U.S. Women’s National Team soccer star Megan Rapinoe took the Internet by storm when she said she wouldn’t visit the White House if the team won the ongoing Women’s FIFA World Cup.
“I’m not going to the f—ing White House. No. I’m not going to the White House. We’re not gonna be invited,” she said in a video tweeted Tuesday by Eight by Eight magazine.
In a series of tweets Wednesday, U.S. President Donald Trump extended the offer to Rapinoe and the team “win or lose,” though he cautioned her to win the tournament before speaking about visiting. He also urged her not to “disrespect our Country, the White House, or our Flag.”
….invited Megan or the team, but I am now inviting the TEAM, win or lose. Megan should never disrespect our Country, the White House, or our Flag, especially since so much has been done for her & the team. Be proud of the Flag that you wear. The USA is doing GREAT!
In the past, Rapinoe has knelt during the national anthem in solidarity with National Football League players who have been protesting police brutality and social injustice. At this year’s World Cup, she does not sing along during pregame ceremonies.
Trump has been critical of the NFL protests and many players chose not to visit the White House after their teams won the Super Bowl.
The back and forth between Trump and Rapinoe comes as the U.S. Women’s National Team is embroiled in a lawsuit with the U.S. Soccer Federation, alleging pay discrimination. The suit, filed in March, argues that the women’s team is paid less for more work, despite enjoying greater success than their male counterparts.
Since the Women’s FIFA World Cup began in 1991, the U.S. has won three of the seven titles, including in 2015. It’s also won gold in four of the last six Olympics, since women’s soccer was added in 1996. With nearly 23 million viewers, the 2015 World Cup was the most watched soccer game in U.S. TV history.
U.S. Soccer and the team have tentatively agreed to have the case mediated after the World Cup ends, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Meanwhile, for Rapinoe, it’s still “championship or bust.”
“We just expect to win every single game,” she told Eight by Eight. “So if we’re down two-nil with 10 minutes left, we expect to win that game. We’ve been in those situations before and it’s just sort of ingrained in us.”
U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who issued a report in April on Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election, will testify in open session before the House of Representatives Judiciary and Intelligence Committees on July 17, the panels’ Democratic chairmen said on Tuesday.
Representative Jerrold Nadler, chairman of the judiciary panel, and Representative Adam Schiff, head of the intelligence panel, said in a joint statement that Mueller had agreed to testify after the two committees issued subpoenas on Tuesday.
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WASHINGTON — More than 200 children held in a border facility described as unsafe and unsanitary last week were transferred to the care of another U.S. agency by Tuesday, U.S. health authorities confirmed.
In a statement emailed to VOA, U.S. Health and Human Services acknowledged it worked with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to remove 249 unaccompanied children from the CBP Clint Station facility in Texas.
The statement came after the Associated Press reported unsanitary living conditions and inadequate food and medical treatment at the facility.
The children held at Clint Station were those who crossed the border without authorization and without a guardian, and are referred to as “unaccompanied alien children,” or UACs.
While CBP is the agency that detains unauthorized border crossers, HHS generally takes custody of detained, unaccompanied children within 72 hours, as is mandated by law except for rare occasions in which a child is held by CBP for longer.
“UAC are waiting too long in CBP facilities that are not designed to care for children,” an HHS official told VOA.
The agency said it was able to expedite how soon children in its care were released to sponsors often an extended family member, like a grandparent. A process that was taking 90 days in November 2018 was down to an average of 44 days in May, according to HHS.
But like other agencies working with children and families detained at the border, HHS and CBP are struggling to meet the demands of the recent increase in arrivals.
Trump “personally concerned”
Meanwhile, despite the confirmation from HHS that 249 children were removed from the Clint facility, media outlets reported that an official from CBP, who briefed reporters on Tuesday, said the government moved more than 100 children back to the same facility .
CBP drew criticism from human rights groups and federal lawmakers over the AP report last week.
After signing an affordable housing executive order in the Oval Office on Tuesday, U.S. President Donald Trump said he was “personally concerned about the conditions” at border facilities after AP’s report.
Trump said “A lot of these young children come from places that you don’t even want to know about, the way they’ve lived, the way they’ve been.”
He also said his administration is trying to get Democrats to give “some humanitarian aid humanitarian money.”
CBP chief resigning
It is also unclear whether that report played a role in the announcement on Tuesday that the head of CBP, Acting Commissioner John Sanders, is resigning.
He will leave his post on July 5, a CBP official confirmed in an email to VOA.
