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Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman at the conference in 2017 — with then-IMF head Christine Lagarde at left. Photo: Fayez Nureldine/AFP/Getty Images

Saudi Arabia's Future Investment Initiative — popularly known as "Davos in the Desert" — has finally released its agenda, just 24 hours before the controversial conference is set to begin.

What's happening: Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman does not appear to be on the program. Instead, opening remarks will come from Saudi Public Investment Fund chief and Uber board member Yasir Al-Rumayyan.

  • Blackstone Group CEO Stephen Schwarzman isn't just a panelist. He'll be "interviewing" Jared Kushner.
  • The Bloomberg News moderators have been replaced with a hodgepodge of independent British journalists and members of a Chinese news network. (Bloomberg still won't explain why it agreed to put its people on stage in the first place.)
  • Plenty of U.S. tech startups will be on stage, including from companies like Plenty and Sprinklr. Confirmed U.S. venture capitalists include Jim Breyer (who spoke last year) and 500 Startups' Christine Tsai.

Go deeper ... Scoop: The grandees headed to Saudi Arabia's "Davos in the Desert"

Go deeper

Biden picks up his pen to change the tone on racial equity

Vice President Harris looks on as President Biden signs executives orders related to his racial equity agenda. Photo: Doug Mills-Pool/Getty Images

President Biden is making a down payment on racial equity in a series of executive orders dealing with everything from private prisons to housing discrimination, treatment of Asian Americans and relations with indigenous tribes.

The big picture: Police reform and voting rights legislation will take time to pass in Congress. But with the stroke of his pen, one week into the job Biden is taking steps within his power as he seeks to change the tone on racial justice from former President Trump.

Most Senate Republicans join Rand Paul effort to dismiss Trump's 2nd impeachment trial

Photo: Joshua Roberts-Pool/Getty Images

Forty-five Senate Republicans, including Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, supported an effort to dismiss former President Trump's second impeachment trial.

Why it matters: The vote serves as a precursor to how senators will approach next month's impeachment trial, making it highly unlikely the Senate will vote to convict. The House impeached Trump for a second time for "incitement of insurrection" following events from Jan 6. when a pro-Trump mob stormed the Capitol.

Texas judge temporarily halts Biden's 100-day deportation freeze

Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

A federal judge in Texas has temporarily blocked the Biden administration's 100-day freeze on deporting unauthorized immigrants.

Why it matters: Biden has set an ambitious immigration agenda, but he could face pushback from the courts.