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Anthony Levandowski speaks to members of the press at the Uber Advanced Technologies Center on September 13, 2016. Photo: ANGELO MERENDINO/AFP/Getty Images

Kicking off the trial on Monday, Waymo's lawyer spent much of his opening statements to the jury painting Uber (and its then-CEO Travis Kalanick) as committed to winning the self-driving car race "at all costs"—including through cheating.

Why it matters: Over the next three weeks of the trial, Waymo will have to convince the jury that Uber not only plotted with one of its former employees to steal its technology, but that it actually did, and has been using it to advance its own development of self-driving cars.

  • Waymo presented the jury with emails and meeting notes from Uber executives showing Kalanick was intent on catching up to Waymo and viewed Anthony Levandowski as crucial to achieving that.

Uber's side: Predictably, Uber's lawyer opened his statements to the jury by denying Waymo's claims that it cheated and plotted to steal its technology.

  • Instead, Waymo's real motive, says Uber, has been to thwart a company it's long seen as competitor with its growing stable of self-driving car experts.
  • "Uber regrets ever bringing Anthony Levandowski on board," said Uber attorney Bill Carmody, in a reminder that the former executive is not on trial here, despite his bad behavior. "And the reason they do so, is because for all his time at Uber, all they have to show for bringing on Anthony Levandowski is this lawsuit."

What you won't get to see: Each side is spending part of its opening statements going over the alleged trade secrets at stake in the trial. This portion is closed to the public, so we won't get to see the tech in question.

Go deeper: Check out the slides presented by Uber and Waymo to the jury on Monday.

Go deeper

Updated 2 hours ago - Energy & Environment

Bomb cyclone prompts blizzard warnings from Virginia to Maine

Computer model projection showing the intense storm off of Cape Cod on Jan 29, 2022, with heavy snow and strong winds lashing the coastline. (Weatherbell.com)

Blizzard warnings are in effect for 11 million people from coastal Virginia to eastern Maine as a historic winter storm is set to slam the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast beginning Friday.

Why it matters: The storm will bring hazards ranging from zero visibility amid hurricane force wind gusts and heavy snow, to coastal flooding that will erode vulnerable beaches and threaten property from the Jersey shore to coastal Massachusetts.

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

  1. Health: Contact tracing fizzles across America — New clues emerge on long COVID — Omicron is finally burning out — It's very difficult to get access to antiviral COVID treatments — Axios-Ipsos poll: Omicron's big numbersAnother wave of death — FDA limits use of Regeneron and Lilly antibody treatments.
  2. Vaccines: Pfizer begins clinical trial for Omicron-specific vaccine — The shifting definition of fully vaccinated.
  3. Politics: Virginia AG says public colleges can't mandate COVID vaccines —Alaska governor joins Texas lawsuit over National Guard vaccine mandate — Navy discharges 45 sailors for refusing vaccine — Spotify to remove Neil Young's music after his Joe Rogan ultimatum — White House: 60M households have ordered free COVID-19 rapid tests.
  4. World: U.K. to lift travel testing requirement for fully vaccinated — Beijing Olympic Committee lowers testing threshold ahead of Games.
  5. Variant tracker
6 hours ago - World

Biden will move U.S. troops to Eastern Europe "in the near term"

President Biden boards Air Force One at Joint Base Andrews on Jan. 28. Photo: SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden said on Friday he plans to move U.S. troops to Eastern European and NATO countries “in the near term.”

Driving the news: “Not too many” U.S. troops, Biden added in remarks to reporters at Joint Base Andrew upon returning from a trip to Pennsylvania.