The agency declined to provide further comment on the resignation.
The heat wave is expected to peak between Wednesday and Friday when temperatures are expected to top 40 degrees Celsius from Spain to Poland.
Authorities warned early summer heat waves are especially dangerous because people have not had to adapt to the higher temperatures.
French Health Minister Agnes Buzyn said more than half of France is on alert for high temperatures. Public service announcements on TV, radio, and on buses and trains urged the French to keep an eye out for older family members and neighbors.
Most of France is under an orange alert, the second-highest level on the country’s heat scale. The scale was established after the 2003 heat wave killed some 15,000 people.
The French Education Ministry ordered the national school exams to be postponed to next week. Paris city officials mobilized teams to hand out water to the homeless. The city also extended the hours for city pools, and set up thousands of misting tents and cooling rooms.
Authorities in Switzerland also raised that country’s alert to its second-highest level, especially for regions along the southern and northern borders with Italy and Germany.
Germany’s meteorological agency said temperatures Wednesday could break the current record in June of 38.5 Celsius.
Temperatures also soared in the Baltics, sending scores of people to lakes and rivers to cool down, leading to a spike in drownings. In Lithuania, where the highs reached 35.7 degrees Celsius, 27 people were reported to have drowned.
Heat waves are becoming more common across Europe and are expected to double in frequency by 2050, the French meteorological agency says.
A spokesman for Iran’s Foreign Ministry said Tuesday that new U.S. sanctions against Iran mark a permanent end to a diplomatic path for resolving tensions between the two countries.
“Imposing fruitless sanctions on Iran’s leadership and the chief of Iranian diplomacy mean the permanent closure of the road of diplomacy with the frustrated U.S. administration,” Abbas Mousavi wrote on Twitter.
He added that U.S. President Donald Trump’s approach is “destroying the established international mechanisms for maintaining world peace and security.”
The comments follow Trump’s move to impose what he called “hard-hitting” new financial sanctions against Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and eight senior commanders in the Iranian military and the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps.
Trump signed an executive order Monday he said would curb access that Khamenei and Iran would have to world financial markets. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the action would “literally” lock up “tens and tens of billions of dollars” of Iranian assets.
Mnuchin also said the United States could also target Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, one of Tehran’s best known figures on the world stage, with sanctions in the coming days.
Trump called his order a “strong and proportionate” American response to Tehran’s shoot-down last week of an unmanned U.S. drone, which Washington says occurred in international airspace near the Strait of Hormuz and Iran claims occurred over its airspace.
The U.S. leader said he imposed the sanctions because of a series of “belligerent acts” carried out by Iran, which U.S. officials say include Iran’s targeting of Norwegian and Japanese ships traversing the Strait of Hormuz with mine explosions days before the attack on the drone.
The executive order is aimed at pushing Tehran back to one-on-one talks with the U.S. over its nuclear weapons program after Trump last year withdrew from the 2015 international pact restraining Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief. Trump called the international deal negotiated by his predecessor, former President Barack Obama, “a disaster.”
“We’d love to be able to negotiate a deal,” Trump said.
But he declared, “Never can Iran have a nuclear weapon,” adding, “They sponsor terrorism like no one’s seen before.”
He said, “I look forward to the day when sanctions can be lifted and Iran can be a peace-loving nation. The people of Iran are great people.”
Mnuchin said earlier sanctions imposed when Trump pulled out of the international agreement have been “highly effective in locking up the Iranian economy.”
He said some of the sanctions Trump imposed Monday had been “in the works” before the drone was shot down, and some were being imposed because of the attack on the drone.
The Treasury Department headed by Mnuchin said that any foreign financial institution that engages in a “significant financial transaction” with the Iranians targeted by the sanctions could be cut off from U.S. financial deals.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo described the new sanctions as “significant” as he left Washington on Sunday for a trip to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to continue the Trump administration’s effort to build a coalition of allies to counter Iran. Pompeo met Monday with Saudi King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
“The world should know,” Pompeo said, “that we will continue to make sure it’s understood that this effort that we’ve engaged in to deny Iran the resources to foment terror, to build out their nuclear weapon system, to build out their missile program, we are going to deny them the resources they need to do that thereby keeping American interests and American people safe all around the world.”
Iran has defended its missile work as legal and necessary for its defense. Tehran has sought support from the remaining signatories to the 2015 agreement to provide the economic relief it wants, especially with its key oil exports as the U.S. has tightened sanctions in an attempt to cut off Iranian oil shipments.