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U.S. women's soccer stars Megan Rapinoe and Alex Morgan celebrate winning the SheBelieves Cup at Exploria Stadium on in Orlando, Florida, in February. Photo: Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

A federal judge approved a partial agreement between the U.S. Soccer Federation and the women's national team on unequal working conditions, per AP.

Why it matters: The approval clears the way for the U.S. Women's National Team (USWNT) to appeal a ruling last May against the world champions on equal pay returns.

Of note: The deal approved by U.S. District Judge R. Gary Klausner, in the Central District of California, covers equitable working conditions including for the "use of charter flights for travel, venue selection, the number of support staff and hotel accommodations," ESPN notes.

What they're saying: USWNT spokesperson Molly Levinson said in a statement, "Finally, giving these athletes access to facilities, training, care and professional support is the next step needed in the long and hard work to grow the game of women’s football."

  • She added that the team would appeal the court's equal pay decision, "which does not account for the fact that women players have been paid at lesser rates than men who do the same job."
"We are committed as ever to our work to achieve the equal pay that we legally deserve and our focus is on the future and ensuring we leave the game a better place for the next generation of women who will play for this team and our country."

The other side: The U.S. Soccer Federation said in a statement the governing body expected the USWNT to appeal, but it remained hopeful "that we can come to a resolution outside of the court system."

  • "U.S. Soccer is 100% committed to equal pay," it said, adding that it had offered the USWNT "the identical compensation provided to our men's players for all matches controlled by U.S. Soccer."
"Unfortunately, the USWNT has not accepted our offer or our longstanding invitation to meet to try to find a resolution unless U.S. Soccer first agrees to make up the difference between the men’s and Women’s World Cup prize money, which is determined, controlled and paid for by FIFA."

Go deeper

"Atmospheric river" to whiplash Northern California from drought to flood

A map depicting 24-hour preciptation forecast (inches) ending Monday at 5a.m. local time. Photo: NOAA

A series of powerful "atmospheric river" storms are set dump historic amounts of rainfall across parts of drought-stricken California and the Pacific Northwest from this weekend, forecasters warn.

Why it matters: A strong atmospheric river, packing large amounts of moisture, is predicted to whiplash Northern California from drought to flood.

10,000 trees near giant sequoia groves to be removed after fires

A firefighter looks up at a giant sequoia tree after fire burned through the Sequoia National Forest near California Hot Springs, California, on Sept. 23. Photo: Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images

"Upwards of" 10,000 trees near giant sequoia groves have been "weakened by drought, disease, age, and/or fire" and must be removed in the wake of California's wildfires, the Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks announced.

Why it matters: The damage to these trees, considered "national treasures," and work to remove them means a nearby key highway must remain closed to visitors as they have "the potential to strike people, cars, other structures, or create barriers to emergency response services," per a statement from the national parks.

Obama stumps for McAuliffe, urges Virginians not "to go back to the chaos"

Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Former President Barack Obama framed a Nov. 2 gubernatorial race as a bellwether for the Democratic Party and the country, telling a crowd at a campaign event for Terry McAuliffe on Saturday that "I believe you, right here in Virginia, are going to show the rest of the country and the world that we're not going to indulge in our worst instincts."

Why it matters: With just over a week to go before Election Day in the Commonwealth, McAuliffe is bringing out the big guns. The 44th president appeared on the campus of Virginia Commonwealth University to urge supporters to get to the polls.