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Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo decided to continue support for the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen — over the objections of some State Department staffers — due to a potential loss of billions of dollars in weapons sales to allies in the region, per the Wall Street Journal.

The big picture: Pompeo certified to Congress last week that he believes Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates were working to reduce civilian casualties in Yemen, despite concerns from State specialists on the region. State's Bureau of Legislative Affairs was the only internal group to argue for Pompeo's full support of the Saudis, according to the WSJ report, claiming that "failure to certify may also negatively impact future foreign military sales and direct commercial sales to the region." State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert told the Journal that while "our Saudi and Emirati partners are making progress, we are continuing discussions with them on additional steps they can take to address the humanitarian situation."

Go deeper

Erica Pandey, author of @Work
1 hour ago - Economy & Business

The winners and losers of the pandemic holiday season

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The pandemic has upended Thanksgiving and the shopping season that the holiday kicks off, creating a new crop of economic winners and losers.

The big picture: Just as it has exacerbated inequality in every other facet of American life, the coronavirus pandemic is deepening inequities in the business world, with the biggest and most powerful companies rapidly outpacing the smaller players.

Coronavirus cases rose 10% in the week before Thanksgiving

Expand chart
Data: The COVID Tracking Project, state health departments; Map: Andrew Witherspoon, Sara Wise/Axios

The daily rate of new coronavirus infections rose by about 10 percent in the final week before Thanksgiving, continuing a dismal trend that may get even worse in the weeks to come.

Why it matters: Travel and large holiday celebrations are most dangerous in places where the virus is spreading widely — and right now, that includes the entire U.S.

Updated 7 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Supreme Court backs religious groups on New York coronavirus restrictions

Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled late Wednesday that restrictions previously imposed on New York places of worship by Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) during the coronavirus pandemic violated the First Amendment.

Why it matters: The decision in a 5-4 vote heralds the first significant action by the new President Trump-appointed conservative Justice Amy Coney Barrett, who cast the deciding vote in favor of the Catholic Church and Orthodox Jewish synagogues.