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Iranian flag at an anti-war protest in Times Square, New York City, Jan. 4. Photo: Kena Betancur/AFP via Getty Images

Senior Iranian official Saeed Jalili, who previously served as the country's chief nuclear negotiator, tweeted an image of the Iranian flag on Tuesday as Iran made its first direct retaliation against the U.S. for killing top general Qasem Soleimani.

The backstory: President Trump tweeted an American flag on the night the U.S. killed Soleimani with an airstrike near Baghdad's international airport. Jalili's tweet comes as Iran fires over a dozen ballistic missiles at two Iraqi bases where U.S. troops are stationed.

Go deeper: Iran fires missiles at Iraqi bases hosting U.S. troops

Go deeper

White House removes Trump-appointed scientist from overseeing climate report

U.S. President Joe Biden. Photo: Anna Moneymaker-Pool/Getty Images

The Biden administration has removed Trump-appointed atmospheric scientist Betsy Weatherhead from her role overseeing the government's "definitive report on the effects of climate change," the Washington Post first reported Monday.

Why it matters: While Weatherhead has not been fired — merely reassigned to the U.S. Geological Survey — the move represents an effort by the Biden administration to remove Trump-era appointees from scientific roles, per CNN.

Dave Lawler, author of World
54 mins ago - World

Castro era officially ends in Cuba

Diaz-Canel (L) with Raul Castro in 2018. Photo: Ernesto Mastrascusa/Getty Images

The Castro era ended in Cuba on Monday after six decades, with Raúl Castro handing over the reigns of a party founded in 1965 by his brother Fidel.

Why it matters: Miguel Díaz-Canel, 60, now assumes the challenge of maintaining Communist rule while grappling with growing discontent over Cuba's economic stagnation.

Dave Lawler, author of World
1 hour ago - World

Global coronavirus cases hit new high as India's surge continues

Expand chart
Data: Our World in Data; Chart: Axios Visuals

More COVID-19 cases are now being recorded globally each day than ever before in the pandemic, surpassing the previous global peak in early January.

The big picture: At that time, the U.S. and Europe were driving the surge. This time, the biggest source of new cases is India.