Also, the Women’s World Cup begins. Here’s the latest at the end of Thursday.

An onslaught of heat waves — across the Southern U.S., as well as much of Europe and the Middle East — have elevated average global temperatures to historic highs. Extended exposure to the sweltering heat can be a potential health risk for anyone, particularly those who do outdoor work.

But medical experts say that older adults are uniquely vulnerable. In the heat wave that spread across Europe in the summer of 2022, people age 65 and older accounted for approximately 90 percent of heat-related deaths.

For many seniors, the past month or so of heat has essentially become a new Covid, persisting like an indiscriminate plague and forcing many to chose between potentially deadly conditions or utter isolation. Governments in southern Europe are now trying to take extraordinary steps.

Even in a place like Germany — where the Spanish siesta has been mocked as a sign of laziness — afternoon breaks are being reconsidered.

For more: Workers around the world are struggling, our Climate Forward newsletter reports. Track the temperatures near you, see the latest numbers from the U.S. and Europe, and navigate the summer with tips from experts.

Mark Evans/EPA, via Shutterstock

The Women’s World Cup began today with New Zealand, one of the co-hosts of this year’s tournament, winning its first match in front of the biggest crowd ever to see a women’s soccer game in the country. The other co-host, Australia, also won.

It was a fitting start for a showcase of the sport’s astonishing growth. The U.S. has won the last two World Cups, but with the largest field in the tournament’s history, the expectations have shifted. England, France, Spain, Canada and Brazil are contenders, and Australia could be a top team once their star, Sam Kerr, returns from injury.

The monthlong tournament is also a step forward for Vietnam, whose players were long shunned before qualifying for their first World Cup. Vietnam will play the U.S. tomorrow night at 9 p.m. Eastern, the opening contest for both squads.

As our chief soccer correspondent, Rory Smith, put it, the Americans — led by veterans Alex Morgan and Megan Rapinoe — could be felled by their own success:

“Either the U.S. emerges in Sydney next month as world champion for an unprecedented third time, or it finds its crown removed and placed on the head of one of its many contenders.” Rory said. “That’s testament to the work that Rapinoe and the rest of her generation has done.”

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The site of a destroyed building after a Russian attack today in Odesa, Ukraine.Libkos/Associated Press

Just a day after officials in Moscow warned that they would consider any ship bound for Ukraine to be hostile, the Ukrainians responded with their own threat: Any ship heading to Russian-controlled territory would now be considered a potential military vessel.

The tit-for-tat warnings raised fears that the war could escalate and even more severely disrupt commercial shipping in the Black Sea. Further complicating the situation, Russia has mounted attacks on Ukrainian port cities, including strikes in Odesa and Mykolaiv today. A White House official warned that Russia may expand its attacks to include commercial ships.

In Ukraine, families of children with cancer are facing the dual agonies of life-threatening illness and the war.

Rex Heuermann was arrested on murder charges last week.Johnny Milano for The New York Times

When the authorities on Long Island announced last week that they had arrested a 59-year-old architect who they believed had killed several women, it was a result of more than a decade of investigative work.

But the investigation also raised an unsettling question: Could the authorities have solved the case years earlier?

My colleagues reported today that after a new police commissioner took over last year, it took his task force just six weeks to uncover a crucial clue in the sprawling case file, which had been buried in the files since nearly the beginning.

Casey Johnston writes a newsletter called “She’s a Beast.”Michelle Groskopf for The New York Times

Casey Johnston has built a social media following by going against the typical Instagram aesthetic. She doesn’t promise the secret to washboard abs and she isn’t trying to prove that you too can have a slim waist.

Instead, her aim is to demystify weight training and show that better fitness can be a positive journey. Johnston herself once viewed getting in shape through the lens of eating less and becoming skinny. Once she discovered weight lifting, she found a way to better balance her physical and mental well-being.

An image of the ancient Maya site archaeologists are calling Ocomtún.Žiga Kokalj/ZRC SAZU

Deep in the jungle of Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula, researchers used airborne lasers to discover ancient man-made structures — pyramids, palaces, a ball court — in an area previously unmarked on maps. What they found, they said, was the remains of a Maya city that had been densely populated well over 1,000 years ago.

“I’m often asked why nobody has come there,” said the lead archaeologist, “and I say, ‘Well, probably because you need to be a little nuts to go there.’”

Real fruit ice cream is an airy blend of frozen fruit and vanilla ice cream.Tony Luong for The New York Times

Julia Gartland for The New York Times

Cook: The addition of lobster can make mac and cheese a shockingly flavorful main dish.

Drink: Consider adopting a Spanish ritual, the vermouth hour, this summer.

Read: Times Opinion columnists offered 33 book recommendations.

Improve: A.I. chatbots can be useful tools. Here’s how to get the most out of them.

Shine: Summer is the time for white sneakers. These pairs are the best.

Hunt: What Brooklyn apartment would you buy with a $650,000 budget?

Play: Here are today’s Spelling Bee, Wordle and Mini Crossword. For more, find all our games here.

A woman smokes a hookah at Lava Java hookah lounge in Dearborn, Mich. Farah Al Qasimi for The New York Times

Coming-of-age can be marked by a first kiss, first car or first job. In a place like Dearborn, Mich., it’s just as likely to be marked by one’s first hookah. That’s because the city is home to one of the country’s largest Arab American communities, where smoking hookah is often considered a cultural touchstone.

Hookah lounges are seen as alternatives to bars for customers who abstain for religious reasons and as a hot spot for Arab American life. Some of them are upscale, giving off “halal nightclub” vibes, said one 25-year-old, though the typical one is relaxing. “It looks like a diner and a banquet hall had a baby.”

Have a gregarious evening.

Thanks for reading. I’ll be back tomorrow. — Matthew

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