Illustration: Sarah Grillo

The Trump administration has nixed Major League Baseball's historic agreement with the Cuban Baseball Federation (CBF) that would have made it easier for Cuban players to enter the U.S. legally without needing to defect.

Why it matters: The goal of this deal was to help end the dangerous trafficking of Cuban players that has gone on for decades, resulting in players being threatened, extorted or even kidnapped.

  • Take Yasiel Puig, for example: After helping Puig escape Cuba, traffickers affiliated with a notorious Mexican drug cartel held him for ransom on a small island for weeks. Go deeper, it's nuts.
  • More horror stories: White Sox slugger José Abreu had to eat his fake passport on his flight to the U.S., and Indians outfielder Leonys Martin was kidnapped.

Details: The agreement is similar to the ones MLB has with Japan, Korea and China and dates back to the Obama administration's détente with Cuba, which intended to soften relations between our two nations.

  • But the White House argued Monday that the CBF is part of the Cuban government and that the agreement, therefore, violates U.S. trade law since MLB would be paying a fee in exchange for each player.

The big picture: This reversal comes amid a crackdown on what the Trump administration calls the "Troika of Tyranny" — Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua.

  • The White House has tightened the economic embargo on Cuba and criticized its government for supporting Venezuelan dictator Nicolás Maduro. This deal would have legitimized the Cuban regime, so they squashed it.

The bottom line: A geopolitical war is being waged — and sadly, young baseball players with dreams of a better life are the collateral damage.

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Jeff Sessions loses Alabama Senate primary runoff

Jeff Sessions. Photo: Michael DeMocker/Getty Images

Former Attorney General Jeff Sessions has lost the Republican nomination for Senate to Tommy Tuberville in Alabama in Tuesday night’s primary runoff, AP reports.

Why it matters: Sessions had been the underdog in the race against former Auburn University head football coach Tommy Tuberville, who had the backing of President Trump. Tuberville will now face off against Sen. Doug Jones (D-Ala.) in November, who is considered to have one of the most vulnerable Democratic Senate seats in the country.

Updated 6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 13,273,537 — Total deaths: 577,006 — Total recoveries — 7,367,106Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 3,424,304 — Total deaths: 136,432 — Total recoveries: 1,049,098 — Total tested: 41,764,557Map.
  3. Politics: Biden welcomes Trump wearing mask in public but warns "it’s not enough"
  4. Public health: Four former CDC heads say Trump's undermining of agency puts lives at risk — CDC director: U.S. could get coronavirus "under control" in 4–8 weeks if all wear masks.

Bank CEOs brace for worsening economic scenario

JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon. Photo: J. Lawler Duggan/For The Washington Post via Getty Images

Wells Fargo swung to its first loss since the financial crisis — while JPMorgan Chase and Citigroup reported significantly lower profits from a year earlier — as the banks set aside billions of dollars more in the second quarter for loans that may go bad.

Why it matters: The cumulative $28 billion in loan loss provisions that banks have so far announced they’re reserving serves as a signal they’re preparing for a colossal wave of loan defaults as the economy slogs through a coronavirus-driven downturn.