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Start your week smart: George Santos expelled, Israel-Hamas war, Palestinian student, Trump case, Sandra Day O’Connor


By Andrew Torgan and Daniel Wine, CNN

(CNN) — Wow, suddenly Christmas seems right around the corner. If you’re thinking of going old school this year when it comes to your true love, we should warn you that the cost of the dozen gifts outlined in the “Twelve Days of Christmas” song hit an all-time high of nearly $47,000 this year! Sort of makes those “new car for Christmas” commercials seem less extravagant.

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

The weekend that was

• The House voted to expel GOP US Rep. George Santos, a historic move that makes the New York congressman only the sixth lawmaker ever to be expelled from the chamber. The resolution passed 311 to 114, with 105 Republicans voting with the overwhelming majority of Democrats in favor of expulsion. “To hell with this place,” Santos said after the vote, which followed the release of a scathing report from the House Ethics Committee.
• Israel has been bombarding Gaza as combat operations resume following the collapse of a truce. The Israeli military said it struck tunnel shafts, command centers and weapons storage facilities in overnight raids. Follow live updates.
• Hisham Awartani, one of the three Palestinian college students who were shot in Vermont over Thanksgiving weekend, is paralyzed from the chest down after a bullet became lodged in his spine, his mother said. The junior at Brown University is scheduled to be released from the hospital next week.
• The federal judge presiding over Donald Trump’s election subversion case in Washington, DC, refused to dismiss the charges against the former president, saying he does not enjoy absolute immunity for what he said and did after the 2020 election. Trump’s criminal trial is set for March.
• Former Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, who blazed trails as the first woman to sit on the Supreme Court, died at age 93. O’Connor passed away due to “complications related to advanced dementia,” the court said.

The week ahead

Former Rep. Liz Cheney’s scathing portrait of the Republican Party, “Oath and Honor,” will be released. In the book, which was obtained exclusively by CNN ahead of its publication, Cheney condemns her former colleagues and party leaders as “enablers and collaborators,” who after the 2020 election were “willing to violate their oath to the Constitution out of political expediency and loyalty to Donald Trump.”

The fourth debate of the 2024 Republican presidential primary season will be held in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. And once again, Donald Trump is skipping the event. With about six weeks until the Iowa caucuses, Trump is the clear leader in both national and early state polling — even as he battles 91 criminal counts across four indictments. The former president has not attended any of the GOP debates, and last month, his campaign called on the Republican National Committee to cancel all future debates.

The Jewish holiday Hanukkah begins at sunset and lasts for eight days.

The FDA is expected to make an approval decision on the first CRISPR gene-editing treatment that may cure sickle cell disease, a painful and deadly disease with no universally successful treatment that’s more common in people with an African or Caribbean family background. Last month, the United Kingdom became the first country to give regulatory approval to a medical treatment involving the revolutionary CRISPR gene-editing tool.

Friday is also jobs day. The Bureau of Labor Statistics will release the employment report for November. The US economy added 150,000 jobs in October, falling below expectations but still notching a solid month of employment growth. Analysts said the October reading shows the job market has finally started to cool down, which in turn may mean the Federal Reserve will hold steady on interest rates when policymakers meet later this month.

One Thing: Facing our grief
In this week’s One Thing podcast, CNN’s Anderson Cooper talks about his continued exploration of grief in the second season of his podcast, All There Is. Listen here.

2023: The Year in Pictures

This week we debut CNN Digital’s 2023: The Year in Pictures. This interactive photo gallery will be updated throughout December, so be sure to check back often for new additions. (Editor’s note: Some of these images are graphic. Viewer discretion is advised.)

What’s happening in entertainment

In theaters
“Poor Things,” starring Oscar-winner Emma Stone, Mark Ruffalo and Willem Dafoe, opens on Friday. Stone plays Bella Baxter, a young woman brought back to life by a brilliant and unorthodox scientist (Dafoe) who runs off with a shady lawyer (Ruffalo) to see the world.

What’s happening in sports

At a glance …
The NBA’s inaugural In-Season Tournament wraps up this week with the knockout round Monday and Tuesday, followed by the semifinals on Thursday and the final Saturday in Las Vegas. May the best team win … and let’s hope the NBA comes up with a better name next year.

In college football, Alabama snapped Georgia’s 29-game winning streak with a 27-24 victory in the SEC Championship game. The four teams selected for the College Football Playoff will be announced today.

The Army-Navy game is Saturday in Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts — home of the NFL’s New England Patriots. This will be the 124th meeting of the Army Black Knights and the Navy Midshipmen. For those keeping score at home, Navy won the first game in 1890 and has 62 total victories. Army has 54 wins, and there were seven ties.

Saturday is also the day the 2023 Heisman Trophy will be awarded.

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 weekly news quiz to see how much you remember from the week that was!

Play me off …

‘If I Should Fall From Grace With God’
Shane MacGowan, the hard-drinking former frontman for Celtic punk band The Pogues, died last week at age 65. MacGowan’s songwriting helped propel The Pogues to stardom in the 1980s, blending traditional Irish folk music with a punk rock beat. (Click here to view)

™ & © 2023 Cable News Network, Inc., a Warner Bros. Discovery Company. All rights reserved.

Article Topic Follows: CNN - US Politics

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