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Start Your Week Smart: Sinema, Kohl’s, Pandemic, Wildfire, NFL Playoffs

By AJ Willingham, CNN

Did you know that approximately 40% of American households buy a car each year? It’s quite a statistic, especially since car prices are so high. They are expected to calm down soon, but don’t expect them to return to pre-pandemic levels.

Here’s what else you need to know to Start your week smart.

The weekend that was

• The Arizona Democratic Party executive board said yesterday that it officially censored Senator Kyrsten Sinema for voting in favor of keeping the Senate’s filibuster rules, block Democrats’ suffrage legislation, a key priority for the party.

• Kohl’s retailer received an unsolicited offer of $9 billion yesterday to become private from a consortium backed by an activist investor, according to published sources.

• Federal regulators are considering limit the authorization of certain monoclonal antibody treatments which have not been shown to be effective against Omicron variant of the coronavirus, a source close to the decision-making told CNN.

• Crews fighting a wildfire along the central California coast near the iconic Highway 1 made progress over the weekend to contain the blaze, but dozens of homes remain under evacuation orders.

• The Cincinnati Bengals and San Francisco 49ers both picked up shock wins on field goals as time expired as they both entered their NFL playoff split matchups as than outsiders.

The week ahead


Monday is the United Nations International Day of Education. Education keeps people out of poverty, protects societies from corruption and inequality, and empowers underserved populations. So go thank an educator for all they do to keep this world afloat.


The Federal Open Market Committee meets for the first time in 2022, and two elements will take priority: inflation and interest rates. The Fed is already planning to raise interest rates later this year and end other emergency measures it has put in place to cushion the economic blow of the pandemic. At the end of this two-day meeting, we may get more information on how this will all play out.

Happy Republic Day to our Indian friends. Republic Day marks the anniversary of the Constitution of India entered into force in 1950.

And Happy Australia Day to all our friends down there enjoying this day to reflect on the diverse history of their beautiful country.


Thursday is International Holocaust Remembrance Day, designated by the United Nations General Assembly. It marks the anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp, and is a time to remember the 6 million Jews and millions of other victims who were killed under the Nazi regime.

Want more than 5 things?

This week on the Sunday edition of the 5 Things podcast, CNN Aviation correspondent Pete Muntean gives us an explanation of 5G and why airlines are so concerned about rolling it out around major airports. listen now!

Pictures of the week

Discover more moving, fascinating and stimulating images of the week which was organized by CNN Photos..

What’s Happening in Entertainment

The Britney controversy is far from over

Britney Spears may be freed from her 13-year guardianship, but more battles are brewing between the pop star and her family. Spears sent a legal cease and desist letter to her younger sister, Jamie Lynn Spears, this week, demanding that she stop talking about her older sister during her book tour for her new memoir, ‘Things I Should Have Said’. Spears’ attorney called the book “inappropriate” and said he made “misleading or outrageous claims about it.” Additionally, a judge recently sided with Spears in an ongoing court battle with her father, Jamie Spears, who has asked his daughter to set aside money from his $60 million estate for cover legal costs, including his own.

Calling all Bridgerton and Downton Abbey fans!

Looking for your next dose of period drama? Set your ceiling for “The Gilded Age” on HBO Max, set in 1880s New York City. Its creator, Julian Fellowes, was also behind “Downton Abbey”, and CNN’s Brian Lowry says “Fellowes and his sprawling cast delivered another sharp look at wealth and class in ancient times, when even those with gold chafed at complex rules.”

What happens in sports

The NFL Divisional Round is happening this week

The Los Angeles Rams play the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at 3:00 p.m. ET today for the chance to face the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship next Sunday.

The Buffalo Bills will face the Kansas City Chiefs at 6:30 p.m. ET today. The winner will face the Cincinnati Bengals in the AFC Championship next Sunday.

(For those uninitiated in the NFL, this weekend’s games are the quarterfinals, and the AFC and NFC are the two league conferences. You’re welcome.)

The Australian Open is on

There have already been a few surprises midway through the fourth round of play. Great Britain’s Emma Raducanu had high hopes after returning to action after winning the US Open last year, but was shot by Danka Kovinić unrated. Meanwhile, Japanese player Taro Daniel pulled off a stunning second-round upset, beating American favorite Andy Murray.

Keep an eye out for the women’s final, which takes place this Friday, and the men’s final, which takes place this Saturday.

It’s quiz time!

Take CNN’s weekly news quiz to see how much you remember from the week that was! So far, 44% of other quiz fans have scored an 8 out of 10 or better this week. How well can you do?

Play with me

Music to make you feel like nobility

Of course, I mentioned “Bridgerton” which made me think of all the great string covers on the show, including the Vitamin String Quartet’s version of Maroon 5’s “Girls Like You.”Click here to listen)

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Margarita W. Wilson

The author Margarita W. Wilson