West Virginia Democrat Sen. Joe Manchin announced a bill Tuesday to withhold federal dollars for the men’s World Cup unless the U.S. women’s national soccer team receives pay equity.
Manchin’s proposed bill would deny federal funding for the men’s 2026 FIFA tournament, which the U.S. will co-host along with Canada and Mexico, unless there’s equal pay between both the men’s and women’s soccer teams.
“The clear unequitable pay between the U.S. men’s and women’s soccer teams is unacceptable and I’m glad the U.S. Women’s Soccer Team latest victory is causing public outcry,” Senator Manchin said. “They are the best in the world and deserve to be paid accordingly.”
Manchin said that his inspiration for the bill was a letter from West Virginia University (WVU) Women’s Soccer Head Coach, Nikki Izzo-Brown.
Izzo-Brown’s letter to Manchin pointed out that the women’s team makes a profit while the men, who did not qualify for the 2018 World Cup, produce a net loss.
“The inequality of pay is unjust and this wage gap with the US men’s national team has to stop,” Izzo-Brown wrote. “The women have won four titles, men none; the women’s viewership in the FIFA World Cup final outdrew the men in the United States by over three million ( men 11.4 , women 14.3).”
Manchin’s bill would cut funding to the host cities and all participating organizations, including the U.S. Soccer Federation, Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF), and Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA).
Prior to the World Cup, the U.S. women’s team filed a federal lawsuit, accusing the U.S. Soccer Federation of engaging in “institutionalized gender discrimination” reflected in differences in pay, medical care, travel arrangements and overall workload for the men’s and women’s teams.
Since winning their fourth World Cup title on Sunday, the U.S. women’s team has renewed the debate for gender equity in sports. Crowds in France began to chant “equal pay” after the team beat the Netherlands in a 2-0 victory.
Team co-captain Megan Rapinoe said on ABC’s “Good Morning America” on Tuesday that the conversation on equal pay needs to move beyond asking whether the women’s team is worth more money and begin to question what can be done next.
“How can FIFA support the federations?” Rapinoe asked. “How can federations support their players better? How can the league support their players better?”
The U.S Soccer Federation did not immediately respond to a request for comment by NBC News.
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Supreme Court asked to take up ‘Serial’ podcast murder case
WASHINGTON — Lawyers for a Maryland man whose murder conviction was chronicled in the hit podcast “Serial” are asking the Supreme Court to step into the case.
Lawyers for defendant Adnan Syed say in court papers Monday that the justices should order a new trial for Syed and reverse a Maryland court ruling against him. Syed claims his trial lawyer violated his constitutional right to competent representation because she failed to investigate an alibi witness.
Syed is serving a life sentence after he was convicted in 2000 of strangling 17-year-old Hae Min Lee and burying her body in a Baltimore park. Syed and Lee were high-school classmates who had dated.
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AG Barr removes acting Bureau of Prisons chief in wake of Epstein suicide
Attorney General William Barr on Monday said he removed the acting director of the federal Bureau of Prisons from his job in the wake of Jeffrey Epstein’s suicide in a federal jail in Manhattan earlier this month where he was awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges.
Hugh Hurwitz had been the agency’s acting director. Barr said Hurwitz would remain in the Bureau of Prisons as the assistant director of department’s Reentry Services Division.
Hurwitz’s ouster comes nine days after Epstein, the millionaire financier and accused sex trafficker, died by apparent suicide while in federal custody.
Epstein, 66, was found dead by apparent suicide August 10 in his cell at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan.
He was not on suicide watch at the time of his death, multiple people familiar with the investigation told NBC News. He had apparently hanged himself, and was found unresponsive at around 6:30 a.m. ET.
The center’s warden, Lamine N’Diaye, has been temporarily reassigned, and the two guards assigned to watch Epstein have been placed on leave.
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The FBI and the Department of Justice are investigating how Epstein was able to take his own life while he was being held. Barr has said “serious irregularities” had been found at the lock up.
Barr, in a statement Monday, said he’d appointed Dr. Kathleen Hawk Sawyer as the bureau’s new director and Dr. Thomas R. Kane as the its new deputy director. The statement makes no reference to Epstein.
“I am confident Dr. Hawk Sawyer and Dr. Kane will lead BOP with the competence, skill and resourcefulness they have embodied throughout their government careers.”
Sawyer served as the bureau’s chief from 1992 to 2003. She was appointed when Barr was the attorney general under President George H.W. Bush. Kane worked in several senior roles in the agency from 1977 to 2018.
Lawmakers and Trump administration officials have expressed outrage that that Epstein could have possibly killed himself under the noses of jailers. The disgraced financier was taken off suicide watch even though he had reportedly tried to take his own life last month, officials have said.
Epstein’s death came the day after a trove of court documents was unsealed, providing new details about his alleged sex trafficking.
He was arrested July 6 at an airport in Teterboro, New Jersey, as he returned from Paris on a private jet. He was charged with one count of sex trafficking conspiracy and one count of sex trafficking, and faced up to 45 years in prison if found guilty. He pleaded not guilty and was denied bail.
The indictment in his case showed that he sought out minors, some as young as 14, from at least 2002 through 2005 and paid them hundreds of dollars in cash for sex at either his Manhattan townhouse or his estate in Palm Beach, Florida, federal prosecutors revealed last month.
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