French Minister of the Economy Bruno Le Maire (L) and the German Federal Minister of Finance Olaf Scholz (R). Photo: Thierry Monasse/Corbis via Getty Images

French finance minister Bruno Le Maire said Monday that France and Germany are determined to work on an independent payments system that would allow the EU to circumvent U.S. sanctions on Iran, backing a proposal made last week by German foreign minister Heiko Maas, reports Bloomberg.

The big picture: The EU's commitment to maintaining economic ties with Iran, among other things, is fueling calls for greater independence from the U.S. Earlier Monday, French President Emmanuel Macron announced a review of EU defense cooperation, claiming the bloc can no longer rely on the U.S. for security.

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Big Tech marshals a right-leaning army of allies for antitrust fight

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

As tech's giants prepare to face off with antitrust enforcers this summer, they will draw support from an array of predominantly right-leaning defenders ranging from influential former government officials to well-connected think tanks.

The big picture: The Justice Department, the Federal Trade Commission and the states have multiple investigations of monopolistic behavior underway targeting Facebook and Google, with other giants like Amazon and Apple also facing rising scrutiny. Many observers expect a lawsuit against Google to land this summer.

John Roberts' long game

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts is not the revolutionary that conservative activists want him to be.

He moves slower than they want, sides with liberals more than they want, and trims his sails in ways they find maddening. But he is still deeply and unmistakably conservative, pulling the law to the right — at his own pace and in his own image.

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The U.S.' new default coronavirus strategy: herd immunity

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

By letting the coronavirus surge through the population with only minimal social distancing measures in place, the U.S. has accidentally become the world’s largest experiment in herd immunity.

Why it matters: Letting the virus spread while minimizing human loss is doable, in theory. But it requires very strict protections for vulnerable people, almost none of which the U.S. has established.