Lazaro Gamio / Axios

Travis Kalanick said Friday that he's appointing to Uber's board Ursula Burns, former CEO of Xerox, and John Thain, former CEO of CIT Group, Merrill Lynch, and the NYSE.

Why it matters: This is a power struggle coming in the midst of the arbitration against Benchmark Capital, which has been going on behind closed doors since late August. Although historically these seats have remained empty, they're at the heart of that dispute since Benchmark doesn't think they should exist. Plus, the sticking point for a major investment from Softbank is governance, and these seats are directly related to that as well.

Kalanick's take: "I am appointing these seats now in light of a recent Board proposal to dramatically restructure the Board and significantly alter the company's voting rights. It is therefore essential that the full Board be in place for proper deliberation to occur…"

Go deeper with the original suit with Dan Primack and SoftBank's big Uber deal rests on governance

Update: Statement from Uber:

The appointments of Ms. Burns and Mr. Thain to Uber's Board of Directors came as a complete surprise to Uber and its Board. That is precisely why we are working to put in place world-class governance to ensure that we are building a company every employee and shareholder can be proud of.

Go deeper

Trump refuses to commit to peaceful transfer of power if he loses

President Trump repeatedly refused to say on Wednesday whether he would commit to a peaceful transition of power if he loses the election to Joe Biden, saying at a press briefing: "We're going to have to see what happens."

The big picture: Trump has baselessly claimed on a number of occasions that the only way he will lose the election is if it's "rigged," claiming — without evidence — that mail-in ballots will result in widespread fraud. Earlier on Wednesday, the president said he wants to quickly confirm a replacement for Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg because he believes the Supreme Court may have to decide the result of the election.

"Not enough": Protesters react to no murder charges in Breonna Taylor case

A grand jury has indicted Brett Hankison, one of the Louisville police officers who entered Breonna Taylor's home in March, on three counts of wanton endangerment for firing shots blindly into neighboring apartments.

The state of play: Angering protesters, the grand jury did not indict any of the three officers involved in the botched drug raid on homicide or manslaughter charges related to the death of Taylor.

Dave Lawler, author of World
Updated 1 hour ago - World

U.S. no longer recognizes Lukashenko as legitimate president of Belarus

Lukashenko at his secret inauguration. Photo: Andrei Stasevich/BELTA/AFP via Getty Images

rThe U.S. no longer recognizes Aleksandr Lukashenko as the legitimate president of Belarus, the State Department said in a statement on Wednesday.

Why it matters: Lukashenko has clung to power with the support of Russia amid seven weeks of protests that have followed a blatantly rigged election. Fresh protests broke out Wednesday evening in Minsk after it emerged that Lukashenko had held a secret inauguration ceremony.

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