Oct 1, 2018

Saudi Arabia puts giant solar project on hold

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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Older candidates take the lead on social media

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Michael Bloomberg, Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden — all close to 80 — are pushing the boundaries on social media, while their younger Democratic presidential rivals are comparatively staying out of the fray.

The big picture: President Trump's unexpected rise to political power has shown Democrats and world leaders the power of harnessing popular internet culture to get elected.

South Korea and Italy step up emergency measures as coronavirus cases jump

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.

The novel coronavirus has spread to more nations as South Korea and Italy step up emergency measures in their countries amid rising case numbers on Sunday.

The big picture: COVID-19 has killed at least 2,462 people and infected almost 79,000 others, mostly in mainland China. South Korea increased the infectious disease alert to red, the highest possible, as its case numbers jumped to 602 and the death toll to five. Italy's government announced emergency measures, with several towns in the north effectively placed in lockdown, as it confirmed two deaths and infections rose to 79.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 4 hours ago - Health

Bernie Sanders wins Nevada caucus

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders waves to supporters at a campaign rally on Friday in Las Vegas. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

Sen. Bernie Sanders is projected to handily win the Nevada Democratic primary caucus, becoming the clear frontrunner among 2020 Democratic presidential primary election candidates.

Why it matters: Nevada is the first state with a diverse population to hold a nominating contest, highlighting candidates' abilities to connect with voters of color — particularly Latino voters.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 4 hours ago - Politics & Policy