The Rundown for March 8, 2021

CORONAVIRUS UPDATES… The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 28,998,832 and the nation’s death toll stands at 525,031, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University… Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious diseases expert, said yesterday that the number of vaccine doses available will sharply rise in the coming weeks following federal approval of Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose shot. The U.S. is now administering at least 2 million shots each day, and 87.9 million doses have been given, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention… The State Department warned yesterday that online platforms directed by Russian intelligence are spreading disinformation about two of the coronavirus vaccines being used in the U.S.

BIDEN ORDER EXPANDS VOTING… President Joe Biden yesterday marked the 56th anniversary of the bloody Selma civil-rights march by signing an executive order expanding voting access and information about voter registration. The order seeks to increase voting access to people with disabilities, active duty military and other overseas voters as well as citizens in federal custody in addition to modernizing voter information platforms and providing outreach to Native American communities. Biden noted that on March 7, 1965, Black demonstrators, including the late U.S. Rep. John Lewis, were beaten by police while crossing the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama, in a demand for the right to vote.

U.S., SOUTH KOREA REACH TROOP DEAL… The U.S. has reached an agreement in principle with South Korea on a new arrangement for sharing the cost of the American troop presence. According to the State Department’s Bureau of Political-Military Affairs, the deal includes a “negotiated increase” in Seoul’s share of the cost. South Korea’s Foreign Ministry said the agreement came after three days of face-to-face talks in Washington. The U.S. keeps about 28,000 troops in South Korea to help deter potential aggression from North Korea.

CAPITOL SECURITY REVIEW… A new security review recommends widespread changes at the U.S. Capitol following the January 6 insurrection. The final report was compiled by former Hurricane Katrina Commander and retired Lieutenant General Russel Honore, along with a task force composed of other former senior military officials. It proposes giving the U.S. Capitol Police authority to request support from the National Guard and outside law enforcement without pre-approval from the Capitol Police Board in “extraordinary emergency circumstances.” The 15-page document will be presented to the House today.

MORE CALLS FOR CUOMO TO RESIGN… Two top New York state lawmakers have stepped up the pressure on New York Governor Andrew Cuomo to resign amid allegations of sexual harassment and inappropriate conduct. State Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins and New York State Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie both asked for Cuomo to step down yesterday. Despite the pleas from fellow Democrats, the governor insists he’s going nowhere.

ENTERTAINMENT
MORGAN WALLEN STAYS ATOP ALBUM CHART
… Morgan Wallen’s “Dangerous: The Double Album” sold 82,000 copies to remain atop the Billboard 200 album chart for the eighth straight week. The Weeknd’s compilation album “The Highlights” jumped into second place after selling 52,000 units. Pop Smoke’s ”Shoot for the Stars Aim for the Moon” stayed at No. 3 with 42,000 copies sold. Pooh Sheisty’s “Sheisty Season” climbed into fourth place with 37,000 units sold. Lil Durk’s “The Voice” sold 36,000 copies to cap the top five.

CRITICS CHOICE AWARDS… “Nomadland” was the big winner at last night’s Critics Choice Awards, capturing honors for Best Picture and Best Director for Chloe Zhao. “Minari” won for Best Foreign Film and its star, Alan S. Kim, was honored as Best Young Actor or Actress. “Ted Lasso” also won twice, with awards for Best Comedy Series and Best Actor in a Comedy Series for Jason Sudeikis. Carey Mulligan won the Best Actress in a Film prize for “Promising Young Woman” and the late Chadwick Boseman was recognized as Best Actor in a Film for “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.” Maria Bakalova won the Best Supporting Actress in a Film honor for “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm,” Daniel Kaluuya was named Best Supporting Actor in a Film for “Judas and the Black Messiah” and Catherine O’Hara was voted Best Actress in a Comedy Series for “Schitt’s Creek.”

SPORTS
NBA ALL-STAR GAME
… Team LeBron cruised past Team Durant 170-150 in yesterday’s NBA All-Star Game in Atlanta. Giannis Antetokounmpo was awarded the game’s MVP trophy after making all 16 field-goal attempts on his way to a game-high 35 points. Stephen Curry made eight 3-pointers and finished with 28 points. The NBA’s regular season resumes on Wednesday.

NHL SCOREBOARD
N.Y. ISLANDERS 5 – Buffalo 2… Anders Lee and Brock Nelson scored 1:02 apart in the second period to open the scoring and the Islanders cruised past the Sabres. Nelson also found the net in the third.

Tampa Bay 6 – CHICAGO 3… The Lightning rolled past the Blackhawks after spotting them a three-goal lead. Yanni Gourde netted two second-period goals and had two assists. Victor Hedman and Ondrej Palat each had a goal and an assist.

CAROLINA 4 – Florida 2… The Hurricanes doubled up on the Panthers for their fifth straight win. Sebastian Aho had a goal and an assist.

New Jersey 1 – BOSTON 0… Kyle Palmieri’s goal with 4:37 remaining broke a scoreless tie and the Devils hung on to clip the Bruins. Goalie Scott Wedgewood stopped all 40 shots in the shutout.

Washington 3 – PHILADELPHIA 1… The Capitals got goals from Alex Ovechkin, Dmitry Orlov and Nick Jensen in downing the Flyers. T.J. Oshi set up two goals.

Pittsburgh 5 – N.Y. RANGERS 1… The Penguins scored three goals 1:01 apart late in the first period and never looked back in skating past the Rangers. Kasperi Kapanen scored a goal and set up two others. Evgeni Malkin added a goal and an assist.

Nashville 4 – DALLAS 3 (SO)… The Predators recovered to outlast the Stars after blowing a three-goal third-period lead. Roman Josi netted the winning goal in the shootout. Eeli Tolvanen had a goal and an assist. Goalie Pekka Rinne made 35 saves.

Ottawa 4 – CALGARY 3 (SO)… Tim Stutzie and Drake Batherson scored in the tie-breaker to send the Senators past the Flames. Connor Brown, Ryan Dzingel and Colin White scored in regulation for Ottawa.

TODAY’S NHL SCHEDULE
Vegas is at Minnesota…
Edmonton hosts Ottawa…
Arizona is at Colorado…
San Jose hosts St. Louis…
Montreal is at Vancouver…
Anaheim hosts Los Angeles

TOP 25 MEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL SCOREBOARD
MICHIGAN STATE 70, No. 2 Michigan 64…
No. 3 BAYLOR 88, No. 18 Texas Tech 73…
No. 5 IOWA 77, No. 25 Wisconsin 73…
No. 9 HOUSTON 67, Memphis 64…
No. 15 Texas 76, TCU 64…
No. 20 LOYOLA CHICAGO 75, DRAKE 65

MLB SPRING TRAINING SCORES
PITTSBURGH 13, Baltimore 1…
ATLANTA 5, Boston 4…
ST. LOUIS 8, Houston 5…
N.Y. YANKEES 4, Philadelphia 0…
MINNESOTA 8, Tampa Bay 4…
DETROIT 5, Toronto 1…
Miami 4, N.Y. METS 4 (tie)…
OAKLAND 9, Cleveland 4…
Colorado 1, CHI. WHITE SOX 0…
TEXAS 4, L.A. Dodgers 3…
San Francisco 9, CINCINNATI 4…
ARIZONA 5, Chi. Cubs 4…
K.C. Royals 4, SAN DIEGO 3…
L.A. ANGELS 6, Seattle 2

The Rundown for March 4, 2021

CORONAVIRUS UPDATES… The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 28,786,045 and the nation’s death toll stands at 518,345, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University… President Joe Biden and moderate Democrats have reportedly compromised on a bill that narrows the income eligibility for the next round of $1,400 stimulus checks. A Wharton analysis of the compromised bill found that 7 million fewer families will receive a partial payment than a House bill passed on Saturday would have allowed… Earlier yesterday, Biden said Texas Governor Greg Abbott and Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves are making a “big mistake” by fully reopening their states next week. The president characterized the move as “Neanderthal thinking” that defies recent warnings by public health officials.

HOUSE SHUTS DOWN AMID THREAT… Credible reports of a second possible attack on the Capitol prompted the House of Representatives to cancel today’s scheduled session. According to a Washington Post report yesterday, U.S. Capitol Police warned that they had “obtained intelligence that shows a possible plot to breach the Capitol by an identified militia group on Thursday, March 4.” Right-wing extremists have been making online claims that former President Donald Trump will be sworn in again. The Senate is scheduled to meet today and debate the Biden administration’s $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package.

NATIONAL GUARD COMMANDER TALKS ATTACK… Washington, D.C, National Guard commanding general William Walker told the Senate Rules and Administration Committee yesterday that he was “stunned” when senior military leaders refused his desperate requests to send in troops to defend the U.S. Capitol during the January 6 attack. Walker said senior Defense officials Charles Flynn and Walter Piatt held off on sending in reinforcements for three hours and 19 minutes while citing a concern about “optics.” The day before the attack, acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller put in place restrictions limiting Walker’s ability to prepare and move troops. Walker said he could have had 155 National Guard troops at the Capitol within 20 minutes of getting the order. Walker noted that during civil-rights protests that followed the death of George Floyd last year, the National Guard was given immediate approval to aid local law enforcement.

HOUSE PASSES VOTING, POLICE BILLS… The House voted 220 to 210 yesterday in passing voting and campaign finance reform legislation intended to expand access to the polls, fight partisan gerrymandering and set up new public funding for congressional races. Three Republicans joined with Democrats in approving the People Act of 2021, known as H.R. 1. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the legislation is needed to combat voter suppression efforts, crack down on corruption and lessen the influence of big donors in politics… The House also passed a bill banning controversial police tactics and exposing officers to lawsuits if they violate suspects’ constitutional rights. The George Floyd Justice in Policing Act passed by a vote of 220-212. Both bill passed in the House yesterday face an uncertain fate in the Senate.

