Laurel Wamsley

The Toronto Raptors won the NBA Championship earlier this month, and the team's thrilling run has boosted the city's excitement about basketball to a new level.

But you wouldn't know it, watching a video posted this week of a Toronto city worker removing a basketball hoop from an outdoor court at one of the city's parks.

The United States doesn't have to beat Sweden in the last game of the group stage of the Women's World Cup on Thursday. The Americans are already through to the next round, as are the Swedes.

But in another sense, the U.S. women's national team does have to beat Sweden today in Le Havre, France — if they want to show they are the best in the world. The game starts at 3 p.m. ET and will be televised on Fox and Telemundo.

In the first seven days of the Women's World Cup, there have already been stunning goals, crushing defeats and no shortage of controversy. We've been following the action from France — oui, un croissant, s'il-vous plaît — and here are some of the key stories we've seen in a week of great soccer.

A very big win

One game at a time. That's the mantra of the U.S. women's soccer team today, as they play Thailand in their first match of the Women's World Cup in France — after watching every other team play first.

The 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup kicks off today in Paris. Twenty-four teams will vie for their chance at glory.

Here's what you need to know to follow all the action.

When does the Women's World Cup start?

The tournament begins at the Parc des Princes in Paris, where a strong team from host nation France takes on South Korea in the opening match. The schedule ramps up Saturday with three games: Germany vs. China, Spain vs. South Africa and Norway vs. Nigeria.

The Louvre was shuttered on Monday, leaving hordes of tourists outside amid its famous glass pyramids. The reason? The Paris museum's security and reception staff were on strike, protesting "unprecedented deterioration of conditions" amid record crowds.

Japan's foreign minister is making headlines — by pushing back on the headlines themselves.

At issue: the order in which foreign media write and say Japanese names.

In a news conference Tuesday, Foreign Minister Taro Kono said he plans to ask overseas news outlets to write Japanese names with the family name first and given name second — as is the convention in Japan.

Abortion-rights advocates are holding rallies across the country Tuesday, protesting a wave of laws passed by states in recent weeks to severely restrict access to abortions.

Organizers include the ACLU, Planned Parenthood Action Fund, and NARAL Pro-Choice America. More than 400 events were planned for a national day of action outside statehouses and courts, united under the #StopTheBans moniker.

Taiwan's parliament approved a bill on Friday that legalizes same-sex marriage, making it the first place in Asia to do so. Throngs of supporters who gathered outside parliament cheered and embraced at the news.

A 3-foot-tall silver bunny just set an art world record. Rabbit, by the playful and controversial artist Jeff Koons, sold for more than $91 million at Christie's Auction House — the most for work by a living artist at auction.

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