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Joe and Hunter Biden in 2016. Photo: Kris Connor/WireImage

President Trump and his allies have made a barrage of allegations and insinuations — some legitimate, others fabricated — about the activities of Joe Biden and his son Hunter in Ukraine.

Why it matters: The president’s defenders and opponents have used a similar set of facts to shape wildly different narratives on this issue. As a result, there has been much confusion over whether Trump’s leading 2020 challenger is being unfairly maligned or has something to answer for.

Hunter Biden’s work:

  • True: Beginning in 2014, Hunter Biden served on the board of a Ukrainian energy company, Burisma, that faced allegations of corruption. He was paid "as much as $50,000 per month," per the NYT.
  • False: His work for Burisma was being investigated by a Ukrainian prosecutor.

Joe Biden’s intervention:

  • True: Joe Biden was the Obama administration's point man on Ukraine while his son was working for Burisma, visiting the country several times from 2014 to 2016.
  • True: The then-vice president did tell Ukrainian leaders they had to fire Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin to get $1 billion in U.S. aid, according to a version of the story Biden himself told in 2018.
  • False: Biden pushed for Shokin's ouster to protect his son.
    • European countries and international bodies had accused Shokin of failing to pursue corruption, including in the Burisma case, and wanted him fired.
    • Biden was also not freelancing for personal reasons — he was pursuing the Obama administration's policy.

The bottom line:

  • True: Hunter Biden’s role with Burisma raised conflict-of-interest concerns at the time.
    • The State Department claimed in 2014 that there was no conflict, noting the younger Biden was a “private citizen.”
  • False: There's evidence Joe Biden committed "corruption" of any sort in Ukraine, as Trump alleges.

Go deeper: Adam Entous' deep look at Hunter Biden in the New Yorker

Go deeper

The ransomware pandemic

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

"We are on the cusp of a global pandemic," said Christopher Krebs, the first director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, told Congress last week. The virus causing the pandemic isn't biological, however. It's software.

Why it matters: Crippling a major U.S. oil pipeline this weekend initially looked like an act of war — but it's now looking like an increasingly normal crime, bought off-the-shelf from a "ransomware as a service" provider known as DarkSide.

Hollywood's wakeup call

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Decades of failures around diversity and inclusion finally caught up with Hollywood Monday, when NBC made the unprecedented decision not to air the Golden Globes next year following backlash against the group that hosts the show.

Why it matters: NBC has been airing the event exclusively for decades. Its decision to pull back speaks to how big the backlash against the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) has become.

Erica Pandey, author of @Work
2 hours ago - Health

There's a frenzy for summer school, but it may not be enough

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Kids across the country have fallen behind after more than a year of interrupted, unstable and inequitable virtual school. And they'll need to go to summer school to catch up.

Yes, but: It's not that easy. Kids are demoralized, teachers are exhausted, and it'll take more than one summer to fix the pandemic's damage.