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Former acting U.S. Attorney General Sally Yates in the Senate on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Former acting Attorney General Sally Yates will lead an investigation into "allegations of abusive behavior and sexual misconduct in women's professional soccer," effective "immediately," the sport's U.S. governing body announced Sunday.

Of note: The National Women’s Soccer League said Sunday it hired an outside law firm to investigate the widespread reports of NWSL players being subjected to harassment and abuse, often by male coaches.

The big picture: FIFA, soccer's world governing body, is also investigating the reports, which the players' union describes as "systemic abuse plaguing the NWSL."

  • North Carolina Courage last week fired coach Paul Riley over sexual coercion allegations that span multiple teams, and the Washington Spirit removed Richie Burke as its coach following a harassment investigation.

What's happening: The U.S. Soccer Federation said in a statement that Yates, who was deputy attorney general in the Obama administration and was briefly acting attorney general before then-President Trump fired her in January 2017, would have "full autonomy" in the investigation.

  • The NWSL announced in a statement the formation of an executive committee to manage oversight of the league’s front office operations, following the resignation of Lisa Baird as commissioner.
  • "The committee includes Amanda Duffy (Orlando Pride), Angie Long (Kansas City NWSL), and Sophie Sauvage (OL Reign)," the statement noted.

Meanwhile, the NWSL said law firm Covington & Burling would oversee investigations into the reports and make recommendations for reforms.

  • Amanda Kramer, former assistant United States attorney in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, "will lead the firm's team and will report directly to the NWSL board’s newly formed executive committee," per the statement.

Go deeper: NWSL cancels games amid sexual harassment, abuse allegations

Go deeper

Albany DA drops Andrew Cuomo sex crime charge

Photo: Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images

The Albany County District Attorney's office said Tuesday it won't proceed with a misdemeanor sex crime charge against former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Driving the news: "While we found the complainant in this case cooperative and credible, after review of all the available evidence, we have concluded that we cannot meet our burden at trial," District Attorney David Soares wrote in a statement.

Republican-led Pennsylvania court deems mail-in voting law unconstitutional

Workers count ballots for the 2020 Presidential election at the Philadelphia Convention Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S., on Nov. 3, 2020. Photo: Hannah Yoon/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A Republican-led Pennsylvania court on Friday ruled that the state's mail-in voting law is unconstitutional.

Driving the news: Three Republican judges sided with Republican challengers and ruled that no-excuse mail-in voting is prohibited under the state's constitution. Two Democrats on the panel dissented.

36 mins ago - World

China's ambassador warns Taiwan could spark "military conflict" with U.S.

Photo: Liu Jie/Xinhua via Getty Images

China's ambassador to the U.S. warned in a rare interview with NPR that if Taiwanese authorities "keep going down the road for independence," it would "most likely" lead to a "military conflict" between the U.S. and China.

Why it matters: Chinese officials rarely speak in such blunt terms, but veteran diplomat Qin Gang was unequivocal: "The Taiwan issue is the biggest tinderbox between China and the United States."