A top European official is cautioning against the United States imposing sanctions on a natural-gas pipeline being built now between Russia and Germany.

Why it matters: President Trump and Europe have shared interests in exporting American natural gas across the Atlantic, but interests diverge over this pipeline. U.S. officials say the pipeline unnecessarily allows Russia to continue its dominance over European natural gas. Some European leaders have been more supportive of it.

“...even though we say that pipeline is a controversial one, we still think that partners like the U.S. the [European Union], we shouldn’t impose sanctions on individual cases — in this case European companies — because I believe we can always find ways to look for the common solution.”
— European Commission Vice President Maroš Šefčovič

The context: Šefčovič made his comments during an interview with Axios last week in Washington.

Driving the news: Energy Secretary Rick Perry told reporters in Kiev on Tuesday that the U.S. is preparing to sanction companies working on Russia's long-proposed Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, Reuters reports. Perry said both chambers would pass a sanctions bill and Trump would sign it.

One level deeper: It wasn’t clear what bill Perry was referring to, but Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), introduced a bill last week imposing sanctions on vessels used to construct the deep-sea pipelines.

The other side: A spokesman for the pipeline project, Jens Mueller told S&P Global: "Our shareholder [Russia's Gazprom] and the five European financial investors are fully committed to the project, as are Nord Stream 2's suppliers.”

  • “The European investors are France's Engie, Austria's OMV, Germany's Wintershall and Uniper, and Shell,” per S&P.

Go deeper: Nord Stream 2 explained, via CNBC

Go deeper

"Hamilton" is a streaming hit for Disney+

Data: Google Trends; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

The debut of "Hamilton" on Disney+ last Friday sent downloads of the app soaring over the weekend.

Why it matters: With theaters closed until 2021, "Hamilton" is the biggest litmus test for whether Broadway will ever be able to successfully transition some of its iconic hits.

Wall Street is no longer betting on Trump

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Betting markets have turned decisively toward an expected victory for Joe Biden in November — and asset managers at major investment banks are preparing for not only a Biden win, but potentially a Democratic sweep of the Senate and House too.

Why it matters: Wall Street had its chips on a Trump win until recently — even in the midst of the coronavirus-induced recession and Biden's rise in the polls.

With new security law, China outlaws global activism

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The draconian security law that Beijing forced upon Hong Kong last week contains an article making it illegal for anyone in the world to promote democratic reform for Hong Kong.

Why it matters: China has long sought to crush organized dissent abroad through quiet threats and coercion. Now it has codified that practice into law — potentially forcing people and companies around the world to choose between speaking freely and ever stepping foot in Hong Kong again.