Nov 5, 2017

Saudi crown prince consolidates power after round of arrests

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

Tariff worries hit record high amid coronavirus outbreak

Data: CivicScience, margin of error ±1 percentage points; Chart: Axios Visuals

Concern about President Trump's tariffs on U.S imports grew to record high levels among Americans last month, particularly as more lost their jobs and concern about the novel coronavirus increased.

Driving the news: About seven in 10 people said they were at least somewhat concerned about tariffs in March, according to the latest survey from CivicScience provided first to Axios.

U.S. coronavirus updates: Largest 24-hour spike in fatalities

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

New York's death toll from the novel coronavirus surged to its highest one-day total on Tuesday, as the U.S. saw its largest 24-hour spike in fatalities, per Johns Hopkins data. Recorded deaths across the U.S. surpassed 12,900 early Wednesday.

Why it matters: State officials have stressed that lockdowns must continue even if cities begin to see slight improvements from social distancing. Several hot spots, including New York, New Orleans, and Detroit, are expected to peak in the coming days.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 2 hours ago - Health

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 12:30 a.m. ET: 1,430,453 — Total deaths: 82,133 — Total recoveries: 301,385Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 12:30 a.m. ET: 399,081 — Total deaths: 12,907 — Total recoveries: 22,461Map.
  3. Federal government latest: Acting Navy secretary resigns over handling of virus-infected ship — Trump removes watchdog overseeing rollout of $2 trillion coronavirus bill — Trump said he "didn't see" memos from his trade adviser Peter Navarro warning that the crisis could kill more than half a million Americans.
  4. States latest: California Gov. Gavin Newsom is confident that more than 200 million masks will be delivered to the state "at a monthly basis starting in the next few weeks."
  5. Business latest: America's food heroes in times of the coronavirus crisis. Even when the economy comes back to life, huge questions for airlines will remain.
  6. World updates: China reopens Wuhan after 10-week coronavirus lockdown.
  7. 2020 latest: Polls for Wisconsin's primary elections closed at 9 p.m. ET Tuesday, but results won't be released until April 13. Thousands of residents cast ballots in person.
  8. 1 Olympics thing: About 6,500 athletes who qualified for the Tokyo Games will keep their spots in 2021.
  9. What should I do? Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  10. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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