CHAO MISUSED OFFICE, ACCORDING TO REPORT… A 44-page report sent to House lawmakers yesterday detailed numerous instances of “misuse of office” by former Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao. The report by the Transportation Department’s inspector general revealed that Chao sparked ethics concerns among officials by using her staff to perform tasks for her family’s shipbuilding company, Foremost Group, even though the tasks had nothing to do with official business of the Transportation Department. The watchdog noted one instance in which Chao instructed staffers to organize events for a later-canceled trip to China in 2017 that included a series of promotional stops for her family’s business. Chao also allegedly asked staffers to perform tasks for her father, including working on his Wikipedia page, peddling his biography and soliciting a “well-known C.E.O. of a major U.S. corporation” to write the foreword.

ENTERTAINMENT
ROCK AND ROLL HALL OF FAME TO HOST LIVE SHOW
… The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has announced plans to host a live induction of its 36th class on October 30 in Cleveland, with tickets available to the general public. Inductees will be announced in May. Nominees include Jay-Z, the Foo Fighters, Mary J. Blige, The Go-Go’s, Devo and Carole King.

‘THE GRAY MAN’ CAST GROWS… Billy Bob Thornton, Rege-Jean Page and Alfre Woodard have signed onto the ensemble cast of the upcoming Netflix film “The Gray Man.” They join a cast that already includes Ryan Gosling, Chris Evans, Ana de Armas, Jessica Henwick, Wagner Moura, Dhanush and Julia Butters. The film is based on Mark Greaney’s “Gray Man” novel series, which centers on freelance assassin and former CIA operative Court Gentry, who will be played by Gosling.

SPORTS
NBA SCOREBOARD

Indiana 114 – CLEVELAND 111… The Pacers overcame a 10-point halftime deficit to top the Cavaliers. T.J. McConnell set an NBA record with nine steals in the first half and finished with 16 points, 13 assists and 10 steals. Malcolm Brogdon’s 29 points led a balanced scoring attack.

PHILADEPHIA 131 – Utah 123 (OT)… Tobias Harris scored 11 of his 22 points in overtime as the 76ers spurted past the Jazz in a matchup of the NBA’s top two teams. Joel Embiid had game-highs with 40 points and 19 rebounds. His 3-pointer tied the game with 5.9 seconds left in regulation.

Detroit 129 – TORONTO 105… The Pistons rolled past the short-handed Raptors to snap their three-game skid. Wayne Ellington pumped in 25 points. Saben Lee and fellow reserve Rodney McGruder added 20 points apiece.

Brooklyn 132 – HOUSTON 114… James Harden scored 29 points, grabbed 10 rebounds and dished off 14 assists in leading the Nets past the Rockets in his return to Houston. Kyrie Irving tossed in 24 points.

Atlanta 115 – ORLANDO 112… The Hawks came from 19 points down to upend the Magic. Trae Young knocked down the winning free throws with eight seconds remaining and finished with 32 points. Danilo Gallinari added 23 points.

Charlotte 135 – MINNESOTA 102… The Hornets broke the game open in the second half and dismantled the Timberwolves. They got 31 points from Terry Rozier and 23 from Gordon Hayward.

Chicago 128 – NEW ORLEANS 124… Zach LaVine scored six of his 36 points in the final minute to key a late rally that carried the Bulls past the Pelicans. Coby White added 25 points. Wendell Carter Jr. pulled down 15 rebounds to go with his seven points.

DALLAS 87 – Oklahoma City 78… The Mavericks handled the Thunder despite playing without Luka Doncic, who was nursing a bad back. Kristaps Porzingis had 19 points and 13 boards. Tim Hardaway Jr. added 19 points off the bench.

PORTLAND 108 – Golden State 106… Damian Lillard knocked down a go-ahead 3-pointer with 13.7 seconds to go and drew a charge to seal the Trail Blazers’ win over the Warriors. Lillard and Carmelo Anthony led Portland with 22 points apiece. Enes Kanter had 11 points and 14 rebounds.

SACRAMENTO 123 – L.A. Lakers 120… The Kings held on at the end to be a Lakers team that was without LeBron James and Anthony Davis. Buddy Hield led the way with 29 points. De’Aaron Fox tossed in 23 points and Harrison Barnes added 20.

TODAY’S NBA SCHEDULE
Toronto is at Boston…
Washington hosts the L.A. Clippers…
Detroit is at New York…
Indiana hosts Denver…
Milwaukee is at Memphis…
New Orleans hosts Miami…
Oklahoma City is at San Antonio…
Portland hosts Sacramento…
Golden State is at Phoenix

NHL SCOREBOARD
Washington 2 – BOSTON 1 (SO)… Jakub Vrana netted the lone goal in the shootout to send the Capitals past the Bruins. Lars Eller scored a tying goal early in the third period.

Toronto 6 – EDMONTON 1… Jimmy Vesey found the net twice as the Maple Leafs skated past the Oilers. Jason Spezza assisted on three goals.

St. Louis 3 – ANAHEIM 2… The Blues scored on all three of their power-plays and held off the Ducks. Zach Michael Sanford’s third-period goal proved to be the difference. Goalie Jordan Binnington made 27 saves.

VEGAS 5 – Minnesota 1… Alex Tuch and Chandler Stephenson both had a goal and an assist as the Golden Knights cruised past the Wild. Goalie Marc-Andre Fleury made 36 stops.

Arizona 3 – LOS ANGELES 2… The Coyotes scored all three goals in the second period and hung on to edge the Kings. Clayton Keller and Nick Schmaltz netted power-play goals. Anti Raanta made 40 saves at goal.

Colorado 4 – SAN JOSE 0… Avalanche goalie Philipp Grubauer stopped all 26 shots in shutting out the Sharks. Mikko Rantanen scored two goals and assisted on two others.

TODAY’S NHL SCHEDULE
Detroit is at Carolina…
Pittsburgh hosts Philadelphia…
Winnipeg is at Montreal…
New Jersey hosts the N.Y. Rangers…
Buffalo is at the N.Y. Islanders…
Chicago hosts Tampa Bay…
Florida is at Nashville…
Dallas hosts Columbus…
Ottawa is at Calgary…
Vancouver hosts Toronto

TOP 25 MEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL SCOREBOARD
No. 10 VILLANOVA 72, No. 14 Creighton 60…
No. 11 FLORIDA STATE 93, Boston College 64…
No. 29 San Diego State 71, UNLV 62

MLB SPRING TRAINING SCORES
Baltimore 8, ATLANTA 1…
Boston 14, MINNESOTA 6…
Miami 8, WASHINGTON 5…
ST. LOUIS 14, N.Y. Mets 9…
Philadelphia 4, DETROIT 2…
TAMPA BAY 3, Pittsburgh 1…
Arizona 9, CLEVELAND 4…
KANSAS CITY 6, Chi. White Sox 5…
Seattle 8, CHI. CUBS 8 (tie)…
Milwaukee 8, SAN DIEGO 5…
COLORADO 10, Oakland 7…
L.A. ANGELS 6, Texas 2…
N.Y. YANKEES 4, Toronto 1…
Cincinnati 4, L.A. DODGERS 4 (tie)

The Rundown for March 3, 2021

CORONAVIRUS UPDATES… The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 28,719,624 and the nation’s death toll stands at 516,608, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University… Texas Governor Greg Abbott and Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves eased restrictions in their states yesterday despite recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warnings not to. Abbott lifted a mask mandate and announced that businesses may open at full capacity next week. Reeves has lifted all county mask mandates and announced all businesses can operate at 100-percent capacity.

RAIMONDO CONFIRMED AS COMMERCE SECRETARY… The Senate yesterday confirmed Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo as Commerce secretary. Her confirmation came following an 84-15 bipartisan vote. Raimondo said in her confirmation hearing she would prioritize addressing economic damage from COVID-19, ensuring fair competition for U.S. workers “on the global playing field” and tackling climate change. Also yesterday, former President Barack Obama adviser Neera Tanden withdrew her nomination as director of the Office of Management and Budget after facing scrutiny over her past tweets critical of lawmakers.

MORE THAN A DOZEN DEAD IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA CRASH… At least 13 people were killed yesterday when a big rig hauling two trailers crashed with a Ford Expedition carrying at least 25 in Southern California, about 10 miles north of the Mexico border. The cause of the deadly crash near State Route 115 in Imperial County is being investigated for any connection to human smuggling. A preliminary report released last night by the California Highway Patrol said the SUV, driven by a 28-year-old resident of Mexico, “entered the intersection directly in front” of a 68-year-old truck driver. The SUV driver was killed instantly. The truck driver was hospitalized with major injuries. Authorities said 10 of the dead were Mexican nationals.

WRAY TESTIFIES ON CAPITOL ATTACK… FBI Director Christopher Wray repeatedly told members of the Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday that there is no evidence of “antifa” participating in the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol nor is there evidence of attackers posing as Trump supporters. Wray’s testimony defied the efforts of several GOP officials to divert blame for the insurrection from Trump supporters. A recent Suffolk University/USA Today poll found that 58 percent of Republicans believe the Capitol riot to have been “mostly an antifa-inspired attack that only involved a few Trump supporters.”

VERNON JORDAN DIES… Civil-rights activist Vernon Jordan, who developed close personal friendships with presidents from Lyndon Johnson to Barack Obama, died Monday night of undisclosed causes, his niece announced yesterday. He was 85. Jordan served as field secretary for the Georgia NAACP and executive director of the United Negro College Fund in the 1960s before becoming head of the National Urban League, He transitioned into business and politics in the 1980s. Jordan was a key campaign adviser to Clinton during his 1992 presidential campaign and co-chaired Clinton’s transition team.

ENTERTAINMENT
BUNNY WAILER DIES
… Reggae icon Bunny Wailer, who was the last living original member of the Wailers, died yesterday at the age of 73. The Jamaican Observer reported that Wailer had been in and out of the hospital since having a second stroke in July. The native of Kingston, Jamaica, was Bob Marley’s stepbrother. The two, along with Peter Tosh, formed the Wailing Wailers in 1963. It wasn’t until the 1970s that members of the group became international superstars as Bob Marley and the Wailers. After leaving the band in 1973, Wailer embarked on a successful solo career. He won three Grammys in the ’90s and recorded with Snoop Dogg on the 2013 Snoop Lion album “Reincarnated.” In 2017, Wailer was awarded the Order of Merit by the Jamaican government and in 2019 was presented the Reggae Gold Award for his contributions to the country’s music culture.

