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Start your week smart: Trump wins South Carolina, Navalny’s body, NRA verdict, Alabama IVF ruling, Georgia student killed


By Andrew Torgan and Daniel Wine, CNN

(CNN) — It looks like Punxsutawney Phil was right after all. A winter like no other may be winding down next week, when temperatures across a large swath of the US soar to levels you’d expect in May or June — rather than the end of February.

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

The weekend that was

• Donald Trump won South Carolina’s Republican presidential primary, further tightening his grip on the nomination and leaving his last remaining major rival, Nikki Haley, to consider her dwindling options. The next stop on the GOP calendar is Michigan, where Republicans will vote in a primary Tuesday.
• The body of Russian opposition figure Alexey Navalny has been given to his mother more than a week after he died, his spokesperson said. Navalny’s family and colleagues blamed President Vladimir Putin for Navalny’s death, which comes ahead of the country’s presidential election next month.
• A jury in New York found that the National Rifle Association mismanaged charitable funds when it failed to stop top executives, including longtime leader Wayne LaPierre, from diverting millions of dollars for lavish personal trips, no-show contracts and other questionable expenditures.
• Lawmakers in Alabama said legislation to protect in vitro fertilization treatments is necessary following the state Supreme Court’s unprecedented ruling that frozen embryos are children. The Alabama attorney general said he has no intention of prosecuting IVF participants or providers.
Campus police arrested a suspect in the killing of an Augusta University nursing student on the University of Georgia campus in Athens, authorities said. Jose Antonio Ibarra, 26, faces numerous charges in the death of Laken Riley.

The week ahead

Hungary is expected to ratify Sweden’s bid to join NATO when its parliament reconvenes for the spring session. Hungary is the last NATO member to approve Sweden’s accession to the military alliance. Sweden and Finland applied for NATO membership in May 2022 after Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine earlier that year. Finland joined NATO in April 2023 — doubling the alliance’s border with Russia — but Sweden’s bid was held up by Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban in what one European lawmaker described as “another favor to Vladimir Putin.”

The crucial 2024 battleground state of Michigan will hold its presidential primary elections. Trump will appear on the Republican ballot after the state’s Supreme Court last year rejected an attempt to remove him based on the US Constitution’s “insurrectionist ban.” As for President Joe Biden, Michigan Democratic Rep. Rashida Tlaib, an outspoken critic of Biden’s handling of the Israel-Hamas war, is calling on residents to vote “uncommitted” in the primary.

Hunter Biden is scheduled to appear for a closed-door deposition as part of House Republicans’ impeachment inquiry into his father, President Biden. James Biden, the president’s brother, was grilled by Republicans during a closed-door interview last week. The inquiry is going ahead, despite the recent arrest of a former FBI informant charged with lying about the Biden family’s involvement in business dealings with a Ukrainian energy company.

Happy leap day! (Has it been four years already?) Ever wondered why leap years exist? Blame Julius Caesar.

March 1 is the deadline for Congress to avert a partial government shutdown — and a complete shutdown a week later. This is the fourth time since September that lawmakers have run up against a funding deadline, passing stopgap bills in September, November and January to keep the government running. The two-step plan passed in January extends funding through Friday for parts of the federal government, including military construction and the departments of Veterans Affairs, Agriculture, Housing and Urban Development, Transportation and Energy. The rest of the government is funded until March 8. While bipartisan talks continue, House Republicans remain divided on the best path to keep the government open, with appropriators haggling over conservative policy riders deemed poison pills by Democrats — all setting up another test for House Speaker Mike Johnson and his narrow majority.

It’s also the beginning of Women’s History Month.

Idaho and Missouri hold their Republican presidential caucuses, and it’s the birthday of Theodor Geisel — better known as Dr. Seuss.

One Thing: Two years of war
In this week’s One Thing podcast, CNN’s Ivana Kottasová looks at how Ukrainian soldiers are coping with dwindling ammunition and examines the mood of the country two years after Russia’s invasion began. 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
You just can’t keep the dead down. The cultural phenomenon that is “The Walking Dead” and its oh-so-many spinoffs have killed off more fan-favorite characters than you can shake a (sharpened) stick at. Tonight, however, one who flew off into the sunset will be resurrected in the premiere of “The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live.” Andrew Lincoln returns as Rick Grimes and presumably will be reunited with his lost love Michonne, played by Danai Gurira. That is, of course, unless a horde of walkers (or the Civic Republic) intercedes. “The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live” airs on AMC and AMC+ at 9 p.m. ET.

What do you get when you combine a reality show competition with a game show? You get “Deal or No Deal Island,” which debuts on NBC Monday at 9:30 p.m. ET.

Finally, more than 40 years ago, TV audiences were captivated by “Shōgun,” a miniseries based on James Clavell’s bestselling novel set in feudal Japan. FX Networks is hoping to rekindle that enthusiasm with the Tuesday premiere of “Shōgun” on Hulu, starring Hiroyuki Sanada, Cosmo Jarvis and Anna Sawai.

On the big screen
Timothée Chalamet and Zendaya return to theaters Friday in “Dune: Part Two,” along with the addition of Christopher Walken as an evil emperor (is there any other kind?) and Florence Pugh as his daughter. An almost unrecognizable Austin Butler joins the party as psychopath Feyd-Rautha — a role famously devoured by Sting in David Lynch’s 1984 adaptation of Frank Herbert’s epic novel. CNN’s Brian Lowry says “Dune: Part Two” is “visually dazzling and overwhelming in its scale,” but at times “moves as if it’s walking in sand.” The film is produced by Warner Bros. Pictures, which, like CNN, is a unit of Warner Bros. Discovery. (Editor’s note: if you are looking for a more succinct take on the movie, co-star Josh Brolin shared his R-rated summary on his Instagram account.)

What’s happening in sports

At a glance …
The latest edition of a made-for-TV golf event airs Monday at 6:30 p.m. on TNT (a unit of Warner Bros. Discovery). Capital One’s “The Match 9” features PGA and LPGA stars Rory McIlroy, Lexi Thompson, Rose Zhang and Max Homa competing in what’s called a “mixed skins” format, where each hole will be worth a certain dollar amount for charity — the golfer who has earned the most money at the end of 12 holes will be declared the winner.

The world’s first jet suit race is slated to take place Wednesday in Dubai when competitors from eight countries take to the air.

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, 64% of fellow quiz fans have gotten eight or more questions right. How will you fare?

Play me off …

‘Texas Hold ’Em’
Houston native Beyoncé is now the first Black woman to score a No. 1 hit on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart after “Texas Hold Em” debuted recently at the top. Her eighth solo studio album, which will include “Texas Hold ’Em” and her other top 10 country hit, “16 Carriages,” will be released on March 29. Yeehaw!

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