Nov 16, 2017

Saudi Arabia denies detaining Lebanese PM

A poster of resigned Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri with Arabic that reads, "We are all with you," hangs on a street in Beirut, Lebanon. Photo: Hassan Ammar / AP

The Saudi foreign minister has branded accusations that Saudi Arabia is detaining Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri as "rejected and baseless" and added that Hezbollah should "respect Lebanon's sovereignty," per the AP. Hariri unexpectedly resigned while in Riyadh nearly two weeks ago.

What's happening: The denial comes one day after Lebanese President Michel Aoun publicly accused Saudi Arabia of detaining Hariri — and just minutes after Hariri accepted an invitation to visit France from Emmanuel Macron. The ever-murkier situation is a part of a deepening shadow power struggle between Saudi Arabia and Iran for proxy control over the Middle East.

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Trump indulges Wall Street with Milken pardon

Photo Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Chris Graythen/Getty Images

Donald Trump loves Wall Street shenanigans. Companies owned by him have declared bankruptcy six different times, and he was once sued alongside Mike Milken for participating in a scheme to artificially inflate junk-bond prices.

Driving the news: Trump pardoned Milken this week, with an official statement positively gushing over Milken's role in developing the wilder side of fixed-income capital markets.

Situational awareness

Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Catch up on today's biggest news:

  1. Roger Stone sentenced to 40 months in prison
  2. Top NSC official reassigned to Energy Department amid "Anonymous" fallout
  3. Morgan Stanley to buy E*Trade in $13 billion deal
  4. Coronavirus slams companies' 2020 sales projections
  5. Black activist group gives its first presidential endorsement to Elizabeth Warren

Roger Stone sentenced to more than 3 years in prison

Roger Stone arriving for his sentencing hearing. Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Longtime Trump associate Roger Stone was sentenced Thursday to 4o months in prison for crimes that include obstruction of justice, lying to Congress and witness tampering.

Why it matters: Stone is the seventh person to be convicted and sentenced for crimes unearthed by former special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation. His case has been at the heart of ongoing tensions between President Trump and his Justice Department.