DOLLY PARTON GETS HER VACCINATION… Country star Dolly Parton, who was was credited with helping fund the Moderna vaccine through her $1 million donation to Vanderbilt University Medical Center, has been given her first dose of the vaccine. The 75-year-old Parton used the opportunity to urge others to join her in getting vaccinated. She sang an adapted version of her hit song “Jolene” before receiving the shot. “Vaccine, vaccine, vaccine, vaccine, I’m begging of you, please don’t hesitate,” Parton pleaded in a video.

SPORTS
NBA SCOREBOARD

Memphis 125 – WASHINGTON 111… The Grizzlies took control in the second quarter and held off the Wizards. Ja Morant pumped in 35 points and dished off 10 assists. De’Anthony Melton and Dillon Brooks added 20 points apiece.

BOSTON 117 – L.A. Clippers 112… The Celtics withstood a late charge to get past a Clippers team that was playing without Kawhi Leonard. Kemba Walker scored 25 points to lead six players in double figures.

Atlanta 94 – MIAMI 80… Trae Young scored 13 straight points during a fourth-quarter surge that carried the Hawks past the Heat. Young finished with 18 points and 10 assists. Clint Capela pulled down 17 rebounds to go with his 10 points.

SAN ANTONIO 119 – New York 93… The Spurs came alive in the second half to blow open a close game. Six players scored in double figures led by Trey Lyles’ 18 points. DeMar DeRozan had 10 points and 11 assists.

Denver 128 – MILWAUKEE 97… The Nuggets built a double-digit lead early and went on to hand the Bucks their first loss in six games. Nikola Jokic racked up 37 points, 10 boards and 11 assists in his 50th career triple-double. Jamal Murray added 24 points.

Phoenix 114 – L.A. LAKERS 104… The Suns fought off the Lakers despite the third-quarter ejection of leading scorer Devin Booker for arguing. Dario Šarić came off the bench and scored 10 of his 21 points in the fourth quarter.

TODAY’S NBA SCHEDULE
Indiana is at Cleveland…
Philadelphia hosts Utah…
Detroit is at Toronto (in Tampa)…
Houston hosts Brooklyn…
Atlanta is at Orlando…
Minnesota hosts Charlotte…
Chicago is at New Orleans…
Oklahoma City is at Dallas…
Portland hosts Golden State…
the L.A. Lakers are at Sacramento

NHL SCOREBOARD
N.Y. Islanders 2 – NEW JERSEY 1… Oliver Wahlstrom found the net early in the third period to break a scoreless tie and Anders Lee added what proved to be the decisive goal in the Islanders’ win over the Devils. Goalie Semyon Varlamov made 28 saves and came within 14 seconds of his fourth shutout.

N.Y. RANGERS 3 – Buffalo 2… Pavel Buchnevich had a goal and an assist in leading the Rangers past the Sabres. The loss was Buffalo’s fourth straight.

PITTSBURGH 5 – Philadelphia 2… Kasperi Kapanen netted back-to-back goals in the second period to give the Penguins the lead for good in their defeat of the Flyers. Tristan Jarry stopped 40 shots at goal.

COLUMBUS 4 – Detroit 1… The Blue Jackets scored three second-period goals to put away the Red Wings. Cam Atkinson had a goal and an assist. Zach Werenski set up two goals.

MONTREAL 3 – Ottawa 1… Brandon Gallagher and Jeff Petry opened the scoring with back-to-back power-play goals 2:04 part in the second period and the Canadiens breezed past the Senators to give new coach Dominique Ducharme his first NHL victory. Goalie Carey Price made 26 saves.

WINNIPEG 5 – Vancouver 2… Kyle Connor and Blake Wheeler each had a goal and two assists as the Jets skated past the Canucks. Laurent Brossoit made 32 stops at goal.

Carolina 4 – NASHVILLE 2… The Hurricanes got a pair of goals from Sebastian Aho in doubling up on the Predators. Steven Lorentz scored a goal and assisted on another.

Tampa Bay 2 – DALLAS 0… Goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped all 28 shots in his third straight shutout and the Lightning clipped the Stars. Ondrej Palat provided all the offense Tampa Bay needed with a first-period power-play goal.

TODAY’S NHL SCHEDULE
Washington is at Boston…
Edmonton hosts Toronto…
St. Louis is at Anaheim…
Vegas hosts Minnesota…
Arizona is at Los Angeles…
San Jose hosts Colorado

TOP 25 MEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL SCOREBOARD… 10 TOP-25 TEAMS IN ACTION!
No. 4 Illinois 76, No. 2 MICHIGAN 53…
No. 3 Baylor 94, No. 6 WEST VIRGINIA 89…
No. 8 ALABAMA 70, Auburn 58…
No. 12 Arkansas 101, SOUTH CAROLINA 73…
No. 15 Texas 81, IOWA STATE 67…
No. 18 TEXAS TECH 69, TCU 49…
No. 25 PURDUE 73, No. 23 Wisconsin 69

MLB SPRING TRAINING SCORES
CHI. CUBS 3, Kansas City 2…
Texas 5, CHI. WHITE SOX 5 (tie)…
Cleveland 6, SEATTLE 1…
Oakland 2, MILWAUKEE 1…
San Diego 7, ARIZONA 2…
Detroit 6, PITTSBURGH 1…
ATLANTA 6, Minnesota 0…
N.Y. Yankees 4, BALTIMORE 2…
St. Louis 0, MIAMI 0 (tie)…
BOSTON 9, Tampa Bay 3…
TORONTO 4, Philadelphia 2…
N.Y. METS 2, Houston 0…
CINCINNATI 7, L.A. Angels 5…
SAN FRANCISCO 1, L.A. Dodgers 1 (tie)

The Rundown for March 2, 2021

CORONAVIRUS UPDATES… The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 28,659,784 and the nation’s death toll stands at 514,333, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University… Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky yesterday issued a stern warning against easing up on safety measures too soon. She said the U.S. could lose all its recent gains against the coronavirus if highly contagious variants are allowed to spread. New infections are on the rise after weeks of falling case numbers. Last week’s seven-day averages of new cases and deaths increased more than 2 percent over the previous week.

MIGRANT CHILDREN MAY REUNITE WITH FAMILIES… Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas announced yesterday that hundreds of migrant children still separated from their parents by the Trump administration may be allowed to reunite with their families in the U.S. Mayorkas described reuniting the families as a “moral imperative” and President Biden has made it a priority of his administration. More than 5,500 migrant children were separated from their parents when they entered the U.S. and more than 1,400 parents were ultimately deported without their children.

CARDONA CONFIRMED AS EDUCATION SECRETARY… The Senate voted 64 to 33 yesterday in confirming Miguel Cardona as the next Department of Education secretary. Cardona has served as Connecticut’s education commissioner for the past year and a half and his appointment comes as Americans are divided over the reopening of schools amid the pandemic. Cardona has argued that schools should reopen in order to keep equity gaps from growing ever wider.

GARLAND’S AG NOMINATION PASSES SENATE PANEL… Merrick Garland came one step closer to being confirmed as attorney general yesterday. The Senate judiciary committee approved the appellate court judge by a 15-7 vote and sent his appointment on to the full Senate for a final vote. During his confirmation hearing last week, Garland said his top early priority if confirmed would be overseeing the prosecution of those who attacked the U.S. Capitol building on January 6. He also said other priorities would include addressing racial and social inequalities and an upswing of violent crimes in large U.S. cities. Garland promised that the Justice Department will not be politicized as it was under former President Donald Trump and vowed to consider new federal-level gun control measures, so long as they are consistent with the law.

HYATT SENDS ITS REGRETS… Hyatt Hotels has released a corporate statement expressing regret for hosting the Conservative Political Action Conference over the weekend. The hotel group said it was “extremely disappointed by the disrespect many individuals involved in the event showed to our colleagues” following reports that attendees became abusive when asked to wear masks and socially distance. The hotel group also called symbols of hate “abhorrent” after the design of the CPAC stage was consistent with the Norse rune used by Nazis during World War II.

ENTERTAINMENT
T.I., WIFE FACING SEXUAL-ABUSE ACCUSATIONS
… Rapper-actor T.I. and his wife, musician Tiny, are the targets of disturbing sexual assault accusations. The New York Times reported yesterday that an attorney representing 11 alleged victims is accusing the couple of crimes including sexual abuse, forced ingestion of illegal narcotics, kidnapping, false imprisonment, intimidation, assault and harassment. The attorney, Tyrone A. Blackburn, wants authorities in California and Georgia to open investigations. The Hollywood Reporter reported that T.I. will not be returning for Marvel Studios’ upcoming “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania” but it is not clear whether the accusations are behind his departure.

MAYA RUDOLPH TO GUEST HOST ‘SNL’… “Saturday Night Live” is bringing back former cast member Maya Rudolph to guest host the March 27 show. Rapper Jack Harlow will provide the evening’s musical entertainment in the first live episode since the past Saturday’s. The 48-year-old Rudolph starred on SNL from 2000-2007. She has appeared on the show over the past couple years to portray former senator and current vice president Kamala Harris.

SPORTS
NBA SCOREBOARD

Dallas 130 – ORLANDO 124… Luka Doncic scored a game-high 33 points and grabbed 10 rebounds in leading the Mavericks past the Magic. Kristaps Porzingis finished with 17 points and 10 boards.

PHILADELPHIA 130 – Indiana 114… The 76ers got a big lift from their bench in rolling past the Pacers. Shake Milton led all scorers with 26 points. Joel Embiid totaled 24 points and 13 rebounds.

Denver 118 – CHICAGO 112… Nikola Jokic recorded game-highs with 39 points and 14 boards in powering the Nuggets past the Bulls. Jamal Murray tossed in 24 points. Michael Porter Jr. had 17 points and 15 rebounds.

