Start your week smart: Trump ruling, Alexey Navalny, Virginia explosion, aid for Ukraine, Kansas City mourning

Trump reacts after judge orders him and companies to pay $355 million
02:00 - Source: CNN
CNN  — 

A Beatles mystery that dates back more than 50 years has finally been solved. Paul McCartney’s left-handed bass guitar — purchased in Germany in 1961 and used on tracks such as “Twist and Shout” and “She Loves You” — was stolen in 1972. But thanks to an online campaign called the Lost Bass Project, the music icon and his beloved instrument have been reunited.

Here’s what else you need to know to Start Your Week Smart.

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The weekend that was

• Judge Arthur Engoron hit Donald Trump with his biggest punishment to date, in a ruling that fined the former president $355 million for fraudulently inflating the values of his properties. The blistering 93-page opinion painted the former president as unremorseful and highly likely to commit fraud again.
• The body of jailed Russian opposition figure Alexey Navalny should be handed over to his family “immediately,” his spokesperson said, as she accused Russian officials of lying in order to delay the process. News of his death sparked outrage, with some Western leaders blaming Vladimir Putin.
A house exploded in Sterling, Virginia, as fire crews were inside checking a gas leak, leaving one firefighter dead and at least 13 others injured, including 11 first responders. Authorities assume the explosion “was propane-related,” as firefighters had arrived to assess a leak in a 500-gallon underground tank.
• President Biden, in a call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, directly tied Ukraine’s withdrawal from the key town of Avdiivka to Congress’ inability to approve further aid. The Senate passed a bill including $60 billion for Ukraine, but House Speaker Mike Johnson said he does not plan to bring the measure to the floor.
• The euphoria that swept Kansas City after back-to-back Super Bowl wins by its beloved Chiefs now seemed a distant memory, supplanted by shock and sadness. A deadly shooting at the hometown victory celebration left one woman dead, more than 20 other people injured and two teenagers in custody.

The week ahead

The third Monday in February is a holiday that the federal government designates as Washington’s Birthday. Individual states, local government agencies and mattress stores, however, refer to it alternatively as President’s Day, Presidents’ Day or Presidents Day. Whatever the name, many corporate offices, banks, post offices and non-essential government agencies will be closed. Most retailers and restaurants, however, will be open.

February 20 is the deadline for special counsel Jack Smith to respond to an emergency filing from Trump asking the Supreme Court to step into the dispute over whether he may claim immunity from prosecution. Trump asked the high court to temporarily block a scathing and unanimous decision from a federal appeals court handed down earlier this month that flatly rejected his claims of immunity from election subversion charges brought by Smith.

The House Oversight Committee is set to interview James Biden amid its impeachment inquiry into his brother, President Joe Biden. Last week, special counsel David Weiss charged a former FBI informant with lying about the president and his son Hunter Biden’s involvement in business dealings with Ukrainian energy company Burisma Holdings — undercutting a major aspect of House Republicans’ case for impeachment. Alexander Smirnov, 43, was arrested Thursday and is facing charges in connection with lying to the FBI and creating false records. Congressional Republicans have championed Smirnov’s now-discredited allegations for roughly a year in their efforts to impeach President Biden, though not by name.

NASA is hoping that the Odysseus lunar lander, nicknamed “Odie,” will be the first US-made spacecraft to touch down safely on the moon in five decades. Odie lifted off atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket last week from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida and is aiming for a soft landing in a crater near the moon’s south pole.

Voters in South Carolina head to the polls in the state’s Republican primary, and former Palmetto State Gov. Nikki Haley is hoping for a good showing. Haley has denied she could leave the race if she has a disappointing finish in South Carolina, saying earlier this month that she’s “not going anywhere” and is “willing to do the fight and go through the pain” as she continues to battle Trump for the GOP presidential nomination.

February 24 also marks two years since Russia invaded Ukraine.

One Thing: Age on the trail
In this week’s One Thing podcast, CNN’s Kylie Atwood asks how older voters in South Carolina feel about age as a campaign issue ahead of the GOP primary later this week. Listen here.

Photos of the week

Check out more images from the week that was, curated by CNN Photos.

What’s happening in entertainment

TV and streaming
The 2024 People’s Choice Awards, hosted by actor Simu Liu, air tonight at 8 p.m. ET on NBC and E! and will stream on Peacock. Awards will be handed out in 45 categories representing movies, television, music, sports and pop culture. Swifties, take note: Taylor is up for five awards, and Travis Kelce is up for Athlete of the Year (Boyfriend of the Year is apparently not a category …)

At 9 p.m. ET/PT, CNN Anchor and Chief Washington Correspondent Jake Tapper goes behind the headlines to investigate some of the most outrageous and iconic political controversies of the modern era in the new CNN Original Series “United States of Scandal with Jake Tapper.” The six-episode series examines what drives someone to break the rules and what happens when they are caught.

A new animated special that began streaming this weekend puts a spotlight on Franklin Armstrong, the first Black character in the Peanuts comic strip, more than 50 years after he made his debut. The Apple TV+ special, “Snoopy Presents: Welcome Home, Franklin,” explores the character’s origin as a young boy from a military family who likes baseball, space and listening to Stevie Wonder.

On the big screen
“Land of Bad,” an action thriller with a rudimentary name, hits theaters Friday. It stars Liam Hemsworth (Thor’s younger brother) as a special ops soldier on the run after an ambush in the jungle, and Russell Crowe as the drone pilot trying to lead him to safety.

“Bleeding Love” is a road trip drama starring Ewan McGregor as a father trying to reconnect with his estranged (and troubled) daughter — played by his actual daughter, Clara McGregor.

What’s happening in sports

At a glance …
The 2024 NASCAR Cup Series season kicks off with the biggest race of the year: the Daytona 500. The race, originally scheduled for today, was postponed until Monday because of persistent rain in Daytona Beach, Florida.

Basketball’s best take to the court at 8 p.m. ET tonight for the 73rd NBA All-Star Game in Indianapolis.

For more of your favorite sports, head on over to CNN Sports as well as Bleacher Report, which — like CNN — is owned by Warner Bros. Discovery.

Quiz time!

Looking for a challenge to start your week? Take CNN’s news quiz to see how much you remember from the week that was! So far, 47% of fellow quiz fans have gotten eight or more questions right. How will you fare?

Play me off …

‘Twist and Shout’
Sixty years go this month the Beatles appeared on “The Ed Sullivan Show,” bringing Beatlemania to America. In this video, you can see Paul McCartney playing the bass guitar that was later stolen. (Click here to view)