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Khalid al-Falih. Photo: Anadolu Agency / Contributor/Getty Images

Saudi Arabia has jettisoned Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih in a major shake-up of energy leadership in OPEC's most powerful crude oil producer.

Driving the news: Saudi state media announced that he's being replaced with Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman. He's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's half-brother, according to Bloomberg.

Why it matters: The move comes as the kingdom is grappling with the rise of U.S. production and other forces that have held down the price of oil, the country's dominant revenue source.

  • It also comes amid revived preparations for the IPO of state oil giant Aramco.
  • The royal decree replacing al-Falih arrives just days after he was removed as board chairman of Aramco.

The big picture: Al-Falih, who was appointed in 2016, has been among the most prominent figures in global oil markets. During his tenure, OPEC began a joint production-limiting pact with Russia in an effort to tighten up global markets — an ongoing agreement that has had mixed results.

  • Per the Financial Times ($), "Abdulaziz, the new energy minister, joined the oil ministry in the 1980s and served in several positions including deputy minister and most recently as minister of state for energy affairs, a position he held since 2017."

Go deeper: Saudi Aramco replaces chairman as oil giant prepares for massive IPO

Go deeper

2 hours ago - Health

U.S. surpasses 25 million COVID cases

A mass COVID-19 vaccination site at Dodger Stadium on Jan. 22 in Los Angeles, California. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

The U.S has confirmed more than 25 million coronavirus cases, per Johns Hopkins data updated on Sunday.

The big picture: President Biden has said he expects the country's death toll to exceed 500,000 people by next month, as the rate of deaths due to the virus continues to escalate.

GOP implosion: Trump threats, payback

Spotted last week on a work van in Evansville, Ind. Photo: Sam Owens/The Evansville Courier & Press via Reuters

The GOP is getting torn apart by a spreading revolt against party leaders for failing to stand up for former President Trump and punish his critics.

Why it matters: Republican leaders suffered a nightmarish two months in Washington. Outside the nation’s capital, it's even worse.

Erica Pandey, author of @Work
6 hours ago - Economy & Business

The limits of Biden's plan to cancel student debt

Data: New York Fed Consumer Credit Panel/Equifax; Chart: Axios Visuals

There’s a growing consensus among Americans who want President Biden to cancel student debt — but addressing the ballooning debt burden is much more complicated than it seems.

Why it matters: Student debt is stopping millions of Americans from buying homes, buying cars and starting families. And the crisis is rapidly getting worse.