Start your week smart: Foreign aid package, surveillance bill, Memphis shooting, VW union vote, USC graduation drama

The pandas are coming! The pandas are coming! China will send giant pandas to live at the San Francisco Zoo, the city’s mayor announced on Friday. The timeline for their arrival will be set by the completion of a new panda enclosure at the zoo. China said back in February it also plans to send two giant pandas to the San Diego Zoo — the first time it has granted new panda loans to the US in two decades.

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

The weekend that was

• House Democrats joined Republicans to pass a $95 billion foreign aid package for Ukraine, Israel and the Indo-Pacific region. The measures now go to the Senate. House Speaker Mike Johnson defied the right flank of his party to shepherd the legislation through.
• President Joe Biden signed a bill that reauthorizes a key surveillance authority after the Senate passed the legislation despite a contentious debate over privacy concerns, avoiding a lapse in the controversial program.
• Two people were killed and at least six others were injured in a shooting at a block party in Memphis, where up to 300 people were gathered, police said. They believe at least two people opened fire at the party.
• Hourly workers at Volkswagen’s plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee, overwhelming voted to join the United Auto Workers, a major breakthrough in the union’s effort to organize workers at plants nationwide.
• The University of Southern California called off appearances by prominent speakers and honorees at graduation, days after the institution canceled the commencement speech of Muslim valedictorian Asna Tabassum due to what it called security concerns.

The week ahead

Opening arguments and the first witness testimony could begin in the first criminal trial of former President Donald Trump. Trump is charged with 34 felony counts of falsifying business records for his alleged role in a hush money scheme before the 2016 election. It is just one of four criminal cases he faces while running again for president.

April 22 is Earth Day, an annual event designed to highlight the importance of environmental conservation and sustainability.

The Jewish holiday of Passover begins at sundown.

The judge overseeing Trump’s hush money trial is scheduled to hold a hearing over the prosecution’s request that he be held in contempt for repeatedly violating the gag order in the case. The DA’s office claims Trump has continued to violate the gag order in several online posts to his Truth Social account and also in articles posted on his official campaign website.

Pennsylvania will hold its primary election. President Joe Biden made a three-day swing through the Keystone State last week, where recent polling shows a close contest between Biden and Trump heading into the November presidential election.

A full moon dubbed the Pink Moon will appear in the sky — one of 12 full moons occurring during 2024.

The Supreme Court will hear arguments in the blockbuster case over whether Trump may claim immunity from prosecution in the federal election subversion case. The timing of the case has drawn considerable scrutiny, as it could help determine whether he faces a trial over his efforts to overturn the 2020 election before the November 2024 election. Special counsel Jack Smith, who brought the criminal charges, has sought to speed up the proceedings over Trump’s immunity claim so that he can bring the matter to trial as quickly as possible. An original trial date set for early March already has been postponed.

Journalists, lawmakers, government officials and celebrity guests will gather alongside President Biden and first lady Jill Biden for the annual White House Correspondents Dinner — affectionately known as the “Nerd Prom.” “Saturday Night Live” cast member and “Weekend Update” co-anchor Colin Jost will headline the event. The White House Correspondents’ Association hosts its annual dinner as a fundraiser for the organization and to provide scholarships for students interested in pursuing a career in journalism.

One Thing: Coral reefs and climate change
In this week’s “One Thing” podcast, CNN’s Ivan Watson examines how extreme climate change-fueled events are on display in Australia and whether they could provide lessons in climate resiliency for the rest of the world. Listen here.

Photos of the week

unknown content item


Check out more images from the week that was, curated by CNN Photos.

What’s happening in entertainment

In theaters
“Challengers,” a love triangle set in the world of professional tennis, opens Friday. The film stars Zendaya as Tashi, a former tennis champion turned coach married to a champion on a losing streak. When Tashi’s ex-boyfriend — also a pro tennis player — enters the picture, sparks (and tennis balls) fly.

“Breathe” puts a new spin on a post-apocalyptic premise. Zombies? No problem. Aliens? No problem. A global ice age? No problem. No oxygen? That is a problem The movie features EGOT winner Jennifer Hudson, Milla Jovovich and Sam Worthington. (“Breathe” is distributed by Warner Bros. Entertainment, which like CNN is a unit of Warner Bros. Discovery.)

Did you know that April 26 is also “Alien Day?” Well, you do now! Ridley Scott’s 1979 classic, featuring the most badass woman ever to hoist a flamethrower in sci-fi history, spawned a series of successful (and terrifying) sequels and prequels. The original film returns to theaters for a limited engagement on 4/26 — a nod to LV-426, the moon Ripley and her doomed crew landed on and where they stumbled upon a derelict alien ship loaded with xenomorph eggs.

What’s happening in sports

At a glance …

The first round of the NBA Playoffs kicked off Saturday with 16 teams vying for the championship. The 64-18 Boston Celtics hold the NBA’s best record and finished 14 games ahead of their nearest challenger in the Eastern Conference, while the defending champion Denver Nuggets are among the favorites in the West. In Saturday’s games, the Knicks, Nuggets, Cavaliers and Timberwolves came out on top. The NBA Finals are scheduled to begin on June 6.

In hockey, the Stanley Cup Playoffs are underway. On Saturday, the Boston Bruins and Carolina Hurricanes won their series openers. Four additional first-round matchups are scheduled for today.

Finally, if you are counting down the days until the start of the NFL season, the 2024 NFL Draft is Thursday and Friday. The Chicago Bears are expected to choose USC quarterback Caleb Williams with their No. 1 pick.

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 news quiz to see how much you remember from the week that was! So far, 54% of fellow quiz fans have gotten eight or more questions right. How will you fare?

Play me off …

‘Mr. Blue Sky’
In celebration of Earth Day, here’s wishing you blue skies and a brighter future. (Click here to view)

For more CNN news and newsletters create an account at