CORONAVIRUS UPDATES… The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 33,679,489 and the nation’s death toll stands at 605,019, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University… The number of Covid-19 cases in the U.S. rose 10 percent this week, according to figures released yesterday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. During a White House briefing, CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky attributed the rise to the highly contagious delta variant and lagging vaccination rate. The delta variant, which was first detected in India, has been detected in all 50 states and it now accounts for a quarter of all new cases. Walensky warned that its rapid spread is sure to make it the dominant U.S. strain within the coming weeks, especially in states having lowest vaccination rates. Clinical trials and studies have shown that the three vaccines currently available in the U.S. all offer protection against the delta variant.
PELOSI PICKS JAN. 6 INVESTIGATION PANEL… House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has announced her eight picks for the select House committee that will investigate the January 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. Mississippi Democratic Congressman Bennie Thompson will lead the panel. Others named to the committee were: Democratic Congressman Pete Aguilar of California; Republican Congresswoman Liz Cheney of Wyoming; Democratic Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren of California; Democratic Congresswoman Elaine Luria of Virginia; Democratic Congresswoman Stephanie Murphy of Florida; Democratic Congressman Jamie Raskin of Maryland; and Democratic Congressman Adam Schiff of California. Five remaining members will be picked in consultation with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy.
TRUMP ORG, CFO ENTER NOT-GUILTY PLEAS… The Trump Organization and its chief financial officer, Allen Weisselberg, pleaded not guilty to tax charges in a Manhattan court yesterday. Both were indicted by a grand jury on Wednesday night. The 73-year-old Weisselberg was charged with 15 felony counts including grand larceny in the second degree. Prosecutors accused him of participating in a 15-year tax scam and hiding more than $1.7 million in taxable income.
SUPREME COURT DECISIONS SIDE WITH CONSERVATIVES… The Supreme Court sided with conservatives yesterday in a pair of ideological 6-3 decisions on its final day of session. The High Court upheld restrictive voting laws in Arizona and struck down a California law that mandates disclosures of political donor lists. Voter-rights advocates had argued that Arizona’s voting laws purposely makes it harder for people of color to vote, justices ruled that they were enacted with no racial intent and do not violating the federal Voting Rights Act. The California donor list law had been challenged as unnecessary by a couple California non-profits. The decision to strike it down was criticized by groups seeking greater transparency in political funding on the grounds that it will attract more “dark money” into the process.
SURFSIDE RESCUE CREWS SUSPEND SEARCH… Rescue crews in Surfside, Florida, early yesterday suspended search efforts for survivors of last Thursday’s condo tower collapse out of safety concerns. Officials ordered the suspension due to the threat posed by parts of the building that could still fall. President Joe Biden toured the site yesterday and met with victims’ families, local leaders and first responders. The death toll from the collapse stands at 18, with 147 people still missing.
THE BOSS TO PERFORM AT NYC ‘HOMECOMING CONCERT’… Bruce Springsteen has joined the list of performers who’ve agreed to perform at a “homecoming concert” planned for New York’s Central Park next month. Other performers set to perform include Paul Simon and Jennifer Hudson. Capacity for the event will be 60,000 people, according to a city official.
‘COCAINE BEAR’ GETS ITS STARS… Keri Russell and Ray Liotta have signed on to star in the upcoming Elizabeth Banks film “Cocaine Bear.” The story is inspired by the 1985 true story of a black bear in Kentucky that fatally overdosed on more than 70 pounds of cocaine that it found in a smugglers’ duffle bag dropped from a plane. The character-driven thriller begins shooting next month in Ireland.
NBA PLAYOFF SCOREBOARD…
MILWAUKEE 123 – Atlanta 112… The Bucks jumped out to a 14-point lead after the first quarter and retained control in downing the Hawks to take a 3-2 lead in the Eastern Conference finals. Brook Lopez came up big in the absence of injured two-time NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo, scoring a game-high 33 points. Khris Middleton racked up 26 points and 13 rebounds. Jrue Holiday added 25 points and 13 assists. Bobby Portis tossed in 22 points. The series returns to Atlanta for Game 6 tomorrow.
L.A. Dodgers 6 – WASHINGTON 2 (5 innings)… AJ Pollock connected a game-tying solo homer and Max Muncy blasted a grand slam in the top of the fifth inning to power the Dodgers past the Nationals in a game shortened by an oncoming storm.
Milwaukee 7 – PITTSBURGH 2… Corbin Burnes (4-4) held the Pirates to a run on four hits over seven innings. Tyrone Taylor stroked a two-run single. Daniel Robertson went 2-for-2 with a sacrifice fly.
CINCINNATI 5 – San Diego 4… The Reds scored twice in the bottom of the ninth inning to upend the Padres. Kyle Farmer slugged a game-tying homer and
Tyler Stephenson singled home Jonathan India with the winning run. Alejo Lopez went 4-for-5 and scored two runs.
ATLANTA 4 – N.Y. Mets 3… Freddie Freeman singled home Guillermo Heredia with the winning run in the bottom of the ninth inning. Austin Riley’s two-run homer capped a three-run first for the Braves.
