If you’re sick of getting all those spammy text messages on your phone, there’s hope: New rules from the FCC require telecom companies to block messages from suspicious sources. May the scourge of robotexts finally come to an end!
Here’s what else you need to know to Start Your Week Smart.
The weekend that was
• Vladimir Putin has visited the Russian-occupied city of Mariupol in Ukraine, in an apparently defiant move reported by the Kremlin just days after the International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for him. Putin was flown into Mariupol by helicopter and toured districts around the city in a car, footage released by Russian authorities showed.
• Former President Donald Trump said he expects to be arrested Tuesday in connection with the yearslong investigation into a hush money scheme involving adult film actress Stormy Daniels and called on his supporters to protest any such move. His team said after Trump’s post that it had not received any notifications from prosecutors.
• The fate of Credit Suisse could be decided soon after a torrid week for Switzerland’s second-biggest bank. Reports swirled of a possible takeover by its biggest Swiss rival, UBS.
• California is bracing for the wet blast of another atmospheric river — a long, narrow moisture band that carries saturated air thousands of miles, then discharges it like a fire hose. It’s due to impact the US West from Monday to Wednesday.
• A giant blob of seaweed twice the width of the continental United States is headed for the shores of Florida and other coastlines throughout the Gulf of Mexico, threatening to dump smelly and possibly harmful piles across beaches and dampening tourism season.
The week ahead
Nowruz Mobarak! Millions of people across the globe are celebrating the Persian New Year, which falls on the spring equinox and lasts for two weeks. Nowruz, meaning “new day” in Farsi, is an opportunity to usher in new beginnings while leaving the past behind. It’s typically marked by delicious food, family gatherings and time-honored traditions like the haft sin.
The Federal Reserve will meet to decide whether it will once again raise interest rates — something it has done eight times since last year in an effort to fight high inflation. Given the recent banking meltdown, some economists and analysts are concerned that another interest rate hike could put even more strain on the financial system. Still, despite some progress, inflation remains well above the Fed’s goal of 2%. In the words of one former Fed official, it’s a “no-win situation.”
Ramadan, the holiest month in the Islamic calendar, begins. For 30 days, Muslims around the world will abstain from eating and drinking from sunup to sundown. More than just fasting, it’s a time of prayer, reflection and community. If you don’t observe, here are some tips on how to support your Muslim friends through the next few weeks.
Cherry blossom season is upon us (already). The National Park Service projects that Washington, DC’s iconic Yoshino cherry trees will reach peak bloom between today and Saturday. If that feels unusually early, you’re not imagining things. Winters are getting warmer as a result of the climate crisis, and scientists say that’s linked to early flowering.
President Joe Biden is making his first trip to Canada since he took office. US presidents typically pay a visit to their northern neighbor within the first few months of their term, but pandemic restrictions and the war in Ukraine delayed those plans. He’ll meet with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to discuss trade and immigration, among other issues, and also will address Parliament.
One Thing: SVB shakes the system
In this week’s “One Thing” podcast, CNN Chief Business Correspondent Christine Romans explains why Silicon Valley Bank collapsed and what it means for the average American dealing with inflation. Plus, she examines whether experts believe the Biden administration’s response was enough to discourage risky investing strategies in the future. Listen for more.
Photos of the week
The week in 36 photos
Check out more images from the week that was, curated by CNN Photos.
What’s happening in entertainment
TV and Streaming
After “Breaking Bad” and “Better Call Saul,” Bob Odenkirk is back for another prestige TV series. In “Lucky Hank,” he plays a world-weary college literature professor living in the shadow of his famous father. It’s out today on AMC.
Donald Glover and Janine Nabers explore the dark side of stan culture in “Swarm,” a psychological thriller series about a woman’s obsession with a pop star. Catch it on Amazon’s Prime Video.
“Agent Elvis,” a psychedelic Adult Swim-style TV comedy, envisions Elvis Presley as a secret agent. It’s streaming on Netflix.
Keanu Reeves is back as super assassin John Wick, facing off against a new villain in the fourth installment of the action franchise. “John Wick: Chapter 4” hits theaters Friday.
What’s happening in sports
At a glance …
Has your March Madness bracket been busted yet? The NCAA men’s and women’s basketball tournaments continue this week with a series of second-round games today. The victors will advance to the Sweet 16, with the men playing on Thursday and Friday and the women playing on Friday and Saturday. For the men, Elite 8 battles begin Saturday.
The semifinals of the World Baseball Classic take place today and Monday, followed by the championship game on Tuesday.
For more of your favorite sports, head on over to Bleacher Report, which — like CNN — is owned by Warner Bros. Discovery.
Looking for a challenge? Take CNN’s weekly news quiz here to see how much you remember from the week that was! So far, 83% of fellow quiz fans have gotten eight or more questions right. How will you fare?
Play me off
In honor of the peak bloom expected this week, enjoy this smooth tune by R&B/soul artist Kyle Dion. (Click here to view)