Start your week smart: Biden’s campaign, Tropical Storm Beryl, UK election, Iran’s new leader, amusement park merger

In a delightful twist on the expression “when pigs fly,” a new study found that hippos, which can weigh more than 2 tons and spend much of their time in the water, can get airborne when moving at high speeds over land.

Here’s what else you need to know to Start Your Week Smart.

The weekend that was

• President Joe Biden will travel to Pennsylvania for a pair of campaign events today amid calls from several congressional Democrats for him to withdraw from the presidential race. In an ABC interview when he was pressed on questions about cognitive tests and concerns from his party, Biden insisted he’d only drop out of the presidential race if “the Lord Almighty” tells him to.
• Tropical Storm Beryl is expected to strengthen into a hurricane again before it reaches the South Texas coast on Monday, bringing damaging winds, life-threatening storm surge and dangerous flooding. This would be the first US landfall storm of the 2024 Atlantic season.
• The Labour Party’s resounding victory in the UK general election marked a historic moment in modern British political history and a huge personal triumph for Keir Starmer, the Labour leader who will become the country’s next prime minister.
• Reformist candidate Masoud Pezeshkian won Iran’s presidential election, the country’s electoral authority said, defeating his hardline rival in a pivotal vote amid heightened tensions both domestically and internationally.
• Six Flags completed an $8 billion merger with rival Cedar Fair to create the largest amusement park operator in the United States. Together, they operate 42 amusement and water parks across 17 states.

The week ahead

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrives in Moscow for the first time since Russia invaded Ukraine, a sign of the growing relationship between the two countries even as New Delhi maintains strong ties with the US. Modi’s visit follows an invitation from Russian President Vladimir Putin, India’s Ministry of External Affairs announced, adding they would “exchange views on contemporary regional and global issues of mutual interest.” India remains heavily reliant on the Kremlin for military equipment — a vital link given its ongoing tensions along its shared Himalayan border with China — and has ramped up purchases of discounted Russian crude oil, giving Putin’s nation a major financial lifeline as it faces isolation from the West.

Representatives of the 32 NATO member countries will gather in Washington, DC, for a summit marking the 75th anniversary of the alliance. And while Russia’s invasion of Ukraine will be a key focus of the agenda, world leaders will also be scrutinizing President Biden following his poor debate performance. Biden’s showing in CNN’s presidential debate was met with shock and concern by diplomats around the world. He will be under immense pressure to perform well at the high-stakes gathering and show that he is still a viable competitor to former President Donald Trump, multiple diplomats told CNN. The concern is compounded because many believe Trump poses a threat to the future of NATO. He publicly railed against the alliance during his first term in office and did so again recently on the campaign trail, going as far as suggesting that Russia “do whatever the hell they want” to members who don’t meet defense spending targets.

Jury selection is set to begin in the criminal trial of actor Alec Baldwin over the fatal shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the 2021 set of the film “Rust.” A New Mexico judge last week denied two motions filed by Baldwin’s legal team alleging prosecutors had improperly handled evidence procedures in the case, clearing the way for the trial to proceed. Baldwin was indicted earlier this year on a charge of involuntary manslaughter in the shooting, which left Hutchins dead and injured director Joel Souza when a gun he held fired a live round during a scene rehearsal on the set. The actor has denied pulling the trigger and has pleaded not guilty. Hannah Gutierrez Reed, the “Rust” film armorer, was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter in March.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics is set to release its latest reading on inflation with the Consumer Price Index for June. That comes on the heels of last week’s monthly jobs report showing a steady slowdown in the labor market. A dramatic increase in jobs could have pushed the Federal Reserve to hold off on cutting rates, keeping lending costs high for businesses and households. But June’s more modest job gains show that the labor market remains strong but is gradually ebbing. Also factoring into the Fed’s equation for a potential future rate cut is the previous CPI report, which showed inflation cooled more than expected in May.

One Thing: 🎧 France and the far right
In today’s “One Thing” podcast, CNN’s Saskya Vandoorne tells us why Europe and the US are paying close attention to today’s runoff parliamentary elections in France. Listen here.

Photos of the week

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Check out more images from the week that was, curated by CNN Photos.

What’s happening in entertainment

TV and streaming
You’re gonna need a bigger couch … Shark Week 2024, hosted by John Cena, begins tonight at 8 p.m. on Discovery. (Discovery, like CNN, is part of Warner Bros. Discovery.)

On the big screen
“Fly Me to the Moon” stars Scarlett Johansson and Channing Tatum in a satirical movie about a romance between a NASA spokesperson and marketing expert brought in to stage a backup fake moon landing should the real attempt fail. Woody Harrelson and Ray Romano are also featured in the film, which will undoubtedly stoke fresh conspiracy theories. “Fly Me to the Moon” lifts off Friday.

What’s happening in sports

At a glance …
The Wimbledon tennis championships continue today after world No. 1 Iga Świątek suffered a shocking third-round loss to Kazakhstan’s Yulia Putintseva, ending her 21-match winning streak. The tournament also has seen defending women’s champion Markéta Vondroušová get knocked out in the first round and an emotional farewell for three-time grand slam champion Andy Murray. Looking ahead, the women’s singles final is set for Saturday, while the men’s final is a week from today. Get more of CNN’s coverage of Wimbledon here.

Speaking of tennis … Serena Williams will host The 2024 ESPYs, honoring the past year’s top achievements, athletes, and moments in sports. Among those receiving special honors are former NFL safety Steve Gleason, who will receive the Arthur Ashe Award for Courage for his fight against ALS. South Carolina women’s basketball coach Dawn Staley will receive the Jimmy V Award for Perseverance on the heels of her epic 38-0 perfect season and NCAA women’s basketball championship. And Prince Harry, The Duke of Sussex, will receive the Pat Tillman Award for Service in honor of his work in making a positive impact on the veterans community through sports. The ESPYs will air live on Thursday at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.

For more of your favorite sports, head on over to CNN Sports as well as Bleacher Report, which — like CNN — is owned by Warner Bros. Discovery.

Sunday spotlight


Everyday habits like eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, managing stress and getting enough sleep can have an enormous impact on your physical health and your brain health — even when it comes to Alzheimer’s disease. See what doctors are learning about reducing your risk of dementia in “Dr. Sanjay Gupta Reports: The Last Alzheimer’s Patient,” airing tonight at 8 p.m. ET on CNN.

Quiz time!

Test your knowledge of American history and the Fourth of July with CNN’s Independence Day Quiz! So far, 54% of fellow quiz fans have gotten eight or more questions right. How will you fare?

Play me off …

‘Gonna Need Someone’
Drummer Ringo Starr celebrates his 84th birthday today! It’s been more than 50 years since The Beatles disbanded, but Ringo shows no signs of slowing down. He has released more than 20 studio albums, including “Crooked Boy” earlier this year. (Click here to view)

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