Start your week smart: US strikes Middle East, Trump cases, Biden wins South Carolina, California weather, Northern Ireland

What springs to mind when you hear the words “nuclear power plant?” For many, they conjure images of Chernobyl, Fukushima or Three Mile Island. But as countries scramble to end their reliance on fossil fuels, nuclear power is undergoing a renaissance, thanks in part to a technology known as small modular reactors. Learn why experts believe that nuclear energy — in all forms, large or small — has an important role to play in addressing the climate crisis.

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

The weekend that was

• The US and UK have conducted strikes on Houthi targets in Yemen from air and surface platforms, including fighter jets, with the support of several other countries. At least 30 targets were hit, and the strikes came one day after the US conducted major airstrikes on 85 targets across seven locations in Iraq and Syria.
• The Washington, DC, trial date in the federal election subversion case against Donald Trump, originally set for March 4, was postponed because of ongoing appeals about the power of the presidency. In the Georgia case against Trump, Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis acknowledged a personal relationship with the lead prosecutor but said it doesn’t disqualify her.
• South Carolina, the state that launched Joe Biden to the Democratic nomination four years ago, delivered the president his first official primary victory of the 2024 campaign, CNN projects. Biden won all 55 delegates at stake in the South Carolina primary.
• An intense, long-lasting atmospheric river is moving into California today, bringing the potential for “life-threatening” flooding, mudslides and widespread power outages as it dumps heavy rain and snow. Some residents were ordered to evacuate.
• In a historic moment, a nationalist politician became First Minister of Northern Ireland as power-sharing resumed after a two-year break. Michelle O’Neill of the pro-united Ireland party Sinn Féin vowed to “serve everyone equally.”

The week ahead

Nevada will hold state-run Democratic and Republican primaries — a requirement under a 2021 state law. Former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (and several other Republican former presidential contenders) will appear on the Republican primary ballot. However, Trump will not — and the results of that primary are non-binding. That’s because Nevada’s Republican Party, which is controlled by Trump loyalists, has opted to award its delegates two days later through state party-run caucuses instead. As a result, Haley — who won’t be on Thursday’s ballot — will not be eligible to be awarded any Nevada delegates.

A federal appeals court is scheduled to hear oral arguments in the Texas border razor wire case. In January, the US Supreme Court ruled in a 5-4 vote to allow US Border Patrol agents to remove the wire deployed by Texas GOP Gov. Greg Abbott in the Eagle Pass area. The justices’ order was considered a major victory for President Joe Biden in his ongoing dispute with Abbott over border policy. However, since the high court’s ruling, the Texas National Guard has added more razor wire.

The US Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in its review of the Colorado Supreme Court’s unprecedented decision to remove Trump from that state’s ballot. The high court’s decision to hear the case puts the nine justices squarely in the middle of the 2024 election and represents its most significant involvement in a presidential race since the momentous decision in Bush v. Gore more than 20 years ago.

Parliamentary elections are scheduled to take place in Pakistan, a little more than a week after the country’s former Prime Minister Imran Khan was sentenced to 10 years in prison for leaking state secrets. Khan, who swept to power in 2018 before his ouster in 2022, has been in jail since August after he was found guilty of corruption.

President Biden will host German Chancellor Olaf Scholz at the White House, where the two will reaffirm their strong support for Ukraine after Russia’s invasion. Biden and Scholz also will discuss efforts to prevent regional escalation in the Middle East, as well as their support for Israel’s right to self-defense and the imperative of increasing life-saving assistance and protection of civilians from harm in Gaza, the White House said.

Time to welcome the Year of the Dragon! Lunar New Year begins on February 10, kicking off more than two weeks of celebrations in China, Vietnam, South Korea and other Asian countries — as well as in any place with a sizable population of Asian immigrants.

One Thing: Will the Supreme Court keep Trump off the ballot?
In this week’s One Thing podcast, CNN’s Joan Biskupic previews oral arguments at the Supreme Court over whether Trump should be removed from Colorado’s 2024 ballot. Listen here.

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 66th Grammy Awards will air live tonight from Los Angeles at 8 p.m. ET on CBS and Paramount+. The star-studded lineup for the show includes Dua Lipa, Burna Boy, Billie Eilish, Olivia Rodrigo, Travis Scott, U2, Luke Combs and Billy Joel. Making her first appearance on the Grammy stage as a performer is 80-year-old singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell, who is a nominee in the Best Folk Album category. Taylor Swift, meanwhile, is up for several awards, including Record of the Year (“Anti-Hero”) and Album of the Year (“Midnights”). No word if Travis Kelce will be there to cheer her on.

The 12th and final season of HBO’s hit comedy series “Curb Your Enthusiasm” kicks off tonight at 10 p.m. ET. The final episode will air on April 7, bookending a decades-long run since the show debuted in 2000, according to Max, the show’s streaming home. Watch the trailer here. (CNN, HBO and Max are all part of the same parent company, Warner Bros. Discovery.)

New seasons of “Abbott Elementary” and “The Conners” arrive Wednesday on ABC, while the second season of “Halo” lands Thursday on Paramount+.

On the big screen
Valentine’s Day falls on a Wednesday this year, so Friday is the day a pair of vaguely related but very different films arrive. First up is “The Taste of Things,” a French romance set in the late 19th century featuring Oscar-winner Juliette Binoche as a talented cook and Benoît Magimel as the gourmet with whom she has been working for some 20 years.

“Lisa Frankenstein,” on the other (missing) hand, is billed as “a coming of rage love story” about a teenager and her crush, a reanimated corpse in need of a few replacement parts.

What’s happening in sports

At a glance …
With Super Bowl LVIII now one week away, the NFL Pro Bowl will be played today in Orlando. Peyton and Eli Manning return as head coaches of the AFC and NFC for the flag football game, which will air at 3 p.m. on ESPN. Check out the team rosters.

Speaking of the Super Bowl, here’s everything you need to know about the stadium in Las Vegas where the game will be played — affectionately known as the “Death Star.”

The Los Angeles Lakers will honor the late Kobe Bryant with a tribute and the unveiling of a bronze statue outside Arena on Thursday. The date — February 8, 2024 — is significant, as the five-time NBA champion wore jersey numbers 8 and 24. Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna were among nine people killed in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California, in 2020.

Finally, just days before the biggest night in football, Major League Baseball’s spring training gets underway when pitchers and catchers for the Los Angeles Dodgers report on Friday. Late last year, two-way superstar Shohei Ohtani signed a historic 10-year, $700 million contract with the Dodgers — though he will not pitch again until 2025 after undergoing elbow surgery and will only serve as a designated hitter in 2024. Last year, Ohtani became the first player to finish in the top 15 in both home runs hit and strikeouts pitched in a season since the mound was moved to its current distance in 1893.

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, 78% of fellow quiz fans have gotten eight or more questions right. How will you fare?

Play me off …

‘Turn the Lights Back On’
Music legend Billy Joel released his first new song in 17 years just a few days ago — much to the delight of his many fans. Joel, who turns 75 in May, has five Grammy Awards and an honorary Grammy and has been named one of the 100 greatest songwriters of all time by Rolling Stone. (Click here to listen)

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