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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Cerebus sells control of Steward Health Care back to company

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Cerberus Capital Management has agreed to sell control of community hospital group Steward Health Care back to the company, as first reported by the New York Times and confirmed by Axios.

Why it matters: This would make Steward one of the country's largest physician-owned and operated companies. It also marks the end of a 10-year ownership period for Cerberus, which was most recently marked by threats to shutter a Pennsylvania hospital in March, despite the pandemic, if the facility didn't receive state bailout funds.

Exclusive: Washington Post makes major move into local news

People entering the Washington Post building in D.C. in 2019. Photo: Eric Baradat/AFP via Getty Images

The Washington Post has signed all 30 of McClatchy's local news outlets to its Zeus Performance product, a software that gives sites better speed, ad view-ability and performance, executives tell Axios.

Why it matters: By adding more local news outlets, The Post can start to build a local news ecosystem within its tech stack.

Biden: George Floyd's last words are "a wake-up call for our nation"

Former Vice President Joe Biden meets with clergy members and community activists during a visit to Bethel AME Church in Wilmington, Del. on June 1, 2020. Photo: JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images

Joe Biden will call George Floyd’s dying words “a wake-up call for our nation,” and criticize President Trump’s decision to unleash tear gas on peaceful protesters outside the White House, in a civil rights speech from Philadelphia on Tuesday.

Why it matters: Biden in the address will seek to draw a sharp contrast between himself and Trump, whose first remarks addressing nationwide unrest Monday highlighted law and order, extreme demonstrations of militarized “strength” and other blustery threats.