9/11 attacks, 20 years later; US Open history; NFL Week 1: 5 things to know this weekend

9/11 attacks, 20 years later; US Open history; NFL Week 1: 5 things to know this weekend

America remembers the victims of the 9/11 attacks on 20th anniversary 

Across the United States on Saturday, memorial events and observances will be held to honor the victims and remember the legacy of the September 11, 2001 attacks, when nearly 3,000 people were killed. Twenty years ago two planes, American Airlines Flight 11 and United Airlines Flight 175, crashed into the north and south towers of the World Trade Center in New York City  before American Airlines Flight 77 crashed into the Pentagon in Northern Virginia. The passengers of United Airlines Flight 93 fought back against the hijackers before the plane crashed into a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania, missing its intended target in Washington. President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden plan to visit all three sites where the attacks took place. Vice President Kamala Harris will travel to Shanksville with second gentleman Doug Emhoff before they join the Bidens at the Pentagon.  

EU COVID-19 restrictions get even stricter for travelers 

France is joining the list of European travel destinations tightening restrictions on U.S. tourists as COVID-19 cases surge due to the delta variant. Starting Sunday, only vaccinated visitors will be allowed to visit for vacation. Non-vaccinated travelers can only visit for essential reasons and need a negative COVID-19 test. European Union member states have been tightening requirements for entry after the EU removed the U.S. from its safe travel list on Aug. 30, pointing to rising COVID-19 cases. Here is a full list of European countries open to U.S. travelers and their restrictions. 

US Open could see history in both men’s and women’s singles events

The U.S. Open will crown its singles champions this weekend after an eventful two weeks in New York City. In a stunning women’s final set for Saturday, two unseeded players, both teenagers seeking their first Grand Slam title, will face off in a major final for the first time ever (ESPN, 4 p.m. ET). Canada’s Leylah Fernandez, 19, beat three of the top five seeds in the tournament to book her spot, while Great Britain’s Emma Raducanu, 18, became the first qualifier to reach a Grand Slam final in the Open era (since 1968). History could also be made in the men’s final on Sunday when Novak Djokovic attempts to become just the first man since 1969 to win the calendar Grand Slam (ESPN, 4 p.m. ET). The world’s No. 1 player, looking to add a U.S. Open championship to his titles at the Australian Open, French Open and Wimbledon, will face 2019 finalist Daniil Medvedev, the tournament’s No. 2 seed.

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The VMAs return in person with Doja Cat as host 

Unlike last year’s mélange of pre-taped productions and outdoor performances scattered around New York City, the 2021 MTV Video Music Awards return to the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, on Sunday (8 p.m. ET). The show – which will include an audience – will be hosted by “Kiss Me More” hitmaker Doja Cat. A high-profile cameo in “Popstar” and his own No. 1 hit “Peaches” launched Justin Bieber to the top of the nominations list with seven, including artist of the year. Following closely behind is Megan Thee Stallion with six nods, also including artist of the year. The Foo Fighters, recipients of this year’s Global Icon Award, will rock the VMA stage for the first time since 2007. The band shares the marquee with Camila Cabello, Chlöe, host Doja Cat, Kacey Musgraves, Shawn Mendes, Olivia Rodrigo, Ozuna, Tainy and Twenty One Pilots, with some special performances planned. 

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Several juicy matchups stand out as most NFL teams kick off the season

National Football League fans have been waiting all offseason for a weekend of action and Week 1 has finally arrived. Sunday marks the first of 17 games in the 2021 regular season for most of teams in the NFL. The game of the day will feature a 2020 playoff rematch when Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs host Baker Mayfield and the Cleveland Browns (CBS, 4:25 p.m. ET). After an 11-5 season, their first playoff game since 2002 and first postseason win since 1994, the Browns gave the Chiefs a game in the divisional round before losing 22-17. In a key early game, Ben Roethlisberger and the Pittsburgh Steelers will visit Josh Allen and the Buffalo Bills (CBS, 1 p.m. ET). The teams have matched up in each of the last two seasons with the Bills winning both games. On “Sunday Night Football” the Los Angeles Rams, with new quarterback Matthew Stafford, will open up at their SoFi Stadium home against the Chicago Bears (NBC, 8:20 p.m. ET).

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