CORONAVIRUS UPDATES… The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 33,914,880 and the nation’s death toll stands at 607,771, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University… The number of new daily infections has risen nearly 50 percent in the U.S. amid the spread of the highly contagious Delta variant. The average of 19,455 new cases per day over seven days entering yesterday was a 47.5 percent increase over the previous week. A total of 43 states have seen an increase in infections from the previous week.
BIDEN ATTACKS VOTER-SUPPESSION LAWS… President Joe Biden attacked racist voting laws sweeping America yesterday, warning that “the 21st-century Jim Crow assault is real.” Biden asked of Republicans who support voting restrictions: “Have you no shame?” The president noted that 17 states states had enacted 28 laws that make it harder to vote, with 400 bills pending.
DEMS AGREE ON BUDGET PLAN… Senate Democrats last night agreed on a $3.5 trillion budget plan that would expand Medicare, fund climate-change initiatives. Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said that when including $600 billion in new spending Biden has proposed in a separate bipartisan infrastructure proposal, the amount of new spending comes in around $4.1 trillion. Biden is set to meet today with Senate Democrats at the Capitol to discuss the agreement.
BANKER GUILTY OF BRIBING PAUL MANAFORT… A jury in Manhattan yesterday found a Chicago banker guilty of helping former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort improperly receive $16 million in loans in order to interview for a job within the Trump administration. Stephen Calk, the former chairman and CEO of The Federal Savings Bank, was found guilty of one count of financial institution bribery and one count of conspiracy to commit financial institution bribery. The charges carry 30 and 5-year maximum prison sentences, respectively. Prosecutors say he helped secure two different loans totaling $16 million for Manafort shortly after the 2016 election in exchange for interviews for different Trump administration positions, including Secretary of the Army. Manafort late defaulted on the loans.
OREGON FIRE IS NATION’S BIGGEST… A wildfire raging in Oregon is currently the largest fire in the nation, officials said yesterday. The Bootleg Fire, which started in Klamath County on July 6, has burned more than 201,000 acres. The fire has destroyed 54 structures and 21 homes and its cause remains unknown.
EMMY NOMINATIONS… Netflix’s “The Crown” and the Disney+ Star Wars action drama “The Mandalorian” each picked up 24 nominations to lead the field at this year’s 73rd Emmy Awards. The Disney+ Marvel series “WandaVision” received 23 nominations. Nominees in the best drama category include “The Crown,” “The Mandalorian,” “The Handmaid’s Tale,” “Bridgerton,” “The Boys,” “Pose,” “Lovecraft Country” and “This Is Us.” The Apple TV+ series “Ted Lasso,” starring Jason Sudeikis, is the favorite to win in the comedy category.
NICOLAS CAGE PULLS OUT OF JOE EXOTIC FILM… Nicolas Cage revealed yesterday that he has pulled out of Amazon’s planned fictionalized adaptation of the Netflix documentary “Tiger King.” Cage was set to portray Joe Exotic but said his departure came after Amazon cooled to the project. According to Cage, Amazon thought interest in the show had a shelf life that already has expired.
MLB ALL-STAR GAME…
American League 5 – NATIONAL LEAGUE 2… The American League made it eight straight wins over the National League by winning last night’s 91st All-Star Game in Denver. 22-year-old Vladimir Guerrero Jr. homered and drove in a second run on his way to become the youngest player to be honored as the game’s MVP. Mike Zunino also homered for the American Leaguers. MLB’s regular season resumes tomorrow.
NBA FINALS RESUMES TONIGHT… The NBA finals resumes tonight with Phoenix visiting Milwaukee for Game 4. The Suns won the first two games of the series at home before the Bucks got in the win column by winning Sunday’s Game 3.