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Saudi Arabia's King Salman (left) speaks to his son, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (right). Photo: Hassan Ammar / AP

Saudi Arabia's crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, ordered the arrests of dozens of influential people, including 11 of his royal cousins and Prince Alwaleed bin Talal — the billionaire Saudi investor in Apple, Twitter and the Four Seasons.

  • The big picture: His move, "presented as a crackdown on corruption," appears to be "the most sweeping transformation in the kingdom's governance for more than eight decades," NYT's David Kirkpatrick reports.
  • But, but, but: "Crown Prince Mohammed's haste ... may now come at a price, because the lack of transparency or due process surrounding the anticorruption crackdown is sure to unnerve the same private investors he hopes to attract — including through a planned stock offering of the huge state oil company, Aramco."

Inside the shakeup, via the Times:

  • "With the new detentions, Crown Prince Mohammed ... now appears to have established control over all three Saudi security services — the military, internal security services and national guard."
  • "Apolitical scholars who used to speak freely in cafes now look nervously over their shoulders, as Crown Prince Mohammed has achieved a degree of dominance that no ruler has attained for generations."
  • "It is the coup de grâce of the old system," Chas W. Freeman, a former United States ambassador, told the Times. "Gone. All power has now been concentrated in the hands of Mohammad bin Salman."

One more thing: A helicopter carrying Prince Mansur bin Muqrin, the deputy governor of a Saudi province bordering Yemen, crashed Sunday, and he was killed with other officials on board, the Times reports. The incident is apparently unrelated to the weekend's arrests, and the cause of the crash has not yet been reported.

Go deeper: Ritz roundup in Riyadh

Go deeper

Updated 4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

  1. Health: Most vulnerable Americans aren't getting enough vaccine information — Fauci says Trump administration's lack of facts on COVID "very likely" cost lives.
  2. Education: Schools face an uphill battle to reopen during the pandemic.
  3. Vaccine: Florida requiring proof of residency to get vaccine — CDC extends interval between vaccine doses for exceptional cases.
  4. World: Hong Kong puts tens of thousands on lockdown as cases surge — Pfizer to supply 40 million vaccine doses to lower-income countries — Brazil begins distributing AstraZeneca vaccine.
  5. Sports: 2021 Tokyo Olympics hang in the balance.
  6. 🎧 Podcast: Carbon Health's CEO on unsticking the vaccine bottleneck.

DOJ: Capitol rioter threatened to "assassinate" Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Supporters of former President Trump storm the U.S. Captiol on Jan. 6. Photo: Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

A Texas man who has been charged with storming the U.S. Capitol in the deadly Jan. 6 siege posted death threats against Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), the Department of Justice said.

The big picture: Garret Miller faces five charges in connection to the riot by supporters of former President Trump, including violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds and making threats. According to court documents, Miller posted violent threats online the day of the siege, including tweeting “Assassinate AOC.”

Schumer calls for IG probe into alleged plan by Trump, DOJ lawyer to oust acting AG

Jeffrey Clark speaks next to Deputy US Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen at a news conference in October. Photo: Yuri Gripas/AFP via Getty Images.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Saturday called for the Justice Department inspector general to investigate an alleged plan by former President Trump and a DOJ lawyer to remove the acting attorney general and replace him with someone more willing to investigate unfounded claims of election fraud.

Driving the news: The New York Times first reported Friday that the lawyer, Jeffrey Clark, allegedly devised "ways to cast doubt on the election results and to bolster Mr. Trump’s continuing legal battles and the pressure on Georgia politicians. Because Mr. [Jeffrey] Rosen had refused the president’s entreaties to carry out those plans, Mr. Trump was about to decide whether to fire Mr. Rosen and replace him with Mr. Clark."