Until last week, it had been a pretty quiet hurricane season in the Atlantic, but that's all changing. Ian is expected to hit Cuba with hurricane force this morning, with its sights set on Florida next. NASA has canceled the launch of the Artemis rocket again in anticipation of the storm. Both areas had escaped Fiona, which slammed into Canada early Saturday morning, knocking out power to hundreds of thousands of people and killing at least one woman. Meanwhile, nearly half of Puerto Rico was still without power this weekend, a week after the storm hit. At least five people were killed in the Caribbean.
2. RIHANNA'S SUPER BOWL
Even if you're not a football fan, you'll want to mark your calendar for Sunday, Feb. 12, because Rihanna will be starring in the Super Bowl LVII halftime show. This is the first big announcement after Apple reached a new five-year deal to sponsor the halftime show. The superstar was asked to perform in the show in 2019 but declined to support quarterback Colin Kaepernick who faced severe backlash for kneeling during the national anthem to protest police brutality and social inequality.
3. ARIZONA'S OLD ABORTION LAW
An Arizona judge ruled that the state can enforce a 150-year-old Civil War-era law that bans all abortions unless the woman's life is in jeopardy. The law was made before Arizona became a state, but enforcement stopped with the Supreme Court's 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that allowed abortion. The state's attorney general applauded the ruling.
ITALY: Giorgia Meloni has claimed victory in this weekend's general election and will become the first female prime minister of Italy. She's aligned with a nationalist party, and CNN said she is set to form “the most far-right government since the fascist era of Benito Mussolini."
RUSSIA: The Kremlin is facing pushback from citizens as it tries to shore up its military. President Vladimir Putin demanded local officials stop conscripting citizens after assuring the public his plan is to call up military-trained reservists. Russia is also trying to pit Ukrainians against Ukrainians. Meanwhile, EU countries are trying to decide what to do with thousands of Russians fleeing the draft.
5. WAR CHANGES ENERGY
An unexpected effect of the war: It could push the world to adopt renewable energy more quickly, according to a panel of experts at NYC Climate Week. “My optimism tells me that actually we will probably see a faster and cleaner new transition across the world as a result of this war,” COP26 President Alok Sharma said. Clean energy is not always the first solution that comes to mind amid the energy crisis, but with COP27 less than two months away, Climate Group CEO Helen Clarkson urged nations to resist the temptation to turn to dirty energy.
6. ELON MUSK DEPOSITION
The Tesla founder and maybe-upcoming owner of Twitter will be deposed today as he fights to get out of the $44 billion deal to buy the social media platform. His main argument is that Twitter wasn't honest about the number of bots on the platform. If the two sides can't come to an agreement before Oct. 17, this issue will be headed to court. Musk is scheduled to sit for the deposition today and tomorrow with a possible extension into Wednesday.
7. ASTEROID SMASHUP
Want to see something crazy? Tonight at 7:14 p.m. ET NASA's DART spacecraft is going to smack into a small asteroid called Dimorphos. Don't worry — it's supposed to do this. This particular asteroid is not a threat to Earth, but it's a test to see what can be done if a humanity-threatening space rock is ever on course to hit our planet. NASA will be streaming it live.
8. HEY, ELTON JOHN: SURPRISE!
Last week we mentioned that Sir Elton John would be bringing down the (White) House on Friday, but President Joe Biden had a little something up his sleeve. He presented the Rocket Man with the National Humanities Medal for his work that changed the discussion around AIDS. John has helped to raise hundreds of millions of dollars for the cause. The music legend said he was "flabbergasted and humbled."
9. NUMBERED STORY
POST MALONE: The rapper had to postpone a concert in Boston because he was having trouble breathing and dealing with sharp pains. It's the second time in a week he faced a serious medical issue. Last week we told you he fell through a hole in the stage in the middle of a concert.
“DON'T WORRY DARLING”: The film that has been making headlines for its off-screen drama finally hit theaters this weekend and topped the box office. The psychological thriller starring Florence Pugh and Harry Styles and directed by Olivia Wilde pulled in $19.2 million in ticket sales, better than the studio expected.
NFL SUNDAY TICKET: Twice is a coincidence, but three times is a trend. This was the third week of NFL games this season, and for the third time, NFL Sunday Ticket failed. Fans pay a premium to watch all games (blackout rules mean some games can only be watched locally unless you shell out), but they were again disappointed when the service failed to let some users log in or stream some games.
10. CREEPY 'SMILE'
Baseball fans were creeped out by spectators sitting behind home plate unflinching and grinning weirdly for the entire game. It turns out they weren't regular ticketholders — they were actors there to promote an upcoming horror film called "Smile" that we hear will feature bad guys with eerie smiles. Well, it got our attention, so here's to you creepy "Smile" advertisers; the film comes out Friday.