NEW ORLEANS 129 – Utah 124… The Pelicans took control with a big third quarter and hung on to top the Jazz. Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram scored 26 points apiece. Williamson also had 10 boards. Lonzo Ball added 23 points.

Brooklyn 124 – SAN ANTONIO 113 (OT)… The Nets recovered to outlast the Spurs after blowing a 10-point lead at the end of regulation. James Harden piled up 30 points, 15 assists and 14 rebounds. Brooklyn also got 27 points from Kyrie Irving and 23 from Bruce Brown.

Cleveland 101 – HOUSTON 90… The Cavaliers pulled away in the second half and dealt the Rockets their 12th straight loss. Collin Sexton pumped in 39 points. Jarrett Allen pulled down 15 boards to go with his 10 points.

PORTLAND 123 – Charlotte 111… The Trail Blazers shook off a slow start to cruise past the Hornets and snap a four-game skid. Carmelo Anthony led the way with 29 points. Damian Lillard scored 23 points and dished off 10 assists.

TODAY’S NBA SCHEDULE
Memphis is at Washington…
Boston hosts the L.A. Clippers…
Atlanta is at Miami…
Toronto hosts Detroit…
New York is at San Antonio…
Milwaukee hosts Denver…
Phoenix is at the L.A. Lakers

NHL SCOREBOARD
Carolina 3 – FLORIDA 2 (OT)… Martin Necas found the net 1:59 into overtime to send the Hurricanes past the Panthers. Necas set up two goals in regulation. Goalie Alex Nedeljkovic made 44 saves.

OTTAWA 5 – Calgary 1… Drake Batherson netted two goals in leading the Senators past the Flames. Tim Stutzle had two assists. Matt Murray stopped 27 shots at goal.

Vancouver 4 – WINNIPEG 0… Thatcher Demko stopped all 27 shots in his first career shutout and the Canucks breezed past the Jets. Nate Schmidt had a goal and an assist.

Toronto 3 – EDMONTON 0… Michael Hutchinson made 31 saves in his sixth career shutout and the Maple Leafs skated past the Oilers. Morgan Rielly and William Nylander each had a goal and an assist as Toronto scored all three goals in the first period.

VEGAS 5 – Minnesota 4 (OT)… The Golden Knights came from two goals down in the third period to upend the Wild. Max Pacioretty’s second goal of the game came two minutes into overtime. Pacioretty also assisted on Alex Tuch’s game-tying goal with 42 seconds left in regulation.

St. Louis 5 – ANAHEIM 4… The Blues withstood a third-period rally to edge the Ducks. Zach Sanford netted two goals. Dakota Joshua found the net in his NHL debut. Isac Lundestrom’s three goals weren’t enough for Anaheim.

SAN JOSE 6 – Colorado 2… The Sharks blew past the Avalanche after spotting them a two-goal second-period lead. Six different players found the net. Timo Meier assisted on three goals. Goalie Martin Jones made 33 stops.

TODAY’S NHL SCHEDULE
the N.Y. Islanders are at New Jersey…
the N.Y. Rangers host Buffalo…
Philadelphia is at Pittsburgh…
Columbus hosts Detroit…
Ottawa is at Montreal…
Vancouver is at Winnipeg…
Nashville hosts Carolina…
Tampa Bay is at Dallas

TOP 25 MEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL SCOREBOARD
No. 21 VIRGINIA 62, Miami (Fla.) 51…
No. 17 Oklahoma State 79, No. 16 Oklahoma 75

MLB SPRING TRAINING SCORES
OAKLAND 13, Cincinnati 5…
L.A. DODGERS 10, Colorado 0…
Kansas City 8, CLEVELAND 6…
TEXAS 1, San Francisco 1 (tie)…
Chi. White Sox 4, L.A. ANGELS 4 (tie)…
Chi. Cubs 1, SAN DIEGO 0…
Milwaukee 7, ARIZONA 1…
Atlanta 5, BOSTON 3…
Baltimore 4, PHILADELPHIA 4 (tie)…
N.Y. YANKEES 5, Detroit 4…
Houston 7, WASHINGTON 6…
Minnesota 6, TAMPA BAY 5…
MIAMI 2, N.Y. Mets 0…
TORONTO 2, Pittsburgh 2 (tie)

The Rundown for February 26, 2021

CORONAVIRUS UPDATES… The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 28,410,917 and the nation’s death toll stands at 508,114, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University… The Senate parliamentarian has ruled against Democratic efforts to increase the minimum wage to $15 an hour as part of the Covid relief bill. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said last night that the provision will remain in the House bill for a vote today.

WARPLANES STRIKE IRAN-BACKED MILITIAS… U.S. warplanes struck a camp in Syria linked to two Iran-backed militias that have claimed responsibility for recent rocket attacks against U.S. forces in Iraqi Kurdistan. The action was taken “at President Biden’s direction,” according to Pentagon spokesman John Kirby. “The operation sends an unambiguous message; President Biden will act to protect American coalition personnel,” Kirby said.

HOUSE PASSES EQUALITY ACT… The House yesterday passed a bill that would extend protections against discrimination based on sex, sexual orientation or gender identity. The bill, called the Equality Act, or House Resolution 5, was approved 224-206 in a floor vote. It was introduced in the House and Senate last week with the intent to close gaps in current federal civil rights laws to protect the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities.

HHS NOMINEES CONFIRMATION HEARING… Surgeon general nominee Dr. Vivek Murthy and assistant secretary for health nominee Dr. Rachel Levine were questioned about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the opioid crisis during a joint confirmation hearing yesterday. Appearing before the Senate health, education, labor and pensions committee, they pledged to use their past experience in public health to combat current and future national health crises. Murthy, who previously served as surgeon general under President Barack Obama, said the government must ensure the presence of community health centers that can distribute the vaccines and noted that vaccine hesitancy is a result of structural challenges such as a lack of access to healthcare. Levine, who currently serves as secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Health, said the pandemic has revealed the necessity for health agencies at all levels to work closely together.

TRUMP’S TAXES TURNED OVER… Millions of pages of former President Donald Trump’s tax records and financial statements have been turned over to Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance. The documents were given to the D.A.’s office earlier this week after the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously rejected Trump’s last-ditch effort to keep them private. The documents were subpoenaed as part of a fraud investigation and are not expected to be released to the public.

ENTERTAINMENT
LADY GAGA WANTS HER DOGS BACK
… Lady Gaga is offering a $500,000 reward for the return of her two French bulldogs that were stolen in a violent theft on Wednesday night. A dog walker who was handling the dogs on a street in West Los Angeles was shot and wounded while trying to protect the dogs from the thieves. A third dog ran away and was later recovered by one of Gaga’s bodyguards. Gaga has been in Rome on a film shoot and wasn’t home home at the time.

‘BETTER CALL SAUL’ BEGINS PRODUCTION… “Better Call Saul” has received the go-ahead to begin production of its sixth and final season next month. Pre-production is currently underway, and the crew is being quarantined and tested for the upcoming start. Production on the “Breaking Bad” prequel was originally set for March 2020 but was delayed by the pandemic. There will be 13 episodes in the final season, although no air date has been confirmed. The series is shot in New Mexico.

SPORTS
NBA SCOREBOARD

PHILADELPHIA 111 – Dallas 97… Joel Embiid scored 23 points to lead a balanced scoring attack and the 76ers cruised past the Mavericks. Ben Simmons and Seth Curry added 15 points apiece.

BROOKLYN 129 – Orlando 92… The Nets routed the Magic for their eighth straight win. Kyrie Irving led the way with 27 points. James Harden tossed in 20 points.

NEW YORK 140 – Sacramento 121… Immanuel Quickley scored 18 of his 25 points in the first half and the Knicks dealt the Kings their ninth straight loss. Julius Randle had 21 points and 14 rebounds.

MEMPHIS 122 – L.A. Clippers 94… The Grizzlies pulled away in the second half to blow out the Clippers. Tyus Jones came off the bench to score 20 points and lead six players in double figures. Jonas Valanciunas had 16 points and 15 boards.

Washington 112 – DENVER 110… Bradley Beal pumped in 33 points and the Wizards held on at the end to top the Nuggets. Rui Hachimura added 20 points. Russell Westbrook racked up 16 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists.

MILWAUKEE 129 – New Orleans 125… The Bucks got 38 points from Giannis Antetokounmpo and 31 from Khris Middleton in outgunning the Pelicans. Antetokounmpo also grabbed 10 boards. Donte DiVincenzo tossed in 24 points.

TODAY’S NBA SCHEDULE
Indiana is at Boston…
Toronto hosts Houston…
Sacramento is at Detroit…
Miami hosts Utah…
Phoenix is at Chicago…
Memphis hosts the L.A. Clippers…
Atlanta is at Oklahoma City…
Golden State hosts Charlotte…
Portland is at the L.A. Lakers

NHL SCOREBOARD
N.Y. ISLANDERS 7 – Boston 2… The Islanders scored five unanswered goals in the third period to blow away the Bruins. Anders Lee and Mathew Barzal each had a goal and an assist. Semyon Varlamov made 34 saves at goal.

WASHINGTON 5 – Pittsburgh 2… Tom Wilson’s scored a go-ahead power-play goal at 12:40 of the third period and the Capitals added two more goals to put away the Penguins. T.J. Oshie had a goal and an assist. Goalie Vitek Vanecek stopped 26 shots.

TAMPA BAY 3 – Carolina 1… The Lightning skated past the Hurricanes after spotting them an early lead. Yanni Gourde netted a tie-breaking goal in the third period. Goalie Curtis McElhinney made 31 saves and picked up an assist.

FLORIDA 3 – Dallas 2… The Panthers scored three straight goals late in the third period to stun the Stars. Frank Vatrano netted the game-winner with 3:10 remaining. Sergei Bobrovsky made 37 saves at goal.

