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Former FIFA president Sepp Blatter speaks to a reporter while arriving to a hearing in September 2020 in Bern. Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP via Getty Images

Swiss prosecutors on Tuesday charged former FIFA president Sepp Blatter and former UEFA president Michel Platini with fraud and other criminal offenses stemming from a multimillion-dollar payment in 2011.

The big picture: Switzerland's attorney general's office accused Blatter of unlawfully arranging payment of 2 million Swiss francs from FIFA to Platini.

  • Blatter and Platini face charges of fraud, mismanagement, misappropriation and forgery of a document and will face trial before Switzerland's Federal Criminal Court.

Swiss prosecutors said Platini worked as a consultant for Blatter between 1998 and 2002 and received annual compensation of 300,000 Swiss francs from FIFA, a payment that was determined by a written contract signed by both men.

  • In 2011, around eight years after the end of his consulting position, Platini demanded back payment of 2 million Swiss francs, and FIFA made the payment with Blatter's approval.
  • Swiss prosecutors said the payment was made without a legal basis, saying it "damaged FIFA's assets and unlawfully enriched Platini."

Flashback: The U.S. Department of Justice in May 2015 indicted nine high-ranking FIFA officials, including active vice presidents, on charges relating to racketeering, wire fraud and money laundering conspiracies.

Go deeper: FIFA opens investigation into NWSL allegations of abuse

Go deeper

Updated 40 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Congressional leaders clinch support for crucial defense bill, debt limit votes

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer passes waiting reporters on Tuesday. Photo: Eric Lee/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Congress has found a shortcut to pass its annual defense funding bill and raise the debt limit.

Driving the news: The House voted Tuesday night on two major bills — one creating a one-time, fast-track process for the Senate to raise the debt ceiling with just 51 votes, and another passing its annual defense bill.

House passes annual defense bill

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The House voted to pass the annual defense bill 363-70 on Tuesday night, authorizing nearly $770 billion in funding for defenses and national security programs.

Why it matters: The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) still has to clear the Senate, but the House passage greatly increases the chances that the must-pass defense bill will move through both chambers of Congress before the end of the year.

Women politicians are under siege

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photos: Kevin Dietsch, Stefani Reynolds, and Alex Wong/Getty Images

Women in Congress feel besieged and singled-out amid surging threats against lawmakers at all levels, with some frustrated more hasn't been done to halt the trend.

Why it matters: As record numbers of American women are being elected to public office, their growing political power is being met with death and rape threats, sexist and racist abuse and online disinformation. Collectively, it's discouraged women from running for office.