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Supporters of Britain First take part in the March Against Terrorism on April 01, 2017 in London. Photo: Wiktor Szymanowicz / Barcroft Im / Barcroft Media via Getty Images

More than 5,000 of the 7,500 members of the openly anti-Islam extremist group Britain First have joined the U.K.'s Conservative Party in the wake of Boris Johnson's landslide election victory this month, The Guardian reports.

The big picture: Johnson has faced criticism for his past writings comparing veiled Muslim women to "letterboxes" and "bank robbers," and was pressured during a leadership debate in June to agree to an independent investigation into widespread Islamophobia in the Conservative Party.

  • Johnson has apologized for the "hurt and offense" caused by Islamophobia within his party, but said the independent inquiry would be focused on "every manner of prejudice and discrimination" rather than anti-Muslim bigotry in particular.
  • A spokesperson for Britain First, whose leaders were convicted last year for hate crimes against Muslims, said its members felt motivated to join the Conservatives due to the party's apparent willingness to take a "firm stance" against radical Islam."

Go deeper: Britain's chief rabbi warns of anti-Semitism within Labour Party

Go deeper

Battle for the soul of a new web

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

A well-funded and intensely motivated chunk of tech's hive mind is finding common cause in a vast new project: rebuilding the web on a foundation of cryptocurrency and blockchain tech. They call it "Web3."

The big picture: Developers, investors and early adopters imagine a future in which the technologies that enable Bitcoin and Ethereum will break up the concentrated power today's tech giants wield and usher in a golden age of individual empowerment and entrepreneurial freedom.

Thanksgiving box office shows theaters have long road to recovery

Photo of Disney's "Encanto;" Credit: Disney

Box office ticket sales over the Thanksgiving holiday show that consumer confidence in moviegoing is slowly improving, but not enough to bring the struggling theater industry back to pre-pandemic levels anytime soon, if ever.

Why it matters: "We may have to temper expectations a bit" for next year, said Comscore senior media analyst Paul Dergarabedian.

Tina Reed, author of Vitals
41 mins ago - Health

Omicron adds urgency to vaccinating world

Photo: Phill Magakoe/AFP via Getty Images

The emergence of the Omicron variant is bringing new urgency to global vaccination efforts.

Why it matters: New variants can emerge anywhere, and can spread everywhere. Getting doses to the developing world — and getting those doses into people's arms — is essential, and that effort has so far been lagging.