Amy Harder Nov 30
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Scoop: Perry heads to Middle East this week

Perry at a news conference in Washington. Photo: Jacquelyn Martin / AP

Energy secretary Rick Perry leaves Thursday for a three-country trip to the Middle East, including Saudi Arabia, Qatar and United Arab Emirates, according to a department official.

Why it matters: This is Perry's first trip to the region as secretary, where he will meet his energy counterparts. The visit could highlight the geopolitical tension present with the U.S. shale oil surge competing with Saudi Arabia and other OPEC producers for market share. The Middle East is ground zero for a lot of issues in the energy space – especially oil and natural gas but also less high-profile areas like advanced nuclear power and technologies that capture carbon emissions from fossil fuels.

What we're watching: To what degree Perry talks about the initial public offering planned by Saudi Aramco, the state-owned oil company of Saudi Arabia. President Trump tweeted in early November he wants the company to post the IPO on the New York Stock Exchange. Separately, Perry is expected to speak at a conference on carbon technology in the United Arab Emirates.

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Trump: Transgender people "disqualified" from the military

SecDef Jim Mattis and Gen. Joseph Dunford.
Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis and Gen. Joseph Dunford. Photo: Andrew Harrer-Pool / Getty Images

President Trump late Friday issued an order disqualifying most transgender people from serving in the military.

"[T]ransgender persons with a history or diagnosis of gender dysphoria -- individuals who the policies state may require substantial medical treatment, including medications and surgery -- are disqualified from military service except under certain limited circumstances."

Why it matters: Anything short of an inclusive policy for transgender troops will be viewed as a continuation of the ban Trump announced on Twitter in August.

Haley Britzky 7 hours ago
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Both Bush and Obama also requested line item veto power

Donald Trump.
Photo: Mark Wilson / Getty Images

President Trump tweeted on Friday evening that to avoid having "this omnibus situation from ever happening again," he wants Congress to re-instate "a line-item veto."

Why it matters: This would allow him to veto specific parts of a bill without getting rid of the entire thing. Trump was deeply unhappy with the $1.3 trillion spending bill approved by Congress early Friday morning, but signed it anyway on Friday afternoon.