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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Little sunshine is expected when the leaders of most of the world's major economic powers gather this weekend in the French seaside town of Biarritz.

The big picture: With President Trump reprising his role as disrupter-in-chief and U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson arriving aboard a runaway Brexit train, there's little the leaders of the G7 countries agree on. So little, in fact, that the host has already warned that there won't be a joint statement.

French President Emmanuel Macron said it would be "pointless" given the differences between Trump and the other participants on climate change and other issues. Besides, "no one reads the communiqués, let's be honest," he quipped.

  • Macron is less dismissive of the nationalist surge around the world and within the exclusive G7 club. He warned this week of conjoined crises of democracy and capitalism, and said the deepening U.S.-China rivalry could make “vassals” of the rest of the world.
  • A central player in Europe and on the world stage, Macron cuts a less formidable figure at home, where his approval rating sits at 27%. 
  • Other participants have deeper worries still.
The guest list...

U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson arrived in France early, as part of his "do or die" mission to pull the U.K. out of the EU by Oct. 31.

  • With Johnson insisting on major changes to the divorce deal his predecessor negotiated, and Macron and other EU leaders holding firm, the course seems to be set for a dramatic "no deal" split.
  • That could lead to a constitutional crisis, or the premature end of Johnson's premiership. For now, he claims to want a new deal ahead of the deadline — but Macron was unwilling to offer a lifeline.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is no stranger to international summits, but she enters this one as something of a lame duck and with an economy that's sputtering ominously. She's said she'll step aside by 2021.

  • Constanze Stelzenmüller of Brookings tells me that despite Germany's uncertain political future, talk of Merkel as a diminished figure is premature.
  • "You can see it in Boris Johnson's efforts to develop a good relationship with her," she says. "It's still the case that Germany is seen as a major player in Europe and that Merkel is seen as someone whom you need to have on your side."

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau may beat Merkel out the door.

Shinzo Abe is poised to become Japan's longest-serving prime minister this fall and was buoyed by election results last month.

  • But Japan's feud is escalating with South Korea, which announced today that it will sever an intelligence-sharing agreement with Tokyo despite U.S. efforts to mediate between its key East Asian allies.

For Italy's Giuseppe Conte, this is more goodbye than hello (though the versatility of "ciao" may mask the difference). 

  • He resigned Tuesday amid a breakdown in Italy's populist ruling coalition.

As for Trump, attacking Denmark over a "nasty" message that Greenland isn't for sale, and suggesting Russia be invited back into the G7, may just be a prelude to the weekend's festivities.

  • Trump left last year's summit early with a parting shot at its host, the "dishonest and weak" Trudeau.

The bottom line: From Macron's perspective at least, as the FT's Ed Luce writes, anything short of disaster in Biarritz might count as a victory.

Go deeper

Chris Cuomo accuser: On-air "hypocrisy" spurred report

Journalist Chris Cuomo. Photo: Gilbert Carrasquillo/GC Images

A woman who accused fired CNN journalist Chris Cuomo of sexual misconduct said Sunday she decided to come forward after learning of his comments about women who made similar accusations about his brother.

Why it matters: Her attorney Debra Katz said in a statement that she heard "the hypocrisy" of his on-air words about his brother, former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, and was "disgusted by his efforts to try to discredit these women," so "retained counsel to report his serious sexual misconduct against her to CNN." Both brothers have denied allegations leveled against them.

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

  1. Health: CDC director says number of U.S. Omicron cases "likely to rise" — Two years of COVID-19 — Prior coronavirus infections may not protect well against Omicron.
  2. Vaccines: Data demonstrates most-vaccinated counties less vulnerable to worst of COVID — Omicron adds urgency to vaccinating world — Omicron fuels the case for COVID boosters.
  3. Politics: Nevada to impose insurance surcharge on unvaccinated state workers — New Jersey GOP lawmakers defy statehouse COVID policy — Oklahoma sues Biden administration over Pentagon vaccine mandate.
  4. World: Vaccine mandates lose steam in the U.S. while Europe doubles downWHO: Delta health measures help fight Omicron — COVID cases surge in South Africa in sign Omicron wave is coming.
  5. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.

Vulnerable Democrats: Less Trump talk

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Vulnerable House Democrats are convinced they need to talk less about the man who helped them get elected: President Trump.

Why it matters: Democrats are privately concerned nationalizing the 2022 mid-terms with emotionally-charged issues — from Critical Race Theory to Donald Trump's role in the Jan. 6 insurrection — will hamstring their ability to sell the local benefits of President Biden's Build Back Better agenda.