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Photo: GREG BAKER/AFP/Getty Images

The State Department on Tuesday announced that it would impose visa restrictions on Chinese government officials who are believed to be responsible for, or complicit in, the mass detention and surveillance of Uighurs and other Muslim minority groups in Xinjiang province.

The big picture: China has detained an estimated 1 million to 2 million Uighur Muslims in the region of Xinjiang in "re-education camps" as part of a coordinated campaign of forced assimilation. The State Department's announcement follows a decision by the Commerce Department on Monday to blacklist 28 Chinese companies from doing business with the U.S. over the alleged abuses — moves that come just days before another round of highly anticipated trade talks in Washington.

In response to Monday's announcement, a Chinese Ministry of Commerce spokesperson said:

"We strongly urge the U.S. to immediately stop making irresponsible remarks on the issue of Xinjiang, stop interfering with the wrong actions of China’s internal affairs, and remove relevant Chinese entities from the list of entities as soon as possible."

Go deeper: The world shrugs as China locks up 1 million Muslims

Go deeper

4 mins ago - Technology

Jack Dorsey to step down as Twitter CEO

Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Jack Dorsey will step down as CEO of Twitter, the company announced Monday. He will be succeeded by CTO Parag Agrawal.

The big picture: Dorsey is also the CEO of financial payments company Square, which he co-founded in 2009, and has become a crypto evangelist in recent years.

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.

2 hours 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."