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Ng Han Guan / AP

The Energy Department has decided to close an office that works with foreign countries to promote clean energy technology and reduce greenhouse emissions, marking the latest effort by the Trump administration to scale back U.S. climate policy, per NYT.

The Office of International Climate and Technology's 11 agency employees said they were informed their positions were being eliminated right before Energy Secretary Rick Perry took part in the latest Clean Energy Ministerial annual forum in Beijing on June 6, where the U.S., China, India and other countries discussed solutions to climate change.

Why it matters: The closing comes just weeks after Trump announced the withdrawal of the U.S. from the Paris climate agreement, and follows a series of other moves to unravel climate regulations at the Environmental Protection Agency.

Dept of Energy statement:

"Anticipating a smaller FY 2018 budget, the Department is looking for ways to consolidate the many duplicative programs that currently exist within DOE. This is only one example of many. For instance, The Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) has an International Affairs team, while the International Affairs Office has a renewables team. The Department is looking for ways to eliminate this kind of unnecessary duplication--just like any responsible American business would.

"The premise of the New York Times article claiming that the Administration is retreating on its efforts to promote clean energy is entirely false. The article failed to mention that Secretary Perry successfully introduced two new initiatives on clean energy at the CEM on CCUS and Nuclear Energy. He has a proven record of managing under tight budgets and looks forward to working with whatever resources Congress appropriates to accomplish the core agency functions while being respectful to the American taxpayer."

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Thousands of protesters marched through Minneapolis' streets Sunday, urging justice for George Floyd on the eve of the start of former police officer Derek Chauvin's trial over the 46-year-old's death, per AFP.

The big picture: Chauvin faces charges for second-degree murder and manslaughter over Floyd's death last May, which ignited massive nationwide and global protests against racism and for police reform. His trial is due to start Monday, with jury selection procedures.

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