Players for France at the 2018 FIFA World Cup. Photo: Gokhan Balci/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

"At a time when populist politicians are trying to choke off or reroute migration flows, what matters to fans of the [all-European teams in the World Cup] semifinals — England, France, Belgium [eliminated] and Croatia — wasn't the players' ancestry but that they excelled," AP's Angela Charlton writes from Paris.

Why it matters: "Europe owes its sporting power ... to a long-running outreach into poor suburbs or neighborhoods, giving kids of all backgrounds access to coaches and fields and facilities — and teams more talent to choose from."

  • "When England faces Croatia in the ... semifinal match [at 2 p.m. ET today], it will field a team that coach Gareth Southgate says 'represents modern England.' With 11 of 23 players of African or Caribbean descent, it's the country's most diverse national team yet."
  • "France [in the final after yesterday's 1-0 victory over Belgium] has always been a melting pot, and today you can have a croissant for breakfast, West African maafe stew for lunch and couscous for dinner."
  • "That's why it's worth noting the Algerian-Cameroonian roots of France's 19-year-old breakout star Kylian Mbappe."
  • "It's a message that reaches all the way to Africa, where many are turning far-right racist comments about non-white players in Europe on their heads, and are waving the European teams' African connections as a banner of continental pride after their own teams were eliminated."

Be smart: "Soccer glory can only briefly apply a thin veneer over deep divisions within England, profoundly split by Brexit."

Go deeper

Michael Cohen taken back into federal custody

Michael Cohen arrives at his Park Avenue apartment on May 21 in New York City. Photo: Johannes Eisele/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump's disgraced former personal lawyer Michael Cohen is heading back to prison after refusing the conditions of his home confinement, according to two people familiar with the situation.

Details: A New York Post report earlier this month placed Cohen out at a restaurant in New York with his wife, while one of the sources said that more broadly he refused to wear an ankle bracelet.

U.S. sanctions Chinese officials over Uighur human rights abuses

Photo: Xinhua/Liu Jie via Getty Images

The Treasury Department announced Thursday that the U.S. has sanctioned four Chinese Communist Party officials and the Xinjiang Public Security Bureau for human rights abuses against Uighur Muslims and other ethnic minorities in Xinjiang.

Why it matters: The sanctions designations, pursuant to the Global Magnitsky Act passed by Congress in 2016, mark a significant escalation in the Trump administration's response to the Chinese government's detainment of over 1 million Uighurs in internment camps.

Updated 39 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 2 p.m. ET: 12,118,667 — Total deaths: 551,271 — Total recoveries — 6,649,930Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 2 p.m. ET: 3,081,383 — Total deaths: 132,570 — Total recoveries: 953,420 — Total tested: 37,431,666Map.
  3. Public health: Cases rise in 33 statesFlorida reports highest single-day coronavirus death toll since pandemic began.
  4. Science: World Health Organization acknowledges airborne transmission of coronavirus.
  5. Travel: Young adults are most likely to have moved due to coronavirus.