AP

Uber has fired self-driving car executive Anthony Levandowski, amid a legal battle with Alphabet's Waymo unit over alleged trade secret theft, according to an internal email obtained by the New York Times and confirmed to Axios by the company. Levandowski, who left Waymo more than a year ago and whose self-driving truck startup (Otto) was eventually acquired by Uber, has refused to hand over files he allegedly stole, instead asserting his Fifth Amendment rights.

Context: Uber last week told Levandowski that he could be terminated if he declines to cooperate with the court's orders. According to an Uber spokesperson, he failed to meet Uber's deadline to comply. Eric Meyhofer, who took over some of Levandowski's duties in April, will fully replace him.

Why it matters: Firing Levandowski is likely the last thing Uber wanted to do. Not only is he a rare expert in autonomous driving technology, but Uber effectively paid $680 million to hire him when it acquired Otto.

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Updated 26 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 8 a.m. ET: 32,595,105 — Total deaths: 989,663 — Total recoveries: 22,508,651Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 8 a.m. ET: 7,034,432 — Total deaths: 203,789 — Total recoveries: 2,727,335 — Total tests: 99,483,712Map.
  3. States: "We’re not closing anything going forward": Florida fully lifts COVID restaurant restrictions — Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam tests positive for coronavirus.
  4. Health: Young people accounted for 20% of cases this summer.
  5. Business: Coronavirus has made airports happier places The expiration of Pandemic Unemployment Assistance looms.
  6. Education: Where bringing students back to school is most risky.
Mike Allen, author of AM
14 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Biden pushes unity message in new TV wave

A fresh Joe Biden ad, "New Start," signals an effort by his campaign to make unity a central theme, underscoring a new passage in his stump speech that says he won't be a president just for Democrats but for all Americans.

What he's saying: The ad — which began Friday night, and is a follow-up to "Fresh Start" — draws from a Biden speech earlier in the week in Manitowoc, Wisconsin:

Trump prepares to announce Amy Coney Barrett as Supreme Court replacement

Judge Amy Coney Barrett. Photo: Matt Cashore/Notre Dame University via Reuters

President Trump is preparing to nominate federal appeals court Judge Amy Coney Barrett of Indiana, a favorite of both the social conservative base and Republican elected officials, to succeed Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Republican sources tell Axios.

Why it matters: Barrett would push the already conservative court further and harder to the right, for decades to come, on the most important issues in American politics — from abortion to the limits of presidential power. If confirmed, she would give conservatives a 6-3 majority on the high court.