Chicago 2 – COLUMBUS 0… Patrick Kane and Carl Soderberg scored third-period goals to send the Blackhawks past the Blue Jackets. Goalie Malcolm Subban stopped all 26 shots in the blanking.

OTTAWA 6 – Calgary 1… Colin White netted a pair of goals to lead the Senators in their rout of the Flames. Matt Murray made 29 saves at goal.

New Jersey 4 – BUFFALO 3 (OT)… Pavel Zacha set up two goals and found the net 1:17 into overtime as the Devils outlasted the Sabres. Jasper Bratt had a goal and an assist.

DETROIT 5 – Nashville 2… Sam Gagner’s hat trick carried the Red Wings past the Predators. Luke Glendening had a goal and an assist. Goalie Jonathan Bernier made 37 stops.

WINNIPEG 6 – Montreal 3… The Jets erased an early two-goal deficit to double up on the Canadiens. Kyle Connor found the net twice in the second period. Nate Thompson scored a go-ahead goal in the third.

Edmonton 3 – VANCOUVER 0… Goalie Mike Smith made 32 saves in his second shutout of the season and the Oilers clipped the Canucks. Connor McDavid had a goal and an assist.

TODAY’S NHL SCHEDULE
Boston is at the N.Y. Rangers…
Minnesota hosts Los Angeles…
Colorado is at Arizona

TOP 25 MEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL SCOREBOARD
MICHIGAN STATE 71, No. 4 Ohio State 67…
COLORADO 80, No. 19 USC 62

GYMNASTICS NEWS… Former Team USA gymnastics coach John Geddert took his life in Michigan yesterday, just hours after a judge issued a warrant charging him with human trafficking, racketeering and sexual assault. The body of the 63-year-old Geddert was found at a rest area along eastbound Interstate 96 in Clinton County. He formerly owned and coached at a gymnastics club where hundreds of women and girls say convicted sex offender Larry Nassar sexually abused them. Many said Geddert knew of this abuse, as Nassar had regularly treated young athletes in a back room at the club.

The Rundown for February 25, 2021

CORONAVIRUS UPDATES… The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 28,334,981 and the nation’s death toll stands at 505,808, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University… A Food and Drug Administration review released yesterday found that Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose vaccination is safe and approximately 66 percent effective in preventing moderate to severe COVID-19. It still requires FDA approval to become the third COVID-19 vaccine in the U.S. and the first that requires just one dose.

SENATE PANEL SUPPORTS CIA DIRECTOR NOMINEE… Former U.S. ambassador to Russia and Jordan William Burns received bipartisan support as Central Intelligence Agency director during his confirmation hearing yesterday. Burns told the Senate Intelligence Committee that addressing challenges posed by China will be his top priority. The nominee said he would also prioritize technology, people and partnerships. Burns promised to keep politics out of the CIA, deliver honest information and “get to the bottom” of the mysterious illnesses suffered by American diplomats who served in Cuba. Meanwhile, members of the Senate finance committee questioned Department of Health and Human Services director nominee Xavier Becerra about his past stances on Medicare for All and abortion rights.

BIDEN NOMINATES 3 TO USPS BOARD… President Joe Biden yesterday announced three nominees to fill vacancies on the U.S. Postal Service Board of Governors. The nominees are: Ron Stroman, the former deputy postmaster general who resigned under the previous administration; Anton Hajjar, the former general counsel of American Postal Workers Union; and Amber McReynolds, CEO of the National Vote at Home Institute. One more vacancy will remain on the board, which will have jurisdiction over embattled Postmaster General Louis DeJoy. The USPS is facing growing public outcry over delayed mail, including calls for DeJoy’s removal.

BANNON FINANCIAL RECORDS SUBPOENAED… The Manhattan district attorney’s office has subpoenaed financial records from Steve Bannon, who served as chief strategist to former President Donald Trump. The subpoenas are part of an investigation centered on Bannon’s crowd-funded “We Build the Wall” campaign to erect a wall along the border with Mexico. Bannon was pardoned by Trump but he is exposed to state charges in New York and New Jersey.

WATER COMING BACK ON IN TEXAS… The number of Texans who having to boil their drinking water fell to 3 million yesterday as crews scramble to repair homes and businesses damaged by last week’s brutal winter storm. Some 5 million customers were without potable water. 13,000 people are still without any running water, according to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. The commission reported that water-service disruptions affected 14.4 million Texans on Saturday.

ENTERTAINMENT
‘FRASIER’ RETURNING
… A revival of the popular and long-running sitcom “Frasier” is coming to the new streaming service Paramount+. Kelsey Grammer has signed on to reprise the titular role and serve as an executive producer. Grammer’s character appeared not only in his namesake show but also in “Cheers” and “Wings.”

SPRINGSTEEN OFF THE HOOK… A judge dismissed Bruce Springsteen’s DWI and reckless driving charges yesterday after the legendary rocker instead pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of consuming alcohol in a public park. Springsteen was fined $540 and immediately assured the judge that he could afford to pay it. Springsteen was arrested in November after an officer spotted him taking a shot of tequila in New Jersey’s Gateway National Recreation Area before boarding his motorcycle. He admitted to downing two shots with a group of fans.

SPORTS
NBA SCOREBOARD

Golden State 111 – INDIANA 107… The Warriors came on strong down the stretch to get past the Pacers. Stephen Curry led the way with 24 points. Draymond Green grabbed 11 rebounds to go with his 12 points.

ATLANTA 127 – Boston 112… The Hawks built a 23-point halftime lead and coasted past the Celtics. Danilo Gallinari delivered 38 points off the bench and Trae young finished with 33. John Collins had 14 points and 11 boards.

CLEVELAND 112 – Houston 96… The Cavaliers pulled away late to hand the Rockets their ninth straight loss. Jarrett Allen matched a career high with 26 points and pulled down 18 rebounds. Collin Sexton tossed in 23 points.

MIAMI 116 – Toronto 108… The Heat continued their recovery from a poor start by fighting off the Raptors. Jimmy Butler scored a game-high 27 points and dished off 10 assists.

CHICAGO 133 – Minnesota 126 (OT)… Seven players scored in double figures as the Bulls outlasted the Timberwolves for their fifth win in six games. Zach LaVine led all scorers with 35 points. Coby White added 20 points.

NEW ORLEANS 128 – Detroit 118… Zion Williams finished with 32 points in leading the Pelicans past the Pistons. Brandon Ingram added 27 points. Steven Adams had 14 points and 15 boards.

OKLAHOMA CITY 102 – San Antonio 99… Lu Dort’s 3-pointer as time expired sent the Thunder past the Spurs. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander poured in a career-high 42 points.

Charlotte 124 – PHOENIX 121… Malik Monk scored 20 of his 29 points in the second quarter and the Hornets held off the Suns. LaMelo Ball tossed in 20 points.

UTAH 114 – L.A. Lakers 89… Rudy Gobert and Jordan Clarkson scored 18 points apiece to lead a balanced scoring attack and the Jazz rolled past the Lakers. Donovan Mitchell had 13 points and 10 rebounds.

TODAY’S NBA SCHEDULE
Dallas is at Philadelphia…
Brooklyn hosts Orlando…
Sacramento is at New York…
Memphis hosts the L.A. Clippers…
Washington is at Denver…
Milwaukee hosts New Orleans

NHL SCOREBOARD
TAMPA BAY 3 – Carolina 0… Goalie Sergei Vasilevskiy stopped all 25 shots as the Lightning blanked the Hurricanes. Ross Colton provided all the offense Tampa Bay needed with a first-period goal.

Dallas 3 – FLORIDA 0… Anton Khudobin made 43 saves in his second shutout of the season and the Stars skated past the Panthers to end a six-game skid. John Klingberg found the net 53 seconds into the contest.

PHILADELPHIA 4 – N.Y. Rangers 3… The Flyers withstood Chris Kreider’s three goals to edge the Rangers. Shayne Gostisbehere scored a goal and assisted on another. Claude Giroux set up three goals.

TORONTO 2 – Calgary 1 (OT)… William Nylander netted the tying goal with 1:28 left in regulation and added the winning goal at 1:06 of overtime to lead the Maple Leafs past the Flames.

ARIZONA 4 – Anaheim 3 (SO)… The Coyotes came from three goals down in the third period to stun the Ducks. Conor Garland and Christian Dvorak scored in the shootout. Phil Kessel netted the tying goal with 3:21 remaining in regulation.

Minnesota 6 – COLORADO 2… Nico Sturm found the net twice and the Wild cruised past the Avalanche. Nick Foligno, Ryan Hartman and Mats Zuccarello each had a goal and an assist.

Los Angeles 2 – ST. LOUIS 1… Alex Iafallo and Andreas Athanasiou netted second-period goals and the Kings hung on to edge the Blues. Calvin Petersen made 35 stops at goal.

TODAY’S NHL SCHEDULE
Boston is at the N.Y. Islanders…
Washington hosts Pittsburgh…
Carolina is at Tampa Bay…
Florida hosts Dallas…
Chicago is at Columbus…
Ottawa hosts Calgary…
New Jersey is at Buffalo…
Detroit hosts Nashville…
Montreal is at Winnipeg…
Vancouver hosts Edmonton

TOP 25 MEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL SCOREBOARD
No. 20 ARKANSAS 81, No. 6 Alabama 66…
No. 11 Florida State 88, MIAMI 71…
No. 13 CREIGHTON 77, DePaul 53…
North Carolina State 68, No. 15 VIRGINIA 61…
No. 25 Tennessee 70, VANDERBILT 58

The Rundown for February 24, 2021

CORONAVIRUS UPDATES… The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 28,259,987 and the nation’s death toll stands at 502,660, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University… The White House announced yesterday that the number of vaccines shipped out is rising by a million to 14.5 million doses per week. Meanwhile, executives from vaccine manufacturers Pfizer and Moderna told Congress they expect to provide the U.S. with 220 million doses by the end of next month.

