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German Chancellor Angela Merkel looks towards President Donald Trump during a working breakfast at the G7 summit on Friday. Photo: Leon Neal/Getty Images

German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Sunday called President Trump’s abrupt decision to withdraw support for a G7 communique “sobering and a bit depressing” and cautioned that the European Union, like Canada, will impose counter-measures against U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum, per Reuters.

The details: Her remarks add to the international backlash over Trump’s surprise withdrawal from the G7's joint message via Twitter on Saturday en route to Singapore for a summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. Merkel said in a televised interview that the G7 debacle didn’t mark the end of transatlantic partnership between Europe and the U.S., but added that Europe will not rely on the U.S. and will take steps to protect its own interests.

Another key highlight: Merkel said that Russia should be allowed to rejoin the G7 only when a peace plan for Ukraine can be implemented.

  • Ahead of the G7 summit, Trump told reporters that Moscow, which was ousted in 2014 from the group of leading industrial countries for annexing Crimea, should be reinstated — reforming the Group of 8 (G8).

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Tracking the pandemic's unequal impact

Expand chart
Data: Morning Consult/Axios; Chart: Will Chase/Axios

The pandemic was bound to hit the most economically vulnerable among us the hardest. New polling data from Morning Consult, out this morning, shows the degree to which those difficulties were more concentrated among people of color.

Catch up quick: The Morning Consult/Axios Inequality Index has tracked the economic experience of adults in three wage groups since May 2020. We began publishing the findings in May of this year, and six months in, we’re slicing the data a little differently — and looking at inequality between ethnicities.

1 hour ago - Health

WHO says Omicron poses "very high" risk

World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus speaking in Geneva in October. Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP via Getty Images

The World Health Organization said Monday in a new risk assessment that it believes the COVID-19 Omicron variant poses a "very high" risk to the globe because it may be more transmissible than other strains of the virus.

Why it matters: Though the WHO acknowledged there are still many uncertainties associated with the variant, the agency said it believes the likelihood of potential further spread of Omicron around the world is "high."

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.

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