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Start your week smart: Ukraine, Earthquake, King Charles III, The Queen, Mar-a-Lago

By Andrew Torgan, CNN

Today is September 11, and if you are old enough to remember the events of that day 21 years ago, you know the painful memories of loss and sacrifice this anniversary invokes. Channel those feelings into something positive today by reflecting on what’s most important to you and performing at least one good deed that helps someone else in need.

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

The weekend that was

• Ukraine dealt a big blow to Russia’s grip on parts of the east with a fast-moving offensive that saw Ukrainian troops enter the strategic city of Izium after five months of occupation.

• A massive 7.6 earthquake struck Papua New Guinea earlier today, causing landslides, cracking roads and damaging buildings.

• King Charles III dedicated “what remains to me of my life” to “the heavy task that has been laid upon me” after he was formally confirmed as the new king of the United Kingdom in a ceremony steeped in tradition and pageantry at St. James’s Palace on Saturday.

• The state funeral for Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II will take place a week from Monday at Westminster Abbey, and she will lie in state in Westminster Hall from Wednesday, Buckingham Palace has announced.

• The Justice Department and former President Donald Trump’s lawyers proposed two selections each to a federal judge for who should serve as “special master” in the Mar-a-Lago investigation.

The week ahead


Primary season wraps up with voters heading to the polls in Delaware, New Hampshire and Rhode Island. Here’s everything you need to know ahead of the final sprint to the midterm elections in November.

Twitter’s former head of security, who filed an explosive whistleblower disclosure in July, is scheduled to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee to discuss his allegations of serious security vulnerabilities at the social media company. September 13 is also the day that Twitter’s shareholders are set to vote on whether to approve Elon Musk’s $44 billion takeover deal — which Musk wants to terminate.

Alex Jones’ second defamation trial over the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School is expected to begin in Connecticut. The trial will determine how much Jones and his company will have to pay the families of the victims. Jones was previously found liable in a defamation lawsuit for calling the 2012 massacre a hoax. In August, a Texas jury awarded $45.2 million to the parents of one of the children killed in the shooting.

And the 77th session of the UN General Assembly kicks off in New York City with representatives from the 193 member states gathering in person after a two-year disruption due to Covid-19.


Chinese leader Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin are expected to meet on the sidelines of a summit in Uzbekistan. It will be the first face-to-face meeting between the two leaders — who have established a close relationship — since Russia began its invasion of Ukraine earlier this year.

It’s also the beginning of Hispanic Heritage Month.


A looming rail strike could deal another blow to America’s economy. Unions representing more than 90,000 workers at the nation’s freight railroads are poised to go on strike on September 16, a move that could bring nearly 30% of the nation’s freight to a grinding halt.


September 17 is Constitution Day, which commemorates the day in 1787 that 39 of the delegates to the Constitutional Convention signed the document in Philadelphia.

Want to hear more about Queen Elizabeth’s legacy?

In this week’s One Thing podcast, CNN Chief International Anchor Christiane Amanpour looks back at the Queen’s legacy and unpacks what her death means for the future of the monarchy. Plus, she remembers being honored by Queen Elizabeth for her work and what it was like meeting her face-to-face. Listen here.

Photos of the week

Check out more moving, fascinating and thought-provoking images from the week that was, curated by CNN Photos.

What’s happening in entertainment

The Emmys

The 74th Emmy Awards hosted by “SNL” veteran Kenan Thompson will air Monday at 8 p.m. ET on NBC. You can get ready for the show by reading about all the nominations here. And be sure to check out some of the nominees’ reactions to getting the nod.

Elsewhere in TV and streaming land…

Season 5 of “The Handmaid’s Tale” premiers Wednesday on Hulu, while the fourth and final season of “Atlanta” begins Thursday on FX.

‘The Woman King’

Viola Davis stars in this drama based on the history of the Agojie, an army of women warriors who defended the West African kingdom of Dahomey in the 18th and 19th centuries. “The Woman King” hits theaters on Friday.

What’s happening in sports


The US Open men’s singles final is set for later today with Casper Ruud facing Carlos Alcaraz. On Saturday, Polish tennis star Iga Swiatek defeated Tunisia’s Ons Jabeur in straight sets in the women’s singles final

And you can watch the premiere of “Serena Williams: On Her Terms” tonight at 8 p.m. ET on CNN. The film chronicles her early beginnings in Compton, California, to her epic ascent to international prominence, exploring the key moments on and off the court that shaped her evolution.


Game 1 of the 2022 WNBA Finals tips off today with the Las Vegas Aces facing the Connecticut Sun. Last week, WNBA legend Sue Bird bid farewell to the sport when her Seattle Storm lost in the semifinals to Las Vegas.


It’s the first Sunday of the NFL season, so go stake out your spot on the couch now. And if you are new to the game — or merely clueless like me — here’s a glossary of terms and football jargon to get you up to speed.

Quiz time!

Take CNN’s weekly news quiz to see how much you remember from the week that was! So far, only 19% of fellow quiz fans have gotten eight or more questions right. How will you fare?

Play me off

‘The Preamble’

While I admit it’s not as well known as “I’m Just a Bill” or “Conjunction Junction,” this 3-minute history lesson on the US Constitution courtesy of “School House Rock” does have a catchy banjo riff… Give it a listen now and you’ll be humming it by Saturday. (Click here to view)

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