Nov 16, 2017

Saudi government demanding billions from detained officials

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Photo: Saudi Press Agency via AP

The Saudi government is in discussions with detained royals and businessmen to hand over huge portions of their wealth as a part of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's corruption probe, per the FT. The detained officials would hand over up to 70% of their assets — perhaps totaling $300 billion — to the government in exchange for their release. The money would be put toward Saudi Arabia's mounting national deficit.

Why it matters: While the corruption probe has been welcomed by many Saudis, it has been condemned abroad as a power grab and has worried foreign investors Prince Mohammed had hoped to target in order to modernize and diversify Saudi Arabia's oil-dependent economy.

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Situational awareness

Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Catch up on today's biggest news:

  1. Scoop: New White House personnel chief tells Cabinet liaisons to target Never Trumpers
  2. Trump misrepresents 2020 Russia briefing as Democratic "misinformation"
  3. Bernie Sanders takes aim at Bloomberg: "Trump will chew him up and spit him out"
  4. Nearly half of Republicans support pardoning Roger Stone
  5. Scoop: Lyft acquires cartop advertising startup Halo Cars

Sanders takes aim at Bloomberg: "Trump will chew him up and spit him out"

Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

Bernie Sanders told CBS "60 Minutes" that he was surprised by Mike Bloomberg's lackluster performance at Wednesday's Democratic debate.

What he's saying: "If that's what happened in a Democratic debate, you know, I think it's quite likely that Trump will chew him up and spit him out."

Scoop: Lyft acquires cartop advertising startup Halo Cars

Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Lyft has acquired Halo Cars, a small startup that lets ride-hailing drivers earn money via ad displays mounted atop their cars. Lyft confirmed the deal but declined to share any details.

Why it matters: Ride-hailing companies are increasingly eyeing additional ways to generate revenue, and Lyft rival Uber has been quietly testing a partnership with New York-based Cargo that gives it a cut of the advertising revenue, as I previously reported.