Volodymyr Zelensky at an October press conference in Kiev. Photo: Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

The Ukrainian president's staff planned for him to announce investigations into the Bidens and the origins of the Russia probe in a Sept. 13 interview with CNN host Fareed Zakaria, the New York Times reports.

Driving the news: The Trump administration gave Ukraine military aid it had previously withheld two days before the scheduled interview, per the Times. Two U.S. senators reportedly told Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in September that only President Trump "could unlock" the $400 million in military aid and "time was running out."

  • Zelensky’s staff "quickly canceled the interview" after receiving military aid from the U.S., the Times reports.

Why it matters: Zelensky was poised to capitulate to what House impeachment committee members and several witnesses have accused Trump of doing — withholding military aid to Ukraine to pressure its government into announcing investigations into the Bidens and the origins of the Russia probe.

Go deeper: Official testifies Trump wanted Ukraine's Zelensky to mention "Clinton"

Go deeper

The CIA's new license to cyberattack

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

In 2018 President Trump granted the Central Intelligence Agency expansive legal authorities to carry out covert actions in cyberspace, providing the agency with powers it has sought since the George W. Bush administration, former U.S. officials directly familiar with the matter told Yahoo News.

Why it matters: The CIA has conducted disruptive covert cyber operations against Iran and Russia since the signing of this presidential finding, said former officials.

3 hours ago - Technology

Tech hits the brakes on office reopenings

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Tech was the first industry to send its workers home when COVID-19 first hit the U.S., and it has been among the most cautious in bringing workers back. Even still, many companies are realizing that their reopening plans from as recently as a few weeks ago are now too optimistic.

Why it matters: Crafting reopening plans gave tech firms a chance to bolster their leadership and model the beginnings of a path back to normalcy for other office workers. Their decision to pause those plans is the latest sign that normalcy is likely to remain elusive in the U.S.

The existential threat to small business

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The coronavirus pandemic has changed the game for U.S. businesses, pushing forward years-long shifts in workplaces, technology and buying habits and forcing small businesses to fight just to survive.

Why it matters: These changes are providing an almost insurmountable advantage to big companies, which are positioned to come out of the recession stronger and with greater market share than ever.