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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.

Go deeper

Technical glitch in Facebook's ad tools creates political firestorm

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Photo: SOPA Images / Contributor

Facebook said late Thursday that a mix of "technical problems" and confusion among advertisers around its new political ad ban rules, caused issues affecting ad campaigns of both parties.

Why it matters: A report out Thursday morning suggested the ad tools were causing campaign ads, even those that adhered to Facebook's new rules, to be paused. Very quickly, political campaigners began asserting the tech giant was enforcing policies in a way that was biased against their campaigns.

Updated 55 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Large coronavirus outbreaks leading to high death rates — Coronavirus cases are at an all-time high ahead of Election Day — U.S. tops 88,000 COVID-19 cases, setting new single-day record.
  2. Politics: States beg for Warp Speed billions.
  3. World: Taiwan reaches a record 200 days with no local coronavirus cases.
  4. 🎧Podcast: The vaccine race turns toward nationalism.
1 hour ago - Health

States beg for Warp Speed billions

A COVID-19 drive-thru testing center yesterday at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens. Photo: David Santiago/Miami Herald via AP

Operation Warp Speed has an Achilles' heel: States need billions to distribute vaccines — and many say they don't have the cash.

Why it matters: The first emergency use authorization could come as soon as next month, but vaccines require funding for workers, shipping and handling, and for reserving spaces for vaccination sites.