COLORADO 5 – St. Louis 2… Elias Diaz belted a walkoff three-run homer in the bottom of the ninth inning to send the Rockies past the Cardinals. Brandon Rogers homered with a runner aboard in the second.
ARIZONA 5 – San Francisco 3… Josh Reddick hit a go-ahead two-run homer in the bottom of the fourth inning to help the Diamondbacks get past the Giants. Wilmer Flores also homered with a runner aboard. Pavin Smith hit a solo shot.
Miami – PHILADELPHIA (ppd)… Rain in Philadelphia forced postponement of yesterday’s Marlins-Phillies game. It has been rescheduled for July 16.
Seattle 7 – TORONTO 2… Yusei Kikuchi (6-3) held the Blue Jays to a run on five hits over seven innings and the Mariners cruised to the win. Shed Long, Jr. Hit a two-run homer. Jake Fraley added a solo shot. Kyle Seager drove in two runs with a pair of singles.
BOSTON 15 – Kansas City 1… Rafael Devers and Danny Santana each hit three-run homers and knocked in five runs to lead the Red Sox in their drubbing of the Royals. Kiké Hernández and J.D. Martinez smacked bases-empty homers.
CHI. WHITE SOX 8 – Minnesota 5… Zack Collins led off the bottom of the sixth inning with a tie-breaking homer and singled home a run in the seventh as the White Sox completed a sweep of the series. Brian Goodwin also went deep.
Texas 8 – OAKLAND 3… Joey Gallo went 3-for-3 with a two-run homer and an RBI single, Nate Lowe homered twice with three RBIs and the Rangers ripped the Athletics. John Hicks also went deep.
Houston 7 – CLEVELAND 2… Jose Altuve unloaded a grand slam and Yuli Gurriel lifted a sacrifice fly during a five-run top of the fifth inning that carried the Astros past the Indians. Michael Brantley went 3-for-5 with a solo homer. Yordan Alvarez also circled the bases.
L.A. Angels – N.Y. YANKEES (ppd)… Rain in New York forced postponement of yesterday’s Angels-Yankees game. It has been rescheduled for August 16.
TODAY’S MLB SCHEDULE…
San Diego (Chris Paddack, 4-5) is at Philadelphia (Zack Wheeler, 6-4)…
Washington (Max Scherzer, 7-4) hosts the L.A. Dodgers (Julio Urias, 9-3)…
Milwaukee (Adrian Houser, 4-5) is at Pittsburgh (JT Brubaker, 4-7)…
Cincinnati (Sonny Gray, 1-4) hosts the Chi. Cubs (Alec Mills, 3-1)…
Miami (Zach Thompson, 2-2) is at Atlanta (Drew Smyly, 5-3)…
Colorado (Chi Chi Gonzalez, 2-5) hosts St. Louis (Johan Oviedo, 0-4)…
San Francisco (Alex Wood, 6-3) is at Arizona (Zac Gallen, 1-3)
Tampa Bay (Luis Patino, 1-1) is at Toronto (Alek Manoah, 1-0) in Buffalo…
Detroit (Casey Mize, 5-4) hosts the Chi. White Sox (Lance Lynn, 7-3)…
Houston (Lance McCullers, Jr., 5-1) is at Cleveland (Sam Hentges, 1-2)…
Kansas City (Brady Singer, 3-6) hosts Minnesota (J.A. Happ, 4-3)…
Baltimore (Keegan Akin, 0-4) is at the L.A. Angels (Griffin Canning, 5-4)…
Oakland (Frankie Montas, 7-7) hosts Boston (Eduardo Rodriguez, 6-4)…
Texas (Kyle Gibson, 6-0) is at Seattle (Logan Gilbert, 2-2)
the N.Y. Mets (Taijuan Walker, 6-3) are at the N.Y. Yankees (Jordan Montgomery, 3-2)
MLB ALL-STAR GAME STARTERS ANNOUNCED… Major League Baseball has tabulated votes from fans and announced starters for the July 13 2021 All-Star Game in Denver…
AL – Salvador Perez, Kansas City (6th All-Star Game start)
NL – Buster Posey, San Francisco (5th ASG start)
AL – Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Toronto (1st ASG start)
NL – Freddie Freeman, Atlanta (3rd ASG start)
AL – Marcus Semien, Toronto (1st ASG start)
NL – Adam Frazier, Pittsburgh (1st ASG start)
AL – Rafael Devers, Boston (1st ASG start)
NL – Nolan Arenado, St. Louis (4th ASG start)
AL – Xander Bogaerts, Boston (2nd ASG start)
NL – Fernando Tatis Jr., San Diego (1st ASG start)
Mike Trout, L.A. Angels (7th ASG start)
Aaron Judge, N.Y. Yankees (3rd ASG start)
Teoscar Hernández, Toronto (1st ASG start)
Ronald Acuña Jr., Atlanta (2nd ASG start)
Nick Castellanos, Cincinnati (1st ASG start)
Jesse Winker, Cincinnati (1st ASG start)
AL – Shohei Ohtani, Angels (1st ASG start)
NL – Manager selects designated hitter
TONIGHT’S STANLEY CUP FINALS SCHEDULE…
Tampa Bay is at Montreal for Game 3 with the Lightning leading 2-0