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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

United CEO is confident people will feel safe traveling again by 2022

Axios' Joann Muller and United CEO Scott Kirby. Photo: Axios

United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby believes that people will feel safe traveling again by this time next year, depending on the pace of vaccinations and the government's ongoing response to the pandemic, he said at an Axios virtual event.

Why it matters: Misery for global aviation is likely to continue and hold back a broader economic recovery if nothing changes, especially with new restrictions on international border crossings. U.S. airlines carried about 60% fewer passengers in 2020 compared with 2019.

The risks and rewards of charging state-backed hackers

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Last week’s stunning indictment of three North Korean hackers laid bare both the advantages and drawbacks of the U.S. government’s evolving strategy of using high-profile prosecutions to publicize hostile nation-state cyber activities.

Why it matters: Criminal charges can help the U.S. establish clear norms in a murky and rapidly changing environment, but they may not deter future bad behavior and could even invite retaliation against U.S. intelligence officials.

36 mins ago - World

Scoop: Netanyahu asked Biden to keep Trump's sanctions on International Criminal Court

ICC chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda. Photo: Bas Czerwinski/ANP/AFP via Getty

Netanyahu asked Biden in their first phone call last week to keep sanctions imposed by the Trump administration on the International Criminal Court (ICC) in place, Israeli officials tell me.

Why it matters: Israeli officials are concerned that removing the sanctions would hamper Israel's efforts to stop a potential war crimes investigation into Israel, and that the court's prosecutor could see it as a signal that the U.S. isn't firmly opposed to that investigation.