A federal judge has ordered that Anthony Levandowski, a former Waymo employee whose autonomous driving startup was acquired by Uber last year, stop working on the ride-hailing company's self-driving car technology.

Why it matters: Barring Levandowski from working on LiDAR technology — which helps cars "see" so they can drive themselves— might not render him entirely useless to Uber, but it certainly makes the $680 million it paid to acquire his startup now seem like too much money.

If Levandowski, his co-founders and their LiDAR technology were the main assets Uber acquired, then it doesn't have much access to them anymore after this ruling, lest it prevails in trial later this year.

The ruling, stemming from Waymo's request for a preliminary injunction to halt Uber's work on self-driving cars, was issued on Thursday evening, but was under seal until now. Levandowski had recently recused himself from working on the technology, but the ruling makes this requirement official.

There's more: Uber is also ordered to return the 14,000 files Levandowski downloaded prior to leaving Waymo, Alphabet's self-driving car unit, to his former employer by May 31. Uber also has to provide a complete timeline of its discussions with him about LiDAR. Levandowski has allegedly made this difficult for Uber by asserting his Fifth Amendment right, something the judge says it could remedy by threatening to fire him if he doesn't turn over the files.

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Updated 5 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9:30 p.m. ET: 20,004,254 — Total deaths: 733,929 — Total recoveries — 12,209,226Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 9:30 p.m. ET: 5,088,516 — Total deaths: 163,400 — Total recoveries: 1,670,755 — Total tests: 62,513,174Map.
  3. Politics: Trump claims he would have not called for Obama to resign over 160,000 virus deathsHouse will not hold votes until Sept. 14 unless stimulus deal is reached.
  4. Business: Richer Americans are more comfortable eating out.
  5. Public health: 5 states set single-day coronavirus case records last week — A dual coronavirus and flu threat is set to deliver a winter from hell.
  6. Sports: The cost of kids losing gym class — College football is on the brink.
  7. World: Europe's CDC recommends new restrictions amid "true resurgence in cases."

AOC to speak at Dem convention

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez during an April a press conference in Queens, New York City. Photo: Scott Heins/Getty Images)

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez will speak at the Democratic convention next week ahead of Sen. Bernie Sanders' appearance on the Tuesday night, CNN first reported and Axios has confirmed

Why it matters: Her involvement is a strategic decision to energize young progressives without tying former Vice President Joe Biden too closely or directly with her agenda.

1 hour ago - World

Protests in Belarus turn deadly following sham election

An arrest today in Minsk. Photo: Natalia Fedosenko/TASS via Getty

Protesters and security forces are clashing across Belarus tonight, with at least one person dead, hundreds injured and thousands arrested.

Why it matters: Sunday’s rigged presidential elections have yielded political uncertainty unlike any seen in Aleksander Lukashenko’s 26-year tenure. After claiming an implausible 80% of the vote, Lukashenko is using every tool in the authoritarian arsenal to maintain his grip on power.