It’s Monday, it’s a new week and while we won’t pretend to know everything that’s going to happen over the next seven days, we have some sense of what’s coming up.
Here’s your briefing on some of the most important and interesting stories happening in the week ahead.
1) Don’t stare at the sun
Once upon a time there was light in my life
But now there’s only love in the dark
Nothing I can say
A total eclipse of the heart…
So sang Bonnie Tyler, of course, in 1983. Hers was a total eclipse of the heart, which sounds serious, but in reality wouldn’t be too bad.
Tuesday’s eclipse in Chile and Argentina will last only four-and-a-half minutes, at most, which makes you realise that the lovelorn Tyler’s heart troubles will have passed in a very short time.
Swathes of the centre of both countries (including the 15 million residents of Buenos Aires) will see a total eclipse just before sundown – the first such event we’ve seen anywhere since 2017.
And anyone who misses it can just wander down to the south of Chile and Argentina, where there will be another total eclipse in December next year.
Those of you who won’t be in that neck of the woods on Tuesday can follow the live-feed of the eclipse here, or you can just watch this instead:
2) A Salute to America!
Light beers will be drunk, reconstituted meat products burned on an open fire, and much joy will be felt – for it is Independence Day in the US on Thursday!
Every 4 July, Americans gather to mark their independence from Britain, which they’re perfectly entitled to do.
What can we expect? Well, back in February, Donald Trump promised “one of the biggest gatherings in the history of Washington”, which is quite something given his inauguration attendance figures.
“It will be called ‘A Salute To America’,” he declared on Twitter, and it will include a “major fireworks display, entertainment and an address by your favorite President, me!”
3) So much sport
If you don’t like sport, what’s wrong with you? Not only does it help foster competitive instincts, it makes you feel good, especially if you win.
Watching sport is also enjoyable, as it allows you to have a stake in winning without any of the physical effort of participating.
And so this week, we welcome A Great Week of Sport, in which people will sport very hard as we all watch.
It all begins on Monday with the tennis at Wimbledon, a name that evokes the best of Britain – perfect lawns, summertime rain and foreigners doing better than us.
And then, from Saturday, the world’s greatest cycling competition, the Tour de France, begins in… Belgium. Men with abnormal thighs will perform superhuman feats and, if successful, be allowed to wear a garish yellow shirt.
4) Greece, democracy, etc
Many articles over the next week will helpfully point out that Greece is the birthplace of democracy (a word with Greek origins), but this is sadly a terrible cliché (a word with French origins).
Those articles will go on to explain that Greece is holding a general election on Sunday. It’s the first there since September 2015, after a frantic period of voting in the mid-2010s when Greeks had more elections than they did haircuts.
This one came about after Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’ far-left Syriza party suffered a bloody nose in May’s European elections. So a snap election was called, and Mr Tsipras’ presidency – launched off the back of an anti-austerity platform – is teetering.