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AP File

The New York Times' Mike Isaac is making waves with a scoop that Uber used its software prowess to foil attempts by local regulators around the world trying to investigate UberX. It's a complex story you should read in full, but here's the upshot:

  • An Uber program called Greyball would serve law enforcement officers and regulators engaged in ride-hailing stings with "ghost cars" to make it harder for them to catch a ride.
  • The company determined who to target in part by analyzing user data, including customer credit cards and behavior on the app around city offices.

Why it matters: The story shows Uber's willingness to push the limits of the law in its battles with local regulators, which are more existential than the policy debates it influences in Washington.

Timing is everything: It comes after the company has been accused of fostering a sexist and toxic workplace culture and stealing intellectual property from Google — and days after CEO Travis Kalanick apologized for berating a driver for the service, an act that was caught in a damning dashcam video.

Uber responds: "This program denies ride requests to fraudulent users who are violating our terms of service — whether that's people aiming to physically harm drivers, competitors looking to disrupt our operations, or opponents who collude with officials on secret 'stings' meant to entrap drivers."

Go deeper

Updated 9 hours ago - World

U.S. airstrike kills senior al-Qaeda leader in Syria, DOD says

A displacement camp near the village of Qah in Syria's northwestern Idlib province. Photo: Ahmad Al-Atrash/AFP via Getty Images

A U.S. airstrike in northwest Syria on Friday killed senior al-Qaeda leader Abdul Hamid al-Matar, U.S. Central Command said in a statement.

Why it matters: Syria serves as a "safe haven" for the extremist group to plan external operations, according to U.S. Army Maj. John Rigsbee.

Updated 14 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Giuliani associate Lev Parnas convicted of campaign finance crimes

Lev Parnas, a former associate of then-President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Florida businessman Lev Parnas was convicted Friday on charges of conspiracy to make foreign contributions to political campaigns, according to multiple outlets.

Why it matters: Prosecutors said Parnas, then an associate of former President Donald Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, funneled over $150,000 from a Russian businessman into U.S. campaigns as part of an effort to land licenses in the U.S.'s legal cannabis industry.

Supreme Court agrees to hear challenges to Texas abortion law

Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

The Supreme Court on Friday agreed to hear two cases challenging Texas' abortion law, which bans the procedure as soon as six weeks into pregnancy, but left the law in place in the meantime.

Why it matters: The court is moving extraordinarily fast on the Texas cases, compressing into just a few days a process that normally takes months. And that schedule means the court will take up Texas' ban a month before it hears another major abortion case — a challenge to Mississippi's own 2018 ban on abortions after 15 weeks.