN’T BE FOUND… Lawyers representing migrant children at the U.S.-Mexico border say they have been unable to locate the parents of 545 minors. A court filing obtained by NBC News revealed that he Department of Homeland Security has deported the parents of two-thirds of those children to Central America without reuniting them with their children. The separations were made as part of the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” border policy until last year, when it was ended by executive order and a federal judge ordered separated families reunited.

FORMER RNC FUNDRAISER PLEADS GUILTY… Former Republican National Committee deputy finance chairman Elliott Broidy pleaded guilty yesterday to illegal lobbying for attempting to use his influence to end a federal investigation into a Malaysian bank engaged in money laundering. He admitted conspiring to accept millions after helping to secretly lobby the Trump administration on behalf of Malaysian and Chinese interests. Broidy, who was convicted in 2009 on public corruption and bribery charges in New York, has agreed to pay a $6.6 million fine and faces a prison sentence of up to five years.

JUSTICE DEPARTMENT SUES GOOGLE… The Justice Department has filed a massive antitrust lawsuit against Google, claiming the company uses its market power to outcompete rivals. Google already had to pay $9 million in fines after European regulators accused it of disadvantaging rivals. The Justice Department and Federal Trade Commission also have antitrust investigations into Amazon, Apple, and Facebook.

… Universal Pictures announced plans yesterday for two final movies in the “Fast and Furious” franchise. The two additions follow “F9,” which is currently in post-production and premieres next Memorial Day. “F9” features a core cast led by Vin Diesel and includes newcomers John Cena, Helen Mirren, Cardi B and Ozuna.

SPENCER DAVIS DIES… British rocker Spencer Davis died Monday at a California hospital following treatment of pneumonia. He was 81. Davis co-founded the 1960s beat band The Spencer Davis Group, which bore his name but featured vocals by Steve Winwood. The group released its first No. 1 single, a cover of “Keep On Running,” in 1965. The Spencer Davis Group was also known for the songs “Gimme Some Lovin'” and “I’m a Man.” The group disbanded in 1969 but reunited and released two more albums in the 1970s. In more recent years, Davis performed as The Spencer Davis Group with new lineups.


L.A. DODGERS 8 – Tampa Bay 3
… The Dodgers cruised past the Rays in the 2020 World Series opener. Cody Bellinger opened the scoring with a two-run homer in the bottom of the fourth inning and Max Muncy knocked in two runs. Mookie Belts energized the victory with two stolen bases and a solo home run. Starter Clayton Kershaw allowed just a run on two hits over six innings. Lefthander Blake Snell gets the start for Tampa Bay in tonight’s Game 2. L.A. didn’t announce its starter. First pitch is set for 8:08 p.m.

The Rundown for October 20, 2020

CORONAVIRUS UPDATES… The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 8,210,849 and the nation’s death toll stands at 220,095, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University… An NBC analysis posted yesterday found that as many as 30 states and territories have seen Covid-19 cases increase more than 25 percent in the last two weeks, but only 21 states saw increases in testing at or above that level during the same period… New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and California Governor Gavin Newsom both announced yesterday that they would rely on in-house experts to review a federally approved COVID-19 vaccine before allowing it to be distributed to their state’s residents.

PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE TO MUTE MICS… As President Trump and his Democratic rival Joe Biden are preparing for Thursday night’s final presidential debate, organizers announced yesterday that microphones will be muted to prevent the debaters from interrupting each other. The Commission on Presidential Debates says Trump and Biden can each have two minutes of uninterrupted time to answer each debate topic. After those two minutes, the presidential candidates will participate in an open debate. The 90-minute-long event is being being broken down into six segments that are 15 minutes each, allowing nine minutes of open debate for each topic.

SUPREME COURT REJECTS PENNSYLVANIA-BALLOT STAY… The Supreme Court yesterday rejected an emergency stay request filed by Republicans in Pennsylvania, paving the way for election officials in the state to count absentee ballots received as late as the Friday after Election Day so long as they are postmarked by November 3. Republicans had argued that it is up to the state’s legislature — not the court — to set rules for how elections are conducted. Pennsylvania and Wisconsin are the only two swing states where officials can’t begin processing and counting the millions of absentee ballots until Election Day, likely delaying complete results for several days. In a third crucial swing state, Michigan, clerks can begin processing ballots only the day before Election Day.

JUSTICE DEPARTMENT INDICTS RUSSIANS FOR CYBERCRIMES… The Justice Department yesterday announced grand jury indictments of six Russian intelligence officers for cybercrimes. Federal prosecutors in Pittsburgh accused the men of developing malware that brought down the computers in two Pennsylvania hospitals and infected computers in 60 physician offices and 18 community satellite facilities. The men are allegedly members of the Russian security agency GRU and were operating out of a Moscow military unit. They are also accused of disrupting the power grid in Ukraine, interfering in the French election and crashing computer systems around the world.

MYSTERIOUS ATTACKS ON U.S. DIPLOMATS EXPAND… The New York Times reported yesterday that mysterious attacks on U.S. diplomats in Cuba and China have been reported in other countries, including Russia. The attacks involve disturbing sounds that produce an array of alarming symptoms, from memory loss to migraines. According to the report, the Trump administration has been less than transparent about the attacks, particularly the incidents in China and Russia. The Times said the State Department has withheld “basic” information on cases from Congress and “ignored outside medical diagnoses.”

… Oscar-winning actor Jeff Bridges revealed on social media yesterday that he’s battling cancer. The 70-year-old Bridges said he had been diagnosed with lymphoma and is starting treatment. He praised his team of doctors and said the prognosis is good.

POP SMOKE TOPS ALBUM CHART… Pop Smoke’s “Shoot for the Stars, Aim for the Moon” sold 67,000 copies in reclaiming the top spot on the Billboard 200 chart. Last week’s champ, 21 Savage and Metro Boomin’s “Savage Mode II,” slipped into second place with 66,000 units sold. Juice WRLD’s “Legends Never Die” jumped into third place on sales of 45,000 copies. Lil Baby’s “My Turn” rose to fourth place after selling 38,000 units. Machine Gun Kelly’s “Tickets to My Downfall” finished fifth with 35,000 copies sold.


Kansas City 26 – BUFFALO 17
… Patrick Mahomes found Travis Kelce with a pair of touchdown tosses and became the fastest quarterback in NFL history to reach 90 career passing scores in leading the Chiefs (5-1) past the Bills (4-2). Clyde Edwards-Helaire led the ground game with 161 yards rushing.

Arizona 38 – DALLAS 10… Kyler Murray threw a pair of touchdown passes and ran for a score as the Cardinals (4-2) rolled past the Cowboys (2-4). Christian Kirk was on the receiving end of both scoring tosses. Kenyon Drake rushed for 164 yards and two touchdowns.

WORLD SERIES OPENS TONIGHT… The Los Angeles Dodgers and Tampa Bay Rays meet in Arlington, Texas, tonight for Game 1 of the 2020 World Series. Both teams entered the postseason as their respective league’s top seed. The National League-champion Dodgers have reached the World Series three times in four years but haven’t won since 1988. The American League-champion Rays have reached Fall Classic for only the second time, with its only previous appearance in 2008. Lefthander Clayton Kershaw gets the opening-day assignment for Los Angeles. Righthander Tyler Glasnow takes the mound for Tampa Bay. First pitch is set for 8:09 p.m. Eastern.