1. Soccer finals
Wish the footie fan in your life godspeed. First, the Copa América concludes with an Argentina-Brazil matchup on Saturday. Then Sunday sees England against Italy for the European Championship.
The English team is competing for its first major tournament title in more than half a century. At a time when the country’s identity is in flux, the players offer a progressive and inclusive model of Englishness.
Our staff writer Clint Smith finds himself rooting for them: “Maybe I am cheering less for England the country and more for the sort of future this new generation of players represents,” he writes.
If soccer’s not your thing, there’s always the Wimbledon finals.
2. Richard Branson’s trip to space
The spunky British billionaire is expected to board his company’s spaceplane for a Sunday launch. “The Virgin Galactic mission will be a short, suborbital flight to the edge of space and back, but, by some standards, Branson will count as an astronaut when he lands back on Earth,” our space reporter, Marina Koren, told me.
He’s set to beat Jeff Bezos by nine days. Branson’s ambitions, Marina said, “are a bit different from that of the other space billionaires; he is more invested in selling joyrides to space than settling Mars.”
3. Black Widow’s solo debut
The comic-book heroine, played by Scarlett Johansson, finally gets her own Marvel movie. Unfortunately, the film, out in theaters today, doesn’t do the character’s story justice, our culture writer Shirley Li warns.
“What seems at first like a grounded spy movie buckles under the weight of the expectations that come with being part of the [Marvel Cinematic Universe].”
The film is also streamable on Disney+.
Reflect on the week that was. Scroll through this collection of photographs taken around the world, curated by our senior editor Alan Taylor.
Ready for your next novel? Our summer reading list offers more than a few options.
Listen. On Doja Cat’s new album, the singer “continues to prove she has an extremely now sensibility.” But her chart dominance is enabling the comeback of Dr. Luke, the music producer accused of rape by Kesha. Pop consumers face an ethical minefield, our culture writer Spencer Kornhaber argues.
America has a drinking problem. This week on The Experiment, our staff writer Kate Julian discusses the country’s complicated relationship with booze.
Mind your manners. Lizzie Post, an etiquette expert, outlines three rules for our very weird new world.
Enjoy a little time off the clock. That’s what summer is for, right? Our happiness columnist explains how to maximize your vacation this season.
Grill. And don’t worry too much about the planet: Barbecues are not a huge source of climate emissions, though some ways of grilling are greener than others.
11-Across, nine letters: Arguing whether this clue perfectly matches the answer, e.g.
Try your hand at our daily mini crossword (available on our site here), which gets more challenging through the week.
Thanks for reading. This email was written by Caroline Mimbs Nyce.