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Start your week smart: Rudy Giuliani, Israeli hostages, East Coast storm, Kuwait monarch, Matthew Perry autopsy

By Faith Karimi and Daniel Wine, CNN

(CNN) — Scientists are decoding what the past smelled like. Nine mothers around the world share their mental health struggles. Tipping’s getting weird, and we’re all confused. Those are just a few of our favorite projects from CNN Visuals’ list of their best work of 2023.

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

The weekend that was

• A Washington, DC, jury ordered Rudy Giuliani to pay nearly $150 million to two Georgia election workers for the harm caused by defamatory statements he made about them following the 2020 election. The former New York mayor and onetime attorney to former President Donald Trump vowed to appeal.
• Israeli soldiers shot and killed three Israeli hostages in northern Gaza after misidentifying them as threats, the Israel Defense Forces said. The hostages were shirtless and waving a white flag when they were shot, according to an IDF official.
• A strengthening storm is pummeling Florida with heavy rains and powerful winds as it makes its way up the East Coast, threatening floods, dangerous surf, power outages and travel disruptions. The storm is forecast to hug the coast and impact Georgia to parts of the Northeast.
• The Emir of Kuwait, Sheikh Nawaf al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah, died at age 86 after ruling the Gulf state for three years. Sheikh Nawaf was defense minister during one of the biggest crises in Kuwaiti history, when Iraq invaded in 1990, triggering what became known as the Gulf War.
• “Friends” star Matthew Perry died as a result of “acute effects of ketamine” and subsequent drowning, an autopsy report shows. The report, released by the Los Angeles Medical Examiner’s Office, shows Perry’s blood tested positive for ketamine, which is known to treat depression and anxiety.

The week ahead


Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, the first woman to serve on the nation’s highest court, will lie in repose at the Supreme Court. O’Connor, 93, died this month and will be remembered during a private ceremony at the court before members of the public are invited to pay their respects. It’s traditional for late justices to make one last stop at the Supreme Court. O’Connor’s funeral is scheduled for Tuesday.


President Joe Biden is headed to Milwaukee to promote his “Investing in America” plan. During his term so far Americans have filed 14.6 million new business applications, including 178,000 in Wisconsin, according to the White House. Wisconsin is pivotal to Biden’s re-election chances — it’s one of the battleground states that help settle close presidential elections.

A hearing is scheduled for Kyle Gould, a sheriff’s deputy who reached a plea deal after facing charges in last year’s death of Christian Glass in Colorado. Glass, 22, was armed with a knife and fatally shot by deputies after calling 911 for roadside assistance. His family has said he was having a mental health episode.


A federal hearing will be held for the man accused of trying to shut down the engines of an Alaska Airlines plane midflight in October. Joseph Emerson has been charged with interfering with a flight crew, according to federal officials. He also faces state charges in Oregon, including 83 felony counts of attempted murder. Emerson has pleaded not guilty to the state charges and has said he was affected by psychedelic mushrooms he’d taken two days before the flight.

Hello, winter solstice! This is the shortest day of the year and the official first day of winter for a large part of world. Thursday will have 2023’s shortest period of daylight — nine hours, 26 minutes and 13 seconds — but who’s counting, right? Several events are associated with this day, including Yule and the Chinese Dongzhi Festival.

One Thing: Ukraine’s tipping point

In this week’s One Thing podcast, CNN’s Nick Paton Walsh checks in from Ukraine as disputes over US aid could soon compound struggles on the battlefield. Listen here.

2023: The Year in Pictures

CNN Digital’s 2023: The Year in Pictures is an interactive photo gallery that will be updated weekly throughout December, so be sure to check back. (Editor’s note: Some of the images are graphic. Viewer discretion is advised.)

What’s happening in entertainment

TV and streaming

Season 2’s finale of “The Gilded Age” airs tonight at 9 ET on HBO. So many questions on the fate of Oscar and the van Rhijns in this gold mine of meme-worthy, high society conversations and fashion.

The season finale of the comedy spy series “Archer: Into the Cold” streams on FX at 10 p.m. before moving to Hulu. The animated show follows Sterling Archer as he navigates the dangerous spy world.

In theaters

After much delay Jason Momoa is back as seafaring DC superhero Aquaman, this time with a tot in tow. “Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom” premieres Friday with a cast that includes Nicole Kidman and Patrick Wilson.

Romcom “Anyone But You” drops Friday and stars Sydney Sweeney (“Euphoria”) and Glen Powell (“Top Gun: Maverick”) as two mismatched acquaintances who must pose as a couple at a destination wedding. Two gorgeous people who don’t like each other but have to pretend — hmm, we wonder how this story will end?

The romantic fantasy “All of Us Strangers” premieres Friday and follows a screenwriter (Andrew Scott) who begins a relationship with a handsome new neighbor (Paul Mescal) while simultaneously being drawn into his past by the apparent ghosts of his late parents.

What’s happening in sports

At a glance …

Rookie sensation Tommy DeVito and the New York Giants play the New Orleans Saints at 1 p.m. today. Can DeVito, the team’s undrafted cult-hero quarterback, lead the Giants to another win?

The Kansas City Chiefs take on the New England Patriots at 1 p.m. today after a tough loss to the Buffalo Bills last week. Swifties will likely be watching for glimpses of Taylor Swift, who’s dating Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce.

NBA legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was hospitalized after falling and breaking his hip while attending a concert, according to his longtime business partner. Abdul-Jabbar, 76, was scheduled to have surgery this weekend.

College football bowl season is in full swing with 11 games this week, culminating in Saturday’s crowded slate of seven bowl games — including the prime-time Utah-Northwestern matchup.

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! So far, 59% of fellow quiz fans have gotten eight or more questions right. How will you fare?

Play me off …

‘The holiday dance’

Get your feet moving to this peppy country tune sung by — what else? — a dancing snowman cowboy. (Click here to view)

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