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Start your week smart: House speaker, Damar Hamlin, Iran, Ukraine, Senegal

By Andrew Torgan, CNN

Even if you’re not a football fan, you’ve probably heard about Buffalo Bills player Damar Hamlin suffering cardiac arrest during a game last week. Would you know what to do if you suspected someone near you had gone into cardiac arrest? Here are some simple steps you could take right away that might mean the difference between life and death.

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

The weekend that was

• Kevin McCarthy was elected House speaker in the early hours of Saturday morning — a major victory for the California Republican that elevates him to a powerful position leading the GOP majority in the chamber and an outcome that followed days of painstaking negotiations and failed votes.

• Just days after his stunning on-field cardiac arrest, Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin said on Instagram he was thankful for the love he’s received and asked for continued prayers for a “long road” ahead.

• Iran executed two men on Saturday — one a karate champion, the other a volunteer children’s coach — in connection with the nationwide protests that have swept the country since the death of 22-year-old Kurdish Iranian woman Mahsa Amini in morality police custody on September 16.

• The Russian-declared ceasefire in Ukraine ended with no slowdown in violence as Russia launched two missile strikes in the Kharkiv region late Saturday.

• At least 40 people were killed today and many others seriously injured in a bus crash in central Senegal, according to the country’s president.

The week ahead


President Joe Biden Biden will visit Mexico City for the North American Leaders’ Summit, where he will discuss migration issues with the country’s president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador. The Biden administration is leaning on Mexico and other countries in the Western Hemisphere to provide temporary protections to migrants who have fled their home countries. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is also expected to be in attendance.


Connecticut will join a growing list of US states to allow recreational cannabis sales to adults 21 and over. This move comes on the heels of New York’s first public sales of regulated cannabis last month.

January 10 is also the day that Prince Harry’s highly anticipated and controversial autobiography “Spare” will be released.


First lady Jill Biden will undergo a procedure to remove a lesion that was found during a routine skin cancer screening, according to her press secretary. The outpatient procedure, known as Mohs surgery, will be performed at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland.


January 12 is the deadline for victims of Hurricane Ian to apply for federal disaster assistance. The Federal Emergency Management Agency says more than $4.45 billion in federal grants, disaster loans and flood insurance payments have been provided to the state of Florida and its households to help survivors affected by the storm.


President Biden will hold talks with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida at the White House. Expected topics include North Korea, Ukraine, China’s tensions with Taiwan, and a “free and open Indo-Pacific,” the White House said last week.

It’s also Friday the 13th.

An NFL turning point?

In this week’s “One Thing” podcast, CNN Sports anchor and former NFL player Coy Wire joins us to share his reaction to Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin’s injury on “Monday Night Football” against the Cincinnati Bengals. He also shares why he believes this incident represents a turning point in the conversation around player safety and mental health concerns at all levels of the sport. Listen here for more.

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

Tonight at 9 p.m. ET is the premiere of the new CNN Original Series “Giuliani: What Happened to America’s Mayor?” The series explores how a storied figure of American politics went from a crime-fighting prosecutor and post-9/11 hero to a key player in President Donald Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election. The four-part series goes behind the headlines to explore Giuliani’s operatic life of victories and defeats.

The 80th Annual Golden Globe Awards are scheduled to be presented live Tuesday at 8 p.m. ET on NBC. The ceremony, which was not broadcast last year due to controversy surrounding the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, will be hosted by comedian Jerrod Carmichael. One actor who will not be in attendance is Brendan Fraser, who is nominated for Best Actor in a Motion Picture — Drama for his turn in “The Whale.” Fraser cited his “history” with the organization as the reason for skipping the ceremony.

What’s happening in sports


The Georgia Bulldogs will face Texas Christian University’s Horned Frogs on Monday in the College Football Playoff National Championship at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California. TCU will be seeking its first national title since 1938 and the first for a Big 12 team since 2005, while Georgia will be aiming to be the first back-to-back national champion since Alabama in 2011 and 2012 and the first repeat champion in the College Football Playoff era.

And the NFL Playoffs begin Saturday with the Wild Card Round, the first step on the road to Super Bowl LVII on February 12 at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona.

Quiz time!

Take CNN’s weekly news quiz to see how much you remember from the week that was!

Play me off

‘Stayin’ Alive’

If you followed the link at the top of today’s 5 Things to learn what to do if someone is in cardiac arrest, you may already be humming this disco-era megahit from the Bee Gees. Whether you love or hate it, it’s a song that could save a life. (Click here to view)

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