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Photo: Pool/Getty

President Donald Trump and German Chancellor Angela Merkel have exchanged sharp words ahead of their tête-à-tête today at the NATO summit in Brussels.

The big picture: Merkel is notoriously more tight-lipped than Trump, but his comments in his first NATO meeting that Germany is "totally controlled by Russia" for its energy deal struck a chord with the chancellor. Merkel, who grew up under East Germany's Soviet occupation, hit back at Trump Wednesday, and said that she "experienced the Soviet occupation ... it is good that we are independent today."

Why it matters: Trump and Merkel's relationship has been fraught for months, and Trump has repeatedly targeted Germany in his complaints that NATO members don't contribute enough to defense spending. Their private meeting today will be further complicated by these attacks, which seem to be increasingly personal and could negatively impact relations between two of the world's biggest economies.

Be smart: How to make sense of NATO members' defense spending.

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.

First look: Biden summons top CEOs on supply chain

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

President Biden will meet Monday afternoon with CEOs of big retailers, grocers and consumer-products firms to send this message, according to the White House: Products will be on shelves for holiday shopping.

Zoom out: Black Friday sales rebounded from 2020.

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.