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King of Saudi Arabia, Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud. Photo: Bandar Algaloud/ Saudi Royal Council/ Handout/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Employees who disclose financial and administrative corruption in Saudi Arabia would be safeguarded under a new whistleblower protection measure King Salman announced Sunday, per Reuters, citing a report from Saudi-run broadcaster Al Arabiya TV.

The backdrop: The announcement comes during a secretive ongoing anti-corruption campaign in the kingdom, led by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Saudi Arabia’s 32-year-old heir to the throne, under the guise of modernization. Last year, MBS ordered the arrest and detention of hundreds of influential Saudis, including other royals, and detained them in Riyadh's Ritz Carlton for weeks — until they paid to settle corruption charges with the government.

Go deeper

Updated 2 hours ago - Health

NYC firefighters union urges members to defy mayor's vaccine mandate

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. Photo: Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

The president of New York City's firefighters union told reporters Wednesday that he's advised unvaccinated members to ignore Mayor Bill de Blasio's COVID-19 vaccine mandate for city workers, per Reuters.

Why it matters: Under de Blasio's order that's due to take effect Friday, unvaccinated city employees would be placed on unpaid leave. But Uniformed Firefighters Association head Andrew Ansbro said he told members that "if they choose to remain unvaccinated, they must still report for duty," according to Reuters.

3 hours ago - Health

Study: Common antidepressant guards against COVID hospitalization

A COVID-19 intensive Care Unit in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil on May 27, 2021. Photo: Fabio Teixeira/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The readily available antidepressant fluvoxamine significantly reduced COVID-related hospitalizations, according to a large study published Wednesday.

Why it matters: The clinical trial suggests that a cheap, readily available drug could dramatically reduce serious illness and death when prescribed early.

By the numbers: Catholics, Biden and abortion

Expand chart
Reproduced from Pew Research Center; Chart: Axios Visuals

President Biden — the second Catholic U.S. president — will meet with Pope Francis at the Vatican on Friday, as some church leaders debate whether to deny Holy Communion to politicians who support abortion rights.

By the numbers: Overall, two in three U.S. Catholics believe Biden should be allowed to take Communion despite his stance on abortion, according to polling by Pew Research Center.