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Exclusive: Group of Uber investors wants a new CEO (update: Kalanick resigns)

Travis Kalanick in Sun Valley, Idaho, in 2012 (AP's Paul Sakluma)

A select group of Uber's institutional investors is exploring ways of removing Travis Kalanick as CEO, Axios has learned from multiple sources. Among those in the discussions is said to be venture capital firm Benchmark, whose partner Bill Gurley is on Uber's board of directors. Others include First Round Capital, Fidelity Investments, Lowercase Capital and Menlo Ventures.

"The question is what to do about Travis," said one Uber shareholder. "We're working through it."

Update: About 30 minutes after this story was published, The NY Times reports that Kalanick has resigned due to investor pressure.

Complications: Uber's investors do not really have the legal ability to fire Kalanick, so long as his longtime board allies Garrett Camp (Uber's founder and chairman) and Ryan Graves (Uber's first employee and current executive) remain reliable votes. So the actual mechanics of what the investors are attempting remain unclear, so long as neither Camp nor (to a lesser extent) Graves have flipped. One source said that litigation could eventually occur, while another referred to the situation as "very fluid."

Context: The investor discussions come as Uber has dealt with months of scandals and just one week after Kalanick voluntarily took an indefinite leave of absence from the company. The leave was related to both the sudden death of his mother as well as the broader workplace culture crisis at Uber, which included allegations of sexual harassment and led to the termination of at least 20 employees and the resignation of chief business officer and Kalanick confidant Emil Michael.

It also is unclear who would replace Kalanick as CEO, or what his role moving forward with the company might be.

Uber spokespeople have not yet returned requests for comment, nor has Gurley.

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What McCabe told Mueller

Photo: Pete Marovich / Getty Images

Andrew McCabe says President Trump asked him: “What was it like when your wife lost? ... So tell me, what was it like to lose?" McCabe — the former FBI deputy director who was fired Friday night, 26 hours short of being eligible for a full pension — says that in three or four interactions, President Trump was disparaging each time of his wife, Dr. Jill McCabe, a failed Virginia state Senate candidate in 2015. John Dowd, a Trump lawyer, told me: "I am told that the P never made that statement according to two others who were present."

The big picture: Axios has learned that McCabe has met with special counsel Robert Mueller, and has turned over Comey-style memos documenting his conversations with Trump. The memos include corroboration by McCabe of former FBI Director James Comey's account of his own firing by Trump.

Haley Britzky 5 hours ago
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Women and jihad: from bride to the front line

Suspected Al Qaeda-aligned Shabaab militants, a woman and her three children, sit next to weapons after their arrest on May 5, 2016 in Mogadishu
Suspected Al Qaeda-aligned Shabaab militants, a woman and her children, sit next to weapons after their arrest on May 5, 2016 in Mogadishu. Photo: Mohamed Abdiwahab / AFP / Getty Images

A women's magazine, unveiled in December, gives tips on how to be a "good bride" and make life easier for the man in your life. The twist: the magazine, "Beituki," is published by al-Qaeda as part of a propaganda campaign which "appears, in part, to be a reaction to Islamic State (IS), which has called women to the front lines," per the Economist.

The big picture: Extremist organizations are struggling to define what women's roles in their groups should be. While some force women to "remain indoors," as Beituki suggests, others have placed women on the front lines, or utilized them as recruiters.