Feb 1, 2017

Saudi oil minister: Trump will make oil great again

Saudi oil minister Khalid al-Falih (Michel Euler/AP)

Saudi oil minister Khalid al-Falih told BBC News that he welcomes the Trump administration as bullish for the oil industry.

Trump repeatedly blasted Saudi Arabia during his campaign, blaming the country for the 9-11 attacks and arguing that the U.S. must achieve "complete" energy independence and get out from under the influence of "our enemies and the oil cartels."

Why it matters: It's easy to criticize fundamentalist Saudi Arabia from the campaign trail for its human rights abuses and because it's the epicenter of Wahabi Muslim ideology, which fuels much of the world's religiously-inspired terrorism. But the Arabian kingdom remains an indispensable source of stability in the global energy markets and a geopolitical partner in the Middle East.

Fun fact: al-Falih said he's excited to work with new Energy Secretary Rick Perry, a fellow graduate of Texas A&M.

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Trump administration asks Congress for $2.5 billion to fight coronavirus

President Trump with Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar at the White House in September. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The Trump administration sent a letter to Congress Monday requesting a funding commitment of at least $2.5 billion to help combat the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Details: The request for a lump sum account for the Department of Health and Human Services includes $1.25 billion in new funds to fight COVID-19 and $535 would come from untouched funds for the Ebola virus.

WHO won't call coronavirus a pandemic as cases spread

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 World Health Organization will not yet call the coronavirus a pandemic, claiming that needs across affected countries are too varied and the classification would increase fear, per a briefing Monday.

The big picture: As South Korea and Italy stepped up emergency measures in efforts to thwart the spread of the virus, WHO expressed concern about infections with no clear link to China. COVID-19 has killed at least 2,620 people and infected almost 80,000 others, with all but 27 deaths occurring in mainland China.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 4 hours ago - Health

The global scramble to contain the coronavirus

Taking precaution, in the Philippines. Photo: Ezra Acayan/Getty Images

The coronavirus is spreading quickly in cities nowhere near Wuhan, China, and the window to prevent a global pandemic is narrowing.

Zoom in: Here's a look at what comes with a coronavirus outbreak in communities outside China that have been hardest hit so far.

Go deeperArrow4 hours ago - World