Oct 1, 2018

Saudi Arabia puts giant solar project on hold

Ben Geman, author of Generate

A Saudi man talks on his mobile under the shade of solar panel. Photo: Fayez Nureldine/AFP via Getty Images

Saudi Arabia has put its $200 billion plan to build the world's largest solar project on hold, according to the Wall Street Journal, which cites Saudi government officials as sources.

Why it matters: The news signals the struggles and challenges the Saudis face in implementing ambitious plans to diversify their crude-reliant economy.

The big picture: Saudi officials are instead "working up a broader, more practical strategy to boost renewable energy," per WSJ. Its Japanese partner, SoftBank Group, declined to comment to WSJ and to Axios' request shortly before deadline.

  • Recall that the kingdom also appears to have shelved plans for the IPO of state oil giant Aramco, which was designed to raise tens of billions of dollars to help seed the kingdom's modernization vision.

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Trump says he will campaign against Lisa Murkowski after her support for Mattis

Trump with Barr and Meadows outside St. John's Episcopal church in Washington, D.C. on June 1. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump tweeted on Thursday that he would endorse "any candidate" with a pulse who runs against Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska).

Driving the news: Murkowski said on Thursday that she supported former defense secretary James Mattis' condemnation of Trump over his response to protests in the wake of George Floyd's killing. She described Mattis' statement as "true, honest, necessary and overdue," Politico's Andrew Desiderio reports.

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The president vs. the Pentagon

Trump visits Mattis and the Pentagon in 2018. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty

Over the course of just a few hours, President Trump was rebuffed by the Secretary of Defense over his call for troops in the streets and accused by James Mattis, his former Pentagon chief, of trampling the Constitution for political gain.

Why it matters: Current and former leaders of the U.S. military are drawing a line over Trump's demand for a militarized response to the protests and unrest that have swept the country over the killing of George Floyd by police.

New York Times says Tom Cotton op-ed did not meet standards

Photo: Avalon/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

A New York Times spokesperson said in a statement Thursday that the paper will be changing its editorial board processes after a Wednesday op-ed by Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), which called for President Trump to "send in the troops" in order to quell violent protests, failed to meet its standards.

Why it matters: The shift comes after Times employees began a coordinated movement on social media on Wednesday and Thursday that argued that publishing the op-ed put black staff in danger. Cotton wrote that Trump should invoke the Insurrection Act in order to deploy the U.S. military against rioters that have overwhelmed police forces in cities across the country.