Gordon Sondland. Photo: Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

Gordon Sondland, U.S. ambassador to the EU, briefed senior administration officials on efforts to get Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden ahead of President Trump's July 25 call with the Ukrainian leader, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Why it matters: Emails allegedly sent by Sondland that were obtained by WSJ indicate that several other officials can confirm what some witnesses have testified to already about a Trump administration request to investigate Burisma, the gas company with ties to Biden's son.

  • Sondland will be a key witness at this week's impeachment hearings as he previously testified that he told a top Ukraine official that military aid to the country wouldn't be released until officials agreed to investigate Burisma.

What's new: Per WSJ, Sondland kept officials including acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney and Energy Secretary Rick Perry informed via email of developments in the push to get Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to announce an investigation into the Bidens.

What's next: Axios' Alayna Treene notes that Republicans plan to say Sondland "only talked to the president a handful of times about Ukraine, and he was eager to please Trump."

  • "They'll also focus on the idea that Sondland's knowledge was 'presumed' and the president never directly linked the two," Alayna writes.

Go deeper: Trump-Ukraine scandal: The key players, dates and documents

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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The story of American businesses in the coronavirus pandemic is a tale of two markets — one made up of tech firms and online retailers as winners awash in capital, and another of brick-and-mortar mom-and-pop shops that is collapsing.

Why it matters: The coronavirus pandemic has created an environment where losing industries like traditional retail and hospitality as well as a sizable portion of firms owned by women, immigrants and people of color are wiped out and may be gone for good.

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Why it matters: Apple is one of several Big Tech firms accused of violating the spirit, if not the letter, of antitrust law. A high-profile lawsuit could become a roadmap for either building a case against tech titans under existing antitrust laws or writing new ones better suited to the digital economy.

Survey: Fears grow about Social Security’s future

Data: AARP survey of 1,441 U.S. adults conducted July 14–27, 2020 a ±3.4% margin of error at the 95% confidence level; Chart: Naema Ahmed/Axios

Younger Americans are increasingly concerned that Social Security won't be enough to wholly fall back on once they retire, according to a survey conducted by AARP — in honor of today's 85th anniversary of the program — given first to Axios.

Why it matters: Young people's concerns about financial insecurity once they're on a restricted income are rising — and that generation is worried the program, which currently pays out to 65 million beneficiaries, won't be enough to sustain them.