BIDEN SPEAKS WITH TRUDEAU… In their first bilateral meeting yesterday, President Joe Biden and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau discussed a “partnership roadmap” and agreed to work closely together to combat the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change. Speaking via video conference from the White House, Biden noted that the U.S. has “no closer friend than Canada.” The relationship between the two countries had chilled under the Trump administration and more recently by Biden’s move to cancel the Keystone XL pipeline and Canada’s difficulty in obtaining coronavirus vaccines from plants near the U.S.-Canada border.

TWO MORE BIDEN NOMINEES CONFIRMED… The Senate yesterday approved the return of former Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack to the same position in the Biden administration and also confirmed Linda Thomas-Greenfield as ambassador to the United Nations. Department of Interior secretary nominee Deb Haaland and Health and Human Services pick Xavier Becerra were questioned by members of separate committees at confirmation hearings. The Senate Judiciary Committee heard a second day of testimony on Merrick Garland’s nomination for attorney general and is expected to vote next week.

OFFICIALS SAY CAPITOL ATTACK COORDINATED… Security officials told the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee yesterday that they believe the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol was a “coordinated attack.” Former U.S. Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund, former Senate Sergeant-at-Arms Michael Stenger and former House Sergeant-at-Arms Paul Irving, as well as Metropolitan Police Department acting chief Robert Contee, agreed with the statement that White supremacist and extremist groups were involved. After hearing Sund testify that the request for National Guard assistance was delayed and cost “critical moments” that left police to fight the insurrection themselves, Democratic Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota said it “laid bare the clear need to reform the Capitol Police Board.”

OFFICERS CLEARED IN DANIEL PRUDE’S DEATH… A New York grand jury has voted not to indict any of the seven Rochester police officers involved in the death of 41-year-old Daniel Prude last March. Police responding to the report that Prude was suffering a mental-health crisis arrested him and leaned on his head, back and feet for restraint. Video shows one officer leaning on Prude’s head for more than 2 minutes as Prude stops moving and speaking. Prude died a week later in a hospital of complications from “asphyxia in the setting of physical restraint,” according to an autopsy report. The Monroe County Medical examiner ruled the death a homicide and said Prude’s “excited delirium” and ingestion of low levels of PCP played a factor.

ENTERTAINMENT
GERARD DEPARDIEU FACING CHARGES
… French actor Gerard Depardieu was charged in December with rape and sexual assault after authorities revived a 2018 investigation that was initially dropped, the Paris prosecutor’s office revealed yesterday. Depardieu was reportedly not detained when he was handed the preliminary charges on December 16. French media reports claim the charges relate to allegations made by an actress in her 20s. An initial inquiry against the star was dropped in 2019 because of lack of evidence, but was later revived.

MANDY MOORE A MOM… Singer and actress Mandy Moore has given birth to her first child. She and her husband, musician Taylor Goldsmith, welcomed son August Harrison. The couple married in November 2018 and announced in September that they were expecting a son. Moore currently plays Rebecca Pearson in the NBC romantic family drama “This is Us.”

SPORTS
NBA SCOREBOARD

CLEVELAND 112 – Atlanta 111… Lamar Stevens’ dunk off a drive with 4.1 seconds left carried the Cavaliers past the Hawks and ended their 10-game losing streak. Collin Sexton scored a game-high 29 points. Jarrett Allen grabbed 14 rebounds to go with his 13 points.

Detroit 105 – ORLANDO 93… The Pistons topped the Magic to snap their three-game skid. Rookie Saben Lee came off the bench to score 21 points and lead all scorers.

BROOKLYN 127 – Sacramento 118… Bruce Brown scored 13 of his 29 points in the fourth quarter as the Nets dealt the Kings their eighth straight loss. James Harden racked up 29 points, 11 boards and 14 assists.

Golden State 114 – NEW YORK 106… The Warriors took control with a big third quarter and held off the Knicks. Stephen Curry pumped in a game-high 37 points.

Philadelphia 109 – TORONTO 102… The 76ers jumped out to a 19-point lead after the first quarter and held off the Raptors. Tobias Harris scored 23 points to lead six players in double figures. Joel Embiid had 18 points and 12 rebounds.

DALLAS 110 – Boston 107… Luka Doncic’s 3-pointer at the buzzer sent the Mavericks past the Celtics. Doncic finished with 31 points and 10 boards. Jalen Brunson delivered 22 points off the bench.

MILWAUKEE 139 – Minnesota 112… Giannis Antetokounmpo lit it up for 37 points and the Bucks rolled past the Timberwolves. Bryn Forbes added 23 points off the bench. Five other players scored in double figures.

DENVER 111 – Portland 106… Jamal Murray scored 19 of his 24 points in the fourth quarter as the Nuggets got past the Trail Blazers. Nikola Jokic poured in 41 points.

L.A. CLIPPERS 135 – Washington 116… The Clippers ended the Wizards’ five-game winning streak with a blowout win. They got 32 points from Kawhi Leonard and 31 from Paul George.

TODAY’S NBA SCHEDULE
Golden State is at Indiana…
Atlanta hosts Boston…
Houston is at Cleveland…
Miami hosts Toronto…
Minnesota is at Chicago…
New Orleans hosts Detroit…
San Antonio is at Oklahoma City…
Phoenix hosts Charlotte…
the L.A. Lakers are at Utah

NBA NEWS… The NBA has announced reserves for next month’s All-Star Game in Atlanta. James Harden and Kyrie Irving will join Brooklyn Nets teammate and All-Star captain Kevin Durant at the showcase. Other selections from the Eastern Conference were: guard Jaylen Brown and forward Jayson Tatum from the Boston Celtics; New York Knicks forward Julius Randle; Chicago Bulls guard Zach LaVine; Philadelphia 76ers guard Ben Simmons; and Orlando Magic center Nikola Vucevicas. Center Rudy Gobert and guard Donovan Mitchell of the league-leading Utah Jazz were voted in with fellow Western Conference selections: Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard; LA Clippers forward Paul George; Lakers forward Anthony Davis; Phoenix Suns guard Chris Paul and New Orleans Pelicans forward Zion Williamson.

NHL SCOREBOARD
Buffalo 4 – NEW JERSEY 1… Victor Olofsson’s sixth power-play goal highlighted the Sabres’ win over the Devils. Sam Reinhart assisted on two goals. Linus Ullmark made 41 saves at goal.

Pittsburgh 3 – WASHINGTON 2 (OT)… Kasperi Kapanen’s one-timer 1:43 into overtime lifted the Penguins over the Capitals. Kapanen also assisted on Jake Guentzel’s tying goal in the third period.

Chicago 6 – COLUMBUS 5 (SO)… The Blackhawks outlasted the Blue Jackets after both teams blew two-two leads. Alex DeBrincat netted the lone goal in the shootout. Patrick Kane scored a goal and had three assists.

OTTAWA 5 – Montreal 4 (SO)… Tim Stutzle and Josh Norris scored in the shootout to send the Senators past the Canadiens. Brady Tkachuk tied the game with his second goal midway through the third period.

Nashville 2 – DETROIT 0… Goalie Pekka Rinne made 24 saves and the Predators blanked the Red Wings. Filip Forsberg had a goal and an assist.

Edmonton 4 – VANCOUVER 3… The Oilers erased a 3-0 deficit to upend the Canucks. Tyler Ennis netted the go-ahead goal at 13:25 of the third period. Dominik Kahun found the net twice.

TODAY’S NHL SCHEDULE
Carolina is at Tampa Bay…
Florida hosts Dallas…
the N.Y. Rangers are at Philadelphia…
Toronto hosts Calgary…
Anaheim is at Arizona…
Colorado hosts Minnesota…
Los Angeles is at St. Louis

TOP 25 MEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL SCOREBOARD
No. 2 BAYLOR 77, Iowa State 72…
MICHIGAN STATE 81, No. 5 Illinois 72…
KANSAS STATE 62, No. 7 Oklahoma 57…
No. 8 VILLANOVA 81, St. John’s 58…
No. 10 West Virginia 74, TCU 66…
No. 14 TEXAS 75, Kansas 72 (OT)…
Georgia Tech 69, No. 16 VIRGINIA TECH 53…
Mississippi 60, No. 24 MISSOURI 53

TIGER WOODS INJURED IN CRASH… Tiger Woods is reported to be “awake and responsive” following surgery to correct serious leg injuries he suffered in a single-vehicle accident in Los Angeles yesterday morning. Firefighters and paramedics had to extricate the 45-year-old Woods from the vehicle after it rolled several times. The 15-time golf major champion suffered “open fractures affecting the tibia and fibula bones” in his lower right leg and a rod has been inserted. Injuries to his foot and ankle have been stabilized with screws and pins.

The Rundown for February 23, 2021

CORONAVIRUS UPDATES… The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 28,188,571 and the nation’s death toll stands at 500,244, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University… At a White House ceremony last night, President Joe Biden called for a moment of silence to remember the more than a half-million Americans who have died of coronavirus. He also ordered all flags on federal property to be lowered to half-staff for the next five days.

MERRICK GARLAND CONFIRMATION HEARING… Attorney General nominee Merrick Garland answered wide-ranging questions yesterday on the first day of his Senate confirmation hearings. The former federal prosecutor told the Senate judiciary committee that overseeing the prosecution of those responsible for the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol will be his initial priority. He also also said the Justice Department could be open to new policies on federal-level gun control reforms. Garland pledged that his Justice Department will take seriously racial and social inequality.

SUPREME COURT CLEARS RELEASE OF TRUMP TAXES… The Supreme Court yesterday dealt former President Donald Trump a blow by declining to block New York prosecutors from obtaining eight years of his personal and corporate tax returns. Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance had subpoenaed the documents in August 2019 as part of an ongoing investigation into possible tax, insurance and bank fraud. Trump and the Trump Organization have denied any wrongdoing.

EL CHAPO’S WIFE ARRESTED IN U.S… Federal agents yesterday arrested the wife of imprisoned Mexican drug kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman at Dulles International Airport outside Washington, D.C. A single-count criminal complaint charges Emma Coronel Aispuro with conspiracy to distribute cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin and marijuana in the U.S. The Justice Department also accused her of helping her husband escape from a Mexican prison in 2015 and participating in the planning of a second prison escape before Guzman was extradited to the U.S.

