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Former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship, left, walks out of the Robert C. Byrd U.S. Courthouse after the jury deliberated for a fifth full day in his trial back in 2016. Photo: Chris Tilley / AP

Former energy executive Don Blankenship, who recently spent a year in California prison for "conspiring to willfully violate mine safety standards," will run for West Virginia's U.S. Senate seat as a Republican, per the local ABC affiliate in Charleston, West Virginia.

The intrigue: Blankenship was released from prison just six months ago, and according to USA Today investigative reporter Brad Heath, isn't allowed to leave Nevada without permission from a judge or probate officer until May because he's on federal supervision.

Why it matters: Blankenship's probation conditions, in addition to his controversial past as the Massey Energy chief executive when the Upper Big Branch mine exploded, will make campaigning for Senate even more difficult. He has blamed others for the explosion incident and even wrote a 67-page blog post about it, which he later printed and distributed 250,000 copies, per WCHS.

If he wins the primary, he'll face incumbent Dem. Senator Joe Manchin.

Go deeper

Updated 4 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: WHO: AstraZeneca vaccine must be evaluated on "more than a press release."
  2. Politics: Supreme Court backs religious groups on New York COVID restrictions.
  3. World: Thailand, Philippines sign deal with AstraZeneca for vaccine.
  4. Economy: Safety nets to disappear in December Black Friday shopping across the U.S., in photosAmazon hires 1,400 workers a day throughout pandemic.
  5. Education: National standardized tests delayed until 2022.
1 hour ago - Health

WHO: AstraZeneca vaccine must be evaluated on "more than a press release"

A medical syringe and vial with fake coronavirus vaccine in front of the World Health Organization (WHO) logo. Photo Illustration: Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Top scientists at the World Health Organization on Friday called for more detailed information on a coronavirus vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford.

Why it matters: Oxford and AstraZeneca have said the vaccine was 90% effective in people who got a half dose followed by a full dose, and 62% effective in people who got two full doses. AstraZeneca has since acknowledged that the smaller dose received by some participants was the result of an error by a contractor, per the New York Times.

Court rejects Trump campaign's appeal in Pennsylvania case

Photo: Sarah Silbiger for The Washington Post via Getty Images

A federal appeals court on Friday unanimously rejected the Trump campaign's emergency appeal seeking to file a new lawsuit against Pennsylvania's election results, writing in a blistering ruling that the campaign's "claims have no merit."

Why it matters: It's another devastating blow to President Trump's sinking efforts to overturn the results of the election. Pennsylvania, which President-elect Joe Biden won by more than 80,000 votes, certified its results last week and is expected to award 20 electoral votes to Biden on Dec. 12.