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Former Vice President Joe Biden, in an interview with "Axios on HBO," promised to prohibit his son Hunter, and other family members, from cashing in on his name and position overseas if he wins the presidency. 

Why it matters: Questions may intensify as impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump move to the Senate and the Iowa caucuses approach. Biden already has drawn scrutiny for allowing his son to get paid handsomely by a Ukrainian business while the VP led the Obama administration's anti-corruption push in Ukraine.

The big question: Will Biden move away from a posture of defending his son's honor to acknowledge and address legitimate concerns about his own judgment among some Democrats and swing voters?

  • Biden told Axios' Mike Allen that Hunter did nothing wrong — but that he has not dug into what Hunter actually did while working in Ukraine.
  • “I don't know what he was doing. I know he was on the board. I found out he was on the board after he was on the board and that was it,” Biden told us. 
  • Asked whether he wants to get to the bottom of it, Biden said, "No. Because I trust my son."

Biden said his family will be banned from making money overseas if he wins, faulting the president's family members' government and business conflicts of interests — not Hunter’s work — for the need for a formal guardrail. 

  • “They will not be engaged in any foreign business because of what's happened in this administration.”

Axios' Alexi McCammond, who spent time on Biden's Iowa bus tour this week, said after he called a man a "damn liar" at one event for making unsubstantiated claims about Hunter's work, Biden told reporters the next day that he "probably shouldn't have challenged him to pushups" and doesn't want to stoop to Trump's level in terms of engagement with critics.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

2 hours ago - World

U.S. will give Russians written response to NATO demands, Blinken says

Blinken and Lavrov shake hands in Geneva. Photo: Russian Foreign Ministry / Handout/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Secretary of State Antony Blinken confirmed after a meeting with his Russian counterpart on Friday that the U.S. will provide written answers to Russia's security demands next week.

Why it matters: Russia claims to be waiting for "concrete answers" to its demands that NATO rule out further expansion and roll back its presence in eastern Europe before deciding its next steps on Ukraine. But the U.S. and NATO have called those proposals "non-starters," and Friday's meeting offered no breakthroughs, so it's unclear how written answers might change the equation.

More surprises await scientists at Antarctica's "Doomsday Glacier"

Cliffs along the edge of the Thwaites Ice Shelf in West Antarctica. Photo: James Yungel/NASA

Researchers like David Holland, an atmospheric scientist at New York University, are in a race to understand the fate of a massive glacier in West Antarctica that has earned a disquieting nickname: "The Doomsday Glacier."

Why it matters: Studies show the Thwaites Glacier (its official name) could already be on an irreversible course to melt during the next several decades to centuries, freeing up enough inland ice to raise global sea levels by at least several feet.

Updated 4 hours ago - Health

The case for Operation Warp Speed 2.0

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Omicron's blitz around the world has underscored the need for a new arsenal of COVID vaccines and therapeutics, experts say — and that may require an effort akin to Operation Warp Speed 2.0.

Why it matters: The virus will continue to evolve, potentially in a way that further escapes vaccine protection, and the best way to prevent more global disruptions to everyday life is to have tools ready to combat whatever comes next.