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Start your week smart: Severe weather, Nepal, Ukraine, NFL playoffs, Robbie Knievel

<i>David McNew/AFP/Getty Images</i><br/>Floodwaters inundate a home by the Salinas River near Chualar
AFP via Getty Images
David McNew/AFP/Getty Images
Floodwaters inundate a home by the Salinas River near Chualar

By Andrew Torgan, CNN

Tales of a mythical spring that restores the youth of anyone who drinks or bathes in its magic waters have existed for thousands of years. And while explorers never did locate the Fountain of Youth, a group of scientists has conducted experiments that show aging is a reversible process — capable of being driven “forwards and backwards at will.”

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

The weekend that was

• More rain is on the way for weather-beaten California, where storms have flooded communities and left at least 19 dead.

• At least 68 people were killed earlier today when an aircraft went down near the city of Pokhara in central Nepal, a government official said.

• The death toll from a Russian missile strike on an apartment block in the Ukrainian city of Dnipro rose to 20 on Sunday, the day after missiles and explosions were heard across the country.

• The San Francisco 49ers and the Jacksonville Jaguars punched their tickets Saturday to the next round of the NFL playoffs.

• Robbie Knievel, who followed in the daredevil footsteps of his father Evel Knievel, died Friday, according to his brother, Kelly. He was 60.

The week ahead


The third Monday in January is Martin Luther King Jr. Day, a federal holiday honoring the late civil rights leader.

The World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, also kicks off on Monday. The gathering is an opportunity for many of the world’s billionaires, corporate titans and top politicians to discuss society’s biggest problems and pitch their solutions.


Reality television stars Todd and Julie Chrisley, who were sentenced in November following fraud and tax crimes convictions, have been ordered to report to two different federal prisons in Florida on January 17.

And it’s Michelle Obama’s birthday. The former first lady turns 59.


The US will reach the debt limit on January 19, setting up one of the first major battles on Capitol Hill since Republicans took control of the House. The debt limit is the maximum that the federal government is allowed to borrow — after Congress set a level more than a century ago to curtail government borrowing. Congress has in the past raised the debt limit to avoid a default on US debt that economists have warned would be “financial Armageddon.”

The annual Sundance Film Festival begins in Park City, Utah, and nearby Salt Lake City. Last year, the entire event was moved online due to Covid-19 concerns.


The National March for Life rally, an annual anti-abortion demonstration in Washington, DC, is set for January 20. It will be the first march since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade last June.

Dishing on documents

In this week’s “One Thing” podcast, CNN White House correspondent Arlette Saenz joins the show to discuss the appointment of a special counsel to oversee the investigation into classified documents found at President Joe Biden’s home and former private office from his time as vice president. She says even though the legal circumstances differ from the ones surrounding former President Donald Trump in his mishandling of government documents, similar political headaches remain. Listen 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

The 28th annual Critics Choice Awards, hosted by Chelsea Handler, will air live tonight at 7 p.m. ET on the CW. Oscar-winning actor Jeff Bridges is set to receive a Lifetime Achievement Award, while “Everything Everywhere All at Once” leads this year’s film contenders with 14 nominations overall.

And at 9 p.m. ET is the premiere of “The Last of Us,” a new HBO series based on the apocalyptic video game of the same name. Starring Pedro Pascal (“The Mandalorian”) and Bella Ramsey (“Game of Thrones”), the zombie drama quickly proves itself worthy of the hype by delivering a fully realized series graced with flesh-and-blood characters, says CNN’s Brian Lowry. HBO, like CNN, is a unit of Warner Bros. Discovery.

Later this week, step into the Wayback Machine with the arrival of not one but two series reboots.

Nearly 40 years after the original series made its debut, John Larroquette reprises his role as Dan Fielding in NBC’s new version of “Night Court,” which airs Tuesday at 8 p.m. ET.

And the teen sitcom “That ’70s Show” jumps ahead two decades, landing on Netflix Thursday as “That ’90s Show.”

What’s happening in sports


The NFL’s Wild-Card Round continues today with the Miami Dolphins facing the Buffalo Bills, the New York Giants playing the Minnesota Vikings and the Baltimore Ravens squaring off against the Cincinnati Bengals. On Monday night, the Dallas Cowboys battle the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.


The first round of the Australian Open begins Monday. Defending champion Rafael Nadal will face English youngster Jack Draper in the opening round in a bid to retain his 2022 crown and extend his Grand Slam tally. In the women’s draw, following reigning champion Ashleigh Barty’s retirement from tennis last year, Iga Światek comes into the tournament as the top seed.

Quiz time!

Take CNN’s weekly news quiz to see how much you remember from the week that was! So far, 81% of fellow quiz fans have gotten eight or more questions right. How will you fare?

Play me off


Today, January 15, is Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday. To honor his memory, here is the winner of the Academy Award for Best Original Song from the 2014 movie, “Selma.” (Click here to view)

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