MARIJUANA LEGAL IN NEW JERSEY… New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy yesterday signed three bills that legalize up to six ounces of recreational marijuana in the state. His signature comes after voters legalized marijuana in November after three years of legislative, financial and legal battles. New Jersey still needs to license new dispensaries to meet the needs for the state’s 100,000 medical marijuana patients.

ENTERTAINMENT
OBAMA, SPRINGSTEEN PAIR ON PODCAST
… Former President Barack Obama and Bruce Springsteen are pairing up on a new eight-episode Spotify podcast. “Renegades: Born in the USA” features Obama and Springsteen sitting down to discuss race, fatherhood, marriage and the future of the U.S. Obama and his wife Michelle Obama announced in 2019 that their production company, Higher Ground, would partner with Spotify to produce exclusive podcasts.

DAFT PUNK IS DONE… The French electronic music duo Daft Punk announced yesterday that it is breaking up after 28 years. French musicians Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo and Thomas Bangalter were known for wearing elaborate helmets, assuming robot personas and despising celebrity. The six-time Grammy Award winners composed the score for the 2010 film “Tron: Legacy’ and influenced numerous musicians with their music and mythology. Their 2013 single, “Get Lucky,” featuring vocals by Pharrell Williams, made it to No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100. They made No. 1 as part of The Weeknd’s 2016 single, “Starboy,” which they performed on, co-wrote and co-produced.

SPORTS
NBA SCOREBOARD

Chicago 120 – HOUSTON 100… The Bulls pulled away with a big third quarter and handed the Rockets their eighth straight loss. Colby White scored 24 points and brought down 10 rebounds. Zack LaVine added 21 points. Wendell Carter Jr. finished with 18 points and 13 boards.

DALLAS 102 – Memphis 92… The Mavericks built a big lead early and cruised past the Grizzlies. Tim Hardaway Jr. came off the bench to score a game-high 29 points. Luka Doncic dropped in 21 points.

Miami 108 – OKLAHOMA CITY 94… The Heat rallied past the Thunder in the second half. Duncan Robinson made six 3-pointers on his way to 22 points. Kendrick Nunn added 20 points. Bam Adebayo finished with 19 points and 13 rebounds.

PHOENIX 132 – Portland 100… The Suns blew the game open with a dominating third quarter on their way past the Trail Blazers. Devin Booker scored a game-high 34 points.

UTAH 132 – Charlotte 110… The Jazz used a 26-2 fourth-quarter run to blow away the Hornets. Utah made a team-record 28 3-pointers, including 19 off the bench. Donovan Mitchell was 8-of-17 from beyond the arc and finished with 23 points to lead seven players in double figures. Joe Ingles and Georges Niang added 21 points apiece. Jordan Clarkson tossed in 20 points.

Washington 127 – L.A. LAKERS 124… The Wizards came from 14 points down at the break to outlast the Lakers for their fifth straight win. Bradley Beal led all scorers with 33 points. Russell Westbrook had 32 points, 14 boards and nine assists.

TODAY’S NBA SCHEDULE
Atlanta is at Cleveland…
Orlando hosts Detroit…
Sacramento is at Brooklyn…
New York hosts Golden State…
Philadelphia is at Toronto…
Dallas hosts Boston…
Minnesota is at Milwaukee…
Denver hosts Portland…
Washington is at the L.A. Clippers

NHL SCOREBOARD
Tampa Bay 4 – CAROLINA 2… Ondrej Palat netted a tie-breaking goal in the third quarter to help push the Lightning past the Hurricanes. Viktor Hedman had goal and an assist.

Calgary 3 – TORONTO 0… Goalie David Rittich stopped all 34 shots as the Flames blanked the Maple Leafs. Sean Monahan and Matthew Tkachuk both had a goal and an assist.

FLORIDA 3 – Dallas 1… The Panthers skated past the Stars after spotting them an early lead. Keith Yandle scored a go-ahead goal late in the second period.

N.Y. ISLANDERS 3 – Buffalo 2… Jean-Gabriel Pageau scored a power-play goal to break a tie with less than five minutes remaining and the Islanders hung on to edge the Sabres. The victory was New York’s sixth in a row over Buffalo.

Los Angeles 3 – ST. LOUIS 0… Goalie Jonathan Quick made 30 saves in his 54th career shutout and the Kings breezed past the Blues. Dustin Brown netted a pair of goals.

Vegas 3 – COLORADO 0… Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 34 shots at goal as the Golden Knights whitewashed the Avalanche. Vegas did all its scoring in the second period with Alex Tuch finding the net twice.

ARIZONA 4 – Anaheim 3… The Coyotes erased a three-goal deficit in upending the Ducks. Christian Dvorack’s second goal of the game came early in the third period and proved decisive. Jakob Chychrun scored a goal and assisted on another.

Minnesota 6 – SAN JOSE 2… Six different players found the net as the Wild tamed the Sharks. Mats Zuccarello had a goal and three assists. Victor Rask netted a goal and set up two others.

TODAY’S NHL SCHEDULE
Buffalo is at New Jersey…
Washington hosts Pittsburgh…
Chicago is at Columbus…
Ottawa hosts Montreal…
Nashville is at Detroit…
Vancouver hosts Edmonton

TOP 25 MEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL SCOREBOARD
OKLAHOMA STATE 74, No. 18 Texas Tech 69…
No. 19 USC 72, Oregon 58

MLB NEWS… Seattle Mariners president and CEO Kevin Mather resigned yesterday amid backlash he received for comments he made to a Rotary Club earlier this month. Mather targeted several of the team’s players in comments that were shockingly candid and drew condemnation from Major League Baseball. His resignation is effective immediately, with Mariners chairman and managing partner John Stanton taking on the roles of CEO and team president on an interim basis.

The Rundown for February 22, 2021

CORONAVIRUS UPDATES… The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 28,113,699 and the nation’s death toll stands at 498,883, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University… Dr. Anthony Fauci, President Biden’s top medical adviser, said during an appearance on CNN yesterday that he expects “a significant degree of normality” by the end of the year” but acknowledges that it’s “possible” that people will be wearing masks into 2022. Fauci, said the possibility of future mask mandates relied on future levels of community spread.

BIDEN WON’T LET IRAN GET NUKES… National security adviser Jake Sullivan says President Joe Biden remains determined to keep Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons even thought it has not yet responded to an offer to negotiate. Appearing on CBS News’ “State of the Union,” Sullivan said that Biden believes diplomacy is the best method to ensure that Iran continues to comply with international nuclear weapons restrictions. On Thursday, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the U.S. would be willing to negotiate plans for returning to compliance with the Iran nuclear deal.

FAA ORDERS 777 INSPECTIONS… The Federal Aviation Administration is ordering inspections on all Boeing 777s with Pratt & Whitney PW4000 engines. Yesterday’s announcement followed a viral video shot by a passenger aboard one of the planes captured one of the engines in flames shortly after takeoff from Denver. The failing engine dropped debris on the Denver suburb of Broomfield Saturday before the plane safely returned to Denver International Airport.

TEXAS DEALS WITH SKYROCKETING ELECTRIC BILLS… Texas Governor Greg Abbott said yesterday that the state Legislature will prioritize dealing with residents’ skyrocketing electric bills. Amid the recent record-low temperatures, Texans who did not have a fixed electric plan had their bills spike due to market costs. Some of the bills totaled into the tens of thousands. Abbott and the Legislature held an emergency meeting Saturday to find ways to “shield” residents from the inflated costs. As of yesterday afternoon, there were about 30,000 Texans who were still without power.

STORM MOVES IN ON NORTHWEST… An extreme weather system known as a “pineapple express” was expected to arrive in the northwest last night. The system, which originated near Hawaii, will dump rain and snow over much of the upper west coast through tomorrow, according to the National Weather Service. It is also expected to produce high tides, high winds and an increased chance of river flooding.

ENTERTAINMENT
MORGAN WALLEN REMAINS ATOP ALBUM CHART
… Morgan Wallen’s “Dangerous: The Double Album” sold 93,000 albums to remain atop the Billboard 200 album chart for the sixth straight week. The Weeknd’s “After Hours” surged into second place after selling 42,000 units. Lil Durk’s “The Voice” jumped into third place on sales of 40,000 copies. Pop Smoke’s “Shoot for the Stars Aim for the Moon” finished fourth with 38,000 units sold. Pooh Shiesty’s “Shiesty Season” sold 37,000 copies to cap the top five.

JAMES FRANCO SETTLES LAWSUIT… James Franco has reportedly settled a 2019 lawsuit filed by two of his former students at an acting school he founded. The students, Sarah Tither-Kaplan and Toni Gaal, accused Franco of intimidating his students into sexual situations. They have agreed to drop their individual claims and their sexual exploitation claims are also being dismissed without prejudice, meaning they can be re-filed. Additionally, fraud allegations brought forward in the suit will be subject to limited release.

SPORTS
NBA SCOREBOARD

NEW ORLEANS 120 – Boston 115 (OT)… The Pelicans came from 24 points down to outlast the Celtics. Brandon Ingram made a go-ahead 3-pointer with 33.9 seconds left in overtime and finished with a game-high 33 points. Zion Williamson had 28 points and 10 rebounds.

Oklahoma City 117 – CLEVELAND 101… Six players scored in double figures as the Thunder dealt the Cavaliers their 10th straight loss. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander led the way with 31 points.

ORLANDO 105 – Detroit 96… Nikola Vucevic pumped in 37 points and grabbed 12 boards to lead the Magic past the Pistons. Evan Fournier tossed in 29 points.

TORONTO 110 – Philadelphia 103… The Raptors came up big in the fourth quarter to fight off the 76ers for their fourth straight win. Pascal Siakam and Fred VanVleet scored 23 points apiece.

NEW YORK 103 – Minnesota 99… The Knicks recovered to top the Timberwolves after blowing a 21-point lead. Julius Randle scored 25 points and brought down 14 rebounds. After the game, Minnesota announced it had fired Ryan Saunders, who went 43-95 in two-plus seasons as head coach. The Timberwolves were reportedly looking to replace Saunders with Toronto Raptors assistant Chris Finch.

