US briefing: Women's World Cup, migrant children and UK ambassador row

Tim Walker
Photograph: Xinhua/Rex/Shutterstock

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Good morning, I’m Tim Walker with today’s essential stories.

Rapinoe calls for ‘next step’ on equal pay after US victory

The USA’s fourth Women’s World Cup win on Sunday was not just a sporting triumph, but arguably a social and political one, too. Following the 2-0 victory over the Netherlands at the Stade de Lyon, goalscorer Megan Rapinoe called for the debate on equal pay to move forward. The US co-captain, a champion of LGBTQ rights, had also become embroiled in a row with Donald Trump earlier in the tournament, but Trump nonetheless tweeted his congratulations to the team, praising their “great and exciting play”.

Migrant children victims of ‘emergency public health crisis’

Migrant children are led by staff in single file between tents at a detention facility in Texas. Photograph: Mike Blake/Reuters

An immigrant rights lawyer who gained rare access to a migrant detention centre in Clint, Texas, has told the Guardian that hundreds of children are being held there in “inhumane” conditions, which add up to an “emergency public health crisis”. Elora Mukherjee, the director of Columbia Law School’s immigrant rights clinic, said the children had no adequate access to medical care, drinking water, food or sanitation, and called for them to have immediate access to doctors.

  • Border bill. A bill providing the administration with $4.59bn in border security funding has driven a wedge between Democratic leaders and progressives such as Ilhan Omar, who called it “a vote to keep kids in cages”.

UK minister defends ambassador over Trump criticisms

The UK’s international trade secretary has leapt to the defence of the country’s ambassador to Washington, Kim Darroch, following the leak of confidential memos in which Darroch described Trump’s White House as “uniquely dysfunctional” and “inept”. Liam Fox told the BBC that Darroch was held “in high regard” on both sides of the Atlantic, and said whoever had leaked the briefing to the Mail on Sunday newspaper was “unethical” and “unpatriotic”.

White House still pursuing census citizenship question

Protesters at the supreme court in June, before justices blocked the citizenship question from the 2020 census. Photograph: J Scott Applewhite/AP

Trump is still demanding a controversial question on citizenship be added to the 2020 US census, despite a June ruling by the supreme court that appeared to have blocked its inclusion. The administration previously said it would abide by the ruling and print the census forms without the question. But on Sunday it was announced a new team of lawyers would handle census-related cases at the Department of Justice, which has been looking at ways to add the question, including via a presidential executive order.

  • Inaccurate survey. Critics say the citizenship question would dissuade immigrants from submitting their census forms, leading to an inaccurate survey with potentially major political ramifications.

Crib sheet

  • Rodrigo Duterte’s so-called war on drugs is in fact a “large-scale murdering enterprise” that ought to see the Philippines president investigated by the UN for crimes against humanity, according to a new report by Amnesty.

  • The centre-right New Democracy party has won the Greek elections by a landslide, defeating the leftwing Syriza government, while the neo-fascist Golden Dawn party failed to reach the 3% threshold required to secure any seats in the Greek parliament.

  • Mandla Maseko, a South African who earned the nickname “Afronaut” because he was set to become the first African in space, has died in a motorcycle crash before getting the chance to take his seat on the Lynx Mark II spaceship.

  • A free climber has scaled London’s tallest building, the Shard, reportedly making most of the ascent without ropes or suction cups. Police spoke to the man after he reached the top of the 1,017ft skyscraper early on Monday, but did not arrest him.


Elizabeth Warren on the stump in Las Vegas last week. Photograph: John Locher/AP

Warren’s plan to save capitalism from itself

Elizabeth Warren has risen slowly but steadily to become a serious contender in the crowded race for the Democratic presidential nomination. With more than 100 town halls and 35,000 selfies, she has done the groundwork. However, writes Lauren Gambino, it’s Warren’s policy chops that set her apart.

Inside the Philippines’ plastic city

In Valenzuela City, residents blame local plastic recycling plants for foul smells and respiratory illnesses. This neighbourhood in Manila is a microcosm of communities across south-east Asia, which have become a dumping ground for the world’s waste, reports Carmela Fonbuena.

An app made hiking easier, with unintended consequences

Guthook Guides has all the tools you need for a hike in a single iPhone app, and is used by 85% of US hikers. Yet some fear it has also diminished the desired difficulty of thru-hiking, once considered the ultimate test of self-reliance, as Taylor Gee discovers.

Could deepfakes put actors out of business?

Movies, videogames and politically charged “deepfakes” have all already demonstrated the remarkable and troubling potential of “digital humans”. Luke Kemp asks whether virtual technology could one day make professional actors redundant.


A congressional inquiry has raised the troubling possibility that Jared Kushner is influencing US foreign policy in pursuit of his own family’s business interests, says Mohamad Bazzi.

Did Jared Kushner support a blockade of a US ally as political payback because it would not fund his family’s business?


The US men’s soccer team lost to their old rivals Mexico in the Gold Cup final in Chicago on Sunday, with a 73rd-minute goal from Jonathan dos Santos settling the match at 1-0 and securing an eighth Concacaf title for the Mexicans.

Coco Gauff faces another big test at Wimbledon on Monday as she goes up against Simona Halep for a place in the quarter-finals. Simon Cambers explains why the 15-year-old is already prepared for the toughest of challenges.

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