CORONAVIRUS UPDATES… The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 33,577,613 and the nation’s death toll stands at 602,836, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University… A National Institutes of Health study published this week in Science Translational Medicine found that there may have been nearly 17 million undiagnosed COVID-19 cases in the U.S. during the early months of the pandemic. The study suggests that the prevalence of COVID-19 in the spring and summer of 2020 “far exceeded” the number of confirmed cases, especially in people who were asymptomatic.
BIDEN ADMINISTRATION TO CRACK DOWN ON ILLEGAL GUN SALES… President Joe Biden vowed yesterday that his administration will implement a “major crackdown” on illegal gun sales. Biden unveiled a plan that holds “rogue” firearms dealers responsible for violating federal gun laws, gives law enforcement resources to address traditional summer increases in crime, invests in community violence interventions, supports unemployment and youth programs and assists incarcerated people successfully re-enter society. The plan would also task the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives with addressing the flow of weapons used in violent crimes. Attorney General Merrick Garland said the agency will launch five new cross-jurisdictional law enforcement strike forces within the next 30 days focused on trafficking to New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington, D.C.
VP HARRIS HEADING TO BORDER… Vice President Kamala Harris is scheduled to visit the U.S.-Mexico border tomorrow. Harris will be joined on the trip by Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. Harris leads White House efforts to stem immigration at the southern border, where government facilities have been overwhelmed by an influx of migrants. The vice president visited Guatemala and Mexico earlier this month in what she described as an effort to stem immigration by targeting the root causes.
SUPREME COURT RULES AGAINST FARM-WORKERS UNION… The Supreme Court yesterday struck down part of a historic California law in ruling that agricultural landowners and food processors have a right to keep union organizers off their property. In their 6-3 decision, justices said the state’s “right of access” rule violates property rights protected by the Constitution, which states private property shall not be “taken for public use without just compensation.” The California Legislature in 1975 became the first in the nation to extend collective bargaining rights to farm workers led by Cesar Chavez and the farm workers union. Months later, a new agricultural labor board adopted the “right of access” rule to allow organizers to seek out those who were working on farmland. Landowners have challenged the “union trespassing” rule on the ground that it violated their property rights.
BORDER CHIEF REMOVED… Border Patrol Chief Rodney Scott, who championed former president Trump’s border-wall plan, was removed as Border Patrol Chief yesterday. Scott said he wasn’t given a reasoning for his ouster but believes it was “so the new administration can place the person they want in the position.” Scott replaced Carla Provost as head of Customs and Border Patrol in January 2020. He previously was chief of Border Patrol’s San Diego Sector, which includes 60 miles of border with Mexico. Scott said his departure takes effect in 60 days.
BRITNEY SEEKS FREEDOM FROM CONSERVATORSHIP… Britney Spears spoke out for the first time in years yesterday at a hearing regarding her court-ordered conservatorship that has been in place for nearly 13 years. In addressing the Los Angeles court remotely, the 39-year-old pop singer pleaded to have her life back. She said she wants to start a family with her boyfriend but can’t because she has an IUD inside her and conservators won’t let her get it removed. “I truly believe tis conservatorship is abusive,” Spears told the judge.
ACTOR JARED ‘DRAKE’ BELL PLEADS GUILTY… Actor Jared “Drake” Bell pleaded guilty yesterday to charges related to inappropriately messaging a 15-year-old fan. The 34-year-old former Nickelodeon star appeared via Zoom at a courtroom in Cleveland, Ohio, after he was arrested earlier this month for having improper communications with the teen. Their conversations allegedly turned sexual at points. Bell pleaded guilty to the 4th degree felony of attempting to endanger children, as well as disseminating material harmful to juveniles, which is a 1st degree misdemeanor. Bell could face up to two years in prison.
Washington 13 – PHILADELPHIA 12… Starlin Castro lined a go-ahead two-run single in the top of the ninth inning to give the Nationals the lead for good after they erased five-, four- and one-run deficits. Castro’s RBI double sparked a five-run fifth. Josh Bell unloaded a grand slam. Kyle Schwarber blasted a three-run homer.
Milwaukee 3 – ARIZONA 2… Brandon Woodruff (6-3) held the Diamondbacks to a run on three hits over seven innings and struck out nine. He helped himself at the plate by singling home a run in the top of the fifth inning to open the scoring.
N.Y. METS 7 – Atlanta 3… Francisco Lindor hit a two-run homer and singled home a run to lead the Mets past the Braves. Jeff McNeil had three hits, including an RBI single.
SAN DIEGO 5 – L.A. Dodgers 3… The Padres completed a three-game sweep of the Dodgers and ran their winning streak to seven games. Victor Caratini smacked a go-ahead solo homer in the bottom of the seventh inning and lifted a sacrifice fly to cap a decisive two-run eighth. Jake Cronenworth and Manny Machado smacked solo homers in the first for San Diego.
