August 1, 2021

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More heat in the West, Wimbledon finals, Confederate statues’ removal: 5 things weekend – USA TODAY

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More brutal temperatures hit the West 

Another blistering heat wave is in the forecast for the western United States this weekend. All-time record high temperatures could be registered in cities such as Las Vegas and Sacramento, while notorious hotspot Death Valley should see highs approaching 130 degrees — just a few degrees short of Earth’s hottest temperature ever measured. The heat comes as the country reels from its hottest June on record.

Prefer to listen? Check out the 5 Things podcast:

Wimbledon crowns women’s, men’s champs

Wimbledon will  hold its men’s and women’s singles finals this weekend. On Saturday, current No. 1 Ash Barty of Australia will take on former No. 1 Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic in the women’s final (9 a.m. ET, ESPN) as each seeks   her first Wimbledon title. The men will take the court Sunday (9 a.m. ET, ESPN) with history on the line: Facing No. 7 seed Matteo Berrettini of Italy, the world’s No. 1 Novak Djokovic seeks his sixth Wimbledon crown, his third major of 2021, and his 20th career Grand Slam singles title, which would tie longtime rivals Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal for the most in men’s tennis. 

Virgin Galactic’s Richard Branson headed to space

Billionaire Richard Branson is headed to space Sunday in his own rocket. He is due to take off from New Mexico, launching with two pilots and three other employees aboard a rocket carried aloft by a double-fuselage aircraft. It will come only nine days before Amazon’s Jeff Bezos plans to ride in his own Blue Origin spacecraft. While Branson’s flight will be longer, Bezos’ will be higher. Branson considers it “very important” to try it out before allowing space tourists on board. 

Confederate statues in Charlottesville slated to come down 

A Confederate monument that was the center of a violent 2017 white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, leaving one person dead, is expected to come down Saturday. The city said the bronze statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee and one of Gen. Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson will be removed and stored until the city council decides where to move them. Council members voted to take down the Lee statue in 2017. Several organizations sued in opposition, but the Virginia Supreme Court ruled for the city in April.

England, Italy face off in Euro 2020 final

After a pair of extra time wins in the semifinals, England and Italy take the field Sunday for the final of the UEFA European Championship. Italy reached the final by defeating Spain in a penalty shootout in the semifinal, and England held off Denmark in extra time. The English are aiming for their first major international tournament since the 1966 World Cup, while Italy is looking to claim silverware for the first time since winning the 2006 World Cup. The matchup also presents a compelling matchup, with England allowing the least amount of goals at Euro 2020 and Italy being the second-highest scoring team at the tournament. 

The Associated Press contributed.

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