Ukraine-Russia tensions, Olympics wrap up, Executive Order 9066: 5 things to know this weekend – USA TODAY

Separatists in Ukraine mobilize troops amid Russia invasion fears

Russian-backed separatist leaders in eastern Ukraine ordered a general military mobilization Saturday of all men “able to hold weapons in their hands.” The leaders of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic and Luhansk People’s Republic issued decrees, published on Russian state media, to take up arms after claiming Ukraine was on the verge of launching an assault on the breakaway territories. Monitoring groups, U.S. intelligence and independent journalists and activists in the area all say the claim is false. The development comes as the Biden administration continues to warn it believes Russia will attack Ukraine in the coming days and use a fabricated pretext to justify an invasion. Addressing the nation about the unfolding crisis, President Joe Biden said Friday he was “convinced” Russian President Vladimir Putin has made the decision to invade Ukraine and that he was relying on “significant intelligence capability” to reach that conclusion.

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Biden warns Russia will attack Ukraine in coming days

President Joe Biden said Friday the U.S. has “reason to believe” Russian forces are planning “to attack Ukraine” in the coming days, including the capital, Kyiv. To Russian President Vladimir Putin, Biden said Moscow can still choose diplomacy. (Feb. 19)


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2022 Winter Olympics wrap up with final events, closing ceremony

The 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics will come to an end Sunday with the closing ceremony at Beijing’s National Stadium. Known as being less formal than the opening ceremony, the event will be broadcast live on Peacock at 6:30 a.m. ET. NBC will air it in primetime at 8 p.m. ET/PT. During the event, the Olympic flag will be lowered and handed to the mayors of the Italian cities Milan and Cortina-D’Ampezzo, the host cities of the 2026 Winter Games. Before that, however, some medals still need to be decided. The men’s freeski halfpipe final gave the U.S. its best chance for a medal Saturday, and the Americans capitalized as David Wise and Alex Ferreira claimed the silver and bronze medals, respectively. Skier Mikaela Shiffrin, who has struggled mightily in Beijing, will get her final chance at a medal in the the mixed team parallel Alpine skiing event. Also, American bobsledders Kaillie Humphries and Elana Meyers Taylor, both medal winners in the monobob, will have a chance to win another medal in the two-woman event. 

80 years later, Executive Order 9066 still impacts what’s happening today

Saturday marks the 80th anniversary of President Franklin D. Roosevelt signing Executive Order 9066, which paved the way for the rounding up and internment of 120,000 Japanese Americans by the American government, including tens of thousands of U.S.-born citizens. This dark and shocking chapter of American history is often forgotten, especially as survivors of the detention camps dwindle each year. Government officials created the camps in 1942 after the Pearl Harbor attack in December 1941 and the United States’ entry into World War II, but the move capped decades of anti-Asian sentiment in the U.S. as white farmers and fishermen claimed the newcomers were taking their jobs. The last camp didn’t close until March 1946. Throughout the weekend, the National Park Service, Smithsonian National Museum of American History and Heart Mountain Wyoming Foundation will co-host a series of events addressing what happened, how it impacts what’s still happening today and what can be done moving forward.

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WWII internment camps: Japanese-Americans forced from homes

After the bombing of Pearl Harbor, President Roosevelt authorized the removal of Japanese-Americans from military zones on the west coast.

Scott L. Hall, USA TODAY

Life after the NFL: NBA All-Stars, Daytona 500 in the sports spotlight 

The 2021 NFL season ended last weekend when the Los Angeles Rams won Super Bowl 56. The NBA’s All-Star Game will be played Sunday night in Cleveland (8 p.m. ET, TNT) and will feature Team LeBron taking on Team Durant as the main event. Before that on All-Star Saturday Night (8 p.m. ET, TNT), the league will gather for the Skills Challenge, the 3-Point Contest and the Slam Dunk contest. The weekend got started Friday night with the Rising Stars Challenge, which saw Detroit Pistons rookie Cade Cunningham being named MVP. NASCAR will kick off its season with its own Super Bowl, the 64th Daytona 500, which will be held Sunday at Daytona International Speedway in Florida. Hendrick Motorsports dominated qualifying again as defending Cup Series champion Kyle Larson won the pole. Larson’s teammate Alex Bowman will start second.

‘Much more fun’: John Oliver speaks out ahead of Season 9 premiere

HBO’s late-night comedy series “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver,” which has collected 23 Emmy Awards – including outstanding variety talk series in each of the last six years – returns for a ninth season Sunday (11 p.m. ET/PT). Oliver, the British comedian and former “Daily Show” correspondent, may be known for bits like his crush on actor Adam Driver, or his taunting of Danbury, Connecticut, which led the city’s mayor to rename a sewage plant in his honor. But the heart of the show is Oliver’s educational deep dives into often arcane subjects mixed with comedic asides. Oliver recently spoke to USA TODAY and while he doesn’t wish to preview upcoming segments (“We don’t know what’s going to work …”), he did talk about the challenges of covering President Biden vs. Trump, Joe Rogan, Whoopi Goldberg, and his new parent company.

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John Oliver believes Trump was bad for comedy, with one exception

John Oliver talked with USA TODAY TV Editor Gary Levin about the new season of “Last Week Tonight” and why he won’t miss President Trump.

Entertain This!, USA TODAY

Contributing: The Associated Press