Houston 13 – BALTIMORE 0… The Astros dismantled the Orioles and extended their winning streak to 10 games. Jose Altuve, Yordan Alvarez, Abraham Toro and Chas McCormick all homered. Jose Urquidy (6-3) pitched three-hit ball over seven innings and got help from two relievers in the shutout.
N.Y. YANKEES 6 – Kansas City 5… Gary Sanchez hit a game-tying solo homer and Luke Voit singled home pinch-runner Tyler Wade with the winning run in the bottom of the ninth inning as the Yankees rallied past the Red Sox. Rougned Odor hit a two-run homer and Clint Frazier doubled home two runs for New York.
TAMPA BAY 8 – Boston 2… The Rays got a three-run homer from Brandon Lowe and two-run shots from Austin Meadows and Mike Zunino in their pounding of the Braves. Rich Hill (6-2) surrendered a run on three hits over five innings.
TEXAS 5 – Oakland 3… Brock Holt singled home a go-ahead run in the bottom of the seventh inning as the Rangers overtook the Athletics. Adolis Garcia ripped a pair of solo homers. Nate Lowe also went deep.
Chi. White Sox 4 – PITTSBURGH 3… Yasmani Grandal lined a tie-breaking two-run double in the top of the fifth inning and the White Sox hung on to edge the Pirates. Leury Garcia smacked a solo homer in the second.
DETROIT 6 – St. Louis 2… The Tigers cruised past the Cardinals after spotting them an early two-run lead. Daz Cameron hit a tie-breaking homer to lead off the bottom of the fourth inning after Jonathan’s Schoop tied the game with a two-run double in the third. Matt Manning (1-1) gave up two runs on five hits over 5-2/3 innings in notching his first major-league victory.
Colorado 5 – SEATTLE 2… German Márquez (6-6) limited the Mariners to a run on two hits over eight innings. Trevor Story homered twice and drove in three runs for the Rockies. Brendan Rodgers homered with a runner aboard.
San Francisco 9 – L.A. ANGELS 3 (13 innings)… The Giants came up with seven runs in the top of the 13th inning to put away the Angels. Mike Tauchman’s three-run homer and Steven Duggar stroked a two-run single during the uprising. Duggar also doubled home a run in the 12th. Mike Yastrzemski homered with the bases empty for San Francisco.
Toronto 3 – MIAMI 1… Robbie Ray (5-3) held the Marlins to a run on four hits over six innings and three relievers shut the door. Teoscar Hernández doubled home a run during a two-run top of the first inning.
TODAY’S MLB SCHEDULE…
Atlanta (TBA) is at Cincinnati (Tony Santillan, 0-1)…
Miami (Cody Poteet, 2-2) hosts Washington (Jon Lester, 1-2)…
Pittsburgh (Chad Kuhl, 1-4) is at St. Louis (Carlos Martinez, 3-8)…
the L.A. Dodgers (Walker Buehler, 7-0) host the Chi. Cubs (Zach Davies, 4-4)
Kansas City (Brad Keller, 6-7) is at the N.Y. Yankees (Jameson Taillon, 1-4)…
Texas (Kolby Allard, 2-2) hosts Oakland (Chris Bassitt, 7-2)…
Baltimore (Dean Kremer, 0-6) is at Toronto (Anthony Kay, 0-2)…
Tampa Bay (Michael Wacha, 1-2) hosts Boston (Nick Pivetta, 6-3)…
Houston (Luis Garcia, 5-4) is at Detroit (Jose Urena, 2-7)…
Minnesota (Jose Berrios, 7-2) hosts Cleveland (J.C. Mejia, 1-2)
NBA PLAYOFF SCOREBOARD…
Atlanta 116 – MILWAUKEE 113… Trae Young poured in 48 points and the Hawks held off the Bucks in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals. Clint Capela converted a go-ahead put-back with 29.8 seconds remaining and finished with 12 points and 19 rebounds. John Collins had 23 points and 15 boards. The series remains in Milwaukee for tomorrow’s Game 2.
TONIGHT’S NBA PLAYOFF SCHEDULE…
Phoenix is at the L.A. Clippers for Game 3 of the Western Conference finals with the Suns leading 2-0
NHL STANLEY CUP PLAYOFF SCOREBOARD…
N.Y. ISLANDERS 3 – Tampa Bay 2 (OT)… The Islanders came from two goals down in the second period to outlast the Lightning and force a Game 7 in the Stanley Cup semifinals tomorrow night in Tampa Bay. Anthony Beauvillier stole a puck and scored the winning goal 1:08 into overtime. Scott Mayfield netted a tying goal with 9:44 left in regulation. Jordan Eberle put New York on the board with a second-period goal. Matthew Barzal had two assists.
TONIGHT’S NHL STANLEY CUP PLAYOFF SCHEDULE…
Vegas is at Montreal for Game 6 of the Stanley Cup semifinals with the Canadiens leading 3-2