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U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Energy Secretary Rick Perry is heading to Eastern Europe next week to make a series of announcements, including a new liquified natural-gas deal with Poland, according to an Energy Department official.

Why it matters: Perry’s trip, which includes Poland, Ukraine, Hungary and Czech Republic, comes as the Trump administration is seeking to balance its conflicting goals of protectionist trade policies and American energy exports.

The details: Liquified natural gas will be a big focus of the trip, but Perry is also expected to push American cooperation on nuclear energy, cybersecurity and coal. His trip includes a tour of a Ukrainian power plant that received a shipment of U.S. coal last summer.

Administration officials, including Perry and President Trump himself, have emphasized that European countries should lessen their dependence on Russian natural gas. The U.S., along with Poland, have criticized construction of an underwater natural-gas pipeline from Russia to Germany. Germany has supported the project.

Reality check: Countries and companies will almost always choose the cheapest natural gas, which is often Russia for much of Europe, given the cost of liquefying and shipping American gas overseas. Asia has been America’s bigger customer.

Go deeper:

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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
40 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
49 mins 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.