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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

Oct 7, 2021 - World

U.S. to investigate claims former Afghan president fled with millions

Ashraf Ghani. Photo: Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

John Sopko, the special inspector general for Afghanistan reconstruction, said Wednesday that his office would investigate allegations that former President Ashraf Ghani left the country with $169 million in cash when he fled in mid-August.

Driving the news: Sopko said in testimony before a House subcommittee for development aid that his office was "looking into" the allegations but had not "proven that yet."

Updated 4 hours ago - World

Islamic State claims responsibility for deadly bombing in southern Afghanistan

The mosque after the explosion in southern Kandahar province on Oct. 15. Photo: Murteza Khaliqi/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for a massive blast that tore through a crowded Shiite mosque in the southern Afghan city of Kandahar on Friday, killing at least 47 people and injuring dozens more, AP reports.

Why it matters: Friday's attack was the deadliest to strike Afghanistan since the U.S. withdrew its troops from the region and is the second major attack on a Shiite mosque in a week, underscoring the Taliban's growing security threat from other militant groups.

New wave of strikes will test worker power

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Thousands of John Deere workers hit the picket line this week after the union smacked down a new worker contract from the farm and equipment maker.

Why it matters: There’s a wave of worker angst spreading across the country. They wield new power that’s come with a historic worker shortage.