ATLANTA 123 – Denver 115… Trae Young scored 35 points and dished off 15 assists in leading the Hawks past the Nuggets. Clint Capela added 22 points and 10 boards.

Brooklyn 112 – L.A. CLIPPERS 108… The Nets held off the Clippers to win their sixth in a row. James Harden scored a game-high 37 points and collected 11 rebounds. Kyrie Irving tossed in 28 points.

MILWAUKEE 128 – Sacramento 115… The Bucks got 38 points from Giannis Antetokounmpo and 32 from Khris Middleton in cruising past the Kings. The loss was Sacramento’s seventh straight.

TODAY’S NBA SCHEDULE
Chicago is at Houston…
Dallas hosts Memphis…
Miami is at Oklahoma City…
Phoenix hosts Portland…
Charlotte is at Utah…
the L.A. Lakers host Washington

NHL SCOREBOARD
WASHINGTON 4 – New Jersey 3… The Capitals skated past the Devils after spotting them a two-goal lead. T.J. Oshie netted a pair of power-play goals. Alex Ovechkin’s power-play goal with 3:04 remaining proved to be the difference.

OTTAWA 3 – Montreal 2 (OT)… Brady Tkachuk found the net at 3:30 of overtime to send the Senators past the Canadiens. Drake Batherson and Josh Norris scored in regulation.

BOSTON 7 – Philadelphia 3… The Bruins scored four unanswered goals in the second period to put away the Flyers in a contest played outdoors at Lake Tahoe. David Pasternak scored a goal in each period.

Winnipeg 4 – VANCOUVER 3 (OT)… Pierre-Luc Dubois’ second goal of the game came 27 seconds into overtime and lifted the Jets over the Canucks. Dubois also assisted on Neal Pionk’s second-period goal.

TODAY’S NHL SCHEDULE
Tampa Bay is at Carolina…
Toronto hosts Calgary…
Dallas is at Florida…
the N.Y. Islanders host Buffalo…
Los Angeles is at St. Louis…
Colorado hosts Vegas…
Anaheim is at Arizona…
San Jose hosts Minnesota

TOP 25 MEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL SCOREBOARD
No. 3 Michigan 92, No. 4 OHIO STATE 87…
No. 6 HOUSTON 90, Cincinnati 52…
No. 11 IOWA 74, Penn State 68…
No. 21 Wisconsin 68, NORTHWESTERN 51

The Rundown for February 19, 2021

CORONAVIRUS UPDATES… The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 27,823,163 and the nation’s death toll stands at 490,394, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University… Pfizer and BioNTech said yesterday that the first U.S. participants have been given shots in a large-scale clinical trial to assess the safety and efficacy of their COVID-19 vaccine for pregnant women. The companies are aiming to enroll some 4,000 pregnant women in the trial around the world… President Joe Biden plans to announce today that the U.S. will contribute $2 billion to a U.N.-backed program seeking to distribute COVID-19 vaccine doses to people in the poorest countries in the world.

TEXAS SHIVVERS… More than 300,000 customers remained without electricity in Texas last night following the record-breaking winter storm that froze the nation’s midsection earlier this week. About 7 million people in Texas remain under advisories to boil their water after blackouts shut down treatment facilities. President Joe Biden ordered the Federal Emergency Management Agency to send generators and other supplies to the state while declaring a state of emergency in both Texas and Oklahoma. Meanwhile, Texas Republican Senator Ted Cruz sparked outrage by attempting to escape the hardship by flying to Cancun. Amidst the fierce criticism, Cruz cut short the scheduled three-day trip and returned home.

SUSPENSIONS, INVESTIGATIONS AT CAPITOL POLICE… Capitol Police disclosed yesterday that six officers have been suspended with pay and 29 others are under investigation following the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick was one of five people who died in the attack. Another officer, Howard Liebengood, committed suicide days later. Steven Sund resigned as chief of Capitol Police the day after the riot amid criticism of his department’s lack of preparedness.

SOUTH CAROLINA GOVERNOR SIGNS ABORTION LAW… South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster yesterday signed into effect a law that bans most abortions in his state. The law requires healthcare providers to check if the fetus has a heartbeat and only allow the mother to receive an abortion if the pregnancy is dangerous or the result of rape or incest. Healthcare professionals who violate the law could be charged with a felony and fined or jailed. Planned Parenthood has filed suit to block the law from taking effect.

PERSEVERANCE LANDS ON MARS… The NASA rover Perseverance successfully touched down on Mars yesterday after executing a risky and dramatic landing. The robotic explorer is on a two-year mission to search for traces of ancient microbial life on the planet and collect what could be the first rocky samples sent back to Earth. Perseverance is NASA’s fifth rover to land on the red planet. Earlier this month, spacecraft launched by the United Arab Emirates and China orbited Mars.

ENTERTAINMENT
PRINCE MARKIE DEE DIES
… Prince Markie Dee, who rose to fame in the pioneering hip-hop group the Fat Boys, died of an undisclosed cause yesterday. He was 52.The Fat Boys launched their career in 1983 by winning a New York City talent contest and their fourth album, “Crushin’,” was a platinum-seller. It included “Wipeout,” a cover performed with the Beach Boys that reached Number 12 on the Billboard Hot 100. The Fat Boys also gained popularity with their breakout comedy film ‘Disorderlies” in the summer of 1987.

DOLLY PARTON DOESN’T WANT STATUE… Country star, actress and philanthropist Dolly Parton has asked Tennessee state lawmakers not to erect a statue of her on capitol grounds in Nashville. Last month, lawmakers introduced a bill to erect the state and a committee was prepared to discuss funding. “Given all that is going on in the world, I don’t think putting me on a pedestal is appropriate at this time,” Parton explained in her request to remove the bill from consideration. Parton added that she would like the statue to happen one day, “several years from now or perhaps after I’m gone,” if people still think she deserves it.

SPORTS
NBA SCOREBOARD

Toronto 110 – MILWAUKEE 96… The Raptors got 29 points from Norman Powell and 27 from Pascal Siakam in handing the Bucks their fifth straight loss. Toronto led by as many as 23 points in the contest.

Brooklyn 109 – L.A. LAKERS 98… The Nets knocked down 18 3-pointers in cruising past the Lakers for their fifth-straight win. James Harden scored 23 points and dished off 11 assists. Joe Harris was 6-of-7 from beyond the arc and finished with 21 points.

Miami 118 – SACRAMENTO 110… Tyler Herro delivered 27 points off the bench to lead a balanced scoring attack and the Heat cruised past the Kings. Kelly Olynyk added 22 points and Duncan Robinson tossed in 20. Jimmy Butler racked up 13 points, 10 rebounds and 13 assists in his third straight triple-double.

TODAY’S NBA SCHEDULE
Golden State is at Orlando…
Cleveland hosts Denver…
Chicago is at Philadelphia…
Boston hosts Atlanta…
Denver is at Memphis…
Milwaukee hosts Oklahoma City…
Phoenix is at New Orleans…
Minnesota hosts Toronto…
Utah is at the L.A. Clippers

NBA ALL-STAR GAME SET… Forwards LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers and Kevin Durant of the Brooklyn Nets have been named NBA All-Star Game captains after getting the most votes of any player in either conference. The two will pick their respective teams from the remaining 22 All-Stars on March 4. After getting a go-ahead from the NBA earlier yesterday, the game is set for March 7 in Atlanta.

NHL SCOREBOARD
New Jersey 3 – BOSTON 2… Kyle Palmieri scored back-to-back goals, the second one shorthanded as the Devils did all their scoring in the second period and held off the Bruins.

N.Y. Rangers 3 – PHILADELPHIA 2 (SO)… Kaapo Kakko and Artemi Panarin scored in the shootout to send the Rangers past the Flyers. The victory ended New York’s four-game skid.

PITTSBURGH 4 – N.Y. Islanders 1… Jason Zucker scored a goal and assisted on another to lead the Penguins past the Islanders. Goalie Tristan Jarry made 31 saves.

COLUMBUS 3 – Nashville 0… Goalie Elvis Merzlikins stopped all 32 shots in his first start since coming off injured reserve and the Blue Jackets blanked the Predators. Cam Atkinson provided all the offense Columbus needed in the first period when he netted his seventh goal.

TORONTO 7 – Ottawa 3… Auston Matthews scored his league-leading 15th and 16th goals and had two assists as the Maple Leafs thrashed the Senators. Mitchell Marner added a goal and three assists.

WASHINGTON 3 – Buffalo 1… The Capitals got goals from Nicklas Backstrom, Tom Wilson and Conor Sheary in skating past the Sabres. Vitek Vanecek stopped 22 shots at goal.

ST. LOUIS 3 – San Jose 2 (OT)… David Perron’s power-play goal at 4 minutes of overtime lifted the Blues over the Sharks. Brayden Schenn netted a tying goal with 40 seconds left in regulation.

Los Angeles 3 – ARIZONA 2 (SO)… The Kings recovered to outlast the Coyotes after blowing a two-goal second-period lead. Gabriel Vilardi netted the decisive goal in the shootout.

Minnesota 3 – ANAHEIM 1… Ryan Hartman and Kevin Fiala scored 38 seconds apart in the first period and the Wild hung on to down the Ducks. Anaheim managed just 17 shots.

TODAY’S NHL SCHEDULE
Chicago is at Carolina…
Detroit hosts Florida…
Edmonton is at Calgary…
Toronto hosts Winnipeg

TOP 25 MEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL SCOREBOARD
No. 1 GONZAGA 87, Saint Mary’s 65…
No. 3 MICHIGAN 71, Rutgers 64…
No. 4 Ohio State 92, PENN STATE 82…
WICHITA STATE 68, No. 6 Houston 63…
No. 11 Iowa 77, No. 21 WISCONSIN 62…
No. 25 San Diego State 67, FRESNO STATE 53