5 things to know this weekend

5 things to know this weekend

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Who’ll win Oscars’ best picture? Who knows?

Will Sam Mendes’ World War I thriller ‘1917’ win best picture at Sunday’s Academy Awards? Or will it be Quentin Tarantino’s ‘Once Upon a Time in Hollywood’? Maybe Martin Scorsese’s gangster epic ‘The Irishman’? With no clear frontrunner, the night’s biggest drama is likely to be which of five serious contenders will take the top prize, writes USA TODAY’s Brian Truitt. For the second straight year, there will be no official Oscars host: Various celebs will do the honors as they did last year, when Kevin Hart dropped out after anti-gay remarks surfaced. Follow @usatodaylife for real-time coverage of this year’s show, which airs live on ABC at 8 p.m. ET/5 ET. Red carpet coverage kicks off at 6:30 p.m. ET.

Coronavirus outbreak: Anger and cases grow in China

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases has risen again in China while fatalities increased to 722 on Saturday, as the ruling Communist Party faces backlash over the outbreak. The Chinese government said another 3,399 people had been diagnosed over the last 24 hours, raising the total number of cases on the mainland to 34,546. Meanwhile, the U.S. Embassy in Beijing said a U.S. citizen diagnosed with the virus died in Wuhan, China, earlier this week, apparently the first American fatality of the outbreak. The U.S. announced later Friday that it is prepared to spend up to $100 million to help China and other countries fight the outbreak, according to the Associated Press. 

Revamped XFL football league debuts

The new-look XFL will kick off this weekend with a pair of games Saturday and two more on Sunday. And in this new league, with eight teams in the inaugural year, there’s no telling how this season will shake out. All eight teams were in Houston for training camp last month, which featured some joint practice sessions and scrimmages. But the coaching staffs generally kept their best players on the margins and left their best plays uncalled, which means it’s a real mystery which of these teams will emerge as the favorite once the real games begin. Here’s a look at the XFL coaches, quarterbacks, key players, betting odds and everything else you need to know about the eight teams in the XFL.

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