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Recode Daily: A royal coup in Saudi Arabia takes down one of its most high-profile tech investors

Plus, the leaked “Paradise Papers” bring Russian billionaire Yuri Milner’s pre-IPO investments in Facebook and Twitter to light, tech companies still have some ’splainin’ to do, and social media tarot cards.

Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal speaks during a press conference on May 11, 2017, in the Red Sea city of Jeddah.
Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal
Amer HIlabi / AFP / Getty Images

A gunman killed at least 25 people in a Baptist church near San Antonio, Texas. The suspect has been identified as a 26-year-old Texas man. [The New York Times]

A midnight blitz of arrests ordered by the crown prince of Saudi Arabia ensnared Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, one of the worlds most prominent investors, who holds large stakes in Twitter, Lyft and Apple. With the sweeping arrests, Mohammad bin Salman appears to have established control of the Saudi military, internal security services and national guard. [Theodore Schleifer / Recode]

Russian billionaire Yuri Milner’s big pre-IPO investments in Facebook and Twitter have been tied to the Russian government, according to a leaked trove of confidential documents called the “Paradise Papers.” Milner helms DST Global, which received $191 million from the Kremlin-owned VTB Bank — part of which was used to obtain a large stake in Twitter. Reminder: For two years, Milner automatically invested in every company that came out of startup factory Y Combinator. In an open letter, Milner argues that he’s being unfairly scrutinized because he’s Russian: "Only a worldview that sees my nationality as inherently suspicious could find such a fairy-tale compelling." [Johana Bhuiyan / Recode]

Here’s a list of all the questions that Facebook, Google and Twitter told Congress they would get around to answering later, after facing hours of tough grilling from Congress last week. And here’s Recodes expanded list of news organizations that unknowingly cited tweets and information from Russian trolls in their reports. Meanwhile, the Associated Press has a step-by-step investigation into how Russians hacked the Democratic Party and disrupted the U.S. presidential contest. [Bloomberg]

Digital local news is crucial, and readers understand its value, says John Ness, a former editor in chief at DNAinfo, the online neighborhood news operation that was suddenly shut down last week by its billionaire owner Joe Ricketts shortly after its employees voted to unify. Hours after they were laid off, some DNAinfo New York reporters started receiving Venmo payments from their fans; DNAinfo Chicago’s fans donated more than $1,000 to the newsroom’s bar tab. [John Ness / Recode]

SoftBank’s Masa Son, who is neogiating to buy a stake in Uber, says he may invest in rival Lyft instead. Maybe he means it. Maybe he’s looking for leverage. [Theodore Schleifer / Recode]

Top stories from Recode

Most Amazon Prime subscribers say they don’t want to buy the Amazon Key that lets delivery people into their homes.

But 5 percent of Prime subscribers would definitely buy an Amazon Key.

Uber’s U.S. sales have recovered after the #deleteUber campaign but Lyft is still gaining.

The company is still fighting multiple legal battles and federal investigations.

Facebook may soon test a red envelope payments feature, and a new breaking news tag for stories.

A few new Facebook features potentially on the way.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said tech should cooperate with law enforcement — and help the U.S. fight Russia.

Plus, he appeared to cast some doubt on newly proposed regulation targeting online political ads

Bridgewater Associates founder Ray Dalio has a “magical formula” for better decision making.

On the latest episode of the Recode Decode podcast, Dalio, the chairman of the world’s largest hedge fund, talks about his new book, “Principles: Life and Work.”

This is cool

Social network tarot cards.


This article originally appeared on Recode.net.

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