Photo: Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call

Major League Baseball has become the latest organization to ask Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith, the Republican candidate in Mississippi's special Senate election runoff on Tuesday, to return a $5,000 campaign donation due to her recent controversial comments, ESPN reports.

The backstory: Hyde-Smith sparked backlash after she said that, if invited, she would attend a public hanging "on the front row" at a campaign event earlier this month. The remark triggered outrage due to Mississippi’s history of racially motivated lynchings.

  • Hyde-Smith claimed the public hanging comment was an an "exaggerated expression of regard." But it's also been uncovered that she posted a photo in a Confederate military hat on her Facebook page in 2014 and, in high school, attended a "segregation academy," a type of private school created in Mississippi in the 1970s to avoid forced integration.

An MLB spokesperson said that the contribution was made "in connection with an event that MLB lobbyists were asked to attend," according to ESPN. The official added that the league "has requested that the contribution be returned."

  • The MLB contribution to Hyde-Smith was first reported Saturday by the political newsletter Popular Information.

Go deeper: The fight for Mississippi's special Senate election

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AOC to speak at Dem convention

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez during an April a press conference in Queens, New York City. Photo: Scott Heins/Getty Images)

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez will speak at the Democratic convention next week, to give the nominating speech for Sen. Bernie Sanders on the Tuesday night, CNN first reported and Axios has confirmed.

Why it matters: Her involvement is a strategic decision to energize young progressives without tying former Vice President Joe Biden too closely or directly with her agenda.

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 8:30 p.m. ET: 20,001,019 — Total deaths: 733,897 — Total recoveries — 12,209,074Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 8:30 p.m. ET: 5,085,821 — Total deaths: 163,370 — Total recoveries: 1,670,755 — Total tests: 62,513,174Map.
  3. Politics: Trump claims he would have not called for Obama to resign over 160,000 virus deathsHouse will not hold votes until Sept. 14 unless stimulus deal is reached.
  4. Business: Richer Americans are more comfortable eating out.
  5. Public health: A dual coronavirus and flu threat is set to deliver a winter from hellAt least 48 local public health leaders have quit or been fired during pandemic.
  6. Sports: The cost of kids losing gym class — College football is on the brink.
  7. World: Europe's CDC recommends new restrictions amid "true resurgence in cases."
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Protests in Belarus turn deadly following sham election

An arrest today in Minsk. Photo: Natalia Fedosenko/TASS via Getty

Protesters and security forces are clashing across Belarus tonight, with at least one person dead, hundreds injured and thousands arrested.

Why it matters: Sunday’s rigged presidential elections have yielded political uncertainty unlike any seen in Aleksander Lukashenko’s 26-year tenure. After claiming an implausible 80% of the vote, Lukashenko is using every tool in the authoritarian arsenal to maintain his grip on power.