Here’s what you need to know to Start Your Week Smart.
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• Advent beings. It’s the sacred season when Christians prepare to commemorate Jesus’ birth. From Poland to China, the faithful mark the countdown differently, though candles, wreaths and calendars almost always make an appearance.
• It’s also World AIDS Day. The illness remains one of history’s most destructive pandemics, especially among the young. Modern drugs mean the disease is no longer a death sentence, but it’s still critical to know your status. Here’s how to support AIDS-related causes.
• Holiday movies shift into overdrive. With Turkey Day in the books, attention shifts to Christmas and all its schmaltzy films. Hallmark alone is debuting 40 new holiday movies this year. Here are some picks from our friends at CNN Entertainment. And you can take your binge-watching to a whole new level of sappy with our holiday movie bingo cards.
• What’s streaming in December. Of course, your viewing options extend far beyond candlelight and garland. Check out more Marvel “Runaways,” more Mumbai Mavericks and more “Mrs. Maisel,” along with plenty more new options this month on Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, HBO Now and Acorn.
• Online shopping sales abound. If we all do all our shopping online all the time, is Cyber Monday still a thing? Yes, say experts, who note that companies often double down on internet sales, perhaps especially this year, when a late Thanksgiving means fewer shopping days. Consumers are expected to spend a record $9.4 billion on this day, en route to more than $140 billion in predicted online holiday sales.
• SCOTUS hears arguments in a key gun case. Justices are expected to pitch their questions about a New York City law that regulates where licensed handgun owners can take a locked and unloaded handgun. It’s the first time the justices will take up the thorny issue since a landmark 2008 opinion and a follow-up two years later.
• Climate change tops world leaders’ agenda. The UN Climate Change Conference, dubbed COP25, begins in Madrid, which stepped in after protests in Chile thwarted its plans to host. The 12-day meeting focuses on what’s needed to meet benchmarks set in the Paris climate deal. Though the Trump administration has begun pulling the US out of that agreement, American diplomats remain part of the talks.
• Queen Elizabeth II hosts NATO leaders. A reception at Buckingham Palace is set to mark 70 years of NATO. President Trump is due to attend the two-day gathering of the alliance, despite it being the target of some harsh comments from the President. In a largely symbolic move that could make for some awkward moments, his administration just moved to substantially cut its contribution to NATO’s budget.
• The impeachment machine revs back up. The House gets back to work, with the impeachment inquiry top of mind for Democrats. The House Intelligence Committee worked through Thanksgiving week, aiming to hand its investigation report to the Judiciary Committee soon.
• House judiciary panel dives in. It’s scheduled a hearing with experts discussing the “constitutional grounds for presidential impeachment.”
• Trump faces an impeachment process deadline. The White House has to decide whether the President’s attorneys will participate in the Judiciary Committee’s proceedings. The question leaves Trump with a critical choice: defend or deflect. At this rate, he could be impeached by Christmas.
• College football championships are on. Evening Pac-12 action leads right into Saturday matchups from the Mountain West to the SEC. Here’s how to tune in to all the action.
• Honoring those lost at Pearl Harbor. Americans and the world pause to remember the more than 2,000 US troops killed in 1941 when Japan launched a surprise attack on the Hawaiian naval base.