Outside the Outbreak: Women’s soccer unequal pay claim tossed, Kim Jong Un reappears

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Women’s soccer loses equal pay bid; other claims await trial

United States’ Megan Rapinoe lifts up a trophy after winning the Women’s World Cup final soccer match between US and The Netherlands at the Stade de Lyon in Decines, outside Lyon, France on July 7, 2019. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

A federal judge threw out the unequal pay claim by players on the U.S. women’s national soccer team in a surprising loss for the defending World Cup champions but allowed their allegation of discriminatory working conditions to go to trial, which is scheduled for June 16.

“The history of negotiations between the parties demonstrates that the WNT rejected an offer to be paid under the same pay-to-play structure as the MNT, and the WNT was willing to forgo higher bonuses for benefits, such as greater base compensation and the guarantee of a higher number of contracted players,” U.S. District Judge R. Gary Klausner said.

Ex-Green Beret claims he led foiled raid into Venezuela

Security forces guard the shore area and a boat in which authorities claim a group of armed men landed in the port city of La Guaira, Venezuela, Sunday, May 3. (AP Photo/Matias Delacroix)

A former Green Beret has taken responsibility for what he claimed was a failed attack Sunday aimed at overthrowing Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro and that the socialist government said ended with eight dead.

The raid’s goal was to mount a cross-border raid that would end in Maduro’s arrest. But from the outset, the ragtag army lacked funding and U.S. government support, all but guaranteeing defeat against Maduro’s military. The raid also appears to have been penetrated by Maduro’s extensive Cuban-backed intelligence network.

Kim reappears in public, ending absence amid health rumors

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, center, visits a fertilizer factory in Sunchon, South Pyongan province, near Pyongyang, North Korea on May 1. (Korean Central News Agency/Korea News Service via AP)

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un made his first public appearance in 20 days on Friday at the completion of a fertilizer factory near Pyongyang, ending an absence that had triggered global rumors that he may be seriously ill.

There was no definite sign that Kim was in discomfort, although there were moments where his walking looked a bit stiff. He was shown moving without a walking stick, like the one he used in 2014 when he was recovering from a presumed ankle surgery. However, he was also seen riding a green electric cart, which appeared similar to a vehicle he used in 2014.

Virgin Galactic completes first glide flight in New Mexico

Virgin Galactic SpaceshipTwo Unity flys free in the New Mexico Airspace for the first time on Friday, May 1, 2020. (Virgin Galactic via AP)

Virgin Galactic’s spaceship VSS Unity landed in the New Mexico desert on Friday, marking its first glide flight from Spaceport America as the company moves toward commercial operations.

The company has not set a date for the first commercial flights but has said it anticipates doing so in 2020. This test flight was one of a few that are needed before the company can take customers on rides to the lower reaches of space to experience a few minutes of weightlessness and a view of the Earth below.

‘Remain in Mexico’ asylum hearings suspended through June 1

Ruth Aracely Monroy, right, rushes her son, Nahum Perla, left, to school from their home on the outskirts of Tijuana, Mexico. They were among the first sent back to Mexico under a Trump administration policy that dramatically reshaped the scene at the U.S.-Mexico border by returning migrants to Mexico to wait out their U.S. asylum process. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

The Trump administration has suspended immigration court hearings for asylum-seekers waiting in Mexico through June 1. Homeland Security and justice departments said asylum-seekers will be instructed when to appear at a border crossing to get new hearing dates.

More than 60,000 asylum-seekers have been returned to Mexico to wait for hearings in U.S. court since January 2019, when the U.S. introduced its “Migrant Protection Protocols” policy, known informally as “Remain in Mexico.”

Barely 1% of the nearly 45,000 “Return to Mexico” cases decided through March won asylum, according to Syracuse University’s Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse. Nearly all people represent themselves, with about 6% having attorneys.

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