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Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, May 2017. Photo: Pavel Golovkin / AP

With the arrests of eleven princes and some 200 tycoons in Saudi Arabia, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman made clear that he will resort to any means necessary to solidify his ascent to power upon the death or abdication of his 81-year-old father, King Salman.

In the short term, this crackdown — especially the arrest of prince al-Waleed bin Talal, Saudi Arabia's richest businessman with a net worth of nearly $19 billion — could dampen foreign investment interest in the crown prince's Vision 2030 initiative. The much-heralded program aims to to deliver economic growth by strengthening private companies outside the oil sector. Key to its success is the forthcoming sale on world stock exchanges of 5% of the gigantic state oil company, Aramco, which the crown prince hopes will produce $100 billion.

Other ripple effects could well threaten the House of Saud's stability for years to come. The arrest of Prince Miteb bin Abdullah, commander of the Saudi National Guard, signals further strain on the already enormous tensions and resentments within the royal family.

The bottom line:

There is no precedent in Saudi Arabia's history for the crown prince's sweeping purge, and other surprises will await the kingdom under a 32-year-old upstart prince of still unproven abilities.

Go deeper

Tech scrambles to derail inauguration threats

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Tech companies are sharing more information with law enforcement in a frantic effort to prevent violence around the inauguration, after the government was caught flat-footed by the Capitol siege.

Between the lines: Tech knows it will be held accountable for any further violence that turns out to have been planned online if it doesn't act to stop it.

Dave Lawler, author of World
2 hours ago - World

Uganda's election: Museveni declared winner, Wine claims fraud

Wine rejected the official results of the election. Photo: Sumy Sadruni/AFP via Getty

Yoweri Museveni was declared the winner of a sixth presidential term on Saturday, with official results giving him 59% to 35% for Bobi Wine, the singer-turned-opposition leader.

Why it matters: This announcement was predictable, as the election was neither free nor fair and Museveni had no intention of surrendering power after 35 years. But Wine — who posed a strong challenged to Museveni, particularly in urban areas, and was beaten and arrested during the campaign — has said he will present evidence of fraud. The big question is whether he will mobilize mass resistance in the streets.

Off the Rails

Episode 1: A premeditated lie lit the fire

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Beginning on election night 2020 and continuing through his final days in office, Donald Trump unraveled and dragged America with him, to the point that his followers sacked the U.S. Capitol with two weeks left in his term. Axios takes you inside the collapse of a president with a special series.

Episode 1: Trump’s refusal to believe the election results was premeditated. He had heard about the “red mirage” — the likelihood that early vote counts would tip more Republican than the final tallies — and he decided to exploit it.

"Jared, you call the Murdochs! Jason, you call Sammon and Hemmer!”