Oct 18, 2018

Televangelist defends Saudi arms deals: "not something you want to blow up"

Pat Robertson, 1994. Photo: Wally McNamee/Corbis via Getty Images

Pat Robertson, a prominent evangelical, defended the U.S.'s relationship with Saudi Arabia in an appearance on "The 700 Club," calling the Saudis "key allies."

"We’ve got an arms deal that everybody wanted a piece of… it’ll be a lot of jobs, a lot of money come to our coffers. It’s not something you want to blow up willy-nilly."

Why it matters: His support comes in the wake of reports that Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi had been brutally murdered at the hands of the Saudis. Many companies have been backing away from doing business with Saudi Arabia citing the alleged incident and subsequent investigation.

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World coronavirus updates: Spain's health care system overloaded

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens and confirmed plus presumptive cases from the CDC

Two planes with protective equipment arrived to restock Spain’s overloaded public health system on Wednesday as confirmed cases surpassed 100,000 and the nation saw its biggest death toll so far, Reuters reports.

The big picture: COVID-19 cases surged past 900,000 and the global death toll surpassed 45,000 early Wednesday, per Johns Hopkins data. Italy has reported more than 12,000 deaths.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 46 mins ago - Health

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 6 p.m. ET: 926,095 — Total deaths: 46,413 — Total recoveries: 193,031Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 6 p.m. ET: 209,071 — Total deaths: 4,633 — Total recoveries: 8,434Map.
  3. Business updates: Very small businesses are bearing the brunt of the coronavirus job crisis.
  4. World update: Spain’s confirmed cases surpassed 100,000, and the nation saw its biggest daily death toll so far. Over 500 people were reported dead within the last 24 hours in the U.K., per Johns Hopkins data.
  5. State updates: Florida and Pennsylvania are the latest states to issue stay-at-home orders — Michigan has more than 9,000 confirmed cases, an increase of 1,200 and 78 new deaths in 24 hours.
  6. Stock market updates: Stocks closed more than 4% lower on Wednesday, continuing a volatile stretch for the stock market amid the coronavirus outbreak.
  7. What should I do? Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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FBI sees record number of gun background checks amid coronavirus

Guns on display at a store in Manassas, Va. Photo: Yasin Ozturk / Anadolu Agency via Getty

The FBI processed a record 3.7 million gun background checks in March — more than any month previously reported, according to the agency's latest data.

Driving the news: The spike's timing suggests it may be driven at least in part by the coronavirus.