BEATING THE HEAT: An elderly couple swim past a model boat at the Schwarzachtalsee lake in Ertingen, southern Germany, on Wednesday. As Europe sizzled at the start of a heatwave tipped to break records, meteorologists blamed a blast of torrid air from the Sahara for the unusually early summer heatwave, which could send thermometers above 40 degrees Celsius (104 Fahrenheit) in some places in Europe on Thursday and Friday. — AFP