Here’s the biggest news you missed this weekend

Beijing Olympics come to a close

The 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics – which had its share of triumph and controversy – came to a close Sunday. The Games are still reeling after 15-year-old Russian Kamila Valieva was allowed to compete in the women’s figure skating event, despite a positive drug test for a banned substance. Bobsledder Elana Meyers Taylor will have a chance to wave the American flag at the closing ceremony after missing the opening ceremony due to COVID. Meyers Taylor will leave Beijing with a silver medal in the monobob and a bronze in the two-man bobsleigh. After the conclusion of the Games, the Winter Olympic torch will eventually make its way to Italy, where Milan and Cortina d’Ampezzo are set to share hosting duties in 2026.

  • 🏅 Medal count: How every country has performed at the Beijing Games.
  • Music group sues NBC, US figure skating pair over use of song during Winter Olympics.
  • Winter Olympics recap:Jessie Diggins wins Team USA’s final medal, Finland wins men’s hockey gold.
  • Court rejects request by US figure skaters to get their team medals before closing ceremony.
  • The most controversial, most unwelcoming Olympics of our lifetime are now over | Opinion.

Biden, Putin may meet this week if Russia hasn’t invaded

President Joe Biden may meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin later this week, following a meeting of their foreign ministers, if an attack on Ukraine has not occurred by then, the White House announced late Sunday. The high-stakes talks between Secretary of State Antony Blinken and his Russian counterpart will take place Thursday in Europe. Biden has accepted “in principle” a meeting with Putin “if an invasion hasn’t happened,” press secretary Jen Psaki said in a statement, noting that while the U.S. is “always ready for diplomacy,” Russia right now “appears to be continuing preparations for a full-scale assault on Ukraine very soon.” NATO officials are scrambling to find a diplomatic solution as a continued buildup of Russian troops and military exercises on Ukraine’s northern border continues to raise fears of an imminent invasion. About 150,000 Russian troops have massed on three sides of Ukraine’s borders while Moscow extended military drills that were due to end Sunday in neighboring Belarus.

  • The enigma of Vladimir Putin:What do we really know about Russia’s leader?
  • The spark for a wider war? Why Americans should care about Russia’s aggression against Ukraine.

Real quick

  • Warnings not enough to prevent vehicle flood deaths from 5-year high.
  • More than 1,000 rodents found in Family Dollar facility lead to recall of items sold in 6 states.
  • Michigan basketball coach strikes Wisconsin assistant at end of loss.
  • Bird flu detected in backyard flock on Long Island, New York, officials say.
  • Family sent desperate text message before California hiking heat deaths.
  • Jean-Luc Brunel, modeling agent close to Jeffrey Epstein, found dead in French jail.

🏁 Daytona 500: It wasn’t the narrowest margin of victory in Daytona 500 history, but it was close. And Austin Cindric’s full-time NASCAR Cup Series debut couldn’t have gone any better. The new Team Penske Ford driver held off a parade of furiously charging drivers behind him on the final lap of the 2022 season opener Sunday at Daytona International Speedway and narrowly edged Bubba Wallace for the checkered flag.

Queen Elizabeth II tests positive for COVID-19

Queen Elizabeth II has tested positive for COVID-19, Buckingham Palace announced Sunday. The palace said Britain’s longest reigning monarch, 95, is experiencing mild cold-like symptoms and that she expects to continue light duties at Windsor Castle over the coming week. The queen is fully vaccinated, having received three shots of a coronavirus vaccine. People in the U.K. who test positive for COVID are required to self-isolate for five days, a restriction that the British government intends to lift this week for England.

  • Accession Day: Why Queen Elizabeth II marks her accession to the throne as a day of private reflection.
  • What’s the difference between queen and ‘Queen Consort’? Camilla’s future title, explained.

Police in Canada clear protesters after 3 weeks, 200 arrests

Protesters who had brought chaos to the streets of the Canadian capital of Ottawa for the last three weeks were almost entirely gone Sunday, driven off by police in riot gear. Almost 200 arrests later, the blaring truck horns had disappeared, and streets that had been blocked by parked vehicles and roving protesters were open for traffic. Police said they had towed away 57 vehicles and planned to keep them for seven days. The protest began as an assault on COVID-19 vaccine mandates for cross-border truckers. But it grew to include other restrictions and even took aim at Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, whose popularity sank like a stone in recent polling. Claiming the display “served to delegitimize the real concerns of most truck drivers,” Teamsters Canada, which represents over 55,000 professional drivers, washed its hands of the protest two weeks ago.

  • Pope Francis, crowd at St. Peter’s Square applaud health care workers; Biden to extend COVID national emergency. Latest COVID-19 updates.

Officer killed in Calif. helicopter crash, hours after crash in Miami Beach

Investigators in California were working Sunday to determine what caused a police helicopter to slam into Newport Bay, killing one officer and critically injuring another. The crash Saturday came hours after another helicopter plummeted into the Atlantic Ocean not far from beachgoers in Miami Beach, injuring two people aboard the chopper. In California, Huntington Beach Police said the helicopter was responding to reports of a disturbance. Officer Nicholas Vella, 44, a 14-year department veteran and married father of a daughter, died in the crash and another officers, a 16-year veteran of the force, was injured. Officials said it’s unknown which officer was flying the helicopter when it crashed. Hours earlier, surveillance video posted by Miami Beach Police on Twitter shows a helicopter crashing into the ocean amid dozens of people in the water. Two people in the helicopter were hospitalized in stable condition, the Miami Beach police said. The Robinson R44 helicopter crashed at about 1:20 p.m. “under unknown circumstances,” according to the FAA, which is investigating both crashes.

  • Video shows helicopter as it plummets into the ocean near swimmers in Miami Beach.

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This is a compilation of stories from across the USA TODAY Network. Contributing: Associated Press.

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